Unless otherwise indicated, the source for the information and quotes contained in this Web page is John Clear's collection of more than 63,000 pages of U. S. submarine World War II patrol reports, compiled from original U. S. Government microfilms.
31-Dec-41, USS Swordfish (SS-193), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR C. C. Smith
On December 27, 1941, Swordfish headed toward the mined entrance to Manila Bay and anchored off Mariveles. She had been ordered back from her first war patrol in order to evacuate Captain John Wilkes and members of his organizational staff to the Dutch submarine base at Surabaya, Java. After embarking these individuals, on December 31st Swordfish steamed through the minefields and headed south for Surabaya. She arrived there on January 7, 1942, marking the end of her first war patrol.
21-Dec-41, USS Shark (SS-174), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR L. Shane, Jr.
On December 19, 1941, Shark was ordered to interrupt her first war patrol and return to Manila where on December 21st she embarked Admiral Thomas C. Hart and two of his staff officers for evacuation to the Dutch submarine base at Surabaya, Java.
31-Dec-41, USS Seawolf (SS-197), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR F. B. Warder
Seawolf's second war patrol and first special mission began at Manila, where Captain John Wilkes had decided to withdraw his submarines and staff to Surabaya and Darwin. The submarine tenders Holland and Otis had already been sent to Darwin to form the nucleus of a new submarine base there. Seawolf's special mission tasked her with embarking six officers and four enlisted men from Wilkes's staff, and transporting them to Darwin. Commander James Fife, Jr. was one of the six officers. Seawolf cleared the minefield off Manila Bay in the early morning hours of December 31st, and made landfall at Darwin on January 9, 1942.
28-January-42, USS Seawolf (SS-197), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR F. B. Warder
Seawolf sailed from Port Darwin on January 16, 1942, carrying 178,875 rounds of .50-caliber anti-personnel tracer shells and seventy-two rounds of three-inch .50-caliber anti-aircraft shells for American forces on Corregidor. The total weight of the cargo was 72,585 pounds, or thirty-six and one quarter tons. She was at Corregidor from January 28 to 30, 1942, where she off-loaded the ammunition and embarked twenty-five passengers, and stowed submarine spare parts and sixteen torpedoes, for transport to Surabaya. The passengers included a British intelligence officer, twelve U. S. Army Air Corps pilots, six U. S. Navy pilots, five U. S. Navy enlisted men, and one U. S. Navy yeoman. The Army Air Corps pilots had been disbanded since the chaos caused by the Japanese invasion in December. Some of the U. S. Navy pilots' planes had been strafed and destroyed by enemy planes. (See Moore, Stephen L., War of the Wolf: Texas' Memorial Submarine, World War II's Famous USS Seawolf, p. 85-92.)
03-Feb-42, USS Trout (SS-202), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR F. W. Fenno, Jr.
On February 3, 1942, Trout delivered to Corregidor 3,500 rounds of three-inch AA ammunition. She also stowed twenty tons of gold, silver, and securities belonging to the Philippine Commonwealth, and to banks, mines, and residents of the islands. This valuable cargo was taken to Pearl Harbor and thence shipped to Washington, D.C. for safekeeping.
04-Feb-42, USS Seadragon (SS-194), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR W. D. Ferral
Seadragon stopped at Corregidor on her return trip from her war patrol off the Indochina coast. At Corregidor she took on twenty-three torpedoes, 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 3,000 pounds of radio equipment, and 4,000 pounds of submarine spare parts, and embarked nineteen members of a naval radio intelligence unit including an Army major and two Navy officers. She transported her cargo and passengers to Surabaya then steamed south to Fremantle.
14-Feb-42, USS Sargo (SS-188), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR T. D. Jacobs
On February 14, 1942, Sargo delivered one million rounds (666 cases) of .30-caliber ammunition from Surabaya to Polloc Harbor on Mindanao Island. She also embarked twenty-four Army enlisted personnel who were ground crew members of the 14th Bombardment Squadron, at Clark Field, on Luzon Island. She transported these personnel to Surabaya.
20-Feb-42, USS Swordfish (SS-193), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR C. C. Smith
After departing Surabaya on January 16, 1942 and patrolling in the Netherlands East Indies, the Celebes islands, and off Mindoro and Luzon Islands, on February 20th Swordfish entered Mariveles Bay and refit with thirteen torpedoes and 44,900 gallons of diesel oil from a fuel barge. She then lay at the bottom until darkness when she surfaced to embark Philippine President Manual L. Quezon, his wife, two daughters, and son; Vice President Osmena; Chief Justice Santos; and Philippine Army officers General Valdes, Colonel Nieto, and chaplain Captain Ortiz. Swordfish then departed via a safety lane through the minefield in the harbor and headed for San Jose on Panay Island, where she arrived on February 22nd, and transferred President Quezon and his party to a motor tender. Swordfish returned to Manila Bay on the night of February 24th where she rendezvoused with a PT boat, steamed through the minefield, and laid to near the turning buoy where she embarked the American High Commissioner to the Philippines, Francis B. Sayre, his wife, and a party of nine people. She was under orders to transport these people to Surabaya, but en route orders were received to sail to Fremantle where she arrived on March 9, 1942.
27-Feb-42, USS S-39 (SS-144), War Patrol No. 3, LT J. W. Coe
On February 27, 1942, during her third war patrol, S-39 was ordered to reconnoiter Chebia Island in the South China Sea for any signs of British refugees from Singapore on that island. When no one was found to be on the island, she resumed her normal patrol.
15-Mar-42, USS Permit (SS-178), War Patrol No. 4, LT W. G. Chapel
On March 13, 1942, the Permit rendezvoused with the damaged motor torpedo boat PT-32 off Tagauayan Island in the Visayas, embarked the PT boat's crew of two officers and thirteen men, and sank the hulk of the PT boat with gunfire after stripping the boat of all useful material. She then kept a prearranged rendezvous with the U. S. merchant tanker Ranger off Corregidor on the night of March 15-16, 1942, where she received three torpedoes, eight officers, and thirty-two men. Eight of the crew from PT-32 joined the defenders of Corregidor and Permit gave them her ammunition allowance (several thousand rounds). On March 18, 1942, she sailed for her new base at Fremantle where she arrived on April 7, 1942.
10-Apr-42, USS Swordfish (SS-193), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR C. C. Smith
Swordfish left Fremantle on April 1, 1942, on her third war patrol. Her primary mission was to deliver forty tons of provisions to Corregidor, and to make one shuttle trip from Corregidor to Cebu Island and return to Corregidor with provisions obtained at Cebu. However, Corregidor fell before she could carry out her mission and on April 12th she was ordered to patrol in the vicinity of Ambon Island.
05-Apr-42, USS Snapper (SS-185), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR H. L. Stone
Snapper departed Fremantle on March 6, 1942. On March 31st she was ordered to proceed Mactan Island, which is just off Cebu Island. She arrived there on April 5th to unload ammunition and to embark forty tons of food for besieged forces on Corregidor Island. On April 9th she arrived off Corregidor and transferred the food cargo to the rescue vessel Pigeon. She also took aboard seven naval officers and twenty enlisted evacuees from Pigeon. She then skillfully evaded enemy destroyer patrols and made way for the Lombok Strait. On April 23rd she received word that the submarine Searaven was in trouble as a result of damage from a fire. Snapper reversed course in order to rendezvous with the damaged Searaven and take her in tow the next morning. During the day a Navy patrol plane stood watch and circled above the submarines. When the water-soaked manila tow lines parted, Snapper improvised a tow line by use of Searaven's anchor chains. An Australian sloop and two destroyers joined Snapper as escorts that night and when the pelican hooks were carried away, Snapper was relieved of tow duty by the sloop. Snapper arrived at Fremantle on April 25, 1942.
06-Apr-42, USS Seadragon (SS-194), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR W. D. Ferral
While en route to patrol in the South China Sea Seadragon was ordered to proceed to Cebu Island to load rations for delivery to the starving defenders of Bataan. She reached Cebu on April 3rd and unloaded twelve torpedoes and 250 rounds of three-inch ammunition to make room for thirty-four tons of food. She then steamed for Corregidor, arriving there on April 6th. Her men worked tirelessly, but could only unload seven tons of cargo before the Commandant Sixteenth Naval District ordered her away from the dock. She stood off Corregidor for forty-eight hours, after which time LCDR Ferral was informed that further unloading was not feasible. She took aboard evacuees which included communications officers, eighteen enlisted men, and an Army colonel, then headed south for Fremantle where she arrived on April 26, 1942.
18-Apr-42, USS Searaven (SS-196), War Patrol No. 3, LT H. Cassedy
Searaven embarked 1,500 rounds of three-inch AA ammunition at Fremantle for delivery to besieged forces on Corregidor. However, while en route to the Philippines she was ordered to proceed instead to the vicinity of Timor Island in the Netherlands East Indies. On April 18, 1942, she rescued thirty-two Royal Australian Air Force men from enemy-held Timor, an act for which two of her officers were awarded the Navy Cross.
22-Apr-42, USS Sailfish (SS-192), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR R. G. Voge
Sailfish left Fremantle on April 22, 1942, on her fourth war patrol, with orders to attempt delivery of 1,856 rounds of three-inch AA ammunition to Corregidor. On May 6, 1942, the Commander Submarines Asiatic Fleet cancelled the orders because Corregidor had fallen to the Japanese. Sailfish was ordered to patrol off Tarakan Island instead.
27-Apr-42, USS Sturgeon (SS-187), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR W. L. Wright
On April 27, 1942, the Sturgeon was ordered to attempt the rescue of fifty-three RAF and RAAF personnel on an island at the entrance to Tjilatjap, Java. On April 28th, Sturgeon did not find anyone at that location.
03-May-42, USS Spearfish (SS-190), War Patrol No. 3, LT J. C. Dempsey
On May 3, 1942, during her third war patrol (March 27 to May 20, 1942), Spearfish embarked at Corregidor six Army officers, six Navy officers, eleven Army nurses, one Navy nurse, one civilian woman, and two unauthorized stowaways to be evacuated to Fremantle. She was the last American submarine to visit the beleaguered fortress before it surrendered.
08-May-42, USS Porpoise (SS-172), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR J. R. McKnight, Jr.
On the night of May 8, 1942, Porpoise received orders to rescue U. S. Army Air Corps aviators from Ju Island, a very small island found between Halmahera and New Guinea. On the night of May 10th, Porpoise embarked the entire five-man crew of a downed LB-30 bomber, which made an emergency landing there the week before. Porpoise delivered them to Darwin on May 16, 1942. ⇒
16-Oct-42, USS Thresher (SS-200), War Patrol No. 5, LCDR W. J. Millican
On October 16, 1942, Thresher laid thirty-two Mark 12 mines in the Bay of Bangkok, at approximately 12°-50' N, 100°-44' E. Two mines exploded prematurely.
20-Oct-42, USS Gar (SS-206), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR D. McGregor
On October 20, 1942, Gar laid thirty-two Mark 12 mines in the Bay of Bangkok, at approximately 12°-35' N, 100°-45' E. Four mines exploded prematurely.
29-Oct-42, USS Grenadier (SS-210), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR B. L. Carr
On October 29, 1942, Grenadier laid thirty-two Mark 12 mines near Haiphong, at approximately 20°-38' N, 107°-04' E. One mine exploded prematurely.
02-Nov-42, USS Tautog (SS-199), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR J. H. Willingham
On November 2, 1942, Tautog laid thirty-two Mark 12 mines south of Cape Padaran, French Indochina, at approximately 11°-10' N, 108°-47' E. Three mines exploded prematurely.
02-Nov-42, USS Tambor (SS-198), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR S. H. Ambruster
On November 2, 1942, Tambor laid thirty-two Mark 12 mines in the Hainan Strait off Lamka Point Lighthouse, at approximately 20°-04' N, 109°-18' E. One mine exploded prematurely.
