The Champion Submarine-Killing Submarine of World War Two

 

First War Patrol

Back to Main

South of Honshu, Japan
December 11, 1943 - January 31, 1944

 

 

(A) Prologue
Arrived Pearl Harbor from Atlantic via Panama Canal on 19 November, 1943. The period 20 to 24 November was spent at the Submarine Base and alongside U.S.S. Griffin completing voyage repairs and installing P.P.I. for S.J. radar.  Entered drydock at Navy yard on 25 Nov. for renewal of propellers. Starboard blade tips bent alongside GRIFFIN. Touched up bottom paint and undocked same date. On 26 Nov. was sound tested in West Loch and had deperming checked at Beckoning Point.  Underway 27 Nov. for independent surface and submerged operations. Exercised at emergency drills, maneuvering drills, submerged and surface ship handling, and went to 300 feet. During 28 and 29 Nov. underway conducting zed and radar rehearsals, radar tracking, and night radar rehearsals.  Received two indoctrinational depth charges. On 30 Nov. and 1 Dec. participated in convoy exercise with SILVERSIDES and TARPON. Made two night surface attacks.  Underway 2 Dec. for zed and radar rehearsal runs. On 3 and 4 Dec. underway for zed and radar rehearsals, radar tracking, night radar rehearsals, battle surface, firing all guns, and firing of three exercise torpedoes.  On 5 Dec. remained at Sub Base.  Underway 6 Dec. for zed and radar rehearsals.  On 7 and 8 Dec. conducted zed and radar rehearsals, radar tracking, night radar rehearsals, four-inch night gun firing, and fired three exercise torpedoes.  Comsubpac boarded for 8 Dec. firing. Spent 9 and 10 Dec. loading and making final preparations for sea. Painted ship in accordance with latest camouflage instructions.  Readiness for sea date 11 December, 1943.
(B) Narrative
11 December 1943
1300(V-W) Departed Pearl Harbor for Midway with YMS 286 as escort. Operating in accordance with Comtaskfor 17 Secret Operation Order No. 290-43 as Task Unit 17.1.2.
1919(V-W) Release escort.
2015(V-W) SJ contact at 39,300 yds. on island of Kauai.
12 December 1943
0140(V-W) In bright moonlight had intermittent SJ contact bearing 310 range 1200 yds. drawing aft. Nothing sighted. Believed to have been box or floating debris.
0715(V-W) Commenced zig zagging during daylight.
0800(V-W) SD contact at 12 miles. Sighted PB 2Y and exchanged recognition signals at 6 miles. Plane circled once and flew off. (Aircraft contact #1.)
1504(V-W) Submerged for trim dive. New gasket in crew's mess hatch leaked badly down to eighty feet, then stopped.
1526(V-W) Surfaced. Hatch now leaking on surface when waves wash over deck.
1600(V-W) Received Midway rendezvous message slightly garbled as to time. This message was never repeated. Set all clocks back 1 1/2 hours to plus 11 time.
2100(X) Our passenger to Midway, Lt. (jg) W.S. Brown, ChC-V(C), U.S.N.R., valiantly fought off an attack of minor nausea for a sufficient time to hold the first divine service in a U.S. submarine enroute to a patrol area. Father Reilly had previously held mass on board prior departure Pearl.
2330(X) Experienced difficulty with SJ radar M-G.
13 December 1943
SJ radar motor-generator out of commission - using supply from ship's A.C.
1058(X) SD contact at 11 miles
1059(X) Sighted U.S. Navy PB 2Y bearing 273 T, distant 6 miles on course 160 T. Made identification signal by searchlight but plane did not reply (Aircraft contact #2.)
1107(X) SD lost contact at 12 miles. Encountered extremely heavy swells during most of day. Took some water down C.T. hatch which grounded out Bendix log repeater in conning tower. During afternoon D.R.A.I. went out due to failure of transmitting unit in Bendix log.
14 December 1943
Continued heavy swells from west-northwest, but very little wind. Seas carried away experimental thermometer element in superstructure which drips continually into the C.O.C. Will have hull opening plugged at Midway. Same type element as bathythermograph, but with less protection. Repaired Bendix repeater in conning tower and made water-tight. Previous installation of special night lighting in this repeater had rendered it non-watertight. D.R.A.I. still out and mess hall hatch leaking considerably. Unable to repair SJ radar motor-generator. This MC set has previously been renowned for same trouble (low voltage). Trouble believed to be inherent in design of speed regulator.
1600(X) Set clocks back one hour to plus 12 zone time.
2132(Y) SJ radar contact bearing 330 relative at 16,000 yds. Contact proved to be center of rain squall.
15 December 1943
0657(Y) SD contact at 11 miles. Two U.S. Navy SBD's sighted at 5 miles. These planes were our escort into Midway. Sighted numerous other aircraft and small surface craft in vicinity of Midway.
0840(Y) Sighted Midway through periscope bearing 237 T, distant about 15 miles.
0851(Y) Land contact on SJ radar at 25,150 yds.
1008(Y) Pilot came on board.
1039(Y) Moored stbd. side to U.S.S. DACE alongside U.S.S. BUSHNELL. Tender and ship's force turned to and completed the following repairs:
(1) Repaired crew's mess hatch gasket.
(2) Repaired speed regulator of SJ radar motor-generator.
(3) Removed experimental thermometer element in C.O.C. and plugged hull opening. In accomplishing this work the tender force accidentally cut the bathythermograph element instead of the thermometer element which necessitated remaining overnight at Midway to renew the bathythermograph element. The spare element carried on board was installed.
(4) Fueled to capacity.
(5) Watered battery and filled B.W. tanks.
(6) Removed all unnecessary gear in superstructure and stowed on tender
(7) Delivered 2 20 m.m. mounts brought from Pearl to tender.
(8) Removed all unnecessary classified matter in locked box and stowed with Communication Officer on tender.
(9) Filled fresh water tanks
(10) Turned in one TNT loaded warhead and replaced it with Torpex head.
(11) Routined torpedoes.
(12) Detached Chaplain Brown.
(13) Repaired D.R.A.I. transmitter in Bendix log.
(14) Checked both periscopes.
16 December 1943
1050(Y) Pilot came on board.
1111(Y) Underway for patrol area.
1141(Y) Pilot left the ship.
1210(Y) Submerged to 400 ft. to test ship for water-tightness. No abnormal leakage.
1324(Y) Surfaced. All repairs being satisfactory made rendezvous with escort planes and departed Midway for patrol area at standard speed on 2 engines.
1516(Y) Escort planes departed.
18 December 1943
0000(Y) Changed to East longitude date and time
0423(M) SJ radar contact on rain squall at 6,300 yds. This squall showed up well on P.P.I. Encountering rough seas from the south with 30 to 40 knot wind. Am 26 miles behind schedule but will be forced to slow to conserve fuel if seas do not abate soon.
1200(M) Wind and sea have hauled around to W.N.W. Bridge very wet. Forty-six miles behind schedule at noon. Still making standard speed, but it is all we can do on 2 engines.
1345(M) SD contact at 6 miles. Sighted U.S. Army B-25 bomber coming in fast at 4 miles. Identified myself by searchlight. Plane replied, circled once, and flew off. (Aircraft contact #3.)
2105(M) Grounded out stbd. conning tower engine order telegraph when failed to get hatch closed in time. Took considerable water into C.O.C. Put drain pump on pump room bilges. Seas entirely too heavy to continue at this speed, even though I'm losing ground. Slowed to 170 rpm which is giving us about 9 1/2 knots. C.T. hatch is still closed most of the time and considerable water going down main induction. Want to reach area as soon as possible but see no reason for wrecking the boat in doing it.
2314(M) Completed repairs to engine order telegraph under spray screen and timely hatch closing. Removed night lighting fixtures which are all apparently non-watertight.
19 December 1943
Rough seas continue unabated from N.W. Wind decreasing somewhat but still about 25 knots.
1200(M) Am now one hundred miles behind position and still just inside area patrolled by friendly aircraft. Decided to send my 190004 to Comsubpac in accordance with Task Force 17 Op. Plan 1-43 because of proximity of routes of other vessels. In addition weather report may be of considerable value. No trouble encountered in transmitting. NPM authenticated message but no receipt was ever sent by Haiku.
2100(M) Very rough seas still prevail. Barometer 30.30.
20 December 1943
During forenoon wind and sea have shifted from NW to SSE and barometer has dropped from 30.30 to 29.66. Seas are mountainous with wind velocity of 60 knots. Heavy rain squalls with visibility varying between 100 and 1500 yds.
1321(M) Forced to head up into sea on course 195 T and slow to 4 knots.
1340(M) Wind shifted suddenly to westward, but barometer remains between 29.70 and 29.76. Started working around to westward, keeping bow headed into seas. Increased speed gradually to 7 knots.
1600(M) Set clocks back one hour to -11 zone time. During remainder of day we encountered continued mountainous seas with wind from WNW of 50 to 60 knots. Impossible to average more than 5 or 6 knots. Ship handles nicely under the circumstances, but bridge is almost continuously inundated. Several pairs of binoculars have been flooded. Keeping them repaired by continuous effort on part of quartermasters. Estimate waves average 40 ft. from trough to crest.
21 December 1943
0800(L) Weather remains the same. Averaged 5.6 knots during last 12 hours.
1200(L) Have made 16 miles good since 0800. Seas worse, if anything. Boat is pounding heavily at 4 knots. Highest barometer during last 24 hours 29.80. Running low pressure blower frequently. Wind of 50 knots from WNW. No relief in sight. Crew holding up well under continual buffeting, but I'm afraid they'll all be worn out by the time we reach our area. Keeping boat dry below decks by closing hatch on suspicion. This is the fifth consecutive day of rough weather since departing Midway. We are going to be quite late in arriving in our area if this keeps up. If sea hasn't abated by day after tomorrow will be forced to dive to routine torpedoes, water batteries, and rest the crew, particularly the lookouts.
2145(L) SJ radar contact on rain squall bearing 230 relative, distant 8,500 yds.
22 December 1943
During forenoon barometer started to rise and wind to die down. Kept increasing speed as sea permitted.
2000(L) Making best two engine speed at last. Sea is still fairly rough but a millpond compared to what it has been the past five days.
23 December 1943
Our respite from the weather has been short lived. Barometer dropping rapidly, wind increasing to about forty knots, heavy seas from WNW, and intermittent rain squalls.
0420(L) Forced to slow to 2/3 speed.
0600(L) Barometer steadied then started rising slowly, but wind is increasing and seas with it. Am able to make about seven knots, but boat is pounding quite heavily. By this time everything is quite well secured below decks. One 55 roll cost us seven blueberry pies and half our victrola records, but I suspect a little salvage on the sly, as we had "blueberry shortcake" next meal. The one favorite record left is becoming just a trifle monotonous, however.
1600(L) Bendix log transmitter to D.R.A.I. is out again. Trouble is in the potentiometer and we have no spare parts (neither does Pearl).
2000(L) Still have 1,030 miles to go to area. Am due there tomorrow morning. If this weather persists to the area we can't expect much from our torpedoes as I doubt if they'll run normally at anything less than 25 feet.
24 December 1943
During early morning hours wind and sea gradually subsided. Speed was increased to best two engine speed. Barometer continued to rise. It looks like smooth sailing for a change.
1017(L) Submerged to check trim, routine torpedoes, water batteries, and exercise at diving stations. Gave twenty torpedoes a thorough check, which they had not had for several days. Held general field day throughout the ship. Cleaned up all electrical grounds. Some electrolyte was spilled during the rough weather and we had to wash down both batteries to clear the grounds.
1300(L) Set clocks back one hour to -10 zone time.
1359(K) Everything shipshape once more (looks like a different ship) so surfaced. Sea is quite calm now. Making about fourteen knots on two engines.
