72 Years Later, Snubbed Captain Credited With Downing German U-Boat
High-resolution mapping sheds new light on battle off the coast of Louisiana.
WASHINGTON—When Herbert G. Claudius's family would ask him if he'd ever sunk an enemy submarine during his decades in the U.S. Navy, Claudius would say that he thought he did once. He'd seen oil and debris after a fierce battle he'd led against a German U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942.
But Claudius could never be sure that he'd sunk the sub.
The U.S. Navy certainly didn't seem to think so. After the battle, just 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the U.S. mainland, the Navy removed Claudius from command and sent him to anti-sub-warfare school.
But on Tuesday, Claudius was posthumously vindicated at the Pentagon, thanks in part to exploration supported by the National Geographic Society. The U.S. Secretary of