The USS Flier (Paperback)
Death and Survival on a World War II Submarine
The fate of the USS Flier is one of the most heroic stories of the Second World War. On August 13, 1944, the submarine struck a mine and sank to the bottom of the Sulu Sea in less than one minute, leaving only fourteen of its eighty-six crewmen alive. After enduring eighteen hours in the water, the eight remaining survivors swam to a remote island controlled by the Japanese. Deep in enemy territory and without food or drinking water, the crewmen soon realized that their struggle for survival had just begun. Noted historian Michael Sturma's vivid recounting of the harrowing story of the USS Flier has all the elements of a classic World War II survival tale: sudden disaster, physical deprivation, a ruthless enemy, friendly guerrillas, and a dramatic escape from behind enemy lines. The eight sailors who survived the disaster became the first Americans of the Pacific conflict to escape from a sunken submarine and return safely to the United States. Though some of the Flier's mysteries remain with the submarine beneath the sea, this account sheds light on the nature of underwater warfare and naval protocol and demonstrates the high degree of cooperation that existed among submariners, coast watchers, and guerrillas in the Philippines. Sturma fills a historical gap by detailing this important episode of the Second World War.