2000(K) About 820 miles to go to our area. It's Xmas eve and all hands are busy getting baths, shaves, haircuts, and in general holding a field day for personnel. Since we've cleaned up the ship morale has risen considerably. The weather of the past several days has been rather tiresome, to say the least.
25 December 1943
Christmas Day.
All hands enjoyed a well prepared turkey dinner. The crew got quite a laugh out of the afternoon broadcast of "Tokyo Rose" who said that American submarine men were forced to eat "cockroaches and mice" and to pay $225 monthly rent for pigpens in Honolulu to live in. Good word of the day was to the cooks "How about some more of those 'cockroaches and mice' like we had for dinner". A moderate sea running, but with very little wind.
26 December 1943
Moderate sea from NW, general cloudiness with sky completely overcast from time to time. Running on surface at best two engine speed.
2000(K) We now have 253 miles to go to our area. Intend to run on the surface until I'm forced down. Will pass Sumisu Shima about 14 miles abeam just before sunrise. Am surprised that we've seen no aircraft as yet.
27 December 1943
Very black night with overcast sky and frequent rain squalls.
0411(K) SJ radar contact bearing 230 T, distant 18,000 yds. Lat. 31-13.5N Long. 140-48.5E (Ship contact #1.)
0415(K) Slowed to 1/3 speed. picked up second contact bearing 240 T, distant 15,970. First contact now at 17,000 yds.
0417(K) Put target astern by changing course, then stopped and commenced tracking. Target appeared to be small vessel with escort, or two patrol boats, judging by appearance on P.P.I., and headed for Sumisu Shima at slow speed. Range remained fairly steady. Visibility was only about 2000 yds. at best. Considered the situation in view of remaining periods of darkness and the proximity of Sumisu Shima, our position being known only approximately, in order to decide whether it was better to attempt an immediate surface attack when I could never see the target or to attempt a daylight submerged attack in the vicinity of Bayonnaise Rocks.
0449(K) Target bearing 249 T, range 16,000 yds. Escort on the stbd. quarter of target at about 500 yd. interval.
0502(K) Escort or target signaled us with a hooded searchlight and escort immediately turned towards us and started closing the range rapidly. When escort was 3,500 yds. from target and 14,000 from us I was convinced he had detected our SJ radar and was coming over to investigate. I went ahead standard and opened the range to 20,000 yds, when the escort turned and went back to the target. Decided to keep within radar range of target until daylight when I could fix my position and get a look at him through the periscope. He didn't appear to be in a hurry to get anywhere and I began to suspect a patrol - particularly since he obviously DF'd our radar or had radar of his own. (This later conclusion probably correct from subsequent information.) Kept him between 20,000 and 25,000 yds. Morning stars showed us to the eastward of our estimated position. Target was headed close aboard Sumisu Shima and Bayonnaise Rks. apparently for Aoga Shima. Over-cast sky and poor visibility with scattered rain squalls prevented seeing the target. In consideration of the appearance of the target pips on the radar screen, his apparent destination, his patrolling tactics, etc. decided that he was not worthy of a chase and I set course for my area. It was difficult decision to make and I didn't feel particularly aggressive in letting him go, although my decision was also based on the following facts:
(a) Am late to my own area.
(b) SALMON close behind me and I want to clear his area.
(c) Want to avoid disclosing my presence further, if practicable.
(d) Estimate target to have been either a small supply vessel running between southern islands and returning northward, probably empty, under escort, or else an anti-submarine, radar-equipped, patrol.
(e) According to my navigational position I would have had to run close aboard Sumisu Shima in order to attack, with visibility very low.
0715(K) Lost contact at 27,000 yds. bearing 346 T. Proceeding to area at standard speed on two engines.
0852(K) Indications of foreign radar on our radar screen.
0853(K) Sighted Sumisu Shima bearing 341 T, distant 15 miles.
0954(K) SD contact at 17 miles, moving in. (Aircraft contact #4.)
0955(K) Submerged to 120 ft. Did not sight plane because of low clouds. In consideration of cloudiness and in order to avoid disclosing my presence if planes were checking up as a result of our having been detected earlier, decided to remain submerged for remainder of day. Routined torpedoes, which has been impossible on the surface, and kept careful periscope watch going to 120 ft. between looks.
1200(K) Set clocks back one hours to minus 9 zone time.
1702(I) Surfaced and continued toward area. Will make it before daylight.
2000(I) Eighty-two miles to area.  Intend to conduct surface patrol along line between Kobe and Saipan.
28 December 1943
0704(I) Entered area 6A at Latitude 31-01 N Longitude 137-30 E.
0954(I) Sighted floating debris consisting of lengths of teak decking, large box, and an oil drum.
1300(I) Commenced patrol at 4 1/2 knots on surface along Kobe-Saipan-Truk route. High periscope sweeps at twenty minute intervals.
1950(I) Patrolling on surface at 6 knots on the auxiliary engine, carrying a zero float.
29 December 1943
0005(I) Heard a muffled explosion in the distance, nothing in sight or on the radar. Sounded like gunfire, but unable to tell from what direction.
0030(I) Heard several more explosions.
0103(I) Heard one explosion.
0245(I) Heard one explosion.
0315(I) Heard one explosion. Explosions were all at a great distance and sounded like night battle practice for 5 or 6 inch guns. Continued surface patrol along Kobe-Saipan-Truk route.
1029(I) SD contact at 13 miles, moving in (Aircraft contact #5.)
1029 1/2 (I) Submerged to 120'. Because of high percentage of clouds decided to spend remainder of day submerged. The gyro spindle of #5 tube would not fully engage so pulled the torpedo and found the spindle bent slightly. This had been caused by engaging the spindle before setting up on the tail buffer while routining torpedoes on the surface yesterday. Replaced spindle with spare and straightened the spindle removed. Took frequent periscope observations, going to 120' between looks. Before surfacing went to 350 ft. to obtain bathythermograph card. Perfect isothermal card with absolutely no temperature variation between surface and 350 ft. The ray diagram shows an assured range of 8,800 yds. Not such a good spot in which to get tangled up with the ping and drop boys.
1712(I) Surfaced. Commenced surface patrol toward northern area boundary along same traffic route. Intend to patrol back along same route on surface tomorrow and then shift to westward along Kobe-Palau route if no contacts are made in the meantime.
30 December 1943
Sea has become nearly glassy, with good visibility, although the sky is pretty well covered with clouds most of the time. Continued surface patrol completely across area in southerly direction along Kobe-Truk-Saipan route. This is third day of patrolling this line with nothing except plane contacts. Intend to move westward tonight to Kobe-Palau route and patrol northward along that line.
1952(I) Picked up foreign radar on PPI bearing about 080 T. As interference became stronger concluded that is was from either SALMON or FINBACK so maneuvered to avoid. All indications pointed to an SJ like our own on very nearly the same frequency and using the PPI sweep, but now and then training directly on us. By using my PPI as a direction finder I was able to track the other boat although I could never get any ranges. For a while it appeared that he was trying an end-around run on me so I went ahead flank until I lost contact at 0143 on 31 Dec. Cannot believe that Japs have radar so much like ours. Interference was continuous between 1952(I) 30 Dec. and 0143(I) 31 Dec. Plot showed approximate course 255 T, speed 11.5 knots, which indicated that is was FINBACK (Ship contact #2.)
31 December 1943
0143(I) Lost radar interference on PPI.
0353(I) Picked up radar interference on PPI bearing 275 T. This could not be the same vessel previously contacted. Characteristics the same as the earlier contacts, however. Maneuvered to avoid. (Ship contact #3.)
0445(I) Picked up radar interference on PPI bearing 165 T. Now have two separate and distinct sources of interference. (Ship contact #4.) Strongly suspected enemy radar, although all characteristics indicated our own forces. Detailed analysis of all available information of own ships movements, coupled with tracking by radar direction finding, leads me to conclude that contact #3 was the HERRING and contact #4 a recontact of the FINBACK. I am anxious to check this with the other submarines concerned. If it was not them - then the Japs have radar very similar to our own and apparently fully as efficient. (A full discussion of these contacts will be included under paragraph (M) on Radar.)
0600(I) Radar interference becoming stronger at 275 T so decided to dive and try to identify source.
0612(I) Submerged, taking frequent periscope observations. Was never able to pick up anything either by periscope or sound. The sky was covered by low black clouds and it was raining all around. Visibility at daylight was about 1000 yds. but gradually improved throughout the day. Believe the HERRING, if it were she, passed fairly close in the rain or else submerged also at daybreak. Conducted submerged patrol during remainder of day because of low visibility.
1726(I) Surfaced and set course for Kobe-Palau route. Intend to patrol northward along this route tomorrow. Here's hoping that the New Year will bring an improvement in our hunting.
1 January 1944
Patrolling on surface northward along Kobe-Palau traffic route. Weather clear to partly cloudy, sea moderate. Intend to move westward tonight to extreme northwest corner of area and spend tomorrow patrolling submerged along Tokyo-Balabac Strait route.
2 January 1944
0643(I) Submerged to conduct patrol along Kobe-Balabac traffic route. Sky overcast with smooth sea. Consider it inadvisable to conduct daylight surface patrol in the vicinity with so many clouds. While submerged went to 350' for bathythermograph observation. Encountered absolutely no temperature change all the way down. So far in this area we have found not the slightest indication of even a very small layer. Sound conditions should be excellent throughout the area this time of year.
1727(I) Surfaced and commenced patrol along Bungo Suido-Saipan route. Intend to patrol this line to southern limit of the area then return north along Kobe-Palau route if no contacts are made in the meantime. Will patrol on surface during daylight if weather permits.
3 January 1944
Patrolling on surface along Bungo Suido-Saipan route.
1245(I) Arrived on Kobe-Palau route at southern side of area and commenced patrolling northward along that route.
1753(I) Lookout reported small dark object on horizon bearing 080 T. Coached radar on and picked up very small pip at 5,850 yards. In moonlight identified object as small sampan on southerly course. Sampan showed a white light shortly after sighting, which was visible intermittently until it passed out of range at 7000 yds. Changed course away from sampan so as to avoid detection. We were to westward in moon's path, but it is doubtful that we were sighted. (Ship contact #5.)
1821(I) Came back to base course. Believe sampan was an observer rather than a fisherman, as this isn't a likely fishing ground. Will continue patrolling this route in hope that something is coming along. Would like to have sunk sampan, but consider it inadvisable as I haven't revealed my presence to date. That is the first visual contact during the patrol Something better should be turning up in his wake.
4 January 1944
Patrolling on surface along Kobe-Palau route toward northern limits of area.
0635(I) Submerged to conduct submerged patrol because of low clouds and complete overcast.
1728(I) Surfaced at northern area boundary and commenced surface patrol southward along Kobe-Palau route.
