THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957
This is an 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, the seventh is the series, is about the "Batfish". It is early 1945 and "Batfish" has been assigned to patrol off the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. The Japanese are using submarines to evacuate high level officers over to their bases on Formosa. The subs are then used to ship ammunition and food back to the Japanese still fighting in the Philippines.
The "Batfish" is one of several U.S. Navy pig-boats operating in the general area. The Captain of the "Batfish", Rhodes Reason, warns his crew that they must be doubly sure they do not attack one of their own by mistake. The ship's second in command, Michael Emment, is not worried about the "Batfish" making an error, he is overly worried about the "Batfish" being sunk in error.
The "Batfish" gets a radar contact while running on the surface at night. They stalk the contact to confirm that it is an enemy submarine. After identifying said sub as a Japanese RO class boat, they move in. One torpedo soon sends the enemy sub to Davey Jones' locker. In the next 36 hours the "Batfish" manages to dispose of two more Japanese submarines running the shuttle service to Formosa.
The "Batfish" was kept in service after the war as a training vessel. She served as such till 1969 when she was put in reserve. In 1971 she was sold to Oklahoma Maritime Advisory Board. "Batfish" then began a year long journey up various inland waterways to her final berth at Muskogee, Oklahoma. She is now a museum ship open to the public.
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