BACK TO HOME PAGE
JOE ENRIGHT was known as "Oh-Boat-Joe-of-the-Oh-One-Oh" when he was a training Skipper at the SubBase, New London prior to the war since he was Skipper of the old O-Class submarine, O-10. When war broke out, he quickly became Skipper of USS DACE, but he requested to be relieved because he thought he was not aggressive enough. His request was granted, and he sailed a desk through most of the war.
As the war was in its closing stages, JOE wanted to get back into the fray, so he requested and got, command of a new American submarine, USS ARCHER-FISH. While on station off the home islands of Japan, a huge plum dropped into his hands.............the giant 65,000 ton aircraft carrier SHINANO was standing out to sea.
The Japanese were building three huge battleships - YAMATO, MUSASHI and SHINANO. At some point in her construction, SHINANO was being finished out as a super carrier rather than a battleship, and they were moving her to the Inland Sea where she could be better protected from the constant American bomber strikes. She didn't make it - she ran into "Oh-Boat-Joe" and USS ARCHER-FISH.
The commander of the screening destroyer group spotted ARCHER-FISH and his destroyers raced off to attack but the Japanese admiral in command of the task group believed that ARCHER-FISH was merely a "rabbit" to pull the escorts away from the carrier, so he ordered the destroyers to break off and return to the carrier to protect it from the other American submarines he thought were in the area. There were no other American submarines, just ARCHER-FISH and for some reason we will never know, the Japanese admiral ordered a change in course that put SHINANO into a perfect firing position for ARCHER-FISH. JOE didn't hesitate, and fired a salvo at the giant carrier, sending her to the bottom. It is reported that the Japanese admiral, despite orders that officers were not to commit suicide, lashed himself to the railing of the carrier and went down with the ship. This order was in effect because the Japanese were losing too many trained officers, but he died with his ship.
When ENRIGHT reported this action, he was told it was not possible - that Japan did not have such an aircraft carrier, and so he was not given credit for this sinking. Some time after the war, he began to research and after much digging, came up with the proof that Japan did indeed, have this 65,000 ton carrier and so the Navy gave him credit, and a NAVY CROSS as well. He wrote a book about this action and naturally, entitled it "SHINANO!". We have a signed copy in our special library.
Captain ENRIGHT was always helpful and supportive of Sharkhunters.
BACK TO HOME PAGE