Capt. Joseph F. Enright, 89, the skipper of the...

Deaths Elsewhere

July 28, 2000

Capt. Joseph F. Enright, 89, the skipper of the submarine Archerfish, which sank the largest aircraft carrier of World War II, a Japanese ship whose existence had been unknown to the United States, died July 20 at his home in Fairfax, Va.

For directing the sinking of the Shinano, Captain Enright, then a commander, was awarded the Navy Cross, the service's second-highest award for valor.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Nov. 28, 1944, while the Archerfish was on surface patrol near the entrance to Tokyo Bay, its radar picked up a ship 12 miles away. The ship was the Shinano, envisioned as a superbattleship but was converted to an aircraft carrier after Japan lost four carriers at the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

It displaced 59,000 tons, according to post-war American estimates, making it the largest aircraft carrier ever built, and it had extra armor to defend against torpedoes. The Japanese considered it to be virtually unsinkable.

The Shinano had departed from Tokyo Bay on its maiden voyage and was sailing west to Kure when its lookout spotted the Archerfish at 10:45 p.m. Over the next four hours, the Shinano's commander, Capt. Toshio Abe, fearing that he was being pursued by a pack of submarines, zigged and zagged in an effort to escape.

But at 3:17 the next morning, the Archerfish fired six torpedoes at the Shinano from a distance of 1,400 yards. Four torpedoes struck the carrier.

The Shinano sank at 10:55 a.m. with Captain Abe and hundreds of sailors aboard. Destroyer escorts picked up 1,080 of the carrier's 2,515 complement.

Captain Enright, a native of Minot, N.D., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933. He retired from the Navy in 1963 and worked for the Northrop Corp., helping to design navigational equipment.

Thea Porter, 72, a fashion designer who brought a taste of the Middle East to the "hippie chic" of the 1960s and 1970s, died Monday in London. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Oscar Shumsky, 83, a violinist and conductor who was renowned for the beauty of his sound and the luminous musicality of his performances of Bach, Mozart and Brahms, died on Monday at his home in Rye, N.Y.

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