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Official Loss of Ship report sent to the Secretary of the Navy by Lt. Commander Edward A. Michel, Jr., Commanding Officer, USS Rich DE695.

 

 
From: Commanding Officer, USS RICH (DE-695)
To: The Secretary of the Navy
Via: (1) Commander, Task Group 125.8
(2) Commander, Task Force 125
(3) Commander, Task Force 122
(4) Commander, USA Naval Forces in Europe.
(5) Commander-in-Chief United States Fleet
Subject:  Loss of ship - Report of
References: (a) Article 841(3), U.S. Navy Regulations
(b) Article 712, U.S. Navy Regulations

    The USS RICH was sunk by underwater explosions on June 8, 1944, in an approximate position Latitude 49 degrees, 31' N., Longitude 1 degree, 10.5' W. The following report on the loss of this vessel is submitted as required by reference (a):


    (a) USS RICH was acting as close screen for heavy ships of the Bombardment Group of Task Force 125 in Operation Neptune off "UTAH" beach on the coast of Normandy in compliance with Commander, Task Force 125 Operation Order 3-44 from June 6 through June 8, 1944. On the morning of June 8th, this vessel had resumed station on patrol to seaward of USS NEVADA, QUINCY, TUSCALOOSA. and HMS BLACK PRINCE, after having been on screening station the previous night.


    (b) About 0845, orders were received by visual dispatch from Commander, Task Group 125.8 in TUSCALOOSA to proceed to the vicinity of Fire Support Station #5 to stand by USS GLENNON, which had struck a mine. All times related herein are approximate only as the ship's log was not recovered. Events related after the second explosion (para. (e)) may not be a complete picture of happenings due to the stress of circumstances. In most cases they are the Commanding Officer's own observations, but have been clarified and to some extent amplified by subsequent questioning of other survivors, as each of whom has but a limited and incomplete picture of the event. The following is the best account of events that can be compiled at present due to the fact that Survivors were widely scattered, and this report is being written from a hospital with limited facilities for obtaining full information.

    (c) RICH proceeded at full speed via Fire Support Channel No.1. General Quarters were sounded and Condition ABLE. There were two AMs some distance ahead and enroute a visual dispatch was received from CTC 125.8 to follow in wake of these Sweepers. It is believed these vessels were not sweeping at this time, but RICH closed in their wake, about 1000 yards distant at the point of turn into Fire Support Area Three. Here, RICH slowed to maneuver, there being several VFs and MLs in the vicinity. Upon closing GLENNON, the RICH stopped and the motor whaleboat was lowered and sent asking what could be done, to which she replied our assistance was not needed. One AM had made the GLENNON'S starboard bow and one was backing into position to pass a tow. Seeing no help was needed immediately, RICH was turned close under the stern of the GLENNON and came up her star-board side, close aboard, taking station just ahead of the AM which was passing the tow. Our boat seemed to be of no use to the GLENNON so recall was hoisted and preparations made to hoist it aboard, members of Repair I and II taking station to accomplish same. All personnel upside were instructed to keep a sharp lookout for drifting mines and for enemy planes which GLENNON had warned were in the vicinity.
    

  
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