Daily Event for October 24


October 24, 1944: The USS Tang SS-306 sank off Turnabout Island near Taiwan. One of the most successful boats of the war, Tang's last victim was herself. The last torpedo in a spread of four fired circled around and hit her in the stern. Only nine men were able to get out of the stricken sub, she took the other seventy eight to the bottom with her. The nine who survived were picked up by a Japanese destroyer escort the next day. When the people on board learned the identity of the Americans they beat them unmercifully as some of them had been victims of the Tang's torpedoes. After the war Capt. O'Kane said of those who were torturing them, “When we realized that our clubbing and kicking's were being administered by the burned, mutilated survivors of our handiwork, we found we could take it with less prejudice.” O'Kane was later awarded the Medal of Honor. O'Kane and the eight others remained POW's in Japanese hands for the rest of the war.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock
MaritimeQuest.com


USS Tang SS-306

 

Rear Admiral Richard H. O'Kane
(1911-1994)