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Publisher's Summary

The career of the USS Wahoo in sinking Japanese ships in the farthest reaches of the Empire is legendary in submarine circles.

Christened three months after Pearl Harbor, Wahoo was commanded by the astonishing Dudley W. "Mush" Morton, whose originality and daring new techniques led to results unprecedented in naval history; among them, successful "down the throat" barrage against an attacking Japanese destroyer, voracious surface-running gun attacks, and the sinking of a four-ship convoy in one day. 

Wahoo took the war to Japan's front porch, and Morton became known as the Navy's most aggressive and successful sea raider. Now, her full story is told by the person most qualified to tell it - her executive officer Richard O'Kane, who went on to become the leading submarine captain of the Second World War.

©1987 Richard H. O'Kane (P)2020 Tantor

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What listeners say about Wahoo

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

story is excellent...narrator...aarrgg

Great story....then i realized i heard this guy reading it before...it was like having this read by a computer...he was SO monotone. again story great but narration...NO. hopefully i can get refund or exchange

6 people found this helpful

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Pay close to all the lessons of this story!

This book will take you back in History to a time when our nation faced unimaginal perrol. These brave soles stood up to face the enemy with courage that is lacking in today's citizens. We should all look deep within ourselves and appreciate where we came from, the lessons of history both good and bad should never be erased. Do you have their courage?

5 people found this helpful

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A Good Account of a Fascinating Story, Adequately Narrated

I love the topic, and was very intrigued, if only by reading first about O’Kane command of Tang. O’Kane, Morton and their peers were extraordinary men, and their stories deserve to be heard.

The only issue I had is that the combination of a fairly dry and repetitive account is compounded here by a monotone narrator. It’s hard to say whether that only serves more to emphasize the matter-of-fact professionalism of the author, or as a soporific.

I would say that this is an essential book for those who already enjoy reading about the Silent Service, but perhaps not the place to start.

5 people found this helpful

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same sinking different day

not enough detail of what it was like to live on a WW II submarine.

it was like listening to the same torpedoing of the same freighter over and over boring.

3 people found this helpful

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Awful narrator, great story, poorly written

The narrator is simply awful and should not be allowed to do more military narration. Perhaps his voice would work for something low-key like Pride and Prejudice but his plodding and monotone delivery simply RUINED this audiobook.

The writing should have been turned over to a professional author. These are fascinating stories and adventures but the lackluster writing really doesn't convey the tension or excitement that it should.

Compare this book to Silent Running by James Calvert and you'll see how much is missing from this tale. It really needs to be re-narrated by someone like Lloyd James or Sean Pratt; maybe then the story can shine through.

2 people found this helpful

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Riveting story, told slowly, poor narrator

The story of Wahoo, Mush Morton, and Dick O'Kane is one of the most riveting tales of World War II submarine warfare. The early part of the story (pre-Morton) is told in a rather mind-numbingly tedious manner- "Got up, took sextant readings, got lunch, took sextant reading, waited until the sun set, took sextant readings, made marks on the charts...... About 90 minutes of this level of riveting action must be endured until Morton takes command and the real hunting starts. Even then, though the story is great, it is told in a dry manner. The narrator doesn't help it along. He drones in a near monotone. I would rank him in the tenth percentile of Audible book narrators. He was a poor choice for this book. The story however, is unforgettable. This may be a book better enjoyed in print than audio. (Can flip through the first 50 pages)

2 people found this helpful

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Boring

The readers monotone reading caused me to drift off and not pay attention or feel like I was there in the sub. Felt like a class room you want to sleep through.

2 people found this helpful

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Really excellent

Hearing this story written by one of the bravest, and most excellent naval officers in the submarine service was fantastic. I hope audible will record his book about USS Tang as well.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome Book!

This was one of the best WW2 books I have ever read! (Listened to). I just wished there was more!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Bells of St. Marys

That's O'kane's tagline for the sound of the general quarters alarm and it's amusing once, annoying when mentioned every single time the boat went to action stations. There's no shortage of USN submarine memoirs to be found, so choosing one over another is a matter of individual desire. While all follow the same kind of encounters and battle situations, the personnel make for the difference. Having read several such memoirs, I find this one right smack in the middle of the experience. Technical stuff aplenty; angle on the bow, relative bearing, true bearing, distance to track, distance to target, flood tubes and open outer doors, etc. etc. There's a huge amount of hero worship here, for O'Kane worked under a bad skipper before he got a legendary one in Mush Morton and he doesn't let you forget how good he thought Morton was. Plenty of cribbage games, too, and no lack of describing the meals they had while on patrol, sandwiched between sinking and attacking a huge number of ships.

It's a solid ride but pay close attention to the incident where Morton ordered the crew to fire on Japanese troops in the water after sinking their transport off New Guinea. O'Kane says they fired only at the lifeboats and rafts, not directly at personnel in the water. I find that a bit much to believe. Third party accounts do not refer to this nicety and it hardly seems worth disguising the matter if they did fire directly at the men; whether they drowned or were killed by bullets the intent was to insure the troops did not reach shore, so why be shy about it ? It's one of the most notorious incidents in the USN's submarine campaign but O'Kane gives it about two paragraphs and moves on.

The narrator is not up to par, that's a certainty. He sounds tired and bored with his job, like he's reading Watership Down to his grand kids for the tenth time in a week and can hardly stay awake. Not what's needed for a combat memoir from a man who was in his thirties at the time of the war.

Thunder Below, IMO, is a better memoir from a USN sub skipper.