I had a wonderful surprise today. Every few weeks I Google the names of several ships that featured largely in Flier’s history: Robalo, Redfin, Jack, Harder, Silversides, Orion, and of course, Macaw. Usually, I find nothing, occasionally a new photo.
But today, I found a whole new website about USS Macaw, written by the son of Macaw’s Executive Officer, the most senior officer who survived the sinking. It was incredible to read through and see the photos of this scarcely known ship. The one on the home page was the best for me, a photo of Macaw as she sat, grounded, at Midway. Wow. THIS is why I keep sifting through the Internet to find stuff on Flier and all her connections.
So, I hope you visit the USS Macaw Website.
P.S. It seems that particular area of Midway’s channel was VERY dangerous. Not only Flier, Macaw and that water barge (see March 23rds entry) grounded there, but so did USS Tarpon, another submarine on December 10, 1942.
From the War Patrol Report of USS Tarpon: December 10. 1942
1018(Y): Grounded just before entering channel to NOB, Midway, bering 166 1/2 (degrees) T from W. H-beam pile, distant 850 yards. Particulars of grounding covered in seperate correspondence.
1034(Y): Backed clear, proceeded up channel
1100(Y): Moored NOB Midway. Diver inspected underwater condition of hull.
You’d think, with this warning 13 months earlier, someone should have blown that channel a little wider in 1943! The strangest thing of this tale has to be the Executive Officer and Navigator of Tarpon that morning was Paul Burton.
Who, 13 months later, would be at Midway. Commanding the new Submarine Rescue Ship USS Macaw.
I wonder if he felt a shiver go down his spine that morning in December. 13 months later, an unlucky number that (Flier would also sink on August 13, yeesh) He would drown in nearly the same spot.