Meet the ship girl: Pennsy

Note: The statement below has not been vetted by STEC for accuracy of content. Readers are encouraged to read on at their own discretion.

I see that Joe decided not to run for president after all. He’s gaffe-prone, full of bluster, but in his heart we all know he is a good man. That being said, however, it’s not just good men we need today.

Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t get victories anymore. Not anymore. Remember what happened in the 70s, when our fleet went under? The 80s, when it was supposed to be our era? What happened then? The Soviets resurged, that’s what. When was the last time anyone saw us beating, say, the Soviets or the Chinese or the English in a trade deal? Do you see Chevrolets on the streets of Moscow or Cadillacs in Tokyo? It doesn’t happen, folks. They beat us all the time! Damn Soviets even beat us to space! When we’ve had a two-year start!

People in America, here! Right at home! This is1992! They’re going without jobs. The costs of everything. Food, gasoline, goods. They’re going up and up and up. Year after year after year. Is this right? Hell no it’s not right.

Look across the borders from you. East Asia’s a powder keg ready to blow at any minute. The Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, they’ve all been at each other’s throats for months now. Look at Europe. Look at South America. Africa. Any one of those places look like a good place to you? I don’t think so. Especially not with all those abyssal monsters prowling around our waters.

Yes, the exact monsters that I fight on a regular basis. But you know as well as I that the attacks have increased. Just last week we thwarted an attack on San Francisco and all of the west coast, but at terrible cost.

What is your president doing? That’s right. He’s playing golf. What’s the rest of those politicians doing? Nothing. Do you know why?

Because I’ve dealt with them all my life. All they care about is making deals with themselves, while people like me and you are out there, putting our necks on the line for this great country. This has to change.

(My heartfelt gratitude to all members of our great armed forces. Thank you for your selflessness.)

Now, more than ever, we need to stop and make sure we’re going on the right track. You know just as well as I that this country’s been heading down the wrong path for years now. We have to stop doing things for some people, because it’ll destroy us. Now, more than ever, our country needs a truly great leader, and we need one now.

We need a leader that can bring back jobs to America proper.

We need a leader that can revive our military, take care of our vets, and show the world that America is great still.

We need – we need someone – that can take this once-great country and make it great again. We can do that.

It can happen. Our country has tremendous potential, and we have tremendous people. So, ladies and gentlemen. As of this moment, I am officially running for president of the United States of America.


Ladies and gentlemen. Look at your candidates. Your current options are:

  • A draft-dodging, womanizing, drug-abusing hippie.
  • A man who wants to nuke everything he sees.
  • A guy who can’t even spell potato.
  • The guy who said, “read my lips, no new taxes.”
  • Some bunch of nobodies that nobody really know or care about.

Ask yourself honestly, “do I really want any of them as my president for the next four years?”

Ask yourself, “Do I trust that one of these guys to fix our sagging economy?”

Yes. I just crushed that into diamonds. That’s one other thing that makes me different from all the others in this race. I am not here fighting on behalf of whatever their funding sources may be. I’m here fighting for you.

Seriously. Your dollars should stay right where they’re at – in your pockets and in YOUR service.

Does it look like I don’t know anything about running a country? I ran STEC for the last ten years alongside New Jersey. Tell me, have you ever seen STEC going over budget, ask Congress for more money, coming up with terrible projects, or any of the above? The military has been plagued with scandal after scandal. You ever see a scandal come out of STEC’s doors?

Do you know why you don’t?

Because I’m good at running things. I’m a great manager. I make good deals. And if I can’t do it, I know how to find the right people who can do it for me. No, I’m not doing it to brag. I’m doing it because I think our country needs that kind of mentality. We’re here to win. We’ve got losers. Too many losers in this country that’s sending it down the drain. Too many morally corrupt men (and women) are selling our country out to the highest bidder.

Just last night you saw on the news that one of our contractors ran off with the newest radar software. But did you notice the fact that Congress has known about this risk for six months, and yet sat and did nothing about it?

Would you trust any of these guys as your commander in chief?

Look. I’m Pennsy. If nothing else, you can count on me to do what I said I’ll do. If you put me into office a lot will happen quickly, and we can change for the better. That’s why I’ve got these powers, after all.

The American dream is dead. But if I get elected, I’ll bring it back. Bigger, better, stronger than ever before.

