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The Sinking Of The SS Robert J Walker | WW2 Hell Under The Sea

christmas morning 1944 218 days after leaving germany 160 miles southeast of sydney australia corvette and capitaine heinrich tim of the german u-boat u-862 has two torpedoes into an allied freighter and has just fired another to finish it off uh-62’s fourth torpedo is running on the surface it’s clearly visible the crew of the ss robert j walker watch in horror as the torpedo approaches but this liberty ship is not defenseless the deck guns are crewed by members of the u.s naval reserves one of the sailors seaman first class harold stone springs into action seaman stone is an anti-aircraft gunner he has a 20 millimeter quick-firing erle-ken anti-aircraft gun he points it at the obvious torpedo coming towards him squeezes the trigger fires a number of rounds as the torpedo closes to within about a hundred yards of the robber jay walker one of stone’s round strikes the torpedo explodes sending water and smoke high into the air it’s a sign both of the accuracy of his shooting and also a great deal of luck the two reinforce each other stone and his fellow gunners continue firing into the darkness to discourage another attack in the initial phase of the attacks it’s not at all clear that the ship has in fact been torpedoed but when the torpedo is destroyed by the anti-aircraft gun then it’s clear that there has been a u-boat attack and therefore measures can be taken to try and prevent a further one while the crew launches a smoke screen to further obscure the robert j walker aboard u862 tim is exasperated he hears the explosion and sees the smoke he assumes the torpedo has struck home but still the vessel stays afloat after tim fired four torpedoes he had to reconsider a situation because now so much time is spent he knew that the allies are informed about a submarine attack he’s expecting naval forces approaching the scene to relief the merchantmen and to hunt the submarine if tim fires again to assure the demise of robert j walker he will have used a third of his torpedoes on just one target but in the end he returns to carl dennis’s wisdom units early in the war gave the order or advice that it’s better to have one ship sunk than a lot of ships damaged at first light on christmas morning tim fires a fifth torpedo [Music] the gunners aboard the robert j walker are ready this time they immediately start firing along the path for four minutes stone and the others pour rounds into the sea but this time the torpedo is 2d it finds its mark and tears a huge hole in the robert j walker buckling the deck tim hoping to avoid the coming manhunt speeds east into the pacific ocean toward new zealand when he sank robert j walker he achieved another kill for himself and his crew the amount of ships he sunk is not special but what’s special about him he is the first submarine commander sinking a ship in all of the four worlds oceans tim patrols the waters off new zealand then begins a return trip to jakarta for resupply and sinks one last vessel along the way but despite a successful patrol u862 will never deliver its cargo of war material on april 30th 1945 hitler commits suicide and germany surrenders a week later tim and his crew hand their u-boat over to the japanese and are detained long after peace in europe and asia [Music] you
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