Monday, May 13, 2013

The USS Leopold (DE-319): Clyde Ballenger's Ship-- Part 2

The  Leopold was built by the Consolidated Steel Corporation in Orange, Texas.

It's first duty was a convoy to the Mediterranean Sea and then it performed anti-submarine net duty off the Strait of Gibraltar.  It then returned to New York City with another convoy.

On March 1, 1944, it joined 27-ship convoy CU-16 crossing the Atlantic.  On March 8th, they received intelligence that there was a German submarine ahead, so course was altered, coming close to Iceland.  On the 9th, radar contact with the sub was made and the Leopold and USS Joyce were sent off to intercept it.

The crew was sent to General Quarters, a flare shot off and they spotted the U-255 in the process of diving.  A short time later, a torpedo hit the Leopold.  There were just 28 survivors and 171 lost their lives, including North Carolinian Clyde Ballenger.

And, That North Atlantic Water Is Mighty Cold.  --GreGen

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