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.
01-Jan-42, USS Pompano (SS-181), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR L. S. Parks
Pompano was ordered to conduct reconnaissance of enemy positions on Wake Island and in the Marshall Islands. Patrol operations began on January 1, 1942, at the geographic position 18° 30' 0.000" N, 166° 45' 0.000" E, which Parks reckoned would be a focal point for shipping proceeding direct to Wake Island from the Marshalls. On January 2, Pompano began to close Wake Island in order to make a close inspection at dawn of the situation there. At daybreak, Parks noted the wrecks of two beached destroyers, but was prevented from photographing them by the appearance of a large seaplane. No other activity was observed and the buildings and other improvements appeared to be undamaged. On January 4, Parks received orders to proceed to Area 20 in the Marshalls. They arrived there on January 9 and conducted reconnaissance of Ailuk Atoll, Wotje Atoll, and Maloelap Atoll. ComSubPac commented that the reconnaissance conducted by the Pompano was excellent and contributed materially to the success of carrier raids conducted in the Marshalls on January 31, 1942. Captain Parks was an amateur photographer and he arranged to have a device fitted to the periscope eyepiece to which he could attach a camera. "During peacetime, the technique of periscope photography had been retarded by a navy rule that prohibited cameras on board submarines for security reasons. Even so, Parks had a camera on board Pompano and had solved some of the complicated problems of focus, filtering, mounting brackets, and so forth." (Quote from Blair, Clay, Jr., Silent Victory: The U. S. Submarine War Against Japan, p. 114.)
26-Jun-42, USS Trigger (SS-237), War Patrol No. 1, CDR R. S. Benson
From July 5 to August 8, 1942, Trigger reconnoitered enemy holdings at Etienne Bay, Abraham Bay, Holtz Bay, Chichagof Harbor, Sarana Bay, Kiska Harbor, Cape Wrangell, and Chuniksak Point. Comtaskgroup 8.5 was notified of any such activity. Due principally to the heavy fog and mist blanketing these areas Trigger was not able to attack any enemy vessels before they became invisible. On August 8, 1942, Trigger received orders to proceed to the base at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. She arrived there on August 10, 1942. The next day she transferred eight Mark 14-1 torpedoes, eight Mark XVI torpedoes, sixteen warheads, and two main engine cylinder liners to the submarine base at Dutch Harbor. She also fueled to capacity and took on water and provisions. On August 12, 1942, she began her return voyage to Pearl Harbor, arriving there on August 18, 1942.
25-Oct-42, USS Whale (SS-239), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR J. B. Azer
Whale laid twenty-four Mark 10-1 mines in the Kii Suido at approximately 33°-46' N, 135°-10' E. "She arrived at her assigned patrol area off Kii Suido on 25 October and began to reconnoiter the vicinity which had been designated for a mine plant. Her original plans had called for the submarine to lay mines 20 miles offshore. However, after sighting several outbound freighters about one mile from the coast, executive officer Fritz Harlfinger convinced Azer that the mines be planted as close in as possible. Hence, Whale's first war patrol was conducted 'within spitting distance' of the Japanese beach. Whale was the first American submarine to plant mines in Empire waters." Quote from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
14-Dec-42, USS Sunfish (SS-281), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR W. R. Peterson
Sunfish laid twenty-four Mark 12 mines in the entrance to Iseno Umi Bay, Nagoya, Japan, at approximately 34°-28' N, 137°-20' E.
17-Dec-42, USS Drum (SS-228), War Patrol No. 4, LCDR B. F. McMahon
Drum laid twenty-four Mark 10-1 mines in the Bungo Suido, at approximately 32°-47' N, 132°-10' E.
20-Dec-42, USS Trigger (SS-237), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR R. S. Benson
Trigger laid nineteen Mark 12 mines off Inubo Saki, Honshu, at approximately 35°-45' N, 140°-55' E. "From 3 December 1942 to 22 January 1943, the submarine conducted a combined mine laying and offensive patrol in waters surrounding the Japanese home islands. On 20 December, she began planting a minefield off Inubo Saki, Honshu. Trigger planted the northern half of the field and was working on the southern part when a cargo ship passed her, heading into the newly-laid mines. Five minutes later, a violent explosion rocked the freighter which sank as an escort circled her. The submarine later heard another explosion from the direction of the minefield and, when she surfaced the next day, found the field was covered by smoke." (Quote from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
10-Apr-43, USS S-30 (SS-135), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR W. A. Stevenson
S-30's sixth war patrol was conducted in the Aleutian Islands. She conducted photo reconnaissance of Holtz Bay, Stellar Cove, and Chichagof Harbor at Attu Island on several days.
19-Apr-43, USS Scorpion (SS-278), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR W. N. Wylie
Scorpion laid twelve Mark 12 mines and ten Mark 10-1 mines off Inubo Saki, Honshu, at approximately 36°-05' N, 140°-45' E.
20-Apr-43, USS Runner (SS-275), War Patrol No. 2, CDR F. W. Fenno, Jr.
Runner laid thirty-two Mark 12 mines off Pedro Blanco Rock, near Hong Kong, at approximately 22°-15' N, 115°-15' E.
21-Apr-43, USS Stingray (SS-186), War Patrol No. 7, CDR O. J. Earle
Stingray laid twenty-two Mark 12 mines off Wenchow Bay, China, at approximately 28°-10' N, 121°-55' E.
30-Apr-43, USS Snook (SS-279), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR C. O. Triebel
Snook laid twenty-four Mark 12 mines in the Yangtze River Delta, off the Shengsi Islands in China’s Dinghai District, at approximately 30°-21' N, 122°-30' E.
12-May-43, USS Steelhead (SS-280), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR D. L. Whelchel
On May 12, 1943, Steelhead laid eight Mark 12 mines off Erimo Saki, at approximately 42°-07' N, 143°-21' E. On May 30, 1943, she laid four Mark 12 mines off Erimo Saki, at approximately 41°-57' N, 143°-19' E.
14-Jul-43, USS S-33 (SS-138), War Patrol No. 8, LCDR C. B. Stevens
S-33's eighth war patrol was conducted off the west coast of Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. "This patrol was primarily for reconnaissance, hydrographic data was obtained by land fixes and fathometer. The vessel's slow submerged speed made for easy accumulation of much current data, although the currents at times dictated the ship's course of action by being larger than the ship's speed. Lines of fathometer soundings were recorded and charted whenever visibility permitted accurate fixes. Photographs of the shore line were taken on the four clear days in the area. Approximately 350 photographs were taken. These included panorama sets."
01-Sep-43, USS Snook (SS-279), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR C. O. Triebel
On September 1, 1943, Snook performed the first Submarine Lifeguard League mission when she stood off Marcus Island during carrier air strikes on that isolated Japanese coral atoll in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. She did not have to rescue any aviators, but the dry run served as an excellent training exercise and example for future proactive air-sea rescue operations.
16-Sep-43, USS Nautilus (SS-168), War Patrol No. 7, LCDR W. D. Irvin
Nautilus "...slipped out of Pearl Harbor on 16 September 1943 to spend her sixth war patrol on special [photographic] reconnaissance of the Gilbert Islands. She moved in on Tarawa on the 25th of September, then spent some time off Kuma and Butaritari Islands in excellent photographic coverage patrols. She had passed five days off Makin Atoll by 8 October, overcoming all kinds of difficulties in accomplishing her mission, including bad weather, adverse currents and 'impossible' charts. On the afternoon of 10 October she missed a small inter-island tanker alerting a high-speed escort which came tearing down the torpedo wakes for a depth charge attack, followed by three aerial bombs. Nautilus gave this enemy the slip and returned to Pearl Harbor on 17 October 1943 with periscope pictures that proved of great value to future military operations in the Pacific." The pictures included continuous panorama picture sets of coastlines at Tarawa, Makin, and Apamama, which were under consideration for future amphibious invasion.
18-Sep-43, USS Steelhead (SS-280), War Patrol No. 3, LCDR D. L. Whelchel
On September 18 and 19, 1943, Steelhead acted as a lifeguard in the Gilbert Islands during an Army Air Corps bombing of Tarawa. The assignment proved to be a dry run because Steelhead did not have to make any aviator rescues.
On her first war patrol, Skate was assigned to serve as a beacon during American carrier strikes at Wake Island and to rescue any downed aviators. In the first operation of its kind ever carried out, the Skate in three days rescued six U. S. Navy aviators who had been shot down during the air strikes. The submarine was under almost continuous bombardment by shore artillery and was frequently subjected to strafing by enemy aircraft. On October 6th, in the process of one of the rescues, Skate's assistant O.O.D., Lieutenant (jg) Willis E. Maxon III, was strafed while actively assisting in searching for survivors. He died aboard the submarine two days later. On October 7th she rescued two aviators who had been shot down close inshore. They were Lieutenant Harold J. Kicker and Ensign Murray H. Tyler. They became the first two aviators rescued by the Lifeguard League. During the course of World War II, Tyler would be pulled out of the sea three times by American submarines. On October 8th, they rescued a pilot who had been in the water for two days. The same day, three more aviators were saved. (See Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 17-31.) ⇒
07-Nov-43, USS Seal (SS-183), War Patrol No. 9, LCDR H. B. Dodge
Seal's ninth war patrol covered a period of forty-two days. One month was spent in the area around Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, observing enemy movements, conducting photographic reconnaissance, and performing lifeguard duty during carrier air strikes on enemy shipping and installations on the atoll. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the atoll.
07-Nov-43, USS Spearfish (SS-190), War Patrol No. 9, LCDR J. W. Williams, Jr.
Spearfish's ninth war patrol covered a period of forty-one days. Twenty-five days were spent in the Marshall Islands, observing enemy movements and conducting photographic reconnaissance at Kwajalein Atoll, Jaluit Atoll, and Wotje Atoll. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the atolls.
Plunger's ninth war patrol was dedicated to reconnaissance and lifeguard duty in the Marshall Islands area. On November 22, 1943, she rescued one U. S. Navy pilot, Lieutenant (jg) Franklin G. Schwarz, near Mili Atoll. During the rescue, Plunger was strafed by a Zero resulting in injury to one officer and five enlisted men. ⇒
04-Dec-43, USS Tarpon (SS-175), War Patrol No. 10, LCDR T. B. Oakley, Jr.
Tarpon's primary mission for her tenth war patrol was the photographic reconnaissance of Wotje Atoll, Maloelap Atoll, Mili Atoll, and Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The patrol covered a period of forty days of which twenty-six were spent in the assigned area. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the atolls. Tarpon was also tasked on several occasions with searching for downed Army aviators, however none were found.
