THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Spearfish Delivers" 1957
This is the fifth 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 "Spearfish". It is May 1942 and the "Spearfish" is ordered into Manila Bay. The submarine is to take on board several Army officers and a dozen Army nurses. They are all to be transferred to Australia.
By this time in the battle, the only American's holding out are on the fortress island of Corregidor. The "Spearfish" dodges Japanese patrol boats and picks up their human cargo. It is then a dangerous trip back to the sea through the minefields. Corregidor falls the next day.
The ever present Japanese force the "Spearfish" to run submerged longer than normal. Many systems are shut down to save battery power for movement. The crew suffer big time with the foul air as the air cleaners are also shut off. Each night the sub chances a trip to the surface for a recharge session.
After dodging a few more Japanese escort vessels the "Spearfish" makes it to safety at Fremantle, Australia.
The cast is made up of DeForest (Star Trek) Kelly, John (Robert's brother) Mitchum and Kurt Russell's father, Bing Russell. Peggy Stewart plays the main female lead.
The "Spearfish" survived the war after carrying out 12 patrols. They sank 8-9 ships and damaged several others. The "Spearfish" was decommissioned in 1946 and scrapped the following year.
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