File #1083: "New Jersey Wing Historical Monograph No. 1.pdf"

New Jersey Wing Historical Monograph No. 1.pdf

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HEADQUARTERS
N E W J E R S E Y W I N G , C I V I L A I R PAT R O L
United
States Air
Force Auxiliary

PO Box 16099, Building 34-34
McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey 08641

Dear

Friend

of

Civil

Air

Patrol

History:
As

an

individual

who

h a s a g r e a t a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r C i v i l A i r P a t r o l h i s t o r y, i t i s
m y p l e a s u r e , o n b e h a l f o f C o l o n e l J o s e p h C o n v e r y, N e w J e r s e y
Wing Commander, and myself, to present you with this

complimentary copy of "The Search for the Haggin-Farr Sub Kill."
This is the first in what is hoped to become a series of
historical monographs produced by the New Jersey Wing Historical

P r o g r a m . C u r r e n t l y, t h e r e a r e fi v e m o r e t i t l e s i n t h e w o r k s ,

in various stages of completion, as well as an updated and
expanded edition of the history of the New Jersey Wing.
"The Search for the Haggin-Farr Sub Kill" takes a look at
the author's many years of research in an attempt to tell the
true

and

most

detailed

account

of

one

of

the

most

glorious

moments in not only the history of the New Jersey Wing, but
all

of

the

Civil

Air

Patrol.

Additional copies of this monograph may ♦be purchased for
$5.00 each at the New Jersey Wing bookstore, or by sending a

check made out to the "New Jersey Wing, Civil Air Patrol" for
$7.00

($5,00

+

$2.00

postage

and

handling)

to

the

address

provided below. Proceeds from the sale of New Jersey Wing
monographs will benefit the New Jersey Wing Historical and Cadet
Programs.

We
other

hope

releases

Sincerely

that
in

you

enjoy

the

your

copy

and

will

look

forward

future.

Yo u r s ,

^

^

/

p/7

G r e g o r y F. W e i d e n f e l d , L t . C o l o n e l , C A P
New
Former

Send

Jersey
Civil

your

Wing

Historian

Air

orders

Patrol

to:

National

Historian

Monographs

C / 0 L T C G r e g o r y F. W e i d e n f e l d , C A P
1402

Rustic

Ocean,

New

Drive

Jersey

APT

#2

07712-7427

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This monograph is dedicated to the memory of Lt. Colonel
H e r b e r t H , " Te x " R i c e , f o r m e r l y o f t h e N e w Yo r k W i n g , a n d t h e
Pineland Composite Squadron, New Jersey Wing, Civil Air Patrol.
Without his encouragement and support, I might never have become
a Civil Air Patrol historian; and then none of my achievements
a n d a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s w o u l d h a v e e v e r o c c u r r e d . T h a n k y o u Te x ,

FOREWORD

^ As I read Lt. Colonel Weidenfeld's account of this event
in the annals of the anti-submarine patrols,
the Civil Air Patrol's glorious past. From our
i n N e w J e r s e y, t h e C A P g r e w t o a t o t a l o f
f r o m M a i n e t o Te x a s . W e n o w h a v e g r o w n i n t o
Our

first

mission

was

to

hunt

for

enemy

it brought to mind
humble beginnings
twenty one bases,
fifty two Wings.
submarines.

Later,

w e w e r e a u t h o r i z e d t o c a r r y b o m b s , u n t i l u l t i m a t e l y, a G r u m m a n

M Widgeon carrying two, three hundred and twenty five pound depth
charges, sank a submarine twenty four miles off of Absecon,
N e w J e r s e y.

The C vi
Ai
ng
ay si
h
Our
^ m i s s i o n h a s e xi p al n d erd Pta t r ionl c lh adse ;c o m e r c h l oa n d wR e s c unec, e Ate reons. p a c e
o
u
Sea a
Education, and the Cadet Program.

As you read this Historical Monograph, it will bring to

your consciousness a motto that we use: "The mission above
all

else."

Colonel

Joseph

F.

C o n v e r y,

CAP

C o m m a n d e r, N e w J e r s e y W i n g
McGuire

Air

Force

Base,

New

Jersey

1 O c t o b e r, 1 9 9 7

M l

^

iv

w

PREFACE

This

is

the

first

in

what

is

hoped

to

be

a

series

of

m o n o g r a p h s a b o u t e v e n t s i n C i v i l A i r P a t r o l h i s t o r y, p a r t i c u l a r l y
those that took place in the New Jersey Wing. Civil Air Patrol
history is a personal passion of mine. I sincerely aspire that
this is evident in the style with which I portray the topics
and

in

events

that

I

write

about.

Although much has been written about the Civil Air Patrol
general, so little has been written about individual events

and people. This is especially true when the CAP as a whole

is broken down into its individual wings. Hopefully I can change
I that for the New Jersey Wing. Perhaps my work will inspire
others to do the same in other wings.

Over the years, there have been countless past and present
Civil Air Patrol members who have helped me in my research in
' a multitude of ways. From sharing stories and memories, to
the contribution of tons of photographs, documents, uniforms
and insignia, these people who are too numerous to mention all,
have enabled me to restore, recreate and preserve a vast and
rich heritage that we can all be proud of.

This monograph, and others to follow, is just a small way

^ forr emei nto i t a s thank you I to aall ofn j o y e d Iw rhope ithatT hyou i senjoy
say m u c h a s
you.
ad g
h ve e
iting t.
is
just
one of many parts of our history that can now be preserved for,
and enjoyed by generations of future Civil Air Patrol members.
Lt. Colonel Gregory F. Weidenfeld, CAP
Ocean, New Jersey

2 9 J u l y, 1 9 9 7

101

M

d

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
t B l

Special thanks are in order for some of the people who played
^ an important role in helping me complete this monograph.
Captain John Chatterton, and Captain Bill Nagle of the
^

charter
dive
boat
Seeker,
for
openly
sharing
their
research
work and for providing me with video and sketches of the U-Boat
w r e c k .

^

Lt.

Colonel

Robert

L.

Rioux,

CAP

for

your

excellent

artwork.

Yo u r r e n d e r i n g s h a v e h e l p e d t o m a k e t h i s m o n o g r a p h t h a t m u c h
better. I value our growing friendship and hope that we have
much

success

in

the

future

on

all

of

the

Civil

Air

Patrol

projects that we are working together on.
Dav t, a
e Ea
W i ed r
" S h o p - R i tM s . w h ot y t o o k i s h e ft r m e d t o n d e lo - wm r k ep r o to ft h r e a d s ta n d n d s oi t
e, P a t
iien a h c p o e r a
my
manuscript.
Good
luck
in
your
future
graduate college, as a professional educator.

^

career

after

you

C a p t a i n L e s l i e W e i d e n f e l d , C A P, m y w i f e . T h a n k s f o r y o u r
patience all those nights I worked into the wee hours of the
morning,
researching
and
writing
this
monograph.
Yo u r
support
and

was

understanding

Colonel

Colonel

are

Lester

greatly

Hopper,

National

me

the

Emeritus.

w

photographs that were key in laying the foundation to my research
on not only the Haggin-Farr sub kill, but all of my research
i n t o t h e d a y s o f C o a s t a l P a t r o l o p e r a t i o n s o u t o f A t l a n t i c C i t y.
Sir

provided

Historian

It

Yo u

who

C A P,

^

Thank

Hopper

appreciated!

documents

and

I

C o l o n e l J o s e p h C o n v e r y , C A P, N e w J e r s e y W i n g C o m m a n d e r ,
who openly invited me to return to his staff as the New Jersey
Wing
Historian
after
I
completed
my
duties
at
National
Headquarters. Colonel Convery and his command staff have given
me their full support and encouragement in all of my proposed

historical

projects,

monograph

series.

including

Hopefully

my

the

establishment

current

efforts

will

of

this

help

make

up for all the aggravation I caused him all those years ago
when I was a cadet, and he was my Deputy Commander for Cadets;
a n d l a t e r m y S q u a d r o n C o m m a n d e r.

.1^

vi

TA B L E

Title

OF

CONTENTS

Page

Frontispiece

ii

Dedication

iii

F o r e w o r d
P r e f a c e

Acknowledgments

vi

Ta b l e

of

Contents

vii

I N T R O D U C T I O N

CHAPTER

CHAPTER

1

2

CHAPTER

CHAPTER

F o o t n o t e s

-

-

1975

3

4

J U LY

-

-

BEGINNING

1991

1992

11

THE

LOOKING

,

THE

1942

SEARCH

DISCOVERY

FOR

PROOF

3

10

19

34

I N T R O D U C T I O N

For

or

the

reader

perhaps

formative

who

not

just

years,

is

familiar

it

might

either

be

not

a

Civil

useful

member,

Civil

Air

Patrol's

take

to

Patrol

the

with

Air

a

moment

to

briefly

explain how and why the CAP came into existence. With this
bit of background information in mind, one might be able to
more

greatly

Farr

sub

appreciate

kill

really

what

was.

a

truly

Perhaps

amazing

it

will

feat

also

the

Haggin-

better

put

into

perspective the importance of this event, not in only in Civil
Air

Patrol

h i s t o r y,

but

the

small

yet

important

role

it

played

in the Battle of the Atlantic, during World War II.
The
Director

Civil

Air

Patrol

of Aviation,

Gill

was
Robb

the

creation

Wilson.

of

Wilson,

New

a

Jersey's

man

of

vision

and foresight, saw the potential danger of German U-Boats having
a

field

day

unprotected
foresaw
a

war

waters

the

that

sinking
of

american
the

United

of

private

grounding

he

felt

severe

damage

decades

to

was

to

recover

shipping
States'

american

general

the

east

aviation

inevitable. A war

in

of

coast.

for

the

length

aviation

virtually

that

He

also

duration
would

of

cause

might

take

from.

While pacifists and isolationists in Washington, D.C. stalled
the

United

both

States

Europe

organized
what

and

private

came

to

be

entry

into

Asia,

hostilities

Wilson

pilots

and

known

as

put

their
the

his

that

were

brewing

in

plans

into

action.

He

aircraft

New

in

Jersey

New
Civil

Jersey
Air

into

Defense

S e r v i c e .

The CADS would be used in a variety of ways including the
transport

of

people

and

light

cargo,

missing

aircraft

search,

and reconnaissance against sabotage of dams, reservoirs, power
lines

etc.

Wilson

also

envisioned

his

CADS

as

an

observation

force that could patrol for and spot enemy submarines intruding
in

U.S.

coastal

waters.

