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As he tried to fathom the devastation, Madruga spotted a hull, smaller than the others, bent and blasted and caked with grime. “It was lying on its side, but I would have known it anywhere. It was the old Paramount.”

Madruga got permission, and waded through the muddy burial ground of rusting oblivion. When he reached his former tuna clipper, which he had guided through the Pacific war for two years, he climbed up to the pilot house. The brass nameplate — Paramount — was still there. Madruga took it down and kept it as a souvenir. ■
— Jeff Smith


  1. Ed Madruga: “You had to know navigation or else you would never find some of these islands. They were just little spots in the ocean.”
  2. Ed Madruga: “Why didn’t the Navy just take one big jump, or two or three…that would have ended the war a lot sooner.”
  3. Ed Madruga: “I wrote to my Congressman. They really socked us for [our] boats after we got them back, and they were a pile of junk.”

Felando, August J., “Tuna Clippers & World War II,” Mains’l Haul, Winter/Spring 2008, volume 44: 1 & 2.

Gailey, Harry A., War in the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, Novato, 1995.

Madruga, Adeline (wife of Joe); interview.

Madruga, Joe Jr.; interview.

Madruga, Lucile (wife of Ed); interview.

Rottman, Gordon L., World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-Military Study, Westport, 2002.

Shapiro, Daniel M., “The ‘Pork Chop Express’ San Diego’s Tuna Fleet, 1942–1945,” MA thesis, University of San Diego, 1993.

Toll, Ian W. Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941–1942, New York, 2012.

More in this series: Part 1: Tuna boats go to war | Part 2: The Pork Chop Express was no pleasure cruise

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