Submarine chaser

Submarine chaser
USS PC-815, a US subchaser that served in World War II

A submarine chaser is a small and fast naval vessel specially intended for anti-submarine warfare. Although similar vessels were designed and used by many nations, this designation was most famously used by ships built by the United States of America (US)[citation needed]. Many of the US World War I sub-chasers found their way to friendly powers by way of Lend-Lease in World War II.


Submarine chaser variants

United States submarine chasers were designed specifically to destroy German submarines in World War I, and Japanese and German submarines in World War II. The small 110-foot (34 m) patrol craft of the design first used in World War I carried the hull designator SC (for Submarine, Chaser). Their main weapon was the depth charge. They also carried machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. Larger 173-foot (53 m) sub chasers used the PC hull classification symbol (for Patrol, Coastal).

In early 1915 the British Admiralty selected the US Elco company for the production of 50 Motor Launches for anti-submarine work, British industry being at maximum capacity. This order was then increased by a further 500. The whole order was completed by November 1916 and entered Royal Navy service. The vessels were 80 feet (24 m) in length and capable of 20 knots (37 km/h). They were armed in use with a 3-pounder gun, towed paravanes and later depth charges.

War service

The British sub chasers were operated around the coast in defence. However they were uncomfortable, wet, and not suited to British sea conditions.[citation needed] Although used during the First World War they were sold off when the war ended.

Submarine chasers were used mostly by the United States Coast Guard in World War II for destroying German U-boats that were stationed off the coast of the United States, trying to sink merchant convoys as the convoys departed American ports. By the end of World War II, submarine chasers had sunk around 67 German U-boats. In the Pacific Theatre, submarine chasers were used for amphibious landings, courier and escort duty.[1][2]

A small number of British Fairmile B Motor Launches were transferred from Canada and included as the SC-1466 class of sub-chasers.[3]


They were mostly withdrawn after World War II and replaced with corvettes, frigates, and destroyers. A few are still in service with Third World navies.


The only remaining submarine chaser with intact World War II armament is the Royal Norwegian Navy's HNoMS Hitra, which is a touring museum today. In the Netherlands there is still afloat PC1610 - a post World War II submarine chaser. The Le Fougueux was built in 1953 to US World War II drawings.[4]

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • submarine chaser — n. a small, fast naval patrol vessel equipped for use against submarines …   English World dictionary

  • submarine chaser — noun : a boat fitted to operate offensively against submarines * * * a small patrol vessel, 100 200 ft. (30 60 m) long, designed for military operations against submarines. Also called subchaser. * * * submarine chaser, a small, fast warship for… …   Useful english dictionary

  • submarine chaser — a small patrol vessel, 100 200 ft. (30 60 m) long, designed for military operations against submarines. Also called subchaser. * * * …   Universalium

  • No.251 class auxiliary submarine chaser — Auxiliary Submarine Chaser No.251 in 1938 Class overview Name: No.251 class aux. submarine chasers • No.251 class (Project number K5A) • No.253 class (Project number K5B) …   Wikipedia

  • No.4 class submarine chaser — No.8 in 1938 Class overview Name: No.4 class submarine chaser Builders …   Wikipedia

  • No.1 class auxiliary submarine chaser — No.1 class on 10 January 1945 Class overview Name: No.1 class auxiliary submarine chaser …   Wikipedia

  • No.1 class submarine chaser — (left to right) No.1, No.2 and No.3 in 1938 Class overview Name: No.1 class submarine chasers • No.1 class • No.3 class …   Wikipedia

  • PC-461 class submarine chaser — Class overview Operators:  United States Navy …   Wikipedia

  • No.13 class submarine chaser — No.13 class No.14 in March 1941 Class overview Name: No.13 class submarine chasers • No.13 class • No.28 class • No.60 …   Wikipedia

  • Type 037 class submarine chaser — is also known as the Hainan class, designed by China to replace the Soviet S.O. 1 class submarine chaser. Early units had Dual Purposes Mk 26 76.2 mm guns and Russian RBU 1200 ASW rocket launchers, but eventually, these were replaced by Chinese… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”