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 brotherswhose father commanded the submarine and met his untimely death aboard itone question remained: what sank the USS Grunion? Was it a round from a Japanese ship, a catastrophic mechanical failure, or something elseone 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.
Peter F. Stevens, news and features editor of The Boston Irish Reporter, is a veteran journalist with a specialty in historical writing. His work is syndicated by The New York Times and has been published in dozens of magazines and newspapers. 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 lives in Boston, MA.
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 subs skipper, Jim Abele, from his 1926 Annapolis graduation through to WWII. With Abele in command, the $6 million Grunion was launched on December 22, 1941, carrying the Navys new top-secret MK 14 torpedoes. Abele, other skippers, and even the Navy itself were unaware of the weapons 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 Grunions crew experienced shock, denial, despair, yet in the decades that followed, Abeles sons were unable to unravel the mystery of the subs fate. A scrap of Japanese paper, sold in 1998 for $1 in a Denver antiques shop, was later posted on a military history Web site, eventually leading to the subs 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 Stevenss speculative description of the subs plunge to the ocean floor makes for a chilling conclusion. Color and b&w photos. (July) 2012 Reed Business Information