Wednesday, June 19, 2024

52 US WW2 Submarines were still on the "Eternal Patrol" Until Recently. The number is now 51. The USS Harder has now been found.

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Harder during her 5th war patrol in Japanese-controlled waters. Floodlighted by a bright moon and disclosed to an enemy destroyer escort which bore down with intent to attack. Comdr. Dealey quickly dived to periscope depth and waited for the pursuer to close range, then opened fire, sending the target and all aboard down in flames with his third torpedo. Plunging deep to avoid fierce depth charges, he again surfaced and, within nine minutes after sighting another destroyer, had sent the enemy down tail first with a hit directly amidship. Evading detection, he penetrated the confined waters off Tawi Tawi with the Japanese Fleet base six miles away and scored death blows on two patrolling destroyers in quick succession. With his ship heeled over by concussion from the first exploding target and the second vessel nose-diving in a blinding detonation, he cleared the area at high speed. Sighted by a large hostile fleet force on the following day, he swung his bow toward the lead destroyer for another "down-the-throat" shot, fired three bow tubes, and promptly crash-dived to be terrifically rocked seconds later by the exploding ship as the Harder passed beneath. This remarkable record of five vital Japanese destroyers sunk in five short-range torpedo attacks attests the valiant fighting spirit of Comdr. Dealey and his indomitable command." from Cmdr . Dealey's Congressional Medal of Honor  presentation. 

It is a very good story of a very brave commander and crew. The boat was a Gato Class submarine named USS "Hit 'em Harder" Harder. To read more, click HERE

H/T to reader Ed in Moulton


  1. That such men lived.....
    (Slow salute)
    President Elect B Woodman

  2. I remember reading about Cmdr Healey and the USS Harder. He was purposely going after the destroyers as at that time Japan had a limited number and everyone he sunk meant that there were even fewer to hunt down US and allied submarines in the Pacific Theatre of war. The story ended with the loss of contact with the USS Harder. I'm glad they found it.

  3. It is The Medal of Honor. Please see the Awards Manuals of the medals three respective branches. The word congressional has been dropped by the major style guides after years of misuse.

  4. “Almighty, Everlasting God, and the Protector of all those who put their trust in Thee: hear our prayers in behalf of Thy servants who sail their vessels beneath the seas. We beseech Thee to keep in Thy sustaining care all who are in submarines, that they may be delivered from the hidden dangers of the deep.”

    1. Amen
      President Elect B WOodman

  5. "Toxic masculinity " at its finest.
    Salute to the men of a bygone era.

  6. Heckuva story.

  7. You might find this podcast worthy of a bit of your time:


  8. Unfortunately, when subs go down, it too frequently means the loss of the entire crew. RIP USS Harder sailors...

  9. As a former submariner it always touches me when my lost brothers boats are located.
    Capt. Dealey’s photograph is part of the Medal of Honor Hall in the Texas State Capitol building.
    The United States WW2 Submarine Service had the highest casualty rate of all units in the US military. All of those men had giant brass balls.

    More info on the Lost 52 Project:

  10. Just finished the book Torpedo Run about Eugene Fluckey and the Barb in WW2. He also received the Medal of Honor and was very successful in all his missions. They were famous for having blown up a Japanese train. I recommend the book.

  11. The greatest generation; no doubt.

  12. 911 USA USA USA 911


  13. Such brave men. Fighting to the end.

  14. I had no idea that 51 submarines and their crews are still unaccounted for.

  15. Where would we be without them? All American bad assess.

  16. I spent a few years on an SSN in the early 80s. The thought was always buried in the back of my mind. I realized early on the Steinke hood we used in the 100’ underwater escape tower in sub school was just psychological.

  17. Last summer I visited USS Cobia in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She's a ww2 Gato-class boat, and is remarkably well preserved. Irish, if any of your readers get anywhere near Manitowoc (about an hour north of Milwaukee), seeing Cobia is well worth the price of admission.

    See also the YouTube channel for USS Cod .. another Gato class boat .. she's docked on the Ohio lake shore. The boat's curator puts up regular posts on the nuances of the boat's internals, aspects of the crew's life, etc. He even did a segment on all aspects of "waste disposal". The boat typically carried a crew of ~70 sailors and officers, went on patrol for 75 or 80 days, and was stocked with ~150 rolls of sanitary paper.

    Lastly, see Jake O'neal's Animagraffs .. how a US ww2 submarine worked. There's a few small errors in his presentation, but does a faithful job of detailing the overall mechanics of how the boat and its components all worked together. One thing he does miss is the desalinizing plant. All subs rely heavily on their fresh water supply. Fresh water went first for the batteries, second for feeding the crew, and lastly for the occasional shower or small batch of laundry.


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