The U.S. Naval Academy Museum features an exhibit detailing the importance of submarines in the Pacific theater; its focus, however, is too narrow, concentrating almost exclusively on the role of submarines in destroying merchant shipping.
The Silent Service's Success in the Pacific
Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay Contest
By Ensign William Harris
A tribute at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum overlooks the impact the submarine fleet had on destroying Japan’s warships in decisive World War II battles.
During World War II, the United States first utilized submarine warfare to effectively cripple its enemy. Although they comprised less than a mere two percent of the U.S. Fleet, submarines played a disproportionately significant role in the victory over Japan.1 In fact, the role of the “silent service” can hardly be overstated. Submarines were solely responsible for over half of Japanese tonnage sunk during the war.2