Silent Hunter header

On July 26, 1943, the USS Herring (SS-233) arrived at New London, Connecticut, after conducting four war patrols in the Atlantic Theater of operations. Her voyage from Roseneath, Scotland to New London was officially designated her fifth war patrol, but no written report was made or required for the trip. On August 9th, she departed New London for her new assignment to Comsubpac. After transiting the Panama Canal and sailing across the Pacific, she moored at Pearl Harbor on August 21st, whence she proceeded to San Francisco for an overhaul at Hunter's Point. She made it to Hunter's Point on September 1st and headed back to Pearl Harbor on October 26th, arriving there on November 2nd. Following eleven days of training exercises at Pearl Harbor, her commanding officer, Commander Raymond W. Johnson, reported her readiness for sea. On November 15th, she got underway for her first war patrol in the Pacific Ocean and her sixth war patrol overall. Following a stop at Midway Island to fuel to capacity, she was underway the same day for her assigned patrol area in the East China Sea.

Herring was on station in her assigned area in the East China Sea for twenty-nine days. During that time she reported making twelve enemy ship contacts, which resulted in four attacks with Mark 14-3A torpedoes. In all, Herring fired fifteen torpedoes; Johnson reported eight hits and seven misses from these attacks. Based on the evidence in her patrol report, Comsubpac credited Herring with sinking a total of 30,027 tons of enemy shipping in four vessels, consisting of two transports, one freighter, and one Chidori-class escort vessel. He also credited her with damaging one 7,000-ton tanker. Postwar scrutiny by JANAC, and later by John D. Alden, found Herring sank only two vessels during her sixth patrol. According to the JANAC score, Herring sank 3,948-ton passenger-cargo ship Hakozaki Maru and the 6,072-ton cargo-aircraft ferry Nagoya Maru. The Alden-McDonald analysis also scored Herring for sinking the 3,948-ton Hakozaki Maru, but said it was a ore carrier. He also credited her for sinking the Nagoya Maru, but called it a transport and aircraft ferry worth 6,071 tons. The Alden-McDonald score does not credit Herring for damaging any ships. 1

The Alden-McDonald analysis reports that the Hakozaki Maru was sunk on December 14, 1943, at 33°-10' N, 125°-00' E. The civilian ore carrier was hit by two of Herring's torpedoes in its number four hold. It was carrying 1,539 tons of steel products, timber, and cement. Forty crewmen and seven passengers were killed. The Nagoya Maru was attacked on January 1, 1944, at 32°-15' N, 138°-02' E. The transport and aircraft ferry was struck by one of Herring's torpedoes, which caused slow flooding in her two forward holds. Efforts to control the flooding were unsuccessful. She rose vertically and sank the next day. One crewman and 110 passengers were killed. The Alden-McDonald analysis reports that the Chidori-class escort vessel credited to Herring was the 860-ton kaibokan Fukue. It was not sunk as reported by Commander Johnson; neither was it damaged.

On January 8, 1944, Herring ended her sixth patrol at Midway Island and underwent a routine refit for her seventh war patrol. On February 6, 1944, Lieutenant Commander David Zabriskie, Jr. relieved Commander Johnson as Herring's commanding officer. From February 7 to 11, 1944, Herring conducted training exercises, consisting of day and night practice approaches and torpedo firing exercises. Lieutenant Commander Zabriskie reported her readiness for sea on February 14th, and she departed that night for her assigned patrol area south of Bungo Suido.

USS Herring Main Page

Pips & Blips Articles Index

Footnote:

1.  Alden, John D., and Craig R. McDonald, United States and Allied Submarine Successes in the Pacific and Far East During World War II, Fourth Edition, see USS Herring (SS-233), Attack Nos. 421, 687, 1406, 1407, 1453, 1454, 1455, 1773, 2030, 2031, 2034, and 2035; Submarine war patrol reports on CD, USS Herring (SS-233), Report of Sixth War Patrol; JANAC.