POW Survivor Tales and Robert Bennet Diary
by Robert Bennet

USS Pampanito WW II crew member Bob Bennet kept a remarkable personal notebook during the war. In it, he included 9 of the stories he transcribed from the POW's that were rescued during Pampanito's third war patrol while the boat was heading to safety. In addition, he kept a personal log of his entire wartime experience. This was written during the war and does not appear to have been edited postwar.

The document was scanned and transcribed in Dec 2010. Where it seemed clear spelling has been corrected, where ambiguous the typos have been left in. Text in { xxx } was hand written and subject to more errors in transcription. Names have not been correlated with the war patrol reports and crew musters, this would allow correcting the spelling. Esp. in the hand written sections.


K.L. Reulou's Tale
H.G. Barker's Tale
H.C. Chivers's Tale
D.W. Cunneen's Tale
A. J. Cocking's Tale
R. C. Miscamble's Tale
C. Anderson's Tale
J.F.A. Browne's Tale
C.L. Farlow's Tale
J.O. Smith's Tale
R. Bullock's Tale
C.A. Perry's Tale

R. Bennet Diary








A story from a prisoner of war from the time I was taken till the time I was released by the crew of the good sub PAMPANITO and the effect that I shall never forget.

I shall try to explain factors clear as possible and won't write anything unless I am sure of it. With my own eyes on the 1st of Feb. 1942, I left the middle east on a British troop ship Orcades after serving eight months in Syria. Five weeks of action against the French. When I left I thought we were going to Singapore but but that was to be instead we pulled into Dutch Java. Well, to cut a long story short, we had no hope against the Japanese, and we could not escape from this place. I only fought against them for four days and then I was taken by the yellow dogs. I spent eight months as a prisoner in Java, working at the docks and numerous places. Treatment was fair but food very poor, rice three times a day with a little soup.

In October, 1942, we were taken to Burma for the construction of the Burma-Thailand Railway and there our real trouble began. What I write now is the gospel truth although many would never believe it. Well, my first camp was about thirty miles from Maulmein, and there we worked from November till April the wet season starts and with it comes malaria, cholera, and other diseases as well. I found my self fighting fever after several weeks of this and men began to die. We had very little medical supplies to fight these dreaded diseases, but we were told by the Japanese that the line must still go on over dead men's bodies and so it did. As sections of the lines was completed we were shifted from camp to camp about five kilos apart. On reaching the 60 kilo camp we met a horrible sight. There were a few natives working there and they were dying with small pox. Some were only half buried and some were lying about dead. Well, we did our best to clean up and live at this camp but there was one thing we were given, inoculations. But they never stopped some of the men from dying with cholera. This period was in June 1943. By this time our bodies were lacking nutrition but we still had to work, many men lost legs and arms through tropical ulcers. Luckily we had a very clever surgeon, Colonel Cales, who did most of these amputations.


Can you imagine such a place,-- dense jungle infested by mosquitoes and other pests and as we moved from one camp to another, the quick undergrowth covered the graves of our dead comrades. Escape was impossible owing to the jungle some tried it but met their fate. Well it was up to every man to fight for his own life as best be could, so if any chances came we would thieve from the Japs. If caught you were severely punished, severe bashing was their favorite past-time. We were paid 25 cents a day money being nearly valueless. Many of the natives would not take it in exchange for goods but they would take exchange for goods but they would take clothes and if had them to spare you could get bananas and such like, but very seldom we got an issue from the Japs because they were aware of our game. Day by day we battled on but still nothing improved. Then a bit of bad luck came another way. The Japs had a supply depot at a place called Tambazat it was bombed by our own planes killing about thirty of our sick men. Later it was evacuated. Well, September found me at the 105 Kilo camp still going strong but only just. The line by this time was well on its way although the cost of life was great. You see, they were building the line on the Thailand side to link up with those on the Burma side and the completion of the line was to finish in November, which like it did. Well, I stayed at Kilo camp because I was to ill to go any farther. My worst complaint was from beri-beri from which I nearly died. Drowned is the right word. The body fills up with a fluid and finally floods the heart if not stopped.

At last the line was finished and so was nearly all of us. On Christmas Day I had rice and radish and water for dinner. Oh boy, what a feed then. On the first of January, 1944, we were taken to Thailand for a rest to a place that was much better. We could get a few eggs, fruit, and were getting vegetables on the side but the fittest of us still had to work. Well I didn't do to bad there; built up the frame a bit. We then received the news that we were to go to Japan, catching a boat in Saigon, Indo-China. So away we went to Saigon and instead of going to Japan we stayed there. Reasons I don't know. Remained at Saigon for three months and had a fair time of it. French was very good to us. Supposed to be Vichy but only to the Japs.


Can't blame them. We then left for Singapore, a hell of a journey, also intentions to go to Japan. Arriving there we went to work on the docks for six weeks. Conditions in Singapore were very bad. Food shortage regular and bad times. One little thing I forgot to mention while we were at Saigon was that our camp was built about fifty yards from a wharf and one night a couple of planes came over and dropped a few eggs missing us by about 100 yards. No one was hurt. A bit of good luck for once. Well on the fatal day of the 4th of September, 1944 we boarded a Jap convoy bound for Japan with little hope of reaching there. But miracles do happen but not this time. There was thirteen hundred prisoners aboard the ship I was on and six hundred on another. Four A.M. on the morning of the 12th the fireworks started. One of the escorts (a cruiser) went to the bottom and later in the morning, in less than two hours our ship received two torpedoes. There seemed to be ships ablaze everywhere. Well, I must say this about the lads. There was no panic and by the way, our ship did not catch ablaze which was a good thing. She finally sank that evening. Well the Japs on the boat beat it in rowing boats and I found myself in the water. The only queer sensation was the depth charges exploding, but they were too far away to do any damage. By the end of the day the Japs were picked up by two gunboats and they left us to perish which we fully expected. For three nights and four days I was afloat on the open sea with no water or food, covered with oil and a singlet on. We were many miles from land and it looked like the end. There was about a dozen of us on four or five rafts drifting about wherever the current like to take us. On the fourth day we all began to go a bit dippy. Some more that others and in our little party two threw themselves over. They had been drinking sea water. That afternoon between four and five the marvelous and wonderful thing happened. A submarine was making straight for us but we did not know to whom it belonged. My eyes were paining with oil and I could not see so clearly but when it was right opposite I saw a couple of men with machine guns pointing them at us. I didn't care because it would have been a quicker way out and believe me they looked tough, but instead of lead we got a


rope and was taken aboard. Can you imagine the shock we got?

Water, tomato soup and crackers, and the Lord only knows what for our first reviver, Some thing that we never had in two and a half years and since then we lived like lords. There was seventy three survivors taken aboard. Well, I don't know how to put my feelings into words but may God bless the Captain and the crew far the wonderful job they did in saving our lives and looking after us. There is not a man that will forget it. I now look forward to a rest a later going home to Aussie and joining some battalion and start where I left off if time permits. I hope that a lot more of my comrades was picked up but those who weren't may their souls rest in peace. I am a poor writer and my eyes are sour so I must finish my little story.

% City Gate Shore
Deakin Ave.
Victoria, Australia.




On 29th October, 1941 the 18th Division left Liverpool, England for convoy to the East. I was one of the guys in an Infantry Battalion in 54 Brigade, 18th Division.

We left on a foggy morning, sorry to see the coast fade away in the distance. It was au revoir to dear old England. Soon was riding over the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. On November 9th we arrived in Halifax. Transferred to American ships West Point, Wakefield, Mt. Vernon, Leonard Wood, and another smaller transport. Left for Trinidad, West Indies, November 11th, 1941. Left Bombay, India January 18th, 1942 for Singapore, arrived Singapore January 27, 1942. Japanese troops had already taken most of Malaya. We were put in first line of defense on Feb. 3, 1942. We were already for them. All through the night heavy guns pounded the coast, some falling a short 200 yards ahead of us. At dawn they halted. Reported to have killed thousands of Japanese troops, but they had gained enough coast on the west side to get their mortars into action against our defense lines.

We were under mortar fire for two hours of continuous barrage. Ahead of our lines Bren gun carriers were maneuvering for positions to attack these mortars but had to return owing to aircraft machine-gunning and bombing the roads and area around.

My platoon (mortar) was ordered to action at 7:00 o'clock. The first one silenced a nest of Jap mortars almost at once so we waited for a while. Suddenly our section patrols appeared with several men short, telling us a battalion of Japs were only a few hundred yards from our positions. We had orders to pick up and withdraw but our section commander asked for one mortar to stay in position. We volunteered. I was given a tommy gun with six other pals one each, and to go forward positions to cover mortar if they had to withdraw. Suddenly there was a crash behind us. We threw ourselves down, hiking back to where it came from and there was nothing left of the mortar or the two operators. It was the first casualties but not the last for out of the sky they came; mortar upon mortar shells, crashing


and whining down upon the platoon withdrawing. Every mortar of the platoon was smashed, parts lying all around along the road side, and our mortar shells were exploding with deadly shrapnel flying amongst us. 18 men were killed and 10 wounded. It was a hopeless scene. We were the only six left and the section commander, owing to the fact that we were down flat.

We waited there until the Jap mortars halted their firing and then ran for the deep drains by the roadside. The Japs must have used at least twenty mortars. On the way up to our lines that was the start of the hell on earth. We had nothing but tommy guns left. Only four of them between us. But we had to stay in our positions with not a hope of getting a chance to get the Jap mortars smashed and save the rifle companies the deadly murder in these lines.

The orders we got then was to stay on. The mortars would be here soon. We stayed only to find next morning no troops or patrols to be seen or found. Our support in the war was all wiped out by the hell on earth of the Jap mortars all night. Our commander ordered us to withdraw to the main road (namely Bukit Tina) to Singapore City. We knew our defenses were only the rifles and Bren guns, hopeless against the amount of mortars the Japs had. Hoping the rear mortar platoons could hold back the Japs we retired along the main road, only to find the whole battalion was leaving too. That was the start of our defense line breaking up. What a hell of a mess it was. Japs broke them everywhere. Snipers, mortars, gunners and dive bombers raised the area for miles. We lost a hell of a lot of men there in a few hours. Nothing could hold them back. Everywhere we turned men were falling killed and wounded by this awful barrage from all around.

As suddenly as it started, it ceased. All was deadly silent. Our ears were ringing and our eyes were smarting from the gas of the explosives. Fellows could be heard groaning and shouting way back for help. The stretcher bearers were running back and forward. When I came to my senses properly, carrying back smashed bodies that were alive but could never be made whole again.