Wilson shared his feelings and ideas with his counterparts

i a m

in

other

states.

Soon

organizations

similar

to

New

Jersey's

CADS began to spring up all across America. The Aircraft Owners
a n d P i l o t s A s s o c i a t i o n ( A O PA ) b e g a n a p r o g r a m t o e n r o l l p r i v a t e
pilots

for

possible

organizations

geared

that

wartime

aviation

private

up,

it

activation.

became

could

be

clear

must

to

While

Wilson

these

and

effectively

others

used,

if

it

was mobilized under one single national organization.
Using

aviation
Aside
the

the

Jersey

leaders

from

head

aviation

New

being
of

the

brought
New

executive

1,

1941,

order

formed

blueprint,

ideas

to

of

newly

D.

formed

and

Civilian

was

also

Defense.

Wilson's

Air

An

plan.

On

signed

Roosevelt
Civil

other

LaGuardia.

LaGuardia

approved

Franklin

Wilson

Fiorello

mayor,

Office

he

President
the

a

feisty

himself,

creating

as

their

Yo r k ' s

newly

enthusiast

December

CADS

the

Patrol.

Only six days later on December 7th, Pearl Harbor was bombed
by the Japanese. Two days later Hitler's Nazi Germany declared
war on the United States. American private pilots were grounded.
German naval commanders began plans to put U-Boats into action
along

the

predictions

american
had

come

eastern

seaboard.

All

of

Gill

Robb

Wilson's

true.

Suddenly plunged into World War II, the United States hastily
prepared
the

to

go

fledgling

to

Civil

war.
Air

Growing
Patrol

larger

went

and

into

larger

operation

every
over

d a y,
night.

Preparing for whatever role they might be called upon to serve,
CAP

members

prepared

an

armada

of

light

aircraft.

Stinsons,

W a c o s , Ta y l o r c r a f t , B e l l a n c a s , E u r c o u p e s ; a n d e v e n P i p e r C u b s
soon became emblazoned with the blue disc, white triangle, and
red tri-bladed propeller emblem of the Civil Air Patrol.

CHAPTER

1

J U LY 11 , 1 9 4 2

It
a

was

month

East

in

January

old,

that

Coast.

Boats"

of

German

Sinking

were

1942,

U-Boats

only

already

with

their

the

Civil

arrived

second

operating

only

Air

on

Patrol
United

the

ship,

sixty

barely
State's

the

"Under

miles

off

Sea

shore.

Because of the isolationist and pacifist influences which had
powered

Washington

up

until

that

time, America

was

caught

off

guard.

For protection, only a destroyer, a few Coast Guard cutters,
a blimp, and a handful of outdated airplanes could be mustered.
Out

of

desperation,

anti-submarine
teak

wood

the

Coast

patrols.

decks,

other

With

Guard
depth

vessels

commandeered
charge

even

raised

cloth

for

mounted

racks

yachts

on

sails

and

set

out in a desperate attempt to stop the attacks. Private boaters

and fishermen set out in even smaller craft, forming what came
t o b e t h e C o a s t G u a r d A u x i l i a r y.

The best and fastest way to patrol for and spot enemy
submarines

creator.

was

Gill

from

Robb

the

air.

Wilson

With

the

leading

the

Civil

Air

the

w a y,

Patrol's

military

reluctantly gave the enthusiastic private pilots a chance to
show what they could do. A ninety day experiment was authorized,
with three bases being formed.
The value of the patrols was immediately seen after their
commencement
who

or

Were
or

what

they

in

these
armed?

destroyers?

The

March
tiny

of

planes

Were
sub

1942.

they

U-Boat

were,
in

or

Captains
where

contact

commanders

didn't

they

with
wait

had

no

came

larger
around

idea
from.

aircraft
to

find

out. Upon the arrival of Civil Air Patrol planes, which the
U-Boat commanders called "yellow bees," U-Boats dove for the
protective cover of the deep. Daring CAP pilots carried the
ploy one step further by diving at unsuspecting subs as though

they

were

really

armed.

T h e l a c k o f a r m s a l l o w e d t h e U - B o a t s s a f e e s c a p e . To o o f t e n ,
military

help

instance
patrol
and
By

summoned

off

lay

the

stuck

circled,
the

time

coast
in

the

calling
help

to

of

the

Florida,

mud.

out

arrived,

scene

U-Boat

H e l p l e s s l y,

over
the

a

arrived

the

the

radio

U-Boat

too

late.

spotted
CAP

by

plane

repeatedly

had

freed

In

itself

one

a

CAP

circled

for

help.

and

was

long gone. Upon learning of the incident, an exasperated General
"Hap"

Arnold,

blurted

out,

"I

commander
don't

care

of
if

the

United

those

pilots

States
have

Army
to

out the damned windows, they are going to be armedl

Air

throw

Corp.
bombs

2

This painting, done by aviation artist Keith Ferris, depicts
Major Wynant Farr and Captain Johnny Haggin, making an attack
r u n o n a G e r m a n U - B o a t o f f t h e N e w J e r s e y C o a s t i n J u l y, 1 9 4 2 .

Note the 325 lb. aerial depth charge dropping below the right
Wing.
4

Civil Air Patrol planes became armed in June. Some carried
one

hundred

pound

demolition

bombs

while

some

of

the

larger

planes lugged three hundred and twenty five pound aerial depth
charges aloft. The largest planes, the Grumman Widgeons, could
handle

two

depth

charges.

It

was

one

of

these

morning of July 1 1 , 1942, that brought
t h e m o s t g l o r i o u s m o m e n t s i n i t s h i s t o r y.

the

planes,
Civil

on

Air

the

Patrol

On that morning, an Atlantic City patrol spotted a U-Boat
cruising
J e r s e y.
return

near
The

to

the

surface,

aircraft

base.

was

Major

off

the

running

Wynant

coast
low

Farr

of

on

Absecon,

fuel,

grabbed

and

New

had

Captain

to

Johnny

Haggin and the two took off in Bill Zelcer's Grumman Widgeon,
which

cradled

charge
faint

a

under
trail

three

each

of

hundred

wing.

oil

and

twenty

Arriving

globs

rising

on
to

five

sight

the

pound
they

depth

found

surface.

As

a

the

submarine silently glided below, the two decided to shadow
it,

hoping

it
had

They

only

both

would
two

surface

least

and

they

to

periscope

a

nearly

deadly

game

four
of

agonizing

cat

and

wanted

hours,

mouse.

the

Soon

to

depth.

count.

For

charges,

at

make

Widgeon

they

were

them

played
running

l o w o n f u e l a n d w o u l d h a v e t o t u r n b a c k . S u d d e n l y, t h e
U-Boat made the fatal mistake that Haggin and Farr had hoped
for as it surfaced to periscope depth. Haggin swooped down
in front of the submarine and Farr released the first charge.
A s t h e y c l i m b e d a w a y, t h e e x p l o s i o n n e a r l y k n o c k e d t h e p l a n e
out

of

the

widening

s k y.

slick

Oil

began

began
to

rising

form

on

to

the

the

surface,

water.

The

and

a

widgeon

circled around again and Major Farr dropped the second charge
into

the

middle

of

explosion

sounded,

the

of

nose

below.
circled,

More

the
oil

broken

the
and

sub

float to the top.^

for

break

bubbled
deck

slick.

to

a

As

they

second,
the

the

planking

Farr

surface
surface
and

climbed
and

and

other

thought
as

out,
he

quickly
the

debris

the
saw,
slide

widgeon
began

to

In this rendering by New Jersey Wing artist, Lt. Colonel
Robert
their
the

L,

second
rear

breaking
of

Rioux,

oil

and

and
the

Haggin

depth
he

charge,

catches

surface

debris

and

on

as
the

Farr
Farr*s

a

ocean's

away

head

glimpse

bubbles

6

pull

of

churn

surface.

is
the
the

after
turned

dropping
towards

U-Boats

nose

widening

slick

Coast

scene
the

Guard

and

large

boats

dropped
oil

slick

out

of

Atlantic

additional
on

the

depth

surface

City

arrived

charges.

were

taken

on

Samples
and

tlie

of

brought

nshoro ((jr nnn lysis. Whon Unqqiii and Farr landed back at
their

base,

Patrol
They

they

National
got

Commander

a

rushed

get

Headquarters,

response
himself,

Captain

to

John

several

Earl

Ben

L.

a

letter

off

to

Civil

describing

their

heroic

days

from

the

later

deed.

National

Johnson:

Ali

Haggin

7

Major

Wynant

Air

Farr

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^

Because
great

of

national

accomplishment

likely

that

Atlantic
civilians

was

Admiral

Fleet,
had

in

no

made.

Ernest

was

done

s e c u r i t y,

J.

public

A d d i t i o n a l l y,

of

their

is

most

commander

King,

it

in

chief

no

hurry

to

his

what

mention

publicly

naval

forces

had

admit
little

that

success

in doing up to that point. Even many of the Civil Air Patrol
members who were at the base itself were unaware of Haggin
and

Farr's

v i c t o r y.

Captain

Rudy

Chalow,

the

base's

chief

maintenance officer admitted, "I didn't even know about
it

until

I

read

about

it

in

a

newspaper

almost

after

the

war was over."^
Although
history
were

the

became

the

Civil Air

of

this

l e g e n d a r y,

eventually

Headquarters

story
lost

over

over

the

the

war

day

actual

time.

years

Patrol's

great

time

a

Civil

records

Several

and

in

fire

Air

of

moves

the

by

destroyed

Patrol
event

National
much

of

documentation. A great

deal of this history was preserved only by books and magazine
articles
ensuing

be

which

have

generations

nearly

fifty

of

years

retold
CAP

later

the

story

members

before

and

the

would be pursued in any depth again.

over

the

years

historians.

details

of

to

It

would

this

event

CHAPTER

2

W
1 9 7 5
BEGINNING

THE

SEARCH

My personal interest in this particular event in Civil Air
Patrol history began many years ago in my cadet days, the middle
seventies to be specific. My first exposure to CAP history
of any type began as I poured over "Introduction to Civil Air
Patrol." My concern was more in passing the Curry Achievement
test and earning that first cadet stripe. Introduction to Civil
Air

Patrol

was

required

reading.

At

the

time,

I

did

not

appreciate what was written. CAP's past accomplishments were
not emphasized in my squadron. There was no emphasis at all
on history in my cadet training. We had no members in our
squadron that were from the "Old Patrol" and I doubt very much
if any of the members who were there were really conscious of
i t e i t h e r. M y w o r l d a s a C i v i l A i r P a t r o l c a d e t t h e n w a s l i m i t e d
to uniforms and earning those coveted blue and white cloth

stripes, marching, flying, and getting "mission qualified."
It

was

several

years

later

that

perchance,

I

went

into

a

local Army-Navy surplus store and asked about CAP insignia.
The clerk pulled out a dusty box and low and behold, he had
some.