We will make America great again!

Meet the ship girl: Sculpin & Sailfish


Hey commander. Go ahead and make yourself at home. I don’t mind if you’d like to pop in and out of here. Wheeeeew. Being a submarine girl does get pretty hard at times, though I do try to make it easier on myself whenever I get the chance.

How do I make it easier? I think it really all comes down to mindset. See, let’s use fear as an example. That’s a word that many submariners know. Just ask my sister. She’ll tell you about failures, Murphy’s law, the importance of proper maintenance, following protocol… and all the rest of that. If I’m to be honest with you I think she’s looking at things the wrong way. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. You’ll sink. Bah. All Fear. It’s all fear. Just makes you such a downer, and I prefer a more optimistic mindset.

Hope. That’s what we should be focusing on. Why focus on the negative? Sure, being a submarine girl is dangerous work, but we’re here for a purpose. Look at Captain Cromwell. He chose to go down with me. He knew that if captured he just might release sensitive information to the enemy. He chose duty over himself. I admire that. The courage to know that sacrificing himself was necessary for the common good. But not once did Captain Cromwell look at fear or let that stop him from doing what he should do. Instead, he chose hope.

Every day I have on this Earth is a blessing. Might as well enjoy it. Life’s too short to worry all the time.

STEC notes that the historical USS Sculpin ended the war with a modest three ships confirmed sunk, eight battle stars, and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. The USS Sculpin is named for the Sculpin, a large headed, small, spiny fish, which – in Sculpin’s words- is adorable in an ugly kind of way. 

Incidentally, USS Sculpin was best known for her demise. USS Sculpin had just made contact with an enemy convoy before being spotted by the convoy’s escorts. At the time, she was carrying Captain Cromwell, a coordinator of USN wolfpack submarine operations and knew of upcoming allied war plans. After surviving a crippling depth charge attack by the Japanese destroyer Yamagumo, her commanding officer, Commander Connaway, ordered the ship surfaced so the crew could have a chance at survival. The crew chose to fight. On the surface, the crew manned the deck gun, but were soon overpowered by the destroyer in a shootout. The destroyer hit the conning tower and killed Connaway and the deck watch, and the next senior officer ordered the ship scuttled. Unwilling to risk releasing information on the upcoming Tarawa operation or the fact that the US had cracked Japanese naval codes,  Captain Cromwell chose to go down with the ship. 11 other men joined him.

​The survivors from USS Sculpin were picked up by the Japanese and eventually embarked on  two aircraft carriers. One of them was the Chuyo, which would later be sunk by another US submarine, though only one of the USS Sculpin’s surviving crew would survive the sinking of the Chuyo. But that is another tale best saved for some other day.
Easy-going and cheerful (“Lazily happy” in her own words), Sculpin seems to enjoy giving advice to the other girls, and can generally be found lounging about on lawn chairs, relaxing, or tending to her fishtank. In combat, she retains her carefree mentality, much to her sister’s chagrin. However, her nonchalant attitude means that she remain unfazed even in the direst of circumstances, and she remains calm and level headed in situations where others would panic.  STEC recommends she be used for high-value-target operations, where her poise would help her eliminate the selected target and exfiltrate efficiently.


Oh! Commander! Sorry, I didn’t notice you there. Sailfish, reporting, SIR!

Just want to talk? Okay. Sorry.

What I’m doing? Oh. Scul’s been complaining about a weird sound coming from her equipment, so I’m fixing them for her. You know, sub girls rely more on our equipment more than any other girl on base. If one thing goes wrong, you’re screwed. You can’t surface because the enemy will get you. Dive too deep and you’ll be crushed like a can. A single leak in the battery compartment makes chlorine gas. The list of things that can go wrong is endless.

Trust me commander, you can never be too safe. A sub girl’s equipment should be completely flawless, and a little preparedness goes a long way. Every time I dive, I need to trust that things will hold up. Since you know, when they don’t, it’s not pretty. I don’t want to rely on luck or chances. I want certainty.

STEC notes that the historical Sailfish started out life not as USS Sailfish, but as USS Squalus. During a diving test in 1939, the USS Squalus sank due to a faulty main induction valve. The induction pipes on a submarine brings in air for the diesel engines and are closed when submerged. An improper seal on the main induction valve caused the engine room to flood, sinking the boat. Fast action by her crew saved the rest of the ship from flooding, but the crew then became trapped in the beleaguered USS Squalus. 

