Saturday, April 6, 2013

The USS Perch (SS-176)-- Part 2

Once again, the Perch resurfaced on March 3rd and repairs were being made despite the deck being awash and only one engine operating.  A test dive was made which proved to be near fatal and only with great difficulty did the ship resurface again.

Almost immediately, the Perch was spotted by a Japanese battle group consisting of two cruisers and three destroyers.  Shells began straddling the submarine and with no opportunity to dive, the order was given to "Abandon ship, scuttle the boat."

The entire crew was picked up by one of the destroyers.  Of 54 men and 5 officers, all but six who died of malnutrition in Japanese prison camps, were able to return home after VJ Day.

On November 23, 2006, the Perch's wreck was found by an expedition searching for the wreck of the HMS Exeter (68) a heavy cruiser sunk March 1, 1942, in the Second Battle of Java Sea.

The Story of a Ship.  --GreGen

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