The Battle for Convoy ON-166, 25 February 1943

The Navy History Center is featuring a short narrative and photos from this classic convoy battle between eight escorts lead by Coast Guard Cutters Spencer and Campbell and 19 U-boats during the critical winter months of 1943.

For more information on the Coast Guard’s battles against the U-boats, there are a series of extensively captioned photos of 327s here, an accounting of “U.S. Coast Guard Combat Victories of World War II” which also lists significant losses is here, and a twenty page pdf on the Battle of the North Atlantic is here.

File:USCGC Spencer WPG-36.jpg
USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) in 1942 or 1943. Spencer sank U-175 with assistance of USCGC Duane, on April 17, 1943.


12 thoughts on “The Battle for Convoy ON-166, 25 February 1943

      • Yes, usually, and / or sometimes, our Canadian Censorship…deletes High Frequency Direction Finding/Huff Duff, H.F. D/F/, also PENDANT NUMBERS…your U.S. HULL NUMBERS, SW1C RADAR…EARLY RDF; though the 271 RADAR…THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT ONE, AS SHE IS QUITE LARGE!!!

        Brian Murza…Killick Vison, W.W.II Naval Researcher-Published Author, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

    • This is what cutters should look like. Take the hull, give it a flight deck, hanger, and the same diesels as the NSC, and call it an OPC. Diesel electric drive so that it could make about 10 knots on just generators would be nice to.

  1. If you read through the “victories” listing of the 11 U-boats that the Coast Guard was involved in sinking, keep in mind that all US surface ships only sank 36 U-boats.

  2. I had no idea of what went on with the Merchant Marine and theU boats until I began writing my family history including as much as I could of my 6 brothers war time experiences. My brother Gerald “jerry” Quinlin served aboard the Mark TWain as a Naval Armed Guard, in the early part of the war. I found myself crying a lot when it came to me that I might never have seen him again. I was 10 years old when he went to war, and was stayiing with him and his wife. He never talked about his experiences. He served on the Mark Twain which received 2 battle stars. He died in 1979. Came home with Malaria. His whole life was filled with sadness. The ON-166 was a horrific experience if you survived it. If there is anyone out there that also served on the Mark Twain, or in any way can write me more about the Naval Armed Guard experience I would appreciate it.

  3. Pingback: What Has Happened to Coast Guard Online History? | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  4. Pingback: The Battle for Convoy ON-166, 25 February 1943 — Chuck Hill’s CG Blog – battleoftheatlantic19391945

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