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Serial F-103023 File #EF61


23 October 1942
From: Commander Northern Sea Frontier.
To  : Commander Task Force EIGHT.
Subject: Russian Submarine L16; Loss of.
Enclosure:      (A) Copy of report, above subject, 18 October, 1942.

     1.        There is transmitted herewith a copy of a report, covering the loss of the Russian submarine L16, which was sunk while on passage from Kodiak to San Francisco on 11 October, 1942, in latitude 46° 41' North, and longitude 138° 56' West.

     1.        Transmission of this letter by registered mail is necessary and is authorized.







C. S. FREEMAN        






(SC) Serial 1363 18 October 1942


Subject:       Russian Submarine L16 - loss of.
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     5.        At 1400 Pacific War Time 11 October, the Ll5 sent messages addressed to radio stations on the California Coast an 500 kca and on another wave length assigned to it for communication with Naval radio stations, reporting that the L16 had been sunk. Further investigation of this matter is in progress as no record of such messages has been received in the Frontier.

     6.        The weather was excellent, sea smooth, wind from the southeast two knots, and good surface visibility.

     7.        At the time of the sinking of the L16, a vessel resembling a small size transport proceeding singly on approximately reverse course was in sight approximately 5,00O yards distant to the westward. Immediately after the explosion on the L16 this ship commenced to zigzag, turning away from the submarine and, apparently, increasing speed. This ship must have seen the explosion and the subsequent gunfire from the L15. The identity of this ship in being investigated.

     8.        At 0400 Pacific War Time 11 October, a large ship, estimated 8,0000-ton cargo vessel apparently lightly loaded, proceeding on opposite course, almost rammed the L16, requiring that vessel to maneuver to avoid collision. The identity of this ship is being investigated.

     9.        Mihailoff, Sergei Andreevitch, Chief Photographer, USNR, was embarked on the L16 at the time of her sinking, and undoubtedly was lost with that ship.

     10.       Preliminary investigation indicates that no vessels other than Russian merchsntmen enroute Siberian Ports from San Francisco or Portland could have been in this area. Steps are being taken to definitely identify the surface ship reported as being in the vicinity of the point of sinking.

     11.       It is considered possible that the submarine which torpedoed the CAMDEN on 4 October or the DOHENY on 5 October might have been the vessel vhose transmissions were fixed at approximately 45 degrees 00 minutes North Latitude, and 130 degrees 00 minutes West Latitude, at 0240 Pacific War Time 9 October, and that this ship, if retiring toward Japan, might have been responsible for the sinking of the L16.

     12.       It is felt that little additional information of value will be obtained through a formal investigation. It is accordingly recommended that a Court of Inquiry be not ordered in this matter.

     13.       The transmission of this document by registered mail within the limits of the United States is necessary and is hereby authorized.


National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch
Record Group 181, COM13 Central Subject Files, 1942

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

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