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USS Amberjack (SS-219)

USS Amberjack (SS-219) patch


The USS Amberjack (SS-219) was a Gato-class World War II era submarine.

The namesake of the USS Amberjack is any of several large carangid fishes of the genus Seriola, especially S. dumerili. They have golden markings when young, and are found in tropical and subtropical Atlantic waters.

After a false start on January 24, 1943, when the Amberjack had to return to the Task Force 42 base at Brisbane for repairs of several minor leaks, on January 26th she got underway again, captained by Lieutenant Commander John A. Bole, Jr., for her third and final war patrol. She had orders to patrol in the Solomon Islands area. The Amberjack's last radio transmission was on February 14, 1943, when she reported having been forced down on the 13th by two IJN destroyers, and that she had recovered an enemy aviator from the water and taken him prisoner. After that message, she was never heard from again. 1

The Amberjack was listed as presumed lost on March 22, 1943. The formal announcement was not made until June 12, 1943:

Navy Department Communiqué No. 408, June 12, 1943

1. The U. S. submarines Amberjack and Grampus have failed to return from patrol operations and must be presumed to be lost.

2. The next of kin of personnel in the Amberjack and Grampus have been so informed.

The Amberjack's name was struck from the Navy list on June 21, 1943.

Japanese records reviewed after the war indicated the Amberjack was probably depth charged and sunk on February 16, 1943, off Cape Saint George, New Britain, at 5° 05'S, 152° 37'E, by the IJN torpedo boat Hiyodori and the submarine chaser CH-18. On that date the Hiyodori and the CH-18 were escorting the converted transport Noshiro Maru from Rabaul to Kolombangara, when four torpedo tracks were sighted off their starboard beams. All the ships successfully evaded the torpedoes. Shortly thereafter a floatplane of the 958th Naval Air Group located the attacking submarine and dropped several depth charges. The Hiyodori joined in and dropped nine depth charges. The CH-18 then dropped six depth charges. Large amounts of oil rose to the surface and the upper section of a submarine conning tower surfaced for a few moments, then disappeared before it could be targeted. The CH-18 then dropped three additional depth charges in the middle of the steadily expanding oil slick. Soon debris was sighted on the surface. The Hiyodori's crew recovered several items, including a life raft with the words "Philadelphia Navy Yard" printed on it. 2

A list of personnel lost with the Amberjack is maintained at http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-amberjack-219.htm.

The Amberjack won three battle stars for her World War II service. Her JANAC score is 5,225 tons sunk in two enemy vessels. Her Alden-McDonald score is three vessels sunk for 9,233 tons and two vessels damaged for 24,123 tons. The SORG score for the Amberjack is four vessels sunk for 32,600 tons and two vessels damaged for 14,000 tons. Lieutenant Commander John A. Bole, Jr. was awarded the Navy Cross for his outstanding performance as the Amberjack's commanding officer. 3

Also see:

Amberjack’s Aggressive First Patrol



Patrol Data and Captains for the USS Amberjack (SS-219)


Patrol
No.
Patrol
Area
Patrol Duration
DD-MM-YY
Captain's
Rank & Name
Sailed
From
 
1 New Ireland,
New Britain,
& the Solomons;
ended at Brisbane
03-Sep-42 to 30-Oct-42 LCDR John A. Bole, Jr. Pearl
⇒ Brisbane
 
2 Solomon Islands 21-Nov-42 to 11-Jan-43 Same Brisbane
 
3 Solomon Islands 20-Jan-43 to Lost Same Brisbane
 


JANAC Score for the USS Amberjack (SS-219)


Patrol
No.
Date
DD-MM-YY
Vessel
Name
Vessel
Type
Tonnage
Sunk
Location
Sunk
 
1 19-Sep-42 Shirogane Maru Passenger-
Cargo
3,130 6-33S, 156-05E
 
1 07-Oct-42 Senkai Maru Passenger-
Cargo
2,095 1-55N, 153-42E
 
TOTALS   2 vessels 5,225 tons  
 




Alden-McDonald Score for the USS Amberjack (SS-219)


Patrol
No.
Date
DD-MM-YY
Vessel
Name
Vessel
Type
Tonnage
Sunk
Tonnage
Damaged
 
1 19-Sep-42 Shirogane Maru Converted
Transport
3,130  
 
1 10-Oct-42 Senaki Maru Converted
Supply Ship
2,103  
 
1 10-Oct-42 Tonan Maru #2 Converted
Cargo
  19,262
 
1 10-Oct-42 Tenryu Maru Converted
Cargo
  4,861
 
3 04-Feb-43 Unknown Schooner 4 Unknown  
 
3 04-Feb-43 Unknown Cargo 4 4,000  
 
  TOTALS 3 vessels sunk
2 vessels damaged
4 = Possible Tons sunk
9,233
Tons damaged
24,123
 


SORG Score for the USS Amberjack (SS-219)


SORG Score Report for the USS Amberjack (SS-219)

SORG totals for Amberjack
4 vessels sunk for 32,600 tons
2 vessels damaged for 14,000 tons



signature
Updated Sunday, 14-Dec-2014 09:48:10 EST

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1. United States Submarine Losses World War II, p. 33.

2. Miller, Vernon J., "U. S. Submarine Losses," issue 41, p. 55; Hackett, Bob, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall, "IJN Subchaser CH-18 Tabular Record of Movement," published online at http://www.combinedfleet.com/CH-18_t.htm (accessed on October 27, 2011).

3. 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 Amberjack (SS-219), Attack Nos. 324, 327, 354, 360, 361, 596, and 597; Submarine war patrol reports on CD, data collected by the Submarine Operations Research Group (SORG) in the report "Results of U. S. Submarine War Patrols Listed Alphabetically by Name of Submarine"; Japanese Naval And Merchant Shipping Losses During World War II By All Causes, Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, USS Amberjack (SS-219), published online at http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Japan/IJN/JANAC-Losses/JANAC-Losses-6.html#amberjack (accessed September 29, 2011); John A. Bole in Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/j3/john_a_bole-i.htm (accessed March 24, 2011).