2128(I) Sighted two lighted sampans bearing 270 T, distant about 5 miles. Could not pick up on radar, but could see them easily in bright moonlight. Maneuvered to avoid. (Ship contact #6.)
2304(I) Sighted darkened patrol boat similar to our PC450 class, in immediate vicinity of lighted sampans, bearing 270 T distant 7,000 yds. Radar picked him up a few seconds after sighting. Avoided on the surface and worked around to the southward to get back on our line. It begins to look like something may be coming along soon on this route. I intend to stay on it until I find out. (Ship contact #7.)
2318(I) Lost radar contact on patrol boat at 10,150 yds. which indicates a wooden-hulled vessel.
5 January 1944
Patrolling southward along Kobe-Palau traffic route on the surface. Sea picking up and sky overcast with frequent rain squalls. No navigational sights since yesterday morning. Stayed on surface entire day with varying visibility conditions. Wind and sea from WNW. Evening star fix shows us about thirty miles to the eastward of our DR position. Patrolling westward into heavy seas to get back on our Kobe-Palau line. Have now spent nine days in this area with no contacts worthy of a torpedo. Have concentrated to date on covering likely traffic routes, but if something doesn't show up soon I'm going to search every square mile of the area irrespective of those routes. It appears entirely possible that the enemy is purposely avoiding the normal routing between ports, even this far off shore.
6 January 1944
Patrolling on surface to westward across Kobe-Palau traffic route.
0745(I) Submerged because of low clouds which made plane detection very difficult. SD radar has been a little erratic of late because of a faulty switch for which we have no spares. Conducted submerged patrol to northward along traffic lane.
1740(I) Surfaced and commenced patrol to westward in order to cover the southwestern corner of the area. It is considered likely that some shipping enroute from Bungo Suido to Palau may cross this corner of the area. During the night the wind and sea have whipped up to a point which would make the execution of a successful attack very difficult. Intend to patrol on the surface tomorrow, visibility permitting.
7 January 1944
Continued surface patrol toward western area boundary, then to southward toward the corner of the area. Encountering heavy seas, frequent rain squalls, and varying cloudiness.
1335(I) SD contact at 26 miles, moving in. Impossible to see aircraft, even at close range, because of clouds. Submerged for the remainder of daylight period. (Aircraft contact #6.)
1737(I) Surfaced and commenced patrol in area to west and south of Kobe-Palau line. I have a hunch something is coming through here soon. It is my intention to cover every possible part of the area until I find something. For the present this appears to be the most likely spot.
8 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface in southwestern corner of the area in search of traffic lanes in use. Sky partly cloudy to overcast. In order to patrol on the surface during daylight in this area it is necessary to disregard the state of the clouds as the conditions changed from hour to hour. I have never before witnessed such varying visibility conditions - both day and night. The same is true of the wind and sea, which make up in a very short time and calm again as suddenly.
1330(I) Sighted faint trace of smoke on the horizon similar to that made by a diesel engine exhaust, bearing 335 T, distant about 9 miles. Through high periscope got a glimpse of what looked like either a sampan or submarine as it rose on a wave. No masts visible. (Ship contact #3.) The true bearing was practically constant so I decided to submerge and investigate in case it was a submarine.
1334(I) Manned battle stations and submerged, closing target's probable track.
1438(I) Nothing had been sighted since submerging, not even smoke, so secured from battle stations. In view of the possibility that it was an enemy submarine, although I believe it was a sampan, decided to remain submerged the remainder of the afternoon.
1739(I) Surfaced and commenced patrolling along north and south line in southwestern corner of area.
9 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface on north and south line along probable Bungo Suido-Palau route. At daybreak sea was flat calm with low clouds so decided to continue patrol submerged to avoid aircraft search along the route.
0714(I) Submerged after obtaining navigational fix and conducted periscope patrol on course 005 T and 185 T. Visibility very good in spite of clouds.
1723(I) While searching horizon just prior to surfacing for the night sighted smoke bearing 148 T, distant about 12 miles. Very little light remained and bearings were changing to the left so decided to surface and close the smoke while charging batteries. (Ship contact #9.)
1747(I) Manned battle stations as moon was full and I had no accurate range to the source of smoke.
1759(I) Surfaced, started charging battery and air banks, and working to eastward to intercept target. Nothing in sight.
1835(I) Sighted smoke bearing 131 T, radar had not picked up anything as yet.
1914(I) SJ radar contact bearing 123 T, distant 27,000 yds. Commenced radar tracking.
1917(I) Three distinct pips on radar at 25,000 yds.
1931(I) Five pips on radar.
1951(I) Six pips on radar. Apparently we have contacted a convoy as there are three large ships, one medium size ship, and two small ships, the latter three probably escorts.
2004(I) In full moonlight sighted five ships which appeared to be three large AK in column with a DD and a smaller escort. The other escort could not be seen. The range at this time was between 16,000 and 17,000 yards. Only one of the ships was smoking. Decided to continue tracking until battery charge was completed while gaining a position ahead for an attack at periscope and radar depths. The targets were zigging radically in the bright moonlight and their base course appeared to be considerably to the eastward of our first estimate. Since surfacing the barometer had been dropping rapidly and the wind and sea had begun to pick up quite noticeably. The sky was beginning to cloud up to the westward, indicating coming rain squalls and very variable visibility. It was apparent that an attack would have to be made before long or else I wouldn't be able to see. At about this time visibility began to vary between 8,000 and 18,000 yards, depending on whether or not the moon was obscured by clouds.
2015(I) Secured the battery charge and speeded up to work around ahead of the convoy
2047(I) Lookout sighted patrol boat or sub chaser on stbd. bow at range of 8,200 yds. Picked up by radar immediately thereafter. Maneuvered to avoid, but this interrupted my end-around run on the convoy, necessitating a longer run. Apparently he did not sight us. (Ship contact #10.)
2118(I) While still running around the patrol boat at a range of 9,000 to 10,000 yards, radar picked up a second patrol boat in the same vicinity which had not been sighted from the bridge because the moon was temporarily behind clouds. Its range was 8,500 yds. the other one at 9,650 yards. Both were later sighted from the bridge when the moon broke through the clouds. They looked like our sub chasers.
2127(I) Apparently the patrol boats, which were between us and the convoy by now, were sighted also by the port flanking convoy escort, as he sheared out and closed them rapidly to investigate, then returned to the convoy. By ranges on our PPI it was evident that he had sighted them at over 6,000 yds. which gave us a good indication of our own visibility. By the time we had attained a position ahead of the convoy the visibility was unpredictable. It varied anywhere between 500 yds. and 16,000 yds. Several times I started in for periscope attacks, but each time it would get dark and start raining. All the time the wind and sea were increasing in intensity so as to make maneuvering difficult, even on the surface. For example, at 2206(I) I could see the convoy at 14,000 yds, and at 2215(I) I could hardly see my own ship's bow. Decided to stay ahead of the convoy until the weather made up its mind.
10 January 1944
Tracking convoy from ahead in heavy weather and varying visibility.
0028(I) With visibility about 100 yds. and heavy rain all around showing up on the P.P.I. I turned and headed toward the convoy for a surface attack. I had closed the range from 15,000 yds. to less than 9,000 when suddenly the moon broke through the clouds and it stopped raining. In the direction I bore from the convoy visibility increased rapidly to about 16,000 yds, but the convoy was still covered by a rain squall. By this time it was too rough for a night periscope attack (we were shipping water down the conning tower hatch) so I broke off the approach and opened out to about 12,000 yds. again ahead of the convoy. By this time I could see the futility of further attempts at a night attack under the existing conditions, particularly so since all the AKs were in the light condition and a torpedo could not have run normally at less than a 15 ft. depth setting in that sea. I decided, therefore, to keep ahead of the convoy and attempt a dawn submerged attack, hoping that the sea would abate or as a last resort I could fire sound shots. From the first we tracked the convoy at 10.5 knots, but as the sea grew rougher this fell to 7.5 knots. By daybreak, although we were keeping him on the same true bearing, his speed had decreased to 4.5 knots and we were 23,000 yds. ahead along his base course. I wanted to look the convoy over through the periscope before diving as the seas were mountainous by this time and I know I wouldn't be able to see much after submerging. At 0630 I was able to take bearings with the periscope, but couldn't make out any more detail than I had seen during the night.
0638(I) Submerged on his track at twenty minutes before sunrise. In the sea it took over two minutes to get under, even though the trim was right. I ran for one hour with the convoy to allow it to get lighter, then turned and headed in the direction of its last true bearing, which was the reverse of the base course. The first periscope exposure resulted in broaching to 40 feet, and with 27 feet of periscope out nothing was in sight and waves were still splashing over the periscope. The second periscope exposure, which was made when the convoy should have been within six or eight thousand yards, resulted in again broaching to 41 feet, but still nothing was in sight, not even smoke. I was still not quite ready to give it all up so I concentrated on a careful sound search which also gave negative results.
0905(I) After fifteen hours and eighteen minutes at battle stations throughout the ship I decided the enemy had had too valuable an ally in the weather so secured from battle stations and gave it up as a bad job. I am convinced that the convoy made a change of base course at sunrise, probably a radical one and to the westward. Remained submerged for the remainder of the day to rest the crew. We rolled considerably at 120 feet. During the afternoon the sea subsided only slightly and we broached again when we were getting ready to surface.
1748(I) Surfaced, blowing all tanks dry with H.P. air because of the state of the sea. Commenced surface patrol back to the southward to get back in the vicinity of our convoy contact. Sea abating somewhat during the night, but still quite heavy. Barometer rising, indicating a change for the better by morning.
11 January 1944
Patrolling on surface on southerly course toward the southwestern corner of our area, which is apparently the most productive part.
0605(I) Lookout sighted a sampan bearing 150 T at a range of 2000 to 2500 yds. Maneuvered to avoid on the surface but am sure we were sighted. He was a typical observer type boat with two light radio masts which are not common to the fishing types. Decided to clear the area as quickly as possible so as to be able to continue surface patrol if planes came out. Changed course to southeastward as soon as he was out of sight, then to eastward at noon. Radar was unable to pick up this sampan except for one small pip at 3800 yds. and another at 6900 yds. He was very low in the water for his size and a considerable sea was still running. Weather improving throughout the day, however, with scattered clouds and light wind. (Ship contact #11.)