There

strange

were

ones

a

that

number

I

did

of

not

items

that

I

recognize.

needed,

I

and

bought

a

some

few

of

everything and from that point on, I would always carry around
my little box and ask questions about my "goodies" whenever
I

encountered

around

By
into

one

of

those

"older

senior

members"

who

had

been

awhile.

luck,

my

it

was

squadron

one

from

of

New

those
Yo r k

old

Wing.

timers
Lt.

who

Colonel

transferred
Herbert

H.

" Te x " R i c e h a d b e e n a r o u n d s i n c e W o r l d W a r I I . H e h a d s t o r i e s ,
so

many

stories.

While

most

of

the

other

cadets

would

politely

find excuses to sidle away from "the tempermental fossil," I

cherished the man's memories and spent countless hours listening
to

his

tales

of

CAP's

yesteryear.

By

that

time

I

had

served

my term as cadet commander and had outlived my usefulness as
a part of the cadet command staff other than to serve as an
advisor. I had idle time to spend at unit meetings. My main
activity in the program was spent at the Group and Wing level.
I t w a s o n o n e o f m y n i g h t s w i t h Te x t h a t I h a p p e n e d t o
show him my box of "goodies." For every piece of insignia that
I h a d a c c u m u l a t e d o v e r t h e y e a r s , Te x h a d a s t o r y. T h e n e x t
week, he had a box for me, and he told me that the contents
were mine to keep. There was an old original senior member

officer's hat device, a few pairs of "droopy" command pilot's
wings, and some other odds and ends. It was that old hat device
that opened my eyes. I had never dreamed possible that such
things

could

still

exist.

Then he handed me some manuals, "The Civil Air Patrol Manual,

1 August, 1949." My heart raced. I couldn't believe what I
was

seeing.

historical

Pictures

information

of

old

about

uniforms

the

old

and

Civil

insignia,
Air

new

Patrol,

and

i n s i g h t . Va l u a b l e , p r e c i o u s i n s i g h t i n t o w h a t t h e o l d C i v i l
Air Patrol was really about. I began to understand the pride
and

the

sacrifice.

I

began

to

understand

that

there

was

more

to it than just earning those little plastic ribbons with the
funny pictures on them. There was more than just stripes and
shoulder boards, and encampments and special activities. There

w a s a s p e c i a l h e r i t a g e h e r e . O l d Te x p r o v i d e d t h e s p a r k t h a t
started the fire. I saw the gleam in his eye as he saw the
twinkle

in

mine.

I

wanted

to

know

so

much

more.

I

had

so

many

Te x

took

sick.

I

wasn't

able

questions.

I

never

got

to

ask

them.

to speak to him again. A few months later, he died.
Old
the

Te x

other

was

senior

gone.

That

members

to

kindly

old

remember

fellow
that

who

"this

is

harped
no

on

social

club." That crazy old guy who wasn't afraid to wear that old
CAP

uniform

and

tell

the

Wing

Commander,

"I

earned

it,

I'll

wear

it,

and

remember

that

I

was

a

Lt.

Colonel

in

CAP

before

you probably ever had enough sense not to stand near a turning

p r o p e l l e r. " H i s p a s s i n g w a s a l o s s , b u t p e r h a p s i t w a s a g r e a t e r
loss to me, than anyone else,
I

began

insignia,

to

seek

pictures,

out

the

old

newspaper

Civil

clippings,

Air

Patrol.

anything

Uniforms,

that

I

could

find. I don't know why it took me so long, but I finally bought
c o p i e s o f " F l y i n g M i n u t e M e n " a n d " H e r o N e x t D o o r, " f r o m t h e
CAP

Bookstore.

I

began

reading

and

Civil

Air

Patrol

history

became a passion.
As
stares

I

really

you

began

right

to

in

the

dive

into

face

it,

but

one

you

of

are

those
too

things

blind

to

that
see,

finally slapped me awake. It had all started here in New Jersey!
Right

smack

in

the

state
about

That

s t o r y,

the

one

read

about

all

those

that
the

years

I

lived

in,

submarine

ago

it

started

here.

sinking?

one

for

studying

The
first

cadet

that

I

s t r i p e ; i t t o o k p l a c e h e r e i n N e w J e r s e y.
I began to wonder. Could that submarine wreck be out there
somewhere, still on the bottom? What about the men at the base
who

sank

it?

Were

any

of

them

still

around?

Still

alive?

O r w e r e t h e y a l l g o n e l i k e Te x ? W a s t h e r e a n y w a y t o fi n d o u t ,

or was I grasping at straws? CAP's start, that New Jersey
Coastal Patrol base, and that submarine sinking became my pet
projects.

My insignia collecting led me to my next important discovery;
the

Civil

when

I

Louisa

Air

sent

Patrol

some

Morse,

of

National

insignia

Historical

to

Delaware.

a

really

She

in

Committee.

amazing

turn

got

me

It

started

woman;
in

Colonel

contact

with

L t . C o l o n e l L e e R a g a n , o f Te x a s . T h r o u g h L e e , I m e t L t . C o l o n e l
Len

Blaskovich

of

New

Yo r k ,

and

later,

Lt.

Colonel

Allan

P o g o r z e l s k i , a l s o o f N e w Yo r k . T h e s e p e o p l e i n t u r n , i n t r o d u c e d
me

to

Colonel

National
pioneers
an

Lester

Historian.
of

the

appointment

Civil
to

Hopper

of

Through
Air
the

the

Patrol
Civil

Louisiana,

Civil Air

recommendations

Historical
Air

the

Patrol

Program,
National

of
I

Patrol
these

received
Historical

C o m m i t t e e . M y a s s i g n m e n t : To r e s e a r c h a n d w r i t e t h e h i s t o r y
of

the

Civil

Air

Patrol's

formative

years

and

the

wartime

a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e C A P i n a n d a r o u n d N e w J e r s e y.
I

began

to

search.

As

any

historian

will

tell

you,

researching annals that have long been ignored is a monumental
task.

It

is

a

jigsaw

information

that

a

takes

s t o r y.

It

and

great

sure

and

and

puzzle

must

be

of

detective

of

work

Gill

This

verifying

took

Robb

area

patience

that

me

in

Wilson,

had

the

fitted

work

man

been

fitting

pieces

several

the

barely

in

bits

and

pieces

together

to

find

them

of

to

the

tell

pieces,

factual.

My

of

facts;

painstakingly

careful

amounts

of

placed

together

directions.

with

whom

touched

together;

I

before.

are

looked

it

had
I

making
correct

for

all

sought

traces

started.
to

write

the history of the New Jersey Wing, another area of history
left unrecorded since World War II. Within that New Jersey
H i s t o r y,

I

wished

to

research

and

tell

the

story

of

Coastal

Patrol One. Within this topic was yet another subdivision;
the Haggin-Farr sub kill.

Using "Flying Minute Men," I made a list of names of people
to try to seek out. One by one, I began to locate surviving
veterans

of

Coastal

Patrol

One.

I

visited

Bader

Field

in

Atlantic City where the base had been. Colonel Hopper provided
me with documents and photographs from his archives which not
only

provided

priceless

information

for

my

work,

but

also

more

leads and clues. Before long, I added recorded oral history
interviews

with

several

of

the

Patrol's

members.

I

traced

them

d o w n i n N e w J e r s e y, N e w Yo r k , I n d i a n a , F l o r i d a , S o u t h D a k o t a ,
and

California!

One of the most exciting interviews was when I found Wynant

F a r r ' s d a u g h t e r V i r g i n i a , l i v i n g i n N e w Yo r k . To m y d i s m a y,
I found out that Major Farr had passed away in 1 974. Virginia
had

been

at

the

base,

but

not

during

the

sub

attack.

She

was

able to recount the story of the sinking as she remembered her
father

telling

it.

It

was

much

the

same

as

I

had

read

it

in

"Flying
been

loaned

that
nor

Minute

I

by

really

had

I

Men,"

and

Rudy

gained

found

"Sank

Chalow.

no

any

new

Same,"
I

copy

a

little

information

about

tangible

was

a

evidence

to

of

which

I

had

disappointed
the

in

sub

attack,

it.

Overall

support

however, I was very pleased with the information about the base
that

I

had

gained

as

well

as

a

few

photos

and

artifacts

that

she had provided.
From
a

the

chilling

prospective

thought.

of

What

a

if

true
the

historian,
attack

I

had

had

to

never

consider
occurred?

What if it never really happened and the whole thing was a hangar

story; a hoax? I didn't want to believe that. In my heart
I c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t , b u t i t w a s s o m e t h i n g I h a d t o c o n s i d e r.
My next breakthrough came when I traced down Johnny Haggin's
half brother in Manhattan. He gave me Johnny's address in
Florida.

for

a

I

tapped

return

off

r e p l y.

a

letter

It

and

didn't

paced

come.

I

the

floor

wrote

waiting

again.

Still

n o r e p l y. I t r i e d S o u t h e r n B e l l i n f o r m a t i o n . T h e n u m b e r w a s
unlisted.

I

couldn't

help

but

think

that

my

fears

of

a

hoax

were true. He was ignoring me because he didn't want to talk
about it; didn't want anyone to know.

I t r i e d w r i t i n g o n c e a g a i n . T h r e e d a y s l a t e r, I g o t a p h o n e
call. It was Johnny's secretary She told me that Mr. Haggin
had been very ill and was unable to read or answer my letters.

To m y d e v a s t a t i o n , s h e i n f o r m e d m e t h a t J o h n n y h a d d i e d . S h e
did tell me that Haggin had never told his second wife or anyone
else
me

in
to

his

family

explain

about

it

to

his

her,

Civil

and

I

Air

did.

Patrol
I

days.

promised

She

to

asked

send

her

copies of the story of the sinking in "Flying Minute Men."
I p h o t o c o p i e d t h e e n t i r e b o o k , " S a n k S a m e " a n d s e n t i t t o h e r.
A

short

Haggin's

time

secretary

spellbound

when

death,

had

heroics.

later

she

Their

received

again.

she
been

son

I

read

She

told

what

I

thrilled

was

another

also

to

me

had
read

that

sent.
about

fascinated.

phone

She

Mrs.
In

the

her

call.

