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USS Golet (SS-361)

USS Golet (SS-361) patch


The USS Golet (SS-361) was a Balao-class World War II era submarine.

The namesake of the USS Golet is a trout of the scientific name Salvelinus malma, fish family Salmonidae. It is voracious, feeding mostly on other fishes.

The radio call sign of the USS Golet was NAN-JIG-TARE-QUEEN.

The Manitowoc-built Golet, captained by Lieutenant Commander James S. Clark, left Midway Island on May 28, 1944, on her second and final war patrol. Clark had been in the prospective commanding officer pool. He had previously served on the Swordfish and the Archerfish. Commander Philip Ross had been drafted from his job in the Training Command to captain Golet on her first war patrol. He had specific orders to get her up to standards in all respects. Clark was chosen as his executive officer. When Golet returned from her first patrol, Ross reported that Clark had passed scrutiny with flying colors, however he recommended that four other officers and two chiefs be transferred to shore posts. His recommendation was ignored. He returned to his job in operations and Clark became the Golet's new captain. The crew's morale was probably not very good as the Golet got underway for her second patrol with orders to hunt along the coast of northeastern Honshu. It is unknown what impact the morale factor had on the boat's performance during her final patrol, but it was probably not for the better. After leaving Midway, the Golet was never heard from again. She was supposed to have started the journey back to Midway on July 5th. On the 9th, she failed to respond to a radio message which required acknowledgement. On July 26, 1944, she was listed as presumed lost. 1

The public announcement was made on October 23, 1944:

Navy Department Communiqué No. 549, October 23, 1944

1. The submarines USS Herring and USS Golet are overdue from patrol and presumed lost.

2. Next of kin of casualties have been notified.

The Golet was probably depth charged and sunk on June 14, 1944, off the northeastern coast of Honshu, at the geographic position 41° 4' N, 141° 30' E, by Japanese naval aircraft, a patrol boat, and an auxiliary submarine chaser. The Golet had unsuccessfully attacked a cargo vessel on that date. Enemy surface vessels and aircraft dropped depth charges at the location.  Oil and submarine debris rose to the surface. 2

Wilfred J. Holmes wrote that the Golet had probably been destroyed by antisubmarine patrol vessels in the attack described above. Clay Blair agreed, and wrote the Japanese report of this attack stated, "On the spot of fighting, we later discovered corks, raft, etc., and a heavy oil pool." 3

A list of the personnel lost with Golet is maintained at On Eternal Patrol.

The Golet was not scored by JANAC or SORG. Her Alden-McDonald score is two vessels sunk for 174 tons and one vessel damaged for 123 tons. 4

"Our History: Relic of lost submarine coming home"

Patrol Data & Tonnage Scores

Footnotes:

1. United States Submarine Losses World War II, p. 96; Blair, Clay, Jr., Silent Victory: The U. S. Submarine War Against Japan, p. 667.

2. Miller, Vernon J., "U. S. Submarine Losses," issue 43, p. 204.

3. Holmes, Wilfred J., Undersea Victory: The Influence of Submarine Operations on the War in the Pacific, p. 345; Blair, Clay, Jr., op. cit., p. 667.

4. 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 Golet (SS-361), Attack Nos. 2046, 2053, and 2088; 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 Golet (SS-361).