First on the scene of the sinking was her sister ship, USS Sculpin. The Sculpin located USS Squalus and established contact. Soon, submarine rescue ship USS Falcon along with submarine rescue expert Charles B. “Swede” Momsen successfully rescued the 33 surviving crew members. To date, the rescue of the USS Squalus was the first (and only) successful deep submarine rescue.

USS Squalus was later re-floated and re-christened “Sailfish”. Reportedly, she was renamed by Roosevelt himself, who stated that her bow rising above the water reminded him of a sailfish breaching the surface of the ocean.

On December 3rd, 1943, USS Sailfish spotted and sunk the Japanese aircraft carrier Chuyo. Chuyo was the first Japanese aircraft carrier sunk by submarine, but as fate would have it, it also just happened to be carrying the captive crew of the USS Sculpin. Only one of the submariners carried onboard would survive the sinking of Chuyo, but the crew of the USS Sailfish might take solace in the sailor’s recollection, where the prisoners rejoiced at the sound of the blast – even if it means that their own chances for survival were slim.

USS Sailfish went on to complete a successful combat career, ultimately surviving the war with nine battle stars and a a Presidential Unit Citation.

STEC notes that Sailfish, or “Sal”, as the other girls call her, is somewhat shy, earnest, and a little prone to worry. She seems to enjoy, and often preoccupy herself with fixing equipment around base. Sailfish possessed an innate talent at maintaining machinery, and many girls go to her for equipment troubleshooting. While skilled in maintenance, Sailfish has little interest in developing new items. In her own words, she “can’t see how things work until they’re put together.” Hopefully this statement can put at ease the minds of those commanders concerned about unauthorized modification requests from certain ship girls.

In nautical superstition (or tradition), renaming a ship causes bad luck. Historically, the captain of the USS Sailfish ruled that any crew member using the name “Squalus” would be marooned at the next port, and threatened to court martial crew members using the name “Squailfish.” While there are no records of anyone actually being marooned for using the aforementioned names, Sailfish also displays strong animosity over references to her historical monikers. With the exception of her twin sister, who affectionately call her “Squal”, STEC notes that no one is to call her “Squalus” and reiterates that “Sailfish” or “Sal” are the acceptable names.

For combat, STEC recommends that Sailfish be used in support of other naval units, where she can support the surface fleet with torpedo strikes and use her mechanical acumen to its full extent to repair battle damage. STEC has yet to come across something Sailfish cannot fix – even in the heat of battle.

Excerpts from the Admiral’s Office – Sculpin = Red / Sailfish = Blue

*Yawn* Sup Commander! What brings you down to these parts?

It’s been a while since I’ve visited. How are you girls doing?



Sorry commander, she’ll be right down.

What’s she busy with?

You know how Sailfish is. Always worrying about something or the other. Sometimes I wonder if she actually does have that OCD thingy I’ve heard about.

*The sounds of hurried footsteps. A door creaks open*

I don’t have OCD, FYI.

You DO have OCD. In case you didn’t know, OCD is a serious mental issue and you should really think about seeking professional help. First step to fixing a problem is acknowledging –

Fine. If I’m OCD, then you’ve got IDGAF syndrome, heh.

Chronic IDGAF syndrome?

Chronic I don’t give a fu –

Chronic I don’t give a foxtrot syndrome.


No no, you should finish –

No you go!

No you –

Anyway commander, you’d like to talk to us?

Yes. I’ve always wanted to know: are you two really twins?

Heehee. We were summoned together, have the same hieght, same hair color, same eyes, same bust size. Hell, I can even steal Squal’s clothes and wear it fine. That sounds like twins to you? Sounds like twins to me! 

I’d say so. Going by our historical counterparts, I should be the younger. Our ship counterparts were laid down in adjacent drydocks in Portsmouth Navy Yard, but USS Sculpin was laid down in September, and USS Squalus was laid down in October. From what little I remember, the crew of the two ships hung out a lot as well, so you could say that the lives of our historical counterparts were already intertwined. In that same way, our lives are intertwined as well. So, yes, we’re twins.

What’s it like, being underwater all the time?