Gudgeon sailed from Brisbane on December 27, 1942, marking the first official Spyron mission to the Philippines. On board were Major Jesus Villamor, who was known at the AIB by the code W-10, six other Filipinos, and a ton of supplies including weapons, a radio, money, medicines, candy, and cigarettes. Villamor was a distinguished fighter pilot and leader. He had eagerly accepted General MacArthur's offer to lead Operation Planet - the establishment of a Philippines-wide radio, spy, and guerrilla fighter network. Soon numerous other submarines would be available to deliver vitally needed supplies in ever increasing quantities to locations throughout the Philippines and Sulu Archipelago. On the night of January 14, 1943, Gudgeon inserted Villamor and his men and supplies safely and secretly on Negros Island near Cansilan Point. During her return trip to Fremantle, on February 9, 1943, Gudgeon rescued twenty-one Australians, one Englishman, one Portuguese, and five Timorese from enemy-occupied Timor. (See Breuer, William B., MacArthur's Undercover War: Spies, Saboteurs, Guerrillas, and Secret Missions, p. 46-55 and Jones, David and Peter Noonan, U. S. Subs Down Under: Brisbane, 1942-1945, p. 213-214.) ⇒
On February 8, 1943, Tambor departed Fremantle with Spyron operative LCDR Charles "Chick" Parsons, who was known at the AIB by the code Q-10, and his party, 50,000 rounds of .30-Caliber ammunition, 20,000 rounds of .45-caliber ammunition, and $10,000 in currency on board. General Douglas MacArthur had placed Parsons in charge of Fifty Party, the AIB's code name for an operation to sneak supplies, weapons, and ammunition to guerrillas on Mindanao. On March 5, 1943, Parsons and his party and their cargo were inserted on the south coast of Mindanao Island near Pagadian Bay. (See Breuer, William B., MacArthur's Undercover War: Spies, Saboteurs, Guerrillas, and Secret Missions, p. 83-92.) ⇒
07-Mar-43, USS Tautog (SS-199), War Patrol No. 6, LCDR W. B. Sieglaff
On May 7, 1943, Tautog laid twenty-four Mark 12 mines off Tanjong Aru, on the southeast coast of Borneo, at approximately 02°-10' S, 116°-40' E.
07-Apr-43, USS Trout (SS-202), War Patrol No. 8, LCDR L. P. Ramage
On April 7, 1943, Trout laid twenty-three Mark 12 mines off Subi Kechil (Ketjil) Island, in the Api Passage, at approximately 02°-00' N, 109°-15' E.
Gudgeon had on board four U. S. Army commandos who had been chosen to carry out a special mission. They were LT Torribo Crespo, SGT Orlando Alfabeto, PVT Ali Lajahasan, and PVT Mangona Lajahasan. Also on board was 6,000 pounds of equipment for the commandos. On the night of April 30, 1943, the Gudgeon inserted the four commandos and their supplies safely and secretly ashore near Pucio Point on Panay Island. This was the first delivery of supplies that the resistance movement on Panay, known as the Sixth Military District, would receive from American submarines during the war. Later in this patrol the Gudgeon sank the Japanese trawler Naku Maru in a surface gun action. She picked out of the water three Filipinos who claimed they had been forced on board the ship to work for the sixteen Japanese masters. The Filipinos provided valuable intelligence about the Japanese rule in Manila. (See Ostlund, Mike, Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em: The Mysterious Loss of the WWII Submarine USS Gudgeon, p. 225-257.) ⇒
25-May-43, USS Tautog (SS-199), War Patrol No. 7, LCDR W. B. Sieglaff
At Fremantle, Tautog embarked two Muslim hadjis and was directed to land them at Buton Island, in the Java Sea, on the way to her operational area. The two Muslims were working as informants for the AIB's SIA section. The SIA handlers believed that the respect shown by a Muslim population toward those who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca would give the hadjis greater protection from betrayal. They also felt the hadjis could be a deciding factor in swinging Muslim opinion behind the Allies in Indonesia. The landing was made on May 25, 1943, at 2345 hours. The pair soon vanished and nothing more was ever heard from them. (See Powell, Alan, War by Stealth: Australians and the Allied Intelligence Bureau 1942-1945, p. 154-155.)
04-Jun-43, USS Silversides (SS-236), War Patrol No. 5, LCDR C. C. Burlingame
On June 4, 1943, Silversides laid twenty-four Mark 10-1 mines off Kavieng, at approximately 02°-36' S, 150°-34'E. Two of the mines became floaters.
In the early morning hours of June 12, 1943, Trout landed a party of two officers and three men, under the command of Captain John A. Hamner, AUS, off Labangan, Pagadian Bay, on the southern coast of Mindanao Island. Contact by prearranged recognition signal was established with a small steam launch which then moored alongside Trout with Lieutenant Commander Charles T. ("Chick") Parsons, Jr. aboard. Supplies and ammunition were transferred and following a conference with Lieutenant Commander Parsons concerning information about the latest Japanese shipping routes, Trout stood clear of Pagadian Bay. In addition to the supplies specifically designated to be delivered, 6,000 rounds of .30-caliber ammunition, and 2,000 rounds of .45-caliber ammunition were transferred. This ammunition was in excess of Trout's probable requirements and the transfer was considered necessary due to an error in ordering by the party landed. Small amounts of tinned provisions and reading material were also provided. On July 9, 1943, the area east of Olutanga Island, off southern coast of Mindanao Island, was reconnoitered submerged during daylight while closing the designated rendezvous point. A small wood burning steam launch camouflaged with tree limbs and flying the American flag stood out from the north of Olutanga Island and was easily identified. The launch came alongside after Trout surfaced at sunset, five miles northwest of Liscum Bank. A party of five officers under the command of Lieutenant Commander Parsons was embarked. Trout then cleared the area on the surface. ⇒
01-Jul-43, USS Gar (SS-206), War Patrol No. 8, LCDR P. D. Quirk
On July 1, 1943, Gar landed two Lagarto party Australian commandos on the south coast of Timor Island. The operation had been poorly organized on the AIB end. Gar had to provide the party with medical stores and food from Gar's own supply. The commandos lost three radios in the surf during the landing, were argumentative, and loathe to go ashore. (See Powell, Alan, War by Stealth: Australians and the Allied Intelligence Bureau 1942-1945, p. 133.)
On July 9, 1943, at 1900 hours, Thresher surfaced about 3,000 yards due west of Catmon Point, Negros Island and headed in on the motors trimmed down with her deck nearly awash. A sailboat was sighted standing out from Catmon Point and the Filipino commando lieutenant embarked at Fremantle identified it as their contact. Shortly Thresher sighted the correct security signal from the sailboat and pointed her bow seaward as the sailboat approached. Another sailboat with dark sails was then seen standing out from Catmon Point astern the first sailboat. At 1947 hours, the first sailboat came alongside and Thresher began striking cargo topside for transfer to the sailboats. Once fully loaded, the first sailboat headed for shore and the second one, a much larger vessel capable of carrying fifteen tons, came alongside. By 2023 hours, the second sailboat was fully loaded and headed for shore. All supplies had been delivered and a team of Filipino commandos was safely ashore. In addition to the required supplies, Thresher also gave the Filipino commandos medical supplies, four Colt pistols, spare pistol clips and belts, spare Tommy gun clips, twenty-five hand grenades, three cases of .30-caliber ammunition, 150 cartons of cigarettes, matches, soap, toothpaste, razor blades, magazines, fifty pounds of powdered milk, twelve pounds of tinned butter, seventy-five pounds of luncheon meat, forty-eight pounds of tinned jam, thirty-three pounds of crabmeat, seventy-four pounds of tomatoes, 125 pounds of corned beef hash, 200 pounds of rice, 100 pounds of sugar, eighty pounds of dehydrated potatoes, two pounds of salt and pepper, sixty-three pounds of canned sardines, thirty-five pounds of canned luncheon meat, sixty pounds of canned ham, twenty-five pounds of cheese, thirty-eight pounds of lobster, 100 pounds of coffee, two pounds of bouillon cubes, forty-eight pounds of salmon, eighty-seven pounds of evaporated milk, and thirty pounds of spaghetti noodles. ⇒
On August 23, 1943, Grayling delivered supplies and equipment to Filipino guerrilla fighters at Pandan Bay near Pucio Point on Panay Island. Grayling was not heard from after August 19, 1943. Her last confirmed contact was with the guerrilla fighters at Pandan Bay. On September 12, 1943, Commander Task Force 71 requested a radio transmission from Grayling. A response was never received. On September 30, 1943, Grayling was listed as lost in action with all hands due to unknown causes. ⇒
On September 3, 1943, Bowfin delivered supplies and embarked nine persons near Binuni Point on Mindanao Island. On September 29, 1943, at the same location she "...took aboard nine guerrillas, selected by their superior officers, to be transported to Australia. One of the guerrillas was Edward M. Kuder, a well-known superintendent of schools on Mindanao. Another was Samuel C. Grashio, a U.S. Army Air Corps fighter pilot prior to his capture on Bataan. Grashio had survived the infamous 'Death March' to be confined in three different Japanese prison camps before finally escaping from the Davao Penal Colony with a group of 10 POWs and two Philippine convicts and then joining the guerrillas." (See USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, "USS Bowfin (SS-287) - Patrol 1.") ⇒
06-Oct-43, USS Kingfish (SS-234), War Patrol No. 5, CDR V. L. Lowrance
Kingfish performed two special missions during her fifth war patrol. On the night of October 6, 1943, on the east coast of British North Borneo, near Labian Point, Kingfish's captain chose an area near the Tinagin Besar River in the Lahad Datu area south of Sandakan as the drop-off and landing point for the six AIF Z Special Unit commandos and 3,000 pounds of supplies Kingfish embarked at Fremantle. The six commandos made it ashore in two canoes with a larger boat to carry their supplies. They would eventually establish observation posts they used to monitor enemy shipping in the vital Sibutu Channel. They would also use their radio to transmit daily intelligence reports to Darwin and organize an intelligence network along Borneo's east coast, from Tarakan to Sandakan. The second special mission involved laying mines in enemy shipping lanes near Cape Pepe, in the Makassar Strait. On October 10, 1943, Kingfish planted eleven Mark 12 mines at 05°-10'S, 119°-20'E. (See Sturma, Michael, Death at a Distance: The Loss of the Legendary USS Harder, p. 75-76.)
