What They Did
During the 1,347 days of WWII, 465 skippers took 263 boats and 16,000 men out on 1736 patrols, collectively spending 79,838 days at sea, of which 31,571 days were spent in operating areas where they attacked 4,114 merchant ships, firing 14,748 torpedoes and sinking 1,178 of them along with 214 Naval vessels. Of these 263 boats 52 and 3,617 men never returned. In this same period, the Germans lost 781 U-boats, the Japanese lost 130 and the Italians lost 85. 16,200 Japanese merchant seaman were killed and 53,400 wounded out of the total force of 122,000 by U.S.submarines. A force of 2% of the U.S. Navy accounted for 55% of Japan's maritime losses.

Never in the annals of military history has there been a record of acheivement to equal that of the United States Submarine Service during World War Two. With 1.6 percent of all Naval personnel the Submarine Service sank over fifty-five percent of all Japanese ships sunk, including one third of all Japanese Men-of-War.

They also performed many other tasks such as carrying ammunition to Corregidor, evacuating the Phillipine Government and all it's gold. Attacking enemy land positions, landing spotters and raiders on many islands. Rescueing downed US pilots, one of which was George Bush, later President of the United States.

Secret surviellance was another mission of US submarines. US submarines scouted every landing made during the war in the Pacific and on many occasions acted as 'point' for the invading forces guiding them to the invasion place.

The United States Submarine service had the Island of Japan isolated long before the end of the war. They were unable to supply their army in the field, or even sustain the economy of the home islands. It is questionable under those circumstances that the atomic bomb was really needed.

All of this was done under the strictest secrecy, most of it not revealed for more than forty years after the end of World War Two.

What Was Said

President Roosevelt (when told secretly of the success of our submarines) said, "I can only echo the words of Winston Churchill, "Never have so many owed so much to so few."
Itaki Ito, recorder for the military leaders of Japan, in his book The Rise and Fall of the (Imperial) Japanese Navy said, "The greatest mistake Japan made in the war was in not attacking the United States Submarines."

The price they paid for their successes was heavy. At over 20%, it was the highest mortality rate of any US service during World War Two.

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