Career in Crosshairs Concluded

Posted by Rebekah
Feb 07 2010

Flier’s whereabouts sixty-six years ago today are unknown…where she was depends on which records you believe.

It’s one of the interesting things about history: despite it being “over and done” what we “know” happened sometimes changes depending on what records and/or memories we depend on.

According to the book: “USS Flier: Death and Survival on a WWII Submarine” by Michael Sturma (from where I got most of my information about Crowley’s Board of Investigation, by the way)  Crowley’s Board of Investigation concluded on the 7th (today) and gave its verdict on the 8th, (tomorrow) and the Flier left Pearl Harbor for the States shortly thereafter. Those dates were found in the Naval Proceedings records held at the Judge Advocate General.

According to Flier’s own War Patrol Report Prologue however, she left Pearl on the 7th, which means that the Board of Investigation had to have concluded and given its verdict before Flier left.

Regardless of when it concluded and Flier was permitted to leave Pearl for  Vallejo, California, the finding of the Board was this:  Crowley was responsible for his boat grounding, but it was not due to culpable negligence.  He would be allowed to continue to command the Flier.

But for now, she had to be taken back to the States for major repairs at the largest submarine yard on the West Coast: Mare Island in Vallejo (just northeast of San Francisco).  Thankfully, the waters between Pearl and California were fairly secure, and heavily trafficked and patrolled, so it was unlikely to hide any Japanese ships or subs (later discovered to be untrue, but that was unknown at the time).   Flier was sent without an escort.

She limped out of harbor so badly dented and damaged people onshore must have wondered what kind of amazing story she had to tell if only her crew would be permitted.

It wasn’t one they were likely to repeat even if they had been allowed.

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