This is the 14th 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 "Dace" and the "Darter". It is Oct 1944 and the two submarines are on patrol in the South China Sea. They are on the lookout for any movement by the Japanese heavy Fleet. The Philippines are about to be invaded and the U.S. expects a big response to the assault.
Sure enough the Japanese send out all their heavy units as well as their remaining carriers. The Japanese advance from several different directions all heading for Leyte.
"Dace" and "Darter" come up on one of these groups. The two submarines attack at night and manage to sink two heavy cruisers, the "Atago", the "Maya" and heavily damage the "Takao". Leaving behind several destroyers to assist the damaged, "Takao" the rest of the Japanese task force leaves the area.
"Darter" decides to close in and finish off the damaged cruiser. This idea does not come off as planned when the "Darter" runs up on an unseen reef. The "Darter" is stuck high and dry in the receding tide. The "Dace" pulls in as close as possible and offloads the crew from the stranded "Darter".
The explosive self-destruct explosives fail to destroy the "Darter", so "Dace" fires a spread of torpedoes at "Darter" and a few rounds from her deck gun. "Dace now heads back to base with her extra passengers.
The "Dace" was credited with 28,000 tons of Japanese shipping during 7 patrols. The submarine was transferred to the Italian Navy in 1956 and served with that force till returned to the U.S. in 1972. The "Dace" was scrapped in 1976.
The "Darter" was credited with 19,000 plus tons of Japanese shipping in 4 patrols. The wreck of the submarine can still be found on the reef in the Palawan Passage.
The cast in this episode include, Dennis Weaver, K.L. Smith, Paul Picerni, Terry Becker and Alan Emerson.
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