Claudius, Herbert, Sr., CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1961-1963, 111X, Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSC/MSFSC)
Service Years
1930 - 1963
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Rock
Order of the Spanish Main
Order of the Shellback
Panama Canal
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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Claudius, Herbert, Sr., CAPT USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Omaha, Nebraska
Last Address
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot: Corridor of Glory, GM, Holly Terrace,
Lot 0, Space 14434

Date of Passing
Jul 31, 1981
Location of Interment
Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Glendale, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Corridor of Glory, No. 14434

 Official Badges 

Recruiter US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
Scabbard and Blade AssociationNaval Reserve Association
  1963, Scabbard and Blade Association
  1963, Naval Reserve Association

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain Herbert Gordon Claudius, USN (Ret.)
USNR 1930-1946, transfered to USN 1946-1963

Naval officer, Commanding Officer of Coastal Patrol Boat 566 (PC-566, later the USS Honesdale), a sub chaser. He gave orders to launch depth charges on a suspected enemy submarine in the Gulf of Mexico after having just witnessed the sinking of the SS Robert E. Lee. Evidence showed a potential sinking of the submarine by the 566. However, then US Navy officials highly doubted his report. Instead of being praised and revered, LtCdr Claudius was relieved of command and sent to ASW school again. For years, he had this stain on his record.

Seven decades later, wreckage of a German submarine was found in the area indicated by Lt Commander Claudius. With the help of several people, including a marine archeologist surveying the Gulf floor in 2011, & from the underwater archology branch at the Navy History & Heritage Command under director Robert Neyland, and using the most recent data from a 2013 expedition in the Gulf of Mexico lead by Oceanographer, Bob Ballard, he was vindicated!  

In 2014, 72 years later his only surviving son, Gordon Claudius, received posthumously the Legion of Merit with a Combat "V", for Valor while under combat, from the Chief of Naval Operations, Jonathan Greenert, and Sec. Of the Navy Ray Mabus on behalf of his deceased father. Lt. Commander Herbert G. Claudius was correct in his after action report that day and the record is now corrected.

Other Comments:

WASHINGTON - The Navy has posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit with a Combat "V" device to Herbert G. Claudius, 72 years after it dismissed his claims that he and his crew sunk a German U-boat off the coast of Louisiana during World War II.

Captain Herbert G. Claudius, t
hen a Lieutenant Commander, has finally been recognized for his actions on July 30, 1942, when he led the patrol ship USS PC-566 into battle against a German submarine that had been attacking American vessels.

Minutes after the passenger ship SS Robert E. Lee was torpedoed and sunk by U-166 45 miles south of the Mississippi River Delta, Claudius' crew spotted a periscope in the area. After Claudius ordered depth charges fired, the crew saw an oil slick in the area where the weapons were dropped, according to historical accounts of the incident. This was strong evidence that the submarine had been severely damaged or destroyed.

But when Claudius submitted his after-action report, the Navy doubted his account because he and his crew had not yet received anti-submarine training, according to National Geographic, which is making a documentary about the affair.

The Navy's Anti-Submarine Warfare Assessment Committee even admonished the crew for a poorly executed attack, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Claudius was removed from command and sent to anti-submarine warfare school.

"Claudius was shafted," U-boat expert Richie Kohler said, according to National Geographic. "He should have returned home a hero, but he was humiliated and sent back to school."

But the Navy has since come around. Nearly 60 years after the fact, an oil company discovered U-boat wreckage very close to where the battle occurred. Last summer, oceanographer Robert Ballard explored the site with remotely piloted vehicles and conducted high-resolution mapping to try to figure out what happened. The evidence suggested that U-166 had in fact been destroyed by a depth charge.

After concluding its own historic and archeological assessment, the Naval History and Heritage Command recommended the service credit PC-556 and Claudius for sinking the U-boat and give them the appropriate recognition.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus acknowledged that the Navy made a mistake.




USS Floyd B. Parks DD-884
"The Fightin' Floyd B"

Korean War Service, Commander H.G. Claudius
in command from April 1949 to December 1951

First U.N. Counter Offensive 1951: 16-Mar.-51 21-Apr.-51, One Battle Star.
Communist China Spring Offensive1951: 11-Apr.-51 16-May-51, One Battle Star.
U.N.Summer-Fall Offensive 1951: 11-Jul.- 51 22-Sep-5, One Battle Star.

Commander Claudius was awarded the "Legion of Merit" with combat "V" for his command leadership in this activity. While on the PARKS in July, 1951, he was promoted to the rank of Captain.

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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
NROTC (Faculty Staff)Naval Reserve Forces CommandCommander, US Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM)Submarine Chasers (SC)
US NavyNAVFAC Argentia Newfoundland CanadaUSS Floyd B. Parks (DD-884)Commander Navy Reserve Forces Command (COMNAVRESFORCOM)
COMMINEFLOT 1USS Ajax (AR-6)Military Sealift Fleet Support Command  (MSC/MSFSC), Military Sealift Command Headquarters (MSCHQ)Amphibious Squadron Three (COMPHIBRON 3)
Military Sealift Fleet Support Command  (MSC/MSFSC), Military Sealift Command Headquarters (MSCHQ)
  1930-1930, 116X, University of Southern California NROTC (Faculty Staff)
  1930-1940, 111X, Naval Reserve Training Center (USNRTC) Treasure Island, CA
  1940-1942, 111X, Commander, Squadron 1, Patrol Force, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM)
  1942-1942, 111X, Submarine Chasers (SC)
  1943-1943, 111X, USS Chehalis (PG-94)
  1943-1943, 111X, USS Austin (DE-15)
  1944-1945, 112X, USS Runels (DE-793)
  1945-1947, 9420, NAVFAC Argentia Newfoundland Canada
  1947-1949, 111X, NAAS Corvallis, OR
  1949-1951, 111X, USS Floyd B. Parks (DD-884)
  1951-1953, 9420, Naval Reserve Training Center (NRTC) Pasadena, CA
  1954-1955, 114X, COMMINEFLOT 1
  1955-1956, 111X, USS Ajax (AR-6)
  1956-1958, 111X, Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSC/MSFSC)
  1959-1961, 111X, Amphibious Squadron Three (COMPHIBRON 3)
  1961-1963, 111X, Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSC/MSFSC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1950-1951 Korean War
  1951-1951 Korean War/Second Korean Winter (1951-52)
 Colleges Attended 
University of California, Berkeley
  1926-1930, University of California, Berkeley
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Captain Herbert G. Claudius, Sr. 1
  American Steam passenger ship SS Robert E. Lee2
  Jul 30, 1942, USS PC-566
  Jul 01, 1953, Herbert G. Claudius, Legion of Merit with "V", Korean War.
  Dec 19, 2014, Navy admits error, honors World War II captain's bravery in sinking of U-boat1
  Jun 25, 2016, General Photos1
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