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The USS Swordfish (SS-193) ended her first war patrol on January 7, 1942, at Surabaya, Java. She had patrolled the dangerous waters off Hainan Island, where she damaged the 8,407-ton cargo ship Kashi Maru and sunk the 8,662-ton miscellaneous auxiliary Atsutasan Maru. This was the first Japanese ship sunk by a U. S. submarine in the Pacific war. She had been ordered not to return to Manila because the situation there was getting worse.

On January 16, 1942, she got underway from Surabaya for her second war patrol with orders to patrol in the Netherlands East Indies, the Celebes islands, and off Mindoro and Luzon islands. The last location would put her in position for two special missions. On February 20th, she entered Mariveles Bay. There she embarked thirteen torpedoes and refueled. The Swordfish then rested on the sea floor until darkness facilitated cover from Japanese aircraft. She then surfaced to embark Philippine President Manual L. Quezon, his wife, two daughters, and son; Vice President Osmena; Chief Justice Santos; and Philippine Army officers General Valdes, Colonel Nieto, and chaplain Captain Ortiz. She transported these individuals to San Jose on Panay Island, where she arrived on February 22nd, and transferred President Quezon and his party to a motor tender. The Swordfish then returned to Manila Bay, where on February 24th she rendezvoused with a PT boat, which guided her through a minefield to a safe location where the submarine embarked the American High Commissioner to the Philippines, Francis B. Sayre, his wife, and a party of nine people. She was under orders to transport these people to Surabaya, but en route orders were received to sail to Fremantle where she arrived on March 9, 1942.

This was truly an amazing patrol by the venerable Sargo-class submarine. In addition to her successful special missions, she also sent the 4,124-ton converted gunboat Myoken Maru to the bottom and seriously damaged the 7,620-ton cargo ship Amagisan Maru.

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