Today in Military History: Jan., 11, 1944, first aircraft rocket attack on sub

USS Block Island (CVE-21) shortly after leaving Norfolk, October 15, 1943, on her first anti-submarine cruise, with aircraft from Composite Squadron 1 (VC-1) on deck—9 FM-1 Wildcats (forward) and 12 TBF-1C Avengers. U.S. National Archives photo #80-G-87149.

On January 11, 1944, FM-1 Wildcats and TBF-1C Avengers took off from the USS Block Island (CVE-21) to make the first aircraft rocket attack on a German submarine. While sinking the sub was unsuccessful, the anti-submarine hunter-killer task group, including the USS Corry (DD-463), eventually achieved their mission. During four anti-submarine cruises the hunter-killer task group sank two submarines.

The first on March 17, the group sank the German sub, U-801 and rescued it’s survivors.

Five months later the Block Island was sunk herself. A German sub slipped through undetected putting three torpedoes into the carrier.