The papers of Walter P. Murphy Jr. consist of memoirs given (ca. 1999) on the Support Force for the U.S. Navy during World War II (May-December 1941), and his team’s battle on the submarine USS
Sailfish with the Japanese aircraft carrier
Chuyo near Pearl Harbor and other attacks during his patrol from October 7, 1943 to October 1944.
While on the Support Force, he was on the cruiser USS
Nashville for 10 days near Pearl Harbor, before they relocated to Guantanamo Bay, later arriving in Boston in June. His first operation in the Atlantic Ocean was as part of a Task Force bringing four large Attack Transports to relieve the British forces in Iceland. After July 1941, five months were spent escorting Canadian convoys and conducting “Neutrality Patrols” in the South Atlantic.
Walter Murphy applied for submarine duty (ca. early 1942), and was later ordered to the Submarine School class (April 1942). In July of 1942, he reported to the USS
Talamanca, a revamped fruit ship, at Pier 52. He started out on the submarine USS
Snapper, and by his third patrol his team had sunk a large freighter in Apra Harbor, Guam. Afterwards he reported to the submarine, USS
Sailfish, in Pearl Harbor, later helping to sink the Japanese aircraft carrier, the
Chuyo. On the 7th of December 1943, the
Sailfish was bombed by a Zeke type fighter plane in Formosa (Taiwan), but two CPOs (Chief Petty Officers) managed to fix the resulting leak. Afterwards the patrol had to operate on one shaft during attacks; however, they still managed to sink two freighters and damage a third before returning to Pearl Harbor (January 1944). Other things mentioned include that by the twelth patrol, Walter Murphy was an Executive Officer and that his team rescued twelve aviators during a strike on Formosa (October 1944).
Also discussed in his memoirs are the eighteen month engagement and April 1942 marriage to Ruth Guenter.