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Snook’s Aggressive

Second Patrol


The USS Snook’s second war patrol spanned thirty-nine days, of which twelve were spent in her assigned station in the East China Sea, from June 22 to July 4, 1943. The highlight of her patrol occurred in the early morning hours of the fourth of July. It was a dark and rainy night. Visibility was near zero. Using only radar bearings and reckoning, Snook’s captain engaged three enemy merchant vessels in the enemy convoy 172 and successfully evaded counterattacks by two destroyer escorts. In less than three hours, Snook fired nineteen torpedoes, scoring nine hits, twelve misses, one erratic runner, and one unknown. Based on her captain’s patrol report, ComSubPac credited Snook with sinking one 17,579-ton tanker and damaging one 9,527-ton tanker, one 5,000-ton freighter, and one 10,000-ton freighter. Postwar analysis would change these figures based on information found in Japanese records. ComSubPac wrote, “The attack in the early morning hours of the fourth of July was a outstanding example of a radar attack where the entire fire control party functioned with the highest efficiency in carrying out attacks on three ships of the enemy convoy.”

In his patrol report, Snook’s captain also expressed his vision for a new type of submarine.

"A radically new design submarine is badly needed. We have the designers among our former Construction Corps officers capable of building this ship if the operating personnel express their desire for it, and belief in it.

"The ship I envision is a fast submersible night torpedo boat that will put anything the Germans now have to shame. It will be a low silhouette ship, probably with the addition of midship planes to insure safe control for surface cruising in neutral buoyancy. It will mount a 4.5″ – 25 caliber gun, and a twin 40 MM., director controlled. The battery will be smaller and the engines more powerful. The ballistic steel conning tower fairwater will be covered with rubber to soak up enemy radar emanations. Size will be about as the MACKEREL."

ComSubDiv41 recommended that the detailed account of the Snook’s running battle, with the excellent track chart furnished by Snook, be studied by all commanding officers and prospective commanding officers during their training periods.

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