"...The role that the American submarine played in WWll was the most significant military victory in the history of the world...
... No military service can compare with what we accomplished. With less than 2% of the Navy's personnel they sank 65% of all the Japanese ships sunk..
... and that was the entire Japanese maritime fleet plus 1/ 3 of its military men of war,including the largest ship ever built."
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Copyright (c) 2003
The World War II
Submarine Veterans History Project
Ron is the author of the book Torpedoman and is written by one of the few enlisted submarine authors from World War II. Ron 'Warshot' Smith has "been there and done that." Ron Smith, with the permission of his parents, enlisted in the Navy the day he graduated from the 11th grade in Hammond, Indiana, in 1942, at 17 years of age. Six months later he was aboard the submarine USS SEAL (SS-183) in Mare Island Naval Shipyard, getting ready for his first war patrol. The book is the story of Ron's life and of his shipmates in SEAL, as well as their equally hazardous liberty parties ashore -- warts and all. This book vividly describes what a 300-plus depth charge attack is like from the After Torpedo Room of a fleet boat in World War II. Ron's battle station was between four torpedo tubes in the After Torpedo Room. He was connected with all of the compartments through the sound-powered telephone system. He reported to the Captain in the Control Room. When the last depth charge was dropped on Seal the count was 367. When the day was done Seal was in a shambles. The Captain ordered "Battle Surface" rather than take more punishment from the Japanese destroyers. He told the crew they would die fighting on the surface rather then die in the next attack by the destroyers. Ron's Battle Surface assignment was to man a 20mm gun on the after deck of the submarine -- a suicide assignment against enemy destroyers. You must read Torpedoman to see how SEAL survived.