On October 6, 1943, while on her first war patrol, Cabrilla received a dispatch from Comtaskfor 71 assigning her a special mission to evacuate four military personnel from Negros Island. On October 19, 1943, after failing to see the proper security signal from ashore on the west coast of Negros Island, Cabrilla began searching for it further south of that location. On October 20th, she sighted a small sailboat flying the correct signals. At 1751 hours, she surfaced about two miles off the beach and within 500 yards of the sailboat, which was a small outrigger type under sail. The evacuees, Major Jesus A. Villamor, AUS, Major H. L. Meider, AUS, Captain B. Cabangbang, PA, and Captain E. L. Torres, Jr., PA, came aboard. A quantity of food, cigarettes, matches, toilet articles, clothing, canvas, quinine, tools, and other miscellaneous items thought to be of value were ready and loaded into the boat. As soon as it was determined from Major Villamor that the boat crew belonged to an organized band of guerrillas, and that it would be put to good use, all readily available .30-caliber and .45-caliber ammunition and a Thompson sub machine gun were also loaded in the boat. From information obtained from Major Villamor, small arms and ammunition of any kind, and medicines, particularly quinine, were badly needed by the guerrillas, and there was a scarcity of clothing and food. ⇒
Prior to her departure for her seventh war patrol from Cape Moreton, Australia, on October 2, 1943, Narwhal stowed ninety-two tons of ammunition and stores equally between both torpedo rooms. She also embarked five military officers and five enlisted passengers, and Lieutenant Commander Charles Parsons, USNR, who would coordinate certain aspects of her special missions. On November 13, 1943, at 0308 hours, Narwhal stood 1,800 yards off the western beach at Puluan Bay, Mindinao Island, and Lieutenant Commander Parsons left the submarine in a rubber boat with ten men Narwhal had embarked at Cape Moreton. Narwhal then cleared the bay and dived. She returned to the bay at 1726 hours to collect Parsons. Narwhal then moved closer to shore and moored her starboard side to the Japanese registry schooner Dona Juana Maru and began unloading stores. When the offloading was completed, Major H. L. Phillips, AUS, and the shore party under his supervision, returned to shore. At 1931 hours, Narwhal headed seaward. On November 15, 1943, at 0508 hours, Narwhal entered Butuan Bay submerged. At 1605 hours, she sighted a launch flying the proper security signal. She surfaced and Colonel Wendel W. Fertig, AUS, came aboard. Narwhal then proceeded into Nasipit Harbor. On her way in she ran aground on hard sand in the channel's west bank, but managed to free herself quickly. At 1746 hours, "To the tune of 'Anchors Away' played by a uniformed Filipino band, [she] moored starboard side to [the] dock at Nasipit, Mindanao." At 2330 hours, she completed offloading cargo. Early the next day, she embarked thirty-two evacuees, including eight women, two children, and one baby, and got underway. Parsons left Narwhal with the harbor pilot. Remarks in Narwhal's patrol report: "The very real need for any kind of stores in guerrilla occupied areas led us to transfer considerably more stores than were actually consigned as cargo. Additional arms and ammunition as well as foodstuffs were transferred to Col. [Wendell] Fertig. On 13 November, Lieut-Comdr. [Charles] Parsons brought aboard copies of the Manila Tribune, just 3 days old. From information received ashore, apparently reliable, the submarine force will be interested to know that the old Sealion is in Dewey Drydock. Her stern is blown off and the interior is being dismantled, apparently for study." ⇒
14-Nov-43, USS Tuna (SS-203), War Patrol No. 9, LCDR A. H. Holtz
Tuna transported an AIB intelligence agent to Laut Island off southeastern Borneo. She also reconnoitered the area near Sanbergelap Island to determine if it would be productive for laying a minefield. On the night of November 14, 1943, the AIB agent, Bill Reynolds, chose a location to disembark. That night Tuna flooded down and placed Reynolds and his boat with supplies in the water. Tuna then cleared the area. Reynold's mission was to contact Chinese agents operating on Laut Island. In Holtz's report of the operation he said "Mine plants in the passage between Sebuku Island and Sanbergelap Island would seem to offer promise of good results. It is believed that much traffic from the south uses this route to Balikpapan." (See Silver, Lynette Ramsay, Deadly Secrets: The Singapore Raids 1942-45, p. 222-223.)
Before leaving Port Darwin on her eighth war patrol, Narwhal stowed ninety tons of ammunition and stores equally between the forward and after torpedo rooms. She also embarked a special party consisting of two Army officers and nine enlisted men. She got underway from Port Darwin on November 25, 1943. On December 2nd, she dived and entered Butuan Bay. At 1706 hours, she surfaced 1,000 yards off Cadadbaran, Mindinao. Shortly thereafter, a 150-ton barge came alongside. Colonel Wendel W. Fertig, AUS, and Lieutenant Commander Charles Parsons, USNR, came aboard. Narwhal embarked seven evacuees - two soldiers, three civilian men, one woman, and one eight-year-old girl. She unloaded the apportioned amount of cargo and also delivered 300 gallons of lube oil, a small amount of hand tools, received three messages regarding the next phase of her mission, and used the portable radio station on the barge to send three messages. At 2205 hours, she got underway with Lieutenant Commander Parsons aboard. On December 5th, at 0148 hours, she sighted the proper security signal at Alubijid, Majacalar Bay. Second Lieutenant Noble, PA, came aboard to verify Narwhal was there to embark evacuees, then he returned to shore. One boat load came alongside carrying the DeVries family. Other boats followed sometime later. Narwhal embarked a total of two men, three women, and four children. Narwhal stood out of Majacalar Bay at 0446 hours. She arrived at Darwin on December 11th, where she discharged the evacuees and Lieutenant Commander Parsons to an Army launch. She then proceeded to Fremantle, where she arrived on December 18th. ⇒
13-Dec-43, USS Pompon (SS-267), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR E. C. Hawk
On December 13, 1943, Pompon laid eleven Mark 12 mines off Poulo Condor, at approximately 08°-50' N, 106°-05' E.
18-Dec-43, USS Cabrilla (SS-288), War Patrol No. 2, CDR D. T. Hammond
On December 18, 1943, Cabrilla laid eleven Mark 12 mines in Saracen Bay, Cambodia, at approximately 10°-30' N, 103°-14' E.
03-Jan-44, USS Bluefish (SS-222), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR G. E. Porter, Jr.
On January 3, 1944, Bluefish laid eleven Mark 12 mines on the east coat of Malaya, at approximately 05°-50' N, 103°-35' E.
04-Jan-44, USS Rasher (SS-269), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR W. R. Laughton
On January 4, 1944, Rasher laid eleven Mark 12 mines off Poulo Condor, at approximately 09°-00' N, 106°-40' E.
14-Jan-44, USS Crevalle (SS-291), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR H. G. Munson
On January 14-15, 1944, Crevalle laid eleven Mark 12 mines off Kega Point, east of Saigon, at approximately 10°-33' N, 108°-01' E.
20-Jan-44, USS Tinosa (SS-283), War Patrol No. 5, CDR D. F. Weiss
On January 20, 1944, Tinosa landed six "Operation Python II" commandos and 5,000 pounds of supplies off Turtle Beach near Labian Point at British North Borneo. The six Australian Imperial Force Z Special Unit commandos would reinforce the team landed by the USS Kingfish on October 6, 1943.
29-Jan-44, USS Bowfin (SS-287), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR W. T. Griffith
On January 29, 1944, Bowfin laid eleven Mark 12 mines off Sebuko Island, off the southeast coast of Borneo, at approximately 03°-36' S, 116°-35' E.
On February 5, 1944, at 0835 hours, Narwhal sighted the proper security signal ashore near Libertad on Panay Island. At 1759 hours, she surfaced and began rigging the ship to unload cargo. Lieutenant Colonel Cirilo Garcia, PA, came aboard to represent Colonel Macario Peralta, PA. Narwhal received five service men and one British subject. On the advice of Colonel Garcia Captain Latta refused passage to one Filipino who stated he had been a Navy machinist's mate with insular forces prior to the war. By 2155 hours, all cargo had been unloaded and Narwhal cleared Pandan Bay. On February 7, 1944, she spotted the proper security signal ashore at Balatong Point on Negros. She surfaced at 1800 hours and Lieutenant Colonel Salvatore Abcede, USFIP, District Commandant, came aboard. By 1925 hours, they completed unloading forty-five tons of cargo and embarking twenty-eight evacuees - eight women, nine children, five men, and six service men. At 1949 hours, Narwhal stood out from Negros. She moored at Darwin on February 15th. ⇒
21-Feb-44, USS Ray (SS-271), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR B. J. Harral, Jr.
On the night of February 21, 1944, Ray planted eleven Mark 12 mines, north of Astrolabe Bank, off the coast of Indochina, near Saigon. The approximate geographic position of the mine plant was 10°-18'-55'' N, 107°-51'-15'' E. The field was laid in the form if a sine wave, from north to south. The depth of the water ranged from sixteen to eighteen fathoms. The average distance between the mines was 1,000 yards. No mechanical difficulties of any type were experienced during the plant. No premature detonations were observed.
Prior to her departure from Darwin on February 16, 1944, Narwhal loaded eighty tons of ammunition and stores, and embarked Lieutenant W. H. Kimbrough, I-V(S), USNR, Lieutenant M. M. Wheeler, D-V(S), USNR, Second Lieutenant S. R. Silva, AUS, and four Filipino AUS enlisted ratings. At 1000 hours, on March 2nd, the proper security signal was spotted on the beach at Cadadbaran. She surfaced and a boat came alongside. Three representatives of Brigadier General Wendell W. Fertig, AUS, Commanding Officer of the guerrilla resistance movement on Mindanao Island and the Sulu Archipelago, came aboard. They said Colonel Fertig was waiting at the Agusan River mouth because it was too difficult to tow their barge into the bay. Captain Latta brought Narwhal as near to the river shoal as he dared and then laid to. Narwhal's crew began rigging their two launches topside for delivery to Colonel Fertig. Colonel Fertig came aboard and asked Captain Latta to move up the channel to the barge and to delay unloading until the next day. Captain Latta refused both requests. Instead, he sent one of Narwhal's launches to have the barge towed alongside. By 0210 hours on March 3rd, seventy tons of cargo was unloaded and two 26-foot whale boats were delivered to Colonel Fertig. Narwhal also embarked twenty service men and eight civilians, including two women. At 0229 hours, Narwhal stood out of Butuan Bay. At 0528 hours, on March 5th, Narwhal dived off Bohi Gansa, on Tawi-Tawi Island. At 0630 hours, she sighted the proper security signals ashore and at 1813 hours she surfaced. Captain Jordan Hamner came aboard to report only two small boats were available to unload cargo. Narwhal inflated four of her rubber boats to assist and embarked eight evacuees, including three "Python" commandos, plus two people who were trapped on the boat when the unloading process was suddenly interrupted by Japanese patrol boats. Some badly needed supplies for the Python team and another commando team know as "Suarez" were left strewn in the water. Narwhal ended her patrol at Fremantle on March 20, 1945. ⇒
On March 9, 1944, while on her second war patrol, Angler received dispatch orders changing her patrol area and assigning a special mission to her. On March 18th she received another dispatch directing her to rescue about fifty United States citizens from a position on the north coast of Panay Island. This message increased the number of evacuees from twenty, as indicated in the first dispatch, to fifty including women and children. On March 19th, she received a third dispatch indicating the necessity of embarking the evacuees on the first day of the rendezvous. On March 20th, Angler submerged eight miles south of the rendezvous point at Libertad and stood in toward the beach. She moved in to one mile and saw a large crowd of people walking behind the tree line on the beach near the rendezvous point. She also observed the proper security signals hoisted in the trees along the water's edge. At sunset she stood in toward the rendezvous point, went to battle stations, assembled special details, surfaced with decks awash, and stopped parallel to the beach at a distance of 1,000 yards. A small banca came alongside containing Lieutenant Colonel Cirilo Garcia, Captain Maynard C. Hawley, one soldier, and two boatmen. Captain Olsen was informed there were fifty-eight evacuees and was asked if he would accept all of them. Olsen said yes and Garcia sent an affirmative signal with a flashlight to the beach. The party started toward Angler in sailing bancas. All evacuees were embarked and their baggage stowed within an hour, and Angler stood out to seaward. On April 1, 1944, she anchored off Dudley Point, Darwin and disembarked the evacuees to a tender. ⇒
01-Apr-44, USS Bluefish (SS-222), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR C. M. Henderson
On April 1, 1944, the Bluefish surveyed the coast of British North Borneo off Labian Point via periscope, searching for a signal from AIF Z Special Unit Python commandos so they could be evacuated. "They saw no one, and no one responded to their signal. Only later did they discover that they were given the wrong contact time. In a costly error, headquarters had miscalculated the conversion to local times." A second extraction attempt would be made by CDR C. W. Nimitz, Jr. in USS Haddo on April 10, 1944 (next entry below). (See Sturma, Michael, Death at a Distance: The Loss of the Legendary USS Harder, p. 80.)
10-Apr-44, USS Haddo (SS-255), War Patrol No. 5, CDR C. W. Nimitz, Jr.
