The Champion Submarine-Killing Submarine of World War Two

 

War History & Statistics

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Batfish arriving in Fremantle, Australia
after her 4th War Patrol
On patrol, somewhere in the Pacific
 

 
WAR PATROL RESULTS SUMMARY
 
Patrol #Torpedoes
Fired
HitsSunk
(Patrol)
Sunk
(Official)
Tonnage
(Patrol)
Tonnage
(Official)
Ships Damaged
1852115,6785,486None
2000000None
3164519,500990None
495212,900492None
5215 205,0000 2 - 4,300
6175 434,5003,2621 - 200
7000000None
Totals712415637,48410,230 3 - 4,500 tons
 
WAR PATROL ATTACK SUMMARY
 
Patrol Date Claimed (Ship/Tonnage) Official (Ship/Tonnage) Attack Type(*)
1 1-20-1944 Ginyo Maru (8,613) Hidaka Maru (5,486) T2/5 NSV
1-20-1944 Tatukami Maru (7,065) - - - T3/3 NSR
2 - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 6-10-1944 Unknown ship (3,500) - - - T1/3 DUP
6-18-1944 Mayati Maru (2,232) - - - T1/2 DUP
6-22-1944 Anastasia Maru (3,110) Nagaragawa Maru (990) T2/4 DUP
7-1-1944 Isuzugawa Maru #5 (226) - - - GD
7-1-1944 Kamoi or Kamo Maru (138) - - - GD
4 8-23-1944 Minekaze Class DD (1200) W22 (492) T3/3 DUP
8-26-1944 Fubuki Class DD (1700) Samidare (1,580)** T2/2 TUP
5 10-20-1944 Unidentified PC (300)* - - - T1/1 NSR
11-12-1944 Unidentified AK (4,000)* - - - T1/2 DUP
11-15-1944 Unidentified AK (4,000) - - - T2/3 NSR
11-15-1944 Unidentified DE (1,000) - - - T1/1 NSR
6 2-10-1945 I Class Submarine I-41 (2,212) T1/3 NSR
2-11-1945 I Class Submarine RO-112 (525) T3/4 NUR
2-13-1945 I Class Submarine RO-113 (525) T1/3 NUR
2-4-1945 Japanese LBV - - - GD
7 - - - - - - - - - - - -
(*) "T" = Torpedo; 1st # / 2nd # = Torpedo hits / Torpedoes fired
  D=Day; N-Night; T=Twilight   ///   U=Underwater; S=Surface   ///   V=Visual; P=Periscope; R=Radar;
  GD=Gun Damage   *Assumed Sunk but listed as damaged  **Some sources give 1/2 credit to carrier planes
 

 

U.S.S. BATFISH'S CAPTAIN COMPARISON SUMMARY

 
Wayne R. Merrill John K. Fyfe Walter L. Small, Jr.
 
CaptainWar PatrolsTorpedoes FiredHitsShips SunkSunk (Official)Ships DamagedAviators Rescued
Merrill1, 2852100
Fyfe3, 4, 5, 6631913 530
Small7000003
 

 
  Batfish in seven war patrols, claimed a total of 15 ships sunk for 37,484 tons, and damaged 3 other ships. JANAC officially credited Batfish with only 6 ships, for a total of 10,230 tons.  This accreditation is par for the statistical course. Generally, American submarines were credited with only half of what they sank - or claimed twice as many ships as were later substantiated.

At any rate, JANAC credited Batfish with the sinking of 3 enemy submarines. But even here, the records are confused, particularly as to the identity of the first submarine Batfish sank on February 9, 1945. Some records indicated I-41, others the RO-115, others the RO-55. To the best available information, there is general agreement about the second and third submarines: RO-112 and RO- 113.

Captains Fyfe and Small, May 1945    
 

 
COMBAT AWARDS EARNED BY BATFISH AND HER CREW
 
MedalsPresidential Unit Citation
10 Bronze Star Medals
The entire crew serving aboard the 6th War Patrol was authorized to wear the Presidential Unit Citation which read as follows:

"For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese combatant forces during the sixth War Patrol in the South China Sea from December 30, 1944 to March 3, 1945. Persistent and aggressive in her search for vital targets, the USS Batfish relentlessly tracked down the enemy and in three separate, brilliantly executed attacks, launched her torpedoes with devastating speed and skill and demolished three Japanese submarines. By the destruction of these formidable and threatening hostile Fleet units in a single War Patrol, the Batfish contributed significantly to the successful completion of the war. The courage, superb seamanship and gallant fighting spirit of her officers and men reflect the highest credit upon herself and the United States Naval Services."

4 Silver Star Medals
1 Navy Cross
9 Battle Stars on the Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Medal
 

Commander Fyfe's Navy Cross Citation

 
 

 
 Batfish Battle flag