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2 January 1993

Suspending my sense of time that cold October day in ’92 over stormy La Perouse Strait in northern Japan, I was mindful of the drama that unfolded in those waters an October 49 years earlier as WAHOO {SS-238) failed to evade the enemy and was lost. Skipper Mush Morton’s problems that morning when he was spotted by the Japanese reminds one of the Captain Bill Rube tale of the perils CREVALLE endured in Marudu Bay way back when.

I migrated to Japan’s northernmost shore to gather first band details on WAHOO’s loss, partly out of my own curiosity as an avid Space A buff. More importantly though, a Pennsylvania lad, Robert Logue, is among WAHOO’s prisoners there in those turbulent currents where the Okhotsk and Japan seas clash.

Bob was a Fire Controlman FirSt aboard the 238, a younger brother to George E. Logue. Enterprising George, it was, who engineered erection of the WAHOO memorial be and his Lehigh Valley chapter shipmates dedicated this past May 16. And he, too, is all set to make a run this year up to Soya Cape, there on the edge of the small Japanese village of Wakkanai where shore batteries shook up the neighborhood while hurling shells at WAHOO. Jubilant residents, it is said, watched the fireworks around 9 a.m. that finished her off.

Space A took me as far north in Japan as Misawa on Tsugaru Strait in Northern Honshu. An overnight train ride saw me in Wakkanai the morning of October 23, looking for a place to hang my haL After two or three room inquiries I was fortunate to select the Grand Hotel. The manager spoke English. Awed by my search for WAHOO data, be directed me to the coffee shop in his hotel with instructions not to move. With that, he got on the phone and alerted, it turned out, the entire City Hall, and the press. I overheard the English word WAHOO and knew that I was onto something.

Directly the manager, Mr. Izumi, asked me to join him, giving me no time to finish my coffee. At City Hall the press was at the ready, along with Mr. Shinichi Shibata, a man who rode Japanese Repair Ship #18. His ship, along with Nippon warships, two submarines, aircraft and shore batteries sent the spirited Morton and his warriors to the bottom. NHK TV news taped us too.

A history book I reviewed at City Hall between interviews carried the 1943 WAHOO attack story– in Japanese. It pretty much reflected Shibata’s words. Our own Ted Roscoe’s book on WWII submarine operations is mentioned. The book credits Shibata’s #18, two 1-type submarines, Japanese Army Air Troop #38, Naval Air Troop #701 and shore batteries with participation in the attack.

Choking back tears, Mr. Shibata, owner of a print shop in town, at one and the same time felt grief over that attack, and stressed that this was one of the most exciting experiences the Japanese Defense Troops had since founding of the Japanese military. After this incident, he said, the shaken residents were glad for the relative quiet that settled over Wakkanai.

Together we toured the famous lookout tower atop Cape Soya where the call ..enemy submarine.. was first sounded. The repair ship sailor who himself had earlier served aboard submarines, pointed northeast out into the Strait where WAHOO went down. That puts the boat in about 20 fathoms of water, half way between the Cape and Sakhalin Island and about 12 miles off shore.

Storm, wind, cold and rain greeted us that day as Shibata reminisced over the day WAHOO was lost. Back then it had been clear, the Strait calm. And grim verification was at hand. That day at about 2 p.m., as the ships circled on station, a huge volume of oil boiled to the surface- WAHOO’s last gasp.

So ended valiant Dudley W. Morton’s career as the one-submarine-wolfpack skipper, as well as the callings of young Williamsport, Pennsylvania native, Robert B. Logue and 78 others.

Martin F. Schaffer


3 February 1993

Congratulations on another fine issue of the REVIEW. The article by Captain John F. O’Connell on submarine liaison officers for carrier group staffs triggered a memory from the past that will illustrate how far things have advanced since 1950.

That was a year when the spirits of the Navy were at a low ebb. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson and Secretary of the Navy Matthews were determined to cut expenses to the bone, and planned to eliminate 50,000 officers from the Navy alone, if memory serves me right. Having applied to transfer from the line to Engineering Duty, on 15 June of that year, I was detached from the SEA CAT (SS-399) and ordered to the escort aircraft carrier PALAU (CVE-122) pending action on my application. Ten days later the Korean War broke out, so by the time I reported on board my new ship at Norfolk things were in a state of turmoil.

The PALAU, however, was kept in the Atlantic to train aviators and work with anti-submarine groups for the eleven months I spent aboard as Electronic Repair Officer. At that time escort carriers had a collateral billet for a Submarine Boarding Officer, the legacy of Dan Gallery’s capture of the U-505 on 4 June 1944. Naturally, I inherited this position.