Signalers could be seen fixing the field radio, trying to get communication with the rifle company, officers were giving orders to them but not a sound could they get from their head phones to assure them of any help, for we got the


order by signal from them to run for it to our right into the rubber forests. I don't remember much of that mad dash for what we thought would be cover.

I came to my senses in a dugout in a quarry, a continuous crashing of mortars was going all around. I could see the earth flying towards the sky where the rifle companies were in position, or they were originally supposed to be. Suddenly I saw a group of figures running, bent double almost toward our dugout. We could wee they were rifle men battalion runners. Two only got through, the other three were smashed to pieces by a mortar that crashed above them on an overhanging rock. The two fell through the top of our dugout at our feet OK but shaken. They told us we were surrounded by Japs. Cut off from the rest, we stayed in the dugout for three days not daring to move for each time bullets would smash the rock above our heads if we did.

The night of Feb. 13th we made for the road again, knowing we were inside enemy lines, dreading each moment that out of the darkness would come the rattle of machine guns and maybe death for some of us. We got safely to the trenches by the roadside and threw ourselves in --waited-- then crawled along like cats on our bellies for mile upon mile, leaping over obstacles in our way, when ahead of us mortars suddenly started crashing on the road and ditches, blinding us with flashes. For another half hour they crashed all around us, shrapnel whining and rattling down on us. It was the worst experience I had in action, it was only God's mercy that I wasn't hit by it, these red hot jagged pieces of steel.

It ceased again, this crashing and whining. Deadly silence hung over us. We heaved our bodies cramped and shaken. The sight was terrible ahead of us few that were together. On the road was smashed arms, bits of bodies, and deep holes that reeked with fumes of explosives, choking us and smarting our eyes almost to blind ness.

We laid down again dreading the daylight that was becoming closer every minute when our ears caught the sound of motor engines coming down the road which ran above us. We waited not daring to move. It came into sight,-- a Bren Carrier, with its body torn and holed by shrapnel. It was one of our own.


By the division sign on its gun cabers as its body came along side misfiring and knocking, we saw one of our boys was driving it recognized his tortured looking face. We all clambered up the bank and gave him a yell to stop. He pulled up the bank, thank God, we climbed aboard and away we tore down the road. Praying, I was that we could get back to our HQ which was the other side of Bukit Tinah Race course. How we got there was a miracle. We were fired upon by guns at the road barrier held by Japs. We saw them throwing themselves down behind their machine guns. They must have been poor shots for not one hit us as we roared past them olling through slots in the side of the roving truck. What a chance it was. We yelled as the Bren gunner on my right side fired. We saw the first two Japs throw their arms up and fall as his bullets hit them they banished from our sight. As we turned a bend we got through to HQ and found our boys had lost lots of mates getting back to safety from those deadly mortars, out of range and sight.

We were given food and tea. Then our section commander told us how grave the situation was on all the front lines. Mortars had killed and wounded hundreds. It was impossible to hold a front line without re-enforcement and there was no re-enforcements as hundreds were surrounded by the Japs. We waited in dugouts for further orders from Division Headquarters. It was a lot different to anything we expected, although things were critical.

The orders were to lay down our arms.

I remember only too well the first thought that came to my head, it was all over; I was safe; alive. We must all have thought very much the same tiling. None of us could speak, it couldn't be true but it was. I'll never forget the look upon our Colonel's face when he told us we were beaten. Tears were running down his face and he turned, away, waving us in to the position we were to go in to give ourselves over to these little yellow bastards that were to be seen ahead of us with their guns aiming at us.

They waited until we were all lined up. Then each man was searched by a Jap soldier. They took our watches, rings and anything of any value and then the officers, (Jap) gave us orders to the effect that we would be treated as


prisoners and warned us to obey all orders or we would be shot. They also told us that the conditions of surrender were still in the early stages. Governor General Percival and all the GHQ, of the British and Australian Forces were in conference at the For Motor Works at Bukat Tinah and if conditions were agreed to by the Japanese we would be treated well. All their orders were agreed to by Governor General Percibaland the result we were prisoners of war of the Japanese. Later we learned that "Slaves" would have been a much more appropriate word to have used.

Thanks to the crew and officers of the USS PAMPANITO we are free again after two and a half years of misery and slavery and we realize that this war will soon be over to the advantage of the USA, BRITAIN, RUSSIA, CHINA and the UNITED NATIONS.

Diss, Norfolk, England.



Once again I will take this opportunity of thanking all members of this wonderful submarine PAMPANITO for saving me from that terrible experience of being sunk at sea and being left in the water by the Japanese. After being in the water for three and a half days, you can imagine the relief to find ourselves free men again. After being prisoners of war for two and a half years. I was taken prisoner after coming back from the middle east to Java where we done very little fighting before the capitulation. Then our life of hell started under the Japanese, the date being March 9, 1942. After seven months in Java we were shifted to Singapore and then to Bursa where we set to work on the Burma-Thailand Railway. Things gradually became harder and harder as we went along. Food, apart from rice being very scarce and practically unprocurable. Then the wet weather started. It was then that our comrades began to die in large numbers. Mainly through malnutrition, fever, beri-beri, and generally starved to death. We were going out working on the line for 16 hours a day at this stage and never knew when our meals would arrive. The men started getting tropical ulcers which were one of the most terrible things I have ever seen. Medical supplies were practically nil and all they could do to dress them was salt pads. I never thought I would hear men ask doctors to take their legs off but it was an everyday occurrence then. It being the only relief from the terrible ulcers. By this time the line was just about complete and then they started moving all prisoners out of the jungle through Thailand where the Japs built a memorial for all deceased along the line. The official figures placed on the memorial were Burmese Thailand natives 40,000, British troops ( including Australians, Americans, Dutch, and English) 19,000, and Japanese 1,600. Making a total of 60,600 which is a lot of mens lives to be lost in just over 14 months work. In Thailand we did get better food. We received plenty of greens, eggs, small quantities of beef and pork and the ones that survived the jungle picked up pretty well. Some of us were fortunate enough to be in Christmas Day 1942. The poor


devils back in the jungle had radish water and rice for Christmas so we were fortunate. After being in Thailand for approximately three months the Japs decided to take some of us to Japan. After few days preparation we set about moving through Thailand to French Indo China to Saigon. There we found things to be very good. Plenty of food here also plenty of work but we were looked after much better. We gradually became convinced that they could not move us to Japan from here. They then told us we would move overland to Singapore and go from there so we had a fair idea that the blockade was pretty hard to penetrate. We were twelve days in the train coming down to Saigon to Singapore and think we were still rattling for a week after. When we arrived back in Singapore it still looked as if we would never go to Japan as 1000 men were sent to work on the new dock the Nips were making there. Things back in Singapore were very hard. Rice issue per day was 350 grams per day and we had been getting 750 grams per day. Food queues here were being slept on by the civilian population. The first time we had seen any of that. After being here for about seven weeks there was a scatter we were really going to Japan. We did not feel to happy about it either. We knew that convoy after convoy had had a go at getting through and not too many had made the trip. Five days after leaving Singapore on the morning of the 12th of September 1944 things began to happen with a rush. Two oil tankers were on fire after being hit by torpedoes and another merchant vessel was ablaze. This was approximately 0530. Earlier in the night a couple of escort vessels went down from torpedoes. Then we were hit and our boat started to sink. Luckily we had life jackets and we threw all the rafts over the side and hung onto them. We watched the boats and tankers going down all around us and it was very good to see them go. We did not know that the Nips would not pick us up then, though; a small corvette (Shidori) patrolled around the area all day and was later re-enforced by another. They were the only vessels we saw out of our convoy. The convoy consisted of three escort vessels (1 light cruiser), two oil tankers and six merchant vessels that I know of. The two corvettes (Shidoris) picked up most of the Japs that were in the life boats.


If any British or Australians were with them they were left in the boats and not taken onto the corvettes. Around dusk another merchant vessel came along and then disappeared aver the horizon. We realized then that it was a case of getting out of it the best way possible. We made eight or nine rafts fast to one another and sat on these all night, half in and half out of the water. Then daylight arrived we decided the best thing to do was make a pretty substantial raft and head for the China Coast little realizing it was over 200 miles. We made a few paddles out of fish cases and started rowing with these, approximately 18 inched long and three or four inches wide. We had no water but a few cases of dried fish we were towing. These were absolutely useless as we were so dry we could not swallow them and they were soaked with salt water. We rowed during the days and tried to sleep at night but more often than not you would fall asleep and fall into the water. By this time there were quite a few of the boys taking to salt water. When they started drinking that stuff I knew it would not be long before they would not be with us. We looked after them as much as possible but they would get away off the raft and our strength was failing too fast to keep swimming after them and dragging them back to the raft. Some of the boys gave up very easily as they were weak with fever and not in condition to go through with it. We were keeping lookouts all the time for vessels but up till this time we had not sighted a thing. We had given up rowing by this time as we were not making any progress. Debris was keeping up with us all the time so we were just keeping look outs. We kept saying while there is life there is hope and we done quite a lot of praying for something to come along. It is a terrible experience to be floating around on water all the time and knowing if you drink it you will go crazy. Unless you have been through it you can't realize how it is. Then we sighted this wonderful submarine PAMPANITO but did not know who it was until we were helped on board by the men. My words were "Thank God for the Americans". It was heaven to get out are the water and know we were amongst friends after being prisoners of war for two and a half years. We were in the water three and a half days which is a long time.


As I lay here on this bunk on the sub I can not get over the way in which the chaps are looking after us. When we first came on board we were covered with fuel oil all over our bodies and the chaps looked after us like nobody's business. We had had nothing of any favors to speak of for two and a half years and the soups and things we have had here kicked all the boys along, wonderfully. Now they are gradually talking us up to a little solid diet and I think all the boys will be fighting fit after a short convalescent off here. We had nearly 31000 rice meals one after the other so you can imagine how we feel getting back to civilization again. Tomorrow we will say farewell to the good old PAMPANITO and it will be like parting with a very good friend. I can not say enough in words to show our appreciation for the way they saved us and saved our lives and have looked after us since picking us up. Here is hoping to see you some day in Melbourne where we can hold a real decent celebration.

