The Last Patrol is an operational history of the fifty-two United States submarines lost during the Second World War. The Submarine Service of the U.S. Navy suffered the highest percentage of losses of any branch of the American armed forces with almost one in five vessels failing to return. However, the achievements of United States submarines are legend as their crews, while representing only two per cent of Naval personnel, accounted for over fifty-five per cent of Japanese shipping losses. The Japanese merchant marine was second to none and vital to the fighting potential and economy of that island nation, but by 1945 it had ceased to exist as the submarines succeeded in near total destruction. Of the submarines which were reported as ‘Overdue presumed lost’, some were famous with high scores and commanders renowned for their audacious attacks, while others were less well-known and were lost before they could make their mark in history. Nevertheless, submariners have a great camaraderie and each loss was felt deeply throughout the Service. This is the story of those submarines, the successes, their failures and their final dive when the sea closed over them forever. pp. 212 illusts (NO dustjacket) #1219
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