During her fifth war patrol, Haddo was tasked with evacuating AIF Z Special Unit Python commandos from British North Borneo off Labian Point. "When the Python party arrived at the designated rendezvous on the morning of 10 April, they fell into a Japanese ambush. They managed to escape but were unable to display the signals for the submarine rendezvous. Seeing flashing lights, apparently a normal practice by Japanese in rear areas, the submarine suspected a trap. Six days later the Haddo did exchange signals with shore. When none of the Python men paddled out to the submarine, however, Nimitz again suspected a Japanese trap. What he didn't know was that the Python men had no boats. The fabric of their canoes had literally rotted, and the men were not about to swim through the crocodile and shark infested waters to the submarine. Even with a boat, a crocodile had attacked at least one Z unit team when it attempted to land in Borneo, and two other commandos were suspected of being taken by crocodiles. The night of the rendezvous several twenty-foot sharks were spotted off shore." (See Sturma, Michael, Death at a Distance: The Loss of the Legendary USS Harder, p. 80-81.)
22-Apr-44, USS Redfin (SS-272), War Patrol No. 2, LCDR R. D. King
On the night of April 22-23, 1944, Redfin landed four of her crew near Dent Haven, at British North Borneo, in an attempt to evacuate AIF Z Special Unit Python operatives. The crew came under attack by a Japanese patrol and had to withdraw back to the Redfin. The evacuation of the special operatives was accomplished by the USS Harder on June 8, 1944. (See Sturma, Michael, Death at a Distance: The Loss of the Legendary USS Harder, p. 81.)
During her third war patrol, on May 7, 1944, Crevalle received dispatch orders to proceed to the eastern part of the Sulu Sea and be prepared for a special mission on about May 11th. At 1616 hours on May 8th, she received orders to proceed to a position just north of Basay, Negros (9°-24' N, 122°-36' E), and at sunset on May 11th, after observing the proper security signal, to surface and receive from native sailboats about twenty-five passengers and important documents. The rendezvous was made as scheduled. The security signal was displayed as described and native boats came alongside promptly at 1746 when Crevalle surfaced. Lieutenant Colonel Salvador Abcede, USFIP, District Commandant, came aboard with documents and forty passengers, who with their baggage were taken below. Twenty-eight of the passengers were women and children. A limited amount of food, ammunition, and canteen supplies was transferred to the forces ashore. The elapsed time of the entire operation was fifty-one minutes from surfacing to taking departure. Crevalle reached Darwin on May 19, 1944, where the passengers and documents were delivered to the Commander Section Base. ⇒
17-May-44, USS Bonefish (SS-223), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR T. W. Hogan
From May 17 to 19, 1944, Bonefish reconnoitered enemy naval activity at Tawi-Tawi Bay on Tawi-Tawi Island.
On May 14, 1944, at Port Darwin, Narwhal loaded sixty-two tons of cargo and embarked thirty-eight passengers consisting of seven officers and thirty-one enlisted men of the AUS. On May 15th she got underway to conduct special missions in the Philippines. On May 24th, at 0148 hours, she made landfall on the coast of Samar Island. She submerged for reconnaissance of the landing point near San Policarpo and at 0820 hours, she sighted the proper security signals. She surfaced and made preparations to strike the cargo topside. At 1825 hours, a launch towing sailboats came alongside and Lieutenant Colonel Charles M. Smith, AUS, Commanding Officer of the guerrilla resistance movement on Samar Island, came aboard. By 1905 hours, the cargo was unloaded and twenty-two passengers were disembarked. In addition to the cargo, Narwhal gave the shore party diesel fuel, lubricating oil, charts, tidal and current data on the San Bernardino Strait, flour for priests, electric lamps, radio parts, and 20MM ammunition from the submarine's stores. Commander Titus noted that the unloading progressed vary rapidly due to Lieutenant Colonel Smith's preparations and suitable boats. At 1945 hours, Narwhal stood out from the coast. On May 28th, at 0900 hours, Narwhal made landfall off Sanco Point on eastern Mindanao Island. No security signals were sighted from the shore. On May 29th, at 0420 hours, she moved out from the coast. On May 31st, at 2258 hours, she made landfall off Tukuran on the Zamboanga Peninsula. She submerged to conduct reconnaissance of the coast. At 0853 hours on June 1st, she sighted the proper security signal ashore. At 1800 hours, she surfaced and Colonel Robert V. Bowler, AUS, Commanding Officer of the guerrilla movement in the Tucuran area, came aboard, and the unloading of cargo commenced. By 2215 hours, her remaining passengers, all shore personnel, and Colonel Bower left the boat. Captain Titus noted the unloading progressed rapidly after the shore party learned how to load the boats. At 2220 hours, Narwhal made ready to leave, but grounded in shoal water for a few minutes. She freed herself and headed seaward. (See Willoughby, Charles A., The Guerrilla Movement in the Philippines: 1941-1945, p. 446-449 & p. 526-547.) She made it back to Darwin on June 9th. ⇒
On the night of June 5, 1944, Nautilus received the proper security signals from a location near Tucuran on Mindanao Island. She then surfaced and approached the shore. A small launch flying American colors stood out from the beach. The submarine's crew opened her hatches and began striking 192,000 pounds of cargo topside. Colonel Robert V. Bowler and a party of ten men came aboard. About thirty bancas, outriggers, and rafts of all sizes came alongside to receive cargo. By midnight all cargo was topside and all shore personnel had left the submarine, including one crewman who was detached for duty ashore. In addition to the assigned cargo, the Nautilus delivered thirty seven cases of 20MM ammunition, 550 gallons of diesel oil, and a moderate quantity of dry stores, including 210 pounds of white flour. ⇒
On June 8, 1944, Redfin landed six Philippine guerrilla fighters on Ramos Island near Balabac Strait. In his patrol endorsement, Rear Admiral Ralph W. Christie said the top-secret special mission was well executed as a result of intelligent planning, careful rehearsal, and hard work by all hands. ⇒
08-Jun-44, USS Harder (SS-257), War Patrol No. 5A, CDR S. D. Dealey
Harder evacuated six coast watchers from the northeast coast of British North Borneo, in a joint operation with AIF Z Special Unit operatives. During this patrol the Harder also reconnoitered the Japanese fleet anchorage at Tawi-Tawi Island. Her captain, Sam Dealey, reported sinking four enemy destroyers and damaging or destroying another one. The JANAC and the Alden-McDonald postwar assessments credit the Harder with sinking only three destroyers during her fifth patrol. (See Sturma, Michael, Death at a Distance: The Loss of the Legendary USS Harder, p. 105-112.)
On June 20, 1944, Nautilus sighted proper security signals from ashore at Balatong Point on Negros Island. She surfaced and stood in to that location. An armada of small craft stood out from the beach and Nautilus's crew began striking cargo topside. In short order Lieutenant Colonel Salvatore Abcede came aboard. Nautilus received seventeen evacuees - four women, one four-year-old girl, and twelve men, including one German prisoner of war for transportation to Darwin. Nautilus also discharged four Filipino enlisted Army men. In addition to the assigned cargo, Nautilus delivered 1,160 pounds of food stuffs, including flour, sugar, coffee, powdered eggs and milk, and baking powder. ⇒
Narwhal stood out of Port Darwin on June 10, 1944, for her twelfth war patrol. The first part of her mission called for her to reconnoiter the enemy's oil refinery operation on Ceram Island, and then to bombard it, inflicting as much damage as possible. On June 13th, at 0438 hours, she submerged for reconnaissance of those facilities at Bula, Ceram Island. She sighted a two-masted schooner standing east from Bula Bay. Two other schooners were at anchor in the bay. Titus opined the Japs may be using the schooners to ship oil products made at the refinery at Bula to their bases in the southwest Pacific. During the day Titus studied the town of Bula to locate the hospital, oil storage tanks, power house, pumping house, and boiler station. He wanted to avoid hitting the hospital during the bombardment. Numerous photographs were taken of the facilities at Bula. At 1714 hours, battle surface gun attack was sounded. The first shots were fired at 1716 hours. During her bombardment, numerous hits were scored on gasoline and fuel oil tanks. A shore gun battery took a direct hit. She fired a total of fifty-nine rounds from her six-inch guns. At 1724 hours, Titus ordered all guns and gun crews secured and increased speed to seventeen knots as rounds from shore batteries were starting to get too close. When well clear of the area, Narwhal submerged and headed north. On June 14th, they discovered the boat was leaving an oil slick while submerged. Also, their SJ radar was out of order. In his report, Titus wrote, "An oil slick, a noisy ship, and radar out fixes us fine." Narwhal's next stop was Lipata Point, on Panay Island. She arrived off that location in the early morning hours of June 20th. At daybreak she sighted the proper security signals and moved the boat to closer to shore. At 1830, she surfaced and began unloading the cargo. A representative of Colonel Macario Peralta, PA, came aboard. The Japanese were located three and a half miles to the south at Culasi and thirteen miles to the north at Pandan. Also, the Japanese probably saw Narwhal surface. The unloading conditions looked ideal with very calm water, little wind, and a short run for the boats. When only about fifteen percent loaded the boatmen started to complain and shortly after would shove off. There were sufficient boats to take most of the cargo in the first trip, but the boatmen refused to load them to capacity. Narwhal's crew tried holding their lines, but the boatmen would abandon the lines to get away. The officers assigned by Colonel Peralta to supervise the unloading had no control over the boatmen and no incentive to try to. Captain Titus finally put some of his crewmen in the boats and loaded them to capacity. Some of this cargo was jettisoned by the Filipino boat crews. No one at Lipata Point seemed interested in receiving this cargo. Lieutenant Colonel Cirilo Garcia, PA, came aboard and at his request Narwhal moved closer to the beach. Even then no boats showed up for a long period of time. Considering the shore party on deck, Captain Titus decided they could swim the gasoline drums ashore. It was just about even - two men per drum. When the Filipino officers heard this they grabbed the first banca ashore, refusing to even take one case of ammunition, but saying that they would send more boats. By 0100 hours on June 21st, about thirty percent of the cargo remained on Narwhal's deck with the gasoline drums. Fourteen evacuees had already been embarked and Narwhal's military passengers had been sent ashore. At 0355 hours, the last boat was loaded to capacity with about fifteen tons of cargo, over the strenuous objections of the boatmen. Most of the shore party was in the last boat, however twenty of them would not go back ashore willingly. After pushing a dozen or so overboard, the rest jumped off the boat, leaving their guns and equipment behind. Captain Titus noted that his crew particularly enjoyed this part of the unloading festivities. The Filipinos jettisoned some of the cargo in the last boat. Gasoline drums and carbine boxes were left floating in the sea. Captain Titus estimated that fifteen tons of cargo had been thrown overboard as well as all of the gasoline drums. Narwhal and her crew had had enough fun. She headed out of the bay. On June 29th she tied up at Darwin to disembark her evacuees and take on fuel. The next day she got underway for Fremantle and arrived there on July 7th. ⇒
Prior to getting underway for her eleventh war patrol, Lieutenant Commander George Francis Rowe, USNR, reported aboard with a party of twenty-two men for transportation to the vicinity of Pandan Island off eastern Mindoro Island. Four Army enlisted men were also received aboard for transportation to Leyte Island and Bohol Island. Nautilus got underway from Darwin on June 30, 1944. On July 8, 1944, she disembarked three of Rowe's men via rubber boat to conduct daylight reconnaissance of Pandan Island. At 1602 hours Nautilus sighted a prearranged security signal from North Pandan Island sent by the three men who had been launched in the rubber boat. At 2052 hours she came close ashore, surfaced, opened her hatches, and commenced breaking out cargo and rubber boats. It required four trips to transfer twelve tons of stores and nineteen men. She then turned seaward to clear the area. On July 14, 1944, Nautilus sighted proper security signals ashore near San Roque on Mindoro Island. She also observed a small boat flying a very clean set of American colors standing out from the beach with three men. She surfaced and Colonel Ruperto K. Kangleon came aboard. She commenced striking cargo topside. By 0041 hours the next day, all cargo was clear of the ship and all shore-based personnel had left. In addition to the regular assigned cargo, Nautilus also delivered 250 pounds of corned beef, 150 pounds of cured ham, 350 pounds of cured bacon, fifty pounds of powdered eggs, and 200 pounds of white sugar. She then headed for the 100-fathom curve. On July 16, 1944, she sighted proper security signals from ashore at Balatong Point on Negros Island. Two boats stood out from Balatong Point and delivered special cargo consisting of one box and two packages to Nautilus. Nautilus offloaded 184 pounds of corned beef, twenty-eight pounds of cured bacon, twelve pounds of baking powder, a small amount of .45-caliber ammunition, and a moderate amount of clerical supplies. Nautilus then headed for Sibutu Passage and on to Fremantle, where she arrived on July 27th. There is no mention in Nautilus' patrol report about landing personnel on Leyte or Bohol Island. The Army enlisted men may have disembarked at one of the other stops, but it is not recorded in Nautilus' patrol report. ⇒