VX 26628 2/2 Pioneer AIF

185 Rosslyn St.
West Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

ADDITIONAL STORY; When writing up my travel with the Nips I never mentioned the way in which the Nips tried in every way possible to break our spirit. For a start they decided they would discipline us and we wouldn't take any notice to them. They issued orders to all ranks that the mighty Nippon soldier would be saluted at all times. If you were not wearing a hat you were to bow to them. We laughed for a start but then they started bashing and kicking and put a few in the hospitals over it so we just had to do it. If orders were not carried out they also had the rotten idea of stopping rations and canteen supplies which effected everyone. We learned the hard way as usual. When out at work if they thought you were not working hard enough they would bash you with the first thing that cane into their hands be it crowbar, hammer,


log of wood or anything. If anyone attempted to defend themselves in anyway it was just too bad, you would be more or less bashed senseless. On plenty of occasions I have seen whole huts of men turned out and bashed for practically nothing. It sounds ridiculous but never the less it is true. The Korean guards who were over us most of the time where the poorest class of specimen you could wish to see. They would collect our rations and sell most of them to the natives. Canteen goods they would put a great price on them and collect the extra for themselves. Practically all POW sold their watches to buy food to keep themselves going. Prices everywhere were deer and we were receiving 25 cent a day if working which was enough to buy a couple of smokes. They were so unreasonable in most of their ways you never knew how to take them. I have seen two of them come along together and one stand in front and one behind you. You would salute the one in front and the one in back would bash you behind the ear. They have no comradeship amongst themselves. Their army is run on Fear and Seniority and everyone is up a against the other. They could not understand the way we stuck together and kept our spirits up. It seemed to worry them to see us laughing and would try to break us up. All the time. General conversation amongst the POW was the meats they would have when it was all aver. I have never heard food more discussed in all my life. Only the general craving for food all the time. The Nips are the cruelest lot of devils you could ever wish to meet. They delight in cruelty. I have seen them kick a dog to pieces and we could do nothing about it. I think it is only their lack of education and their uncivilized ignorant lot of devils and here is hoping that they will be knocked back for years to come.



Joined the A.I.F. June 18,1940; trained for Infantry shock trooper for three months then transferred to artillery (light). Left Aussie for Singapore February 4, 1941. First went into action against the Japs at Timas. Before this sinking my battery originally 127 o/rs and 6 officers remained at 47 men still going strong. Drew 9th Reinforcements into action. Taken POW Feb 15, 42 after capitulation of Singapore.

The habits and carrying on of the Japanese. The are very childish in most of their ways and their discipline is more of a fear of the sword than that of confidence amongst themselves. A man on a report for an offense is punished by being belted or some form of torture such as standing with legs and arms tied then placed on an ant bed for some minutes, then stand to attention for some hours.

While in Burma we were warned that at no time should we speak to the natives unless we were accompanied by a Jap guard. The joke is that most business Burmese can speak English whereas all my two and a half years as a POW I struck only one guard that could speak English. A Jap we christened "George". One day he caught an Aussie talking to a Burmese who was leading a cow. He came over and said to the Digger, "You speak to Burmese?" The latter answered, "No." Then George asked the Burmese and he, too, denied speaking to the Aussie, so George said, "Some bastard speak," and kicked hell out of the cow.

The railway line that was built by POW and native conscript labour from Thanbuyagal, Burma to Pladuk, Thailand, a distance of 307 kilometers, at a cost of 13,000 white soldiers, plus three times as many natives. It was built by hand by means of pick and shovel, and carried by a hessian rice sack and bamboo pole, each man to do one square meter of dirt at first, but with the number of casualties we were supposed to do 4.2 square meter of dirt man near the end. Men worked without boots and wore a loin cloth 1 yard by 11 inches in place of shorts right through the monsoon season. 'Tropical ulcers and cholera were the diseases that took the heaviest toll of life. Ulcers caused more than 3,000 amputation of legs and arms of which about 25% are still alive. The lack of medical supplies hindered all operations and the majority


were amputated by local anesthetic mostly made from different plants in the jungle and concocted by a dutch chemist. Toes and fingers I have seen amputated personally without any drug at all. Ulcers were gouged out by an ordinary table spoon and then filled with salt of saline solution. Ulcers are caused from an infected scratch, mostly from bamboo, which harbors a syphilitic germ. Cholera is carried in water and is contagious. It is a common occurrence to find men overnight, after working all day dead in their beds. At one stage we had to burn the bodies because graves could not be dug fast enough by 20 men. Out of a camp of 3500 men. Colonel Coates and Hamilton, the two senior MO's will have lots to say to the medical at the conclusion of this war.

All the best to yourself and the remainder of the crew. Come to Aussie and the first week's grog is on me.


NOTE: The greatest man for the men among all the A.I.F. is Lt. Col. Anderson, VC, MC, DSO, Commander of 2/19 Battalion, Took charge of a Brigade (Three battalions) of Indians and the 2/29 Batn. after all four Colonels were killed, then later took place of the Brigadier who was also killed. In other words he commanded 5 battalions of Infantry for nine days in the heaviest battle on the Malayan Peninsula at Nuia. Awarded The Victoria Cross for Valor.

13 Battery
4 Anti-Tank Regt RAA
Ex Malaya, Burma, Thailand,
Indo-China and the Ocean

26 Lt Leonards Rd.
Ascot Vale W-2
Melbourne, Victoria Australia.



I was taken prisoner of war on Java September 9,1942 by the Japanese. We were imprisoned in Batavia bicycle camp for six months. From there we were shipped by a 4,000 ton motor vessel to Singapore. One man lost on board with dysentery. From Singapore we went to Maumien where we were put to work on a railway line. This job lasted 14 months. It would take a full book to describe the incidents that happened over this period but I want to forget it all now except the last piece. We left Singapore in a convoy headed for Japanese and we were sunk by torpedoes off Hainan, China, and after five days in the water we were picked up by the USS PAMPANITO and are now headed for the happiest time of my life. I can not describe the relief it gives us to be free again after being POW's for two and a half-years.

My wife will be very surprised to hear from me having received no mail since late 1942. What a time we are going to have. I hope to see the boys off the PAMPANITO in Australia sometime so we can show our appreciation for the wonderful job they done picking us up.

36 Dundas Road
Western Australia.

A. J. COCKING W.X. 16369
2/4 M.G.Batt. Mach Gunner
Western Australia.



This is just a short history of my army career. Joined the A.I.F. in July, 1940 and was proud to be a member of probably the last Voluntary Australian Army as from now on I think they will be no asking but just telling you when you shall go overseas. We spent approximately six months training in Aussie. I putting in for a gunner in the artillery, and achieving my ambition. We sailed for Malaya on the Queen Mary. I had a wonderful voyage.

The regiment being the senior one revelled First Class and it was a experience never to forget.

We had plenty of training in Malaya and were treated very well by the people. The climate brought out all sorts of diseases and quite a few were headed home.

Personally, the idea of the Nips entering the war against us seemed incredible. But as time went on me knew it wouldn't be long before we were at it. At any rate the days were getting restless and we were actually looking forward to the clash. On she came and were we astounded, no aircraft or naval support. We were more or less doomed, still when capitulation came we were dazed as our own regiment was more or less intact. Give me my days over and no general or any politician would tell me what to do, especially against the Nips. Then we started our careers as POW's and never in any stretch of any imagination could one foretell the terrible treatment we were to receive at the hand of our conquerors. We marched to Changi Barracks approximately 25 miles, with full packs and were settled in there under our own supervision for three months. Food was extra short but things could have been worse.

We moved to Burma and there the rot started. We were 3,000 on a ship called "Toyohasi Maru" of almost 6,000 tons and were fitted in like sardines only they are dead and we mere not. We arrived at a rice hill twenty-five miles from Tansy where we were to work on repairing a drome. We marched the whole bloody way Nips butting the heads and bodies of sick men with their rifles. It was a horrible march and thank God only remains a nightmare to me.


The work at the drome was reasonable but sick men were purged and had to work. Eight of our cobbers made a break for it but were betrayed by the Burmese. These were shot in one group and our boys made to untie and put them in a common grave. The Nips would not allow the Padre to administer last rites. The Brigadier, Darley, did everything in his power, but to argue with these barbarians was something the Allmight could not have done. We now knew what to expect and every day men would come home belted up and bleeding.

We then moved to Moulmein by a small tramp steamer. The local people treated us well as they could while the japs were not looking. Thence to the jungle. Here was the sad tale of malaria, dysentery, cholera, typhus and other diseases which took their toll of good Aussies, Americans, Dutch and English. I think the exact figure of death up to early 1944 after the railway line was finished was somewhere in the vicinity of 17,000 prisoners. This does not include the poor Chinese, Indians, or Malays.

Our doctors did remarkable work with the meagre medical supplies these bastards gave them. Average amputations were four, five or six a day. The main trouble was tropical ulcers.

Food. We had rice every meal for two and a half years, with very little else. This caused serious outbreaks of beri-beri and pellagra. These took their grave toll. Some of the food was not fit far pigs and I'll swear on the Bible to that. There are too many incidents to quote here but the line was eventually finished and we moved to Thailand and much better food.

The camp was more or less a rest camp and the boys began to pick up when along came word that No. 3 group, that was ours, was to move to Indo-China to Saigon and thence to Japan. We arrived in Saigon after a journey in hot one horse boxes seventy-two to the truck;-- just enough to sit and no more.

Saigon: Stayed with a British Gorice who had been there for two years. According to our standard of living in the jungle those boys were doing extra well. We then did work on the airdrome and work was much better than previous jobs. Rations were much better. Just a few words of gratitude to the French people there. They


did what they could but the Nipponese watched them very closely.

The Japan trip cane on again and out we went to the mouth of the Mikong River where there was a convoy of 13 ships. We boarded one, stayed on one day and then were taken off. They made another attempt to get us away and then told us we would move back to Singapore and lost about 150 men thereby. But we expected, in fact looked forward to them. To Singapore and more work. Then onto the convoy that was to meet a most disastrous attack by Yank subs.

We were out seven days from Singapore and at approximately four o'clock in the morning of the 12th of September, 1944 a cruiser went up and before long the convoy was being attacked right and left. I do not know how these subs work but for accuracy of fire there is no other branch of service to match them.

We received ours at 5:30, two hits approximately ten seconds apart, one up the bow and one aft which pulled her up dead.

The men behaved like soldiers. No panic was called. Queer, I went and hooked onto a raft with 17 others. It was just like day and one could see five other fires going. It took our ship 12 hours to go down. The rest is a nightmare which I would rather skip. We spent four days and three nights in the water when the miracle or act of God happened. Along came this God-damn bless them everyone Yanks aboard the USS PAMPANITO. A name I'll never forget. Well, to cut a long story short, we were hauled aboard but one couldn't get it into one's head that we were free men.

To The Captain, officers, and men of the men of the U.S.S. PAMPANITO, I and many others owe our lives. I can not, try as I may, express in words my sincere gratitude to these men. Everyone I would like to thank personally and get to know but they are all cobblers and if ever they are down Aussie way I feel sure that the Australian people will give them the unstinted praise they deserve.





January 29,1942. The U.S.S. West Point sailed into Singapore Harbor under the eyes of the Japanese bombers and unloaded her largo of the ill-fated 18th. Inf. Division.