17-Jan-44, USS Seal (SS-183), War Patrol No. 10, LCDR H. B. Dodge
Seal's tenth war patrol covered a period of fifty days, twenty-nine of which were spent in the area around Ponape Island, in the Caroline Islands group, observing enemy movements, conducting photographic reconnaissance, and performing lifeguard duty during carrier air strikes on enemy shipping and installations on the island. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the island.
Searaven's tenth war patrol was mainly a reconnaissance and lifeguard patrol. A photographic reconnaissance of Eniwetok Atoll was made and numerous pictures were taken. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the atoll. Her lifeguard duties in the vicinity of Eniwetok Atoll, Truk, and Saipan were well conducted and resulted in the rescue of three aviators near Truk on February 18, 1944. ⇒
Gar's eleventh war patrol was forty-eight days in duration. Twenty-three days were spent in her assigned area, in the vicinity of Palau. In addition to the regular patrol mission, three days were spent on lifeguard duty during air strikes on enemy bases in that area. Gar rescued eight downed U. S. Navy aviators (four on March 30th and four on March 31st) in six different rescues. One of these was made within a mile and a half of the beach. She also provided assistance to two U. S. Navy float planes in the rescue of three other aviators; the planes returned these men to their ships. ⇒
During Tang's sixty-day second war patrol, twenty-nine days were spent on assigned lifeguard and patrol stations at Palau, Davao Gulf, and Truk. While various contacts were made on enemy surface vessels, they could not be pursued because of air screen attacks, her proximity to shoal water on Grey Feather Bank, and her need to respond to frequent reports of downed aviators. LCDR O'Kane was commended for his remarkable cooperation with aircraft of the U. S. striking force, his willingness to proceed from point to point within range of enemy shore batteries in order to rescue downed aviators, and for seizing the initiative by bombarding enemy gun emplacements on Ollan Island. In total, twenty-two U. S. Navy aviators were rescued by Tang from lifeboats and downed aircraft - three on April 30th and nineteen on May 1st. ⇒
29-Mar-44, USS Greenling (SS-213), War Patrol No. 9, LCDR J. D. Dry
Greenling's ninth war patrol was mainly a reconnaissance patrol. Photographic reconnaissance of key locations on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam Islands was made and numerous pictures were taken. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the islands to aid the coming amphibious campaign for the Marianas.
Harder's fourth war patrol was conducted while en route from Pearl Harbor to Fremantle. The patrol lasted for forty-seven days, of which twenty-two were spent in the assigned patrol area off Woleai Atoll. Despite heavy enemy aircraft activity, Harder performed her special missions of reconnaissance and lifeguard duty effectively. She also made a close range gun bombardment on aircraft facilities on Woleai and made two successful torpedo attacks on valuable enemy ships - a destroyer and a cargo ship. On April 1, 1944, the rescue of a downed aviator, Ensign John R. Galvin, USNR, was effected by Sam Dealey's excellent seamanship, air cover from friendly planes, and the heroic efforts of four Harder crewmen who went through the surf and carried out the actual rescue in the face of enemy sniper fire. ⇒
01-Apr-44, USS Salmon (SS-182), War Patrol No. 10, LCDR H. K. Nauman
Salmon's tenth war patrol was mainly a reconnaissance patrol. Photographic reconnaissance of key locations on Ulithi, Woleai, and Yap Atolls in the Caroline Islands was made and numerous pictures were taken. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the islands to aid the coming amphibious campaign for the Marianas.
05-Apr-44, USS Thresher (SS-200), War Patrol No. 12, LCDR D. C. MacMillan
Thresher conducted extensive photographic reconnaissance in the Nomoi Islands during her twelfth war patrol. The Nomoi Islands are a group of three large atolls in the Caroline Islands. All areas indicated in the submarine reconnaissance request were covered photographically, and visual reconnaissance was also made. Motion pictures were taken of the entrances to each lagoon to document the existing surf conditions. No density layers or temperature gradients were found at depths of 300 feet. Sound conditions were good. Similar reconnaissance was also conducted at Oroluk Atoll.
On May 20, 1944, Sturgeon rescued Ensign Thomas A. Woods, USNR, and Archie McPherson, Jr., ARM2c, from bombing squadron VB-15. Five hours later they picked up Eastwood H. Boardman, ARMc2, from VT-14. Both rescues were made off Marcus Island. ⇒
Stingray's eleventh war patrol lasted for forty-four days, of which twenty-six days were spent in the areas around the Mariana and Caroline Islands. Triphibious operations in these areas kept them devoid of enemy surface vessels. As such, the only vessels sighted by Stingray were two at anchor behind the reef in Apra Harbor, Guam. Stingray's performance as a lifeguard at Guam during air strikes on June 12-16, 1944, was rated as outstanding. During these strikes she made a contact report which resulted in the destruction of two Japanese fighter-bombers by American air forces. One downed pilot was rescued by a Stingray crewman who selflessly dived over the side to save him. Two other aviators and their plane crashed in the enemy-held Apra Harbor and they managed to sail out of it to deeper water where their rescue was effected by Stingray. Another aviator made fast to Stingray's periscope while she was held down by an enemy shore battery; the aviator was towed for over two miles until Stingray could surface safely and take him aboard. The last aviator rescue was effected expeditiously because of the excellent communications between the submarine and her fighter cover. In all, five USN aviators were rescued by Stingray - three on June 12th, one on June 13th, and one on June 15th. ⇒
On her first war patrol, conducted from May 24 to July 16, 1944, Pipefish was stationed west of the Marianas, as a rescue submarine for pre-invasion carrier strikes on Saipan. On June 12th, at about 0830 hours, she recovered the dead bodies of two U. S. Navy aviators from the USS Lexington (CV-16). The bodies were brought aboard. At 1228 hours, she pulled an injured aviator, also from the Lexington, out of the water. That night burial services were held for the two dead airmen. ⇒
Seawolf's thirteenth war patrol was mainly a reconnaissance patrol. Photographic reconnaissance of specific key locations in the Palau group was conducted. Numerous pictures were taken. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the islands to aid the coming amphibious campaign for the Marianas. On the afternoon of June 21, 1944, while en route to her photographic reconnaissance location, Seawolf rescued two downed U. S. Navy aviators, the pilot and the gunner of a SB2C Helldiver. ⇒
23-Jun-44, USS Finback (SS-230), War Patrol No. 9, LCDR J. L. Jordan
Finback's ninth war patrol was spent west of the Mariana Islands patrolling at a possible interception point of the enemy task force expected during operations at Saipan. This was followed by six days of lifeguard duty, searching for lost friendly aviators (June 23 to June 28, 1944). No aviators were located or rescued. The remainder of the patrol was spent in the Palau area. A large task force was encountered on June 19, 1944, but it could not be closed. No other targets worthy of torpedo fire were made.
On her third patrol Archerfish performed lifeguard duty in the Bonin Islands area during carrier force air strikes on these islands. Prior to the first strike, Archerfish transmitted an excellent reconnaissance report giving the composition of enemy air forces sighted at the airfields on Iwo Shima. She rescued one downed U. S. Navy aviator on July 4, 1944. ⇒
From July 9 to 21, 1944, Guavina performed lifeguard duty in the "Yap Ulithi" area with instructions to guard two appropriate aircraft frequencies from 1030(I) to 1200(I) daily and remain on the surface if possible during air strikes. On July 14th she rescued four USAAF aviators from a Liberator which crashed on July 13th. On July 19-20, she rescued eight USAAF aviators from Liberators which crashed on July 19th. In total, she saved twelve USAAF aviators in two rescues. The patrol was terminated early due to injuries sustained by one of the survivors which required surgical attention. The aviators were returned to the Army Thirteenth Air Force Headquarters at Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island. ⇒
Balao's sixth war patrol was conducted in the Palau Islands area. On July 26, 1944, at 1333 hours, a Hellcat fighter zoomed down the boat's starboard side and crashed in the water 300 yards dead ahead of them. They trimmed down, backed down, and picked up Lieutenant Warren L. Gibbs, USNR, of Fighting Squadron Eight, USS Bunker Hill (CV-17). Balao sank the remnants of the plane and its belly tank with 20MM fire. About the same time the next day, a dive bomber cleared Peleliu Island with a sputtering engine. It flew down their port side with its flaps and landing gear down, and crashed into the water between Peleliu and Anguar Islands. They picked up Lieutenant James E. Keefe, USNR, and Roy J. Whitaker, ARM1c, USN, both of Bombing Squadron Eight, USS Bunker Hill (CV-17). Whitaker had severe lacerations of the scalp and a four-inch gash over the left eye; the injuries were caused by his machine guns bouncing off his forehead during the water landing. ⇒
29-Jul-44, USS Burrfish (SS-312), War Patrol No. 3, CDR W. B. Perkins
Following the successful invasion of the Mariana Islands (Operation Forager), Cincpac's next target was the Palau islands. In preparation for this invasion, for her third war patrol Burrfish "...was assigned the job of making the photographic mosaics at Palau and Yap and of basing the landing party which was supplied by Commander Amphibious Forces. This group, commanded by Lieutenant C. E. Kirkpatrick, USNR, consisted of one other officer and nine men, all highly trained in boat work and scouting. Their landing on Peleliu was entirely successful and valuable information was obtained. Further attempts to land in that vicinity and at Angaur were abandoned after several night approaches. The intensity of enemy radar activity made it practically certain that the submarine would be detected and thereby expose Cincpac's plan. Burrfish then moved to Yap and on the night of August 16 a landing was made on the south tip of the island. The beach was found to be satisfactory for all types of amphibious craft. On the night of August 18, a landing was attempted on the nearby island of Gagil Tomil. Five men went through the surf in a rubber boat and after anchoring safely inside the reef, four went to explore the beach; one returned. The other three, we learned later, were captured. The appointed hour for return to the submarine came and went; the two men in the rubber boat manned the oars and searched within 100 yards of the beach but without result. The plan to invade Yap was abandoned, possibly because of the exposure of our intentions. In any case, by-passing of that island seemed a good idea to me, just as in the case of Truk, for it had little strategic value." (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 193.)
