USS PE-56 (PE-56)
Patrol craft of the Eagle class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||Ford Motor Co. (Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down||25 Mar 1919|
|Launched||15 Aug 1919|
|Commissioned||26 Oct 1919|
|Lost||23 Apr 1945|
|Loss position||43° 33'N, 70° 10'W|
Completed in October 1919 as submarine chaser USS Eagle No. 56. On 17 Jul, 1920, reclassified as patrol craft USS PE-56.
On 23 Apr, 1945, USS PE-56 (Lt. James Early, USNR) broke in two and sank after a heavy explosion amidships 3 nautical miles south-southeast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The commander, four officers and 44 ratings were lost. One officer and twelve ratings were picked up about 30 minutes later by USS Selfridge. U-853 was known to operate in the area, but could not report her success because she was herself lost a few days later. Some survivors reported the sighting of a conning tower and saw the colors of the emblem on U-853.
In June 2001 the US Navy finally changed its assessment of the loss of USS PE-56. The original assessment claimed that the ship had been sunk by a boiler explosion - in stark contrast to what the survivors of the ship reported.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the USS PE-56|
Commands listed for USS PE-56 (PE-56)
Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.
|1||James Lawson Kemper, USN||28 Apr 1939|
|2||Lt.Cdr. F. W. Parsons, USNR||Nov 1940||(1)|
|3||Lt.Cdr. John L. Barr, Jr., USN||1943||23 Jan 1945 (1)|
|4||Lt. James G. Early, USNR||23 Jan 1945||23 Apr 1945 (1)|
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Notable events involving PE-56 include:
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