posted on March 07, 2012 10:35
The following post was submitted by VC-66 T-1 and T-2 FM Wildcat pilot DeLoach Cope of Arcola, Mississippi. It describes an incident that occurred while Cope was serving with VC-66 T-2.
Hunting For A Submarine Periscope
While we were stationed at Pearl Harbor there was a report of a plane that was shot down in Tokyo Bay. The pilot was in his life boat and was able to tie on to the periscope of one of our submarines that pulled him out to sea and to safety. I believe that it was a Navy pilot from Tupelo, Mississippi.
Our Skipper (LCDR Charles Kinsella, USN) thought that he would like to see this tried. Why he picked Carmichael (ENS James Carmichael, USNR) and me, we were never told. There was nothing in his history of the Squadron about it. I don’t remember the exact dates of this adventure, but we were staying in the BOQ at Pearl Harbor at the time.
Early one morning Carmichael and I were picked up by a jeep and driver, carried down to the port, put aboard a Destroyer Escort which then went through the channel and out to sea. After a little over an hour and about 25 miles out in the ocean, far enough away that there was no land in sight, the DE stopped and put out a 4-man life boat with some water and sun screen lotion and a rope. We were told that after about an hour a submarine would be in the area – just under water with the periscope showing---we were to look for it. The DE left us
Soon after the DE left, the waves began to get high. When we were on top of a wave we could see good, but on the bottom of the wave – nothing but water on all sides. After several hours the Sub could not find us and we never saw the Sub. Carmichael was sick to his stomach and threw up several times. It was extremely hot and we were alarmed that we might not be found.
The Sub after not locating us decided that they would go to the hunt and rescue routine. They knew about the location. The Sub surfaced and made a large area search back and forth closing in each time. After a couple of hours of closing in they located us. They were glad to see us and we were most happy to see them. After they picked us up, our life boat was deflated and brought aboard. They checked us out and headed back to Pearl Harbor. This was the only ride I ever had in a Sub. It stayed surfaced all the way back to the harbor. It was almost sundown when we arrived at the Sub Headquarters. We were sent by jeep back to our BOQ.
We were tired and completely exhausted. There was not a report asked for or given. I often wondered about our Skipper. He did not ever discuss this with me. After a month he transferred me to VC-4