The tenth war patrol of the Gato was conducted in the Bonin Islands area. It spanned fifty days, thirty of which were spent in the assigned area. Gato did an excellent job of lifeguarding. On August 5th she picked up three downed U. S. Navy aviators in separate rescues. The rescue of a fourth aviator could not be effected because of his position in shoal water close to shore gun batteries. Gato approached sufficiently close to draw their fire, which, because of its accuracy, forced her to dive immediately. ⇒
On August 8, 1944, Shark rescued USN aviators Ensign W. S. Emerson and M. J. Harvey, ARM2c, both from a ditched torpedo bomber flown off the carrier USS Lexington. Neither man was injured. The rescue took place at 24°-50' N, 141°-00' E, in Patrol Area 14A. ⇒
Finback's tenth war patrol was conducted in the Bonin Islands area. It was of fifty days duration, thirty of which were spent in the assigned area. From August 31 to September 2, Finback rendered lifeguard service, rescuing two U. S. Navy pilots, two naval aviation ratings, and one U. S. Navy ensign. One of the pilots was Lieutenant (jg) George H. W. Bush. One aviator was rescued close ashore while Finback was submerged due to heavy gun fire from enemy positions on the beach. The aviator held unto the submarine's periscope until Finback could tow him far enough away from the beach so she could surface safely and embark him. On September 1, 1944, she approached and picked up a three-man TBF Avenger crew from the USS Franklin (CV-13). On September 2nd, she picked up Lieutenant Bush after his TBF, from the USS San Jacinto (CVL-30), was shot down. Bush said he did not see his crew's parachutes and believed they had either bailed out while the plane was still over Chichi Jima or had gone down with the plane. Later the same day, the "periscope rescue" was made. ⇒
Grouper's tenth war patrol was conducted in the Palau area, with a primary mission of lifeguard duty during air strikes there from September 6-11, 1944. She also served as a member of a wolf pack in areas east of the Philippines, southeast of the Nansei Shoto, and in the Luzon Strait. During her lifeguarding efforts, she rescued seven U. S. Navy aviators - six on September 8th and one on September 11th. No contacts worthy of attacking were made during her wolf pack duty. ⇒
On October 10, 1944, at 1120 hours, Sterlet rescued the two-man crew of a USN OS2U Kingfisher floatplane from the USS Franklin. The plane had overturned, so Sterlet sank it with its 20MM, with help from her fighter cover. Three hours later she rescued the three-man USN crew of a TBF torpedo bomber from the USS Wasp. Three hours later she rescued a USN fighter pilot from the USS Wasp. All of the aviators were in good condition. The rescues took place in Patrol Area 11C. ⇒
On October 12, 1944, while on station off Formosa and standing ready to perform lifeguard duty, at about 1100 hours "...a burning fighter plane from the Bunker Hill made a forced landing about 300 yards ahead of Trigger. The surface was rough and the fighter broke in two and sank. The dazed aviator, seen to be in trouble, disappeared several times beneath the water. Wind and combers were sweeping him away from the submarine when Lieutenant (jg) C. J. Roberts, Chicago, Illinois, dived into the heavy seas and swam to the rescue. His action was one of particular gallantry, for not only were sea conditions hazardous in the extreme, but the arrival of enemy planes from their nearby bases might force Trigger to dive at any moment, leaving Roberts and the aviator to their fate." Roberts swam a line to the aviator and assisted him alongside Trigger. He was Lieutenant (jg) John J. McGuire, USNR, of Squadron VF8 from USS Bunker Hill. He was suffering from shock, shaken up, and weak, but without any physical injuries. (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 210.) ⇒
The twelfth war patrol of the USS Sailfish conducted in the area between Formosa and Luzon spanned seventy-five days, of which thirty-four were spent in the assigned area. She conducted lifeguard duty in the first part of the patrol and after returning twelve rescued U. S. Navy aviators to Saipan, formed a wolf pack with Parche and Pomfret. Eleven of the aviators were rescued on October 12th and one on October 13th. ⇒
On October 16, 1944, Sawfish rescued Ensign Clarence Alvin Borley, USNR, a fighter pilot, who had been shot down. Though he had been in his small rubber boat for about four and a half days without food, water, or a sun shade, he was in fair physical condition as he had not been injured when he was shot down. The pharmacist's mate took charge of him. The rescue was made at 22°-44' N, 119°-30' E. ⇒
On October 18, 1944, in the Nansei Shoto area, Saury rescued Lieutenant (jg) D. R. Rhem, USNR, a downed pilot of Vought F-8, who had been in the water for two and a half days. ⇒
On November 3, 1944, Snook rescued Ensign Howard J. Steckert, USNR, a downed fighter pilot from the USS Hancock. He had been adrift four days and was in good condition. The rescue took place in Patrol Area 11E, in the Philippine Sea. ⇒
10-Nov-44, USS Silversides (SS-237), War Patrol No. 11, LCDR J. S. Coye, Jr.
During second half of Silversides' eleventh war patrol, she served as a member of a coordinated attack group (Task Group 17.24) with six other submarines. Their mission was to conduct an anti-patrol vessel sweep south and east of Honshu. The officer-in-charge of the septuplet was Commander T. B. Klakring, who was based aboard Silversides. The other members were:
USS Trigger (SS-237), LCDR Frederick J. Harlfinger II, War Patrol No. 11
USS Tambor (SS-198), LCDR W. J. Germershausen, War Patrol No. 12
USS Sterlet (SS-392), LCDR O. C. Robbins, War Patrol No. 2
USS Ronquil (SS-396), CDR H. S. Monroe, War Patrol No. 2
USS Burrfish (SS-312), CDR W. B. Perkins, War Patrol No. 4
USS Saury (SS-189), LCDR R. A. Waugh, War Patrol No. 11
The task group was credited with sinking four enemy patrol vessels during their sweep.
04-Dec-44, USS Tinosa (SS-283), War Patrol No. 8, LCDR R. C. Latham
Tinosa's eighth war patrol was conducted in the Nansei Shoto and Formosa areas. During the patrol, Tinosa became the first Frequency Modulated (FM) Sonar-equipped submarine to put the new mine detection technology to effective use against active Japanese minefields. She had been given top-secret orders to probe for enemy minefields around Okinawa, which was soon to be invaded. Tinosa found and charted many mines around that strategic location. She then entered the East China Sea by passing north of Formosa, where she located and charted another enemy minefield. In addition, Tinosa made extremely valuable reconnaissance of various islands in the Nansei Shoto archipelago. Photographs taken and tidal information recorded by Tinosa were extremely valuable in the planning for future operations.
Spearfish's twelfth war patrol was conducted in the Nanpo Shoto area. It covered a period of seventy-one days and was conducted in two parts, with a three-day refit period at Saipan between them. The first part of the patrol involved conducting extensive photographic reconnaissance of locations and enemy positions around Iwo Jima. The photographs taken included continuous panoramic picture sets of the shorelines around the island. Spearfish also measured currents and tides near the island. The second part of the patrol involved performing lifeguard duty during Army bomber air strikes on enemy positions at Iwo Jima. Spearfish was successful in rescuing seven Army aviators from a downed B-29 on the night of December 19th. Spearfish also sank a sampan and took two prisoners from it. Once taken aboard the submarine, the conduct of one prisoner was deemed to pose a threat to the safety of the boat. The CO authorized the administration of an overdose of morphine to the fractious prisoner before he was jettisoned overboard. ⇒
On December 27, 1944, Sea Fox and Blueback were standing into the harbor at Saipan when an Army B-24 returning from a raid on the Bonins to Saipan was forced down due to engine problems. "The pilot pancaked down nicely but, due to heavy seas, the plane was badly broken up and the pilot, Flight Officer [G. D.] Sachs, was thrown clear of the wreckage. The bomber's crew succeeded in launching two rubber boats but the pilot, one arm broken and encumbered with heavy clothing, was being rapidly swept away. Reese [Clyde L. Reese, QM1/c], on the bridge of the submarine, instantly sized up the situation and, though realizing that a rescue attempt would be extremely hazardous because of the heavy seas, dived in and struck out for the drowning aviator. Reese reached Sachs in time, towed him back alongside and, although himself exhausted, helped lift him aboard. Artificial respiration was successful in reviving the half-drowned pilot and he was taken below for treatment." (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 254-255.) Blueback rescued four USAAF aviators and the submarines' escort, PC-1126, recovered three airmen. Because of the force five seas and the severity of the injuries suffered by one airman, it was necessary for Blueback to trim down aft and carry him aboard in his rubber raft. His treatment was administered on the cigarette deck. No attempt was made to strike him below because the resultant movement would probably have been fatal. Once the zoomies were aboard and secure, the three vessels proceeded at flank speed for the harbor. ⇒
On December 27, 1944, Sea Fox rescued one USAAF aviator from a USAAF B-24 Liberator that crashed near Sea Fox as the submarine was entering Saipan. The USS Blueback picked up four survivors and their escort, P. C. 1154, picked up three. ⇒
On March 1, 1945, Tilefish rescued Lieutenant (jg) William J. Hooks, USNR, a fighter pilot from the USS Hancock. The rescue occurred in Patrol Area 11A. ⇒
Aspro's sixth war patrol was conducted in the areas south of Formosa, as a member of a coordinated attack group, along with USS Sawfish (SS-276) and USS Croaker (SS-246), with the commanding officer of Aspro as the pack commander. A substantial part of the patrol was devoted to lifeguard duty, which resulted in the rescue of four downed Navy aviators in two daring rescues in a restricted zone. On January 21, 1945, at 1130 hours, Aspro sighted a smoke flare coming from a raft afloat with three men aboard it. At 1144 hours, she closed the raft and brought the men aboard. They were the crew of a TBF-3 Avenger, of Torpedo Squadron 80, from the USS Ticonderoga (CV-14): Lieutenant John Carmody (A-1), USNR; John T. Krupski, AMM3c, USNR; and Francis R. McManus, AMM3c, USNR. About two hours later, Aspro received word from her air cover that another fighter was circling a raft bearing 065° true twelve miles distant from the submarine. Aspro changed course and headed in that direction. At 1421 hours, she sighted a raft and pulled from it Lieutenant Mahlon D. Cooley, (A-1), USNR, a F6F pilot of Fighting Squadron 20, attached to the USS Lexington (CV-16). He had been in the water approximately four hours, half of this time without a raft. He had swallowed considerable amounts of salt water, and had received several superficial leg wounds when his plane was hit. All his injuries responded well to treatment from Aspro's pharmacist's mate. ⇒
On January 21, 1945, Sawfish rescued Ensign Conner M. Petrie, Jr., USNR, of USS Cowpens, who had been in the water for two hours after his fighter went down due to engine failure. His condition was very excellent and he arrived just in time for chow. The rescue was made at 24°-20' N, 122°-04' E. ⇒
21-Jan-45, USS Sennet (SS-408), War Patrol No. 1, CDR G. E. Porter
The Sennet's first war patrol was conducted in the Bonin Islands area. She was tasked with testing the performance of Mark 27 acoustic homing torpedoes. This torpedo was code-named CUTY. She fired eight CUTYs at enemy ships, scoring only one hit which sank a 500-ton patrol boat.
31-Jan-45, USS Pipefish (SS-388), War Patrol No. 4, CDR W. N. Deragon
Pipefish's fourth war patrol was conducted in the Nansei Shoto areas. She stood ready to conduct lifeguard duty for downed aviators, however she was not afforded an opportunity to perform any rescues or to attack the enemy.
