Captain chooses to go down with Submarine
19th November 1943: USN Captain Cromwell chooses to die on board USS Sculpin rather than risk betraying high level secrets to the Japanese
Far out in the Pacific the USS Sculpin spotted a Japanese convoy and prepared to attack. Unfortunately she was spotted during her approach and forced to dive. When she surfaced to try again, she came up close to a Japanese destroyer that was trailing behind the convoy. So began a nine hour ordeal by depth charge during which the Sculpin sustained significant damage.
The Diving Officer, Lt. George Brown1 was sent from his dive control station to assess the damage:
Upon inspection, I found the after engine room had flooded to such an extent I believed it unwise to attempt to place a bubble in No. 4 Main Ballast Tank, which would have aided the trim considerably. The flow of water forward might short the main motor leads. We decided to bail the water forward to another compartment until we could trim the ship without endangering the main motors.
While a bucket brigade was being run by exhausted men in temperatures well over a hundred degrees, the temporary diving officer broached the ship. However, no one could be blamed for this as the depth gauge was stuck at 170 feet and the pressure gauges around the diving station were all flooded out.
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