I quite like it. It’s like a whole new world down there. Fish swim around you, the light filters down from above, really pretty. It’s something I really wish all the girls here could experience sometime. Personally, I really like like watching the fish. The way they effortlessly just glide through the water? I wish I could do that!

I, on the other hand, tend to ignore the scenery. While it is very pretty, I’ve got a job to do. There’s a lot of things you’ve got to do heading down there, and I can list plenty of ways a trip underwater can in theory go wrong. Follow the proper protocols and it’s really safer than you think, but I admit it can be a bit nerve wracking at times.

Do you know how the other sub-girls feel, Sailfish?

Call me Sal, commander. No, I don’t think so. I honestly think it’s just me.

Yeah, it’s SO just you. Lighten up!

Not to say that the other girls are careless or anything. I just think I’m a bit more cautious than the average…

Speaking of being cautious underwater, how does safety work? Like, I assume you breathe oxygen…?

That’s correct commander. We breathe oxygen.

No duh Squal. Commander’s not stupid!

So how do you breathe underwater then? 


Scul’s halfway right, but it’s not magic. Well, at least I don’t think it’s magic. I think it’s just something we don’t quite understand yet. If you ask me, I think the gear somehow does the same thing as a rebreather without a mask or mouthpiece. You know our lungs don’t use all the oxygen we inhale. So, every time we exhale, a lot of oxygen is released as well. Rebreathers help collect that oxygen and use it again, allowing us to “breathe” underwater. Now, I have to say there are limitations. Air can only be reused so many times, so we’d need to surface eventually. This makes sense to me, since our “real steel” counterparts during WW2 had very similar challenges. Submarines of that era were probably more aptly named “submersibles” than the submarines we see, since they spent most of their time on the surface!

But you don’t?

No, commander. I don’t believe we’re as limited.

We could. It’d be kinda funny. A sub girl that doesn’t go under water. Now where have I heard that before…

So how long can you stay under water for?

I dunno. Pretty long. Squal?

I thought STEC’s study was terminated after finding out that we could stay under water for months…

Gotcha, so a long time. Something related to that. How do you girls see under water? Can you, well, see in the dark?


Scul, commander’s asking a serious question.

I know! But it’s so much easier to just tell him it’s magic! I mean, we’ve got so many different ways to answer that question! If we keep this up I’m going to turn into Mary with caveat this and theoretical if and conceptual that!

Well, I can say that I can’t see anything in the dark. In fact, when I watch you girls go out on those missions, I remember the echoing noise more so than the UI or the positional charts…

Ping! Ping! Yup. Just like in the movies!

Or what they taught him in class. C’mon, Scul, commander went through the academy. He knows his stuff…

No, really, I’m happy to hear it explained again. My memory could always use a jolt now and then.

Well, that pinging noise? That’s what’s called “active sonar”. We send out a sound signal, it bounces back and we can use that to gauge the distance between us and the thing in front of us and hopefully figure out where it is in relation to where we are. Now, to be honest, it’s a two way thing. The moment we “ping” we’re basically telling every thing in the area – abyssals included – where we are too, so we gotta use it strategically.

Scul I think the commander’s zoning out.

N-no I’m not! Sorry. I was just thinking. Thinking about … stuff. Yeah, stuff. Why aren’t you girls wearing bikinis? 

Same reason why Dolphin doesn’t wear a bikini I guess. Probably just not my type. I mean, I’ve stolen a pair of Narwhal’s bikinis once just to try on. Didn’t really fit me all that well, teehee. 

Wait, you’ve done that too?

Yo, you can’t hide stuff from your sister you know. Bottom drawer. Third cabinet from the door!

I feel like that didn’t really answer my question though…

Hey, look! That’s what we were wearing when we arrived, alright? I don’t know if I know what to say. Though, commander, don’t you think Squal would look quite nice in a bikini? Maybe you can get her some.

Wha? Me? No! Why would I wear a bikini?”

It’s a compliment, Squal. Just take it. C’mon commander, what do you think?

I don’t think HQ is going to allow me to answer that question… Uhh, moving on… How about those fairies of yours? Are they nice?

Nice? What an odd choice of words. I mean, yeah, I guess they’re nice. We have some manning sonar, some manning the TDC, others loading the tubes, you name it. They really help the whole multitasking thing and saves a lot of manual work on our parts. Sometimes they help me fix up equipment, too. Especially the TDC. That thing can be quite a pain to get working properly, and I’ve definitely learned a few tricks from them. 

