This report says hand to hand combat took place when a Destroyer rammed a U-boat.
The very first salvo from 3-inch guns scored a direct hit on the submarineââ‚¬™s forecastle just forward of the conning tower. Prisoners from U-66 stated that this salvo knocked out their deck gun. Thereupon the commanding officer of U-66 gave the order to abandon ship. This order apparently was not carried out immediately for machine gun fire was still directed against the onrushing BUCKLEY.
At 0422 BUCKLEY ceased fire momentarily. A torpedo wake was reported on the starboard bow and the rudder was put over right full. With the submarine again directly up-moon, fire was resumed by BUCKLEY at 0422. Hits from 20-mm. shells were observed on the U-boatââ‚¬™s conning tower. After which all fire from the submarine ceased, except for intermittent short bursts. Although the U-boat continued to maneuver at about 18 knots, range was closed rapidly. Further gunfire from BUCKLEY caused a fire to break out on the U-boatââ‚¬™s bridge, burning with increasing intensity until snuffed out by a direct 3-inch hit.
At 0428 BUCKLEY rammed U-66 riding up on the forecastle of the U-boat and staying there. Personnel from U-66 clambered up onto BUCKLEYââ‚¬™S forecastle with their hands raised. Several of these men were killed by small arms before it was realized they were surrendering. Hand-to-hand engagements took place but fortunately BUCKLEYââ‚¬™S only casualty was a man who bruised his fist knocking one of the enemy over the side.
At 0430 BUCKLEY backed off to avoid being boarded by too many of the enemy.
U-66 drew ahead rapidly to port maintaining a speed of about 18 knots. Intense fire from BUCKLEY raked the U-boat as range was once more closed at flank speed.
At 0435 the U-boat, still making 18 knots, veered sharply towards BUCKLEY. Attempts were made to steer clear but BUCKLEY was struck a glancing blow and the U-boat rode under the forward engine room. This caused U-66 to roll over to an angle of 600 while she slowly drew off with her bow under BUCKLEY on the starboard side.
By 0436 the U-boat was clear of BUCKLEY. Still making about 15 knots she then disappeared under the surface with the conning tower and forward hatches open and fire blazing from them. At 0439 underwater explosions were heard and U-66 was finally destroyed in position 17.17 N. ââ‚¬" 32.29 W.
During the next three hours BUCKLEY picked up 36 survivors, including four officers.