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How many U.S. Navy subs were lost in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII?


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Dear Scott,

Of 52 submarines lost by the U.S. Navy during World War II, two were sunk in the Atlantic Ocean. During a training exercise off Key West, Florida, on June 12, 1943, the old submarine R-12 (SS-89) foundered while diving; its commander, another officer and three crewmen swept off the bridge were rescued, the other 42 men went down with the sub.

On October 6, 1943, Dorado (SS-248), having completed its shakedown cruise (during which artist Thomas Hart Benton was aboard to paint aspects of life aboard a typical Gato class sub), left New London, Connecticut, for the Panama Canal Zone. It never arrived. While it was en route, Martin PBM Mariner flying boats attacked suspected Unterseeboot sightings, believed to have been U-518 and U-214. The latter vessel logged having survived the attack and subsequently laid 15 mines five miles off Colón, Panama, on October 8. It is now believed that Dorado ran into one of those mines on October 12 or 14, and was lost with all hands.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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