1229(I) SD radar contact at 16 miles. (Aircraft contact #7.)
1230(I) Radar contact now 13 miles so submerged without sighting the plane. We were just 28 miles from the sampan contact of this morning, which probably accounts for the plane being in this vicinity. Remained submerged in vicinity of Kobe-Palau traffic route for the rest of the afternoon in order to routine torpedoes. Conducting periscope patrol.
1737(I) Surfaced and commenced patrol toward the eastward to cross the Kobe-Palau traffic route and then patrol northward along the eastern edge of the route. Want to give the southwestern corner of the area a couple of days rest in order to avoid arousing suspicion at this particular time which might jeopardize our chances of later success.
2020(I) Put two men on deck to work on 4" gun. May need it on some of these sampans at any time.
12 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface to the eastward of Kobe-Palau traffic route on a northerly course.
0800(I) Changed course to southeastward to avoid possible contact with STEELHEAD.
0954(I) SD contact at 20 miles. As sky was overcast submerged to avoid detection. After our sampan contact of yesterday it appears we will have more planes to contend with from now on. (Aircraft contact #8.)
1004(I) Commenced submerged periscope patrol to southwestward. Decided to remain submerged for remainder of day because of low overcast.
1742(I) Surfaced and commenced surface patrol to northwestward across Kobe-Palau traffic route in order to arrive on Bung Suido - Palau route by morning.
13 January 1944
Patrolling to northwestward on the surface to get on Bungo Suido - Palau route.
0621(I) Lookout sighted sampan bearing 060 T, distant 4,000 yds. It is believed this was the same sampan as contact #11 as he was identical in appearance, including radio masts. Apparently he saw us about the same time because he started showing a white flare-up light at intervals of about five minutes. We could not pick him up on radar at all, but as it was getting quite light maneuvered to avoid on the surface. The sky was overcast so decided to dive as soon as we had gotten a few miles clear, expecting the inevitable planes. (Ship contact #12.)
0712(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol. Sun had already risen when we dived.
0740(I) On coming to periscope depth for observation sighted what appeared to be a land-based plane (otherwise unidentified) distant two miles and flying very low. Went deep to avoid detection. (Aircraft contact #9.) If this plane appeared as a result of our second encounter with the radio-equipped sampan, then he certainly didn't waste any time arriving on the scene. My decision to submerge when I did was quite fortunate because he was flying too low for the SD to have picked him up very far away. Before I leave the area I'm going to eliminate that sampan if I can locate him. I would have done it before, but there is always a chance he is innocent and I would merely jeopardize my other chances by giving away my location. Continued submerged patrol diagonally back and forth across Bungo Suido - Palau route. Weather excellent except for overcast sky.
1742(I) Surfaced and commenced surface patrol to southward along expected convoy route. Obtained good navigational fix when sky cleared temporarily.
2200(I) Changed course to eastward to start patrolling center part of area of surface. Have a hunch something may be coming along soon in that sector as it has been very quiet of late.
14 January 1944
Patrolling on surface in center of area.
0623(I) Sighted observer type sampan bearing 080 T, distant about 6000 yards. Maneuvered to avoid. Sampan apparently sighted us also as he turned on a steady white light. (Ship contact #13.)
0653(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol as sky was overcast and expected the usual planes after the sampan contact.
1746(I) Surfaced and commenced surface patrol. Obtained good navigational fix. Sky was clear, sea slightly choppy, and when moon rose at 2042 visibility was excellent. A perfect night for a submerged periscope attack.
2332(I) SJ contact bearing 130 T, range 25,850 yds. Very large pip. (Ship contact #14.)
2333(I) Manned battle stations and changed course toward target. No apparent change in bearing, although range was closing, so secured SJ radar to avoid detection. Sighted high upperworks and mast of large ship hull down on horizon. From what could be seen the target appeared to be a battleship.
2336(I) Submerged and commenced approach. While diving took one last quick sweep with radar which gave a range of about 21,000 yards. Did not attempt to use radar again.
2342(I) Picked up heavy screws on JP-1 at about 18,000 yards.
2348(I) Periscope bearing indicated a radical change of course to the right, away from us. Sound bearings were obtained continuously using JP-1 although we were never able to pick up the target with supersonic gear. Altered course to close target's probable track as much as possible, using a bearing plot with an assumed speed of 18 knots. Target zigging radically to the eastward of us and working around to the northward.
15 January 1944
Making approach on battleship at periscope depth in bright moonlight.
0020(I) It appeared that we were not going to be able to close the target much unless he took a zig back to his left so set all torpedoes for low power shots with depth setting of 22 feet.
0021(I) Sound picked up light, high-speed screws blending in with the heavy screws of the target. Minimum range attained was between 11,000 and 12,000 yards before target drew off to northward. Sound tracking indicated target zigged back to the left after his range had opened up to about 16,000 yards, but by this time he was by us and he was too fast for a surface chase.
0048(I) Lost sound contact with target.
0120(I) Surfaced. Nothing in sight nor on the radar.
0125(I) Secured from battle stations and commenced surface patrol to the eastward. Either we were unlucky enough to get in the middle of a long, looping zig to the eastward or else the target picked us up by radar about the same time we did him and purposely ran out around us. The conditions were perfect to carry out the approach as planed, putting the target between us and the moon, avoiding radar detection, etc., but the breaks just weren't with us. Our principle weakness was our lack of ranges, as the telemeter scale could not be seen and at over ten thousand yards the target appeared as just a very large grey mass. I earnestly believe a zig to the left would have put him in a beautiful position for a successful attack. My best estimate of the target is that it was a battleship screened by at least two destroyers which stayed in close to him and did not use echo-ranging.
0501(I) Sighted lighted sampan bearing 080 T, distant 4 miles. Maneuvered to avoid. (Ship contact #15.)
0627(I) Submerged to conduct patrol because of complete overcast.
1739(I) Surfaced and commenced surface patrol to northeastward to cross Kobe-Saipan-Truk route and to investigate northeastern corner of our area.
16 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface across Kobe-Saipan-Truk route on northeasterly course. Morning fix shows us considerably to southeastward of our DR position.
0635(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol because of low clouds. Patrolling back to westward across Kobe-Truk route.
1732(I) Surfaced and commenced patrolling to southwestward so as to arrive on Bungo Suido-Palau route by morning. Doubt if the eastern half of our area is very productive. There is a noticeable absence of observer sampans in that part of the area. All of our contacts have been in the western half so I intend to favor that part of the area during the remainder of our time on station. A plot of all our sampan contacts shows them to lie on two distinct routes - on each of which we have had a convoy contact.
17 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface toward the southwestern corner of the area. Overcast sky cleared for a few minutes just after daybreak and we were able to get a good fix.
0702(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol. Had intended to remain on the surface today but just after sunrise the sky became completely overcast and stayed that way all day. It has been very cloudy of late making it inadvisable to conduct a slow-speed surface patrol during daylight. The clouds are unusually low and broken just enough to allow planes to sight us without themselves being seen. Of all our plane contacts to date, only one has been visual, and that was made while submerged.
1744(I) Surfaced and commenced surface patrol. Was unable to obtain good navigation fix, which I wanted very badly, because of low clouds.
18 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface to the westward to get on Bungo Suido - Palau convoy route.
0640(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol. Sky extremely cloudy with rain threatening. Very doubtful fix shows us about 12 miles to southwestward of our estimated position. Changed course to close Bungo Suido - Palau track as rapidly as possible. Visibility fair but very cloudy.
1748(I) Surfaced and commenced surface patrol northward along route, changing to eastward after dark.
1909(I) Indication of friendly submarine in vicinity to southward on our radar. We are at southern area boundary near normal routing lanes. Interference was very weak and lasted only a short time bearing about 170 T. It is not very difficult to identify radar interference from our own submarines as it has very marked characteristics.
1920(I) No further evidence of radar. We have now spent twenty-two days on station and haven't fired a single torpedo. We have had but two contacts worthy of torpedo attack. Our first contact did not develop into an attack because of typhoon weather. Our second contact was a radar-equipped battleship which we were unable to close to firing range. In spite of it all morale is still quite satisfactory - although not nearly as high as it would be if we could get in a damned good scrap. It's no joy to anticipate a return to base with no damage having been inflicted on the enemy. I still have hope that during our remaining five days in the area this situation will be completely altered. This type of patrol is undoubtedly the toughest you can make. We are the first boat to patrol this area for a long time and I doubt if it will ever prove very productive. The western half of the area may have possibilities if its western boundary is extended to meet the adjacent area to the westward, but the eastern half appears to be used only on very rare occasions.
19 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface toward Kobe-Palau convoy route.
0646(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol because of low-broken clouds. Patrolling across and to the eastward of Kobe-Palau line.
1211(I) Sighted smoke on the horizon bearing 078 T. Changed course to close.
1218(I) Sighted two tall masts bearing 069 T. Came to normal approach course.
1220(I) Manned battle stations and commenced approach.
1228(I) Heard echo-ranging at 075 T. Sighted single float seaplane bearing 087 T. Aircraft contact #10.)
1316(I) Sighted masts of three large ships bearing 054, 051 050 T.
1321(I) Identified target as four ship convoy consisting of three large and one medium size freighters or passenger freighters with air cover and an undetermined number of escorts. (Ship contact #16.)
1440(I) Unable to close convoy submerged as it had been sighted when we were abeam on its base course. Unable to surface during daylight for end-around run because of air cover. Secured from battle station and trailed submerged so as to be able to chase after dark.
1538(I) Sighted single float seaplane bearing 005 T. (Aircraft contact #11.)
1630(I) Lost contact with convoy. Had determined base course to be 325 T. at advance of 7 knots.
1747(I) Surfaced and commenced chasing convoy while charging battery.