On July 16, 1944, Seawolf received dispatch orders directing her to proceed to Darwin, Australia, for duty in the Philippines with the other guerrilla-line submarines attached to Spyron and the Seventh Fleet. She got underway from Majuro on July 17th and arrived at Darwin on July 30. Over the next two days she underwent a refit and prepared to load cargo for a top-secret special mission. On August 1st, Seawolf embarked one Filipino officer, one non-commissioned officer, and ten men for transportation to the Philippines. Her operation order called for her to land men and supplies on Tawi-Tawi Island in the Sulu Archipelago to reinforce coast watching and resistance operations being conducted by Captain Frank Young on Tawi-Tawi. Captain Young was an American mestizo and AIB operative working with Lieutenant Colonel Alejandro Suarez, the Sulu Area Commander of resistance forces. Her operation order also called for her to land a party and their supplies on northern Palawan Island. Seawolf stood out of Darwin on the night of August 1st. On August 7th, she was off Tawi-Tawi and spent the day reconnoitering the coastline. At 1530 hours, she spotted the proper security signals ashore near the rendezvous location at Tongehatan Point. She surfaced and flashed the appropriate recognition signals. Soon Captain Young and Lieutenant Colonel Suarez came aboard to coordinate details for the offloading of cargo. Four native boats would be used. By 2205 hours, Seawolf's crew completed the task of unloading nine tons of cargo, which had required seven boat trips. A group of four men and Lieutenant Konglan Teo and Sargeant Marcuano R. Daelto, had also been disembarked and landed successfully with their weather observation equipment, radios, and supplies. They would set up and operate a coast watching station. Seawolf then headed seaward for Palawan and her second special mission. Seawolf's next special mission called for her to land a five-man guerrilla team and Sergeant Eutiquio B. Cabias at Pirata Head, Palawan. The party's mission was to set up a radio station and to gather intelligence on enemy activities on Palawan. On the night of August 9th, Seawolf surfaced with her decks still awash and closed the beach on battery power. The guerrilla's two rubber boats were struck topside together with two of Seawolf's two-man rubber boats. By 2330 hours that night, the last of the five tons of cargo had been unloaded and it and all guerrilla personnel were safely ashore. After stowing her two rubber boats, Seawolf headed seaward in hope of finding some worthwhile targets for her torpedoes. ⇒
15-Aug-44, USS S-42 (SS-153), War Patrol No. 6, LCDR P. E. Glenn
On August 5, 1944, S-42 got underway for Halmahera with a four-man Australian Allied Intelligence Bureau team embarked. On August 15, 21, and 22, members of the team were landed, singly, at designated points on Halmahera. These men were to contact and evacuate other agents previously landed. On the 26th, the scout landed at Gorango Bay was recovered, alone. He had been unable to contact his assigned agent. The other scouts were never heard from again. On September 3, S-42 ended her patrol at Seeadler Harbor.
On August 19, 1944, Redfin laid eleven Mark 12 mines in the Api Passage, near Sarawak, at approximately 02°-00' N, 109°-15' E. On August 23, 1944, she was instructed to proceed to a point in the Sulu Sea to await further orders. After her arrival there, she was ordered to make contact with coast watchers on Palawan Island in order to coordinate the rescue of stranded American personnel. On August 31, 1944, at Ipolote Bay, near Brooke's Point, on the eastern coast of Palawan Island, the Redfin supplied guerrilla fighters with the ship's small arms ammunition and other supplies, and evacuated seventeen people including eight survivors of the USS Flier (SS-250). She transported the evacuees to Darwin, where she reloaded and refit, and continued her fourth patrol by performing lifeguard duty off Balikpapan on the eastern coast of Borneo and searching for enemy shipping in the Flores Sea. (See Sturma, Michael, The USS Flier: Death and Survival on a World War II Submarine, p. 111-121.) ⇒
Under cover of darkness on August 27, 1944, Stingray surfaced off Mayraira Point, Luzon Island, flooded down until her deck was just awash, and headed toward the shore on battery power. At 650 yards from the beach, she let go the anchor and swung ship parallel to it, headed west into the moon streak. Two natives immediately built a large bonfire on the beach and shoved off. All stores for delivery were struck topside. Stingray contributed three of her rubber boats to assist in the unloading and transport of supplies to shore and to get the fifteen men in the landing party embarked at Darwin ashore. Soon numerous unknown small sailboats began to surround the operation and Captain Earle felt they were being boxed in. He ordered the undelivered stores (forty percent of the total) below as Stingray cleared out a best speed. ⇒
On August 29, 1944, Narwhal made landfall off Dibut Bay on the east coast of Luzon Island. That night she surfaced and stood into the bay, where she launched Commander Charles Parsons, USNR, and Private C. Whitney, Jr., AUS, in a rubber boat to stay ashore until the next day. She then stood out from the coast. The next night she returned to Dibut Bay, surfaced, and began unloading cargo and twenty passengers. She gave the shore party a generous supply of dry provisions. Commander Titus noted the cargo handling was greatly facilitated by the use of bamboo rafts built by the shore party under the direction of Commander Parsons. Commander Titus gave the shore party one rubber boat. Commander Parsons and Private Whitney came back aboard and Narwhal stood out of the bay. On August 31, 1944, Narwhal submerged in Polilio Strait for daylight reconnaissance of the coast. At 1858 hours, she surfaced and sent Parsons and Whitney ashore off the mouth of the Magnac River. She then stood out from the coast. The next night she returned to that location and picked up Commander Parsons who had information about the proposed landing beach and reef. Narwhal moved into position and the cargo and twenty passengers were sent ashore in small boats. The shore party was given dry provisions and one rubber boat. Commander Titus noted the cargo handling was efficient and rapid, and the shore boats were well laden. Four evacuees were received on board. At 2220 hours, Narwhal moved out from the coast. ⇒
14-Sep-44, USS Pargo (SS-264), War Patrol No. 5, LCDR D. B. Bell
From September 14 to 15, 1944, Pargo laid eleven Mark 12 mines in the Koti Passage near the Natuna Islands, at approximately 02°-39' N, 108°-58' E.
14-Sep-44, USS Stingray (SS-186), War Patrol No. 13, LCDR S. C. Loomis, Jr.
Prior to getting underway for her thirteenth war patrol, Stingray had embarked a AIB nine-man reconnaissance party and four coast watchers at Darwin. On the night of September 14, 1944, Stingray surfaced off the northern coast of Majoe Island (Pasirputih) and stood in close to shore on the battery. At 800 yards three boats with the AIB reconnaissance party of one officer and eight men shoved off. Stingray then opened out about two and a half miles from the island and began patrolling at six knots. The reconnaissance party mission was to determine if it was safe for the four coast watchers to go ashore. If so, the coast watchers would serve as an air-warning party at that key location in the middle of the Molucca Sea. About the same time the next night, Stingray closed the same location and established radio contact with the recon party. She closed the beach to 500 yards and three rubber boats and two native canoes came alongside. About an hour later, all the boats shoved off with the air-warning party of four men and stores for both parties. Stingray set course for Darwin.
On September 22, 1944, during her seventh war patrol, at about 0900 hours, Haddo served as a lifeguard when she rescued one U. S. Navy fighter pilot off Subic Bay. He was Lieutenant H. H. Hill, USNR; he was not injured. This rescue is not included in any Submarine Lifeguard League records or in the SORG records maintained by Comsubpac. The rescue is documented in Haddo's seventh war patrol report and in endorsement memos prepared by Comsubron 12 and ComSubs7thFlt. ⇒
On September 22, 1944, Narwhal sighted proper security signals ashore at Bacud Point, Mindanao Island. She surfaced and closed the beach. Lieutenant Colonel Frank McGee, AUS, representing the guerrilla movement on Mindanao Island and the Sulu Archipelago, stood out from the beach in a small boat and came aboard. At his request, Narwhal moved five miles up the coast to the mouth of the Pangay River. Native boats then came alongside and Narwhal commenced unloading the cargo. Narwhal's rubber boats were inflated and put into use due to the small number of shore boats. By 2330 hours, all cargo and three passengers were off the submarine. Considering the small number of boats available, Commander Titus felt the cargo was handled very well by the shore party. Narwhal also gave the shore party diesel fuel, lube oil, cup grease, flour, baking powder, and coffee. At 2351 hours, Narwhal's stern swung into a mud bank and the boat was aground aft. She was soon worked off the mud bank and headed seaward. On September 27, 1944, Narwhal sighted proper security signals ashore on Mindanao Island. She surfaced and soon sighted a small boat approaching flying the proper signal. At 1800 hours, she started unloading her cargo. By 2100 hours, all cargo and three passengers were ashore. Commander Titus noted that the boatmen and cargo handlers were civilian volunteers and they worked very efficiently. He gave the shore party flour, baking powder, and beans. At 2103 hours, Narwhal started to work clear of the coast. On September 29, 1944, near Lanboyan Point on the Zamboanga Peninsula, Narwhal sighted a small boat flying the proper security signal. She surfaced and Captain Thomas, AUS, came aboard. At his request, Narwhal moved to a location off Siari to facilitate cargo offloading. In his report, Commander Titus later noted it was a very bad location due to shoal water, currents, and lack of protection. At 1848 the shore boats came alongside and the cargo was unloaded. Narwhal put two of her rubber boats in the water manned by two reliable petty officers to bring back four stretcher cases from ashore. In all, Narwhal embarked eighty-one survivors and one doctor. The survivors were American POWs who were aboard the Japanese ship Shinyo Maru when it was torpedoed by the USS Paddle (SS-263) and sunk on September 7, 1944; they were being moved from the north Davao prison camp when Paddle's torpedoes hit the Shinyo Maru. Narwhal gave the shore party flour, coffee, and lubricating oil. She also received official mail before heading seaward. ⇒
On the night of September 25-26, 1944, at a location near Luisan Point on the southeast coast of Cebu Island, Nautilus "...approached the beach to 600 yards and delivered her cargo to the guerrillas but, on heading out for deeper water, just before midnight, she grounded on Luisan Shoal with only 18 feet of water at the bow. The ship had to be got off before daylight, otherwise there she would be, a sitting duck for enemy planes or patrol boats. The tide would be high about four in the morning but the rise too slight for much assistance. The Captain, therefore, lightened ship by sending about 40 tons of cargo ashore, jettisoning all six-inch ammunition from the forward magazine and blowing all gasoline, plus 5,900 gallons of reserve diesel oil, overboard. Meanwhile all secret and confidential papers were burned. He also flooded his forward main ballast tanks to hold her on bottom and prevent her being carried higher on the reef as the tide came in. At 0330 it was apparent that the tide was actually going out. The situation was desperate: Nautilus must be got off now or never, so Sharp blew all ballast tanks and back [sic.] full speed. She came clear. Then with only three hours till sunrise, the problem was to flood the gas tanks, which normally required about five hours, compensate for the other losses of ballast and make a trim dive. They accomplished the seemingly impossible task by removing a manhole plate on the gas tanks and flooding with a hose. Six-inch shells had to be shifted from the after magazine to the forward torpedo room. In the dive which followed, by a serious miscalculation, 45 tons of excess ballast water had been taken aboard, which led to a spirited battle on the part of the diving officer to keep Nautilus from plunging straight to bottom." (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 205-206.) Nautilus received eleven evacuees aboard with their personal effects and also various pieces of captured documents and mail, for her return trip. At 1918 hours on September 29th, Nautilus surfaced near Libertad on Panay Island, opened her deck hatches, and began striking cargo topside as three large sailboats stood out from the beach. The sailboats had to make two trips to transport the forty tons of cargo ashore. In addition to the cargo, Nautilus also delivered approximately 1,000 pounds of dry stores including 200 pounds of white flour, seventy pounds of sugar, fifty pounds of powdered milk, 100 pounds of rice, fifty pounds of salt, and thirty pounds of baking powder. She also received forty-seven evacuees - twenty-two women, nine children, and sixteen men. A third special mission scheduled to be performed by Nautilus during her twelfth patrol had to be canceled because of a lack of adequate fuel. ⇒
On September 27, 1944, Stingray landed thirty-five tons of cargo on the east coast of Mindanao Island at Baculin Bay. On September 30, 1944, she landed three U. S. Army officers and their supplies on the east coast of Samar Island. ⇒
03-Oct-44, USS Seawolf (SS-197), War Patrol No. 15, CDR A. M. Bontier
On September 21, 1944, Seawolf left Brisbane on her second Spyron mission. She arrived at the Manus Island submarine base on September 29, 1944, where she embarked a seventeen-man Army reconnaissance party and loaded ten tons of supplies. After topping off her fuel, she sailed the same day to land them on Samar Island in the Philippines. On October 3, 1944, she was sunk by destroyer escort USS Rowell (DE-403) while she was running submerged in a safety lane in which U. S. surface forces were prohibited from attacking any submarine unless it was positively identified as an enemy. She was lost with all hands, including the Army reconnaissance party.
