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Letter From Alfred Buckley, Renville County Journal, 12-5-1918

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Alfred Buckley
October 21, 1897 – August 5, 1970

Wm Buckley Recently Received the Following Interesting Letter from his Brother Alfred.

U. S. S. C. 128, an Italian Port, Oct. 4, 1918
Dear Brother:
Received your letter dated Sept. 2, sure glad to hear from you.
We are out on patrol, or barrage as we call it. Most of the time waiting for subs. We had a little excitement a few days ago so I have a nice little story to tell this time. Cannot tell it all but will sometime.
We left our Base No. 25 last Sunday and got here Monday P.M. We heard rumors of a raid on an Austrian base. We stayed here till Tuesday night when we left. We ran across the Adriatic and sighted the enemy base at 11 o’clock. A number of English and Italian cruisers and a fleet of destroyers came up then. I sure was glad because we were then only ten miles off shore. They started bombarding the place at 11:30. We were prowling around some British cruisers. Just about this time the Austrians began getting our range and we had some close shaves. Those big pills were dropping all around and over us. Our lookout sighted three or four periscopes making for the destroyers. We put on all speed and as we passed over them we began dropping depth bombs. We dropped six in all. The other two chasers in our unit dropped as many more. We got one sub and each of the other two got one apiece, and perhaps more. We are officially credited with three subs, with saving the British cruisers from being torpedoed, and with capturing an Austrian Hospital ship. We let her go again. The Allies destroyed half of the town, sunk all the important ships in the harbor and three or four Austrian cruisers.
Some Italian chasers ran right into the harbor and torpedoed some ships and got away again. I cannot mention our casualties but they were of no consequences compared with the damage done to the base. The air was black with airplanes. Altogether it was a most wonderful sight and one rarely seen, those battleships bombarding the beach and shells falling all around us, mines blowing up, I would not have missed it for a lifetime.
The depth charges cause an awful commotion. It shakes the engine room something fierce, the vibration being so great it stopped one of the engines. The best part of it was I didn’t get a bit nervous so I was able to appreciate it all.
Well I am satisfied now that I was in one battle and helped down a few Fritzes.
Well I wish you luck and hope you come across safely. Will close now, hoping to hear from you soon.
As ever, Your Brother, Alfred, M. M.1st C., U.S.S.C. 128