The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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U.S. Navy. Via Navsource.org
Robert English assumed command of Pacific Fleet submarines in March 1942. Described as an aloof, tough-minded officer, he replaced a large number of the less aggressive submarine commanders in his squadrons. His endorsements on patrol reports were so harsh that a subversive poem began circulating amongst his submarine skippers, alleging that desk commanders were out of touch with real conditions on the firing line.
English maintained confidence in the Mark VI magnetic torpedo exploder much longer than was warranted, discounting the complaints of the sub skippers about their torpedoes as excuses for timid hunting and poor shooting. His employment of his submarines is also subject to criticism; they achieved little at the Battle of Midway (though much was claimed at the time) and their placement close to bases and ports ensured that the submarines would encounter heavy antisubmarine patrolling.
English died in January 1943 in a plane crash in northern California. He was replaced by Charles A. Lockwood.
||Born in Warrenton, Georgia
||Graduates from Naval Academy
||Commander, Fleet Maintenance
||Killed in air accident
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