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USS Scamp (SS-277)

USS Scamp (SS-277) patch


The USS Scamp (SS-277) was a Gato-class World War II era submarine.

The namesake of the USS Scamp is a grouper, Mycteroperca phenax, of Florida, so called from its habit of stealing bait.

The radio call sign of the USS Scamp was NAN-WILLIAM-BAKER-VICTOR.

On October 16, 1944, the Scamp, captained by Commander John Hollingsworth, departed Pearl Harbor for her eighth and final war patrol. On October 20, 1944, she refueled at Midway Island then proceeded to her assigned patrol area near the Bonin Islands. On November 9, 1944, she acknowledged receipt of a radio message ordering her to move to an area off Tokyo Bay. At that time she reported her position to be about 150 miles north of the Bonin Islands, with all twenty-four torpedoes aboard and 77,000 gallons of fuel remaining. The Scamp was never heard from again. On December 21, 1944, she was reported as presumed lost on war patrol in enemy waters. The Scamp was struck from the Navy list on April 28, 1945. 1

The Navy Department issued the following press release regarding Scamp's loss:

Navy Department Communiqué 592, April 12, 1945

1. The submarine USS Scamp is overdue from patrol and presumed lost.

2. The LCS (L)(S)-49 was lost in the Philippine area as the result of enemy action.

3. The next of kin of casualties have been informed in both cases.

Loss Possibility

1. The Scamp was probably sunk on November 11, 1944, at the geographic position 33° 37' 60" N, 141° 00' 00" E, after being bombed and depth-charged by Japanese naval aircraft and the IJN coastal defense vessel CD-4. The aircraft reported they had dropped bombs on what appeared to be oil trails left on the surface by a submarine. The CD-4 dropped a total of seventy depth charges on the suspected enemy target. A large pool of oil and numerous bubbles were seen on the surface after the attacks. On November 9, 1944, the Scamp had been ordered to move to the area where these attacks took place. It is very likely she was the submarine attacked by the aircraft and the CD-4. Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood speculated she might have been damaged while on lifeguard station and was lost while trying to make her way south to Saipan. 2

Scamp earned seven battle stars for her World War II service. The JANAC score for the Scamp is 34,108 tons of enemy shipping sunk in five vessels. I note her JANAC score includes erroneously the sinking of submarine I-24. The I-24 was sunk on June 11, 1943, off Shemya Island in the Aleutians, by the American subchaser PC-487. The Alden-McDonald score for the Scamp is 35,151 tons sunk in seven vessels and five vessels damaged for 49,912 tons. The SORG score for the Scamp is six vessels sunk for 49,000 tons and seven vessels damaged for 40,400 tons. 3

A list of the men lost with Scamp is maintained at On Eternal Patrol.

Patrol Data & Tonnage Scores

Footnotes:

1. Blair, Clay Jr., Silent Victory: The U. S. Submarine War Against Japan, p. 780; United States Submarine Losses World War II, p. 128.

2. Hackett, Bob and Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall, "IJN Escort CD-4: Tabular Record of Movement," published online at Combined Fleet; Miller, Vernon J., "U. S. Submarine Losses," issue 44, p. 51; Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, p. 241-242.

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 Scamp (SS-277), Attack Nos. 673, 684, 685, 688, 844, 993, 996, 1124, 1125, 1132, 1262, 1292, 1303, 1497, and 1805; Submarine war patrol reports on CD, USS Scamp (SS-277), 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 Scamp (SS-277); Hackett, Bob and Sander Kingsepp, "HIJMS Submarine I-24: Tabular Record of Movement," published online at Combined Fleet.