2015(I) Regained contact with convoy by SJ radar bearing 337 T, distant 23,650 yds. Moderate sea with fair visibility although moon did not rise until 0107.
2019(I) Commenced radar tracking and end-around run to the westward of target. Three pips on radar.
2057(I) Sighted blur of one ship from bridge.
2130(I) Secured battery charge.
2208(I) Gyro-compass follow-up system out of commission.
2218(I) Renewed rectifier tube - gyro back in commission.
2325(I) Manned battle stations. By this time had determined convoy to consist of three large and one medium size ship with two escorts.
20 January 1944
Conducting radar approach from ahead on convoy. Moon rises at 0107 and visibility is very good, even without the moon.
0054(I) Convoy in two rough columns of two ships per column with one escort patrolling port bow and the other patrolling stbd. quarter of the formation. Making approach on second ship of left hand column from port beam. The second ship of the right hand column had dropped back until there was only about 1/3 of a ship's length of open water between his bow and the stern of the target ship and only three hundred yards difference in range. Decided to fire three torpedoes from bow tubes at each of these ships, firing at the nearer, left hand ship first. About this time escort left the stbd. quarter of formation and headed across stern of formation toward us with zero angle on the bow. Believed escort had sighted us so fired at greater range than I had intended to.
0057-08 Fired first of three torpedoes at 8,613 ton AK-AP similar to GINYO MARU with 10 ft. depth settings and one degree divergent spread on 120 P track at 3,400 yard range. Firing interval 8 seconds. (Attack #1.)
0057-43 Fired first of three torpedoes at 7,065 ton AK similar to TATUKAMI MARU with 10 ft. depth settings and one degree divergent spread on 118 P track at 3,600 yard range. Firing interval 8 seconds. (Attack #2.)
0058(I) Swung hard right, went ahead flank speed, to avoid escort which was still headed for us. Four separate and distinct explosions were heard, the first a terrific one which was seen and felt on the bridge and jarred the boat considerably, at times corresponding to the torpedo runs of #1, 3, 4 and 5 torpedoes. It is believed that #1 torpedo hit the first target in a fire room as a flash of flame showed at the waterline and up the stack. She was stopped dead in the water and started down by the stern. #2 torpedo must have missed ahead. #3 torpedo is believed to have passed astern of the first target and hit the second target. #4 and #5 hit the second target and #6 must have missed astern. The second target belched a tremendous cloud of black smoke and sank just beyond the first target, disappearing from view in the smoke and simultaneously from the radar screen. The first target, listing to port and down by the stern, started signaling frantically to the escort, which turned and went to her assistance. The leading two ships of the convoy hauled off to the northward with the other escort at best speed. Both escorts started dropping depth charges at random at irregular intervals and many other crackling, exploding noises where heard as we withdrew.
0107(I) Moonrise and plenty of light. I slowed with the damaged ship still in sight and commenced a reload. Decided to send my second serial to Comsubpac so as to give some other submarine a crack at the two remaining ships of the convoy while I went back to finish off the target which was stopped.
0150(I) Secured from battle stations and withdrew a few miles to the southward to transmit while on an easterly course. During the remainder of the night we could hear pinging and occasional depth charges from the vicinity of the target.
0352(I) With message off and reload completed started back toward the target. By this time it was very moonlight with scattered clouds.
0427(I) SJ radar picked up the target at 24,100 yds. This time the pip was considerably smaller, indicating he was lower in the water. (Ship contact #17.)
0438(I) Manned battle stations.
0449(I) Picked up escort on radar. Escort appeared to be circling the target and plot showed she was dead in the water although she had drifted about 2 miles to the southeastward since the first attack. Sighted target from bridge at 14,000 yds. range. She was lying to with the moon on her stbd. beam which forced me to approach with the moon nearly astern. There was not sufficient time before daybreak to approach from the opposite side so I decided to fire low power shots with zero gyro angle using visual bearings. This was deemed advisable because of the escort, which appeared to be a corvette, and the excellent visibility. The target was by this time listed about fifteen degrees to port, water up to her main deck at the stern, and her bow was practically out of the water.
0509-07(I) Fired one torpedo at a range of 6000 yds, 0 gyro angle, and 10 ft. depth setting on a 100 stbd. track.
0509-43(I) Fired a second torpedo at a range of 5,850 yds, 0 gyro angle, and 10 ft. depth setting on a 100 stbd. track. (Attack #3.)
0515-05(I) Observed a column of white smoke or water rise suddenly from the water line just abaft target's beam. Time corresponds to torpedo run of first torpedo. Immediately thereafter escort was seen to be signaling the target and to go alongside. Saw no evidence of the second torpedo hitting and believe it ran under the bow which was now showing above water. In the meantime, we were retiring on the surface at high speed. About thirteen minutes after firing a very loud explosion was heard below decks and all that could be seen of the target was the bow and forward part of the bridge. At this time the single radar pip separated into two smaller pips which were soon lost. It is believed the target sank.
0615(I) Anticipating counter measures with sunrise, submerged to conduct patrol eight miles south of scene of attack. Nothing in sight at daylight. Reloaded #5 and #6 tubes. Could hear echo ranging to northward of us after submerging.
0800(I) Changed course to northward to close scene of attack.
0824(I) Sighted four engine patrol bomber bearing 000 T, distant 3 miles. (Aircraft contact #12.) Nothing else was in sight except two columns of light smoke bearing 316 and 318 T. We could hear a systematic search being conducted over the entire area from the westward to the northeastward. Occasionally depth charges were dropped, apparently at random. We never made any attempt to count them as they were too numerous and not close. Continued periscope patrol on course 120 T, going deep between observations to avoid planes.
1635(I) Sighted fishing type sampan bearing 120 T, distant 4 miles, (Ship contact #18.) Too small to bother.
1751(I) Surfaced and commenced patrolling to southward to get back on our convoy route of yesterday.
1757(I) Lookout sighted sub chaser bearing 065 T, distant 6 miles. Maneuvered to avoid on surface (Ship contact #19.)
21 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface to southward toward position of our convoy contact of the nineteenth.
0650(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol because of low clouds and probability planes would search for us again today. Patrolling to northeastward across convoy route.
1745(I) Surfaced and commenced patrolling to northward across area.
1815(I) Commenced having trouble with SJ radar. Shifted it to ship's A.C. and kept it operating, but not normally. Will work on it submerged in the morning.
22 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface toward northern part of area.
0645(I) Sighted sailing sampan or junk bearing 240 T, distant 8 miles. (Ship contact #20.)
0649(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol on northwesterly course because of complete overcast.
1744(I) Surfaced and commenced patrol to eastward toward Kobe-Saipan route.
2148(I) Sighted bobbing white light bearing 060 T, distant about six miles. Could not pick up on radar. Probably a sampan. Avoided on surface. (Ship contact #21.) Weather has been poor for last twenty-four hours with complete overcast and occasional rain squalls. No navigational fix since yesterday. SJ radar is still not functioning properly and cannot be trusted.
23 January 1944
Patrolling on the surface toward the eastward across Kobe-Saipan route. Sky completely overcast with intermittent rainfall.
0645(I) Submerged to conduct periscope patrol. Sky overcast and poor visibility. SJ radar out of commission. No navigational fix has been obtained since the night before last. This last day in the area is typical of a large number of the days in that it is completely overcast. In the entire 27 days we have spent in this area we haven't had one that could be called clear. It has made it extremely hazardous to try to conduct surface patrol during daylight. Only five days were spent on the surface without being forced down by planes.
1732(I) Surfaced and set course for Midway. Departing area in accordance with operation order. Making three engine speed so as to clear operating area to eastward as rapidly as possible.
2044(I) Sent my third serial to Comsubpac. Was able to obtain a fair navigational fix upon surfacing and SJ radar is back in commission after two full day's work on it submerged.
24 January 1944
Enroute Midway at three engine speed to clear submarine operating area.
1133(I) Sighted two columns of smoke bearing about 069 T. Changed course to close and investigate. Could see no masts through high periscope, although smoke was not particularly far away. Estimated distance 14 miles. (Ship contact #22.)
1156(I) Sighted stack emitting smoke but still no other part of ship was visible. Manned battle stations, although believed vessels to be sampans or patrol boats.
1157(I) Submerged and commenced approach.
1310(I) Was unable to sight either vessel although the smoke was closed to about 12,000 yds. The bearings changed too rapidly for the vessels to be far away. Fairly large swells were running at the time, making depth control uncertain. Apparently the source of smoke was two large sampans or patrol boats without masts heading on a northerly course. Secured from battle stations. As the sky was cloudy and we were still near enemy air bases, decided to remain submerged until sunset to routine torpedoes. Obviously the contact wasn't worth running down.
1600(I) Set all clocks ahead one hour to -10 zone time.
1811(K) Surfaced and set course for Midway at three engine speed. Wish to make as much speed as possible while the weather is favorable. We have had enough bad weather already for one patrol.
25 January 1944
Enroute Midway at three engine speed.
26 January 1944
Enroute Midway at three engine speed. During the day the barometer has been falling steadily and the weather becoming progressively worse. From yesterday's high of 30.27 it has dropped to 29.62. High winds varying between south and southwest have kicked up a considerable sea.
0800(K) Slowed to two engine speed. We are now in the vicinity of our worst weather encountered while enroute to the area.
1600(K) Set all clocks ahead one hour to minus 11 zone time.
27 January 1944
Enroute Midway at two engine speed. Weather becoming progressively worse. Wind from south force 7, seas from southwest condition 7, barometer 29.62, sky completely overcast with intermittent rainfall. During the afternoon the weather improved somewhat, although the barometer was unchanged. Wind and sea hauled around to WNW and the wind moderated.
28 January 1944
Enroute Midway at two engine speed. Weather improving with increased visibility. Intermittent rainfall throughout the day with varying visibility.
2000(L) Sent my serial four requesting Midway rendezvous.
29 January 1944
Enroute Midway two engine speed.
1600(L) Set clocks ahead one hour to minus 12 zone time.
30 January 1944
Enroute Midway two engine speed.
2000(M) Changed to west longitude date and time upon crossing 180th. meridian.
31 January 1944
Enroute Midway two engine speed.
0900(Y) Moored at Midway.
(C) Weather
Enroute Pearl Harbor to Midway the weather was in general good except for the existence of long high swells. No difficulty was encountered, however, in making standard speed on two engines.

