How the Wahoo Sunk - an interview with Mr. Ohara and Mr. Uchida

Following are excerpts from an interview with two participants in the attack on the Wahoo. Translated by Kayoko Itoh.

50 years has passed since the attacks. Mr. Uchida found out that the name of the submarine he sunk at the Soya sound was called the �Wahoo�; that the family of the deceased has gathered at Wakkanai after and held a memorial service. And that both Japan & US were planning to have a Peace Memorial together, for the condolences of the deceased. Going back through their memories, Uchida and Ohara gathered materials, and did their best to contribute to the Peace Memorial.

In the 9th edition of �Omi� (Heisei year 6, May. �Omi� is short for Ominato Flight), they wrote detailed description of the Wahoo attack, and Ohara wrote as below:

�For anyone in any country who has a family or someone close, it is normal to want to know how they have died, especially if there is no specific record. But usually, it would be hard to get such information. But in case of the Wahoo, we were able to clarify through materials from the US Marines, and the Japanese Marines, that Wahoo was not hit by a mine, but was confirmed that it was attacked and was sunk by Japanese Marine airplanes and naval vessels.  From this new fact, I am sure that the families of the deceased were in a way felt relieved�

If it were a naval vessel, if you received such damage as for the navigation to be impossible, the captain can order all the crew to leave the vessel, but for a navigating submarine, they can not escape. Normally speaking, the submarine can not counterattack, especially if there are more than one enemy vessels. The submarine can�t move, and can only wait quietly until the attack is over.  This is also the same with airplanes. If they do move, they will automatically be caught by the radar, and should receive massive attack. May Japanese submarines has gone through that. They just quietly sunk, without letting anyone know.

During a war, it�s either kill or be killed. Whomever finds the enemy first wins. It just happened to be, that Ominato Flight found the Wahoo first, and did their mission. During the Showa year 17, Japan has been many damage. But from the next year, we were able to analyze information, and the attacking began to show results. This means, we were finally able to take initiative. �

Both Ohara and Uchida has attended the Peace Memorial. Uchida has talked about the event as below.

�Mrs. Morton has been giving us bad looks until the day before the Memorial. Of course she couldn�t help it, the actual people who attacked her husband were right in front of her. We are all human. But on the day of the Memorial, I saw her expression relax. I was amazed.

Although we did have a big celebration right after the attack, but that was only because of the war. We had no personal hate toward any of them. It made me feel like a burden was finally off my shoulder, now that the former enemies got together, and swore that such war should never happen again. �