Silent Hunter header

Pompano Wreck

Possibly Found


According to an article published on December 30, 2012, by McAlester News-Capital, in July 2012 a U.S. Navy minesweeper’s sonar detected what could be the hulk of a submarine in the Tsugaru Strait. The wreck rests at the geographic location 41° 27′ 6.000″ N, 141° 25′ 7.000″, at a depth of 129 feet. The USS Pompano (SS-181) was tasked with guarding two adjacent areas (Area 1 and Area 2) on her seventh and final war patrol. The Pompano left Midway on August 20, 1943. She was never seen or heard from again after that date. According to Wilfred J. Holmes, at the time of the Pompano’s last patrol it was not known that the Japanese were laying anchored mines off northeast Honshu at 250 fathoms. Holmes attributed the ignorance of this to the losses of the Runner and the Pompano. Another possibility for her loss is that Pompano was sunk on September 17, 1943 by a bomb and depth-charge attack near the Shiriyazaki Lighthouse, located on the outermost extremity of Cape Shiriyazaki, the northeastern-most point of Honshu, by a Japanese seaplane and surface vessels. After clearing some diplomatic hurdles, the Navy plans to do some additional sonar imaging of the wreck. If the sonar imaging is promising, they may also send divers down to investigate the sunken vessel. If the investigation proves the submarine is the Pompano, her hulk may provide evidence as to what caused her loss.

Pips & Blips Articles Index