10-Feb-45, USS Piper (SS-409), War Patrol No. 1, CDR B. F. McMahon
Commander McMahon was in charge of the wolf pack "Mac's Mops." In addition to Piper, the wolf pack included USS Pomfret (SS-391), USS Sterlet (SS-392), USS Trepang (SS-412), and USS Bowfin (SS-287). The assigned submarines were charged with assisting Admiral Halsey's carrier task force by locating and destroying enemy radar-equipped picket boats so his carrier planes could reach the Japanese mainland undetected. From February 10-13, 1945, the quintet conducted an anti-picket boat sweep in support of the carrier task force. No picket boats were sighted, so the submarines proceeded individually to lifeguard stations. For Pomfret, captained by Lieutenant Commander J. B. Hess, it was her fourth war patrol. It was USS Sterlet's third war patrol; she was captained by Commander H. H. Lewis. For the USS Trepang, it was her eleventh war patrol; she was under the command of Commander R. R. Faust. It was Bowfin's seventh war patrol; she was captained by Commander A. K. Tyree.
Pomfret began her fourth war patrol on January 25, 1945, as part of a wolf pack. The mission was a anti-picket boat sweep ahead of a carrier task force soon to strike the Tokyo-Nagoya area. After completing the sweep on February 11-13, 1945, without encountering any picket boats, she moved south of Honshu for lifeguard work. On February 16th she rescued a pilot from USS Hornet (CV-12). The next day, she saved a pilot from USS Cabot (CVL-28). That day she also captured two prisoners. (Adapted from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.) ⇒
11-Feb-45, USS Lagarto (SS-371), War Patrol No. 1, CDR F. D. Latta
Commander Latta was in charge of Task Group 17.13, with the code name "Latta's Lancer's." In addition to Lagarto, the task group for this special mission also included USS Sennet (SS-408) and USS Haddock (SS-231). The assigned submarines were charged with assisting Admiral Halsey's carrier task force by locating and destroying enemy radar-equipped picket boats so his carrier planes could reach the Japanese mainland undetected. From February 11-14, 1945, the trio destroyed two radar picket boats and damaged two others. It was USS Sennet's second war patrol; she was captained by Commander G. E. Porter. For the USS Haddock, it was her eleventh war patrol; she was under the command of Commander W. H. Brockman, Jr. On February 24th, Lagarto also conducted photographic reconnaissance of Okino Shima.
Bluefish's seventh war patrol was conducted in the Nansei Shoto area and the area south of Honshu. On March 1, 1945, while on lifeguard duty, Bluefish rescued two aviators from the same aircraft. At 1558 hours that day, lookouts sighted a disabled aircraft. A crew man was observed bailing out of the plane. Bluefish headed for him at flank speed. There were eight people on the bridge searching for him intently, yet after he landed in the water nobody saw him until his shouts attracted their attention. At 1614 hours, they pulled him out of the sea at 26°-41' N, 128°-31' E. A few minutes later another crew man bailed out and landed in the water nearby. They brought him aboard at 1618 hours. At 1619 hours, the pilot put the plane in a vertical dive and bailed out. It crashed and sank almost immediately. At 1621 hours, the pilot was being dragged along the surface rapidly by his parachute. Bluefish headed to leeward of the parachute and recovered the pilot. His respiration and heart had already stopped. He was suffering from a six-inch shrapnel wound in his left thigh and a smaller wound in his right leg. Artificial resuscitation was commenced right away on deck as Bluefish slowly headed seaward. Adrenalin was administered, and everything possible was done to revive the patient, to no avail. They transferred his body below decks. At 1715 hours, the pilot, Lieutenant Jacob Matthew Reisert, was pronounced dead from a combination of shrapnel wounds, shock, and drowning. The other two survivors, W. P. O'Shea, AMM3c, USNR, and C. R. Mc Call, AMM3c, USNR, were both in excellent shape. At 1910 hours, they held a funeral service for Lieutenant Reisert and committed his body to the sea. In his patrol report, Captain noted that Lieutenant Reisert's demonstration of courage, fortitude, and unselfishness was most inspiring. The plane's fuel system was damaged and the fuel almost gone - the gauges had read empty for twenty minutes; the hydraulic system was inoperative; there were numerous holes in the plane and it was barely under control. The pilot was badly wounded, yet he managed to remain airborne and bring his crew to safety. ⇒
13-Mar-45, USS Tunny (SS-282), War Patrol No. 8, CDR G. E. Pierce
Tunny's eighth war patrol was conducted in the East China Sea area. Vice Admiral Lockwood had ordered her to utilize her FM sonar to find, plot, and penetrate a minefield fringing the East China Sea near Kyushu. Tunny plotted over 230 mines which she detected on FM sonar as she travelled through the hazardous waters at 150 feet.
Bowfin's seventh war patrol was conducted in the Japanese home islands south of Honshu where she performed lifeguard services for American planes. On March 19th a lone TBM with a shot up tail made a water landing 500 yards dead ahead of the submarine. The plane immediately nosed down and sank as both its occupants jumped clear and hung on to their inflated life raft. Bowfin's crew assisted on board Lieutenant R. U. Plant, USNR, and J. Papazoglakis, AMM3c, of Torpedo Squadron 83, both exhausted from their few minutes in the water in their heavy clothing and with miscellaneous supplies, but otherwise in excellent shape. ⇒
On the night of March 19, 1945, Guardfish spotted two downed aviators in a rubber boat. She came alongside them and brought the two downed U. S. Navy aviators aboard. They were from the USS Hancock (CV-19). Their plane was damaged on a mission in the Kobe area. ⇒
25-Mar-45, USS Tinosa (SS-283), War Patrol No. 9, CDR R. C. Latham
Tinosa's ninth war patrol was conducted in the East China Sea area. Her mission was employ her FM sonar to probe and chart minefields in that area. While en route to her assigned area, Tinosa received an Ultra dispatch ordering her and USS Spadefish to intercept a convoy southbound from Japan. While attempting to do so, Tinosa "...was driven down by a Japanese plane. On the way down, the bow planes failed to rig out. Latham went to 180 feet and remained there, trying to fix them. During that time, Tinosa was swept along by the strong currents and grounded lightly on an island, damaging one of the outer torpedo doors. With all this trouble, Tinosa missed an opportunity to attack the convoy. Latham then proceeded to his minefield plotting mission, determined to do it on the surface if necessary. The FM gear was operating 'beautifully' at first, and Latham was getting a good minefield plot. But in the middle of the operation, the FM broke down - with mines all around. Tinosa was then in about 100 fathoms of water. Latham decided the best thing he could do until the FM gear was repaired was anchor, so he began walking the anchor out. He had 120 fathoms of anchor chain. At 89 fathoms, the chain broke - from the weight of the anchor and chain. However, the FM gear was repaired and Latham slipped out to sea, finishing the patrol with a cruise along the China coast." During her ninth patrol, Tinosa also reconnoitered and took photographs of the coast near Sotsuko Zaki Light on Amami Ōshima. (Quote from Blair, Clay, Jr., Silent Victory: The U. S. Submarine War Against Japan, p. 858.)
26-Mar-45, USS Spadefish (SS-282), War Patrol No. 4, CDR W. J. Germershausen, Jr.
Spadefish's fourth war patrol was conducted in the East China and Yellow Seas. She had received special orders from Vice Admiral Lockwood to reconnoiter and plot the southern limits of the Tsushima Strait's minefields with her FM sonar. She and other submarines in the area also had orders to pick up any Japanese survivors from torpedoed ships since they could have information of value to Operation Barney.
On March 27, 1945, Tunny rescued Lieutenant Commander R. B. Buchan, USN, and Lieutenant (jg) L. P. Mundy, USNR, the crew of a SB2C Helldiver dive bomber, from VB-10, USS Intrepid. The next day, Tunny rescued Lieutenant (jg) B. P. Smith, USNR, an F6F pilot of VF-82 from the USS Bennington. Both rescues occurred in Patrol Area 11A. ⇒
Kingfish's eleventh war patrol was conducted in the area surrounding the Sakishima Islands. She was part of a coordinated attack group with the Icefish and the Sawfish. In addition to her offensive patrol, she also provided lifeguard services. She rescued a total of four British aviators, one on March 27th and three more on March 31st. All of them were from the carrier HMS Illustrious. (See Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 183.) ⇒
About noon on March 29, 1945, Ronquil rescued ten USAAF aviators at 29°-57' N, 135°-07' E. They were survivors from a downed B-29. Seven of them were unhurt. The other three were wounded, one with a dislocated vertebra and two with broken legs. On April 6th she arrived at Saipan and transferred the survivors, and received mail, fuel, and stores. She then got underway to continue her patrol. ⇒
On March 29, 1945, Sea Dog picked up Lieutenant (jg) Robert H. Hill, USNR, out of a rubber boat. He was in good condition and had been in the water for about two hours. The rescue was made at 30°-03' N, 130°-50' E. ⇒
29-Mar-45, USS Seahorse (304), War Patrol No. 7, CDR H. H. Greer, Jr.
Seahorse's fourth war patrol was conducted in the areas northeast of Formosa and west of Kyushu. She had received special orders from Vice Admiral Lockwood to reconnoiter and plot the southern limits of the Tsushima Strait's minefields with her FM sonar. She and other submarines in the area also had orders to pick up any Japanese survivors from torpedoed ships since they could have information of value to Operation Barney.
