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Today in World War II History—Mar. 25, 1942

US poster for the B-26 Marauder medium bomber75 Years Ago—Mar. 25, 1942: US Naval Task Force 39 leaves Maine for Britain to protect convoys to Russia, relieving the Royal Navy to protect the Mediterranean and to invade Madagascar.

First Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers arrive in a combat theater, at Brisbane/Archerfield AF, Australia.

When Tides Turn U-Boat Tour, Part 2 – and Giveaway

See pictures from inside German U-boat U-505 and read the story of its capture!To celebrate the release of When Tides Turn, this week I’m conducting a photo tour of some of the sights in the book—and I’m giving away:

  • “Vintage White Blossoms” candle from Vermilion, Ohio—Dan & Tess’s hometown.
  • “Women of WWII” sticky notes, including a WAVE (like Tess!), purchased at Pearl Harbor.

To enter, leave a comment below (US & Canada only please), and/or on the Tour of Boston and Tour of Vermilion posts and yesterday’s U-boat Tour post. You can earn extra entries by leaving a comment on each post. If you can’t leave a comment, please send me an email to enter. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 10 pm, Pacific Time. I’ll announce the winner here on Monday, March 27, 2017.

U-Boat Tour

In When Tides Turn, my fictional hero, Lt. Dan Avery, serves aboard the auxiliary carrier USS Bogue. The aircraft of the Bogue were the first to sink a German U-boat without assistance from surface ships. The escort carriers soon became the nuclei of “hunter-killer” groups, along with destroyers or destroyer escorts. These groups not only escorted convoys, but were sent to hunt down U-boats based on intelligence gleaned from intercepted and decrypted German Enigma messages and from radio direction-finding.

While researching escort carriers for this novel, I read one of the most thrilling and fascinating stories to come out of World War II—the capture of U-505 by the USS Guadalcanal group on June 4, 1944. Currently the U-505 is in a gorgeous display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. When my husband and I had the honor of attending our son’s graduation from Navy boot camp at Great Lakes Recruit Training Center near Chicago this summer, there was only one item on my must-see list. After our son, of course.

Capture of the U-505—Part 2

On June 4, 1944, US Navy Task Group 22.3, led by the escort carrier USS Guadalcanal under the command of Captain Daniel Gallery, hunted down the German submarine U-505, damaged her, and forced the crew to abandon ship by 11:27 am. (Read Part 1 for a fuller account).

At 1230, a boarding party from the destroyer escort USS Pillsbury, led by Lt. (j.g.) Albert David—who won the Medal of Honor for his actions that day—arrived by motor whaleboat. David leapt from the whaleboat to the deck of the U-boat and attached a towline. Then he led a party of four men into the damaged sub—possibly rigged with explosive scuttling charges or booby traps—an extremely dangerous job.

The men quickly closed valves and the sea strainer, which were letting seawater stream into the boat. At the same time, they seized papers and passed them to men outside. At 1240, a boarding party from the Guadalcanal joined them. They searched for scuttling charges, set up pumps to remove seawater, and captured the Enigma machine and codebooks.

By 1415, the U-505 was stabilized and placed under tow to keep her afloat, since she was riding low in the stern. Captain Gallery and his prize set sail for Casablanca, but were later fueled at sea and directed to Bermuda to keep the capture secret.

The next morning, the U-505 was riding even lower and was in danger of sinking. The controls for the damaged rudder were in the aft torpedo room. The hatch hadn’t been opened for fear of booby traps. Captain Gallery himself went over to the U-505, inspected the hatch door, decided it wasn’t rigged, and opened it. Then he put the rudder amidships, stabilizing the sub once again.

On June 19, the Guadalcanal arrived in Bermuda with the U-505, the first ship captured on the high seas by the US Navy since 1815. The prisoners were kept sequestered from other German prisoners so word wouldn’t get back to Germany. The crews of the entire task group were ordered to keep the incident secret for the duration of the war—a difficult feat considering how proud they were of their accomplishment. Yet all 3000 men kept that secret.

On May 16, 1945, after Victory in Europe Day, the United States announced the capture of the U-505. The sub was taken to various American ports for war bond drives, then languished for years after the war. Captain Gallery fought hard to prevent his prize from being scuttled along with other U-boats captured postwar, and in 1954 he succeeded in having the U-505 brought to his hometown of Chicago to be put on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. The journey was an engineering accomplishment of its own. The U-505 was displayed outside until 2004, when she was placed in her current underground exhibit, which is brimming with information and artifacts—well worth a visit!

See more sights from When Tides Turn!

Tour of Boston

Tour of Vermilion, Part 1

Tour of Vermilion, Part 2

U-Boat Tour, Part 1

References:

Wise, James E., Jr. U-505: The Final Journey. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005.

