USS Donnell (DE 56)
American Destroyer escort
|Name||USS Donnell (DE 56)|
|Type:||Destroyer escort (Buckley)|
|Completed||1943 - Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyards Inc, Hingham MA|
|Owner||United States Navy|
|Date of attack||3 May 1944||Nationality: American|
|Fate||A total loss by U-473 (Heinz Sternberg)|
|Position||47° 48'N, 19° 55'W - Grid BE 5182|
|Complement||231 officers and men (29 dead and 202 survivors).|
|Route||New York (24 Apr) - Londonderry|
|History||Completed in June 1943 |
|Notes on event|
On 3 May 1944 USS Donnell (DE 56) (LtCdr G.M. Street, USNR) was escorting convoy CU-22 on her fifth transatlantic voyage, when she made a sound contact and sighted a periscope 450 miles southwest of Cape Clear, Ireland. She prepared for a depth charge attack but at 12.00 hours was hit aft by a Gnat fired from the stern torpedo tube of U-473, causing her own depth charges to explode and blowing off the stern. 29 men were killed and 28 wounded. The disabled vessel was taken in tow by the destroyer escorts USS Reeves (DE 156) (LtCdr J.J. Durney, USNR) and USS Hopping (DE 155) (LtCdr L.F. Lautrel, USNR) until being relieved by the tug HMS Samsonia (W 23) which towed her to Dunnstaffnage Bay, Scotland, arriving on 12 May. All wounded men, three passengers and surplus crew members were transferred to the accompanying destroyer escorts on 6 May, leaving only a skeleton crew of 12 officers and 87 ratings aboard. As all propellers and rudders had been blown away a jib sail made from awnings was rigged to stabilize the crippled vessel during towing.
The damage proved to be too extensive for economical repairs, so the destroyer escort was comissioned in July 1944 as accommodation ship USS Donnell (IX 182) at Lisahally, Northern Ireland. In August 1944 towed via Plymouth to Cherbourg where she supplied electric power to shore installations. In February 1945 she returned to England to serve as barracks ship at Portland and Plymouth until towed back to the USA, arriving in Philadelphia on 18 July to be decommissioned on 23 October. She was stricken on 16 November and sold for scrap on 29 April 1946.
|On board||We have details of 220 people who were on board.|
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