What did the PT122 sink that night? Were the crew heroes, deserving full Naval recognition for sinking the huge Japanese submarine the I22?
Late 1942 on the remote New Guinea coast an American PT boat running under the cover of night and in silence mode spotted what a Japanese submarine silhouetted against the jungle background. The PT boat stalked the monster 2,500 tonne C1 type attack submarine and when very close engaged with both torpedoes. According to the crew the submarine virtually split in half.
The PT boat and crew were credited with the “kill” but later this was thrown into doubt, and this we must now rectify.
Many years ago, as a salvage diver in New Guinea I studied the PT boats attack report, and came to the conclusion that the crew of the PT boat were either incredibly brave and truly deserved full recognition for the submarine “kill”, or they were collectively a bunch of liars who collaborated in a hoaxin order to achieve commendation. It seems inconceivable to me that the PT boat men could have made such a mistake, or that they perpetrated a hoax.
I spent over 5 years searching for the submarine and in 1974 believe I found her in Holincote Bay in but due to time constraints was unable to confirm the wreck was the I22 at the time. A TV style documentary has been a long-time ambition.