Diefenbach, William Charles, Jr., COX

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Coxswain
Last Primary NEC
COX-0000-Coxswain
Last Rating/NEC Group
COX
Primary Unit
1943-1944, COX-0000, USS Rich (DE-695)
Service Years
1942 - 1944
COX-Coxswain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home Country
United States
United States
Year of Birth
1921
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Diefenbach, William Charles, Jr., Cox.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Jun 08, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Other Explosive Device
Location
English Channel
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Normandy, France
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Navy
  1943-1944, COX-0000, USS Rich (DE-695)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Normandy Campaign (1944)/Operation Overlord
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Nov 01, 1943, Promoted to COX
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On June 8, 1944 at approximately 09:20, when USS Rich (DD-695) a mine exploded 50 yd off Rich's starboard beam. This tripped circuit breakers, knocked out the ship's lighting, shook up the ship hard, and knocked sailors off their feet, but caused no structural damage. Within a minute, the engine room reported that they were "ready to answer all bells". Three minutes later, a second mine went off directly under the ship. Approximately 50 ft of her stern was blown off, from frame 130 aft, just aft of the 1.1 in mount in 'X' position. Even though the blown-off stern section caught fire, survivors clung to her wreckage. A third mine — another influence mine — exploded below the ice machine room forward, delivering the final blow two minutes later. The forward section was totally wrecked, the flying bridge demolished, and forward fire room severely damaged, and the mast came crashing down. Life rafts were ordered cut loose, and Rich was ordered abandoned. Several PT boats came alongside Rich to take off personnel. All this time, they were being shelled by German shore batteries. A few minutes later, she sank in about 40 ft of water. Of her crew, 27 were killed, 73 were wounded, and 64 were missing; in all, 91 were killed outright or died of wounds following their rescue. Rich was the only American destroyer escort lost in the invasion force.
   
Comments/Citation

Service number: 6683615
   
 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenWWII Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, World War II Fallen
  2019, WWII Memorial National Registry
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2019, The National Gold Star Family Registry
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