9767 Combat Report

RACF PBY Catalina Early War Colors

RCAF PBY Dropping Depth Charges

German U-Boat at Dock 1944

PBY-5A Catalina /Canso A (Canadian-built Catalina)
RCAF 9767 (military)
RCAF March 4, 1943
162 Squadron – Reykjavik – March 1943 – Pilot F/O Tom C. Cooke
Aircraft “S” – Photo Reconnaissance | U-Boat Hunter
Sank U-Boat VIIC #U-342 Southwest off Iceland – April 17, 1944 (60-23 N, 29-20 W)
U-Boat History: Maiden Voyage – Commanded by Oblt. Albert Hossenfelder (54 souls lost)
Stricken: RCAF April 1, 1946 (removed from military service)
Operational overseas on January 24, 1944, RCAF 162 Squadron of Cansos (Patrol Bombers) was based in Reykjavik, Iceland. Aircraft RCAF 9767, identified as aircraft “S”, was commanded by Pilot Flight Officer Tom C. Cooke and was primarily tasked with reconnaissance and U-Boat hunting over the open sea.
April 17, 1944 while flying RCAF 9767 at approximately 800 feet over the water on an anti-submarine patrol spotted what looked like the wake of a submarine on the water’s surface. Later identified as German U-Boat #U-342, the submarine was located 65 degrees, 23 minutes North and 29 degrees, 20 minutes West. RCAF 9767 immediately transitioned to attack the U-Boat as the submarine opened fire from approximately 3000 yards away.
RCAF 9767 Pilot Tom C. Cooke flew evasive action and turned to attack the German U-Boat from 1200 yards. RCAF 9767 began to fire from both nose guns, silencing the U-Boat’s guns. Due to limited ammunition, both nose guns stopped firing at approximately 300 yards from the target. Fortunately, the nose guns deterred any additional firing as the final attack run was made without a shot fired.
RCAF 9767 dropped three 200 lbs depth charges on U-Boat #U-342 with the first charge falling close to the starboard side and the remaining two charges fell in the water on the port side of the submarine. Observers to the attack indicated that the U-Boat was sitting lower in the water after the attack.
Pilot, Tom C. Cooke and crew flew two additional attack runs trying to launch a torpedo at the U-Boat. However, the crew could not get the torpedo to release. After observing the submarine, the torpedo was not needed as within minutes after the depth charge attack there was an explosion forward of the U-Boat conning tower at the water’s surface. Multiple pieces of wreckage could be seen floating on the water’s surface surrounded by countless air bubbles and thick traces of oil. Many hours later the oil on the water’s surface appeared to measure more than 600 by 200 yards and continued to increase as time clicked by. The attack run by RCAF 9767 was caught on gun-camera footage which confirmed the sinking.
F/L T.O. Cooke was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the U-Boat mission. However, Cooke argued that his crew deserved the decoration, not him. Members of RCAF 9767 crew included F/L Wiskin, F/O B.F. Hunder, F/O P.P. Ficek, WO G.R. McMacken, FS E.N.C. Tilander, Sgt. E.S. Hill, Sgt. T.E. Hoosen, and RAF observer FS E.A. Johnson.
RCAF 162 Squadron stationed in Iceland and Scotland accounted for the six German U-boat sinking’s made by RCAF Cansos (Patrol Bombers) during World War II. After the Second World War, Cansos (Patrol Bombers) served with the RCAF in photo reconnaissance and search and rescue roles, until they were finally retired.

PBY Torpedo Loading 1942: Step One

PBY Torpedo Loading 1942: Step Two

PBY Torpedo Loading 1942: Step Three