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Latta’s Lancers &

The Radar Pickets

On February 7, 1945, Commander Frank D. Latta led the way as Task Group 17.13, also known as Latta’s Lancers, headed for Empire waters to take out some pesky Japanese radar boats. Commander Latta had previously captained the USS Narwhal on seven war patrols. Each of these patrols had been designated as successful for award of the submarine combat insignia. Latta’s new boat, the Manitowoc-built USS Lagarto, would be the Task Group’s flagship. The USS Haddock and USS Sennet would follow her to the Bonin Islands and Bungo Suido to silence the enemy’s forward-stationed radar warning pickets so Admiral Halsey’s carrier-based planes could reach the Japanese mainland undetected.

USS Lagarto

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