In the early morning hours of March 31, 1945, Bullhead stood off Pratas Island in the northeastern section of the South China Sea and bombarded Japanese facilities on the island. She bombarded it again on the night of April 24, 1945. At 1315 hours, on April 16th, at 22°-06' N, 115°-03' E, Bullhead recovered the pilot, copilot, and radioman from a downed Fifth Air Force B-25. All the rescued aviators were suffering from shock and were badly cut up. Stretchers had to be used for two of them. After the Mitchell bomber crashed in the South China Sea, the aviators were taken aboard two junks manned by friendly Chinese crews. Air cover spotted the downed aviators and flashed the facts to Bullhead. When the Bullhead arrived and embarked the aviators from the junks, the pilot was the only one of the three who was conscious. He said they had been damaged and set on fire by one of their own bombs during a low skip-bombing run. (See Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 154-164.) ⇒
Sea Devil's third war patrol was conducted in the Yellow Sea area. On April 8, 1945, at 2055 hours, Sea Devil sighted two Goodyears lashed together with an aviator in each. Soon they brought aboard Captain T. M. Tomlinson, USMCR, and Second Lieutenant H. M. Sagers, USCMR, from the USS Essex. Both had been in the water for thirty-six hours and appeared to be in good health. Sea Devil sank both life rafts with machine gun fire. The pilots reported two other downed aviators, also from the Essex, in the vicinity so Sea Devil began a search plan. It was decided to search for the remainder of the night and all the next day. In about two hours, they spotted another Goodyear with one pilot in it. They rescued Second Lieutenant T. M. Lewis, USMCR. He was also afloat for thirty-six hours and was in excellent health. The three pilots believed that the remaining survivor's attempts to inflate his life raft were unsuccessful at the time of ditching. They searched over four hundred square miles unsuccessfully. Reluctantly, the skipper decided to abandon the search and head for Saipan, where they arrived on April 13th. ⇒
On April 8, 1945, Tench rescued Lieutenant (jg) K. Q. Ellis, USNR, and F. E. Guptil, ARM2c, USN. The former had a bad bump near his eye and the latter a cut on his head. They were cold but very happy. They were recovered about six miles west of Gaja Shima Light. Both men were attached to the USS Essex. Their plane was damaged while attacking an enemy battleship. They had been in the water for about nineteen hours. ⇒
Queenfish's fourth war patrol was conducted in the Formosa Straits and in waters adjacent to the China coast. She got underway from Pearl Harbor for her assigned area via Saipan on February 24, 1945. On April 12th, she rescued thirteen crew members of a ditched U. S. Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer bomber. The survivors were in a generally weakened condition after spending eighty-one hours afloat in their life rafts. All were given a hot bath, breakfast, and inspection and treatment of minor ailments by the pharmacist's mate, and then all were bedded down for a rest as quickly as possible. Queenfish ended her fourth patrol at Guam on April 14th. ⇒
16-Apr-45, USS Rock (SS-274), War Patrol No. 6, CDR R. A. Keating, Jr. & USS Tigrone (SS-419), War Patrol No. 1, CDR H. Cassedy
On April 16, 1945, with USS Tigrone (SS-419), Rock bombarded Pratas Island. On April 18, 1945, the pair bombarded the towns of Mahato and Basco on Batan Island. The results of the first bombardment were not observed. The second bombardment was very effective.
On April 16, 1945, Threadfin hauled P-51 pilot Captain Raymond B. Kessler, USAAF, aboard - half drowned and unconscious, but uninjured. He experienced trouble clearing his plane and ended up in the water with his life jacket collapsed, no rubber boat, and tangled in his parachute. Artificial respiration and the removal of a large quantity of salt water brought him around nicely. The rescue occurred at 31°-01 N, 131°-26 E, in Patrol Area 8.⇒
21-Apr-45, USS Bonefish (SS-223), War Patrol No. 7, CDR L. L. Edge
On April 16, 1945, while on lifeguard duty off Korea's southern coast, Bonefish rescued two Japanese aviators who had been shot down by a U. S. Navy plane. On April 21 to 22, 1945, Bonefish used her FM sonar to probe and chart a minefield located near Danjo Gunto. Commander Edge reported that the minefield began at 31°-54' N, 128°-11' E, and extended for 47 miles at 224°, where it ended at 31°-20' N, 127°-34' E.
Bang's sixth war patrol was conducted in the Luzon Straits and off eastern Formosa. Most of her time was spent conducting lifeguard duty. On April 22nd Bang rescued Ensign Donald E. Corzine, Navy Hellcat pilot from USS Chenango (CVE-28), who had been in the water for fourteen hours. ⇒
23-Apr-45, USS Bowfin (SS-287), War Patrol No. 8, CDR A. K. Tyree
Bowfin's eighth war patrol was conducted in the areas east of Honshu and south of Hokkaido. Using her FM sonar, Bowfin investigated and charted the minefields near the eastern entrance to Tsugaru Strait, where several U. S. submarines were believed to have been lost.
23-Apr-45, USS Crevalle (SS-291), War Patrol No. 6, CDR E. H. Steinmetz
On March 29, 1945, Crevalle put to sea from Apra Harbor, Guam, on her sixth war patrol. Her patrol was conducted in the East China Sea between Saishu To and Iki Shima. Crevalle coordinated her patrol with the USS Seahorse (SS-304), whose commanding officer was the group commander. Lifeguard services were also rendered in the East China Sea during air strikes preparing for the Okinawa invasion, however Crevalle did not get the opportunity to rescue any aviators. On April 23, 24, and 25, 1945, Crevalle employed her FM sonar to attempt to locate, chart, and verify a minefield previously probed by Seahorse near the southern entrance to the Tsushima Strait.
The twelfth war patrol of the Gato was conducted in the Bungo Suido area. It spanned fifty-three days, thirty of which were spent in the assigned area. There were no ship contacts, but while on lifeguard station a total of ten USAAF aviators were rescued on three separate days - three on April 27th, one on April 29th, and six on April 30th. The CO recommended that in the future all submarines assigned to lifeguard duty be issued a double supply of plasma. (See Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 165-175.) ⇒
Pogy's ninth war patrol was conducted in the areas south of the Empire. The patrol spanned sixty-four days, of which thirty-one days were spent in the area. On March 12, 1945, Pogy got underway from Midway for her assigned area via Saipan. On April 29, 1945, at 1302 hours, Pogy sighted a B-29 and a PBY circling low over the water. She made radio contact with them and was informed there were numerous life rafts in the water. Pogy closed them and made ready to begin receiving downed aviation personnel. Over the next hours, she took aboard ten survivors from USAAF B-29 number 840. The survivors said one crewman was missing because his parachute failed to open. On May 5th, she transferred the aviators to USS Orion at Saipan. Pogy ended her patrol at Pearl Harbor on May 15, 1945. ⇒
Bluefish's eighth war patrol was spent conducting lifeguard duty in the vicinity of the Sakishima Islands and the Ryukyu Islands. A total of three American and four British aviation personnel were rescued. On April 30, 1945, an Avenger TBM aircraft made a perfect water landing 100 yards ahead of Bluefish. Ensign Victor T. Molinaro, USNR, John A. Heinz, AMM3c, and Jack F. Bentley, AMM3c, all from the USS Chenango (CVE-28), reported aboard for transportation. On May 12, 1945, Bluefish recovered three British aviators afloat in a raft. They were from the carrier HMS Indomitable. They were all found to be in good health, having been at sea in their raft for seven hours. They were the crew of an Avenger aircraft. On May 16th, another British airman was rescued within 3,000 yards of the beach. He was a Corsair pilot from HMS Victorious and had only spent two hours in his life raft. ⇒
On May 4, 1945, off the Nansei Shoto, Scabbardfish brought aboard five survivors from a ditched USAAF B-29 (City of Dallas). Each man was in a one man life raft, and had been in the water since the afternoon of May 3, 1945. The B-29's designation was Kingbird 7. One of the aviators had sustained a compound fracture of his lower left leg and was suffering from severe shock and loss of blood. Scabbardfish's pharmacist's mate saved the aviator's life by administering blood plasma and morphine to him. Scabbardfish then notified Comsubpac of her rescues. In short order, Comsubpac ordered her to rendezvous with USS Picuda (SS-382) for transfer of the survivors, which was accomplished on May 6th. On June 4, 1945, USS Tinosa (SS-283) came alongside and transferred ten rescued aviators to Scabbardfish for transport to port. With the transfer complete, Scabbardfish pulled clear and headed for Guam. ⇒
Phase two of Charr's second war patrol consisted of twenty-eight days on lifeguard service southwest of Formosa. On May 5, 1945, acting in close cooperation with rescue planes, Charr pulled Lieutenant Hugo Casciola, USAAF, a P-51 pilot, out of the water. He was uninjured except for a few bruises and burns caused by the shrouds of his parachute. ⇒
On May 7, 1945, at 30°-10' N, 131°-43' E, Ray rescued nine USAAF aviators from a rubber boat and pulled one from the sea. All the survivors were from a ditched B-29. On May 16th, in very rough seas at 33°-14' N, 128°-54' E, she struggled to keep a lee for the rafts, but managed to pull ten survivors from a downed USN PBM Mariner flying boat out of their life rafts. Three men were lost when the plane crashed. ⇒
09-May-45, USS Atule (SS-403), War Patrol No. 6, CDR J. H. Maurer
On May 9, 1945, Atule conducted "...a photo reconnaissance of the Kyushu coast from Muroto Saki to Hane Saki at five miles off the beach. This section of the coast might be important for an amphibious landing in the forthcoming Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu set for late fall ." Atule also conducted photo reconnaissance off Okino Shima on May 16th. She also took stations for lifeguard duty several times, pulled a downed Japanese pilot out of the sea, and destroyed twenty-three floating mines. (Quote from Schratz, Paul R., Submarine Commander: A Story of World War II and Korea, p. 200.)