We were taken to transit camps in our own battalion in readiness to go up to the front lines to fight that savage and inhuman enemy the dwarfs of the East (Japs). My battalion went up to the front lines on the 12th. of February and it was then we knew what Hell was. Fifth column was dead against us and we had no air support at all. Friday the 13th. was a day never to be forgotten by any of us. Bombs rained on us from everywhere and men were being slaughtered left and right. Sunday the 15th. at 1600 a DR came along and gave orders of unconditional surrender.

We were now P.O.W. of the Japs. Hunger had taken us and it was a very downhearted army that marched 16 miles to the Changi Barracks on the 17th. From then on up to Oct 14th. we were worked on buildings and salvage dumps, and the guards over us were like slave drivers with a dozen whips. Our pay was 0.25 cents a day and by the time we had finished a days work we had earn'd $25.00. Our food consisted of broken rice and a very small ration of fish. On October 15th, we were sent to Thailand to build a railroad from Bankok to Momcan in Burma. We travelled through Malaya in railway tracks with 32 men in each. We marched 80 miles through Thailand through uninhabited jungles and rice fields up to our knees in mud and slime. The only human beings we saw were the wild hillmen of Siam in their own Kampongs with a score or so of water buffalo, wallowing in the mud. Men were falling in their tracks and the guards were beating them with split lengths of bamboo. We arrived at our first jungle home on the 21st. and we had to sleep in mosquito infested swamps. This place was called Wampo and it was here we found out what living hell was. We lost 27 men within a month and things were coming very hard with us. Food consisted of plain rice and salt water for well over the first month


and men were being ill-treated by the Japs in every shape and form, working from dawn to dusk clearing virgin jungle and rock for this thought impossible mad idea. Men of other working battalions were marching through our camps every day to settle in other jungle camps made of bamboo and atop huts further up the river. The British officer in charge of our camp was a man who will never be forgotten by those who knew him as he was known as the "Grand Old Man of the River", Colonel LILLEY, of the 1/5 Foresters, and it was through his stubbornness that the japs made things slightly easier for us. Disease was hitting all camps by now and the river which was called "Lsie Lsie" was soon known as the river of death. The first Christmas arrived and the Japs opened their hearts and gave us two old sows for 1500 men.

In January 1943 the word came through that the railroad had to be finished within one year and so the work must be speeded up. And so as the work sped up, so did the death rate and the beatings up by these small savages. We had a little extra food given us consisting of fresh vegetables and buffalo meat, but the things me wanted was medical supplies which were absolutely refused. As one Jap officer said, "If a man is ill, let him die. The work must go on." This was Lt. Lannica, who I hope has met a worse death than any man who was taken prisoner.

In March we moved further up the river to a smaller camp known at Tonchun Springs, where we had to go through stinking slime and mud barefooted up to our thighs and in very scanty clothing. It was here that the cholera epidemic caught us and men were dying by the dozens. Still the work carried on with men starving to death, being beaten to death, and worked to death, but the japs did not worry as the trains had to get through. By December 1943 the combined death roll of English, Dutch and Australians was 22,000 (approximately). The railway was finished within the twelve month and all POW were moved down to a base called "Tamuang". In February a large party was called to go to Singapore for embarkment to Japan. We arrived Singapore in May and as the ships had not arrived yet we worked as dock laborers amongst civilians, prisoners, and other native POW's. On September 5, 1944 the boats arrived and we proceeded to the land of Cherry Blossoms, as they


called it. We ere sailing well until 2 o'clock on the 12th when we were awakened by a shattering explosion and when investigating we saw a destroyer, one of our escorts was torpedoed and swiftly sank. Everything was quiet until 4 o'clock when our boat the "KUAYO MARU" gave one big shudder and we knew what had happened we had been torpedoed. On reaching the the deck all we could see around us was ships sinking and flaming. Wr, took to the rafts and hoped to be picked up by our (friends) the dirty yellow devils, but no hope they were only concerned about their own race of animals. We knew the end was at a close range, but we laughed and joked at the Japs great loss although somewhere in that sea were hundreds of our own flesh and blood floating around praying to be saved or to be taken to God's home peacefully. At approximately 5:30 on the third day afloat we had our prayers answered when we were picked up by this gallant crew who had done the good work previously. So my hat is off to the sailors of this submarine and I hope they are successful in all the work they undertake.

So, good luck, PAMPANITO. We will remember.

Just an outline story how some men went through a living hell and some were fortunate to survive.

5th Becofs Regt.

P.S. Thank you for FREEDOM.



As a soldier in the Australian Army I served as an artilleryman in a Field Regiment.

The fall of Singapore came, I think to all of us who were engaged in it, as one of surprise and not in actual fact a defeat. The civil population was the determining factor. Over 25,000 civilians were killed on the day before capitulation. The main water supply to the island came from Jahore -------, which was also cut off. There was the grave danger of epidemics breaking out if a surrender was not made. The Japanese, as fighters, are not our equal, never have been or never will be. There are countless details I could give but time nor space will not permit. The people of Singapore are loyal and God help the Nip when these people have a revenge. Just to quote an instance: I was on a Chinese burial party one day. Alone on our job to bury the Chinese who belonged to the Young Chinese Government of Singapore on this day we buried about 200. All together about 20,000 were shot, I was one of the prisoners to work on the Burma Railway to Thailand.

The treatment by the Japs to us on the line will go down in history as the greatest crime that can be leveled at any nation. After some months when the line was completed we were drafted to various groups to go to Nippon and after waiting some months, after various attempts to get us there we finally sailed from Singapore. This time we got as far as the China Sea before our lads didn't like our ship and so I finished writing this letter on this submarine, which is the ship of our salvation and by the Grace of God that all of you men are spared as you have spared us.

158 Penant St.
New South Wales



Left Australia in February, 1941 on Queen Mary, arriving in Singapore in the same month. After being there for approximately nine months, living on best food and in best quarters, war was declared. We immediately went into battle stations at Jahore into previously prepared positions but unfortunately we didn't stay there very long before being moved to the western coast of Malaya Area where we done our fighting amongst rubber and swamp country against superior numbers which eventually forced us back on the Singapore Island shore, after a further fortnight of fighting, we became prisoners of war on 15th of Feb. 1942, Changi Barracks being our first P.O.W. Camp.

Things became tough now on Europeans; onto rice three times a day. Certainly not enough to exist on had we stayed there any longer. Men were sick with every possible disease to get, beri-beri, dysentery, scabies, malaria, and others which were unknown to our doctors. However, we managed for three month before the Japs eventually sent a force consisting of Brigadier Barley and 3,000 other ranks to Burma by boat. First stop Bangui, Lower Burma, where we spent three months building an airdrome. Food improved slightly,-- rice still about the same quantity but greens better. We worked every day, rain, hail, or snow for a run of ten cents per day which meant that about once a week you could afford about two pounds of potatoes. If you preferred smokes about four was your amount weekly, Then came Tavoy. Another airdrome to build, blast it. Practically same conditions as Mague although rations improved slightly and canteen supplies were beginning to come in. One could afford to live a little better as they were much cheaper and more plentiful.

Then after three months on the the Burma Railway where work really began. Thambaxut about 17 miles from Amhurst being our base camp. Before moving out to different camps along the proposed line we were addressed by the Jap Commander in which he stated that if necessary it would be finished over our dead bodies. We laughed at the line but eventually it became true because before the line was through there were between 17,000 and 20,000 allied prisoners dead. Dutch, American, English and Australian as well as untold numbers of natives. During the building period, although


rice rations were considered sufficient, vegetables and other necessary food stuff were definitely insufficient. Meat and sugar were considered luxuries. Disease broke out again which meant big hospital camps, men becoming sick and dying everyday. Once sick the Japs didn't care what happened to us. They seemed pleased to get rid of us. One hospital camp at one stage was burning twenty men per day, finishing up with 900 dead out of a total camp of 1200. Cholera and tropical ulcers being the main causes of those deaths.

The Japs right throughout being hard to understand, hard to work for, like to bash you for no reason at all and when they weren't getting enough they just came along and detailed you sick or not the same to them. The Korean guard being the worst altogether a mob of cruel animals bastards. Put a tail on them and they would disgrace the monkey.

Incidentally, benefit funds were practically nil. Mail in the majority of cases was nil. Clothing issued by Japs practically nil. To sum the Japs up, they are not worth a position in the monkey world, let alone the civilized one. One who knows.

Box 125
New south Wales, Hay



Joined A.I.F. on 18 June, 1940. Left Aussie on Queen Mary Feb. 4, 1941 arrived Singapore Feb. 18, 1941, stationed "up country" at Serewbau and Port Dickson. Here shenNips saw our units (P.B.I.) Poor Bloody Infantry at Jemaluang, Jahore, Malaya. In action 17 january 1942 Hanah 5th Imperial Tokyo Guards and Muiear. Ail big men. Unit C.O. won V.C. (highest order of Gallantry in British Empire). Withdrew after five days of most bitter fighting and then while capitulation 15th Feb. 1942 series of defeats and withdrawals. Unit lost ever 300 men.

Malaya, place of swamps Swadies (ravies) and sand flies. Swamps and paddy fields every where. Did a maneuver, ends in the rain. Night clubs-- grog and nine penny dance women, the beads all powder and paint, poke cast money, too. I stayed a virgin? Food all in ---- and frozen, and not a decent feed anywhere. So much hard work and little leave. Hell I'm getting cynical and wolked. All good guys in heart and a happy time was had by all until the Nips say 90 and 90 it was. POW two years and seven months. Torpedoed and rescued by U.S. Sub. Then a good time was had. Now I'm as happy as a pig in a manure pile. Looking forward to "home sweet home" and a lot more "Yanks" or "Rebels". All the very best to you and yours and a hope you pass through this bloody war.

Sgt. J.O. Smith, Nx 32726
Co "C", 2/19th Batt. AIF
EX Malaya, Burma, Thailand,
Indo-China, Singapore and
China Sea.

