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The Sinking of U-boat 342....

RCAF 162 Squadron of Cansos became operational overseas on January 24,
1944, based in Reykjavik, Iceland.

F/O T.C. Cooke on April 17, 1944, flying CRR at 800 feet on a combined
anti-submarine patrol and met flight spotted the wake from a submarine on
the surface. This was U342 and the location was 65 degrees, 23 minutes
North and 29 degrees, 20 minutes West. They immediately went on the attack
and the submarine opened fire from approximately 3000 yards.

U-342-photo courtesy of Steve Cooke

Cooke took evasive action and turned into the attack from the beam at 1200
yards. The twin nose guns opened up, and silenced the submarine's guns.
It's a good thing the fire was effective as both nose guns quit firing at
the 300 yard mark, and the final part of the run was made without a shot
being fired.

The Canso straddled the U-boat with three 200 pound torpex depth charges.
The first one fell close to the starboard side and the remaining two on the
port side. The U-boat was observed to sit lower in the water after the
attack.

U-342 -2- photo courtesy of Steve Cooke

Cooke made two subsequent runs trying to use his torpedo as well, but they
couldn't get it to release. It was not needed however. Nine minutes after
the depth charge attack, there was a violent explosion forward of the
conning tower. Large quantities of wreckage floated to the surface
accompanied by a continuous stream of large air bubbles and traces of oil.
Three hours later the oil slick measured 600 by 250 yards and increased to
3000 by 600 yards in the next hour and a half.

U-342 -3- photo courtesy of Steve Cooke

F/L T.O. Cooke was awarded an immediate award of the D.F.C. for this
exploit, although he claims to this day that his crew deserved the
decoration. The other members of the crew were F/L Wiskin, F/O B.F. Hunter,
F/O P.P. Ficek, WO G.R. McMacken, FS E.N.C. Tilander, Sgt. E.S. Hill, Sgt.
T.E. Hoosen, and RAF met observer FS E.A. Johnson.

-From THE RCAF OVERSEAS

photos DND

submitted by Steve Cooke

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