Y’Blood, William T. Hunter-Killer: U.S. Escort Carriers in the Battle of the Atlantic. Annapolis, MD: Bluejacket Books, 1983.

http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-505.htm (Tons of primary source documents, logs, and photographs).

Today in World War II History—Mar. 24, 1942

Japanese-American farmer and his daughter on their strawberry farm before being relocated, Bainbridge Island, WA, 23 Mar 1942

Japanese-American farmer and his daughter on their strawberry farm before being relocated, Bainbridge Island, WA, 23 Mar 1942 (Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 24, 1942: Japanese begin intensive artillery and air bombardment of Bataan and Corregidor.

Adm. Chester Nimitz appointed Commander in Chief of US Pacific Theater.

US issues first exclusion order which will force removal of Japanese from Military Zone 1 (western halves of CA, OR, WA, southern portion of AZ).

All Japanese-Americans on Bainbridge Island near Seattle ordered removed under military guard within a week.

When Tides Turn U-Boat Tour, Part 1 – and Giveaway

See German U-boat U-505 and read the story of her capture by escort carrier USS Guadalcanal in 1944.

To celebrate the release of When Tides Turn, this week I’m conducting a photo tour of some of the sights in the book—and I’m giving away:

“Vintage White Blossoms” candle from Vermilion, Ohio—Dan & Tess’s hometown

“Women of WWII” sticky notes, including a WAVE (like Tess!), purchased at Pearl Harbor

To enter, leave a comment below (US & Canada only please), and/or on the Tour of Boston and Tour of Vermilion posts and tomorrow’s U-boat Tour post. You can earn extra entries by leaving a comment on each post. If you can’t leave a comment, please send me an email to enter. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 10 pm, Pacific Time. I’ll announce the winner here on Monday, March 27, 2017.

U-Boat Tour

In When Tides Turn, my fictional hero, Lt. Dan Avery, serves aboard the auxiliary carrier USS Bogue (later called an escort carrier). The aircraft of the Bogue were the first to sink a German U-boat without assistance from surface ships. The escort carriers soon became the nuclei of “hunter-killer” groups, along with destroyers or destroyer escorts. These groups not only escorted convoys, but were sent to hunt down U-boats based on intelligence gleaned from intercepted and decrypted German Enigma messages and from radio direction-finding.

While researching escort carriers for this novel, I read one of the most thrilling and fascinating stories to come out of World War II—the capture of U-505 by the USS Guadalcanal group on June 4, 1944. Currently the U-505 is in a gorgeous display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. When my husband and I had the honor of attending our son’s graduation from Navy boot camp at Great Lakes Recruit Training Center near Chicago this summer, there was only one item on my must-see list. After our son, of course.

As an added bonus, chief petty officer selectees from Great Lakes served as docents, showing artifacts from the U-505. The lovely young lady below was showing me ACTUAL binoculars from the U-505, which she encouraged me to HOLD! I mentioned our son had just graduated from Great Lakes. Turned out her partner, the gentleman below, was our son’s Recruit Division Commander! We heard stories.

Capture of the U-505—Part 1

On May 15, 1944, the USS Guadalcanal departed Norfolk, VA, with a goal—not just to sink U-boats, but to capture one intact. Capt. Daniel Gallery was convinced it was possible, and he instructed the crews of the five destroyer escorts in Task Group 22.3 to draw up plans and prepare boarding parties.

While patrolling off the coast of West Africa on May 31, the Guadalcanal received a message from the US Tenth Fleet—they had intelligence of a German submarine about 300 miles north of their current position. Although low on fuel, Captain Gallery decided to investigate.

The Guadalcanal carried 12 Avenger torpedo bombers and 9 Wildcat fighters. Five destroyer escorts formed the rest of TG 22.3—the Chatelain, Flaherty, Jenks, Pillsbury, and Pope.

On June 4, 1944 at 11:09 am, the USS Chatelain made a sound contact and verified it as a submarine within three minutes. Meanwhile, the crew of the U-505 was sitting down to lunch when their sonar picked up propeller sounds overhead. Oberleutnant zur See Harald Lange, the captain of the U-505, ordered the boat to periscope depth to investigate. To his shock, he saw three destroyer escorts and an escort carrier.

Immediately, Lange ordered the sub to dive, but it was too late. Wildcats overhead directed machine-gun fire at the diving sub to mark the position, and the Chatelain threw a salvo of “Hedgehog” depth charges. They found their mark.

The U-505 began flooding and her rudder jammed, causing her to circle. After firing a single torpedo, which did no damage, Lange realized the U-boat was doomed, and he chose to save his crew. He ordered the boat to surface and the crew to abandon and to scuttle the sub.

