Setting up the stage

Posted by Rebekah
May 25 2010

Short post today, I’m afraid.  I was going to do a longer post about the wreck of the Squalus and submarine rescue techniques and how they may or may not relate to the Flier, but it’s taking me a while longer than I thought it would.  A lot longer.

So today, I thought I’d show simply the positions of our star submarines, 66 years ago today. Flier (red)  is heading out for her first patrol, Redfin (yellow)  is a day away from her third, and Robalo (green) has just cleared Lombok Strait en route to well-deserved R&R at Fremantle.

Hopefully, it's visible, but according to their War Patrol Reports (and the fact that Redfin was in Fremantle on this date in 1944) these are the locations of the various submarines on this date sixty-six years ago.

The distances involved are immense.  Flier is 4,800 miles from Robalo and 5,500 miles from Redfin. Redfin and Robalo are 1,500 miles from each other, yet their stories are going to be tied together very closely.  According to some, Robalo and Flier rest only a few miles apart in Balabac, though the veracity of that cannot be tested until Robalo has been confirmed found.

This story involves many men and submarines.  Flier, Redfin and Robalo are the closest to this tale, but Jack and Harder will show up several times, and, according to some records, the story of the survivors of USS Flier would cause the Navy to wait considerably longer to announce the loss of Harder with all hands, just in case, maybe, just maybe…

Silversides would send Flier on the track of her fist kill. Muskallunge would rehearse battle techniques with her in Fremantle. Jack would witness her grounding at Midway, clean up after one of Flier’s kills, and be moored nearby the day she left Freo for the last time.

The strangest and most eerie thing I think is the fact that, while she was on her way to Freo at the close of her first patrol, Flier would run across an Allied submarine, the Robalo.  They were among the last to actually see her.

Tomorrow, Redfin departs Fremantle for the Balabac Straits, and she’s carrying some unusual temporary guests.

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