Mingo's fifth war patrol was conducted in the Mindanao and Celebes Seas, and in the Makassar Strait. Seven days were spent conducting lifeguard duty off Balikpapan in the Makassar Strait. Three separate downed Liberator crews from the Twentieth Air Force were picked up. In order to rescue two of these groups, it was necessary to venture into dangerous shoal water during daylight. A total of four officers and twelve enlisted men were rescued. Six aviators were rescued on October 3rd and ten on October 4th. ⇒
The sixth war patrol of the Bonefish was conducted in the Sibuyan Sea and South China Sea west of Luzon. Two aviators were rescued during the patrol. On October 19, 1944, at 0210 hours, pilot Lieutenant (jg) Donald Johnston, USNR, and a crewman from a downed SBC2 Helldiver from the USS Bunker Hill (SS-CV-17), came aboard, unhurt, hungry, sunburned, and tired, after having been forced down with a bullet-holed engine about twelve hours earlier. The engine casualty had occurred during a skip-bombing attack on a tree-camouflaged enemy escort-type vessel in Salomague Harbor. The rescue took place at 18°-03' N, 120°-16.2' E. ⇒
On October 17, 1944, through her periscope, Narwhal sighted the proper security signals flying on the beach at Tawi-Tawi. She dived and commenced closing the shore. From 1,000 yards off the designated location she could see the proper signals flying and sighted a small row boat coming out from the beach with no flag showing. Narwhal circled to seaward. She surfaced at twilight and closed the beach. She sighted the boat again, hailed it, and received a proper reply. Colonel Alejandro Suarez and Captain Frank Young, from the guerrilla resistance movement in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, came aboard to identify themselves. Narwhal then began striking cargo topside. She completed unloading eleven tons of it in forty-five minutes. There were more than enough native boats available, and the people from ashore were very orderly and cooperative. They gave Narwhal bananas and coconuts; Narwhal reciprocated with a generous amount of flour, baking powder, rice, canned goods, and cigarettes. Colonel Suarez and Captain Young provided Commander Holman with important intelligence about the Japanese presence on the island. They also thanked the CO for bringing the supplies and mail. At 2006 hours, Narwhal headed seaward and set course for her next rendezvous location. On October 18th, at 0030 hours, she reported the completion of her mission to Comtaskfor 72. In the early morning hours of October 19, 1944, Narwhal stood submerged 1,000 yards off the beach at a location off the northwest coast of Negros Island looking for proper security signals. She moved up and down the coast during the morning and early afternoon, but could not locate the signals. However, she sighted many people in uniform along the shore. At about 1500 hours, she located the signals and started closing a large sailboat standing up the coast. She made contact with it at 1715 hours and surfaced to take advantage of the light for rigging the topside and breaking out the cargo. At 2145 hours, she completed unloading 120,000 pounds of cargo and disembarking thirty-seven passengers plus their personal gear. Narwhal received six adults, fourteen children, ages eighteen months to fourteen years, one steward's mate who was left there on Nautilus' last trip, and five Filipinos who wanted to become steward's mates in the U. S. Navy. At 2150 hours, Narwhal got underway. On October 20th, at 0007 hours, she reported the completion of her mission to Comtaskfor 72. ⇒
On the night of October 23-24, 1944, Nautilus landed passengers and cargo on the east coast of Luzon Island, at a location on the shore of Dibut Bay. At daybreak, she stood out from shore and submerged for the day. That night she returned and continued offloading the cargo. A total of twelve tons of cargo was delivered. On the night October 25, 1944, she again entered Dibut Bay and made a rendezvous with Captain Robert Lapham, East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area. She stood close to the shore, dropped her anchor in fifteen fathoms of water, tied a 21-thread manila line to a tree on the beach, and commenced unloading cargo. The cargo transfer was completed at 2310 hours. On October 31, 1944, Nautilus conducted a demolition mission on the USS Darter. Just after midnight on the night of October 24–25, 1944, the Darter had grounded on Bombay Shoal, west of Palawan Island. She was scuttled and her crew safely evacuated by the USS Dace (SS-247). Nautilus fired eighty-eight rounds and scored fifty-five hits on Darter with her six-inch (150 mm) guns. Nautilus's report states, "It is doubtful that any equipment in DARTER at 1130 this date would be of any value to Japan - except as scrap. Estimated draft of DARTER - 4 feet." On November 2, 1944, she made a rendezvous with USS Ray (SS-271) and received top secret mail from her. She ended her patrol at Brisbane on November 20, 1944. ⇒
Hardhead's second war patrol was conducted off the west coast of Luzon with Growler and Hake. The pack's OIC was Commander T. B. Oakley, Growler's skipper. While en route to the area, on October 30, 1944, Hardhead intercepted a message to another submarine directing a search for a downed aviator in the Sulu Sea. Being near the reported position, Hardhead headed for the spot and within two hours after receiving the message located and picked up Commander F. E. Bakutis, USN, Commanding Officer of VF-20, attached to the USS Enterprise (CV-6). He had been adrift on a small raft for nearly seven days. On November 19, 1944, Hardhead picked up Ensign Thomas McCue, also of VF-20, attached to the USS Enterprise. His fighter plane was hit in the engine while attacking Clark Field. ⇒
On the night of November 1, 1944, Ray "...picked up two Navy aviators and two Army [pilots] sergeants at a special guerrilla rendezvous in the Philippines. The aviators had been shot down in a carrier strike on the Manila Bay area and landed in the water where they were picked up by fishermen, taken ashore to the guerrillas and eventually put aboard Ray. The two Army fliers were technical sergeants, captured when Corregidor fell. The Japs retained them to run the power installation at Fort Drum, but their captors grew careless and the soldiers escaped by swimming, with the aid of fuel drums, to the south shore of the bay. All of the escapees said that Jap coverage of Luzon was very sketchy, with garrisons of a sort only in towns." Ray also took aboard top secret mail, which she transferred to USS Nautilus (SS-168) on the night of November 2nd. The location of the special guerrilla rendezvous in the Philippines was on the northwest coast of Mindoro Island. (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 245.) ⇒
On November 19, 1944, off Luzon Island, Ray rescued a downed Navy aviator, Lieutenant J. A. Bryce, from the USS Cowpens (CVL-25). ⇒
On September 19, 1944, Cero departed Darwin for the Mindanao and Sulu Seas. She stopped at Mios Woendi, where she took on board seventeen tons of supplies for Philippine guerillas, along with sixteen soldiers headed for behind-the-lines operations in Luzon. On November 3rd, she made contact with friendly guerillas at the Massanga River on the east coast of Luzon Island, landed the soldiers and supplies, and took four evacuees on board - two USN officers, one AUS Private, and one twelve-year-old boy. With her mission completed, she returned to Pearl Harbor November 24th, then sailed to the west coast for overhaul. ⇒
06-Nov-44, USS Gurnard (SS-254), War Patrol No. 7, CDR N. D. Gage
On November 6, 1944, Gurnard laid eleven Mark 12 mines off Tanjong Datoe, at approximately 02°-08' N, 109°-40' E.
During the course of her first war patrol, on November 18, 1944, Blackfin received a dispatch order assigning to her a very important special mission requiring her to make a rendezvous with American ground forces in the Philippines to secure important intelligence documents. On November 24th, Blackfin rendezvoused with an Army commando team off Mindoro's northern coast. The troops had captured a small Japanese patrol boat which carried many current Japanese ciphers and codebooks. The submarine picked up three bags of the classified material and proceeded south toward Morotai Island. Off Point Anna, she transferred the bags to an Australian ship, HMAS Kiama. The submarine then headed for Australia. She stopped briefly at Darwin before reaching Fremantle on December 4th. ⇒
Two special missions were assigned to Gar for her fourteenth war patrol involving bringing supplies into the Central Philippines for guerrilla troops. On November 13, 1944, at Mios Woendi, Gar commenced loading supplies and personnel for the special missions. She embarked sixteen U. S. Army personnel - four officers and twelve enlisted men - and stowed thirty tons of material. Captain W. D. Vaughn, AUS, was in charge of the Army party. On November 20th, at 0503 hours, Gar submerged off the designated spot for the first mission. At 1600 hours, she closed the beach and observed the proper security signals and a small sailboat standing out flying a huge set of U. S. colors. Captain Ferrara commented it was an inspiring sight in landlocked Verde Island Passage, some fifty miles from Corregidor and Bataan. Gar surfaced, flooded down, and closed the beach to 450 yards. Eventually the sailboat came alongside and Lieutenant Commander Rowe came aboard. The unloading commenced immediately and the job was completed in one hour. Rowe's plea was for food and medical supplies. Many of his men were suffering from malnutrition and malaria. He himself looked drawn and yellow with malaria and could not partake of solid food served him. Gar supplemented his delivery with 500 pounds of provisions including thirty loaves of freshly baked bread. At 2045 hours, Gar stood out of the passage and transmitted a message to ComSubs7thFlt stating she completed her first mission successfully. On November 22nd, she submerged off the mouth of the Darigayos River, the designated spot for the second mission. Throughout the day she did not see the proper security signal ashore, so she moved up the coast. At 1600 hours, she spotted the correct signals, surfaced, and headed in. At 800 yards from shore a small boat came alongside carrying Major Barnett, AUS, and a party of men. Captain Ferrara learned they were at the alternate spot at Santiago Cove. Barnett did not have enough boats to unload the cargo and said Major Volkman down at the primary spot was thought to have sufficient boats and men to do it there. He also said Volkman had some intelligence information which he wanted Gar to take back. In hopes of completing the mission as soon as possible, Gar embarked Major Barnett and four of his bodyguards and proceeded to the primary spot to contact and unload with Major Volkman. At 2100 hours, they arrived at the primary spot, but no security signal was seen. Gar closed to 1,000 yards from the river's mouth and sent a landing party consisting of Major Barnett, his bodyguards, and one other Army passenger in a rubber boat to attempt contact with Major Volkman. On November 23rd, at 0100 hours, they returned to the submarine and reported that the primary spot had been compromised as Jap patrols were present and there was no sign of Volkman. It was decided to return to the secondary spot, land Major Barnett, his crew, and Captain Vaughn in a rubber boat, and unload there the following night. Major Barnett was confident he could muster enough boats to do the job and Captain Vaughn and his men would assist. Everything went according to plan and the next night it took only four hours to unload the cargo. At 2210 hours, Gar stood out and radioed ComSubs7thFlt that the mission was completed successfully. Gar made it back to Mios Woendi on November 30th. ⇒
After performing lifeguard duty off Subic Bay and conducting offensive patrol duties during the first part of her seventh war patrol, on November 28, 1944, Gunnel received dispatch orders to proceed via Mindoro Strait to the general vicinity of the northwestern tip of Panay Island and standby by for further orders for a special mission. At 2300 hours, on November 30th, she received orders to proceed to Pucio Point, Panay Island, and conduct reconnaissance at that location. After completing that assignment on December 1st, she received orders to proceed to Palawan to pick up eleven downed USN aviators who had been rescued and protected by friendly guerrilla forces for some two months. She completed this assignment on December 2nd and gave the guerrilla fighters some arms, ammunition, food, and medical supplies. She ended her patrol at Pearl Harbor on December 28th, after refitting at Saipan on December 16-18, 1944. ⇒
12-Dec-44, USS Mingo (SS-318), War Patrol No. 6, LCDR J. R. Madison
Mingo performed reconnaissance of enemy positions in the South China Sea at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands and Camranh Bay, Indochina, from December 12-18, 1944.
