Ron fights a two-day battle with
a magnetic deposit, May 1943


It takes a truly exceptional naval officer to get into trouble on his shakedown cruise, when a newly-commissioned ship puts to sea for the first time for equipment and crew trials. L. Ron Hubbard managed this feat within hours of taking his first (and only) command to sea.

The following set of papers comprises his report on the two-day "battle" which his ship fought with what he claimed was one, possibly two Japanese submarines lurking off the Oregon coast. Remarkably, he found these submarines only five hours after leaving harbour. Even more remarkably, none of the ships sent to assist him could find the submarines and no wreckage was recovered, despite the dropping of 35 depth charges. Ron's crew nonetheless suffered three casualties when his gunner shot off the ship's own radio mast.

The subsequent US Navy enquiry chaired by Admiral Fletcher concluded that the "submarines" had in fact been a known magnetic deposit on the sea bed - presumably Ron's crew were too inexperienced to tell the difference between that and a real submarine. Ron, of course, refused to believe Adm. Fletcher's verdict and apparently told his crew that the USN were keeping the affair secret for political reasons - a line continued to this day by the Church of Scientology.

(It is, of course, untenable in the light of the fact that none of the other ships or blimps which aided Ron's ship actually saw anything, despite their commanders and crew being far more experienced in anti-submarine warfare. Ron himself claimed later to have been asleep during his ASW lectures!)

Curiously, although this was Ron's one and only sight of action in the war, he never mentioned it again, and it only came to light in 1984 in the case Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong.


Ron's Battle Report

* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 *

* 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 *

* Admiral Fletcher's conclusions *


Last updated 13 Dec 1996