1994 29¢ Submarines Shorten War in Pacific
World War II – 1944: Road to Victory
Issue Date: June 6, 1994
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
During World War II, submarines became the Navy’s deadliest weapon. As sea people, the Japanese relied on their naval power as the key to victory and boasted a massive fleet that included the world’s two largest battleships - the Yamato and the Musashi. Operating chiefly in the Pacific, U.S. submarines played a key role in eliminating the Japanese Navy.
In the early part of the war, American torpedoes were faulty and kills were few. But by the fall of 1943, the problem had been solved and the U.S. went to war with a weapon that would destroy more Japanese tonnage than all other naval and air units combined. In addition, submarines also transported troops and supplies to enemy islands, laid mines in enemy harbors, and performed daring rescue missions.
Yet Americans back home heard very little about the fantastic success achieved by the U.S. submarines. Keeping operations secret was not only crucial to their success, but also to their survival. And despite great pressure to publish play-by-play accounts, the Navy refused, causing the American press to dub this underseas force the “Silent Service.” By the end of 1944, this highly effective force had virtually worked itself out of a job - the Japanese life line had been cut.