The Top Submarine Ace of the US Navy – Part 1

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Much of what we know about Mush Morton comes from a book I have used as a source for the posts on Morton, Wahoo: The Patrols of America’s Most Famous WWII Submarine, (three stars) a memoir written by Richard O’Kane, executive officer of the USS Wahoo and later the commander of the USS Tang. O’Kane made five war patrols on the Wahoo, the last three under Morton. I rate this book three stars because much of it is repetitive account of sinking Japanese ships and these accounts do not differ very much. The worth of the book is in its portrayal of Dudley “Mush” Morton and even though I have rated it three stars, I would say that if you want to be well read in the history of the US Navy submarine campaign against Japan this is a must read book.

(Feb. 7, 1943) – USS Wahoo (SS 238) Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Dudley W. “Mush” Morton (R) speaks with his Executive Officer Lt. Richard H. O’Kane (L) on the open bridge at Pearl Harbor after the submarine’s third war patrol circa Feb. 7, 1943. On Oct. 11, 1943, nearly a month into the seventh patrol, a multi-hour combined sea and air attack involving depth charges and aerial bombs sunk the submarine. Lt. Commander O’Kane had been detached prior to that patrol to assume command of the USS Tang. Adm. Gary Roughead, commander, US Pacific Fleet, declared that the sunken submarine recently discovered by divers in the Western Pacific is the World War II submarine USS Wahoo (SS 238). (Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the Naval Historical Center/RELEASED)

[Image courtesy of the Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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