Yeah, too bad they don’t talk. It can get pretty boring when it’s just Momsen down there in the shop. Now, Momsen’s petty jovial and more or less how I remembered him. When he’s not all serious face and all he’s a pretty fun guy to hang about. Tells us plenty of stories, too. I’m glad he showed up. 


Yeah, Charles B. Momsen. Inventor of the –

Scul, commander knows who he is. Come on.

Wait, I thought fairies can’t talk?

Momsen talks fine. Want me to get him? I think the old man’s still napping. 

T-that’s quite fine. Let’s not disturb him. I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to talk in the future. I’m just surprised that I wasn’t informed of his … arrival.

Eeey commander, look. The guy popped up three days ago. I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of the news. That’s why we’re here. Heh.

Yeah, that’s good news. There’s a lot I don’t know, so thank you girls for keeping me posted. Honestly, I wish I knew more about how the mysterious little guys operate. 

I’m not too familiar with how fairies work either. That’s more of a Mahan question, or maybe you can ask Momsen himself when you get a chance. I’m sure he’d have some answers.

Or you can just call it Maaaaagiiiiccccc~ 

Not helping.


I’d just like to start off by saying I’ve always had a strange fascination with submarines and undersea warfare. It isn’t as glamorous as having big guns of a battleship or having the sheer striking power of an Aircraft Carrier, but I feel that there’s an allure to the silent service that just isn’t present in any other vessel type. It’s a hard feeling to explain, but I guess I just really like the sort of “unsung hero” that was the USN submarine service.

Unsurprisingly, when I stumbled upon the story of the Sculpin and the Sailfish I realized just how little I (and to an extent the team) really knew about the US submarine service in World War II. Even Morgane, our resident naval information database, had never heard of them (Morgane: this is totally true. I know next to nothing about submarines xD). So when Morgane was struggling to find candidates for Pacific 2, I thought it’d be a good chance to tell the story. We all learned a lot, and I thought the tale of the Sculpin and Squalus/Sailfish lent very well to anthropomorphism. 

Two submarine sisters. The older one helps rescue the younger from the grips of death. The younger ends up going through a very successful career not possible without the help of the older sister. When the older sister sinks, the duo’s lives cross paths once again, spelling doom for some of the older sister’s crew. It’s touching and a little sad. No wonder in my mind, Sailfish always seems to feel indebted to her sister. To Sculpin, though, I don’t think it’s a matter of debt. They’re sisters. It’s just what sisters do. I’d like to imagine that Sculpin’s cheerful-as-always attitude could bring a smile to Sailfish’s face. It’s kind of why we gave her that “derp” or idiot hair. 


Meet the Fairy: Major ‘Blondie’ Hasler




“You do realise that if you join my unit, your chances of a long life are very remote.”

Herbert George “Blondie” Hasler (27 February 1914 – 5 May 1987) was a distinguished Royal Marines officer and one of the most extraordinary special forces commandos of the Second World War. Hasler was an unconventional thinker who devised innovative ways to deal with problems. As a leader he was a person who inspired by example, never asking his men to do something he did not do himself.

In December 1942, the Royal Navy Submarine HMS Tuna carried Hasler and his small commando unit to the coast of occupied France for Operation Frankton. In arguably his most famous raid, their mission was to navigate the most heavily defended estuary in Europe to reach Bordeaux harbour in order to sabotage enemy shipping and strike a blow against the enemy war effort. Hasler – a Major at the time – personally led the team on their daring raid, which had to evade the might of the German military and cross 70 miles from the Atlantic to Bordeaux. On December 11th, the Royal Marines were able to set off many limpet mines right under Hitler’s nose, shattering the German’s own perception of invincibility and – by estimates of Prime Minister Churchill – shortened the war by up to six months.

Though Hasler and his second would be the only ones from the original ten commandos who would return home safely, the forward-thinking Hasler and his expertise was instrumental in the planning of one of the greatest amphibious landings in history: D-Day. He was also responsible for many of the concepts which would ultimately lead to the post-war formation of the SBS (Special Boat Service), Britain’s elite naval special forces In Pacific. Finally he would retire from the armed force with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and end his days indulging in his love of sailing.