On April 20, 1945, after refitting, refueling, and restocking at Midway Island, Jallao got underway for her third war patrol. She was assigned lifeguard duty off Marcus Island. On May 9, 1945, she braved gunfire from shore batteries to rescue five U. S. Navy aviators afloat in a raft. "All of the men were wounded, two of them quite seriously. For that reason, the rescue operation was rather protracted. Two men had been taken aboard - but the most seriously injured were still to be transferred - when a heavy-caliber, probably eight-inch, shell from Marcus Island landed fifty yards away on the port bow. Four more landed about thirty seconds apart - some seventy yards away; others within twenty-five feet. It was up to Icenhower to decide if the Jallao was to stick it out or if she was to dive for safety, keep an eye on the remaining three airman through the periscope, and complete the rescue at a more propitious moment. After a hasty look at the three men on the raft, the Skipper was convinced that their condition was so serious that to leave them a moment longer than necessary would be tantamount to signing their death warrants. The three wounded men were in pain but not unconscious. It was going to be extremely difficult to get the helpless men down narrow hatches and vertical ladders and through slit-like passageways into the interior. They would have to help and have to suffer. But it was that - or death. 'Although seriously wounded,' wrote Icenhower with great admiration, 'and suffering from shock, no more than suppressed groans were heard from those three men while they were being assisted aboard and down the hatch. With their desperate courage and help, we were able to get all three below.' Meanwhile the shells were landing around them at half-minute intervals. Some were much too close. 'But,' continued the Skipper with a wonderful sense of humor, 'at 1443:30 we dived to a previously prepared line of defense at one hundred feet.'" (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 226-227.) ⇒
On May 23, 1945, Toro rescued three USAAF crewman from a downed B-29. No other survivors could be located. The rescue occurred in Patrol Area 7. ⇒
On May 24, 1945, during the training period before her ninth war patrol, while returning to base from daily operations, Bowfin rescued Second Lieutenant E. D. Van Keuran, USMC, in good condition from the water, after his F6F Hellcat was observed to crash at a distance of six miles, by an alert bridge watch. ⇒
Tigrone departed Apra Harbor at Guam on May 19, 1945, took on torpedoes at Saipan the same day, and on the 20th got underway for her assigned area. On the 25th she made landfall on Sofu Gan and Tori Shima before taking up her lifeguard station south of Honshu and west of the Nanpō Islands. That same day, she rescued a downed flier from the Nineteenth Fighter Command, Iwo Jima. Early on the afternoon of May 28th, the submarine rendezvoused with a Navy bomber which had signaled its distress. The plane ditched 500 yards from Tigrone, and the submarine crew quickly rescued five survivors from the water. On the afternoon of the 29th, Tigrone answered a call for assistance from a severely damaged Catalina seaplane which had nosed into a wave on takeoff from a rescue operation. Quickly arriving on the scene, the submarine took on board sixteen survivors, the seven-man Catalina crew and nine twice-rescued passengers of the disabled seaplane. Later that night, the pilot of the seaplane died of injuries sustained in the plane crash; he was buried at sea the next day with full honors. On May 30th, Tigrone resumed her search accompanied by friendly aircraft, who helped her locate and rescue seven Army aviators afloat on a raft. At bit later, Tigrone jauntily sent the message, "Tigrone has saved the Air Force and is now returning to Iwo Jima with 28 rescued zoomies." Comsubpac radioed her to make a rendezvous with USS Lamson (DD-367). On June 1, 1945, she made the rendezvous, received a medical officer aboard, and headed for Iwo Jima escorted by Lamson, where she arrived later the same day. She left Iwo Jima on June 2nd, after taking on fuel, ammunition, and stores. On June 26, 1945, she rescued a downed P-51 pilot afloat in the sea. On the night of June 27th, she took aboard two rescued aviators from USS Trepang (SS-412) and nine from USS Springer (SS-419). On June 28th, Tigrone rendezvoused with USS Pintado (SS-387) and received twelve rescued aviators. Tigrone was then ordered by Comsubpac to proceed to Apra Harbor at Guam, where she arrived on July 3, 1945. During her second war patrol, Tigrone rescued a total of thirty aviation personnel (five USN and twenty-five USAAF), one of whom died at sea. Tigrone returned to port a total of fifty-two aviation personnel during her second war patrol. ⇒
May 7, 1945, Razorback got underway from Pearl for her assigned area via Midway. Most of her patrol would be spent lifeguarding in the Nanpo Shoto and Kii Suido areas. On May 25th, at 1407 hours, she rescued a USAAF P-51 pilot. He was uninjured. On June 5th, around noon, she rescued four survivors from a downed USAAF B-29. That night Razorback rendezvoused with USS Dragonet and transferred all the rescued aviators to her for return to Saipan. She ended her patrol at Midway on June 27th. ⇒
On May 26, 1945, at 0015 hours, Pipefish arrived on her assigned lifeguard station for a bomber raid on Tokyo. "In a few hours, long before daybreak, came a flash from 'Boxkite' Number One that a B-29 was down twenty miles, bearing 128° true, from Hachijo Shima, a dot on the ocean's surface sixty miles south of Tokyo Bay. At flank speed, the Pipefish headed for the spot, when 'Boxkite' Number Two reported it was circling survivors of a bomber crash at a different but nearer location. Two ditchings at once. What to do? Deragon decided that the nearest zoomie was the best zoomie; so he reversed course and headed toward the location given by 'Boxkite' Number Two. At 0705, the sub was where the ditching should have taken place. But no survivors. At full speed the skipper held to his base course because the wind was blowing in that direction. He concluded that the way the wind blew was the way the survivors would have drifted. An hour later the gamble paid off. Lookouts sighted a large raft from which the sub rescued Sergeants William F. Linki, Robert W. Riherd, and Herman C. Knight [all USAAF]. All were hale, happy, and unhurt. These successful rescues, the first of the Fifth Patrol, spread a feeling of cheer and satisfaction throughout the ship. This mood was, however, to be of short duration. Twenty-six minutes later three more fliers were brought aboard - all of them dead from drowning or exposure, probably the latter. The bodies had been in the water from six to seven hours. According to their dog-tags, these men who paid the full, tragic price of their devotion to country and to duty were Lieutenant Elby W. Huelson, Jr., and Sergeants George W. Shaw and Oakley A. Simon [all USAAF]." (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., and Hans Christian Adamson, Zoomies, Subs and Zeros: Heroic Rescues in World War II by the Submarine Lifeguard League, p. 218-219.) At 1352 and 1424 hours, Pipefish rescued two more uninjured USAAF aviators from the sea. At 1552 hours, they recovered the dead body of another USAAF airman; his body had been badly mutilated by sharks. At 2300 hours, the bodies of the four dead aviators were committed to the deep with appropriate naval and religious services. On May 29th, at 1215 hours, they rescued a downed USAAF Mustang fighter pilot; he was healthy and smiling with a minor neck wound and a small shell fragment in his upper left arm. On the afternoon of June 10th they pulled two injured USAAF aviators from their life raft. In all, Pipefish rescued eight friendly aviators during her fifth war patrol and brought them safely into port. The bodies of four additional airmen were recovered and buried at sea with appropriate ceremonies. All of the rescued and recovered individuals were USAAF personnel. ⇒
27-May-45, USS Sea Dog (SS-401), War Patrol No. 4, CDR E. T. Hydeman
During her fourth war patrol, Sea Dog's CO served as the task group (wolf pack) commander of Hydeman's Hepcats, TG 17.21. The pack consisted of Sea Dog, USS Crevalle (SS-291), and USS Spadefish (SS-411). They departed Apra Harbor, Guam, on May 27, 1945, as the first wave of three Operation Barney FM sonar-equipped Hellcats to enter the Sea of Japan. They were scheduled to penetrate the Tsushima Strait on June 4, 1945. Their assignment was to search for and destroy enemy shipping along the northwestern coast of Honshu, beginning at nightfall on June 9, 1945. ⇒
28-May-45, USS Tunny (SS-282), War Patrol No. 9, CDR G. E. Pierce
During her ninth war patrol, Tunny's CO served as the task group (wolf pack) commander of Pierce's Polecats, TG 17.22. The pack consisted of Tunny, USS Skate (SS-305), and USS Bonefish (SS-223). They departed Apra Harbor, Guam, on May 28, 1945, as the second wave of three Operation Barney FM sonar-equipped Hellcats to enter the Sea of Japan. They were scheduled to penetrate the Tsushima Strait on June 5, 1945. Their assignment was to search for and destroy enemy shipping along the southwestern coast of Honshu and Kyushu, beginning at nightfall on June 9, 1945. ⇒
29-May-45, USS Flying Fish (SS-229), War Patrol No. 12, CDR R. D. Risser
During her twelfth war patrol, Flying Fish's CO served as the task group (wolf pack) commander of Risser's Bobcats, TG 17.23. The pack consisted of Flying Fish, USS Bowfin (SS-287), and USS Tinosa (SS-283). They departed Apra Harbor, Guam, on May 29, 1945, as the third wave of three Operation Barney FM sonar-equipped Hellcats to enter the Sea of Japan. They were scheduled to penetrate the Tsushima Strait on June 6, 1945. Their assignment was to search for and destroy enemy shipping along the east coast of Korea from Tsushima Island to the southern coast of Siberia, beginning at nightfall on June 9, 1945. ⇒
29-May-45, USS Bluegill (SS-242), CDR E. L. Barr, Jr.
The Japanese occupied Pratas Island during World War II and used it as a weather station and listening outpost. On the night of May 28-29, 1945, Bluegill landed a party of twelve U. S. Navy personnel on the island. They demolished the weather and radio station and raised the American flag over the island. The island was found to be uninhabited. The Japanese had apparently left it two weeks earlier. The day before the landing the Bluegill had bombarded the island, using a Navy flying boat as a spotter.
Dragonet's second war patrol was conducted in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea. Faulty bow plane performance necessitated her withdrawal from these areas and assignment to lifeguard duty south of Honshu. On May 29th she picked up a survivor from a downed USAAF B-29. The next day, she rescued two more downed USAAF B-29 aviators. On June 1st she picked up a lone survivor from a downed USAAF B-29 in a slick surrounded by oxygen flasks and other debris. The survivor stated the B-29 exploded in the air and he fell out. He did not know if there were other survivors. Dragonet searched the area thoroughly assisted by two search planes; no signs of life were found. On June 5th she rendezvoused with USS Razorfish and received five rescued aviators for transport to Guam. The next day she received five more rescued aviators from USS Pipefish. She arrived at Guam on June 10th. ⇒
On June 2, 1945, northeast of Sofu Gan, while en route to her assigned patrol area in the Sea of Japan as one of Operation Barney's Hellcats, Tinosa rescued ten survivors from a downed USAAF B-29 who were left afloat in the sea when the plane sank. On June 4, 1945, she transferred the aviators to USS Scabbardfish (SS-397), before entering the Tsushima Strait to plot its minefields. ⇒
On June 2, 1945, Trutta departed Guam in company with USS Queenfish (SS-393) and USS Spot (SS-413 ) for lifeguard duty between Iwo Jima and the Empire. In the early morning of June 6th, a severe typhoon, with winds blowing at a velocity over one hundred knots, caught Trutta in its path. She rode out the storm on the surface for six hours before finally submerging to ride it out under water. By early afternoon the sea had calmed sufficiently to surface and continue northward to the assigned lifeguard station. On June 7, 1945, Lieutenant Arthur A. Berry, a P-51 fighter pilot of the Forty-Fifth Fighter Group, USAAF, was picked up. He had been in the water in his small rubber life boat since June 1st, during which time he had ridden out the typhoon of June 6th. He was physically somewhat numbed and mentally slightly incoherent as a result of his ordeal. Trutta's pharmacist's mate took him below and administered careful treatment for long exposure. ⇒
Icefish took leave from Apra Harbor, Guam, on May 15, 1945, for her fourth war patrol. It was conducted in the Hainan Island, Hong Kong, Formosa, Gulf of Siam, and Java Sea areas. The patrol spanned forty-six days, with thirty-one days spent in her assigned areas. The patrol marked her passage to Fremantle, where she arrived on July 4, 1945. On June 7, 1945, with air cover provided by a PBY Catalina, Icefish rescued six USAAF aviators from a ditched B-25. The rescue was made off the coast of Formosa, north of Hachiyo Wan. On June 10th she disembarked the aviators at Subic Bay and then sailed for the Gulf of Siam to continue her patrol. ⇒
On June 7, 1945, Spikefish rescued Ensign H. O. Cullen, USNR, an F6F pilot from the carrier USS Sargent Bay (CVE-83). She also conducted a bombardment of Miyara air strip on Ishigaki Shima. The aviator rescue was made in Patrol Area 11C. ⇒
Jack's eighth war patrol was conducted in the Bungo Suido and Nanpo Shoto areas. The patrol was of fifty-two days duration, with thirty days spent in her assigned areas mostly lifeguarding. On June 8, 1945, Jack rescued the pilot of a ditched U. S. Navy F6F Hellcat fighter. The pilot was in excellent physical condition despite his ordeal. ⇒
On June 20, 1945, Sea Fox rescued nine aviators from a downed USAAF B-24 Liberator. One crewman was found dead in the water. He sank before Sea Fox could pull him aboard. Another crew member stayed with the plane, which later crashed near Tinian. The rescue was made at 21°-00' N, 151°-16' E. On July 16th, Sea Fox rescued First Lieutenant Alfred J. Knox, USAAF, of the fighter squadron based on Iwo Jima. He was in very good physical condition and very hungry. It just happened that Sea Fox was serving steak for dinner that night. ⇒
On June 22, 1945, Hackleback rescued a Navy fighter pilot after his plane had been damaged in strikes south of Saki Shima Gunto. On July 7th, she bombarded Shokoto Sho with seventy-three rounds of five-inch shells. ⇒
On June 23, 1945, in Patrol Area 4, Trepang picked up P-51 pilot Second Lieutenant Lamar N. Christian, USAAF, apparently in good health, though quite tired. Later examination disclosed a fracture of his left collar bone. Moments later, another P-51 pilot, Lieutenant Frank K. Ayres, USAAF, executed an excellent jump just ahead of the submarine. His plane crashed about 1,000 yards distant; he landed a few hundred yards off the port bow. Trepang had him aboard within five minutes of the time he jumped. On June 27th, in Patrol Area 5, Trepang rescued the following USAAF men from a ditched B-29: First Lieutenant James R. Kennedy, Second Lieutenant Robert E. Connors, Second Lieutenant Guy C. Winks, Staff Sergeant Dino J. Ruggeri, Staff Sergeant Donald M. Sinclair, Technical Sergeant Leonard R. Poter, and First Lieutenant Chester G. Kiesel. On July 15th, she picked up Ensign William J. Kingston, USNR, a F6F pilot from USS Essex, in Patrol Area 2. ⇒
23-Jun-45, USS Redfin (SS-272), War Patrol No. 6, LCDR C. K. Miller
From June 23 to 29, 1945, Redfin, equipped with mine and torpedo detection equipment, probed for and charted minefields between the thirty and one hundred fathom curves, off the coast of Kushiro, Hokkaidō. From July 2 to 6, 1945, she probed for and charted minefields off the coast of Honshu. She also sighted and exploded two floating mines with gun fire during her patrol.