It

was

Haggin

was

wake

late

informed

of

his

husband's
me

that

in gratitude, they were sending me some of Johnny's papers.

in hopes that it would be of some value in my research.
I had ants in the pants for days. When the package arrived,

my heart raced. I opened it up and found some letters, and
some of Johnny's military records (he had flown PBY's for the
Army Air Force after the coastal patrol had ended). There was
something else in the bottom of the box, hidden under the
Styrofoam shipping peanuts. My racing heart jumped into my
throat

when

I

realized

what

it

was.

In

my

hands

I

was

holding

the pilot log books of one Captain John Ben Ali Hagginl

The log books, four in all, began with Haggin's earliest
instructional flights in August of 1932. As I read on, flights
logged in the Spring of 1942 were noted as CAP Patrol at Atlantic

C i t y, b e g i n n i n g w i t h 2 6 M a r c h , 1 9 4 2 . F i n a l l y, I c o u l d n ' t w a i t
a n y l o n g e r a n d I fl i p p e d a h e a d t o t h e d a t e i n q u e s t i o n , 11 J u l y,
1942. I was disappointed.

Unlike it was suggested by William B. Mellor in his book,
"Sank Same," there was in fact no notation of "Sighted sub sank
same."

There

was

no

notation

of

any

sort

to

indicate

that

anything special had taken place on that date. I did consider
that security would not permit such a notation. None of the

other patrol flights logged, indicated where or what any of
those flights consisted of, or what happened on them either.
All other flights logged that were not anti-sub, were detailed
as

to

where

and

what

and

with

whom

he

had

flown.

What the entry did confirm was two things. As suggested by
"Flying Minute Men" the sighting and subsequent chase of the
submarine pushed the pursuing aircraft nearly to the limits
of its fuel range. "Flying Minute Men" also states that the
chase

went

account
during
is

for

from

the

" 11 : 0 0

flight

A.M.

time

until

to

the

attack,

or

the

unknown

whether

the

Widgeon

off.

It

must

also

be

the

return

considered

3:30

P. M . "

sighting,
flight

was
that

fully

to

This

the

aircraft

time

Bader

fueled

does

spent

Field.

when

was

not

it

It

took

lugging

a

pair of three hundred and twenty five pound aerial depth charges
the

whole

time

too.

lOS

eOOK

NO.

PERIOD.

DEPARTMENT OP COMMERCE REGULATIONS
COVERING PILOTS LOG BOOKS
lAHONAUTICi lUlLElm NO. I|
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remarks or inspector s signature
CERTIPICATION NUMBER AND RATING

i

M

According to Haggin's log book, a Patrol flight of six hours
and

ten

minutes

not

concrete

was

proof,

flown

the

on

11

time

J u l y,

logged

1942.

Although

would

be

this

is

reasonably

consistent with "Flying Minute Men" and the other details that
I

had

considered.

The other important fact confirmed by the log books is of

great historical significance. The log book proves that on
I I J u l y, 1 9 4 2 , J o h n n y H a g g i n w a s i n d e e d fl y i n g a G r u m m a n W i d g e o n ,
tail

number

NC28674.

What did I have up to this point? A daughter's memories
o f h e r f a t h e r t e l l i n g h i s h e r o i c s t o r y. A c c o u n t s i n b o o k s t h a t
had been written nearly fifty years ago. Log books of the pilot

which provided information that was consistent with book
descriptions of the duration of the flight and the right type
of

aircraft

location

being

of

the

flown

initial

on

the

right

sighting,

d a y.

twenty

I

four

had

a

miles

vague
off

the

c o a s t o f A b s e c o n , N e w J e r s e y, a n d a n e v e n s k e t c h i e r d e s c r i p t i o n
of

the

chase.

Finding the submarine itself would be the best proof I could
possibly have. Even if I was rich and could afford to fund
such an expedition in an attempt to find it, where would we
look? According to "Flying Minute Men," the sub traveled,

"moving along in a straight line, parallel to shore." Was it
north or south? Was it exactly parallel, or was it drifting

gradually further east out to sea, or west, closet to shore?
At twenty four miles out, it is doubtful that Haggin and Farr
could

even

see

the

shoreline

to

reference

from.

Although

this

gave some possible indication, the area of probability was still
t r e m e n d o u s .

Ta k i n g f u r t h e r i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n t h e " F l y i n g M i n u t e M e n "
account that the sub was "loafing along at only about two knots

per hour" would help narrow down the probability zone, but
without
direction
find

no

a

more
of

precise

travel,

submarine.

an

starting
expedition

point
could

and
dive

a

more
for

definite

years

and

There is also nothing to indicate that the sub maintained
s p e e d o r d i r e c t i o n f o r t h a t m a t t e r. Wa s t h e C a p t a i n a w a r e t h a t
he had been sighted? Was he aware that Haggin and Farr
stubbornly continued the pursuit for hours? Was any evasive
action taken by the U-Boat? If the latter had occurred, then
innumerable changes in course, speed, and even depth might have

taken place during the chase. With these considerations, the
zone of probability would have to encompass almost the entire
offshore area of the New Jersey coastline.
I

consulted

with

some

area

divers

and

dive

shop

owners.

Based on the sketchy information that I had, I asked about the
likelihood of the submarine being found. They laughed. It
was

not

far

from

the

answer

that

I

expected,

but

not

being

a

d i v i n g e x p e r t I n e e d e d t o s a t i s f y m y o w n c u r i o s i t y.
By this time, I had to turn my attention to other things.
It was nearing the Civil Air Patrol's fiftieth anniversary and
I had to begin to support that. As a historian, I was being
counted

on

for

a

number

of

projects.

With

these

commitments

looming, I was going to have to put my research on hold for
a while. Then something unbelievable and amazing happened.

CHAPTER 3

1991
THE

DISCOVERY

I t w a s S e p t e m b e r 2 , 1 9 9 1 w h e n t h e c h a r t e r d i v e b o a t S e e k e r,
cast off its moorings at Brielle, New Jersey and headed through
the Manasquan Inlet and out to sea. Captained by Bill Nagle,
^

the

Seeker
one

carried

of

three

a

group

of

"undiscovered

divers
wrecks"

that

day

which

had

to

investigate

previously

been

located. Although Nagle knew something was down there, it would
be up to the divers to find out what it was.

Among the divers that day was Captain John B. Chatterton.

^ C h a t t e r t o n w a s a c o m m e r c i a l d i v e r, a s c u b a i n s t r u c t o r, a n d a n
experienced deep water diver. He dove on wrecks around the
world, including famous ones like the Andrea Doria.
After a five hour trip, the Seeker located the unidentified
lump on the ocean floor at a point about sixty five miles east
o f P t . P l e a s a n t , N e w J e r s e y. A g r a p p l i n g h o o k w a s d r o p p e d a n d
M

a

l

line

to

the

wreck

anchored

the

Seeker

above.

The

water

was

discovered to be deeper than anticipated, about two hundred
and seventy feet. For most sport divers, one hundred feet is
usually

about

the

limit.

Since

Chatterton

was

the

most

e x p e r i e n c e d d i v e r, i t w a s d e c i d e d t h a t h e w o u l d g o fi r s t .
Donning his gear Chatterton went over the side and followed
the

M

line

Visibility
of

down.

was

the

When

only

hull

and

ten

he

reached

to

followed

fifteen
its

the

wreck,

feet.

curve.

At

He
first

it

was

very

dark.

found

the

edge

he

was

confused.

The top of the hull curved inward to meet the deck area. If
it

were

a

ship,

there

would

be

a

gunwale

protruding

above

the

main deck. He began to think it was a barge.
He
^

one

quickly

changed

Unlike that which
was designed for

would
great

his

mind

when

he

next

found

be found on a ship or a
pressure. Continuing to
19

a

hatch.

barge,
survey

this
the

mysterious
Then

it

hulk,

hit

excitedly
The

his

him.

light

"Holy

shone

on

Smokes

I

a

high

This

pressure

is

a

cylinder.

submarine,"

he

realized.
accent

Chatterton

from

could

such

barely

a

deep

contain

depth

his

took

a

excitement

long

as

he

time.
slowly

decompressed. When he finally reached the surface and alerted
the other divers that the wreck was a sub, there was pandemonium
as the Seeker' s entire complement raced to suit up and see the
sub

for

themselves.

In

all

of

their

excitement,

nobody

recovered

anything from the wreck that would help identify it.
It was decided that the discovery would remain their secret
for

the

time

being.

Nagle

and

Chatterton

feared

that

other

boats and divers would descend on the wreck. The others might

bring up the artifacts that could identify the vessel and then
t h e y w o u l d g e t t h e c r e d i t f o r l e a r n i n g t h e w r e c k ' s i d e n t i t y.
The

second

trip

out

to

the

wreck

by

the

Seeker

also

failed

to recover any revealing artifacts. Worse, one diver was killed,
when for unknown reasons, he lost consciousness and was swept
away

by

currents.

Other

divers

in

the

party

tried

to

reach

him, but to no avail. His body was recovered by a fishing vessel
several

months

objects
to

its

from

origin

later.

the
or

sub,
even

Diver
but

John

none

of

Yurga
the

brought

items

held

up
any

several
clues

as

age.

In the meantime, John Chatterton attempted to discover the
mystery

sub's

indicated

site.
of

no

submarine

There

the

identity

was

early

an

part

of

through
wrecks

early

research.

within

theory

American

U.S.

hundreds

that

of

perhaps

involvement

in

Navy

records

miles

in

of

the

World

the

frenzy
War

II,

perhaps a sub had been sunk without the attacker's knowledge.
In

those

days,

available,
resembled

often
a

what

few

depth

Navy

and

charged

submarine. After

the

Coast

anything
war

was

Guard
that
over,

vessels
even
more

were

slightly
than

one

Civil Air Patrol crew for example had admitted to bombing whales
mistaken

for

U-Boats.

The third dive proved more fruitful. Divers Chatterton,

Steve Gato, and Dan Crowell each brought up relics that proved

the sub's origin and age. Among those items recovered was a
gun
on

sight,
the

and

backs

several

of

the

dishes

bowls

and

and

bowls.

dishes

Dates

ranging

from

were
193

stamped

6

to

1942.

In addition, the later dated ones also displayed the Nazi eagle
and swastika. A swastika also ornamented the gun sight. There
was

no

doubt

burning

now;

question

unexplainable;

it

was

now

how

did

a

World
which

was;
it

War

U-Boat

get

II

German
was

U-Boat.

it?

Even

The
more

there?

On September 29, the U-Boat was photographed and video taped.
The photos and video were shown by Chatterton to Professor Henry
Keatts.