James Olivant Smith
7 Patterson St.
North Bondi,
New South Wales,



I joined the A.I.F. on the 20th of June 1940, after my 20th birthday. I left Australia on the 4th of Feb. 1941 on the Atlantic Liner the Queen Mary bound for Singapore at which place I arrived on the 18th of Feb. 1941. On arrival we disembarked and direct to quarters at Malacca at which place we stayed for six months. After that we were sent to the area which later on was our battle field. On Saturday night, the 6th of Dec. 1941 we were ordered to battle stations. On the night of the 8th the Jap bombers, bombed Singapore for the first time and we knew from then and there the war was on. From the outset we fought a losing fight. What with insufficient men and no planes we were soon forced to surrender. The surrender of Singapore took place at the Ford works Buket Zima Singapore on the day of the 18th of Feb. We were marched sixteen miles from Singapore to Changi Barracks, one of the best English Barracks on the Island. We were forced to eat Jap rations which consisted of rice and very little else. On the day of the 14th of May 1942 we left our barracks at Changi and sailed on a small freighter the rest day for a place named Victory Point in Burma where we were put to work repairing an airfield. After three months there we sent to a place named Zavow. We were there a week and we were shifted to a place named Ye where we stayed for six weeks and went to Shabuyzat where we started to build the Burma-Thailand Railway. This was indeed e hard job as the Japs had no equipment whatsoever. The food was worse than pig swill at tines. We carried our own rations from the dump ten miles away, worked on the railroad as well. Our death rate was thirteen thousand all told. There were all the diseases imaginable through the jungle, cholera, and malaria being the worst prevalent. After the railroad was finished the Japs decided to take us to Japan. We left the jungle on the 13th of March, 1944 to go to Japan. We first went to a camp in Thailand about thirty miles from Bankik. We were there nine days. Went from there to Saigon. We were there there three days when the Japs put us on a ship bound for Japan. This all happened Easter this year.


We were only on this boat fifteen hours and were taken off and returned to Saigon where we worked for the next three months. On leaving Saigon the japs took us to Singapore where we stayed working to the 3rd of September and embarked at last for Japan on the afternoon of the 4th of September. We stayed two days in the harbor of Singapore and sailed the morning of the 6th. Around the morning of the 12th of September were torpedoed by American subs off Hainan Island. The Japs made a patrol of all men surviving in the water and picked their own up and machine gunning some of our men and leaving the rest of us to perish (as they thought). We went into the water between five and six o'clock in the morning of the 12th of September and were picked up by the U.S.S. PAMPANITO at dark the night of the 15th of September. There having spent four full days and three nights in the drink without food or water. Our rescue was unique in as much as the Commander and crew of the rescuing craft thought we were Japs. Thanks to the foresight of the Commander of the PAMPANITO, while he had light he rescued 73 men. Thanks to the officers and men of the submarine we had a safe and sound voyage from our place of rescue to Saipan at which place we landed the 20th of September 1944. Thanking you, Bob, and the rest of your mates, for the good time I had on your ship for five days after our rescue. Thanking you one and all from a lad who will remember you and your mates for the rest of his life.

Sincerely Yours,

Reg. Bullock
22 Evelyn St.
Paddington, Brisbane
Queensland, Australia.



Singapore, taken POW by the Japs Feb 15, 1942. They worked us very hard building a railroad in Burma. Fed us very poorly on 3 pints of boiled rice daily. Prisoners were beaten every day and a large majority died through this harsh treatment. Also through dysentery, beri-beri, malnutrition, and cholera.

After being in the water for five days we sighted a sub and it seemed hard to say what it was but when it turned out to be Yank our joy could not he described, in writing, I am not going to try.

My main ambition is to be home with my loved ones for Christmas so here is hoping, and for the crew who treated us so well here is hoping they will be over in England and we can show our gratitude to them. So until then, God speed and many pleasant trips.

C.A. PERRY, 907794
125/akk Regt. R. A.
"C" Battery.

38 Anderson St., Dept Ford
Sunderland c/o Durham



Nov. 6, 1943 The U.S.S. Pampanito went into commission at 10:30 in the U.S. Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.
Lt. Commander C.B. Jackson C.O.
Lt. Commander P. Summers Exec.
Lt. Davis, Lt. McClaskey, Lt. C. Grommet
Lt. (J.G.) Fives, C.M.--Hiest.

Nov. 27
Cleared all spare parts and equipment off of the barge on to the boat. Took on our first torpedos and dropped the firing spring from one of the exploders into the bilges, spent most of the night looking for it. I finally did get it.

Nov. 28
Went down the river and anchored in the lower harbor.

Nov. 29
Up anchor and out into the open sea and made our first dive. This is the start of our training period.

Dec. 5.
Back into the Navy Yard at Portsmouth.

Dec. 8
At sea.

Dec. 15
Went into dry dock.

Dec. 21
Heeded for Newport, R.I.

Dec. 22
Arrived at Newport end tied up at the torpedo station. Loaded fish at firing pier Gould Island Fired about 35 exercise shots. Boys raised a little to much hell in town and 11 of them are in the city jail.

Dec. 23
Mr. Davis and Mr. Hiest get all of the boys out of the jug in town.

Dec. 24
Left for New London, ran full speed all the way and arrived that night.


Dec. 25
MERRY CHRISTMAS I am staying on board as I have the duty. We had a big turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. Most of the men went home so there is plenty to eat. Mr. McClaskey had the duty and ate in the crews mess with us. He is sure one swell guy. There are 13 men over the hill now.

Dec. 26
Went through the degaussing slip and then tied up at Pier 12

Dec. 27 Took on fish and fired them.

Dec. 31
Entered the Marine Railway, I have the duty again and it is New Years Eve.

Jan. 1 {1944}
HAPPY NEW YEAR Hiked over to Groton Field to look for Crawford but he was not on the base

Jan 3
Went to sea, came into State Pier and liberty started at 2400 for the crew.

Jan. 4
Bill Yagemann and Roger Walters reported aboard. Went to sea and held trials.

Jan. 9
Underway for Portsmouth with bad shaft.

Jan. 10
Entered drydock at Portsmouth.

Left for New London.

Jan. 14
Took on torpedoes at New London. Chief {M.M.} Smith reported aboard for duty. {He is former chief of the boat on the Marlin. He is from Brighton, Iowa}

Jan. 15
Left New London in afternoon headed for Panama.

Jan. 18
Grommet dove boat with terrific down-angle, about 28 degrees.


{Brought Viv some silk stockings at the sub base & ring in town

26- Other weapons included several gallons of black paint, wheel barrow, and blocks of wood fired to numerous dementions

27- Meet crew Mafes place & they made me carry their souvenirs back to the boat so they won't loose them. Snow ball.}


Jan. 21

Experienced large up-angle. Mr. McClasky had the dive.

Jan. 24
Entered locks of the Panama Canal. Rode topside as far as the lake. Routined torpedoes.

Jan. 25
Moored at sub base, Balboa, Canal Zone.

Jan. 26
Liberty Panama City. {Big fight topside all hands were over the side. Duty officer Mr. Fives almost thrown in drink. Base commander called up to stop fights.}

Jan 27
Liberty - Bananas all over topside. Terrific tide 16 to 18 ft.

Jan. 29
Underway. Anchored at Peerless Is., made sound tests. Underway for P.H.T.H.

Feb. 15
Arrived Pearl Harbor - Rode the anchor in.

Feb. 16
Sound runs in West Gate - entered drydock.

Feb 17
Yagemann {+ I} went to Radar School at Camp Catlin for two weeks. Qualified fire control operator on ST and SD. Receives five dollars extra pay {now. Had week end liberty in Honolulu}

March 1
Returned to boat. Made second class.

March 3
Operations with Stingray and Golet. Drills every day firing slugs and exercise shots. Fired thirteen war shots at cliff to test exploders. Water shot into air hundreds of feet.

March 13
Bill Bollenbach left on U.S.S. Polack on his first run.

March 15
Left Pearl Harbor on first patrol.
{It was green bananas against a fire hose top side. Paint cans & milk cans were flying all over the dock and one five gallon milk can went down the after battery hatch without touching on either side and just missing our smiling Bob T.M. 3/C, who was directly under the hatch}


March 16
Deep dive

March 17
Arrived at Johnston Is. Fueled, had beers and left. I'm stand radar watches now.

March 18
Daily routine. Trim dive.

March 19
Crossed the International Date Line while submerged. Routined fish and found No. 6 tube leaks. Checked gasket and stop-bolt housing. They are okay. Must keep five pounds pressure in tubes at all times.

March 22
Planes sighted. Dove several times.

March 24
Held drills.

March 26
Opened outer door on No.6 tube and Hauptmann, GM2c went over the side to inspect outer door and gasket. Everything okay. Dove tube and found it leaked around No. 1 roller pocket. Removed roller, wooden plug was put in pocket drain to stop leak temporarily. After body of fish was full of water. Removed gyro and washed in turps, fresh water and alcohol. It was blown dry with air and baked in slow oven for twelve hours.

March 27
Removed both depth and steering engines cleaned and oiled them. Lt. McClasky and George, TM1c went into forward trim tank to try to find leak but were unsuccessful.

March 28
Continued work on No. 6 tube. Gunner into chain locker with diving mask and I tended his hose from the superstructure. He removed roller pocket and a plug was put in it, and it was reinstalled. All this took place topside thirty miles off the Jap-held Guam.

April 7
Made contact with four ship convoy. Made daylight periscope approach. Tubes were made
{I picked up convoy on radar and won $30 pool for it.}


ready and chain on tube No. 1 snapped. Changed depth setting on fish three times. Just ready to fire when depth charges began. They sighted our periscope. They dropped 11 heavy charges right on top of us and really shook up the ship. Took charges under us at three hundred feet. Locker doors flew open, valves blown open, fish jumped in racks and cork falling from overhead, telephone labels snapped off. One escort echo-ranged on us, and the other used his fathometer to find our depth. It sounded like an express train overhead. Closest charges anyone on boat had ever heard.

April 8
Removed fish from tubes and checked for leaks. After bodies of 5 and 6 flooded. Exploder in No. 2 flooded.

April 9
Removed tails of fish and repacked exhaust valve. Steering engines and gyros were cleaned up.

April 10
Contact with enemy convoy consisting of three, destroyers, two merchantmen and one antisubmarine craft. Noonday approach made and tubes flooded but not fired. Met up with convoy at night and made a submerged radar attack. Fired bow tubes and got two hits. Explosions shook the boat. Went to four hundred feet and received about ninety-three depth charges. Silent running - carried a 17 degree up angle to stay in gradient. Poppet valve had stuck open on No. 4 and we took in some water which went to after part of room with the angle and flooded our sound head training motors. Started to plane up slowly and got to 200 feet when the main induction hull gasket went. Took on 15 tons of extra water, went down fast by the stern. Blew safety at 640 feet and bobbed to the surface. Quarter blew alarm twice instead of three times scaring hell out of everyone. Escorts were gone, seems like everything on ship is out of order. Reloaded tubes. No.9 tube in after room had a bad outer door gasket and mark 18 was subject to full pressure at 640 feet.

April 11
Removed fish from tube with chain-falls, war head was badly crushed and batteries flooded.


