Houston Maritime Museum Lecture: "USS Tang: The Best of the Best with Laurence Shallenberger"

Courtesy photo

USS Tang (SS-306) was a Balao Class submarine commissioned in October 1943 and served in the Pacific Theater of operations during World War II. Her gifted and aggressive skipper, commander Richard O'Kane, was a man after the heart of Britain's ghost admiral, Horatio Nelson, whose advice to any English Navy Captain during the Napoleonic War was, "To hell with manuveurs! Go straight at 'em."

In just five war patrols, O'Kane's tang sank 33 Japanese ships, amounting to a total of 116,454 tons, more than any other American sub in the Pacific. In one of the tragic twists of the war, the torpedoes made by the navy's torpedo station in New Port, Rhode Island, had a number of drawbacks that the top brass at NTS failed to acknowledge. They attributed any lack of performance to the poor "shooting" of all submarine’s captains. On Oct. 24, 1944, Tang was sunk by her own torpedo and went down in 180 feet of water. Nine of her crew survived.



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2311 Canal St.
Suite 100
Houston, TX 77003


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