Keatts,

a

professor

at

Suffolk

Community

College,

and

co-author of the book, "Dive into History; U-Boats," was also
at a loss to explain it. From the tapes, he was able to provide
one

important

piece

of

information.

The

U-Boat

was

a

Type

IX

long range model.
With
or

no

German

and

further
sources,

announce

the

wreck

on

October

were

made

it

was

U-Boat's

not

was

revealed,

18th,

it

with

caused
calls

information

and

coming

decided

the

deluged

offering

information

to

from

call

d i s c o v e r y.
but
a

from

when

The
the

sensation.
sailors

press

all

but

location

hit

Nagle

the

and

of

of

papers

Chatterton

kinds

none

American

conference

exact

story

and

explanations,

a

either

of

people

them

really

sense.

When the sub story hit the papers, I didn't see it. I had
committed to doing a huge uniform and insignia display for the
Northeast Region Conference. I had no time to read newspapers
or

even

watch

the

news

on

television.

I

was

totally

unaware

o f t h e U - B o a t * s d i s c o v e r y. O n t h e t w e n t y s e c o n d o f O c t o b e r,
I

got

a

phone

Region.
might
he

The

be

talked

call

thought

from
had

LT C

Dave

occurred

the

one

that

the

to

told

him

that

Civil
I

was

Polinger

to

Air

him

that

Patrol

the

of

the

had

expert

the

on

Northeast

mystery

sunk.

sub

Everyone

operations

out

of Atlantic City; thus he called me.
He

asked

me

if

I

had

heard

about

the

sunken

U-Boat

found

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? 5

I n t h i s m a p , t h e p o s i t o n o f t h e w r e c k o f t h e G e r m a n Ty p e
IX U-Boat is shown. Discovered by Captians Bill Nagle and John
C h a t t e r t o n o n S e p t e m b e r 2 , 1 9 9 1 , o f t h e d i v e b o a t S e e k e r, t h e
wreck lies about sixty five miles southeast of Pt. Pleasant,
at a depth of about two hundred and seventy feet.

2 4

off

the

New

"What

Jersey

coast.

U-Boat?"

I

choked

out

as

I

tried

to

breath

again,

the impact of the question hitting me with full force. Dave

explained it to me. I heard his words, but I was struggling
to believe what I was hearing. Was this really happening?
Was it really possible after all of these years?

Then he asked me if I thought that this U-Boat could be
the one sunk by the Civil Air Patrol back during World War II.

I thought about it. So far, no one else could explain it.
The location, although I still didn't know exactly where it
was, was reasonably within my zone of probability I told him
yes, that it was possible, and that I was ready to put forth
in theory that this was the Haggin-Farr sub kill.

"Great! I was hoping that you would say that," Dave
responded. "If you can stay near the phone, I'm going to have
someone call you." Dave was a CAP Public Affairs advisor for
the region. He was a Senior Vice President at WPIX television
i n N e w Yo r k C i t y, a n d h e k n e w t h e r o p e s . H e s a w a g o l d e n

o p p o r t u n i t y f o r s o m e C i v i l A i r P a t r o l p u b l i c i t y. H e w o u l d g e t
it started, then it would be up to me.

F o r t u n a t e l y, I h a d b e e n a W i n g p u b l i c a f f a i r s o f fi c e r a n d
a q u a l i fi e d m i s s i o n PA O . I h a d d e a l t w i t h n e w s p a p e r s , r a d i o
stations, and television news people before. I knew what to

expect. I was ready for them, or at least I thought that I
w a s .

T h e p h o n e r a n g . I t w a s M e l J u f f e o f t h e N e w Yo r k P o s t .
I was surprised, but excited. The Post was one of the largest

n e w s p a p e r s i n t h e w o r l d ' s l a r g e s t c i t y. P o l i n g e r d i d n ' t f o o l
around. I went through the whole coastal patrol thing with
him, along with the story of Haggin and Farr's attack and
sinking. I gave him my reasons why I thought it was the same
sub.

Juffe

said

he'd

call

me

back.

Juffe called Bill Nagle, the Seeker' s Captain. When he first
t o l d h i m a b o u t m y s t o r y, N a g l e t h o u g h t t h a t t h i s w a s t h e fi r s t
explanation that made any sense to him. Juffe also contacted

professor Keatts. Keatts immediately supported my theory by
s a y i n g , " T h i s i s t h e m o s t r e a s o n a b l e a c c o u n t I ' v e h e a r d s o f a r.
It could easily be the same U-Boat." He also stated that, "The
action

took

place

in

the

right

area,

making

it

the

best

explanation to date." Further support came when he referred
to the "Flying Minutemen" account of the attack. Keatts said
that the CAP's description was, "Consistent with damage done
to

the

U-Boat."

The story made page five of the Wednesday Post, on October

twenty third. For the Post, page five is outstanding placement.
I was ecstatic. By this time, I had gotten the chance to call
Colonel Les Hopper, and let him in on it. He too was excited
and very pleased. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.
I

was

unaware

that

after

the

story

appeared

in

the

Post,

it

w a s p i c k e d u p b y t h e A s s o c i a t e d P r e s s ( A P ) . N o w, " o n t h e w i r e , "
my theory about the submarine's sinking by the Civil Air Patrol
went

nation

wide!

My phone started ringing off the hook. The Philadelphia
Inquirer called. Then more papers called. I don't know how
t h e y f o u n d m e , I n e v e r g a v e a n y o n e t h e n u m b e r, b u t I s t a r t e d
g e t t i n g c a l l s a t w o r k t h e n e x t d a y. T h e y c a l l e d L e s H o p p e r
too. I patiently gave each reporter the information that they
wanted. I almost got in trouble at work for all the phone calls.
I

tried

to

explain,

but

my

boss

wouldn't

believe

me

until

fi n a l l y, I w e n t o u t t o t h e c a r a n d g o t a c o p y o f t h e P o s t a r t i c l e
with my name in it. That got me off the hook.
The

next

day

I

got

to

meet

with

Bill

Nagle

and

John

Chatterton. They showed me the plates and bowls with the Nazi
insignia on them. I couldn't believe what I was holding in
my hand. They showed me video tapes of the wreck. I was seeing
what

could

be

my

long

sought

after

submarine!

I

showed

them

t h e H a g g i n l o g b o o k , p i c t u r e s o f H a g g i n a n d F a r r, a n d a s m a l l
reprint of the painting of the Widgeon that the attack had been
made from. The painting had been done years earlier by aviation
artist, Keith Ferris. Everyone was very excited. Of course

tm

-

^

W E D N E S D A Y.

OCTOBER

23.

19V1

txpert says cmhan plane sank U-boat
By y
B MEl JUFFEE
M

l

J U lost F E 100 miles •of the site. " » off the Florida coast, e v e r i '
F within ' " «
«>
. ^ c r e n were never

The Civil Air Patrol yesterday account la the2 mostsoreasonable acknowledged by tho Navybehe Civil Air Patrol yesterday "This I've r heard
•oJnn^i
reaaonable acknowledged by the Navy be
far." said

claimed e d I t solution totthee
I m It han the h « « h
man U-boat recently found on

tory: U-boats."

M
w t h Harbor. 1 0 0
miles of New iYorki n

same U-boat," he said.

i

,

,

cause c a c e t ^ to v e
s o l u t i o n ? ^ h e " a r e l u of t Ita nreluctance g l give
Keatts. co author of "Dive In His

mystery of the unidentified Ger

Weidenfeld said the CAP Im
mediately claimed credit for the
submarine kill in 1M2 and waa
congratulated for It by Washing
ton a few days later.
The CAP — a force «>f civilian

twln-en^ne amphibian
airplane carrying a pair of depth
charges under Its wings sank a
Natl submarine In that area In
®

credit to civilians. Weidenfeld

"It could very easily be the

hlsto-

rlan MaJ Gregory Weldenfeld.
Weidenfeld said he believes
that sub Is the U-boat whose dis

volunteers flying private planes
— was organized In 1941 by New
York Mayor Plorello La Guardia

covery by divera waa announced
last week.

to help defend coastal shipping.

support by submarine expert

flying over water, the CAP apot-

His claim was promptly given

l h lU-boat discoveryb b e d
d u a "mys
the " 7 i
tery because naval records do
not record any Na*l sub being

In 24 million miles of wartime

ted 173 subs, dropped explosives

said.

Keats agreed that the Navy
"wouldn't have wanted to ac
knowledge civilians."

On July 11. 1942. a CAP plane

spotted a sub 40 miles off the

coast of Absecon. Just north of
Atlantic City, said Weidenfeld.
He gave this account;

The plane reported Its And by
radio to Its patrol base In Atlan

tic City nnd turned back because
it was low on fuel.

The base commander, MaJ.
Wynant Farr, summoned Capt

uncle o n
on 57— -sankvtwo.uaccording to u i i Johnny aHaggin, whose Widgeon,,
and - w . - v w . i i i u l o u donated a o r u m m a n W i d g e had
aicu
Grumman
claims It has made for th»» n«!it which hart » nair of pontoons and

Bu h t o k. I c d ^"A E P I D IYH W
^ U e w s nu I "- D L HA AL E S
li l

A clue offerGd
U-boat likel/fell victim to plane NqZB
nprniAn
eiihmar nA
fcAM
A German submarine ifrom World

%War II found in the Atlantic Ocean off

Point Pleasant may have been sunk by
charge from a civilian aircraft

*. Id July 1942, a professor said yesterday
.

itr

u

»>.

..

.

Divers pulled up two bowls and

tliree dishes, each with a 1942 stamp, a
Nazi eagle and swastika. They also

found a ^unsight with a swastika on it

Civil Air Patrol historian Maj.
Henry Keatts, professor of biology Gregory Weidenfeld said an Atlantic
',and oceanography at Suffolk Commu. City civil air base sent out a Grumman
Muty College in Long Island City N.Y Widgeon after a sub was spotted about
, .,

%said the theory advanced by a Civil Air
f? ?J*if City on July
^'Patrol historian appears plausible.
,' "I know of no other possibility,"
' 'peatls said. "It's roughly in the location I wed t e sub f r si hours and dropped
lo Jfu In othe plane folh
x
. that this U-boat was found."
oi slick
' 'fJ 5" ® ^'iving team found a depth charge that caused an dlsaid
to rise to the surface, Weidenfel
SW Nazi sub about 65 miles east of They dropped a second charge into thf
%Point Pleasant at a depth of 230 feet.
center of the slick.

