24 April, 1945

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This page tries to tell the story of that April day when the German u-boat, U-546, sunk the USS Frederick C. Davis. The F.C. Davis was the last ship sunk in the Atlantic during WW2. 

For me, this represents the day that I lost the grandfather or gramps (as I would have called him) that I never knew and the day my mom lost her father at the age of 15.  

There was a total of 115 men that died that day or later from injuries. One has to wonder how different all of our families would be if this event never occurred. Not only for the families that lost a loved one but also all of the survivors families. The pain of the guilt of a survivor can be just as devastating and long lasting to the survivor and his family. 

I never realized the pain that my mom carried for all those years until later in her life. She started to collect information on the ship and made a binder of all her findings. That binder is now in my hands and I have done additional investigation to add to the binder. I regret missing out on going to the reunions that were held for the crew. I am glad to remember that mom and her siblings went to the reunion that was held in Indianapolis. 

I hope we never forget the sacrifices of the crew of the USS Frederick C. Davis! 

Marc Tepe

Grandson of William Glass, MoMM2C


Brief Recap

U-546 was detected by VC-19 skipper William W. South and was the object of a search by Bogue’s escort division.  The next day, Fredrick C. Davis gained sonar contact at 2,800 yards.  The contact dropped astern and Davis reversed course.  As range closed to 650 yards, Davis was struck by a torpedo in the forward engine room.  The ship sank quickly and only 100 men were able to get off the foundering vessel.  Flaherty gained sonar contact as she was dropping rafts to the survivors.  The DE broke off and the Hayler took over rescue efforts.  Only 66 were rescued out of a crew of 192.  Flaherty assisted by Pillsbury conducted a series of depth charge and hedgehog attacks over many hours.  A hedgehog attack by Flaherty finally brought U-546 to the surface.  The sub fired two torpedoes at Flaherty as she broached.  They missed.  U-546 was surrounded by DEs.  They opened fire and the boat sank seven minutes later.  The DEs rescued 33 of U-546’s crew.


Report of the Torpedoing; Final Sailing List;Interview with Kip and Lundeberg

Final Sailing List.pdf
Preliminary Report.pdf
Kip - Lundeberg interview.pdf

Handwritten letter dated April 24, 1945

Simply amazing sometimes what you can find on the internet.  

Warren Feustel, MoMM3c reported for duty aboard USS COCKRILL (DE-398) as a plank owner on 24 December 1943 until his discharge in March 1946. This single-paged entry recalls three events involving his ship.

The first was the sinking of USS FREDERICK C. DAVIS (DE-136) on 24 April 1945. According to the War Diary, the COCKRILL was ordered to assist with rescue operations but 20 minutes after arriving on scene, was ordered to help with the hunting down of U-546, which was successfully sunk that evening.

On 3 May 1945, the crew of the COCKRILL, while acting as a plane guard for USS BOGUE (CVE-9), rescued three airmen from TBM Avenger 14, piloted by Ensign M. Union that had gone over the starboard side aft of the island while landing. No injuries reported.

Two days later, Feustel writes of two torpedoes passing beneath the COCKRILL. Nothing in her War Diary mentions this but planes from the BOGUE were alerted to a possible contact and hunted through the day with no results.

This page was donated to the USS Slater. Please visit https://ussslater.org and give them your support. Although a different class than the USS Frederick Davis

it is the only DE still afloat. 

The Sinking

The following pictures are of the sinking of the USS Frederick C. Davis

The Rescue

  Davis survivors are transferred from Flaherty to Bogue

The Rescue- USS Hayter

The following letter was signed by the survivors on board the USS Hayter. It was written to thank the crew of the Hayter for the resue effort that they undertook for them. 

Admiral Jack Bowling, who was in command of the task force, mentioned this letter in a 1952 Memorial Day speech. ( A draft copy of Admiral Bowling's 1952 Memorial Day speech appears below the following letter from the FC Davis survivors. 

Jack Bowling Memorial day speech 1952.pdf

The following documents were given to me by the son of Edward Keyes. He was on the USS Hayter, DE-212, when the USS Frederick Davis was sunk. The two documents were written by Edward Keyes and his fellow crewmembers of their life in the navy. They are worth reading. 

I would like to point out specific USS Frederick Davis entries that would be of specific interest to the FC Davis Family.  In PART 1, page 33, is where the F.C. Davis is mentioned regarding the rescue by the crew of the Hayter. In PART 2, appendix  V, has a few pages of note worthy statements. This includes a narrative by Cmdr Paul Just, U-546, of the events. 

Navy Days by Edward J. Keyes Part 1.pdf
Navy Days by Edward J. Keyes Part 2.pdf


 Hunt for U-546





U-546 Crew


POWs aboard Bogue



POWs in Bogue's forward hold


POWs in Bogue's forward hold


Officer POWs aboard Bogue, CO Paul Just at left


POWs in Bogue's forward hold

Paul Just, commander of the U-546

Funeral Services


Funeral services for victims of Davis

funeral services1.jpg

The Impact

The telegram to my mom. It wasn't till much later that I learned that my grandfather and grandmother divorced before his death. I always wondered why my mom got a notice telegram notifying her of her dad's death. My grandfather had her listed in the Navy's system to be notified , along with his new wife. My family never received any of his medals, as they went to the new wife.

Navy report of death gramps.pdf