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Porpoise Class Submarine
1,350 Tons (standard)
1,997 Tons (submerged)
300' 60 x 25' x 13' 8"
1 x 4" 50 cal deck gun
4 x .30 cal MG
4 bow and 2 stern 21" torpedo tubes with 16 torpedoes
IJN March 1942
K. Denlay Nov 23, 2006
After her shakedown cruise, Perch joined the Pacific Fleet Submarine Squadron 6 (SubRon 6) during November 1937. The following spring she was engaged in the annual fleet exercises and completed a survey of the Aleutian Islands and served with the fleet off the East Coast.
In October 1939, Perch departed San Diego for Manila as a division flagship and made a summer cruise in 1940 to Tsingtao and Shanghai. She spent the year preceding the war in operations around the Philippines. Perch rendezvoused with two transports off Shanghai and escorted the Fourth Marines from China to the Philippines.
That night, Perch slipped passed the minefield off Corregidor and scouted between Luzon and Formosa. Failing to find targets, she proceeded to Hong Kong. On December 25, 1941 Perch fired four torpedoes at a large merchantman, all miss. A few days later, she torpedoed an 8000-ton Japanese merchant ship, but escorts prevented Perch from observing the kill. Afterwards, the submarine proceeded to Darwin making several unsuccessful attacks en route.
After repairs at Darwin, Perch patrolled Kendari to scout the harbor and made several attempts to get through the narrow entrance to an attack position. After a week of close contact with the enemy and obtaining information, Perch continued to search for targets. In a night attack on a large merchantman off the eastern coast of Celebes (Sulawesi). Perch was hit in the superstructure, forward of the pressure hull of the conning tower, by a high explosive round which blew away the bridge deck, punctured the antenna trunk and temporarily put her radio out of commission. Her crew made a courageous effort to make repairs on deck ant night in enemy patrolled waters then proceeded to the Java Sea.
With only one engine in commission, the crew made all possible repairs. During the early morning of March 3, 1942, the sub surfaced but was surrounded by two cruisers and three destroyers. As shells straddled the boat, Captain Hurt ordered: "Abandon ship, scuttle the boat." First Lieutenant Kenneth G. Schacht was awarded a Navy Cross for assisting in the scuttling in the Java Sea. Perch received one battle star for World War II service.
Fate of the Crew
During captivity, six died of malnutrition:
The others crew members survived captivity and were liberated at the end of World War II in the Pacific.
Captain Lt. Commander David A. Hurt was transfered to Japan and detained at Omori POW Camp. As a prisoner he was a father figure to younger officers and enlisted men. At the end of the war he was release from Tokyo POW Camp Branch #2 (Kawasaki) Tokyo Bay Area 35-139 and returned to the United States.
Captain David A. Hurt Survived Omori POW Camp, where he was known as a 'father figure" to the younger officers.
Charles Newton Brown is buried at Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, NY at plot C, grave 3219.
Robert Archibald Wilson is buried at Beverly National Cemetery at plot F, grave 1734.
The burials of Albert Kenneth Newsome and Philip James Dewes is unknown, presumed to be in a private cemetery in the United States.
David Albert Hurt died November 23, 1945 due to a hunting accident. He is buried at Jeffersonville Cemetery in Tazewell VA. He is also memorialized on the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA.
Kevin Denlay adds:
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