Historians say sub was sunk

by a Civil Air Patrol plane
by Scott Flander

It had to be the one."

Both Weidenfeld and Col. Lester
£ Hopwr, the Civil Air Patrol's na

IJaity Neiva Staff Writer

Civil Air Patrol pomooa plane tional historian, said the U-boat was
armed with a pair of depth charges found in about the same area where
the sub was sunk.
hum^ and sank a Nazi sub off the
The Civil Air Patrol Is a civilian
New Jersey coast
Although It was one of the greats

^k!*?w fofcl the

awlliary of the U.& Air Force. Its
Dest-known function Is aiding in
search-and-rescue missions. Accord-

u-^t has never been found.
Or has it?
Is®pamphlet, during
TVo Civil Air Patrol historians
recently off the Jersey coast was the
An account of the sub kill off the
Included In the 1945
And both a U-boat expert and the
charter boat caotain who fnnnd iho book nylng Minute Men." a hls.W- ru.u^

■■

The Trentonian

i i e r v i - w sI
e

prud's account was .

i t e r v i e w ts
wi h

with

t th e
h

Thursday October 24, 1991 ynant Mirr Hopper
,
,

WWII U-boat found off Jersey coast

I July 1
1,1942. Hag-

may have been sunk by civilian plane

;hey saw "globs of

Acc/vlafoH

DrAce

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — A German
submarine from World War II found off the state's

also found a gunsight with a swastika on it.

d a v,

Hemy Keatts, professor of biology and oceano-

p^hy at Suffolk Community College in Long Island.
N.Y,, said the theoiy advanced by a Civil Air Patrol
historian appears plausible.

man Widgeon after a sub was spotted about 40 i^es
east of Atlantic City on July 11,1942.
hours and then dropped a depth charge that caused an

rou^v in the location that this U-boat was found."

On Labor Day, a diving team found the U-boat
about 65 miles east of Point Pleasant at a depth of ^0
feet.

!o patrol the coast.
■cen surface." and

■und a submarine,
!)ook. Because the

Divers pulled up two bowls and three dishes, each Iscopedepih, they
scape If the first

with a 1942 stamp, a Nazi eagle and swastika. They

coast may have been sunken by a depth charge from
a civilian aircraft in July 1942, a professor saidyester-

*I know or no other possibility," Keatts said. "It's

a Grumman Widly-supplled depth
from Rader Field

Civil air patrol historian Mcy. Gregory Weidenfeld

said an Atlantic City civil air base sent out a Grum

The two pilots in the plane followed the sub for six

oil slick to rise to the surface, Weidenfeld said. They

dropped a s^nd chai]|e into the center of the slick.
Keatts said the find is historically important. ■

**11 will add to World War II naval history," Keatts

said. "It's significant in that it has added i^ormation
we

didn't

have

before."

.

led.

for It to surface,
tore than three
ts oily wake.
• was getting low
rfaced. The Wld*
its charges, and
geyser of oil and

ie sub found off

tains. Although
l»en brought lo
ling dishes with
- Nagle, whose
b, stilt doesn't

there

were

more

reporters

there.

Later we went to see the Seeker. On board, Chatterton showed

me a yellow raincoat which had been taken from a canister located
on
it

the
had

sub's
been

deck.

under

It

wasn't

water

for

in

forty

bad
nine

shape

considering

that

years.

A few days later things had settled down a bit, or at least
I thought they did, as I packed up my exhibit and brought it
down to Cherry Hill, New Jersey for the Northeast Region's
fiftieth anniversary Region conference. I arrived to find out
that everyone was buzzing with excitement over the sub. How
could it have been timed more perfectly than to have this
discovery made in time for the fiftieth. I also became aware
of how widespread this whole thing had gotten when people from
all over my state, as well as some of the people from National
Headquarters and other states began congratulating me on the
stories they had read in their newspapers. "Heard your name
on television the other night." "Saw your story in the paper
y e s t e r d a y. " I t w a s a t t h e c o n f e r e n c e t h a t I f o u n d o u t t h a t
virtually every daily newspaper in the country had run the story;
at least a few paragraphs at the minimum. It also made
television

newscasts

in

most

major

cities

across

the

c o u n t r y.

It had been picked up with interest overseas as well.
Much to our amusement, it even made one of the supermarket

gossip tabloids when the Weekly World News claimed that a second
U-Boat

had

been

found

off

New

J e r s e y.

They

gave

this

story

the entire front page with the headline, "NAZI SUB CAPTURED
BY

U.S.

N AV Y

SHIP!

German

sailors

think

Hitler

is

alive—and

F r a n k l i n R o o s e v e l t i s p r e s i d e n t ! " N e e d l e s s t o s a y, t h e r e w a s
s o m e p r e t t y h e a r t y c h u c k l i n g w h e n t h a t s t o r y b r o k e i n N o v e m b e r,
about

I

a

month

was

still

later.

on

a

high

after

the

conference,

when

my

bubble

was partially burst. Two new claims to the sinking of the sub
had

been

made.

Both

claims

were

by

individuals

saying

that

they were involved in attacks on submarines in the same area
a s t h e S e e k e r. O n e w a s m a d e b y a w i d o w f r o m u p s t a t e N e w Yo r k ,

*^OT3

UT

:^o6

e z

SA0N

PT-IOM

uaAa

fi 1

iW AAn Tfl All
flimun SOS izm

• • J

\'4i^

iOOV S)I33M 33m

psiofins puo ^ZP6l »! BjnqmoHJfai tooq-/i ^MM

whose late husband had claimed that his Navy torpedo boat sank
a

U-Boat

in

in

Rhode

sub

from

those

Island,
his

US

waters

who

Navy

in

said

1943.

that

Another

he

was

dropped

made

depth

by

a

man

charges

on

a

blimp.

This was disturbing, but I hadn't proved my theory beyond
a

shadow

of

a

doubt,

so

how

could

I

deny

them

theirs?

It

was

up to me to do everything I could to establish the location
of the Haggin-Farr sub kill, while John Chatterton continued
to dive on the wreck and tried to identify precisely which U-Boat
was

out

there.

Chatterton, meanwhile, was having frustrations of his own.
Numerous

its

dives

i d e n t i t y.

on

The

the

U-Boat

conning

failed

tower

to

was

unlock

detached

the

secrets

from

the

of

hull

and lying on its side in the mud. There were no visible markings
on

it. A search

was

made

for

a

brass

plate

which

should

have

had the boat number engraved in it, and should have been mounted
on the periscope housing. It could not be found.
Some

former

German

sailors

with

whom

Chatterton

had

consulted, suggested looking for sets of tags which should have
been

on

the

contained

the

dogging
boat

hatch

number.

handles.

Several

One

sets

of

were

these
indeed

usually
located,

but in each set the critical tag was either absent or no longer
legible.
A knife with a wooden handle was brought up on one of the

dives. In the handle, some

initials were

carved. I passed

these on to Colonel Hopper, who in turn had his own connections

in Germany match them against rosters of crews who had sailed
o n Ty p e I X U - B o a t s . T h e i n i t i a l s d i d n ' t m a t c h a n y o n e .
C o l o n e l H o p p e r, a l o n g w i t h o t h e r s , p o u r e d o v e r r e c o r d s o f
U-Boat

IX

that

movements

was

and

reported

losses,

lost

in

and

tried

this

to

area.

account

There

for

were

a

type

some

possibilities, but nothing that fit like a glove. With the
winter weather of 1991 approaching, and the diving season closed,
John

Chatterton

headed

off

to

Germany

in

search

of

answers.

I was off to search for answers too, but my efforts would remain

here

in

New

Before

J e r s e y.

John

left,

I

told

him

that

I

was

going

to

try

to

pin down the exact location of the CAP's attack. It would help,
if

I

had

the

precise

coordinates

of

where

the

wreck

lied.

John

gave them to me. He was no longer worried about other divers.
I

thanked

him

and

wished

him

luck

on

his

trip.

Before

we

said

g o o d - b y e , J o h n t o l d m e s o m e t h i n g e l s e . H e h a d a t h e o r y.
First

we

discussed

the

other

two

As

claims

far

as

his

research had shown, no Navy torpedo boat had been credited with
a submarine sinking anywhere near the wreck. He had also spoken
to

the

airship

historian

at

Lakehurst

Naval

Air

Station.

According to him, it was very unlikely that the sub had been
sunk by a blimp. Like the torpedo boat, one had never been
credited

Neither

as

of

such

the

in

the

other

area

claims

where

could

be

the

wreck

completely

was

located.

discredited

at this point. Chatterton and I both felt that neither were
very

likely

either.

T h e n J o h n e x p l a i n e d h i s t h e o r y. W h a t i f i t w a s a U - B o a t
that was thought to have been sunk elsewhere, but had survived?
What if a boat had been attacked, hit, maybe even damaged; but
not sunk? It was an old ploy that the Germans had used, the
Japanese had used, and even the U.S. Navy had used. A submerged
boat under attack and desperate to get away would fake a sinking.
They would put some old clothes, pieces of cork overhead
insulation, and some used oil into the torpedo tube. This would
all be fired out of the tube by the torpedo crew who would
be sure to intentionally let plenty of air out to bubble up
to

the

surface.

The

attackers

would

see

bubbles,

oil,

and

"wreckage" float up to the surface, creating the illusion of
a

sunken

sub.

Letting

the

boat

rest

on

the

sea

bottom

with

all systems shut down, thus producing no sound, completed the
deception.

Now John applied this to "our" U-Boat. On 30 June, 1942,
the U-158 was attacked and supposedly sunk off Bermuda by US
planes. The wreck was never recovered. What if she was only

damaged,

pretended

to

be

sunk,

and

got

a w a y.

Being

cynically

persistent as many U-Boat captains were, she headed north again
in an attempt to use up her remaining torpedoes on targets prior

t o h e a d i n g h o m e t o G e r m a n y. I t w a s a s h a m e f u l d e e d i n H i t l e r ' s
Navy for a boat to return to port without having used up all
of

her

"fish."

Before

she

could

use

them

all

in

attacks

on

s h i p s , H a g g i n a n d F a r r c a u g h t h e r, a n d t h e i r a t t a c k w a s e n o u g h
to

finish

the

job.

T h i s w a s i n d e e d a n i n t e r e s t i n g t h e o r y. I f t h i s w a s i n f a c t
the

U-158,

the

time

frame

was

reasonable

for

her

to

still

be

o n t h e E a s t C o a s t o n J u l y 11 t h a f t e r b e i n g a t t a c k e d o f f B e r m u d a
on

June

30th.

