Homeward and Outbound

Posted by Rebekah
Jun 30 2010

Flier is still working her way slowly homeward.  She continued through the Sulu Sea, the Sibutu Passage and is currently in the Makkassar Strait, and crossed the Equator today, officially landing her in the Southern Hemisphere.

Flier is heading for the exit of the war at Lombok Straits and about to run across a native fishing vessel.  More on that another day.

Red is Flier heading for Fremantle, Yellow is Redfin, patrolling in the Philippines, Green are the two confirmed hits on Robalo as she leaves Fremantle and heads to her patrol area.

Redfin, meanwhile, was in the midst of patrol aound the Visaya Islands in the Philippines, and  had been fairly successful, sinking two ships.  Today, a new wrinkle came up:  Torpedoman Leonard Pluta was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.  Some cases will heal themselves, and the sub Pharmacist’s Mates were under strict instructions to not attempt any more appendectomies.  Pluta was treated with Sulpha drugs and ice packs and put under observation for 24 hours to try to keep the infection under control, and wait and see for more direction.

Today, the Flier and the Robalo met for the last time.  I found two references to the Robalo on 6/28 when she was sighted by the crew of the Gunnel, returning from patrol.  Since they met on the friendly side of Lombok, the Gunnel reported that they closed with the Robalo closely enough that Captain Kimmel and Captain John McCain of the Gunnel could talk in the open air.  (And if you’re wondering, yes, that particular Captain McCain is the father of recent presidential candidate and current Arizona Senator John McCain III)

Two days later, sixty-six years ago today, the Flier made a ship’s contact, which they decided was a submarine, most likely a Robalo, though the two vessels were already far apart from each other when Flier’s radar picked up on Robalos’ presence and since they were moving in opposite directions, they soon lost each other.

These are two of the last contacts with Robalo, and strangely enough, as far as I can tell from the records, this is the last time Robalo will be seen by another US naval vessel.    The last contact will be from Robalo herself, and everything we know about her from that point forward will be a matter of conjecture.

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