This is the 48th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.
Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.
This episode is the second episode to deal with the USS "S-38". The "S-38" was one of the oldest submarines in service with the Navy. It was based in the Philippines when the war started. After the Philippines became untenable, the submarine was sent to Java in the Dutch East Indies.
In Feb. 1942, the "S-38" was sent out on patrol to find the approaching Japanese invasion fleet. She first stopped off to do a bit of shore bombardment on a recently captured Japanese port.
Of Feb 27th the submarine could see star shell exploding on the horizon. The ship's Captain, Steve Brodie, figured the Combined Allied Fleet had met up with the Japanese. He was right. The American, British and Dutch fleet was thumped in the Battle of the Java Sea.
The next day, the "S-38" finds survivors from the Royal Navy destroyer, "HMS Electra". The 40 or so men are brought on board and the submarine heads for Java. She drops off the Royal Navy personal and heads off to Australia. The island of Java would be invaded three days later.
Sometime later, they meet some of the Royal Navy survivors in Australia. That is the ones who had been lucky enough to escape from Java.
The "S-38"was considered a rather unlucky ship with many mechanical problems popping up during her wartime patrols. These would cause the ship to return early from most wartime patrols. The ship was finally decommissioned in 1944 and expended as an aircraft target in Feb 1945.
Besides Steve Brodie, the cast includes, Robin Hughes, Patrick Waltz, Steve Mitchell and Barry Marvin.
Check out episode 15 for an earlier tale of this particular submarine.
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