Army & Navy - The Welcome Escorts

About a week out, the convoy steamed smoothly along the broad Atlantic seaway. Lookouts were on the alert. The ships were out of range of the landbased PBYs and Liberators which gave them anti-submarine protection on the first stage of their journey. Now they were on their own.

Late in the morning a plane came boring in from the horizon—single-engined, stubby-winged, deep-bellied where the depth bombs lay: a U.S. TBF Avenger.

This was something new to convoy crews, a single-engined land plane so far out to sea. It could mean only that a carrier was in the vicinity. But carrier escort, too,...

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