Between Midway and Area 6A the weather was generally very bad. Winds of up to sixty knots from WNW were common and mountainous seas accompanied them. The wind shifted rapidly to the southward on several occasions, but this meant nothing unless accompanied by a falling barometer, at which times violent winds and seas followed.

As we neared the area, in the vicinity of the islands of the Nanpo Shoto, the weather moderated somewhat, but a WNW wind continued to prevail. Weather in the area closely adhered to that described in ONI 60, Part 2 for the islands to the eastward. Notable characteristics were the prevailing wind from WNW, the prevalence of a high percentage of clouds during daylight, and to a lesser extent, at night, and the sudden variations in the percentage of clouds and the state of the sea. On very frequent occasions the sky would vary from completely overcast to clear to overcast again in less than one-half hour. This is attributed to high winds at higher altitudes, even though the surface wind was moderate.

Seas were generally from WNW and of considerable intensity. Only two or three days of calm prevailed during 27 days spent in the area.

Only one typhoon, or near typhoon, was experienced, that being on the night of 9 January and the morning of 10 January. Unfortunately that one typhoon ruined what might otherwise have been a successful attack on a convoy of five ships.

Enroute from the area to Midway we were blessed with fair weather and moderate seas for the first two days. The remainder of the return trip was made in rough weather with poor visibility.
(D) Tidal Information
The following estimates of average current found in area 6A during the month of January are based on submerged runs and surface runs on calm days between good celestial fixes.

In general these average values are altered considerably by high winds which prevail during the month and are caused by the Siberian high with resulting winds from WNW and NW.

In the northern part of the area, the current varies between NE at 3/4 knots in the western half to E at 1/2 knots in the eastern half. In the east central part of the area the current is S at 1/4 knots. In the southern part of the area the current varies between SW at 1/4 knots in the eastern half to zero current in the south central and western half. Currents are in general intensified by the wind, particularly in the northeastern part of the area. The area seems to lie in a counter current created by the waters of the Japan Stream being deflected from the islands of the Nanpo Shoto to the southward and southwestward.

The Japan Stream itself is not believed to cross any part of the area during the month of January. This observation is supported by bathythermograph readings, particularly in the northwestern part of the area.
(E) Navigational Aids
Celestial navigation was employed exclusively. The only landfall made was on Sumisu Shima enroute to the area.
(F) Ship Contacts
No. Time
Date
Lat
Long
Type(s) Initial
 Range
Est.
Course
How
Contacted
Remarks
               
1 0411(K)
27Dec.
31-13.5N
140-48.5E
Unknown - Probably small AK with escort or Patrol Boats 18,000 Yds. 330
 6.5 Kn
SJ Radar using PPI Escort challenged us by hooded searchlight at 14,650 yds. Visibility at time 2000 yds
2 1952(I)
30 Dec
30-30.5N
137-16.7E
Unidentified - Probably FINBACK Est. at 27mi 225 T
11.5 kn
SJ Radar Interference Radar interference on P.P.I. Same frequency - no pips
3 0353(I)
31 Dec.
30-42N
136-03.6E
Unidentified - Probably HERRING Est. at 25mi 095 T, 14 kn SJ Radar Interference Radar interference on P.P.I. Same frequency - no pips
4 0445(I)
31 Dec.
30-39.5N
136-01.6E
Unidentified - Probably FINBACK Est. at 35 mi 255 T 11.5 kn SJ Radar Interference Radar interference on P.P.I. Same frequency - no pips
5 1753(I)
3 Jan.
30-26N
134-55.5E
Sampan (lighted) 5 to 10 tons. 5,850 Yds 180 T
 5 Kn
Visually then SJ Radar Probably observer as not likely fishing ground
6 2128(I)
4 Jan
31-40.5N
135-06E
2 Sampans (lighted) 10 to 15 tons Est. 10,000 Yds --- Visually by lookout Believed to be decoys for PC boat contacted nearby
7 2304(I)
4 Jan.
31-36N
135-09E
Similar to our PC450 class 7,000 Yds --- Visually the radar Wooden-hulled vessel about size our PCs. Darkened - in vicinity of lighted sampans
8 1330(I)
8 Jan.
31-04.5N
134-01.5E
Sampan or Submarine 18,000 Yds --- Visually from smoke Glimpsed through high periscope but never seen afterwards.
9 1723(I)
9 Jan.
30-21N
134-16E
3 AK, 1 DD or small AK, 2 escorts About 12mi 347T 10.5 kn Visually from smoke while submerged In contact with convoy for 13 hrs. 15 min. Every attempt to attack was frustrated by variable visibility and rough seas
10 2047(I)
9 Jan.
30-38N
134-20.5E
2 Submarine Chasers or Patrol Boats 8,200 Yds 130
6 kn
Visually by SJ Radar Appeared to be patrolling convoy route. Similar to our SC Class.
11 0606(I)
11 Jan.
30-38N
134-18E
Sampan (darkened) about 25 tons 2,000 Yds 060
6 kn
Visually by lookout Believed to be an observer because of very noticeable radio masts and later appearance of plane.
12 0621(I)
13 Jan.
31-12N
134-12.5E
Sampan about 25 tons 4,000 Yds 110
5 kn
Visually by lookout Believed to be same ob server as Contact #11
13 0623(I)
14 Jan.
30-52.5N
134-12.5E
Sampan about 25 tons 6,000 Yds 130
5 kn
Visually by lookout Similar to Contacts #11 and #12. Turned on steady white light after sighting.
14 2332(I)
14 Jan.
30-48.5N
135-17.3E
1 BB, 2 or 3 DD 25,850 Yds Base course 347 SJ Radar Visually JP-1 Picked up at 16,000 yds. Estimated speed 18 to 20 knots.
15 0501(I)
15 Jan.
30-58.2N
135-40.2E
Sampan (lighted) 8,000 Yds --- Visually by J.O.O.D. Showed a reddish colored light
16 1211(I)
19 Jan.
30-16.5N
135-51.5E
1 AK-AP
3 AK
2 Escorts (Air Escort)
12 mi 325 T
9 kn
Visually sighted smoke by periscope Lost contact submerged. Regained on surface. Sank one 7,000 Ton AK. (Similar to TATUKAMI MARU), Damaged one 8,000 Ton AK-AP (Similar to GINYO MARU) and attacked again later.
17 0427(I)
20 Jan
31-28N
134-52.5E
1 AK-AP
 1 Patrol Vessel
24,100 Yds Dead in Water SJ Radar and Visually 1 hit of 2 Torpedoes leaving stern under water and sinking. (Same ship damaged attack #2).
18 1635(I)
20 Jan.
31-06.5N
135-30E
Sampan (Fishing Type) 8,000 Yds 345
8 kn
Visually by periscope Apparently not one of the observer sampans. No radio visible.
19 1757(I)
20 Jan.
31-07N
135-35E
Sub chaser (wooden-hulled) 6 mi 180
10 kn
Visually by lookout Similar to our wooden-hulled SC Class
20 0645(I)
22 Jan.
31-25.3N
135-43.5E
Sampan or Junk (Sailing Vessel) 8 mi 145
4 kn
Visually - periscope on surface Two-masts - fore and aft, sails - very small
21 2148(I)
22 Jan.
31-43.3N
136-08E
Sampan (lighted) 6 mi --- Visually by lookout Did not pick up on radar
22 1133(I)
24 Jan.
32-06.5N
142-45E
2 sampans or patrol boats 14 mi About 345 Visually by lookout Small vessels with no masts - smoking a lot.
(G) Aircraft Contacts
No. Time
Date
Lat
Long
Type(s) Initial
Range
Est.
Course
How
Contacted
Remarks
               