The

wreck

does

contain

several

unused

torpedoes

clearly visible lying on the floor of the forward torpedo room.
F i n a l l y, t h e U - 1 5 8 , l i k e o u r m y s t e r y s u b m a r i n e , w a s i n f a c t
a Type IX. Were the pieces starting to fit, or was this just
a convenient coincidence? Also, I wanted to try to establish
from the Civil Air Patrol's point of view, where the attack
by Haggin and Farr had taken place.

The first thing that I had to do was plot the coordinates
that Chatterton had given me and look at where the sub actually
lay in relation to the original reported starting position of
t w e n t y f o u r m i l e s o f f A b s e c o n , N e w J e r s e y. T h i s w o u l d a t l e a s t
establish

the

starting

and

finishing

points

of

the

chase.

Using

an aeronautical sectional chart, I first marked off the position

of twenty four miles east of Absecon. Then I plotted the sub's
position at 39®-35' North, by 73®-03' West. These coordinates
indeed placed the wreck at a position of about sixty five miles
e a s t , o r a c t u a l l y s o u t h e a s t o f P t . P l e a s a n t N e w J e r s e y. I t
is actually due east of Tuckerton. This answered as well as
raised

The

some

interesting

distance

of

questions.

seventy

statuate

miles

between

the

1942

sighting point and the discovered wreck's position was well
within the Widgeon's range. According to information which
had been supplied to me by Grumman Corporation, the Widgeon
had a fuel capacity of one hundred and eight gallons, with a

thirty gallon reserve. This would place the chase within range
of the aircraft. When Haggin and Farr were running low on fuel,

they were probably switching to that thirty gallon reserve tank.
* * * S t i l l u n k n o w n h o w e v e r, i s w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e W i d g e o n w a s f u l l y
fueled

when

it

took

off.

A question raised here was if the distance between the two

points was within range of a submerged Type IX U-Boat to have
hBi traveled within the given time. I would have to spend some
time researching the capabilities of U-Boats to answer that
laH

question. I had little doubt about the Widgeon's range, but
I felt uncomfortable with the U-Boat's.

CHAPTER

4

1992
LOOKING

I

was

becoming

information

I

had

in

FOR

PROOF

frustrated
specific

at

detail

the

lack

about

the

of

available

whole

incident.

There were too many items that were vague descriptions. I didn't
think I could pin it down without any "real" information. Most
of

the

old

records

from

the

Civil

Air

Patrol

National

H e a d q u a r t e r s w e r e l o n g g o n e . S o m e h a d b e e n t h r o w n a w a y, a n d
some

had

been

lost

in

a

fire.

The

true

instinct

of

a

historian

told me not to give up hope. Enthusiasm and stubborn persistence
h a d p a i d o ff a n d b r o u g h t m e t h i s f a r. I t w a s t i m e t o l o o k a g a i n
where I had already looked before, to see what I might have
m i s s e d .

Once again I dumped a days worth of change into the parking
m e t e r a t t h e O c e a n C o u n t y L i b r a r y. T h a n k s t o a n a d v a n c e d c o p y

o f , " C i v i l A i r P a t r o l 1 9 4 1 - 1 9 9 1 A C h r o n o l o g i c a l B i b l i o g r a p h y. "
I

had

found

loads

of

information

that

was

useful

in

many

of

m y o t h e r C i v i l A i r P a t r o l r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t s . T h e b i b l i o g r a p h y,
which was eventually published by the National Historical
Committee as Historical Monograph number eight, had been written

by fellow historian, Lt. Colonel Donald Borton of the Maryland
Wing.

I had met Borton years earlier at a National Board meeting

in Washington, D.C. Knowing its value in my work, Don had
provided

me

much

CAP

in

information

hadn't
created
well

with

a

used

a

bright
and

preproduction

history

that

blazed

a

itself,

other

path

but

historians

for

light

battered

to

his

c o p y.
how

to

illuminate

copy

of

and

would

peers

his

His

work
where

need.

follow,
the

work

way
in

task of plowing through the microfilm again.

was
to

If

he

find

had
us.
I

at

so
the

Don's

for

hand,

not

work

least

With

began

a

the

After

hours

of

scouring

over

microfilms,

my

eyes

were

blurry

and I was seeing double. I needed a break. As my mind withdrew
from
my

1942

and

question

headed

off

the

floor

the

began

about

the

the

World

to

topic,

slowly

in

front

but

I

of

to

refocus

U-Boat's
War

the

II

1992,

underwater
section

shelves.

gradually

on

found

the

parked

were

focus

remembered

cruising

and

There

I

my

I

myself

on

books

many

of

speed.

on

interest

at

looking

at

the moment; the books on The Battle of the Atlantic.
I
the

leafed

index

through

at

the

a

back.

number
As

of

usual,

books,
I

found

always
no

listing

for

Civil

Air Patrol. With few exceptions, the authors of these books
were either totally unaware of the Civil Air Patrol's existence,
or

had

unwittingly

dismissed

its

contributions

to

the

war

as

insignificant and not worthy of mention. This point often brings
my blood to a boil and is one I hope to play a part in changing
through my work.

Te m p e r i n g m y p e r s o n a l a n g e r , I p i c k e d u p a b o o k c a l l e d

s i m p l y, " T h e B a t t l e o f t h e A t l a n t i c , S e p t e m b e r 1 9 3 9 - M a y 1 9 4 3 . "
To m y s u r p r i s e t h i s a u t h o r g a v e t r i b u t e t o b o t h t h e C i v i l A i r
Patrol

and

their

waterborne

counterpart,

the

Coast

Guard

A u x i l i a r y. A l t h o u g h t h i s d i d n ' t h e l p m e w i t h m y c u r r e n t p r o j e c t ,
it did provide me with some nice information and quotes for
my other work. It also settled me down enough to have the
patience to continue on. In the next book that I picked up,
I

struck

The

goldl

title

itself

EasternSeaFrontier

caught

January

my

to August,

attention;
1942."

The

"War

Diary

Eastern

Sea

Frontier, as I had learned, was the designation of military
operations in the Atlantic, along the American East Coast.
As I flipped open the book and began to read, I realized that
what I had was a general log of all reported incidents along
the east coast. This all took place during the height of CAP's
coastal patrol operations. The entries, as I read on, included:
sub sightings, survivor sightings, reports of torpedo attacks

and sinkings, and the positions of mines sighted. It didn't

take

long

for

me

to

flip

to

the

magic

d a y.

There

it

was,

on

J u l y 11 , 1 9 4 2 .
"13 07: CAP reported sighting submerged sub in (position).

Course 280®. This position is three miles west of the
wreck of the San Jose (US cargo) sunk in collision 17 Jan.

Blimp K-7 reported CG-464 dropped 5 DCs on (position) 6
miles

further

north.

Cape

May

reported

CG21

and

341

went

t o s c e n e f r o m A t l a n t i c C i t y, t o b e r e l i e v e d b y C G - 2 2 6 a n d
21 dropped all their DCs. Position reported at - . YP-341
dropped DCs in this position, bringing up wood and oil.
At 1730 2 planes dropped 2 DCs in (position). K-7
dropped 4 in (position) followed by four more from planes.
YP-341 reported to Atlantic City base with oil samples.
PC-507

and

CG-464

at

scene

at

2125

having

returned

with

more DCs."^
Now

I

was

getting

somewhereI

Although

action

taken

specifically by the CAP plane was not mentioned, this information
confirmed for me at last that an engagement between a German

U - B o a t a n d a C A P p l a n e h a d i n d e e d t a k e n p l a c e o n 11 J u l y, 1 9 4 2 .
I t w a s n o y a r n , n o h a n g a r s t o r y. I t h a d h a p p e n e d . I h a d J o h n n y
Haggin's pilot log books and the matching entry in the Eastern
Sea Frontier Diary to confirm it for me. In order to confirm
the sinking however, I needed more specific information. I
needed

the

Although

coordinates

copyrighted

information

that

the

that

in
U.S.

had

been

edited

1987,

the

book

Navy

felt

was

out

the

book.

apparently

used

still

of

important

to

national security and therefore still classified.
If I could get the coordinates that had been deleted, I
could at last establish the true point of contact at which Haggin
and Farr had first sighted the sub and hopefully pinpoint where
they had sunk it. My hopes were that the final coordinates

would match up with the final resting place of the wreck
d i s c o v e r e d b y t h e S e e k e r.

I got the number to call and try to find the information
I

needed

in

the

US

Naval

Archives.

I

was

referred

to

someone

e l s e , w h o i n t u r n r e f e r r e d m e t o s o m e o n e e l s e . Ty p i c a l o f a
government operation, after several more calls, and several
more referrals, I finally got the address that I could write
to and request the information that was required. I quickly
fired

off

a

letter

and

waited.

While I waited, I called John Chatterton, whom I hadn't
heard from in a long time. I found out that all had not been

going well for him. His trip to Germany had not uncovered any
clues. Worse a recent diving expedition on the Andrea Doria
had

turned

disastrous.

John had traveled all over Germany in search of clues as

to the identity of the sunken U-Boat. There didn't seem to
b e a n y Ty p e I X U - B o a t s t h a t w e r e u n a c c o u n t e d f o r. M a n y p e o p l e ,
including the German government, were interested in finding
o u t t h e b o a t ' s i d e n t i t y, b u t w e r e o n l y w i l l i n g t o h e l p u p t o

a c e r t a i n p o i n t . E v e n t o d a y, f o r m a n y p e o p l e o f G e r m a n y, t h e
rise of Adolph Hitler and The Third Riech, is a painful and
difficult

subject.

An added complication was a request that no further dives
on

the

wreck

be

made.

It

was

felt

by

some,

that

the

sub

was

a war grave, and should remain undisturbed. Chatterton had
been very careful to avoid disturbing any of the human remains
that he had encountered. He purposely avoided allowing them

to appear in any of the photographs or video tapes that had
been

shot.

The

fact

that

there

were

human

remains,

disproved

one U-Boat historians gruff dismissal that this wreck was merely
one that had been scuttled by the U.S. Navy after the war.

I was beginning to feel that neither Chatterton nor myself
would ever seem to find enough information to prove the U-Boat *s

identity and if in fact it was the Haggin-Farr sub-kill. When
I finally received the information that I was waiting for from
the U.S. Naval Archives in Washington D.C., it confirmed a great
deal of things. It also raised many new questions as well.

