This is the 23rd 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 about the U.S.S. "Sea Dragon". It is December 1942 and the "Sea Dragon" is patrolling off the Bismarck Archipelago looking for targets heading towards the Japanese base at Rabaul. There are several failed attacks on Japanese convoys headed for New Guinea. These draw a quick and nasty response from the convoy escorts.
The "Sea Dragon" is forced deep and subjected to 16 hours of depth charges. The "Sea Dragon" crew are having problems with a lack of oxygen due to malfunctioning air scrubbers. The C02 levels are rising to dangerous levels. The submarine will be forced to surface if the attacks continue.
The "Sea Dragon" catches a break as the Japanese escorts move off. The submarine surfaces and the fresh air is most welcome to the crew. The "Sea Dragon" though is not off the hook yet, as they are being stalked by a Japanese submarine. There is an exchange of tin fish between the two submarines before the "Sea Dragon" makes off at full speed. It is time for a return to base.
The cast includes, Lance Fuller, Rudy Solari, Murvyn Vye, Peter Hansen and Bernie Rich.
The "Sea Dragon" would complete 12 wartime patrols sinking at least 6 Japanese ships and damaging several more. The "Sea Dragon" was decommissioned in 1946 and sold for scrap in 1948.
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