1 0800(VW)
12 Dec.
24-45.8N
160-44.8W
USN PB2Y 12mi 110T Radar 12mi
Visual 8mi
Exchanged recognition signals at six miles
2 1058(X)
13 Dec.
26-52N
166-58S
USN PB2Y 11mi 160T Radar 11mi
Visual 6mi
Made identification signal but plane did not reply
3 1345(M)
18 Dec.
29-38N
176-56E
USA B-25 6mi 085T Radar 6mi
Visual 4mi
Exchanged recognition signals. Radar interference noted from plane
4 0954(K)
27 Dec.
31-11N
139-55E
Unknown 17mi --- Radar 17mi Plane not sighted - sky 60% clouds
5 1029(I)
29 Dec.
30-38N
136-55E
Unknown 13mi --- Radar 13mi Plane not sighted - sky 70% clouds
6 1335(I)
7 Jan.
30-21.5N
134-41E
Unknown 26mi --- Radar 26mi Plane not sighted - sky overcast
7 1229(I)
11 Jan.
30-05N
134-37.5E
Unknown 16mi --- Radar 16mi Plane not sighted - dived at 13mi range
8 0954(I)
12 Jan.
30-42N
135-37.3E
Unknown 20mi --- Radar 20mi Plane not sighted - sky overcast
9 0740(I)
13 Jan.
31-05.3N
134-07E
Unidentified Plane 2mi 000T Periscope Plane was close so went deep without identifying.
10 1228(I)
19 Jan
30-17N
135-51.5E
Navy float biplane (PETE) 6mi Patrolling Visually by periscope Plane escorting convoy (Contact #16)
11 1538(I)
19 Jan.
30-30N
135-52E
Navy float biplane (PETE) 10mi Patrolling Visually by periscope May have been same plane as Contact #10
12 0824(I)
20 Jan.
31-20N
135-03E
KAWANISHI 97 (MAVIS) 3mi 225 Visually by Periscope Plane patrolling in vicinity of Attack #2
(H) Attack Data
U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack No. 1

Patrol No. 1.

Date: 1-20-44.  Time: 0057(I)

                        Lat: 31-30N., Long. 134-51E

Target Data - Damaged Inflicted

Description: Similar to GINYO MARU (8,613 gross tons). One of four ships in convoy with escort of one corvette and one trawler type patrol vessel. During daylight this convoy also had air escort of at least one Navy single float biplane (PETE). Contact was made by sighting smoke from two of the ships while conducting submerged patrol. Visibility was good with scattered clouds, but was unable to close the convoy sufficiently for a submerged attack. Surfaced at dusk and chased convoy, regaining contact by radar. At time of attack it was very clear and dark with excellent visibility from starlight. Attack was made entirely on the surface just ten minutes before moonrise. Retirement was also made on the surface.
Ship sunk: None. Third torpedo hit ship sunk in Attack #2.
Ship Damaged: Passenger-freighter similar to GINYO MARU of 8,613 gross tons.
Damaged Determined by: Saw and felt, as well as heard, an explosion at the water line of the target. Target stopped dead in water, took a list to port, and settled by the stern. Frantic signal to the escort followed. Escort stood by.
Target draft: Loaded 28' light 10'. Target was in fairly light condition.
Course: 325 T., Speed 9 knots (pit), Range: 3,400 yards.

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 9 knots,  Course: 030 T,  Depth,  Surfaced,  Angle: 0.

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Night surface radar attack using visual bearings from TBT. Course and speed obtained by plot and checked by T.D.C. Firing done using TDC with visual bearings set in TDC before each torpedo that was fired. Bow of submarine was kept headed at target until just prior to firing when it was steadied on a given course. This was done to minimize our silhouette, accepting small gyro angles in order to do it. Firing range was greater than desired, but occasioned by rapid closing of escort headed directly at us. Believe this fact was a coincidence, from later developments. Net result of this was an increased confidence in our new camouflage. Torpedo depth settings of ten feet were used in consideration of the light condition of the target and the fact that a moderate sea was running. Tubes deepest in the water were used because it was a surface attack. No splash was observed from the lower tubes. A firing interval of eight to ten seconds was apparently satisfactory as there were no indications of erratic performance. A spread angle of 1, as used, is considered excessive in view of the track angle at such a range when course and speed are known accurately.
Tubes Fired #4 #5 #6
Track Angle 129 P 131 P 129 P
Gyro Angle 346 344 345
Depth Set 10' 10' 10'
Power High High High
Hit or Miss Hit Miss Hit on another ship
Erratic No No No
Mark Torpedo 14-3A 14-3A 14-3A
Serial No. 25442 26011 39907
Mark Exploder 6-1A 6-1A 6-1A
Serial No. 172 6065 6396
Actuation Set Contact Contact Contact
Actuation Actual Contact -------- Contact
Mark Warhead 16 16 16
Serial No. 2146 2092 2142
Explosive TPX TPX TPX
Firing Interval 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec.
Type Spread Div. Div. Div.
Sea Conditions Mod. Mod. Mod.
Overhaul Activity SB, PH SB, PH SB, PH
Remarks: Spread was fired as follows: 0, 1 L, 1 R. Second torpedo missed ahead because of size of spread used and third torpedo passed astern and hit the ship on which Attack No. 2 was made a few seconds later.
       
U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack No. 2

Patrol No. 1.

Date: 1-20-44.  Time: 0058(I)

Lat: 31-30N., Long. 134-51E

Target Data - Damaged Inflicted

Description: Similar to TATUKAMI MARU (7,065 gross tons). One of four ships in convoy described under Attack #1. The attack on this ship followed 18 seconds after completion of Attack #1.
Ship sunk: One AK similar to TATUKAMI MARU of about 7,065 gross tons.
Ship Damaged: None.
Damaged Determined by: Saw ship disappear in heavy cloud of black smoke. It disappeared simultaneously from the radar screen. Heard the explosions of three torpedoes hitting at times corresponding to calculated torpedo run. Also heard many loud crackling noises like a ship breaking up. Although partially obscured by smoke this vessel definitely sank. Observation of the entire vicinity a few minutes later showed no trace of it.
Target draft: Loaded 26',  light 9'. Target appeared to be well loaded.
Course: 325 T., Speed 9 knots (pit)., Range: 3,600 yards.

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 9 knots., Course: 030 T., Depth: Surfaced., Angle: 0.

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Same as Attack #1 and following it by 18 seconds. Upper three bow tubes were fired. The two upper tubes caused considerable water splash, but not too bad. Fortunately the third torpedo fired in Attack #1 hit the target of this attack.
Tubes Fired #1 #2 #3
Track Angle 128 P 130 P 128 P
Gyro Angle 347 345 347
Depth Set 10' 10' 10'
Power High High High
Hit or Miss Hit Hit Miss
Erratic No No No
Mark Torpedo 14-3A 14-3A 14-3A
Serial No. 39329 24781 39500
Mark Exploder 6-1A 6-1A 6-1A
Serial No. 10843 7729 5923
Actuation Set Contact Contact Contact
Actuation Actual Contact Contact --------
Mark Warhead 16 16 16
Serial No. 3691 873 1731
Explosive TPX TPX TPX
Firing Interval 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec.
Type Spread Div. Div. Div.
Sea Conditions Mod. Mod. Mod.
Overhaul Activity SB, PH SB, PH SB, PH
Remarks: First and second torpedoes hit and third missed astern. Third torpedo fired in Attack #1 also hit this target giving a total of three hits. Miss is attributed to size of spread angle at this range. Spread fired was 0, 1 L, and 1 R.
       

U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack No. 3

Patrol No. 1.

Date: 1-20-44.  Time: 0509(I)

Lat: 31-28N, Long. 134-52E

Target Data - Damaged Inflicted

Description: Same ship damaged in Attack #1. Dead in water with corvette type escort circling it at about 1500 to 2500 yards - but hot adhering to a fixed patrol pattern. Contact was made by knowing position from previous attack and recontacting by radar. Visibility excellent with very bright moonlight. Sight from bridge at 14,000 yards. On this attack it was necessary to approach the target with the moon nearly astern in order to gain a position on the target's beam as there was insufficient time before daylight to get on the opposite side. This fact accounts for the decision to fire low power shots at considerable range. The entire approach, attack, and retirement was made on the surface.
Ship sunk: One passenger-freighter similar to GINYO MARU of 8,613 gross tons.
Ship Damaged: None.
Damaged Determined by: Saw torpedo hit just abaft stbd. beam throwing up geyser of water and white smoke. Saw ship take increased port list and settle by stern until water was above main deck level and open air showed under the bow for a distance of 50 to 75 ft. abaft the stern. Seven minutes after the torpedo hit there was a loud explosion audible for miles under water. Radar pip separated from one into two smaller pips at this time and only the forward part of the superstructure and the bow were visible above water. Coming daylight prevented watching her go completely under.
Target draft: About 30 feet aft and 5 feet fwd.
Course: Stopped and drifting on heading 100 T., Speed 0, Range: 6000 yards.

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 9 knots., Course: 020 T., Depth: Surfaced., Angle: 0.