Following Gallery’s orders, the US ships and aircraft did not attempt to sink the surfaced sub but fired smaller caliber weaponry to encourage the Germans to continue to abandon ship. The submariners poured out of the hatch. Several were wounded, including Lange, but only one crewman was killed. The battle was over quickly. At 1127, the Americans ceased firing and picked up the 58 survivors.

But the story was only beginning. Come back tomorrow to hear the rest—and see pictures from inside the U-505!

See more sights from When Tides Turn!

Tour of Boston

Tour of Vermilion, Part 1

Tour of Vermilion, Part 2

U-Boat Tour, Part 2

References:

Wise, James E., Jr. U-505: The Final Journey. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005.

Y’Blood, William T. Hunter-Killer: U.S. Escort Carriers in the Battle of the Atlantic. Annapolis, MD: Bluejacket Books, 1983.

http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-505.htm (Tons of primary source documents, logs, and photographs).

Today in World War II History—Mar. 23, 1942

Members of the Imperial Japanese Navy disembarking during the occupation of the Andaman Islands. (Japanese government photo)

Members of the Imperial Japanese Navy disembarking during the occupation of the Andaman Islands. (Japanese government photo)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 23, 1942: Japanese seize Andaman Islands to protect route from Singapore to Rangoon.

Off of San Francisco, US blimp TC-13 accidentally bombs and damages sub USS Gato.

When Tides Turn Tour of Vermilion, Part 2 – and Giveaway

See the sights in Vermilion, Ohio from When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin!To celebrate the release of When Tides Turn, this week I’m conducting a photo tour of some of the sights in the book—and I’m giving away:

  • “Vintage White Blossoms” candle from Vermilion, Ohio—Dan & Tess’s hometown
  • “Women of WWII” sticky notes, including a WAVE (like Tess!), purchased at Pearl Harbor

To enter, leave a comment below (US & Canada only please), and/or on Monday’s Tour of Boston post, Tuesday’s Tour of Vermilion post, and the upcoming U-boat Tour posts. You can earn extra entries by leaving a comment on each post. If you can’t leave a comment, please send me an email to enter. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 10 pm, Pacific Time. I’ll announce the winner here on Monday, March 27, 2017.

When choosing a hometown for the Avery family in the Waves of Freedom series, I wanted a small Ohio town on Lake Erie so my future naval officers could learn to love sailing and the water. Vermilion, Ohio prides itself on its nautical heritage—and I had my town. This past summer, my husband and I attended our son’s graduation from Navy boot camp in the Chicago area, and we took a lazy trek across the Midwest—including a full day in Vermilion. What a charming day it was!

Welcome to Vermilion!

In the Waves of Freedom series, the main characters come home to Vermilion for Christmas, arriving at the train depot. This building remains and now serves as a visitor center and art gallery, showcasing the works of local artists. Perhaps Tess’s father’s work would be displayed there—if he weren’t fictional.

 

Liberty Avenue runs through the heart of town parallel to the lake shore, lined with delightful shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.

 

Hart’s Drug Store was established in Vermilion in 1910 at the corner of Liberty and Main, and served the community for decades. My fictional Lillian Avery came to love the profession of pharmacy through Hart’s. Today it’s Big Ed’s Soda Grill, serving old-fashioned sodas and other fare. A colorful Vermilion mural decorates the side wall.

 

The Ritter Public Library was a fun stop on my tour. The amazing librarians there had scanned 1941 and 1942 issues of The Vermilion News for me, and I was delighted to meet them—and thank them again! Plus, it’s a gorgeous library! I love the boat in the children’s section.

 

See more sights from When Tides Turn!

Tour of Boston

Tour of Vermilion, Part 1

U-Boat Tour, Part 1

U-Boat Tour, Part 2

Today in World War II History—Mar. 22, 1942

Sir Stafford Cripps and Mohatma Gandhi in India, WWII (British government photo)

Sir Stafford Cripps and Mohatma Gandhi in India, WWII (British government photo)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 22, 1942: British cabinet member Sir Stafford Cripps meets with Gandhi to try to gain support in India for war effort.

Allies abandon Magwe Airfield in Burma: US “Flying Tigers” evacuate to Loiwing and RAF to Akyab.

When Tides Turn Tour of Vermilion, Part 1 – and Giveaway

See the sights in Vermilion, Ohio featured in When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin.

