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Operation Pacific (1951)
- John Wayne's Best Movies (#20)
Operation Pacific is a 1951 World War II submarine film starring John Wayne and directed by George Waggner. The technical advisor for this film was Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, the actual Commander, Submarine Forces, Pacific (COMSUBPAC) during World War II. The executive officer aboard USS Thunderfish, Lieutenant Commander Duke Gifford (Wayne), assumes command of the boat when the skipper (Ward Bond) is killed. A scene where the crew solves a complex torpedo performance-design problem is based on fact, as are many others. The scene where Commander Perry (Bond) is killed in a surface action is a combination of two incidents involving Commander Howard W. Gilmore, captain of USS Growler. Mortally wounded on the bridge, Gilmore gave the order "Take her down", sacrificing himself to save his ship and crew, for which he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The ramming/sinking of the armed freighter depicted in the scene occurred in the same action, just prior to Gilmore's death. John Wayne and Patricia Neal did not get along during filming.