Subj:: Japanese Two Man Subs (Maned Torpedos)
During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor one of the new two man subs was sunk by a Navy Ship. Three years later I witnessed the 2nd and last of them attack a tanker in our harbor at Ulithi in the Caroline Islands..
At about 0600 on or about 26 Oct 1944 I was urinating on the palm tree in the revetment next to my TBM-3 . Preparing to run the A/C up for an early morning attack on Yap Island (VMTB-232 on Ulithi Island Carolines).Suddenly there was a blinding flash & huge explosion in the harbor. Out runway went from one end of that small island to the other end above the harbor. We immediately launched all available TBMs & it was disclosed that a tanker loaded with thousands of gallons of fuel had been hit. Later determined that one of the new Japanese maned torpedos (3000 lbs explosive with an maned control compartment )had followed a ship through the sub net into the harbor during the nite. Sunday while viewing the History channel they showed this incident and told of the sub or maned torpedo which was carried to the target area on a full size sub (we later sunk the mother sub). They also stated that one of two Japanese Navy Lts that designed the unit was manning the one that struck our tanker.The smoke from the tanker blocked the sun for hours that day. We spotted the sub still in the harbor where it was sunk Guess the remains are still there !