letters to the editor blurb

dear editor

I am trying to assist a World War II Army Air Corps pilot who was shot down in the Pacific Theater and rescued from a Japanese held island by a U.S. Navy submarine (including a shore party). Because of his injuries, he does not remember the date of the event, or what happened to his crew — for whom he feels responsible. I know this is a long shot, but since there are no records of downed aircraft that match the time period he recalls, I thought it might be possible to pinpoint the date and time of the event by accessing the records of the submarine fleet. Any assistance you can give to steer me in the direction of these records would be greatly appreciated. (I don’t know if they are filed by name of downed airman, location, sub, etc.)

Thank you for your time,
Gerry Perrett

Mr. Perrett,
A good place to start would be at the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command,
http://www.history.navy.mil. The information you seek might be found in the operational Archive Branch, Third Floor of Building 57, Washington Navy Yard. Its hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday,
0900-1600; appointments are requested due to limited research space, and the phone number is
(202) 433-3224.

Another possibility is the National Archives — they maintain war patrol reports for the vast majority of WWII-era boats. If your friend can provide a window of time when he was shot down, some basic Internet research might be able to turn up what boats were on patrol or performing lifeguard duty. Then, going to the National Archives, you could pull the war patrol reports for those boats and scan them for the information matching what you know. The National Archives’ website is http://www.archives.gov. Good Luck!

from the editor

In the last issue of UNDERSEA WARFARE, a photo on page 29 of Vice Adm. John Donnelly
was incorrectly identified. The caption described his recent trip to Peru, while the photograph was taken on his trip to neighboring Chile. UNDERSEA WARFARE regrets the error.

The caption should have read, “Talcahuano, Chile (April 09) — During a recent trip to Chile, Vice Adm. John Donnelly, Commander Submarine Force, was greeted by Comodoro Piero Fagandini, Commander Submarine Force-Chile, as they toured the Chilean submarine base in Talcahuano.”