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USS Cabrilla (SS-288)


The eighth war patrol of the Balao-class submarine USS Cabrilla (SS-288), under the captaincy of Lieutenant Commander H. C. Lauerman, was an arduous sixty-two day patrol. Twenty-five out of thirty-two days on station were spent performing lifeguard duty in the South China Sea.

On July 12, 1945, the Cabrilla and her top-notch crew rescued six Army aviators who had been forced to parachute from their damaged B-24.


Maxwell B-24

The crew also had to perform the sad duty of burying at sea a seventh aviator who was dead when recovered.

While in the South China Sea, Cabrilla did not encounter any opportunities to use torpedoes or guns to destroy enemy ships. However, after they passed through the Lombok Strait they did fire one Mark 27 acoustic torpedo at a group of three small enemy ships, but it missed its mark. This action occurred at the geographic position 08° 38' S, 114° 51' E

According to the postwar report by the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, during her World War II patrols the Cabrilla sank seven enemy vessels worth 38,767 tons. A more recent assessment by the late John D. Alden records her tonnage sunk as ten enemy vessels worth 41,293 tons and two others damaged for 22,569 tons.

Cabrilla received six battle stars for World War II service. Of her eight patrols, six were designated as "Successful."

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