This is the 30th 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 a fictional take on a real event. The story is about a submarine named, U.S.S. "Starfish". There was no actual submarine by that name. The sub and the people involved have had their names changed because the actual event was still secret at the time of production.
The real submarine involved was the U.S.S. "Crevalle". The submarine had an accidental crash dive caused by a malfunction of the dive planes. The problem here is that the outer and inner conning tower hatches were open. The flow of water through the upper hatch, which was latched open, prevented anyone in the conning tower from closing it.
The "Crevalle" was down 150 feet before the outer hatch was seen to close and lock. An alert machinist's mate, Robert L. Yeager, saved the submarine by backing full without orders. The pump room, control room and conning tower flooded completely, and all electrical equipment was inoperative. Yeager received the Silver Star for his action.
The hatch closing was assumed to have been done by the officer of the watch who was not recovered. The man, Lt Howard James Blind, was given the Navy Cross posthumously. The man had only just been married 2 weeks before his death.
Not sure why they did not use the actual events for the story, but it is still an entertaining episode.
The cast here includes Patrick O'Neal, William Boyett and Richard Jaeckel. Jaeckel is playing the man who saved the ship, officer of the watch, Lt Howard James Blind.
Check out episodes 18 and 19 for the story of the "Crevalle"
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