Submarines, including Pampanito played a critical and decisive role in World War II. They sank over 1,200 Japanese merchant ships and warships -- more than half of all Imperial Japanese shipping destroyed in the war. Japan, as true with most nations, depended on their merchant marine to supply their commerce and military, they relied on their Navy to protect those supply lines. When the rate of sinkings outpaced Imperial Japan's ability to build new ships, the outcome of the war was assured.
But this success was expensive. Fifty-two submarines never returned home. Most disappeared without a trace, their fate unknown. All but a few of their crews lie forever entombed on the ocean floor. More than 3,500 men of the "Silent Service" gave their lives to the cause of victory. Pampanito stands as one of the few proud memorials to these men still "on eternal patrol." On behalf of the Pampanito crew, thank you for joining us today.
Above Deck Features
Periscope Shears: Housing and support for both periscopes. The after scope is
the longer, thinner, attack scope and features an optical range finder for determining the
range of a target. The forward scope is the general observation scope and
features an ST radar window located below the optical opening. The ST was
used for very accurate target range calculations.
Radar Masts: The small radar dish antenna is the SJ (a surface
search device) and the large dish is the SV (an air search device). The
SV replaced the original SD radar and was installed in 1945. The SV is
mounted on an extendable mast so that it could be operated when running
submerged at periscope depth. Both operated at approximately 3,000 megahertz.
Lookout Platforms: The lookouts stood on the platforms in between
the periscope shears. The curved railing mounted horizontally at the top
of the platform is chest high. The vertical railing was to allow the lookout
to swing below when the diving alarm was sounded.
Gun Decks - Fore And Aft: 20mm anti-aircraft gun forward
and a 40mm anti-aircraft gun aft. Both weapons could operate at semi or
full automatic rates of fire. Although these guns were designed as anti-aircraft
weapons, the submarine would usually dive to safety when an unknown plane
Target Bearing Transmitters: These were used to indicate the
angle, or bearing, of a target from the submarine, and to relay that information
to the torpedo data computer in the conning tower to establish the gyro
angles for the torpedo run. There are two TBTs, one on the bridge and one
mounted on a stand by the 40mm gun on the after gun deck.
RDF Loop And VHF Antenna: The doughnut-shaped antenna between
the periscope masts determined the direction of a radio signal and could
receive low frequency radio transmissions at shallow depths. The VHF antenna
is the stub antenna on the forward periscope mast.
Storage Canisters: The large canisters mounted on the aft end
of the conning tower were used to store a quick supply of shells for the
deck gun. They kept the shells dry and protected them from sea pressure during a dive.
The smaller canisters contained shells for the 30 or 50 caliber
machine guns which were mounted on the larger diameter deck stanchions.
Searchlight: The 12-inch diameter searchlight has a 1,000-watt
light that was used for observation, and also had hand operated shutters
that allowed it to be used for Morse code ship-to-ship communications.
Blastphones: Six hydrophones that are used to indicate the direction of a depth charge
explosion, enabling evasive measures to be taken, are mounted on the ship. They are mounted fore
and aft, port and starboard, and at the keel and top of the periscope shears.
The Depth Charge Direction Indicator was in the conning tower and consisted of a series of
lights that would be activated by a depth charge explosion. The lights
that went on would indicate the direction of the explosion which otherwise
was very difficult to determine. The unit was then reset for the next explosion.
Broom: When a crew returned from a successful war patrol and had "swept the seas clear of the enemy," they would attach a broom to the periscopes as they entered port.