- ISBN/SKU: 9781591145301
- Binding: Hardcover
- Era: WWII
- Number of Pages: 400
- Subject: History
- Date Available: October 2009
When submarines failed to return to port from patrol, they were officially listed by the Navy as "overdue and presumed lost." Loved ones were notified by the War Department that their siblings, spouses, and sons were missing in action and presumed lost. While 52 U.S. submarines were sunk during World War II, the Japanese took prisoners of war from the survivors of only seven of these lost submarines.
Presumed Lost is the compelling story of the final patrols of those seven submarines and the long captivity of the survivors. Of the 196 sailors taken prisoner, 158 would survive the horrors of the POW camps, where torture, starvation, and slave labor were common. This is the most complete and accurate record of their captivity experiences ever compiled. Author Stephen L. Moore draws on personal interviews with the survivors, as well as on diaries, family archives, and POW statements to reveal new details and correct longstanding errors in previously published accounts.
Moore's research brought to light the following facts: Most crewmen from USS Perch endured 1,298 days of captivity without their families ever being told that they were still alive. The Perch and USS Grenadier were so badly damaged by enemy depth-charge attacks that their crews were forced to scuttle their ships. USS Sculpin and USS S-44 went down fighting, with only forty-two men from the Sculpin being taken prisoner and half of them perishing on the way to Japan. USS Tang and USS Tullibee, victims of their own faulty, circling torpedoes, had few survivors, five of whom managed to escape from the sunken, burning Tang when it was 180 feet below the ocean surface. As many as six men survived the loss of USS Robalo after it struck a mine off Palawan, but none of those survived the prison camps. The book includes dozens of rare photos of the POWs, many of which have never before been published. Appendices include final muster rolls of the seven submarines and a complete list of the U.S. submariners who were held as POWs, with details of their various camps of internment.
Stephen L. Moore, a sixth-generation Texan, is the author of eight previous books on World War II and Texas history, including War of the Wolf, the story of USS Seawolf. A resident of Lantana, TX, he is a frequent speaker at Texas book events and conferences and writes for local magazines and historical journals.