Escape's "Up Periscope" was based on the short story by Alec Hudson, which was first published in the Saturday Evening Post, December 31, 1938. You can find it in the book Up Periscope & Other Stories by Alec Hudson (1992)
The short story is entertaining, even for those of us who don't find submarines interesting. Escape didn't change too much about the story when they adapted it for radio, but their presentation didn't turn out well. The main problem is the way in which the Chinese are depicted. There isn't anything demeaning about the Chinese in the original story, but the terrible acting in this episode gives that impression.
The story opens in Pearl Harbor in 1938, as Lieutenant Thomas J. Baker receives a medical discharge from the U.S. Navy. Soon afterward, Mr. Lee arrives with a business proposition from the Chinese government. They would like him to take command of a submarine for action against the Japanese invaders at the mouth of Yangtze River. They offer him a generous salary and an extra $50,000 for each major Japanese ship that he may sink.
Baker accepts their offer and hires two ex-shipmen to join him on his new assignment.
When they arrive, they find a broken-down submarine circa 1918. They are concerned about the condition of their ship, but work to improve their situation. The problem causing the most concern are the old storage batteries that leak hydrogen. One spark could set off an explosion!
Neertheless, they take their position at the mouth of the Yangtze and soon encounter a Japanese fleet. In their first, and only, battle with the Japanese, the submarine and crew are pushed to the maximum...and then fall apart.
"Up Periscope" was adapted for radio by William Froug and directed by Norman MacDonnell. Hy Averback starred. Also appearing were Harry Bartell, Edgar Barrier, Lou Krugman, William Froug, Byron Kane and Charles Lung.