The Battle of the Atlantic was fought by the Royal Navy and RAF Coastal Command against the U-boats. It was a long, deadly struggle in which Hitler’s prized U-boat fleet attempted to starve Britain of food, fuel and the materials of war by destroying the convoys that kept it supplied. The effective use of depth charges by Allied aircraft demanded an attack from extremely low level, but as each submarine was armed with 10 cannons, the dangers to the aircrews was immense.
The hunter becomes the hunted in a remarkable true encounter between Sunderland “U” of 461 Sqn and U-Boat U-461 during the Battle of the Atlantic.
On 30 July 1943 Short Sunderland flying boat “U” of 461 Sqn RAAF attacked and sank one of three German submarines caught on the surface in the Bay of Biscay. In an ironic twist of fate the submarine was also U-461.
Robert Taylor’s dramatic and powerful painting depicts Sunderland “U” at extremely low-level, enduring a barrage of gunfire after delivering a successful attack to sink U-461. In an instinctive act of compassion the Sunderland pilot circled the scene to drop a dingy to the U-boat survivors.
This print was signed by TEN veterans representing crews on both sides of this powerful scene.
The crew of Sutherland “U” 461 Sqn, RAAF
Able Flight Lieutenant DUDLEY MARROWS DSO DFC – Captain & Pilot
Flight Lieutenant JOHN ‘JOCK’ ROLLAND – Navigator
Flight Lieutenant PETER JENSEN – Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
Flight Lieutenant GERALD WATSON – Engineer
Warrant Officer HORRIE MORGAN – Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
Flying Officer ROBERT WEBSTER – Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
The crew of German U-Boat, U-461
Able Seaman GERHARD KORBJUHN
Medical Orderly WILHELM HOFFKEN
Able Seaman HELMUT ROSCHINSKI
Leading Seaman ALOIS MOMPER