Daily Event for March 26

March 26, 1944 The USS Tullibee SS-284 was sunk north of Palau. The Gato Class submarine was listed as lost with all hands on May 15, 1944. No explanation was given for the loss and it was presumed that she was lost, like many submarines, to enemy action.

After the war C.W. Kuykendall was liberated from the Ashio copper mine in Japan. He was the only survivor from the Tullibee and it was quite a surprise to the navy. He was a gunner and was on the bridge on the night of March 26 when the Tullibee, under the command of Charles F. Brindupke (her only CO), located a small convoy. The boat prepared to attack and fired two torpedoes at the ships. One of the torpedoes ran a circle and slammed into the Tullibee.

Kuykendall was thrown into the water and knocked unconscious, when he awoke he said he heard voices in the water for about ten minuets and then silence. The following day he was picked up by a Japanese escort (which fired on him at first). He was interrogated and beaten when he would not give any information other that what was required by international law.

He was sent to the copper mines of Ashio in Sept. 1944 and forced to work as a slave laborer until his liberation on Sept. 4, 1945. It was only then that the navy found out the fate of the Tullibee.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

USS Tullibee SS-284