At the height of World War II, German submarines, also known as U-boats, gained a reputation as the terror of the high seas.
With more than 1,100 built, Hitler’s U-boat fleet was infamous for disrupting enemy supply lines, sinking more than 2,600 Allied ships during the course of the war, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.
Toward the war’s end, one of these U-boats, U-858, was sent to wreak havoc along the east coast of the United States. But two weeks after Hitler’s suicide, on May 14, 1945, U-858 became the first Nazi submarine to surrender to U.S. forces.
It’s a boat that Chuck Kline remembers well. That’s because, for nine months after its surrender, Kline served aboard U-858.
Kline, now 93, is one of a dwindling number of American sailors who served aboard submarines during World War II, and the last to come from Wyoming.
Born March 19, 1923, in Boulder, Colorado, Kline grew up in the town of Rifle in the western part of the state. Records show he began his naval service in July 1943, starting out in the V-12 Navy College Training Program at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
“I went to classes to major in engineering, but I got into trouble with some of the math in there,” Kline said. “So they called me and gave me a choice. ‘We can put you on probation, or you can go to boot camp,’ and I chose boot camp. And I’m glad I did now.”
Read More- Military Times
Image courtesy of Everett Historical