14-Dec-44, USS Baya (SS-318), War Patrol No. 2, CDR A. H. Holtz
Baya reconnoitered for the enemy fleet during the occupation of Mindoro Island by American forces from December 14-25, 1944.
At 2200 hours, on December 3, 1944, Hake received dispatch orders to leave her patrol station and proceed via the Mindoro Strait to a position at 11°-45' N, 121°-55'E, in Pandan Bay, Panay Island, and there pick up nineteen or more evacuees. At about 1600 hours on December 5th, the proper security signal was seen on the beach at Libertad. Hake surfaced and began to close the position. Two sailboats stood out from Libertad. The first one contained Colonel Cirilo B. Garcia, USAFFE and Lieutenant J. W. Williams, USN, a torpedo plane pilot from USS Cabot. Lieutenant Williams was in charge of the evacuee party, which consisted of six USN officers, one AUS officer, six USN enlisted personnel, six AUS enlisted personnel, and ten PA and guerrilla personnel. The evacuees were in the second boat. Supplies and cargo were struck topside and the unloading commenced. Weapons, magazines, and leather delivered included four .45-caliber Colt automatic pistols, three .30-caliber carbines, one .30-caliber Browning automatic rifle (BAR), one .45-caliber Thompson sub machine gun, four holsters and belts, two BAR slings, three carbine belt and clip holders, ten BAR clips, twelve .45-caliber clips, fifteen carbine clips, two Thompson pans, and one very pistol (flare gun). Ammunition delivered included 950 rounds of .30-caliber carbine, 3,800 rounds of .45 caliber, 13,000 rounds of .30 ball, 3,000 rounds of .30-caliber tracer, twenty-five hand grenades, forty very pistol white cartridges, thirty very pistol green cartridges, and thirty very pistol red cartridges. Provisions delivered included fifty pounds of rice, fifty pounds of red beans, fifty pounds of navy beans, fifty pounds of lima beans, thirty pounds of tea, 100 pounds of coffee, five bags of assorted canned goods, twelve gallons of salad oil, twenty-five pounds of yeast, fourteen pounds of tinned ham, seventy-five pounds of powdered milk, twelve jars of pickles, forty pounds of butterscotch pudding, cigarettes, candy, matches, and three pints of medicinal whiskey. Miscellaneous items delivered included forty-six radio tubes, two flashlights with batteries, one battery hydrometer, twelve main motor brushes, assorted tools, 100 gallons of 9370 lube oil, ten gallons of 2190 lube oil, one ensign bell, one standard Navy blinker gun, and assorted office supplies. Two sacks of mail and one packet of papers captured from a Japanese armed motor launch were taken aboard for further transfer to GHQ. After the evacuees were embarked and all cargo had been delivered, Hake stood out and headed for Fremantle, arriving there on December 16th. ⇒
Gar departed Mios Woendi on December 4, 1944, for her patrol in the Philippines and by December 11 submerged off Durigayos Inlet until it became dark enough to approach the beach. Upon establishing contact with the shore party, Gar took aboard one Filipino and Major Parker Calvert, who commenced unloading operations which were made difficult by use of frail outriggers in the face of heavy swells and a strong current. Assisting Major Calvert was Ensign T. M. Mosko, a pilot from the carrier Langley, who had been shot down while strafing enemy shipping the month before at San Fernando Harbor. A note from Colonel Russell Volkman requested the skipper of the Gar to pick up several mail bags at a designated point which were of the utmost importance to GHQ. The bags contained detailed information and maps of all Japanese gun emplacements, beach defenses, troop concentrations, ammunition, fuel and equipment, air fields, planes, etc., in Luzon. Gar recharged her batteries while unloading twenty-five tons of supplies, supplemented with 500 pounds of food, thirty loaves of freshly baked bread, and certain supplies from the sub in consideration of the approaching Christmas Holidays. By 0230 unloading was completed and Gar made a high speed run to Santiago Cove to intercept the intelligence material. Just as day was breaking three large bundles of intelligence and Japanese documents were taken aboard. Gar wasted no time in departing with the valuable documents and after transferring the intelligence material to USS Cassin (DD 372), made her way into Saipan by December 18. ⇒
12-Dec-44, USS Cobia (SS-245), War Patrol No. 3, CDR A. L. Becker
From December 12, 1944 to January 8, 1945, Cobia performed reconnaissance duty off Balabac Strait and in the area south of "Dangerous Ground." The area known as "Dangerous Ground" is so-called because "...hundreds of rocks and shoals are scattered about in that portion of the South China Sea, many named for ships that left their bones on them." It is where the USS Darter ran aground on Bombay Shoal. (See Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 214.)
16-Dec-44, USS Dace (SS-247), War Patrol No. 6, CDR O. R. Cole
On December 16, 1944, Dace laid eleven Mark 12 mines off Pulo Gambir Island, at approximately 13°-36' N, 109°-18' E. Two mines exploded prematurely.
19-Dec-44, USS Bream (SS-243), War Patrol No. 4, CDR J. L. P. McCallum
Bream's fourth war patrol was conducted in the South China Sea. On January 7, 1945, Bream reconnoitered enemy buildings and structures at Tizzard Bank in the Spratly Islands. Two radio stations, three oil storage tanks, a radar antenna, six large buildings, and an observation tower were seen on Itu Abba Island. A Politician party consisting of two AIF commandos, Lieutenants John Sachs and Alexander Hawkins, were aboard. At darkness Bream flooded down and the two AIF commandos were launched in their folboats. Their objectives were to make landfall on Itu Abba Island undetected, plant demolition charges to destroy the oil tanks and any other vital shore installations, and return safely to Bream. After a two and a half hour search ashore, no useful shore installations or oil tanks were found. The AIF commandos made it back to Bream safely.
On the night of January 25, 1945, Stingray landed twenty-seven tons of cargo at Tongehatan Point on Tawi-Tawi Island. ⇒
12-Jan-45, USS Stingray (SS-186), War Patrol No. 16, CDR H. F. Stoner
Two special missions were assigned to Stingray on her sixteenth war patrol. The first one consisted of landing two AIB coast watchers about ten miles north of Kendari. It was accomplished successfully due to the exercise of good judgment in selecting an alternate landing site. The second mission off Ceram Island had to be cancelled due to an abundance of activity ashore and the presence of an unknown vessel offshore.
On January 12, 1945, Rock rescued a downed F6F Hellcat pilot from the carrier USS Lexington (CV-16) at 12°-22' N, 109°-25' E. ⇒
Kraken's first war patrol lasted for sixty-four days and was made in connection with her assignment to Fremantle. Thirty-eight days were spent in the South China Sea. On January 16, 1945, Kraken assumed a lifeguard station off the coast of Hainan Island. At about 1000 hours that day she spotted nine friendly planes. One of them appeared to be in trouble. It soon landed on the water ahead of Kraken. She rushed to the location where the Hellcat had ditched and picked up the pilot, Ensign R. W. Bertschi, USNR, from the USS Lexington. ⇒
The end of Nautilus's fourteenth war patrol terminated the active patrol duty of this gallant ship, during which many hazardous special missions were successfully completed. It was also the last Spyron mission. On January 20, 1945, at Linao Bay on the southeastern coast Mindanao Island, at 1530 hours, Nautilus spotted a welcome sight - a motor whaleboat standing off shore with "Old Glory" hoisted. Nautilus surfaced and Lieutenant Colonel Frank D. McGee, AUS came aboard and the offloading of most of her forty-five tons of cargo commenced. Nautilus embarked one evacuee, a sick Army Lieutenant, before heading out to sea. On January 25, 1945, at Baculin Bay on the western coast of Mindanao Island, Nautilus offloaded the last of her forty-five tons of cargo, including 1,000 pounds of dry stores, office supplies, books, and magazines. The submarine's six rubber boats transported over half of the cargo due to an acute boat shortage reported by a representative of Brigadier General Wendell W. Fertig, AUS, Commanding Mindanao & Sulu Force. Nautilus ended her active duty patrol career on January 30, 1945, when she moored off the starboard side of the tender and rescue ship USS Coucal (ASR-8) at Darwin. Spyron was disbanded on January 25, 1945, after Nautilus completed her special mission at Baculin Bay. (See Willoughby, Charles A., The Guerrilla Movement in the Philippines: 1941-1945, p. 526-547.) ⇒
28-Jan-45, USS Tuna (SS-203), War Patrol No. 13, LCDR E. F. Steffanides, Jr.
In coordination with the AIB, Tuna embarked a party of seven Australian commandos (three officers and four enlisted men), under the command of Major F. G. L. Chester, and stowed about 4,000 pounds of stores and equipment. They were to be landed on the northwest coast of Borneo at Bisa Island or at Agal Bay if an alternative site was needed. Their objectives were to establish a base on the east coast of British North Borneo; to develop an intelligence network comprised of native human assets; to obtain information on the enemy POW camp at Sandakan and on a high priority AIB-target at Kundat; and to recruit and organize an armed resistance force drawn from the local population. These objectives had been amended to apply to commando efforts in northeast Borneo, as well. Periscope reconnaissance of shoreline activity was conducted. In view of the substantial enemy activity in the northwest area Major Chester considered a landing not feasible. Tuna then cleared the area. At 2142 hours on January 30, 1945, the party was transferred to the USS Bream (SS-243) and Tuna proceeded to her assigned patrol area. Bream carried the party to Onslow, W. A., where they disembarked. Bream took on fuel at Onslow and then sailed to Fremantle. (My thanks to my friend from Down Under Bill Robb for telling me about the Tuna's special mission and sending me some very useful information on it.)
