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In November 1944, the U.S. Navy fleet lay at anchor deep in the Pacific Ocean, when the oiler USS Mississinewa exploded. Japan’s secret weapon, the Kaitena manned suicide submarinehad succeeded in its first mission.
The Kaiten was so secret that even Japanese naval commanders didn’t know of its existence. And the Americans kept it secret as well. Embarrassed by the attack, the U.S. Navy refused to salvage the sunken Mighty Miss. Not until 2001, when a diving team located the wreck, would survivors learn what really happened.
In Kaiten, Michael Mair and Joy Waldron tell the full story, from newly revealed secrets of the Kaiten development and training schools to gripping firsthand accounts of U.S. Navy survivors in the wake of the attack, as well as the harrowing recovery efforts that came later.
A businessman and historian, Michael Mair is the son of a USS Mississinewa survivor. He began research for this book in 1995, including extensive interviews with other survivors and naval personnel stationed in the Pacific at the crucial time in 1944. He has appeared on various History Channel programs, served as a consultant for the Canadian television program Sea Hunters, and contributed to Naval History magazine.
Joy Waldron is the coauthor of The USS Arizona: The Ship, the Men, the Pearl Harbor Attack, and the Symbol That Aroused America. A professional journalist and editor, she has published numerous articles on World War II ships, survivors, and underwater archaeology. Other journalistic credits include investigative reporting on the search for the Titanic and breaking the news worldwide of Robert Ballard’s expedition, including roundup stories for Smithsonian magazine and others.