The Story of the USS Bullhead by Martin Sheridan
Soft cover 1591147867 Naval Institute Press 1947 Reprinted 2004 Illustrated
The author, Martin Sheridan, spent much of World War Two in the Pacific Theater of Operations as a war correspondent for the Boston Globe. He was also the only war correspondent to have been granted permission to travel onboard a submarine during a war patrol.
Writing the text to this book after the end of the war, the reader can truly marvel in what a different world we live in today. Sheridan talks about the 1944 visit of President Franklin D Roosevelt to Hawaii. The press corps was asked to turn around to not embarrass the polio-stricken President as he was taken to a speaking platform. This was gladly done in respect to the man and his office.
Prior to going on patrol, Sheridan met with Vice Admiral Charles A Lockwood who was Commander of Pacific Fleet submarines. The admiral is quoted as mentioning casually that Sheridan was okay to go on the patrol but would not have access to any top secret or ULTRA information. It seems stunning, from a historical perspective, that the mere mention of the term ULTRA was even mentioned in 1947.
USS Bullhead was the last American naval vessel lost in World War II. This history of the submarine—from launch to disappearance—is told by the only war correspondent allowed on a wartime submarine patrol. Narrow escapes from floating mines, fast dives to avoid enemy aircraft, and a daring sortie to rescue three badly hurt survivors of a downed B-25 are just a few of the adventures Martin Sheridan recounts. Trained as a feature writer, he shares his own experiences as well as the humorous and poignant incidents of everyday life aboard the submarine to capture that intangible spirit of camaraderie and sense of impending danger.First published in 1947, the narrative is based on a journal the author kept during the Bullhead’s first war patrol in March and April 1945 and supplemental information from official Navy reports. The book, supported by a unique collection of period photographs, describes the perilous undersea war in the Pacific as only a firsthand account can.Sheridan's writing style is impeccable as can be expected and flows well. This book makes for a fine afternoon read.