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New WWII POW book


lenp

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I just finished proof reading a manuscript written by a friend (now deceased) who was a submariner captured by the Japanese in 1942. He tells about his life aboard two different diesel boats prior to being sunk near Malaysia and then his years in prison camps. Plus it talks about his struggle with VA in getting assistance and compensation for the damages done to him as a POW.

His wife decided to share his story via this Amazon kindle book that was released today. I DO have a horse in this race (so to speak) as she has agreed the profits (after publisher fees - which are minimal) will go to our local VFW post 12141.

 

Regardless of my "horse" in the race - it is an interesting read and a story that should be recorded for history. Of course I am a little biased as I knew the man personally.

 

If you interested just go to Amazon and search for "Just Get Through the Day'

 

Lenp

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Sounds like an interesting story. There was only one submarine crew who were captured by the Japanese and I served with one of them, or I should say, under one of them. The officer in charge of my first Navy tech school, at the time a warrant officer had been a part of that crew and was nearing his retirement. As I recall he was pretty much a permanent fixture on NTC, San Diego for as long as he wished.

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According to my research -

 

"Over the course of World War II, the United States lost a total of 52 submarines, about one-quarter of the fleet. One hundred ninety-six men from seven boats were taken prisoner; 158 of them survived until the war’s end"

 

There was also submariners from our allies who were taken prisoner.

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According to my research -

 

"Over the course of World War II, the United States lost a total of 52 submarines, about one-quarter of the fleet. One hundred ninety-six men from seven boats were taken prisoner; 158 of them survived until the war’s end"

Where did you find that information? I am sure that in the sub service we were told that only one boat had the crew recovered and captured, but I'm not sure where that came from either. It may be that only one had the entire crew captured, as did the Grenadier. Most boats go down with all hands. I was long after the end of the war but was fortunate enough to have served with the last of them who stayed in to retire. None of those I was shipmate with had the POW experience, but most didn't talk a lot of their war patrol experiences. It has been too long ago for me to remember any of the boats the people I came into contact with served on. The story of the Grenadier can be found on SubPac WWII website and another at Sinking of the Grenadier via a pdf document.

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Here's a total detail of all the subs lost and their crew. http://www.caseyspm.com/images/cpm.AcrobatDownloads/WWII.pdf

Thanks Casey. I used to have a listing of boats lost but it didn't have the crew information so I just saved a new one. This whole discussion has made me realize just how long it has been since I did much reading about those guys and what they did. When I was in and we were on cold war patrols we sometimes talked about the kind of people those sub sailors had to have been to go back out over and over each time knowing that they might not return. I don't think that it was well known the kind of treatment the once captured got from the Japanese until after the war, but just knowing that each time you returned you would hear of more of your friends lost............. The stores that I have read of boats being sunk by torpedoes that they launched at an enemy are what really is hard to swallow. Those captains used to hold their breath every attack and some even began to take evasive actions as soon as a torpedo firing was completed.

 

A neighbor where I live now (passed away last year) once told me how late in the war it got so hard to find shipping to attack that they used to fill the bow locker of the boat with concrete to use as a ram and just run over the wooden fishing boats along the coast and save ammunition.

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I was stationed in Groton, Conn. at the Electric Boat Works in the late 50's and I was able to see many of the subs coming and going. I met some of the crew on the Triton series and was invited aboard one being built. I was suprised at the lack formality between the crew members. For instance the captain was referred to by first name etc. Best of food and liberty ports. Good duty for sure. :rolleyes:

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You were there before me. I went though sub school there in spring of 1962, then returned to serve on the SSBN 600 from July of 63 through June of 65. We took the boat into EB for overhaul at that point and I transferred to the SSBN 624 in Charleston. Did you work at EB as a civilian or were you there in some capacity as a sailor?

 

You are correct about familiarity of officers and crew, although with the bigger, nuclear subs it isn't quite the same as it used to be, even when I was in during the 60's. Bigger boats with bigger crews, so a bit more formality. Part of the reason is that seniority on a sub is based upon what you are qualified on so there are times that a junior officer is training under an enlisted man. When off crew, Pam & I socialized a lot with the last division officer that I worked for. Our wives were close friends and we were shipmates. Our captain at the time was the last remaining CO to have made a submarine war patrol in WWII and his was only one and as an enlisted man. We called him Capt. Buck, and is name was Buck Dietzen, later Admiral Dietzen.

 

My only direct contact with the crews of today came via a tour of the Kentucky with my son's scout troop so can't be sure but it did seem to be nearly as relaxed as we were but it is hard to know from a simple tour. I was thrilled with the way I was treated when they realized that I was a "Cold War" veteran. The OOD and the chief of the boat(COB) even saluted me as I left the ship! :D

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My first assignment in the Navy was to Gitmo, Cuba reporting to a floating drydock (AFDL-47). The dry dock was later sold to EB to refurbish submarines. A sea going tug towed us up to Groton via a long cable (21 days) and one hurricane. I stayed there about a month until I was reassigned to Norfolk aboard the USS Amphion(AR-13). This was a repair ship that very seldom went to sea.

 

P. S. I just ordered the above book for my Kindle from Amazon.com for $3.99. So pls. don't get offended for getting off subject.

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You were there before me. I went though sub school there in spring of 1962, then returned to serve on the SSBN 600 from July of 63 through June of 65. We took the boat into EB for overhaul at that point and I transferred to the SSBN 624 in Charleston. Did you work at EB as a civilian or were you there in some capacity as a sailor?

 

You are correct about familiarity of officers and crew, although with the bigger, nuclear subs it isn't quite the same as it used to be, even when I was in during the 60's. Bigger boats with bigger crews, so a bit more formality. Part of the reason is that seniority on a sub is based upon what you are qualified on so there are times that a junior officer is training under an enlisted man. When off crew, Pam & I socialized a lot with the last division officer that I worked for. Our wives were close friends and we were shipmates. Our captain at the time was the last remaining CO to have made a submarine war patrol in WWII and his was only one and as an enlisted man. We called him Capt. Buck, and is name was Buck Dietzen, later Admiral Dietzen.

 

My only direct contact with the crews of today came via a tour of the Kentucky with my son's scout troop so can't be sure but it did seem to be nearl

. I was thrilled with the way I was treated when they realized that I was a "Cold War" veteran. The OOD and the chief of the boat(COB) even saluted me as I left the ship! :D

Yup, I get that same treatment everytime I pass a Naval Base.

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