As a fairy with RN-STEC, Hasler is in command of the special forces fairies and spends much of his time training or preparing his troops for secret commando missions against the Abyssal fleet These elite units would see significant action around the world – much like the British special forces of our own timeline – in the coming days Hasler is also fond of HMS Tuna and accompanies her a lot. As they are largely seen as a team, Tuna and Hasler are often the commander’s first choice combination for deep infiltration missions . Whenever not on duty, Hasler can be usually be found canoeing.


Not long ago I was looking through a list of British submarines searching for future candidates to fill a possible Royal Navy ship girls cast. One submarine which stood out was HMS Tuna, at first mostly because she had a funny name. This T-class submarine however also had a respectable and active career fighting the war from beginning to end, and most interestingly to me carried Royal Marine commandos.

Remembering that Sima had been wanting to draw Royal Marines, and that Morgane had asked before about submarines carrying special forces I researched further and found the amazing tale of ‘Operation Frankton’. It was truly an inspiring tale of bravery, self-sacrifice, and triumph against all the odds, sure to bring manly tears to one’s eyes.

That operation was largely possible and successful due to the effort of one extraordinary individual: Herbet ‘Blondie’ Hasler. I felt that he and his story deserved to be in Pacific as part of our universe. Thus steps for his inclusion were taken promptly in a manner which perhaps he would approve of. Thanks to the efforts of everyone on the team this has been made so.

Sir Fong


I do want to thank everyone – Morgane and Sir Fong and everyone else from the team. The challenge in drawing fairies, as always, is how to draw them so that they resemble historical characters Because you can not change the cute tiny eyes of the fairies too much, you can only change their appearances via eyebrows, mouth, and expressions.

One of the things I’m super happy about is that our Pacific fairies all have a real interesting story behind them. Even though most of us have never heard of them before, the stories are really so very interesting.

(Plus, I really like the cute little guys I wonder how surprised (or scared) Eugen and Bisko would be when the Royal Navy girls bring Hasler – and his royal marine commandos – out onto the negotiation table)


Meet the ship girl: Edsall

Oh dear, where are my manners. Commander! Hello!

Shaw’s been having nightmares, so I’ve been tucking her in. Mahan wants someone to help her annotate. Maury’s going to need someone to run with. I’m pretty sure O’bannon messed something up again. You know the saying, “ask me not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?” I think that’s how I feel. You can swap out country for “family” or “friends,” and that’ll work too.

Sure, it’s tiring at times. Dolphin can relate. She jokingly calls it babysitting. But you know, commander, it’s not like they couldn’t go without me. Part of the duty as a ship girl, here, is that we pick each other up and keep each other going. The very least I can do is to pitch in a bit and help wherever I can. It’s the legacy that Edsall left me with. The Asiatic sailors were some of the bravest men ever to enlist in the navy, commander, and I want to carry on their legend, to be more like them.

When the war started, commander, the odds were against us. Our opponent was well trained, well armed, technologically proficient, and united in their goals. We were well trained – that’s about it. Against the cutting edge of the IJN we had nothing more than a handful of cruisers and destroyers, most of which were WWI-era or early interwar models. But still, we fought. Camaraderie. Friendship. That’s what kept us fighting.

I may not have much, but my friends have made me who I am today. Their hearts and their love will always be with me. So long as I have my friends, I will continue to fight. For them. For us.


STEC notes that while it’s only natural that a ship girl bearing Clemson-class equipment show up, STEC did not anticipate Edsall being the first to appear. The USS Edsall was a veteran destroyer that spent much of her pre-war years in the Mediterranean and Far East. When war broke out, Edsall joined DesDiv 57. The Clemson class destroyers were old, and largely served as ASW patrols – a duty the venerable destroyer carried out with distinction, sinking I-124 with other allied ships in January of 1942.

When the ancient tender Langley was ordered to the defense of Java, USS Edsall was one of her escorts. She picked up 177 survivors when the Langley was sunk. With another destroyer, USS Whipple and the oiler USS Pecos, the battered little fleet was carrying over a thousand allied survivors. When allied high command ordered USS Edsall to continue her mission of  transporting the surviving fighter pilots from the Langley to the defense of Java, the Edsall dutifully complied. After turning course at 8:30, March 1st, she was never seen again by allied forces.

