How does one document the service of such
an outstanding Submarine Captain?
Let's begin with notes and recollections
of his former crew and others who stood in admiration of this man:
From a 7/21/2000 post on the Martini
Posted by "Pig" (Kenneth Henry) on July 21, 2000 at 13:19:35:
I'm sad to report that we have lost another of our
great heroes. On Thursday 20 July 2000, Captain Joseph F. Enright started
his Eternal Patrol. He will always be remembered as the man that sank the
largest warship ever built (at that time), the 59,000-ton Japanese
aircraft carrier SHINANO. This action took place during the 5th patrol of
ARCHER-FISH (SS-311) on 29 November 1944. For this action Captain Enright
received the Navy Cross and ARCHER-Fish was presented with the Presidential
Only two weeks ago three of our shipmates traveled to
Fairfax to visit with the Captain. At the time he was in good spirits and
really enjoyed the visit. Following is a message we received today from the
director of the assisted living facility where he was living in Fairfax, VA.
"I'm sorry to tell you that
Captain Enright died yesterday as a result of a fall, I believe. You will never know how
much your visit changed the Captain, and I am so glad you were able to make
the trip when you did. What a good lesson for all of us - don't put off
until tomorrow...He was a changed man when you and your colleagues were
here. He really blossomed. Thanks so much for the time and effort."
Another BBS post:
Posted by Jerry
Cornelison on July 21, 2000 at 18:29:47:
In Reply to: We
have lost another of our great heros. posted by Pig on July 21, 2000 at
I encourage you to pick up the phone and call
or go on that visit to a Shipmate that you've been planning on but just
haven't got around to. You just never know when it might be too late.....
Two Archerfish (AGSS-311) Shipmates and I had a
wonderful three hour visit with Captain Joe Enright on July 6th (2000). We had
prepared a scrapbook of pictures and memorabilia for him, including taking him
an Archerfish ball cap.
It was a super visit! He really enjoyed and
appreciated the visit and the scrapbook. Our reward was to be in the presence
of a genuine WWII Submarine Hero and got to hear first hand accounts of some
great sea (war) stories!
Capt. Enright's memory had faded on some things
but the Archerfish War patrols, especially #5, were as clear in his mind as if
they had happened yesterday.
I saluted him when we walked in his apartment.
I saluted him when I left and will always remember him sitting at his desk in
his Archerfish ball cap with a big smile on his face...... Little did I know
he would be gone just two weeks later.
Captain Joseph F. Enright - "Sailor, Rest
Message from Doc Carter
I served with Captain Joseph Francis Enright on the USS ARCHER-FISH SS311
during the last two war patrols the boat made. He was a gentleman and Navy Officer of the highest caliber.
Over the last 40 years Joe attended many of the ARCHER-FISH reunion and even hosted one in Dedham, MA in the 1980's at
his home. Joe and Virginia were two of the finest people any of our crew had the
privilege to know. Joe's cool, calm efficiency in his capacity of Commanding Officer was
recognized and appreciated by the entire crew.
Sailor Rest Your Oar.
Leo A. (Doc) Carter
Message from Frank Torres
It is with deep sorrow that I send this tribute.
Captain Enright and his leadership, and daring as C.O. of Archerfish were an
inspiration to us all as we worked on our quals, and afterwards, to uphold
the reputation of this boat in our daily lives.
USS Archerfish (SS 311)
BBS Post by Paul Farace, Curator of the Cod Museum
Sad to hear the news about Capt. Joe Enright's
passing. About four years ago the Archerfish crew held a reunion in a town
about an hour west of COD. They came down (unannounced) to visit. Thank God
my shipkeeper called me down.
I got to meet Capt. Joe and his crew. Joe had
suffered a stroke at that point, but he was still in fighting trim and sharp
as ever! While aboard, I made a point to let our visitors know they were in
the presence of a true hero. In two sentences, I told the crowd about
The line to get his autograph or pose for a picture
with him was truly touching and you could see the years melt away from his
face. The sparkle in his eyes told the story... and the shine could be seen
in the dim light of COD's mess decks.
My COD work may be volunteer in terms of not getting
cash money pay, but with experiences like this as pay, Bill Gates must be a
pauper next to me! (the archerfish ball cap signed by Joe Enright is among
COD's collection of artifacts).
Fair winds and following seas skipper... we are not
likely to see your kind again....
Paul Farace, COD curator
BSS Post by Warshot
(in response to viewing the tribute on the Archerfish website)
Yes. I read them with GREAT INTEREST.
I think very few people know the significance of the
sinking of Shonanu.
My reference is The Rise and Fall of the (Imperial)
Japanese Navy by Itaki Ito.
Ito was attached to the governing Military bosses of
Japan, led by Tojo, as a "Spin doctor" in today's verbiage.
He said that most of the people in Japan KNEW they
were losing the war. The Shonanu was to be their "Secret Weapon",
a ship so big and powerful, it would "Save Japan". It was highly
publicized in Japan as their key to turning the tide of the War.
When she was sunk by an AMERICAN SUBMARINE, and almost
easaly, the Japanese high command had "Egg all over their faces",
they never did tell the Japanese people, knowing the loss would further
demoralize the Japanese people.
A very important event in WWll. It wasn't long after
that they began asking for a Surrender Treaty.
BBS Post by John Martin
Farewell Skipper. Thanks for your years of service
with pride. God be with you on your eternal patrol.
Right Hand Salute....!!
Other Links on Joe Enright
Books by Enright
The Sinking of Japan's Secret Supership (out of stock)
Assault (to be published in October, 2000, per