Original German Pre-WWII Kriegsmarine Motor Training Cap from U-652 - Sunk by USS Greer - With Documentation

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Here we have a German Pre-WWII Kriegsmarine enlisted cap, which comes with a pretty incredible U-boat story! The cap itself is fairly standard, and the front has a "propeller" badge indicating that the owner specialized in Ausbildung Kraftfahrzeug - Marine Motor Training. The cap does show wear, as expected from an item that used in the sweaty interior of a U-boat, and later was exposed to seawater.

Per the documentation we received with this cap, it was obtained by Naval Reservist Samuel Kaplan, a sailor aboard the Navy Destroyer USS Greer. On September 4, 1941 the ship was Steaming towards Iceland, on a run to deliver mail to U.S. Marines stationed there. It was under orders not to engage any belligerents, however a torpedo was fired at them, so the Greer headed in the direction it came from and dropped 8 depth charges. They had hit the U-652, and they saw the U-boat surface for a short time, with some sailors escaping before it slid back under the surface, presumably sinking. They later came upon a debris field with several survivors, one of which was wearing this hat.

Included is an original signed letter of provenance from Kaplan where this is detailed, as well as several photocopies. It states that per what was gathered from the rescued sailors, that the U-652 had only a training crew on board the small submarine, mostly reservists.

There is also a printed out copy of the logs of the USS Greer from September 4, 1941, where the encounter with the submarine is officially documented. Also included are printed articles on the USS Greer and other ships involved, where it is clearly noted that U-652 was NOT sunk at that time, and was scuttled off the coast of North Africa on 2 June 1942.

So, here we have an incredible research opportunity, which could possibly change recorded history! Was the cap from a sailor on the U-652? Was the submarine sunk, or did several sailors from the submarine for some reason decide to leave the submarine before it submerged again? Were they possibly from an entirely different submarine not recorded as being in the area?

Whatever the truth is, it's a great cap and a fantastic fully documented story. Ready to research and display!

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