Thursday, March 26, 2009

Update: Dispatched To Eternal Patrol By The Chaos of Battle

In the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October based on Tom Clancy's 1984 thriller, future U.S. Senator Fred Dalton Thompson (R-TN) played Rear Admiral Joshua Painter aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. One of the greatest lines of the entire movie is when Admiral Painter says,

This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we will be lucky to live through it.

The line expresses with perfection the fate of the submarine USS SEAWOLF (SS-197) on her 15th war patrol, during the invasion of Morotai. Known as Submarine Raider of the Pacific, her crews had served their country proudly from the very first days of the war in the Pacific. Her missions had been expensive for the enemy, daring for her crew and distinctive for her bold commanding officers, including "Fearless Freddie" Warder, who penetrated over 40 miles into a heavily protected harbor to engage the enemy. On her thirteenth patrol, a successful Top Secret photographic reconnaissance of Peleliu (Palau), she rescued two downed aviators during air raids. On her fourteenth patrol, SEAWOLF delivered cargo to guerrilla activities in the Philippines. More about the SS-197 can be found here, at our original posting.

Auction UPDATE:

Check out this ebay auction, Buy It Now price $5,500. No bids, and 1 offer so far.

Assuming authenticity, the christening box for the champagne bottle used by sponsor, Mrs. E.C. Kalbfus, on August 15, 1939, in Seawolf's christening-launching ceremony. The box was apparently presented to Mrs. Kalbfus as a ceremony keepsake.


Until we spotted the auction we had never realized such christening boxes even existed. Here is another, for a minesweeper launched in 1943, priced at a mere $100.


We will see if the Seawolf box sells as listed, and let you know. If not, we will try to see if it gets relisted at a lower price. We are connected neither with these ebay items nor their auctions.


Submarines are always silent and strange.



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