Leader of the Pack recounts the incredible history of USS Batfish, a record-setting American World War II fleet submarine. Batfish entered the pantheon of military lore during its famous sixth patrol in February 1945, where it sank a record three Japanese submarines in seventy-six hours. In addition to offering a rousing and meticulously researched account of the famous sixth patrol, author and military historian Mark W. Allen unravels a nautical mystery that had gone unresolved for over sixty years: the identity of the first Japanese submarine sunk by Batfish skipper John K. Fyfe. Controversy has surrounded the identity of the first submarine almost since the day of the sinking, but Leader of the Pack, through a diligent recreation of the events that unfolded in the days leading up to the sixth patrol, solves the mystery once and for all. Lastly, Allen shares a personal story, never told before in such detail, of Batfish’s rescue of three downed aviators who were forced to ditch their B-25 Mitchell bomber after it was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire during a bombing mission on the Japanese homeland.
Mark W. Allen is the Batfish Historian and Volunteer Coordinator for the War Memorial Park museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He earned a master’s degree in military history from the American Military University and is the founder of the submarine/museum website: www.ussbatfish.com. He and his wife currently live in Collinsville, Oklahoma.