Vic Krygowski joined the Navy while he was in college before the US became involved in World War II. He was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer and went through torpedo school opting to become part of a submarine squadron.
He was first assigned to the USS Beaver and went to Britain dodging the German wolf pack in the Atlantic before heading back to the Aleutians Islands for a tour of duty on a sub tender. While at Attu Island he was finally granted submarine duty aboard the SS-292 Devilfish, one of a brand new fleet of submarines destined for the south Pacific.
Following active duty, Vic worked for Western Electric Company building secret, sound-sensing torpedoes. Vic’s interview was conducted in 2008.
Leaving for Scotland aboard the USS Beaver in a convoy of ships, attack by a German U-boat wolf pack, conversion of the USS Beaver from a pleasure craft to a submarine tender, purpose for going to Scotland audio / transcript
Submarine squadron 50, participation in the war in North Africa, the USS Beaver in Great Britain audio / transcript
Assignment to lookout on the bridge, torpedo hit on a ship carrying fuel, watching men burn and die on the ship, trying to rescue several men from the water, thoughts about seeing the horrible tragedy, hospitality of Scottish people, setting up the officer’s club in Rosneath audio / transcript
Submarine duty on Attu, trip from Scotland to Attu, crossing the 180th parallel three times audio / transcript
Description of USS Beaver and deficiencies in the ship for military service, switching from deck officer to the engine room, working as an engineer on a steam driven engine, making coffee on a high pressure steam line audio / transcript
Scotland, duration of trip from Scotland to the Aleutians, men returning from liberty on Attu with Japanese guns and ammunition, Japanese corpses on Attu audio / transcript
Knowledge of battle of Attu, Japanese bomb Attu while men watch a movie audio / transcript
Service to S type submarines, primitive nature of S type submarines, assignment to Devilfish submarine audio / transcript
Submarine missions in the Aleutians, purpose of the sub tender, base at Attu, USS Beaver as the only sub tender in the Aleutians, where the sub sailors stayed on Attu audio / transcript
Food on board the USS Beaver and on submarines, impressions of the Aleutians as a young man, submarine school, choosing which submarine to sign on to audio / transcript
The Devilfish (SS-292), Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Devilfish sister ships, sequence of completion of the Cramp submarines, learning of the fate of the Escolar and Hackelback while enroute to Hawaii in the Devilfish, Cramp Shipbuilding boats earn the title of “jinxed” audio / transcript