Robert A. Maher, Presidennt, USS BORIE DD215 ASSOCIATION
1245 Lake Drive
Grand Island, FL
I am a WWII Chief Firecontrolman. I served on the BORIE DD215 from 1940 until it went down in November 1943. I recently downloaded the BORIE from your web site. I was very disappointed it what I found, although this is not unusual for a 4 stacker. It appears that BORIE'S contribution to WWII was a ramming of U-405 and then also going down.
Combat Action award
4 battle stars
Five Campaign ribbons
Early WWII we did convoy duty on the East Coast from the North Atlantic through the South Atlantic
(Brazil). We were in two convoys where we lost ships.
In early 1943 we had the BORIE refurbished with weapons, latest sonar, two radar types etc, to prepare
us for assignment to a Hunter Killer Group; TG21.14. This group sank 12 subs.
We rescued 44 survivors of U-664 and our ship's doctor did a wonderful job on the wounded from aircraft
machine gun fire, some very critical
Now: The BORIES last battle. It was the only battle of it's kind during WWII and the last such battle
was in the days of John Paul Jones.
The battle was a night surface battle, high seas and cold water in the North Atlantic. It lasted about
one hour and 15 minutes and at close range. It was like two dogs chasing each other. U-405 had a smaller
circle diameter so while they tried to get away we kept circling in an outside circle, firing 20mm machine
guns and our 4" guns. The ramming story comes from the fact that we did try to ram U-405 BUT just as we
were going to hit the sub a large wave raised our bow and we became stuck on the sub's bow. For about
15 minutes ( things were so hectic it's hard to tell) it was almost hand to hand fighting with machine
guns firing from only about 50 feet. At about 15 minutes we were able to get free and the chasing started
all over again. We finally put them down by straddling the boat with depth charges fired from K-guns.
We did go down because of the contact when we got stuch on the boat's bow. However, it was not a ramming
damage. The sterne "fins" sliced a hole in our hull. Thus the constant "sunk because of ramming".
I have the followin information: What when and where we received all the necessary items to convert us
to a hunt and kill destroyer. I have several photos, including an artist's idea of what the battle
looked like. I can honestly say it's about as close as it can be.
I have copies of a two part story of the battle that I took from a book I wrote; "Sailors' Journey
Into War". These exerpts were published in two issues of the Naval History Magazine.
I also have a complete list of the names of all those aboard the ship when it went down and a list
of the 27 men lost at sea.
For this reason I would like a name and address of where I could send this information, if wanted.
It is much to much for Email.
Robert A. Maher
USS BORIE has a surface battle with U-405 in November 1943. U-405 was sunk by BORIE on Novembe 1, 1943 at
about 0200. BORIE crew abandoned ship at 1630 November 1. BORIE was sunk by aircraft from USS CARD on
morning of November 2.
U-405 did not go down by ramming. Ramming was attemped but a high wave raised BORIE so that bow
raised and came down on bow of U-405. After about 15 minutes BORIE pulled away and a chase started
again. U-405 was peppered with 4" shells and 20 mm machine gun firing. U-405 signaled surrender and
abandoned ship. The total time of battle was about one hour and 15 minutes.
U-405 DID NOT GO DOWN AS A RESULT OF RAMMING.
Robert A. Maher (author of Sailors' Journey Into War)