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Alfred Wolf (sailor)

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Alfred Wolf
Born(1923-08-01)August 1, 1923
Germany
DiedFebruary 7, 1943(1943-02-07) (aged 19)
North Atlantic Ocean
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1942–1943
RankSeaman First Class
UnitNaval Armed Guard detachments aboard SS Samuel Chase and USAT Henry R. Mallory
Battles/warsArctic convoys of World War II, Battle of the Atlantic, World War II
AwardsLetter of Commendation for meritorious action in the defense of Convoy PQ 17

Alfred Wolf (1923–1943) was a United States Navy sailor who distinguished himself in combat during World War II and later died in action. A U.S. Navy destroyer escort was named for him.

Navy career[edit]

Alfred Wolf was born in Germany on 1 August 1923. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve at New York City on 7 January 1942 and went through United States Marine Corps Recruit Training at Newport, Rhode Island, between 11 January 1942 and 11 February 1942. Following further instruction at the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk at Norfolk, Virginia, he entered the Naval Armed Guard School at Little Creek, Virginia, on 23 March 1942.

After completing the intensive training given the men preparing for Naval Armed Guard assignments at Little Creek, Wolf reported aboard the Liberty ship SS Samuel Chase on 20 April 1942 and was serving in that ship when she departed Iceland for the northern Soviet Union as part of Convoy PQ 17 on 27 June 1942. German planes attacked the convoy on 2 July 1943 and continued their raids over the next few days. The convoy's initially heavy supporting force of warships was drawn off; when the German battleship Tirpitz was reported to have sortied from Norway to attack the convoy, the merchant ships and what smaller escorts remained were ordered to scatter, greatly aiding the German attackers. Six near-misses from German bombers on 10 July 1942 caused heavy damage to Samuel Chase, snapping all steam lines, cutting off all auxiliaries, and blowing the compass out of the binnacle. Seaman First Class Wolf and her other gunners fought their weapons efficiently and courageously in what naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison called "the grimmest convoy battle of the entire war." Morison lauded the Naval Armed Guard crews of three particular PQ 17 merchant ships: SS Washington, SS Daniel Morgan, and SS Samuel Chase. "Their clothing was inadequate and their ammunition insufficient," he wrote, "but their fighting spirit never failed." Samuel Chase managed to survive the ordeal of PQ 17, part of a pitiful remnant of the original convoy.

Detached from Samuel Chase on 24 October 1942, Wolf reported aboard the United States Army Transport USAT Henry R. Mallory at New York City on 12 November 1942. On 17 November 1942, the transport departed for Reykjavík, Iceland, and stopped at St. John's in the Dominion of Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada before returning via Boston, Massachusetts, to New York City. Henry R. Mallory then once more visited Reykjavík, departing New York City on 24 January 1943. She was en route to New York City on her return voyage in Convoy SC 118 when the German submarine U-402 torpedoed and sank her on the morning of 7 February 1943. Seaman 1st Class Wolf was not among the survivors.

Awards[edit]

For his part in the gallant defense of Samuel Chase during her battle as a part of Convoy PQ 17, Seaman 1st Class Wolf earned a Letter of Commendation which praised his meritorious conduct in action.

Commemoration[edit]

During World War II, the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Alfred Wolf (DE-544) was named for Seaman First Class Wolf, but her construction was cancelled in 1944 before she could be launched.

External links[edit]


Other articles of the topic Biography : Foxhall A. Parker Sr., Kartik Aaryan, Flora Call Disney, Jake Paul, George B. Mowad, A. B. George, Earle B. Hall
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  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.


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