{May 2
Hill and Boujerious celebrating Hill promotion to chief over on the Perch in form of gilie party. To tired to walk back they swam, Hill kicked his pants off in the water + they had $250 in them which he lost along with the pants.

B ____ go to our aft trim tank & could get aboard, Van Atta who was deck was pulled in the water while trying to get B ____ out. He went in clothes, belt, gun + all.
Gunnen made 1st class
Saw Bill Bollenbach who is on the Pollock while in Midway.

May 10
At hotel Mike in scrap with guy off of Harder & other guy got his arm broken Yageman hit Lt. Hannan in nose & George hit Bill & broke his finger doing it.}


Took off after body and removed batteries. Hauled them topside through torpedo room hatch and rushed them over the side. They weighed twelve hundred pounds.

April 12 - 22

April 23
Lifeguard work, on surface with bombers overhead.

April 25
Headed for Midway Island on our one good engine. Fuel oil very low.

April 26
At sea.

April 27
Headed back to Yap.

April 29
" " " "

April 30
Lifeguard duty. Liberators overhead all day. Left for Midway.

May 2
Crossed International Date Line. Arrived at Midway. Came in on one engine with only 80 gal. of fuel oil.
{Band played.
Hill made chief radioman}

May 4
On the way for Pearl Harbor. Too much for Midway to take care of.
{Band out for us.}

May 8
Arrived at sub base P.H.T.H.
{Swain came aboard in blues as new gunnery officer. Turk, Dinty, Hiest transferred. Smith is chief of the boat now.}

May 9
Entered drydock and crew left for Royal Hawaiian Hotel for two weeks rest. Successful run due to damage. Received combat pin. Grommet, Davis and McClasky made Lt. Comdr.

May 25
Returned to ship. Robby and I transferred to After Torp Room. Baron, Bennet, Robinson, Lederer, Zulusky and Buchard. I'm standing room watches.



{On Patrol #2 we saw the sacred volcano of Japan "Fujiyama". Navigated by the lights along the Japanese coast. all day dives every day for about 18 hours.
Many patrol boats seen in day time.
Numerous torpedoes fired at us & periscopes where sighted. Every night when surfaced they would have the radar on us.}


June 3
Underway for second war patrol, heading for Midway.

June 7
Arrived at Midway Is. Left Matheny and Kobacki.

June 8

June 16
On station of southern coast of Japan.
{Road through a monsoon for three days.}

June 20
Battle stations submerged. Heavy rain.

June 30
Periscope contact with enemy surface craft but out of range.

July 4
Contact with trawler. Held battle stations. Did not attack. Too small.

Jay 6
Battle stations. Fired tubes 7, 8 & 9. Depth charged. Box score - 1 sunk.

July 9
Battle stations.
{drifted 60 miles inland to Kobe harbor}

July 10
Battle surface. Did not fire. Target along beach along rocks. I am loader on 20 mm.

July 16
Battle stations. Left station for Midway Is.

July 23
Crossed 180 meridian. Arrived Midway Is.

July 24
Crew went to rest cottages. George made chief, Jim 1/c. Matheny, Langen, Watkins and McCollum went to States. Big water fight in barracks, Chief Smith, ringleader. Mike hit Attaway and shattered his jaw. No credit for sinking. Unsuccessful run. Score for run - 1 ship. Official score - goose-egg.

August 7
Returned to ship.

August 9
Granum, Van Housen, Wanerman, Bixler, E.W. Smith,


Mendez, Strother, Hayes, Curly Thompson, Elkins, Williams, Chickak, Doc Demers, Green, Evans, Elliott, R.E. Elliott.

August 11
Fired exercise shots. Fire in the pump room.

August 14
Fired guns. Explosion in maneuvering room no. 3 main motor.

August 17
Underway no. 3 war patrol. Lederer, Zuluski and Frenchy transfered. Pete Granum aboard, TM3c. Walters left on U.S.S. Proteus in sick bay with bad feet.

August 21
Fired guns.

August 25 - 27
Plane contacts.

August 29
On station. All day dive.

August 31
Dove from planes twice. Depth charges in distance. Battle stations. Small trawler, did not attack it.

Sept. 5-6
Forward trim leaks. Gunner fixed it, working in superstructure.

Sept 10
Pete and I taking showers in AER when three aerial bombs hit. 450 feet and rig for depth charge as enemy surface may be close.

Sept 11
Convoy contact. Skies full of fire and explosions. Torps and gunfire and burning tankers (enemy), burning ships on the horizon.

Sept 12
Made contact with enemy convoy but was unable to fire. Chased them all day on the surface. Dove twice. Once to keep out of sight from convoy, other time from plane contact. At night, after 600 mile chase, we attacked convoy on surface. Fired five fish forward and four aft. Hot run in No. 4 tube. Fish was kicked out after it ran down. Eight hits out of nine fish. Sunk: 10,000 ton cargo vessel, 7,500 ton cargo vessel, 7,000 ton cargo vessel. Damaged: tanker 7,500 tons.
{10,000 Ton ship was former President Harrison}

Sept 13
Same attack. Reloaded tubes. Went in again. Fired 3 fish, no hits


No hits.

Sept 14.
Chased two ships and went to battle stations. Capt. thought they were too small. All set to machine gun Jap life boats, but they were empty. Japs hiding in boat seen in distance, by Gunner.

Sept 15


{Sept 15
In the afternoon objects were sighted in the water that turned out to be me on wreckage & rafts made of wood. We went on deck with machine guns and small arms as we thought they might be Japs. I was right on the bull nose when we got to the first group. They turned out to be Aussies and British. As we would turn to get one group others in the distance would wave as they thought we were going to leave them. Several of us took turns diving in and swimming with a line to the rafts. I went to the first one & had to swim to where those guys ever glad to see me. They pulled me aboard & I secured the line to the raft but some one on the ship lost the other end in the water & I had to swim back to the ship picking up the line on the way. Fisk, Hopper, Frenchy and Merryman also went into the water. We picked up a total of 73 men. They were covered with oil and sick. We wiped them down with rags soaked in water. Took off all the clothes and threw it over board. Lookouts sighted planes which turned out to be birds but gave us a scare. Many of the men could not stand or walk. They were taken below into the forward room & aft room. Lucky we were out of fish & they laid in the skids on the deck & two in every bunk}


{we put them all in the aft room except a couple which were in the crews space. They were men who had been prisoners of the Japs since Singapore fell over 2 years & 9 months. They had nothing to eat but rice & a little vegetables all the time not one slice of bread. They were headed to Japan to work, 1300 of them on one ship and 600 on each of two others. They were from the convoy we had sunk. Had been in the water for about 4 days, some were delirious and some had}


Sept 16
Dove from enemy plane

Sept 17
Jock Cambell, Scotsman, Survivor died. Military service and body given to dead man.

Sept 18
Came in contact with friendly plane. Had rendezvous with American destroyer, U.S.S. CASE. Took aboard medical supplies, and doctor with CPhM. Doc said to give the sick all fresh fruit and lettuce we can. Capt. told him were an American on war patrol and not on a pleasure cruise with all the luxuries of home. Medicos left on destroyer to meet Sealion, who we passed on the way to Saipan in the dusk.

Sept 20
Arrived in Saipan. No mail. Tied up to U.S.S. Fulton. Fresh fruit and ice cream for survivors. Topside covered with gold braid and photographers. Unloaded survivors and furled up. Relief crew disinfected boat, new bedding taken aboard. Left for Pearl Harbor. Markham fell overboard, but was saved. Backed down and picked him up.

Picked up escort, arrived at Saipan 1000. Sealion came in later with 54 survivors, minus three who had died, and burned up an engine trying to beat us in. Met John Thornbury, PhM3c. He is from Mason City, I., on Fulton.

27 Sept
Arrived at Pearl Harbor sub base, end of run No. 3. Box Score: Sunk-3 ships-23,700 tons; Damaged: 1-7,500. Came in flying our survivor flag. Four admirals and ten commanders came aboard, besides lower ranking officials.
{Many captains to ships 10,000, 7,500, 7,000 ton}
{Our large target that we sunk was former U.S.S. President Harrison.}

Sept 29
We went to Royal Hawaiian hotel for rest.

------- OCCURRENCES AT HOTEL--------

Cattle and Cauble arrived from States on Dragonette. She finally made it. George and Deprvy had fight. George hit Mike with whiskey bottle and was mobbed. He was broken down to 1/c by the Capt. Summers gets thirty day leave in States. Our new Capt. was Mike Fenno, four striper, Baron, Grady, Herber, Payton, and George, Wilkie, Eichner, McVane(got busted arm in hotel), Wendell Smith, J.J. Evans, Ylinen, Chapman and Lynch, transferred; Doc, MacVane, Wilkie busted arms in the "George Battle Royale". What a rest!! Good liberties with Cattie. {Big gilie party still going strong.}

Oct 15
Returned to ship from hotel. Walters transferred back aboard, flew in from Midway. I was moved up to forward room with Pete.


Oct 16
Royce Farrer came over from Ford Is., and saved me a walk. Loaded six fish forward. Bought ten oases of coke to take to sea with us.

Oct 17
Underway for trials and training.

Oct 21
Fired three fish forward. All hot, straight and normal. One hit, two misses.

Oct 28
Left Pearl Harbor to start run No. 4. Cattie gad Cauble threw off our lines. They are leaving in three days for their first run. McGuire and I each bet Cattie ten dollars on tonnage. Seacat and Pipefish trailed us.

Nov 1
Arrived Midway Is. and left same day. Mike really brought us in fast.

Nov 3
Crossed International Date Line.

Nov 9
Arrived Saipan, and tied up alongside Perch. Fulton was was tender. There were sixteen boats tied up alongside tender, about eight on each side. Swam and had movies. Took a trip around island of Saipan. Had lots of fun. Saw huge B-29s. Terrific looking ships. Went to fighter field Cadwell was, and didn't even know he was there. As a result I missed seeing him. Looked over the Salmon's damage. Saw Mr. McClasky, exec of Burrfish.
{Salmon aft. torpedo room hatch blown off & main induction lines flat as a pancake.}

Nov 11
Underway from Saipan. Seacat, Pipefish and Sea Raven in pack with us. Mike Fenno, Capt. was in command. Full of Electric fish.

Nov 18
Contacted enemy convoy. Attacked on surface at night. Fired six forward and four aft. Two hits and other explosions which believed to be hits. Sunk one ship of 7,500 and damaged another. It was a six-ship convoy. Couldn't see the rest of our hits as we dove to deep depth and rigged for depth charge. Heard a few, too.

Nov 30
Contact - Rader with enemy. Went to battle stations. Fired six fish forward, submerged and heard five explosions. Once again we couldn't see our hits, but we heard them! Very rough weather, and fast convoy made approach difficult.


