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                     A SUB-SAILORS VISIT TO CHICHI JIMA
  sabalo at pearl harbor
                                                                                                             USS  SABALO

One of the most interesting and rewarding results of publishing my Chichi Jima page to the web has been the resulting contacts and friendships that I have established.  A prime example of this is the e-mail that I received from Chris Smith who happened to find my page while researching a story that his father had related to him.  Chris' father is Carl Smith, who was a Third Class Torpedo Mechanic on the USS Sabalo, pictured above, during the Korean War era.  This submarine experienced some sort of mechanical difficulty which resulted in the need to pull into the harbor at Chichi Jima  for repairs.  Thus he and the crew had an opportunity to explore the island for several days and take a few pictures.  The pictures are dated January, 1953.  (I was a sophomore in high school at that time.)  The picture above shows the Sabalo arriving at Pearl Harbor, and in fact, the sailor shown on the bow of the sub with coiled rope in hand, is in fact, Carl Smith.
                                                                              sabalo at anchor at chichi
The picture above shows Sabalo at anchor in Futami Ko, the harbor at Chichi Jima.  It appears to be taken at or near the pier at Omura.

                                                                         carl smith in hatch
                                                                This picture shows Carl Smith in the hatch aft of Sabalo's conning tower.

                                                                           Carl in front of tunnel entranceHere is Carl Smith in front of one of the many tunnel entrances found on Chichi.  I note the jacket which we commonly had to wear on Chichi during January.  It never got really cold, but could be chilly at times. 
                                                                  both tunnel entrances
This photo shows an additional tunnel entrance near the one shown above.  Chichi had many tunnels and caves.  He described one tunnel large enough to allow trucks to pass each other, and some had airplanes, stacks of Japanese rifles, and Japanese "Long Lance" torpedoes.  He related that some of the caves had strong gasoline fumes and they did not stay long, fearing a spark might set off an explosion.

                                                                         four of dads friends
                                           Pictured above are four other sailor friends of Carl Smith as they explored the island.

                                                                      carl in burned out jeep
This picture shows Carl sitting in a burned out Japanese "jeep".  This picture interested me in that the building immediately behind the vehicle was built by our Navy, and was our mess hall.  The building on the right is a reinforced concrete Japanese building that was used as our BOQ.  Before that it was used as a dispensary by our Navy.  In fact, my wife had her appendix removed by a Navy doctor in that building as a young child.

                                                                     sunken vessels in harbor
I can tell from the landmarks that this photo was taken from the north end of the harbor, looking west toward the harbor mouth and Welcome Rock.    It shows some sunken vessels.  Much of this had been removed by salvaging companies by the time I was on the island. 

Carl Smith provided several other pictures, not really related to Chichi Jima, but still interesting.
 
                                                                         small boat shootout
This is a small 40 foot vessel that was dispatched by the 50 cal. machine gun on the sub's deck.  For obvious reasons, they had to deal severely with any vessels with radio antennae.  This was taken off the coast of Korea.

                                  pickerel surfacing
Above is a picture of the USS Pickerel as it rockets to the surface.  This picture was taken by a Navy cameraman from the deck of the Sabalo.  This picture appeared in various newspapers as shown below.

              pickerel news photo

             Carl astride torpedoes on Sabalo
                                               Two pictures of Carl Smith on deck of USS Sabalo dated May 1953, Naha, Okinawa


                                                  Carl at deck gun Sabalo
                                                                                    Carl Smith at the deck gun aboard Sabalo


                                                                               Carl on Sabalo with carrier
                                                       Carl Smith on Sabalo deck with carrier Point Cruz in background, May 1953, Okinawa

                                          Carl at plane wheels
                                                                          Carl Smith at the plane control wheel of the USS Sabalo

                                                      Carl and son Chris on USS Drum
                                                   Carl and son, Chris at the controls of the USS Drum, a museum sub in Mobile, Alabama

                                  USS Sabalo ball team
                                                                                               USS Sabalo Ball Team

            
I am especially pleased that Chris Smith contacted me after finding my Chichi web site and that he and his father were willing to share these pictures with me and allow me to publish them on my webpage. 

JLW