• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

Harry Suomi

He served as torpedo man on the USS Finback, USS Fulton, USS Chub and USS George Washington in the Aleutian Islands, South Pacific, Philippines and China Sea. On watch at the helm Harry watched as a Japanese plane hurtled towards the sub intent on blowing them out of the water. After 20 years at sea Harry retired from the Navy and went to work for the Electric Boat Division of and rode boats out of the Cape Canaveral for 23 years.

In an interview with George Herold, Harry recalls the missions he was engaged in during the war, fear of depth charges, taking prisoners on board the sub, life on a submarine for months at a time and more. To learn more, listen to his interview, below. Download a full transcript of Harry and George's interview.
 

Did You Know?

A PBY plane surrounded by crew

A PBY plane piloted by Lt. Jean Cusick was sent from Dutch Harbor, on June 3, 1942, to locate Japanese forces in the Pacific. He was shot down by enemy fighters en route. Five men out of the seven-man crew survived the crash and got into life rafts. Cusick and his enlisted pilot died on the rafts from their wounds. The other three were captured by the Japanese, and became the first prisoners of war in the Aleutian Campaign.