Depth charged as usual. Reloaded and continued attack. Last attack made at almost daylight. Fired four fish aft and heard four explosions. Damage unknown. Official results: 1 AK 7,500 tons, damaged-1 AK 10,000 tons and 1 AO 4,000 tons. We have but four fish left in the forward room.

Finished our time on station with no new occurrences. Capt. Fenno asked for seven-day extension, but stayed only five.
{Many mines were seen & fired at during this run and weather was very rough at all times.}

Dec 14
Merryman washed over the side while trying to convert No. 4 tank. Blew his "Mae West" and was rescued. Weather was still rough. Superstructure dented from bad weather and rough sea, and loose fresh water hose in superstructure making lots of noises. Exec Davis brought remains of hose into forward room. Rumors of going to Australia.

Dec 23
Crossed Equator on way to Aussieland. Davey Jones and King Neptunus came aboard in forms of Mr. Davis and Capt. Fenno respectively. All "polywogs" initiated into "Shellbacks". A great time was had by all. What a hot-seat was rigged!
{Caught on surface by plane trouble in diving closed all water tight doors.}

Dec 25
Went through Lombac Straits. I was standing lookout on periscope shears. Mountainous land very close. Saw light signaling across Straits. Lightening. Sailboat sighted. Chased through the straits by patrol craft. Unusual Christmas.
{Christmas decorations & gifts & home made sign- Chief Smith Santa Claus. Chicken & ice cream for dinner.}

Dec 27
Put into Exmouth Gulf, Australia. Refueled from tanker. Stood deck watch. Showed movies from tanker. Went fishing. Pete caught only fish.

Dec 28
Underway for Fremantle, Aussie.

Dec 30
Arrived in Fremantle. Tied up at sub base, North Wharf. Capt. Summers was there awaiting us. Only officer in blue uniform cutting quite a figure. Very outstanding. Saw Keedy. He's on tender. Tenders Anthedon and Euryale. Crew had overnight liberty, but I stayed aboard with fatigue, and read my mail with Pete. Just missed Al on the Crevalle. He's back in the States.
{Walt got steak & eggs in the eye in the Philadelphia Cafe while on liberty.}

Dec. 31
Crew had physical exam. Went to Ocean Beach Hotel, Cottesloe, W.A. for two weeks rest. Took two gallons of pink lady along. Roomed with Weaver, Davenport, Walters, Martin, McGuire and Chic. It's New Year's Eve and I went up town into Perth, to a few of the gin mills. Had a hard


time getting back to hotel - due lack of transportation. Had to hitch-hike, but did so on right side of road which is the wrong side. The left side of the road is the right side.

Jan 1, 1945
Pappas and I went out to see Jack Cocking, one of the survivors. Waited at his neighbor for him to come home. Had cake and wine, there. Jack drove up with Gunner and Bill who were out with him for a ride in car. Stayed for supper (tea) and had a nice time. Went up town with Gunner and Bill. Met Bixler, who was with two A.W.A.S. We went to concert in park.

Jan 2
More mail from home but no Christmas packages. Letters tram home from Viv and Caddie. Caddie owes me a ten dollar bet. He is back in the States again. They made five false starts on their run and finally run aground in the {Kuriels} Is. flooding forward room to the overhead. No one was lost.


Jan 14
Returned to ship from hotel. Held quarters and met new exec. Held field day, fired inboard slugs. Hauptmann transferred and Schwartz replaced him. Hated to lose Gunner.

Jan 15
Underway for sound test and deep dive. Came in early as soft patch in forward battery leaked badly. Drew stores, and held field day.

Jan 16
Trials, drills and deep dive. Fired water slugs.

Jan 17
Took on six war shots and two exercise shots forward. I was granted special Liberty to get boots in Perth. Just as I left the ship, a large fire broke out on the Panamanian ship tied up several births aft of us. What a fire! Tenders and all subs left the base. Fire was visible in Perth, sky filled with smoke. Ship was loaded with grain and oil. Dock caught on fire and one fire engine burned up. While I was gone the Pamp was tied up alongside the Anthedon out in the bay. They came back into port that night. While on liberty I met Nick and Wanerman in bootmakers. We went shopping together. Bought a couple of books on motorcycles at book shop. I went to United Lounge to see Weaver's girl. Met Madera and ate chow with him and drunken friends in a very respectable place. Came back from liberty that night and got aboard.

Jan 19
0100 A.M. stationed maneuvering watch, left harbor. Tied up to the Anthedon again out in bay as fire was still going strong. Burning ship had big list. Paint burned off off one side of H.M.S. Maidstone, British sub tender. In the morning we returned. Tender had to drop her hook to avoid collision with other ship.

Jan 19
Underway for three-day trial.

Jan 20
Picked up division commander in Fremantle. Went to sea again.

Jan 21
Fired two exercise shots and got two perfect hits. One fired aft was a direct hit. Returned to base.

Jan 22
Took on the rest of our war shots. Up all night loading stores.


Jan 23
Underway in the afternoon on run No. 5. Made sound test in channel. Woody and I an anchor gear as usual.
{Jack Cocking, Winters and Gunner saw us off.}

Jan 26
Arrived in Exmouth Gulf early in the morning. Fueled from tanker. U.S.S. Guavina tied up on other side of tanker. Routined eight torpedoes. Swell swimming partie. Tossed all newly rated men over the side, including officers. Lots of fun with McGuire. Left at dusk with Guavina.

Jan 27
At sea, drills, routined eight fish.

Jan 28
Held drills, fired deck gun, 40mm and 20mm. I am pointer, Van is trainer and Clem is first loader on 40mm.

Jan 29
Went through Lombac Straits. Van, Clem and I were topside on 40mm. quite a sight so close to the enemy beach. Lights seen on the beach. Some lightening in the sky. Sighted four sail boats in the mouth of the straits.

Jan 30
Wanerman became 21, a man at last. No celebration.

Jan 31
Greased the tubes and the manifold. Crossed the equator and held another initiation. "Pollywogs" were Mr. Orser, Mr. DePaull and some enlisted men. Good hair cuts were given and same old hot seat.

Feb 1
Greased the room.

Feb 2
Arrived on station. Battle station drill. Routined our fish.

Feb 3
Routined fish.

Feb 4
Battle stations submerged.

Feb 5
Battle stations, but secured. Fired 20mm at mines but it didn't blew up.

Feb 6
Sighted smoke on horizon from high periscope. Took up the chase. Stationed radar tracking party. Contact consisted


of three ships and three escorts. We made our first attack at 2100 (11 PM) on surface. Fired six fish forward and got two hits, sinking one freighter. Had trouble making speed change, couldn't withdraw spindles out of one and two. Fired them at low speed. Made fast reload, fired six more forward and no hits. Escort on our tail only 2200 yards behind. Reload again. Raidoed Gauvina to lure port escort by firing flares. This she did and we made our attack. Fired four more fish at high speed, with no hits, Escorts on each side and behind. Guavina attacked and sank one ship with two hits. We are all out of fish forward.

Feb 7
Capt. is talking of trying to move four fish from aft room to forward room. I wouldn't have wished it on a dog. Submerged all day. No. 1 sanitary tank outboard vent leaked. Tank flooded. Watch the escorts searching for us. Surfaced for night chow. Message from Guavina of contact. We made chase. One tanker and two escorts left in convoy. Made surface radar attack. Fired four Mk 18 aft. No hits. I think the range was too far (5000 yards). Guavina attacked and no hits. Prepared to make last attack. Closed in to close 3500 yards. Radioed Guavina to lure port escort by firing flares. (Wanerman in radio shack) This she did, was chased by port escort, and we made our attack. Fired three fish aft and hit ship loaded with high octane gas or ammunition. Ship split in two in the center aft of the stack and the stern sank immediately. Forward part floated a few seconds and then blew sky-high. Water and sky were a sheet of flame for thirty degrees on horizon. Beautiful sight. Meanwhile escort chased us firing upon us with three-inch gun. Capt. let some of crew see burning ship and explosion through periscope. Pappas took motion pictures of fire as we ran from escort. Crew was happy and Capt. was all smiles, too. Message from Guavina saying, "Beautiful, nice works" Capt. answered, "Thank your Very stars. Take over." Kept one fish aft for emergency. Guavina came alongside and we gave them a box of spares.

Feb 8
Heading for Australia.

Feb 9
Message to head north. We were to wait at a designated point in the South China Sea for further orders. Our destination was a bunch at scuttlebutt, but definite orders came through, and we went to Subic Bay off the island of Luzon in the Philippines. We were to have the honor of being the first submarine to enter the Philippines for refit.

Feb 10
Walt and I stayed up all night talking about home and the "Surf". We are known as the "corn cobbers." In Aussie, "cobber" means good buddy, and we both come from the corn belt.


{Feb 11
Field day. Pete & I pulled two firing valves and ground them in. Capt. talked to all the chiefs & 1st class in the forward room. We expect to arrive in Subic Bay tomorrow afternoon. The main Jap Army is only 20 miles away. We will be there not over a week to repair our engines, load fish, etc. Capt. said "We will leave there with a full load of fish & head east for the Navy Yard & General Overhaul" That means Calf & leave to go home. I hope to Viv early in May. Chief Smith made a list of men what lost there combat pins. Hope I can get another one as mine was stolen in Perth. I rate a full pin now (Gold stars).

Feb 12
Arrived in Subic Bay, Luzon. (Run was only 21 days) We are the first submarine to arrive. Many ships in the harbor. We tied up to the tender Griffin or better known as the (Grimmey G). We won't get a regular refit here. We got beer for a picnic on the beach every day. Our physical exam showed that I am O.K. except that my ears have wax in them. My teeth are very good. Transferred Clem, Ski, Wit. E.W. Smith has yellow jaundis & is transferred. Walt is in sick bay with his tonsils. Air raid alert every night. No swimming here as there is bad fungus in the water, also sharks.}


{Feb 13
Walt, Bill and I sat up on top side tonight & watched bombing & flashes of gun fire in the sky. We are really giving the Japs a bad time in Manila. We could also see the head lights & outlines of Army truck convoys on the beach.

Feb 14
Destroyers & Cruisers left to shell the beach. Explosions heard and seen every night. Air raid alert several times at night.

Feb 15
U.S.S. ____ & U.S.S. _____ destroyers came in today & they both hit mines. The _____ tied up next to our tender. Her bow is only about 3 ft. out of the water & her decks are covered with oil and debris - four men were killed. She was hit well forward. Woody and I went aboard & looked her over. The other tin can struck a mine while helping the 1st one. Men along her deck were blow into the water and killed.

