This is the 27th 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. "Cochino". The "Cochino" was commissioned too late to see action in WW2. The Navy decided to turn her and her sister ship, "Tusk" into experimental test beds for a snorkel device. The snorkel allows a submarine to remain submerged while running her diesel engines to recharge the batteries.
In July 1949, "Cochino" and "Tusk" were sent to the UK and then north off Norway for cold weather testing. While running through an Artic gale, the "Cochino" suffered through a series of explosions caused by a ruptured battery damaged by an electrical fire. This soon caused the release of dangerous amounts of both, hydrogen and chlorine gas. The hydrogen gas kept igniting from the electrical shorts.
The "Cochino" was literally shaking herself to destruction. An emergency call was sent to her nearby sister ship, "Tusk". The crew were called on deck in case the ship went under. The Artic conditions were not a help. There was a problem getting one of the men burned fighting the fire on deck.
The "Tusk" managed to arrive in a nick of time and rescue the "Cochino" crew before the submarine sank.
The cast includes, Christopher, Dark, Joe Flynn and Edward Platt. Platt and Flynn would go onto star in two of the most popular comedy series of the 1960's. Flynn was on McHALE'S NAVY while Platt played the Chief on GET SMART.
Though not mentioned on the actual episode, there were 6 men lost during the transfer of the "Cochino" crew to the "Tusk". The "Cochino" is one of four United States Navy submarines to be lost since the end of World War II. The others were "Stickleback", Thresher" and "Scorpion".
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