By Joseph F. Enright
In 1944, Japan's mightiest airplane service was once attacked on her top-secret maiden voyage via a lone American submarine, this is often the untold tale of the Shinano, through the fellow who sank her.
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Additional info for Shinano! : the sinking of Japan's secret supership
The bulkheads held no artwork to cheer the casualties. Captain Abe's was a fighting ship, and she was fitted out accordingly. Yet the department had an air of quiet efficiency because of the very simplicity of its design and furnishings. There were no unnecessary appointments to create roadblocks for corpsmen rushing the maimed to the triage area where the decision had to be made almost instantly: Who would go under the surgeon's knife? Who could wait a bit, probably with the assistance of a blood transfusion?
Lacking that capability, it was very difficult to get ahead of the zigzagging target. I went to the TDC to talk with Dave Bunting, who was an expert operator, capable of detecting almost instantly even a slight change in the enemy's course and speed. Invariably, I noted that the plot and TDC solutions agreed. The officers and men assigned to the conning tower operations knew exactly what to do and were carrying out their complicated functions with a deceptive quiet. My visits there usually lasted only three or four minutes.
If Shinano had remained at Yokosuka, all too soon she would have been pinpointed as a prime target by the B-29s. The alternative, of course, was not much better— a nighttime dash to the Inland Sea through waters infested, from everything he had heard, by enemy submarines. With Shinano's predicament in mind, he had written in his journal: "In order to overcome the tremendous odds, needless to say, it was required that the crew's skill and morale be of the highest quality. But for myself, who witnessed firsthand the superior seamen of the Imperial Japanese Navy at the outbreak of the war, it seems to me that many of Shinano's crew are rather inferior in skills and morale.
Shinano! : the sinking of Japan's secret supership by Joseph F. Enright