|WDE||487||Coast Guard Destroyer Escort|
|DER||387||Destroyer Escort Radar Picket|
Facts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
These pages encompass USS Vance 1943 - 1985
|Vance next got underway
on 12 April, with the other ships of CortDiv
45 and a Navy-manned destroyer escort division, to
screen the 102 merchantmen of convoy UGS-39 to Tunisia.
Arriving at Bizerte on 3 May, the warship left Tunisian
waters eight days later, bound for New York with GUS-39.
Off Oran on the 14th, a German U-boat slipped through the
screen of escorts and torpedoed two merchantmen. Vance,
holding the "whip" position of the screen
(where she had the duty of shepherding stragglers) came
up through the convoy, sighted the periscope, and
attempted to ram. The U-boat "pulled the plug"
and dove deeper, evading the on rushing escort's sharp
Vance remained on the scene for 10 hours, subjecting the U-boat to depth-charge and hedgehog attacks, until relieved by a squadron of Navy destroyers. Three days later after an extensive hunt, the relief ships sank U-616.
Altogether, Vance made eight round-trip voyages to the western Mediterranean and followed each with availability at either Boston or New York. Four times the ship engaged in training exercises out of Casco Bay--sharpening up her antisubmarine and gunnery skills. On 14 July 1944, Vance helped to fight off a German air attack against an Allied convoy off Oran. During most of the voyages, the destroyer escort held the "whip"' position in the convoy -- a grueling and sometimes frustrating detail since merchantmen frequently displayed a lack of discipline and straggled behind the convoy. Carrying the division doctor on board, Vance on occasion would take on board men from other ships for medical treatment.
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