Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion

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Overview


Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion by Peter F. Stevens reveals the incredible true story of the search for and discovery of the USS Grunion. Discovered in 2006 after a decades-long, high-risk search by the Abele brothers—whose father commanded the submarine and met his untimely death aboard it—one question remained: what sank the USS Grunion? Was it a round from a Japanese ship, a catastrophic mechanical failure, or something else—one of the sub’s own torpedoes? For almost half the ...
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Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion

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Overview


Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion by Peter F. Stevens reveals the incredible true story of the search for and discovery of the USS Grunion. Discovered in 2006 after a decades-long, high-risk search by the Abele brothers—whose father commanded the submarine and met his untimely death aboard it—one question remained: what sank the USS Grunion? Was it a round from a Japanese ship, a catastrophic mechanical failure, or something else—one of the sub’s own torpedoes? For almost half the war, submarine skippers’ complaints about the MK 14 torpedo’s dangerous flaws were ignored by naval brass, who sent the subs out with the defective weapon. Fatal Dive is the first book that documents the entire saga of the ship and its crew and provides compelling evidence that the Grunion was a victim of "The Great Torpedo Scandal of 1941-43." Fatal Dive finally lays to rest one of World War II’s greatest mysteries.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One of the enigmas of WWII was the fate of the USS Grunion, the submarine carrying a crew of 70 men that vanished without a trace in 1942. Stevens (The Voyage of the Catalpa) charts the Navy career of the sub’s skipper, Jim Abele, from his 1926 Annapolis graduation through to WWII. With Abele in command, the million Grunion was launched on December 22, 1941, carrying the Navy’s new top-secret MK 14 torpedoes. Abele, other skippers, and even the Navy itself were unaware of the weapon’s most dangerous defect: a “circular run” that caused it to boomerang, striking the very sub that had fired it. When news of its disappearance arrived, “the families of the Grunion’s crew experienced shock, denial, despair,” yet in the decades that followed, Abele’s sons were unable to unravel the mystery of the sub’s fate. A scrap of Japanese paper, sold in 1998 for in a Denver antiques shop, was later posted on a military history Web site, eventually leading to the sub’s location and expeditions to find it at Kiska, Alaska. The families’ emotional reactions and the “tapestry of happenstances” involved in the discovery is suspenseful, while Stevens’s speculative description of the sub’s plunge to the ocean floor makes for a chilling conclusion. Color and b&w photos. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596987678
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc., An Eagle Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/30/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 646,933
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter F. Stevens, news and features editor of The Boston Irish Reporter, is a veteran journalist with a specialty in historical writing. His work has been published in dozens of magazines, newspapers and syndicated by The New York Times. Stevens is also a two-time winner of the International Regional Magazine Association's Gold Medal for Feature Writing and the award-winning author of The Voyage of the Catalpa - A Perilous Journey and Six Irish Rebels' Escape to Freedom. He currently lives in Boston, MA.

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Table of Contents

The Crew of the USS Grunion ix

Prologue xiii

Chapter 1 "We've Got a Target" 1

Chapter 2 An Unconventional Course 7

Chapter 3 The Submariner 17

Chapter 4 "Into the Thick of Things" 27

Chapter 5 Battle Stations 39

Chapter 6 The Enemy Awaiting Them 49

Chapter 7 A Mysterious Message 57

Chapter 8 "As We Waited for the End" 63

Chapter 9 "Missing and Presumed Lost" 73

Chapter 10 Making Do with Less 83

Chapter 11 A Chart, a Clue, and a Chance Meeting 91

Chapter Tweleve Logistics of a Long Shot 99

Chapter 13 "We Haven't Seen the Worst of it Yet" 105

Chapter 14 "That Looks Like a Sub" 115

Chapter 15 "Don't Let Your Desire for This to Be the Right Target Fool You" 127

Chapter 16 By Land, Sea, and Air 135

Chapter 17 "There She Is" 143

Chapter 18 Lost and Found-Again 147

Chapter 19 From Bow to Stern 153

Chapter 20 "They Wanted to Be Found" 165

Epilogue: There One Moment, Gone the Next 169

Appendix 175

Acknowledgements 233

Notes 237

Selected Bibliography 245

Index 249

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Outstanding; recommended without reservation

    This is a wonderful issue of non-fiction which brings back many memories.

    I was in my teens when this disaster occurred and it is marvelous that this submarine Commander's three sons, 67 years later, were able to locate the sub in some of the most treacherous waters in the world.

    The families of all the crew members, officers and enlisted alike, must have been very grateful that this was undertaken and so successfully.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    A great book! Who¿d have thought there are still exciting, unexp

    A great book! Who’d have thought there are still exciting, unexplored mysteries from WWII? Peter Stevens has found a fascinating one which he lays out and solves in a “couldn’t put the book down” fashion. My hat is off to him as well as to the Abeles who, against all odds, answer the 60 year old question of what sank the USS Grunion with all hands and even locate the sub itself.

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