On June 26, 1945, Springer rescued eight USAAF aviators from a downed B-29. They were in good condition. The next day they picked up Lieutenant Colonel Howard F. Hugos, USAAF, who was aboard another B-19 and serving as command pilot for his group. Both rescues took place in Patrol Area 5. ⇒
Pintado's fifth war patrol was conducted in the Nanpo Shoto and Tokyo Bay areas. The patrol spanned forty-five days, of which twenty-seven days were spent on station performing lifeguard duty. She got underway from Pearl Harbor on June 1, 1945. On June 26th, at 1115 hours, Pintado received word that a B-29 was escorting a "Buddy" who could not stay airborne much longer with a "clipped" wing and the bomb bay door blown open. Pintado sent homing signals to vector him in. At 1500 hours, the damaged B-29 crossed her bow one mile distant at about 2,000 feet up. Twelve parachutes blossomed out in a row as the plane started down, turned right, and exploded. Over the next forty-five minutes Pintado recovered the entire twelve-man crew from their rubber boats. All the men were uninjured, but suffered from slight nervousness and shock. The B-29 was the Black Jack 13, under the command of Colonel G. M. Mundy, USAAF. The skipper sent a message to Comsubpac reporting the recovery. He soon received instructions to rendezvous with USS Tigrone and transfer the aviators to her for return to port. On June 28th, the transfer was made. On July 14th, Pintado ended her fifth patrol at Guam. ⇒
Sea Devil's fourth war patrol was conducted in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea areas. She and USS Ronquil formed a wolf pack, with Ronquil's commanding officer as the OIC. On June 5, 1945, Sea Devil rescued ten survivors of the eleven-man crew of a ditched USN PBM Mariner flying boat, who had abandoned their plane after it crashed during an attempt to rescue a downed USAAF P-47 pilot, who was also rescued by Sea Devil. On July 1st, after a fifteen-hour long search, Sea Devil rescued the eleventh crew member of the PBM Mariner. All of the rescues occurred in Patrol Area 12. ⇒
On July 2, 1945, at 1820 hours, Sea Owl manned her air-sea rescue stations to rescue six survivors from a ditched USN PBM Mariner flying boat. All were suffering from bruises, cuts, gasoline burns, and exposure, having been in their rafts four days and four nights, with no food or water. One suffered from a broken arm. Another had a badly cut hand. Of the other five members of the PBM's crew, two went down with the aircraft and the other three in Mae Wests could not be reached by the rafts in the rough sea. The rescue occurred at 31°-42' N, 125°-43' E, in Patrol Area 12. ⇒
On July 1, 1945, Sea Robin rescued Second Lieutenant William Edward King, USAAF, of the Iwo Jima Fighter Group, at 32°-00' N, 138°-05' E. ⇒
04-Jul-45, USS Runner (SS-476), War Patrol No. 1, CDR R. H. Bass
During her first war patrol, Runner, equipped with mine and torpedo detection equipment, located and charted minefields off the east coast of Honshu, Japan. Runner also received sixteen rescued aviators from USS Gabilan (SS-252) and USS Aspro (SS-309) for transfer to Guam, where she arrived on July 24, 1945.
The Gabilan's sixth war patrol was conducted off the southern coast of Honshu. The primary mission of the patrol was lifeguard duty. Nine separate rescues were carried out during which seventeen aviators were picked up. On July 8th they rescued one USAAF P-51 pilot. On July 10th they rescued the crews of two U. S. Navy torpedo bombers, a total of six men. Later the same day they rescued the crew of another U. S. Navy torpedo bomber and the pilot of a U. S. Navy fighter aircraft, a total of four men. On July 18th they picked up four U. S. Navy aviation personnel from two separate downed aircraft. On July 28th they rescued two USAAF P-51 pilots. The coordination between Gabilan and her covering air forces was excellent. It enabled Gabilan to penetrate the approaches of Tokyo Bay to effect one rescue. Unfortunately, the air cover was driven off by superior enemy forces on July 6, 1945, which prevented Gabilan from reaching another pilot endeavoring to clear the entrance to Tokyo Bay in a life boat; he was probably picked up by an enemy patrol boat which was nearby when the air cover was driven off. In total, Gabilan rescued three USAFF and fourteen U. S. Navy aviators. ⇒
The seventh war patrol of the USS Aspro was conducted in Empire Waters off eastern Honshu, in the Tokyo Lifeguard Station Area. Aspro rescued two downed Army aviators in separate incidents. On July 8, 1945, Flight Officer John E. Freeman, USAAF, was picked up. He was in generally good condition, suffering from a few burns and slight nausea from shock. The second rescue took place on August 3, 1945 and was one of the most daring of the war. In the face of determined enemy air opposition, the Aspro boldly entered Sagami Wan to within five to six miles of the mainland to effect the rescue. With the downed pilot alongside and two Navy B-24 Privateers providing air cover, the Aspro was bombed and strafed twice by an enemy "Pete" bomber and was forced to dive. On the first attack the Aspro was able to score several 20MM hits in the Pete's wing before diving. "Through the periscope the bomber was seen to crash in a cloud of smoke and fire about a mile away. Aspro surfaced again was forced down by a bomber as the survivor's boat was desperately trying to get alongside. Two bombs landed close aboard. Things looked pretty grim at this point and the skipper was in doubt as to whether he should make another try. Risking his ship and crew to save one man did not look like a good gamble and God only knew how many flying fields surrounded the bay. However, as he watched the B-24's 'splash' his latest attacker, Ashley decided to try once more. The air cover had certainly done a magnificent job and he couldn't let them down after coming so far. With his radio antenna just above the water, the skipper asked the Privateers if it was safe to surface. The answer came back, 'I believe so - we just splashed another Jap.' This time, as Aspro shot to the surface, the Captain and two men popped out of the hatch, got the downed aviator aboard and then directed the Privateers to return to base. They needed no second invitation and instantly started reaching for altitude. Two minutes later radar contact was made on an enemy plane distant six miles, closing. Two seconds after that, Aspro pulled the plug. The rescued pilot proved to be Captain E. H. Mikes, USAAF, in good condition. One bullet had grazed his left arm. His boat and life ring had been badly cut up by strafing but miraculously the Nips had missed the helpless pilot." (Quote from Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 325-326.) ⇒
On July 19, 1945, Steelhead rescued First Lieutenant O. E. O'Mara, a downed USAAF P-51 fighter pilot. He was uninjured. The rescue occurred at 33°-12' N, 135°-49' E, in Patrol Area 6. ⇒
Cero's eighth war patrol was conducted in the area south and east of Honshu. On July 15, 1945, Cero rescued three Navy aviators who were afloat in a life raft after their torpedo dive bomber crashed in the sea. The rescue was carried out 2,000 yards from the shore of Shiriya Saki. The zoomies were well and happy. ⇒
After standing out from Pearl Harbor on June 28, 1945, Argonaut made a fuel stop at Saipan on July 10th, and then proceeded to the Formosa Strait and the East China and Yellow Seas to search for enemy shipping. On July 16, 1945, Argonaut spotted a downed aviator (Captain L. P. Radway, USMC), picked him up, and later transferred him to USS Quillback (SS-424). The pilot said he had made a forced water landing due to operational difficulties. He was in good condition except that he was thoroughly seasick and quite ill from having swallowed a good deal of sea water and green dye during his five hours in the raft. ⇒
On May 30, 1945, Quillback left Pearl Harbor for her assigned area via Saipan. On July 18th, while lifeguarding off the east coast of Kyushu, she rescued one USAAF P-51 pilot very close to the shore and within several hundred yards of a minefield. Japanese spectators were watching the rescue from the beach and an enemy airfield was closeby. The pilot had his plane's ailerons shot off by AA fire over Japan. Shortly afterwards his P-51 caught on fire and he had to bail out. He had been in the water for thirty hours, but his condition was good; nothing that some sleep and submarine food couldn't cure. ⇒
On July 22, 1945, Silversides rescued Second Lieutenant James E. Hinkie, USAAF, a P-51 fighter pilot. He was in good shape physically, with only minor lacerations and bruises. Two days later, she picked up Lieutenant E. V. Burtch, USNR, an F6F pilot from the carrier USS Independence. He was in good physical condition. The rescues occurred in Patrol Area 6. ⇒
Peto's tenth war patrol was principally spent lifeguarding in the Tokyo Bay and Nanpo Shoto areas. On July 24, 1945, she picked up Lieutenant T. A. Sinclair, USNR, and Ensign H. F. Donneley, USN, both from VBF 94 of the USS Lexington. Sinclair was wounded by gunshot in both legs. On July 30th, she picked up nine tired but happy survivors from a life boat. One was a Navy aviator and the eight others were USAAF aviation personnel. Later that night she transferred all eleven of them to USS Gabilan for return to port. On August 10, 1945, they recovered Sub Lieutenant Derek Morton, Royal Navy, from the HMS Formidable. He was in excellent condition and spirits. In summary, Peto rescued three U. S. Navy aviators, eight USAAF aviators, and one Royal Navy aviator during her tenth war patrol. ⇒
