Destroyer Escort Slater - Hedgehog Anti Submarine Mortar
Bill Maloney

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01 Hedgehog Anti Submarine Mortar Projector 02 Hedgehogs 03 Hedgehogs

USS Slater DE-766

Mk 10 Hedgehog Anti Submarine Mortar Projector:

Number of Projector Charges: 24 Mk 6 Rounds
Shell Diameter : 7.2 inches
Shell Length: 3 feet 10.5 inches
Shell Weight:
Warhead: 30lbs TNT or 35lbs Torpex
Shell Type: Contact, High Explosive
Horizontal Range : 200yds
Sink Rate: 24 fps
Pattern: Oval 140' X 120'
Firing Order: Ripple in pairs, one each 0.10 seconds, 2.4 seconds to fire all 24 charges
Reload Time: 3 minutes
Entered US Service: 1942

The hedgehogs are an anti-submarine mortar launcher. When the ship contacted a submerged submarine using sonar, the boat would be steered towards the sub's position. When the submarine was directly ahead the hedgehogs would be fired, landing in an oval grid pattern and sinking straight down at 24 feet per second, arming after reaching a depth of 15 feet. If one contacted a submarine, all would go off together. If not, then there would be no explosion and the sonar contact with the sub would not be broken as it would be when using depth charges.

My father served aboard the Destroyer Escort USS Bangust during WWII. On one day the DE contacted a Japanese submarine and commenced a hedgehog run using sonar to pinpoint the sub's location. The hedgehogs were launched and when the Bangust was directly overhead they all went off. My dad was serving in the engine room and remembered being knocked off his feet by the effect of the blast. The sub was a confirmed kill.

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