Feb 16
Went on the beach & went to native village & visited in a bamboo house. It was well built & very clean. Got some Jap invasion money & Philippines Victory money. I was sitting on the beach watching 3 Thunder Bolts when one pilot bailed out at very high altitude. He landed in the brush on the hill side & his plane disappeared in}


{the clouds. The other plane, which turned out to be a P-51 Mustang kept circling very low over where his friend landed in his chute. Then he went higher & I heard a dull explosion & he went into a long slow spin & crashed into the hill side. His plane burned & sent smoke towering high into the sky. At first I thought the pilot had been killed but the I noticed his chute in the sky & was very high & drifting fast. He came down out of sight behind the mountain. The last plane stayed over head & soon some small grasshoppers arrived. We went back to the ship for chow.

Feb 17
Lots of guys soldier & surface craft sailors looking over our boat. Movies every night now & also alerts. They removed the dead from the destroyers today. We are not going to get any mail here of course.

Feb 18
Blackfin arrived.

Feb 21
Bergall arrived. I bet Woodie that we don't go to Perth after the war.}


{Feb 22
Today is mother's & Mait's birthday. Walt came back aboard. Woody got Smith rated 3/c as he is transferred & can get it on the tender. I won $5 from Bix on a bet.

Feb 24
Went out for sound run. E.W. Smith is transferred back aboard.

Feb 25
Today we were presented with our combat cards for our run. The run was 21 days & the shortest successful run against enemy shipping I ever heard of. The Flounder came in & she has been rammed by the Hoe while both were submerged. We got under way on our 6th War Patrol. We will go to Perth Harbor after this run & from there to the stats (I hope). We have Mk 23 ford. & 18-1 aft.

Feb 26
Dulls all day. We are operating with a B-24 Liberator now.

Feb 28
On station. Routined fish. Battle surface firing drill. I am still pointing 40 m.m. Van is train and Hill 1st loader, Good Kid is 2nd loader.}


{March 1
Dove from planes. Meet the Sea Lion and Mingo.

March 2
Dove from 9 planes twice. Fired at floating mines with carbine & machine guns (Gunner & I)

March 3
Plane contacts. Fired & more mines. We are working on inventory of supplies & spares.

March 4
Sail boat in sight but it was too close to beach. I went on the bridge to get some air at night.

March 6
Much wreckage in the water, belly tanks from planes. Picked up bale of rubber. Periscope was sighted twice.

March 7
Manned the 20 & 40 m.m. to fire on a sail boat which turned out to be wreckage. Slip almost go washed over board while putting ammunition away. We were after a Jap ship all afternoon & planes convoying her forced us down three times. She turned out }


{to be a Hospital ship so we didn't sink her. I wish we had they would do it to us & what were the planes for? Rendezvous with Mingo. Hope to get our mail from the Sea Robin soon.

At about 0100 I went top side in shorts life jacket & with water proof flash light. The Sea Lion shot a line across our deck & I was to get it. Andy Currier came up to help. It was very rough sea. Went length of deck three times but they missed us. Last try it landed near the gun & I pulled our message can on it.

3/9 Starting at 0100 we routined all our fish. Held field day today. Weather is very rough. I took a shower in the engine room & changed linen. Quite an occasion. Mail tomorrow night.

3/10 Rough. Plane contacts.

At 0100 the Sea Robin came along side & I went top side to help transfer our mail aboard. We didn't expect much but what a surprise the had 68 bags of it for us. It was a lot of work getting it aboard but sure worth it. We had a link between the two ships & pulled them across on a pulley arrangement. Viv's letters were so}


{good to get, I enjoy them so much. Letters from folks, Bill, Wally & Helen, Matt & Hank. Lots of reading material aboard now & we sure did need it. Frist sub to transfer personal mail at sea. Cattie wrote to say he has been to see Viv twice, the lucky stiff. Poor Eddie he has been badly wounded in Belgium. I must write to him. Plane contacts. Hyd. in boat 5% fwd & 3% aft very dangerous. Hyd. detectors out of order.

3/12 Plane contacts, cleaned up our room.

3/13 I wrote some letters to Viv & folks.

3/14 Had a contact which turned out to be the Mingo. Planes forced up down. Enemy convoy 200 miles away. Meet Sea Lion, Mingo & Caiman.

3/15 Manned the 40 m.m. to fire a mine. Picked up a red rubber life raft & examined it, no identification on it at all. Gats & I fired 30 cal. machine guns at mines.

3/16 Picked up rubber (white) Dove from planes several times during the day.

3/18 Radar contact at 12,000 yds & range increasing. Plot showed enemy doing 20 kts. & more, to fast for us must be destroyers.}


{3/19 Caiman came along side & bumped against us, may have damaged our screws. We dove & held a few sound tests. Noise on one shaft & reduction gears. Always have had some noises.

3/20 Dove to fix master compass. Bill fixed it. Surfaced to meet convoy coming our way.

3/21 Missed the convoy. Saw Jap plane in the water also oil drums. Sea Lion on the horizon.

3/23 Caiman came along side & we transferred Lt. Comdr. Bush to her.

3/24 Dove from planes. Getting ready to leave station.

3/25 Rough weather again

3/26 Sighted a Liberator & had 4 plane contacts.

3/27 Planes, trim dive.

3/28 Saw 16 Liberators in group. One started to make a run on us & we dove. No recognition from them. Stayed down until dark before going between Batan Island. Passed another sub during the night. Clocks were set ahead.}


{3/30 Good Friday. I had a bad ear ache from wearing the phones. We sent a message to find out definitely where we are to have our overhaul. Expect answer tomorrow. Walt sent message. Everyone is betting on the answer. It just has to be state side, it has been so long since we came back & I miss Viv so much.

One year ago today we got our bad depth charging. Plan to meet our Saipan escort at 4/3

3/31 Chico gave me a hair cut. Weather is rough & getting worse. We have 60 knot wind & have lashed down all our gear. Received answers to our message but can't smoke them out. Finally got the straight dope. Overhaul in San Francisco. Everyone is happy & excited. I hope to see Viv the first week in May. Heard Tokyo Rose tonight.

4/1 East Sunday. Chicken & sea cream for chow. Made our attack one year ago today. Radar contacts which was part of our task force. Weather still rough, 80 kt. wind. Plane contacts.}


{4/2 Our fresh water is bad, failed to pass the health test. Low on fuel & chow. Sighted stars first time in four days. We are 40 miles off our course.

4/5 Arrived at Saipan at 0800. We had a LCI for escort. Tied up along side of the U.S.S. Fulton. Took off the fish aft & transferred one from the fwd. room to the aft. room. Went to the beach with the beer party & Bill & I listened to the dance band. The place is really built up now. Tried to find Cadwell, he is not there.

4/6 Ronquil tied up out board of us. They had the crew of a B-29 they picked up. Herber is on her & likes it. A diver went over our side & found a dent back by the aft torp. which hit up & failed to explode. The booster went off but the head didn't. Jim heard it during the run. Doc Demars made Warrant from 1/c & was thrown over the side & so were others. Ronquil & us go underway at 1700. We are heading for Pearl & home.

4/7 I am standing radar watches now as Gunner's arm is infected.}


{4/8 Got the word to go to Wake with five other boats to get a Jap sub.

4/9 Still on radar watch.

4/10 Back on my old room watch.

4/13 Today we got the news that President Roosevelt died & Truman is now in office as President. I wrote to the folks, Mrs. Williams this friday the 13th we dove & stayed down all the day it is the first time in quite a while. Held a field day.

4/14, 15, 16 I found three pictures of Betty Chapman Caldwell in the Colliers & cut them out. She sure does look nice as always.

4/17 Routined 6 fish & got all cleaned up when we had to finish all the rest of them. I am sure tired out tonight. I wish we would leave here.

4/18 About 0930 we put on more engines & blew up, headed for Pearl again & home at last. The Sea Owl sunk the Jap sub just as it came out of Wake Island. I was never so anxious to get started back as I am now. Bill, Walt & I talked about our coming leaves & home all day. We are very low on chow, the butter & meat is bad.}


{4/19 We will arrive in Pearl on 24th I hope we stay long enough to get some blues.

4/20 Routined fish, trim dive. Test fired all guns & they worked OK. Crossed the international date line. Showers were open for a change, water is only good for showers in one tank.

4/21 Showed a movie in the ford. room, it was "Guy named Joe" with Spencer Tracy & June Dunn. Clocks set ahead at midnight.

4/22 Passed the Dragonet today. They are finally out ???? again.

4/23 All day field day. Captain's inspection all went well. We arrive in Pearl tomorrow. Ice cream for chow 100 with no rest.

4/24 Arrived in Pearl Harbor & tied up at Sub Base & band played for us & we were greeted with crates of oranges & apples, milk & ice cream, none of which we had had for months. Lots of mail for all hands. Robbie, Tex Kary, Brownie and all the old gang were on the dock. They are on the Griffin now. The Bushnell is in too. Walt & I went up on base & saw Sid from Mason City. On the way back we went aboard the "Jack" & saw}


{Frank (Junior) Law M.M 1/c from Mason City. We showed a movie top side at night.

4/25 Rigged the room to take on fish we are going to U.S. with a full load. Cattie came over from the Bushnell & was I ever surprised to see him. He is in ships company & working in the Torp. shop. He is fed up with the boats. We went to the base ball game together also Brown was with us. At night I went over to the tender & we saw the movie. We had a good long talk & he said Viv really looks swell. He gave me his dress blues & they just fit me. He has it nice over there. I saw Bill Bumbuce & he is the same as ever. I am so anxious to get on leave & see Viv once again. Today I got my combat pin again & some tennis balls for Viv. It was pay day & I have $515.00 on the books ready I didn't draw

4/26 Well today is my 25th birthday & I feel like it. I sure am tired & can make good use of my coming rest. I stayed aboard most of the morning. Brown & the boys came down he is going to go diving school for 3 weeks. Left Pearl & underway for San Francisco at 1300. I was dumping the trash can & almost got}


{left on the beach. I had to toss the empty can to Woody U then run & jump to the boat as she moved out into the channel. Frank Law hollered good luck as did everyone. While in Pearl we saw the Bon Homme Richard she is badly burned & large holes in deck. Jap suicide planes crashed into her. Also learned that Ticonderoga was hist by two planes & burned through 4 decks. The Ben Franklin was hit by suicide planes crashing on her just as her flight deck was covered with planes ready to take off. Her magazine blew up & about 1300 men were killed. Only about 300 left to bring her into Pearl. They may scrap her.

4/27 Started scraping paint.

4/28 Picked up Jap fishing ball.

4/29 Saw some ships which sighted us & turned tail & ran from us.


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