To celebrate the release of When Tides Turn, this week I’m conducting a photo tour of some of the sights in the book—and I’m giving away:

  • “Vintage White Blossoms” candle from Vermilion, Ohio—Dan & Tess’s hometown
  • “Women of WWII” sticky notes, including a WAVE (like Tess!), purchased at Pearl Harbor

To enter, leave a comment below (US & Canada only please), and/or on Monday’s Tour of Boston post and the upcoming Tour of Vermilion and U-boat Tour posts. You can earn extra entries by leaving a comment on each post. If you can’t leave a comment, please send me an email to enter. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 10 pm, Pacific Time. I’ll announce the winner here on Monday, March 27, 2017.

Welcome to Vermilion!

Dave & Sarah Sundin, Vermilion, Ohio (Photo: Sarah Sundin, August 2016)

Dave & Sarah Sundin, Vermilion, Ohio (Photo: Sarah Sundin, August 2016)

When choosing a hometown for the Avery family in the Waves of Freedom series, I wanted a small Ohio town on Lake Erie so my future naval officers could learn to love sailing and the water. Vermilion, Ohio prides itself on its nautical heritage—and I had my town. This past summer, my husband and I attended our son’s graduation from Navy boot camp in the Chicago area, and we took a lazy trek across the Midwest—including a full day in Vermilion. What a charming day it was!

Vermilion was built on the shores of Lake Erie and incorporated as a village in 1837. Long a site for fishing, shipbuilding, and recreational boating, the town enjoys its nautical heritage. The Vermilion River meanders through town, lined with beautiful vacation homes and docks.

The original Vermilion Lighthouse was built in 1847 and removed in 1929. Since there was no lighthouse during World War II—only a steel tower—I don’t mention it in the Waves of Freedom series. In 1991, a replica of the original lighthouse was built, 34 feet tall with a Fresnel lens.

Strolling down Main Street from Lake Erie, we reach the “Avery Home.” Of course, someone else lives there, because my characters aren’t REAL—as my kids remind me almost daily. But this is the house I chose, large enough for the Avery clan and right across the street from the river, where I set Mr. Avery’s fictional boatyard. And I was delighted to see modern boatyards along the river.

See more sights from When Tides Turn!

Tour of Boston

Tour of Vermilion, Part 2

U-Boat Tour, Part 1

U-Boat Tour, Part 2

Today in World War II History—Mar. 21, 1942

Manzanar Relocation Center, 3 July 1942 (US Government photo, photographer: Dorothea Lange)

Manzanar Relocation Center, 3 July 1942 (US Government photo, photographer: Dorothea Lange)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 21, 1942: Manzanar Relocation Center opens for Japanese-Americans—first internees are “volunteers.”

First US paratroopers receive wings—in the 501st Parachute Battalion at Fort Benning, GA.

Insignia of the US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment

Insignia of the US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment

When Tides Turn Tour of Boston – and Giveaway

See the sights in Boston featured in When Tides Turn by Sarah SundinTo celebrate the release of When Tides Turn, this week I’m conducting a photo tour of some of the sights in the book – and I’m giving away:

  • “Vintage White Blossoms” candle from Vermilion, Ohio—Dan & Tess’s hometown
  • “Women of WWII” sticky notes, including a WAVE (like Tess!), purchased at Pearl Harbor

To enter, leave a comment below (US & Canada only please), and/or this week’s coming Tour of Vermilion and U-boat Tour posts. You can earn extra entries by leaving a comment on each post. If you can’t leave a comment, please send me an email to enter. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 10 pm, Pacific Time. I’ll announce the winner here on Monday, March 27, 2017.

The city of Boston is fascinating—full of history and color. While best known for its key role in the American Revolution, the city also played a role in World War II, with busy shipyards and naval bases—and more! The city’s reputation for revolutionary foment and its naval heritage set a great backdrop for When Tides Turn, set in the tumult of 1943.

I’ve been blessed to visit Boston a number of times. In July 2014, I made a research trip and took lots of pictures to help me visualize the story. We’ll follow the Freedom Trail, established in the 1950s to connect Boston’s multiple historical sites.

I’m linking to the Tour of Boston posts from the last two years, when Through Waters Deep and Anchor in the Storm released. NOTE: to enter this year’s giveaway, leave a comment HERE, not on the previous years’ posts.

Boston Common and the Public Garden—including the Parkman Bandstand, which plays a role in the story.

Park Street Church—where Dan and Tess attend church.

Paul Revere House and Old North Church

Charlestown and the USS Constitution—see pictures of the Bunker Hill Monument and the apartment building where Mary, Lillian, and Yvette live.

Charlestown Navy Yard—called Boston Navy Yard in 1942, where Dan and Tess are stationed.

The Old State House Area-where Tess does some sleuthing.

See more sights from When Tides Turn!

Tour of Vermilion, Part 1

Tour of Vermilion, Part 2

U-Boat Tour, Part 1

U-Boat Tour, Part 2