There was a practice boarding operation in the standard exercise book, so in due course an exercise was scheduled with one of the fleet boats out of Norfolk, whose name I have completely forgotten. Along with a party of about half a dozen men, one or two of whom may have been on a submarine previously, I climbed down into the ship’s motor whaleboat and we clambered aboard the submarine, an unconverted fleet boat, that was lying-to in a placid sea. All I can recall about the exercise was stopping in the wardroom for a chat with the commanding officer and a cup of coffee, while the enlisted men socialized with the crew in the after battery. After a short visit we reboarded our whaleboat and returned victorious to the carrier. No doubt I wrote up a report and we got credit for completing the exercise. Of one thing I am sure: I did not get submarine pay for my brief duty on the boat!

Notes on some other subjects.

Footnote to RADM Rindskoprs “Vignette from U-Boat History.” Among other things, The U-Boat War in the Atlantic 1939-1945, released by the British Ministry of Defence (Navy) in 1989, has this to say about the German torpedo failures: “…

on 20th April (1940) Raeder appointed a special committee of investigation with officers of the U-Boat Command and representatives of the Torpedo Inspectorate… . The findings of the committee, together with the results of other enquiries, led to the court martialling of several members of the Torpedo Experimental Command and of some officials, who between 1936 and 1939 had been in charge of torpedo development” [Underlining added for emphasis!]

A useful first-hand account of Japanese submarine opera-tions in WWII that seems to have received little recognition: Orita, Zenji with Joseph D. Harrington. 1-Boat Captain. Canoga Park, CA: Major Books, 1976. ISBN 0-89041-103-4 (paperback).

Finally, there is no excuse for the repeated misuse of the name MERRIMAC for the ship that fought the MONITOR; it was the CSS VIRGINIA, ex~USS MERRIMACK. Tsk, tsk.

Best regards,
John D. Alden
CDR, USN(Ret.)


February 4, 1993

In his article, ·snence is Not Golden” (THE SUBMARINE REVIEW, January 1993), LCDR Michael Baumgartner neglected to mention one successful organization dedicated to educating the public about the U.S. Submarine Force: The NAUTILUS Memorial/Submarine Force Ltbrary & Museum. Located adjacent to the main gate of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, the NAUTILUS Memorial is a federal institution and the Navy’s official submarine museum. The site includes both the submarine NAUTILUS (SSN-571), now open to the public for visitation, as well as an award-winning museum. Since it opened in 1986, the NAUTILUS memorial has attracted almost 2,000,000 visitors; 1992 visitation was 285,000.

Other private, non-profit museums around the country, such as the USS BOWFIN Submarine Museum and Park in Honolulu, USS ALBACORE at the Portsmouth (NH) Subma-rine Memorial Association, and the numerous WWII fleet boats preserved across the nation also contribute to informing the public about the importance of submarines to the United States.


William Galvani
NAUTILUS Memorial Submarine Force Library & Museum


1 February 1993


I have just learned of the NSL from a former submariner and friend of mine.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 9, 1934, and was discharged as a Seaman First Class on August 16, 1938. I was stationed at the Sub Base, New London, Cf, on USS HOLLAND, USS DOLPHIN (D-1) and USS PERCH (P-5).

While serving on the DOLPHIN, a popular movie was made on board, by Warner Movies Corp. “The Submarine D-1” — starred George Brent, Pat O’Brien, Frank McHugh and Gloria Dixon. It meant a lot of extra duty for the crew; however, they gave us an outstanding party at the Elks Oub in San Diego when the movie was finished.

While on PERCH, we made an interesting cruise to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. We ran into a rough storm (Willie Waw) and much of our super structure deck was destroyed. The Com-manding Officer was Rear Admiral, USN C. C. Crawford, nicknamed Turkey Neck, I believe; an outstanding officer and gentleman.

I have a small amount of interesting photos of those days, to share if returned, of movie stars while on D-1 etc.

I am sending along $20.00 contribution.

I regret to have to tell you that I am suffering from advanced lung cancer, but I’m no quitter, and had a great career as a locomotive RR. engineer for 35 years. Plus, later, 12 years in law enforcement. I ran some important trains. My Navy training served me well. I’m grateful.

I will welcome any communication from anyone who might remember me, and trust that I be able to respond.

I congratulate and thank you for what you are doing.

John Vernon (Pete) Foster
1019 S. Dogwood Drive
Harrisonburg, VA  22801-1617


January 22, 1993

The October 1992 issue was first rate and the January 1993 looks as good or better. I have a couple of comments. Frrst, there was a couple of printer’s errors in the chart on page 37 that accompanied my January Submarine Combat Systems article. The MK 113 was installed on the SSN-594 class and all SSBNs up to Trident; 688 and 637 are transposed in the MK 117 column; and it should be the 688 class vice the 6881 class in the same column.

The other comment is on John Will’s excellent review of Dr. Gary Weir’s Buildin~ American Submarines 1914-1940. Lesson 3 might include the comment that 40 odd S class submarines were built as result of a flawed mission requirement. These boats were practically useless in WW ll because of operating range and habitability. The resulting question is very cogent to today’s situation. Will we build a new class of submarines that will not be able to meet tomorrow’s mission requirements?

Keep up the good work.

Naval Submarine League

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