Flier is on her way home, via Sibutu Passage, Molukka Passage, and Lombok Strait. With only four torpedoes left, I’m sure they were anxious to get back to home port.
The night that Flier received permission to go home, They threw a victory party with an extensive menu to celebrate their successful patrol.
Thanks to the families of Al Jacobson and James Liddell, we have those menus AND the only known (that I know of at least) drawing of the Flier insignia. This bears the initials “RM” or so it appears. That does not match any names in the roster of those that went down. It makes me wonder who did it.
I think it’s funny that despite the fact that “Flier” is named for a common type of sunfish found all over America, the men designed a sailor-hat wearing fly to be their insignia.
The menu is AMAZING. Just look at the amount and variety of food. And this, mind you, is after 40 days at sea. That menu is made from the LEFTOVER food in their stocks. Little wonder that the kitchen staff on a submarine were coveted and highly regarded by their crewmates.
The two men named on the menu for their musical selection are being transferred off Flier when they get to port, they just don’t know it yet.
The Flier is heading for Fremantle, the most popular destination for submarines. Pearl Harbor was nice, but, from what I’ve read, most of the women there were already married, engaged or in a steady relationship. Most of the eligible Australian men, however, had volunteered for the military and been shipped off to the European and African theaters years before, leaving the girls behind. Most of the veterans I’ve interviewed said Fremantle and her sister city of Perth were open and welcoming to the American military men, and especially submariners, since they had top secret missions and faced danger on their patrols. There are many fond memories of these Australian cities I’ve heard, and several stories that stopped abruptly when the veterans realized, in their reminiscing, that their wives and/or children were listening intently. ( “I went to this party at the Swan Hotel and saw this gorgeous brunette across the room and…and…she stayed across the room. That’s all.”)
The book is progressing. I’m being picky and paranoid about the editing process now, trying to catch every grammatical and content error I can. I don’t know if it’ll be perfect, but I’m sure trying.
As soon as that’s done, I have to get to work on the information for the temporary exhibit and the memorial book. And here I thought I was going to have a relaxing summer. Oh well. It’s not often one gets to do something like this, help define and tell history on such a personal and close level. I’m also going to try to update this website soon with information about the temp exhibit and the Memorial service. Keep watching!