Canada in the Second World War

Arms & Weapons

Attack on U-754 by Hudson 625 of 113 (BR) Squadron, July 31st, 1942

Squadron Leader N.E. Small and his crew sunk U-754 at 43°02’ N., 64°52’ W., north of Boston, Eastern Air Command’s first kill. With its white camouflage, the Hudson was difficult to see through the summer haze and the cruising U-boat was taken unaware as Small led the attack. The following excerpts are taken from the secret form Summary of R.C.A.F. Attack on U-Boat.
Department of National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage, 181.003 (D1319).

Aircraft crew:
PositionNo.RankNameAttack No.

Capt. C.1379 S/Ldr. Small, N.E., A.F.C. 3
Obs. J10690 P/O Francis, G.M. 1
WAG R97641 Sgt. Coulter, R.A. 1
WAG R70744 Sgt. Rogers, D.P. 1

Brief description of sighting, attack, and results seen and/or photographed:

Squadron Leader N.E. Small (centre) and crew members.

Squadron Leader N.E. Small (centre) and crew members.
National Defence Image Library, PL-12608

Aircraft while on a local anti-submarine sweep near Sable Island, at 3000 feet visibility 5 miles in haze ceiling unlimited sighted U-Boat at distance three miles bearing 287° from aircraft. The U-Boat was on the surface heading 240° moving at 8-10 kts. Pilot throttled back fully and dove, manoeuvring to attack from astern dead along track of U-Boat. Submarine had just started do dive as 4-250 lb. MK VIII dept charges with MK XIII pistol set for 25 feet were released from 50 feet in a stick spaced for 60 feet at 160 kts. First charge entered water 50 feet ahead of Conning Rower on U-Boat’s track and remainder fell along it. All functioned correctly. On second run over spot U-Boat was just under water. On third circuit Conning Tower broke surface and aircraft fired at it with front guns. U-Boat then settled and kept turning to left under water, emitting large air bubbles. It kept blowing its tanks from time of attack until 55 minutes later, a heavy explosion underwater caused a much greater upheaval that from a 450 lb. dept charge. The boiling area was about 150 yards across and lasted for 3 to 4 minutes. When this subsided, scattered patches of scummy oil and small bits of debris resembling splintered wood appeared. The aircraft left the scene 1 hour 31 minutes after the attack. At 01302/1/8/42 H.M.S. “VETERAN” sighted large quantities of oil in the area. The trace running roughly north-south appeared to start from the southward end, which was marked by an aluminium sea marker, the oil being widely dispersed in this area. The northern end was more clearly defined by swirls of oil coming to the surface. The trace also considerably narrowed in this area. Ten depth charges set at 250 and 385 feet were dropped near the northern end of the trace, although no anti-submarine contact had been made at any time. Oil continued coming to the surface. A sample was taken but proved practically valueless owing to the thinness of the film. H.M.S. “VETERAN” left the scene at 0600 hours, having seen nothing further.