Nearly sixty years later, the fate of the Edsall finally became known as evidence from many sources were pieced together. When the USS Pecos split up from what was left of the allied fleet, the oiler was soon under attack by Japanese bombers. USS Edsall picked up the distress signal, and en route to her rescue of the Pecos ran into Admiral Nagumo’s entire Kidou Butai. Already damaged previously, the Edsall nonetheless frustrated the pride of the IJN. Coming under fire by two battleships (Hiei and Kirishima) and two new cruisers (Tone and Chikuma), the Japanese spent thousands of shells and scored only a glancing hit. The normally collected Nagumo, seething with rage, ordered 26 Type 99 divebombers to launch from Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu. The Edsall was thought to be immobilized by repeated air attacks, and some sources believe it is Lt. Kobayashi from the Hiryu who landed the critical blow. Moments later, the stubborn USS Edsall was finally sank as the rest of the Japanese surface warships closed the distance and fired on her for the last time. She had managed to lead the mighty Kidou Butai on a wild goose chase to the north, away from the survivors of the Pecos engagement. With her final action, the Edsall indirectly managed to save many lives.

While the fate of USS Edsall’s survivors (if there were any) remain largely a mystery even to today, STEC notes that the shipgirl Edsall is an altruistic young woman who values friendship above all else. She has a growing collection of photos that she frequently add to her messenger bag “so to have something to remember everyone by.”

In battle, however, she seems to be something of an anomaly. Field reports have noted a number of instances where  “ghostly” fighter planes – up to thirty-two in all –  piloted by fairies of an unknown origin protecting Edsall from the air. These mysterious planes do not match units available in STEC’s databases, though they could plausibly be P-40s based on visual identification.

What’s funny about Edsall’s design was that she almost didn’t make the cut in the first place. There were many brave destroyers fighting or sunk during this period, and the rather explicit nature of what happened to her survivors – in a remarkable case of brutality – could invite controversy.

That being said, however, I sat and thought about this whole thing for a bit. You know what. The story of the Edsall was kept away from the public eye for nearly seventy years. It is only thanks to an officer on the Chikuma with a conscience that we even managed to cobble together details in the first place. This story deserves to be told!

This is a case where the sources of access – should our audience members be interested in looking stuff up – becomes readily apparent. None of the Japanese sources that are easily accessible would talk about what happens after, and we still don’t know why (or by whom) the Edsall’s survivor were murdered in the first place.

However, by mentioning the fate of her survivors being an unknown (which – in Pacific’s timeline, is still true. Details only begun to emerge sometimes around 2000s our time, and Pacific takes place in the early 90s), it is my hope that more people would go look up the story of this heroic ship. Maybe folks will get curious. Maybe folks will wonder, hey, what happened to the survivors?

And then they’ll know.

Now, as for the actual shipgirl herself, I’ve made a string of Gundam analogies before. If Maury’s an ace pilot in a prototype mech and O’bannon’s an ace pilot in a mass produced, but powerful mech, Edsall’s the Ramba Ral of our setting. Her torpedoes are markedly worse in performance, her gun is archaic by comparison (though still pretty high tech by every other standard), but she makes up for it by her skill, the experience of her fairies, and of course, sheer heroism.

Yes. Heroism. You’ll find that as a whole, the Pacific girls are well-adjusted, mature, and generally someone you’d want to bring home to meet your parents with. This is intentional given the theme of our work and the lore behind our ship girls in the first place.

Additional notes:

  • The photos that she hangs on her bag are all “real” historical photos from what we know of the Edsall’s crewmen. You should be able to distinguish most of their sources with a tiny bit of googling, and I’ve posted an example in our forums.
  • The detail on her sword reads “Si vis pacem, para bellum”. This is the motto of her historical destroyer division. “If you want peace, prepare for war.” While this has been used by a number of countries and leaders, the context here is closer to Roosevelt’s “speak softly and carry a big stick” than any of its more aggressive interpretations.
  • Given the Clemson classes’ unusually large rudders in contrast to their previous counterparts, you can see that Edsall’s “speed” attachments on her shoe is different from the other DD girls.
  • 32 USAAF pilots from the Langey transferred over to the Edsall when the Edsall split up with the Whipple and the Pecos.