On July 24, 1945, in Patrol Area 7, Whale rescued Ensign William A. Steenberg, A-1, USNR; Robert N. Craft, ARM2c, V-6, USNR; and Howard F. Gray, ARM2c, V-6, USNR. They were the crew of a downed TBM torpedo bomber from the USS Monterey (CVL-26). An hour later, in Patrol Area 7, they picked up Lieutenant (jg) Dennis L. Herron, A-1, USNR, and Omer D. Kerouack, AMM3c, V-6, USNR, survivors of a downed SB2C from USS Randolph (CV-15). On July 25th, in Patrol Area 7, they rescued Lieutenant Knute Lee, A-1, USNR, a FG-1D Corsair pilot from USS Randolph (CV-15). On July 28, 1945, in Patrol Area 7, they picked up the crew of a downed SB2C from the USS Wasp (CV-18). The survivors were Lieutenant Commander William D. Bush, Jr., USN, and Charles E. Bougan, ARM1c, both of VB-86. They were in excellent condition. On July 29th, in Patrol Area 6A, at 1615 hours, they picked up a survivor from a downed USAFF B-29, Second Lieutenant James C. Bretchbill. Later the in same day and area they picked up six more survivors from the downed B-29: Second Lieutenant George S. Lomas, First Lieutenant Raymond E. Shumway, Sargeant Sam C. Kidd, Staff Sergeant Kirk N. Icenhower, Corporal Warren E. Bartlett, and Sergeant Harold L. Windberg. In summary, on her eleventh war patrol, Whale rescued eight U. S Navy aviators and seven U. S. Army Air Force aviators. Therefore, the total number of rescues for her on the Submarine Lifeguard League monument should be fifteen instead of thirteen. On the night of August 9th, she transferred all the airmen to USS Blackfish for their return to port. ⇒
Dragonet's third war patrol was conducted in the Nanpo Shoto and Bungo Suido areas, during the period July 8 to August 27, 1945. Thirty-one days were spent on station performing lifeguard duty. Voice communication between Dragonet and friendly aircraft was highly successful and in several cases the VHF was used to home fighter pilots to her. One survivor, Lieutenant (jg) R. M. Applegate, USNR, an F4U pilot, was rescued. ⇒
On July 25, 1945, Toro rescued three British aviators in Patrol Area 6. On July 30th, she picked up a USAAF P-51 fighter pilot in the same area. On August 8th, she recovered two USAAF pilots, also in Patrol Area 6. ⇒
The Scabbardfish's fifth war patrol was primarily spent searching for downed aviators off the Nanpō Islands and in waters off the southeastern coast of Honshu. In seven skillfully executed rescues, three of them close inshore on an enemy controlled coast, she recovered seven aviators including two Royal Navy pilots. On July 25th, she rescued one Navy Hellcat pilot. On July 28th, she rescued the two British pilots. On August 6th, she rescued three Army Air Force Mustang pilots. On August 10th, she rescued a lone Navy Hellcat pilot. On August 11th, she received two rescued Navy Corsair pilots from USS Perch for transport to Saipan. Scabbardfish made it to Saipan On August 15th and learned that Japan had surrendered. ⇒
On July 26, 1945, in Patrol Area 5, Sterlet rescued Sub Lieutenant D. W. Banks, RNZNVR, from the British carrier HMS Indefatigable. He had been in the water for two and a half days. He was slightly bruised and sunburned, but in very good condition. On July 28th, in Patrol Area 6, she picked up Sub Lieutenant J. C. Wells, RNVR, a fighter pilot attached to HMS Formidable. He had been in the water about one and a half hours, but was in good condition. ⇒
On July 27, 1945, Threadfin rescued H. W. Pitts, AOM2c, USNR; K. F. Kummer, AMMF2c, USNR; and H. M. Tanzman, ARM3c, USNR. Pitts was uninjured. Kummer probably had a broken back. Tanzman had serious internal injuries. All the survivors were from PBY number 44244, of VH-2. They reported that all other occupants had been lost in the crash. The rescue occurred at 17°-31' N, 144°-23' E, in Patrol Area 14. ⇒
Batfish's seventh war patrol was conducted in the Nanpo Shoto and southwestern Kyushu areas. On July 30, 1945, Batfish recovered three Army aviators who had been in the water for almost a day. They were First Lieutenant Nathan Mangeno, First Lieutenant James L. Van Epps, Second Lieutenant Robert L. Bleicher, of the U. S. Army Forty-first Bomber Group, Squadron 820, Plane 879. Mangeno had a fractured or broken ankle and a cut tendon in his left middle finger. Van Epps had a laceration to the bone in his left shin. Bleicher had a sprained back. All three had numerous minor lacerations and bruises, and were suffering from shock and exposure. The men said they did not believe the other three crew members got out of the plane as it was on fire, breaking up, and hit the water at 125 knots. ⇒
Haddock's thirteenth war patrol was of fifty-three days duration and was conducted in two parts. The first part consisted of lifeguard duty off Marcus Island (Minami-Tori-Shima) and the second part involved lifeguard duty in the central Nanpo Shoto area. On July 31, 1945, at 1913 hours, they "Retrieved 2nd. Lieut. Edwin Warfield, 3rd., 0829783, U. S. Army Air Corps, who had been in the water since about 1400 28 July. Position: 31-51 N, 140-08 E. The look on Lt. Warfield's face when we picked him up more than made up for the 57 fruitless days we have life guarded." ⇒
Balao's tenth war patrol was conducted in the Nanpo Shoto and waters east of Honshu. On August 3, 1945, at 2030 hours, Balao rescued Lieutenant Howard L. Baccus, USAAF, a Mustang fighter pilot based on Iwo Jima. On August 5, 1945, at 1315 hours, they rescued another Mustang pilot, Lieutenant John M. Wyles, USAAF. On August 10, 1945, at 1405 hours, they rescued two Navy aviators whose SBC2 carrier-based dive bomber had crashed in the sea. The men were Ensign Kenneth E. Moore and Charles R. Lux, from the carrier USS Randolph (CV-15). ⇒
Blackfish's twelfth war patrol was conducted in the Napo Shoto, East China Sea, and Yellow Sea. On August 5, 1945, she rescued six Army aviation personnel, the entire crew of a downed B-25. ⇒
On July 2, 1945, Pomfret departed for her sixth war patrol. After lifeguard duty south of Honshu, she began patrol in the East China Sea. On the 19th she sank the first of forty-four floating mines. On the 24th, she shelled the Kuskaki Jima lighthouse and radio installations and, on the 26th, she destroyed a three-masted junk and a small schooner. On August 8th she rescued the entire five-man crew of a USAAF B–25 bomber. Pomfret continued to shell small craft and pick up Japanese and Korean survivors until the cessation of hostilities on August 15, 1945. The following day she headed for Guam. On September 9th she arrived at San Francisco. (Adapted from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.) ⇒
Perch's seventh war patrol was primarily devoted to lifeguard duty in Empire waters. On August 10, 1945, at about 1130 hours, she picked up Lieutenant (jg) Verlyn Branham, USNR, a Corsair pilot from the USS Yorktown. He was in perfect condition. About five hours later she picked up Lieutenant Leo Horacek, Jr., USNR, another Corsair pilot from the USS Yorktown. He was also in very good condition. ⇒
Plaice's sixth war patrol was conducted in the East China Sea. The patrol lasted for thirty-seven days, of which thirteen days were spent in the assigned area conducting lifeguard duty and offensive patrolling. She got underway from Pearl Harbor for her sixth war patrol via Saipan on July 18, 1945. On August 11th, she sighted what appeared to be a small boat through the high periscope. As they closed to investigate it, an object strongly resembling a periscope was sighted close aboard the boat. The skipper was concerned it could indicate a trap, similar to one used to sink the USS Underhill (DE-682). Plaice circled at a safe distance and fired two warning shots from her 40MM. This brought the desired result - recognition from the passengers in the life boat. Up to that point, the life boat's occupants had made no effort to identify themselves. They were the five-man crew of a USAAF B-25 that ditched on August 10th, and were in the water for four to five hours before a rescue boat was dropped. Plaice brought them aboard at 0931 hours. The next day, Plaice transferred them to a PBM-5. It was later learned that the object thought to be a periscope was actually an empty hydrogen cylinder used to inflate the boat's recognition balloon. The survivors said that before Plaice picked them up, they began to realize the cylinder did look and float like a periscope, and they were retrieving it when Plaice approached. Commander Andrews opined that immediate recognition was necessary and that a midget submarine or enemy aircraft attack through use of a delaying decoy was possible. ⇒
11-Aug-45, USS Redfin (SS-272), War Patrol No. 7, LCDR C. K. Miller
On August 11, 1945, Redfin, equipped with mine and torpedo detection equipment, probed for and charted a minefield located off the southwestern coast of Kyushu. On August 12th, she conducted photographic reconnaissance of the Kyushu shoreline. On August 13th, she probed and charted another minefield located in the East China Sea, also off the southwest coast of Kyushu.
On August 14, 1945, Tigrone rescued a downed USAAF P-51 aviator four miles off Tenru Kawa Light. The pilot had arranged his bailing out with the Tigrone's air cover, who had no opportunity to inform Tigrone before they saw him float down out of the clouds surrounded by a roaring circle of his squadron mates. The sky was full of B-29s and P-51s. ⇒
14-Aug-45, USS Catfish (SS-339), War Patrol No. 1, LCDR W. A. Overton
From August 14 to 15, 1945, Catfish, equipped with mine and torpedo detection equipment, conducted a minefield survey off the east coast of Kyushu. No mines were found.