The

reported

position

of

the

original

sighting

of

the

U-

B o a t w a s 3 9 ° - 0 7 ' N ; 7 4 ® - 1 3 ' W, w i t h a c o u r s e h e a d i n g o f 2 8 0 ® .
This position is about twenty four nautical miles southeast
o f f A b s e c o n , N e w J e r s e y, T h i s i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e " F l y i n g
Minute Men" account of the action. Although it doesn't specify
their position as southeast of Absecon, and that they were more
d u e e a s t o f S e a I s l e C i t y, t h e y w e r e p r o b a b l y u s i n g A b s e c o n
Lighthouse as a reference point since it would probably have
been more visible to them from that distance out than any other
object on the shoreline.

The course heading puts the sub traveling west towards the
shore, not parallel. Even if I looked up the magnetic variation
for 1942, as much as ten degrees in either direction would still
have the U-Boat moving towards the shoreline. Although this
would put the sub in position to hit targets along the coast,
would they risk this position in daylight? A convoy would be
escorted by CAP planes or surface vessels. A single ship,

running the coast unescorted, as they sometimes did, would be
a more desirable target for a sub with only a few more torpedoes.
Was this another piece that fit into Chatterton's U-158 theory?

A second position report places the sub at 39°-07'N; 74°1 3 ' W. T h e r e p o r t d e s c r i b e s t h i s s e c o n d p o s i t i o n a s " p o s i t i o n
later changed to." It is unclear weather this was a new position

reported by Haggin and Farr or a correction of their initial
report. The second set of coordinates places the sub seven
miles further north; closer, but still southeast of Absecon.
This also brings the distance between the sighting and the city
to only seventeen miles, increasing the likelihood that Absecon
light was being used as a reference point.
This segment of the Eastern Sea Frontier diary also describes
"globs

of

oil

appearing

at

distances

of

fifteen

feet

and

spreading." This certainly matches the "Flying Minute Men"
account

of

the

engagement.

The remaining descriptions of action taken by the U.S. Navy
and

Coast

Guard

somewhat

demonstrate

the

confusion

and

pandemonium
attack.

It

low

that

fuel

on

quick

should

as

departure

making

the

bubbling

The

took
be

is

place

noted

the

observations

to

the

first

the

ensuing

that

if

they

would

believed,

from

in

sight
that

Haggin

after
they

hours

and

probably

circling

a

after

Farr

were

have
few

the
as

made

times

a

and

reported

of

wood

and

oil

dropping

of

depth

charges

surface.

action

described

is

the

by Coast Guard Cutter #464 at the coordinates of 39°-21'-5"N;
74°-13'W,
one
the

half

as

reported

miles

coordinates

by

Blimp

K-7.

further

north.

It

is

of

wreck

of

the

the

This
also
S.S.

position

six

and

that

these

are

Almirante,

which

was

noted

is

sunk in «a collision in 1918. In Gary Gentile's book, "Shipwrecks
of

New

J e r s e y, "

wreck

being

in

depth

the

the

spotted
charging

action
and
by

is

described

reported

CGC

as

a

as

the

possible

shape
sub,

of

the

resulting

464.

A Coast Guard Cutter drops depth charges on a position

off Atlantic City in the hours after Haggin and Farr's UBoat

encounter.

3 9

while

this

incident

seems

to

merely

prove

that

the

Navy

was chasing shadows in all of the confusion, it brings to light
a point that may explain some of the Navy's reluctance to credit
the

Civil

Air

Patrol

aircraft

with

a

kill.

Like

the

Blimp

K-

7 incorrectly identifying the Almirante as a submarine, the

second reported position coordinates of the CAP's sub sighting
are noted as being three miles west of the wreck of the S.S.
San Jose. The San Jose had sunk almost exactly six months prior

on January 17 as a result of a collision with the S.S. Santa
E l i s a .

Although the San Jose was a coal fueled, freighter-passenger

vessel, it is possible that items such as oil stored in barrels,
may have still been oozing from her hull. Navy officials may
have deduced that Haggin and Farr mistook the San Jose for a

sub and depth charged the wreck, resulting in the debris that
was seen rising to the surface. This could arguably be a valid
possible account except for one question. Why would Haggin
and Farr spend four hours chasing a wreck that wasn't going
anywhere?

Additional Coast Guard Cutters arrived on scene and dropped

depth charges as well. Three vessels dropped depth charges
a t 3 9 ° - 2 0 ' N ; 7 4 ° - 11 ' W. T h i s r e s u l t e d i n w o o d a n d o i l b e i n g
brought to the surface at a position one mile southeast of
the Almirante wreck. The attacks were still continuing at five

thirty that afternoon when two OS2U3 planes dropped depth charges
at yet another position, this one being about a mile south of
the Coast Guard depth charging. At six in the evening, two

planes dropped more depth charges under the direction of the
Blimp K-7 at a sight even further south, but much closer to
th e l a tte r C AP re p o rte d p o si ti o n . Ve sse l s re tu rn e d to Atl a n ti c

City with oil samples, but the results of this analysis are
unknown.

The

Eastern

Sea

Frontier

Diary

confirmed

some

of

t h e d e t a i l s o f t h e d e s c r i b e d C A P e n c o u n t e r. I t f u r t h e r d e t a i l e d
the action of the day taken by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard

^ MAP OF ACTION TAKEN ON 11 JULY, 1942
"

Position
by

ii

A

C A P.

indicates
The

arrow

original

indicates

the

Position B indicates second CAP
as "position later changed to.

sighted

position

direction

of

reported

reported

travel.

position

described

^ Position C indicates position of CG # 464 when depth charges
were

••

by

dropped.

Position D indicates location of additional depth charging

three

Coast

Position
it

Guard

E

vessals.

indicates

position

of

charges

dropped

by

aircraft.

Position F is the final point of depth charging,
the blimp K-7, and aircraft directed by K-7.

from

both

O O '3 K" K*45* tif' 7S*lS ifti Ifn' wV M'lt' Tf««' 13'ii'



5'

as

a

not

result

of

provide

the

the

Haggin-Farr

concrete

attack.

proof

that

I

Unfortunately
had

been

it

hoping

did
for.

Instead, it provided a problem with connecting the Haggin-Farr
sub kill with the wreck discovered by the Seeker.
Despite
of

July

1

1

the
,

depth

1942,

charging

all

took

of

multiple
within

place

sights,
zone

a

the

action

about

fifteen

miles long by about two or three miles wide. The problem being
in

that

miles
this

the

wreck

slightly
U-Boat

is

discovered

north,
in

but

fact

by

the

very
one

the

far
sunk

Seeker,

east
by

lies

from

sixty

this

Haggin

and

four

zone.

If

Farr,

how

Haggin-Farr

sub

could it have possibly wound up so far away?
If

it

is

assumed

that

this

is

indeed

the

kill, then one possible explanation is that they did not sink
it when they depth charged it. Severely wounded, the stricken
U-Boat attempted to reach deep water to hide themselves from
further

attacking

aircraft.

Unable

to

repair

damage

that

was

more serious than originally thought, the sub sank.
The
there
in

problem

would

which

with

most

case

this

likely

there

theory

have

should

is

been
have

that
an

if

this

attempt

been

was

to

the

case,

abandon

survivors.

ship

According

to

John Chatterton, the escape hatches on the wreck are open, yet
German

records

indicate

no

such

survivors

of

a

scenario

as

d e s c r i b e d .

On the other hand, the records of the Eastern Sea Frontier

Diary only indicates the original reported position of the CAP
sighting. If Haggin and Farr chased it for over four hours
from that position, then the sinking could very well have taken
place where the U-Boat wreck was discovered. At this point,
n o e v i d e n c e e x i s t s t o e i t h e r p r o v e o r d i s p r o v e t h i s t h e o r y.

The next possibility to consider is that the U-Boat was
sunk

closer

to

Atlantic

C i t y,

where

all

of

the

surface

vessel

activity took place. If this is the case, then there may be
yet another wreck, waiting to be discovered. Finding a wreck
in
sub

M

d

this

location

kill.

would

be

the

ultimate

proof

of

the

Haggin-Farr

So

where

does

all

of

this

leave

me?

I

have

no

doubt

that

the engagement took place as described on July 1 1 , 1942. The
entrees in Haggin's log book and the Eastern Sea Frontier Diary
match up well enough with all of the written and verbal accounts
of

the

attack

comfortable

Even

of

his

that
the

have

ever

read

or

heard.

That

much

I

feel

with.

if

claim

still

I

John

Chatterton

discovered

proof
my

that

it

U-Boat

is

that

in

the

leading

wreck,

fact

the

it

mystery

may

still

of

sub

was

as

Haggin-Farr
sunk

Civil

to

how

by

the

the
sub

the

not

the

U-Boat

theory

solves

provide

kill.
Air

came

identity

to

the

Although
Patrol

rest

in

is
its

Atlantic grave off Pt. Pleasant, this is yet to be proved beyond
a

shadow

Of
by

of

would

Farr

doubt.

course

three

Since

a

mile

the

engagement

certainly
I

have

and

c o n t i n u e .

be

no

Captain

conclusion.

discovery

The

proof

reason

John

zone,

a

mistrust

Ben

Ali

for

U-Boat

off

enough,

to

search

of

the

but

shores

that

the

Haggin,
the

wreck

has

integrity

I

can

in

that

of Atlantic
yet
of

to

City

happen.

Major

Wynant

one

certain

draw

Haggin-Farr

fifteen

sub

kill

must

FOOTNOTES

M i c h a e l G a n n o n , O p e r a t i o n D r u m b e a t , ( N e w Yo r k , 1 9 9 1 ) ,

2 . Z a c k T. M o s e l y, B r a v e C o w a r d Z a c k , ( S t P e t e r s b u r g ,
FL), p 55.

3. Robert E. Neprud, Flying Minute Men, The Story of
C i v i l A i r P a t r o l , ( N e w Yo r k , 1 9 4 8 ) , p g s 1 8 - 1 9 ; F r a n k A . B u r n h a m ,
A e r i a l S e a r c h , T h e C A P S t o r y, ( F a l l b r o o k , C A . 1 9 7 4 ) , p 2 3 .
4 . I n t e r v i e w , M a j o r G r e g o r y F . W e i d e n f e l d , C A P, H i s t o r i a n ,
w i t h R u d y C h a l o w, J a n u a r y, 1 9 8 9 .

5 . R o b e r t H . F r e e m a n , Wa r D i a r y, E a s t e r n S e a F r o n t i e r,
J a n u a r y t o A u g u s t , 1 9 4 2 , ( Ve n t n e r, N J , 1 9 8 7 ) , p 4 5 7 ,
6.
Gary
Gentile,
C T, 1 9 8 8 ) , p 7 .

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