On January 29, 1945, at 1338 hours, Charr anchored in nine fathoms of water with fifty fathoms of chain 2,000 yards off shore and 2,700 yards north by west from Tam Quan Point, French Indochina. Two of her men went ashore in a four-man rubber boat to rescue a downed Navy aviator. A three-day attempt to rescue the other members of the plane's crew was unsuccessful. ⇒
04-Feb-45, USS Pargo (SS-264), War Patrol No. 7, LCDR D. B. Bell
The Pargo conducted reconnaissance of Woody Island to determine if friendly forces were responsible for flying the French Tricolor on a flagpole on top of a white tower. Two Australian commandoes were aboard the Pargo. They disembarked to get closer to the island to determine the nature of the activity observed from the submarine. Soon the reconnaissance party reported the island was occupied by the enemy. After the commandoes were safely back aboard the Pargo the submarine commenced shelling the island with her four-inch and 20 MM guns. The shelling destroyed a weather station, radio equipment, an administration building, a jetty, several fishing boats, and numerous sheds and huts. No damage was sustained by the Pargo or its personnel.
07-Feb-45, USS Stingray (SS-186), War Patrol No. 17, LCDR H. F. Stoner
On February 7, 1945, Stingray landed a party of AIB coast watchers on Sekala Island, in the Netherlands East Indies. On February 10, 1945, an unsuccessful attempt was made to land two native coast watchers near Pare Pare, Celebes. The mission was scrubbed because of too much small boat activity.
03-Mar-45, USS Tuna (SS-203), War Patrol No. 13, LCDR E. F. Steffanides, Jr.
On February 23, 1945, Tuna moored alongside the boom jetty at Port Darwin to refit for the second part of her thirteenth war patrol. She fueled to capacity and took on 6,000 pounds of provisions. She also embarked the seven Australian commandos she had transferred to the USS Bream on January 30, 1945 (see the 28-Jan-45 entry above). On this leg of her double-barreled patrol she would land them on the northeast coast of Borneo. Tuna left Darwin on February 24, 1945 and had an uneventful voyage to the disembarkation point off Labuk Bay. After dark on March 3, 1945, the seven-men in their rubber boat towing two folboats laden with supplies were launched. Four days later wireless teleradio communication was established between the commandos and Australia. (My thanks to my friend from Down Under Bill Robb for telling me about the Tuna's special mission and sending me some very useful information on it.)
14-Mar-45, USS Bream (SS-243), War Patrol No. 5, CDR J. L. P. McCallum
A Politician party consisting of two AIF commandos, Lieutenants John Sachs and Cliff Perske, was assigned to Bream during her fifth war patrol. On March 17, 1945, in the Java Sea, "...Bream sighted two ships anchored 1,200 yards off the southeast tip of Great Masalembo Island. It was decided to launch the AIF commandos in their folboats and attempt to destroy the ships with limpet mines. At 2340 hours, the range was closed to 4,200 yards and the party was launched. No results were observed and the Politician party did not return that night as scheduled. Bream returned the following night, despite undergoing a severe enemy counterattack during the day, and attempted to regain contact with the commandos. A very suspicious radio conversation was carried on with an unrecognized voice, but authentication could not be effected. No further contact was made. It was decided the commandos had been captured by the enemy and that the captors were forcing them to talk on their own frequency in the hopes of getting information from the submarine and laying a trap to destroy it. "Forty years later McCallum's assumptions were proved correct, when Tom Hall uncovered their fate while tracing the path of Rimau. Sachs and Perske had indeed been captured. They were taken to Soerabaya where Doug Warner of Rimau was being held, and became part of the same medical experiment that killed him. They survived for a few more days, until their captors, without trial of any kind, beheaded them both." (Quote from Powell, Alan, War by Stealth: Australians and the Allied Intelligence Bureau 1942-1945, p. 177.)
Bergall's fourth war patrol was conducted in the South China Sea off Cape Verella, Indochina. On March 15, 1945, she rescued four U. S. Army aviators from a life raft. Two were uninjured and were subsequently transferred to USS Blueback and from there to USS Blenny. ⇒
20-Mar-45, USS Perch (SS-313), War Patrol No. 5, LCDR B. C. Hills
The objective of this special mission was to assist the AIB and the Australian Special Reconnaissance Department (SRD) in executing Operation Robin. The AIF planned to attack the Balikpapan-Samarinda area in Borneo in July 1945. They needed detailed information on enemy defenses, ground topography, native attitudes, and Japanese movements around the target area. Perch would assist by transporting an eleven-man intelligence gathering team comprised of personnel from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, AIF, and the Netherlands East Indies Army to the vicinity of the Mahakam River delta, and land them and their supplies there. On March 10, 1945, Perch embarked the eleven-man team and stowed three tons of stores, including heavy lead acid batteries and a massive steam generator for charging use with the teleradio. Perch departed Fremantle on March 12, 1945. The next day a conference was held aboard Perch at Exmouth Gulf to outline in detail the plans for carrying out the special mission. On March 15th Perch stood out of Exmouth Gulf and was en route to the Mahakam River delta. On March 20th Perch dove thirty miles off the landing location to approach it undetected. That night she flooded down and disembarked two folboats, each carrying two men, and ensured they were en route to the landing area. Perch then moved seaward. The next night Perch approached the planned point to rendezvous with one of the returning folboats, but it never showed up and there was no radio communication with either party ashore. Perch stood out to sea. The next night Perch again approached the coast undetected. Soon they spotted what they thought was a small patrol boat 9,000 yards distant and closing rapidly. The ship's track would cut off Perch's route to the open sea, so the captain ordered battle stations surface and destroyed the vessel by gunfire. The light from the flames disclosed it was a small coastal tanker rather than a patrol boat. The remaining commandos aboard decided to disembark in spite of the probability of the vicinity being alerted. They used a secondary landing point, about nine miles south of Point Timbangongot. Perch then sent a dispatch to Fremantle saying the mission was completed and they were clearing the area. (See Powell, Alan, War by Stealth: Australians and the Allied Intelligence Bureau 1942-1945, p. 308-309.)
On March 23, 1945, south of Hainan Island, Sea Robin rescued First Lieutenant Wilfred N. Joyal, an Army P-51 fighter pilot of the 341st fighter squadron, 348th fighter group. When he tried to bail out from his P-51, he had to climb back into his plunging plane because his parachute was fouled in the cockpit. As the horrified crew on Sea Robin watched, the flier jettisoned his plane canopy, which from the submarine looked like a falling body. ⇒
The rescue of five USAAF aviators by Guavina on March 28, 1945, was characterized as a "splendid piece of work" by her superiors. The sea was in condition four to five. Plans for ditching and rescue were discussed over VHF. The pilot of the B-25 did a masterful job of landing. The plane sank in two minutes. Of its six occupants, five were rescued. ⇒
The first war patrol of the Chub lasted for sixty-four days, thirty-three of which were spent in her assigned areas. From March 6th to April 3rd, she was a member of coordinated attack groups in the South China and Java Seas. She did not make any contacts worthy of her torpedoes, however she sank eight floating mines by gunfire. The highlight of the patrol was the courageous rescue of three Army aviators south of Hainan Island on March 31st. This rescue was accomplished close to shore in face of strafing by two Zeros and a report from Chub's air cover that a Japanese destroyer in Yulinkan harbor only six miles away was getting underway. Two Liberators and four Mitchells provided a very effective low altitude air screen during the rescue; their tight defensive circle stayed over Chub until she dived with her human cargo aboard. (See Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 142-153.) ⇒
02-Apr-45, USS Hardhead (SS-365), War Patrol No. 5, CDR F. A. Greenup
On April 2, 1945, Hardhead laid twenty-three Mark 12 mines off Pulo Obi, at approximately 08°-22' N, 105°-01' E.
On April 2, 1945, Sealion, while on her return trip to Subic Bay, rescued Sergeant B. R. Greer, USAAF, who had been afloat on his one-man raft for twenty-three days. The rescue took place in the South China Sea off the coast of Malaya. Despite his long period of rafting, the flier's only loss was forty pounds of weight. ⇒
On April 8, 1945, Cobia was patrolling off Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina, when she sighted a Catalina flying boat combing the wakes with two P-38 fighters and a Liberator bomber. She surfaced as the Catalina lowered landing floats and headed for three life rafts in the water. Two P-38s circled and headed to the southwest of this scene and Cobia followed as she established communications on her VHF radio. Guided by the fighters, she rescued seven members of the crew of a USAAF Thirteenth Air Force Liberator who were strung out over ten miles of ocean. All were in excellent condition, having been in the water about one hour. The remainder of the crew had been recovered by the Catalina. Cobia ended her fourth war patrol in Subic Bay on April 15, 1945. ⇒
14-Apr-45, USS Charr (SS-328), War Patrol No. 2, CDR F. D. Boyle
From April 14 to 15, 1945, Charr laid twenty-three Mark 12 mines off Pulo Obi, at approximately 08°-25' N, 104°-37' E.
20-Apr-45, USS Guitarro (SS-363), War Patrol No. 5, CDR T. B. Dabney
On April 20, 1945, Guitarro laid twenty-three Mark 12 mines in the Berhala Strait, northeast coast of Sumatra, at approximately 01°-00' S, 104°-30' E.
The first half of Bream's sixth war patrol was staged in the Java Sea and the Gulf of Siam. On May 8-9, 1945, Bream reconnoitered Anambas Island. On May 8-9, 1945, she also laid twenty-three Mark 12 mines off Pulo Obi, at approximately 08°-18' N, 104°-49' E. Following a brief refit at Subic Bay, the second half of her patrol was conducted off the southwest coast of Formosa performing lifeguard duty. She rescued five USAAF aviators; on May 19th one from a fighter plane and on May 26th four from a medium bomber (B-25). Both planes went down in the mine fields off Takao, requiring Bream to enter these fields to perform the rescues. ⇒
Cabrilla's eighth war patrol was conducted in the South China Sea and the Java Sea areas. Twenty-five days were spent on station in the South China Sea performing lifeguard duty. Seven USAAF aviation personnel were expeditiously rescued on July 12, 1945, from a ditched B-24. One aviator was dead and was buried at sea. The remaining aviators were returned to port at Subic Bay. ⇒
On July 28, 1945, at 0055 hours, while en route to Subic Bay from her assigned patrol area, Hammerhead's lookout sighted a small boat 2,000 yards distant in moonlight. They closed the boat, awakened First Lieutenant W. N. Low, USAAF from a sound and comfortable sleep and took him aboard. He had drifted and sailed about 300 miles since the morning of July 23rd, when his B-29 ditched off Indochina near Saigon. Hammerhead had learned of the B-29's misfortune the previous night from the British submarine HMS Sidon. The rescue took place at 12°-12' N, 112°-40' E. ⇒
28-Jul-45, USS Caiman (SS-323), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR W. L. Fey, Jr.
Caiman's fourth war patrol spanned twenty-nine days, of which twenty-one days were spent on her assigned objectives. Prior to her departure from Fremantle, she underwent a refit during which a new surface radar, two 40MM guns, and one 20MM gun were installed, and approach training, torpedo exercises, and gunnery training were conducted. On July 22, 1945, she departed Fremantle. Her patrol objectives would take her to the Flores Sea, the Java Sea, and the South China Sea. Three special missions were conducted. On July 28, she reconnoitered the coast of Lombok and interrogated natives fleeing the island before continuing on into the Flores Sea. On July 31, she stood off Kendari, Celebes, to pick up Allied Intelligence Bureau coast watchers. Contact was not made, however, nor did she find any surface targets. On August 6, she was almost attacked by USS Chubb before recognition signals could be exchanged. On August 9, she landed three agents on Sekala Island, for scouting missions on Java, and began investigating native shipping. The next day, off Bandjermasin, she investigated, and sank with 40MM fire, a native prau that was carrying Japanese cargo. On August 15, after passing through Karimata Strait, Caiman received orders to cease hostilities against Japanese forces. She returned to Subic Bay four days later.