USS Pampanito: Killer-Angel
Most World War II submarine stories are glorifications of war written by submarine captains about their own boats. The USS Pampanito, however, was ... Show synopsis Most World War II submarine stories are glorifications of war written by submarine captains about their own boats. The USS Pampanito, however, was not a typical submarine. The sub and its crew caused plenty of destruction, but they found the pinnacle of their honor and fame in a dramatic sea rescue. Gregory F. Michno relates the experiences of the crewmen -- both enlisted men and officers -- who served on the USS Pampanito. The Pampanito story begins with the boat's construction in 1943, continues through its six combat missions, and concludes with its decommissioning after the war in 1945. The heart of the book is the September 12, 1944, attack on a Japanese convoy carrying English and Australian POWs from the Burma-Siam Railway (of Bridge on the River Kwai fame) to prison camps in Japan. The Pampanito helped sink two of the prison ships, unwittingly killing hundreds of Allied soldiers, but then returned to rescue the victims. The crew picked a record seventy-three men from the sea.