The last flight of the

History 03/01/20 Last flight “Chukchi”: why the submarine sank Soviet ship

a Cargo ship, about which speech will go, was built in 1920 in the American town of Wyandott, Michigan, in the shipyard of the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. When it launched, it received the name of Lake Fandon. Gross tonnage of the vessel was 2 674 gross registered tons. It was fast and powerful steamer with a length of 77 meters, equipped with engines of 1500 horsepower. The maximum speed was 10 knots and the crew that serviced the boat, had to include at least 54 people.

American “Chukchi”

after 10 years the ship was purchased in new York by representatives of the people’s Commissariat of foreign trade for the Far East. In Soviet Russia the boat was named “Chukchi” and until 1932 was used as a factory fishing ship in the production of canned food. In 1932 the ship was transferred to the worker-Peasant Red Navy as a hydrographic ship, and three years later enlisted in the hydrographic Department of the Pacific fleet.

As writes in “the Departed into eternity” captain first rank Alexander Ivanovich Gruzdev, “the Chukchi” used to deliver boats in the far far North and, for the study of hydrological conditions at crossings Vladivostok – Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The ship took part in mapping the coast of the Bering sea hag from banks to Cape Dezhnev, and from 1934 to 1936, he explored the flow in the North-West of the sea of Japan. The operation of the vessel was interrupted by the outbreak of war with Germany.

the crew of the “Chukchi”

All map court in the far East was converted into mine layers and patrol ships. “Chukchi” has become the military transport division of auxiliary vessels of the fleet. In 1943, the ship was put under the command of Lieutenant Alexei Kuzmich Starovskogo, a graduate of the Higher naval school named after Frunze, who was 28 years old.

Besides him on the boat served another 7 officers 47 military and civilian crew members. And that night, when the ship is lost, on Board were three officers accompanying the cargo.

the Last flight

In his last dangerous flight “Chukchi” was released in Tetyukhe Bay on 25 may 1943 at 10:45. On Board were aviation fuel, 252 mines, fuses, depth charges and lumber. The goods should have been delivered to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky naval base.

the Situation was dangerous. From 12 may to 16 August 1943 the US army decided to take control of the three Islands, among which were captured by the Japanese Attu and Kiska. Against the enemy, Americans used 40 00 soldiers, 100 military vehicles and 263 of the aircraft. They were opposed by 8 500 Japanese soldiers and 20 fighters.

in order not To miss the Islands of reinforcements, the Americans blockaded the Straits and adjacent Islands, including the Kurile Islands.

the Island of Attu was taken on may 31, after the destruction of the 2,500 Japanese soldiers.

Through these dangerous waters the captain Stachowski and had to spend almost defenseless transport. “Chukchi” had to pass through La Perouse Strait between Sakhalin and Japan in the sea of Okhotsk, and then through the Fourth Kuril¤sky Strait into the ocean and reach Kamchatka. The weather was good and the water area of the Okhotsk sea is clear of ice.

as the Soviet Union was not at war with Japan, the Country of the Rising Sun was notified about the route and time of route of the ship.

While the “Chukchi” was in Japanese and Okhotsk seas, the vessel has regularly been in touch, the last time the captain contacted the command when the “Chukchi” was 130 miles North-West of Urup. But as soon as the ship approached the Fourth Kuril Strait, the connection is terminated.

the fact that the ship disappeared, the authorities became aware on 10 June, when the search had been pointless.

on 12 August 1943 by order of the commander of the Pacific fleet, the crew of “Chukchi” was found dead “in the performance of official duties,” all the officers of IPincluded from the list of personnel.

Blame the Americans?

the fate of the ship long time was not known. The sailors thought that the ship was sunk in the ill-fated Fourth Strait.

in 2001 historian Konstantin Borisovich Strelbitsky, turning to archives in the United States, found that most of the “Chukchi” was sunk by a submarine of the US Navy, the officers of which took a steamboat for a Japanese cargo ship; it happened with the ocean side of the island Paramushir.

according to himself Strelnikov, in the intended point of death “Chukchi”, were two American submarines: SS-139 “S-34”, under the command of captain Robert Keating Jr. and SS-146 “S-41” under the command of Irvin Hartman. Two submarines, one on 31 may and the second June 1 found a single ships, which took over the Japanese ships and destroyed them with a volley of torpedoes, which was reported to the command.

the Historian is inclined to think that the cause of death 58 of the Soviet people was captain Robert Keating, who discovered the boat displacement of 3,000 tons may 31, 1943, at coordinates 50°29’ North latitude, 156°28’ East longitude through the periscope and 19:00 shot him with three torpedoes, two of which hit the target. Indirectly confirms the guilt of Keating’s description of the sinking of the ship – after being hit by torpedoes, mines and bombs on Board the “Chukchi” detonated up and shot up a huge pillar of flame. The crew of “Chukchi” was killed instantly.

Captain I rank Gruzdev, on the contrary, believes that “the Chukchi” sank Hartman, since the coordinates of this vessel (50° 04′ North. sh., 156° 32’ East. D.) match route “Chukchi”, while the coordinates of the Keating route is not consistent. Most likely, the ship destroyed by Keating coming in or out of the Bay Paramushir, where there was a Japanese base Kashiwabara.

No attack Kitting or attack Hartman was disallowed by the American command that immediately after the victory over Japan, checked all the losses of the Japanese fleet at the military archives. It turned out that no Japaneseudna Pacific side of Paramushir was not.

Obviously, one of the Americans, by mistake could shoot Soviet ship “Chukchi” and kill 55 members of the crew.

Maya Novik

© Russian Seven

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