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Night surface radar and visual attack. By radar ranges and visual bearing the target was determined to be dead in the water. The ship was conned from the bridge so as to approach on a 100 stbd. track. Two torpedoes were fired using 0 gyro angles at low power with ten foot depth settings. The submarine was conned directly on the target's beam using the bridge polorus. The order to fire was given from the bridge when steadied on. Tubes #5 and #6 were fired because it was a surface attack. A speed of 9 knots was made to maintain good steerageway.
Tubes Fired #5 #6
Track Angle 100 S 100 S
Gyro Angle 0 0
Depth Set 10' 10'
Power Low Low
Hit or Miss Hit Miss
Erratic No No
Mark Torpedo 14-3A 14-3A
Serial No. 26315 26271
Mark Exploder 6-1A 6-1A
Serial No. 6099 5948
Actuation Set Contact Contact
Actuation Actual Contact --------
Mark Warhead 16 16-1
Serial No. 3209 11190
Explosive TPX TPX
Firing Interval 36 sec. --------
Type Spread None None
Sea Conditions Mod. Mod.
Overhaul Activity SB, PH SB, PH
Remarks: First torpedo hit just abaft stdb. beam. It is believed that the second torpedo passed under the bow, which was rising clear of the water and was therefore not detonated.
(I) Mines
No mines were carried on this patrol and no enemy mines were encountered.
(J) Anti-Submarine Measures and Evasive Tactics.
The anti-submarine measures observed on this patrol were more potential than actual.

It is believed that the enemy is employing radar equipped patrols consisting of two vessels operating together in the area to the eastward of the Southern Islands. This belief is based on our Ship Contacts Nos. 1 and 22 while enroute to and from the area. It is of interest to note that we were challenged at a range of 14,650 yds. on a pitch black night and chased for a short distance.

Area 6A is well patrolled by aircraft during daylight only. All convoys passing through the area during daylight can be expected to have air cover, even though over two hundred miles from land. Patrols were observed flying both very high and low.

The inevitable radio equipped sampan was found along the path of expected convoys. On one occasion a patrol boat was discovered lurking in the vicinity of two lighted sampans.

The majority of the patrol boats, as well as all sampans, have wooden hulls and are very difficult to pick up by radar except in a very smooth sea when a return is probably gotten from their engines.

Most of the patrol boats appeared to be similar to our sub-chaser or PC classes and I believe our submarines can outrun them on the surface. It is believed that surface escorts are light in comparison to areas nearer land and that the enemy depends a great deal on air coverage. The three destroyers escorting the battleship encountered were not using echo-ranging, but the corvette type and trawler type escorts with the convoy attacked on 20 January were pinging continuously on about 17 Kcs. using hand keying. They dropped about fourteen depth charges at random after our first attack and then continued dropping one or two every hour or so for several hours thereafter. The closest charge was dropped over a mile distant while we evaded on the surface after each attack.
(K) Major Defects and Damage.
No major defects were discovered to exist and no damage was sustained. Minor defects noted are being incorporated in tender work lists for correction during refit, and even this list is small.
(L) Radio
Except occasionally, communications were handled without difficulty. Haiku's low frequency, 16.68 Kcs., was excellent to a point about 500 miles west of Midway. West of that point, while enroute to and from station, 9090 Kcs. and 14390 Kcs. were best during daylight hours while 4525 Kcs. and 9090 Kcs. were best during hours of darkness. During part of the time spent on station, all schedules became unreadable from 1800 to 2100 GCT. However, when Haiku increased power and extended the 4525 Kcs. to 2100 GCT, conditions were much improved.

Japanese interference and jamming on 4525 Kcs. were experienced on several nights while in the area. In addition, certain American naval shore stations used 4525 Kcs. as a working frequency, adding to the confusion. These stations included NUD, NAT, NPC, NSO, and NCF.

BATFISH messages to NPM were cleared without difficulty, using 8470 Kcs. or 4235 Kcs. No Comsubpac serials were messed. About 5% of the Haiku serial numbers were missed during the patrol because of submerged days. Underwater reception was not possible west of Midway, or below periscope depth, at any time. There were no important material casualties.
(M) Radar
The SJ-1 Radar equipment installed in this vessel consists of:

Transmitter Receiver - Type CW-43AAF-1
Wavemeter - Type D-150925
Range Indicator - Type CW-55AAL
Range Unit - Type CW-23ACC
P.P.I. - Type CW-55ADE

The equipment operated excellently with routine maintenance with the exception of two night's operation at reduced power due to trouble in the modulation network of the transmitter. A O-130 ohm rheostat was cut in the armature of the drive motor giving a variable speed antenna sweep of approximately 5 to 14 R.P.M. Normal search was about 8 R.P.M. using the 40,000 yard scale on the PPI and taking a few sweeps on the 8000 yard scale every three or four minutes. Contacts and ranges were as follows:
  1. Rain squalls up to 20,000 yards. A hail storm at 31,000 yards.
  2. Dependable range on sampans and small wooden patrol craft - 5000 yards. Maximum range on lighted sampans, using hand train and being coached on, 10,000 yards.
  3. Two ships picked up at 18,000 yards and tracked out to 27,000 yards.
  4. Failed to pick up a 445 foot rock at an estimated 15 miles.
  5. Three ship convoy picked up at 27,000 yards. Lobe switching bearings at 24,000 yards.
  6. Four ship convoy picked up at 23,650 yards. Lobe switching bearings at 20,000 yards.

At 1952, 30 December, 1943, picked up radar interference. This interference gave the same pattern as observed from known SJ and SG sets. When the interference was coming in strong it covered 20 of bearing. Identical, but weaker, patterns appeared approximately 20 to each side and a weak one 70 to one side. These relative bearings always held constant. The pattern could be changed by changing the pulse rate of our transmitter. It would come in strong every third or fourth sweep of the antenna but completely missing on the other sweeps, indicating that the interfering antenna was also sweeping. At times it would be stronger and occur every sweep, indicating that the interfering antenna was trained at our antenna. The relative bearing of the complete pattern changed as the ship turned.

At 0445, 31 December, 1943, with the interference described above coming in strong at 275 T, interference of the same type but indicating a different pulse rate was picked up at 165 T. The second interference was much weaker and had no side lobes. Both interferences changed relative bearing as the ship turned. The relative bearing between the two changed. It is believed that this was the SJ radar of two friendly submarines.

The motor generator, which had been serviced at New London, Panama, and Pearl and was still out of commission, was regulated by the BUSHNELL, and is performing satisfactorily to date.

The SD with frequency meter for tuning gave good results with only routine maintenance. The minimum ranges at which low friendly planes were picked up was 6 miles. On the surface in the area intermittent operation was used as follows: The power switch was left on and the High Voltage Variac set for optimum plate current. The plate voltage switch was snapped on and the scope viewed for 8 seconds. It was then switched off and remained off for 22 seconds. This gave contacts at a minimum of 16 miles and a maximum of 26 miles. There was no indication that it was being DF'ed. A toggle switch was mounted convenient to the operator and lashed in series with the plate voltage switch to eliminate wear on the switch and yet insure the protection of the thermal overload in that switch.

(N) Sound Gear and Sound Conditions
The sound gear operated quite satisfactorily throughout the patrol. I was particularly well pleased with the performance of the JP-1, even though the area was all deep water. At periscope depth in fairly calm water the JP was far more efficient that the supersonic gear. This was aptly demonstrated during our approach on the battleship on 14 January when it maintained continuous contact when the range was 18,000 yards or less. It was even able to distinguish the screws of the DD escorts at about 16,000 yds. In addition to its value in tracking other vessels the JP was of great help in detecting our own ship's noises allowing us to take corrective measures. It was found to be quite efficient at any speed up to 5 or 6 knots.

The one obstacle in the path of full utilization of the JP-1 is the lack of satisfactory communication between fwd. torpedo room and the conning tower. We employed telephones rather than the 7MC to preclude any possibility of fouling our fire-control communications. A thorough investigation of the subject is recommended.

Sound conditions were found to be excellent throughout the area and supersonic equipment operated as well, or better, than in the Hawaiian area. This was undoubtedly because of the absence of temperature gradients in all parts of the area. At no place did we discover even the slightest layer down to 350 feet. There was also a noticeable absence of fish and suspended matter in the water. Background noises were low and none of the unexplainable sounds commonly reported were heard. Depth charges were audible at twenty miles and echo-ranging at fifteen miles. Between the surface and periscope depth a slight positive gradient normally existed, but too slight to be of any particular consequence.
(O) Density Layers
During the entire time spent in the area, from 28 December, 1943 to 23 January, 1944, no density layers were discovered.

A total of twenty-eight bathythermograph cards were taken, of which the following are representative. All cards are being forwarded to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations in accordance with current instructions.

Enroute Midway to Area 6A

0100 GCT 12-17-43 Lat. 28-06.5 N Long. 177-28.5 W
Surface to 160' 
160' to 250' 
250' to 260' 
260' to 300' 
300' to 320' 
320' to 330' 
330' to 400' 
Surface temperature 73.5 F.
Isothermal
1 negative gradient
1      "           "
2      "           "
1      "           "
4      "           "
1      "           "
0000 GCT 12-27-43 Lat. 31-11 N Long. 140-02 E
Surface to 170'
Surface temperature 72 F.
Perfect isothermal

In Area 6A

0700 GCT 12-29-43 Lat. 30-43 N Long. 137-03 E
Surface to 353'
Surface temperature 70.3 F.
Perfect isothermal
0710 GCT 1-2-44 Lat. 31-41 N Long. 133-40 E
Surface to 355'
Surface temperature 70.5 F.
Perfect isothermal
Many other cards were taken to various depths below 120 feet and in every case a perfect isothermal line was obtained. No temperature below 68 was recorded at any depth and no temperature greater than 71.

Bathythermograph recordings were checked by mercurial thermometer readings at various depths and checked together.

It is believed that this area is absolutely devoid of density layers of any sort at this time of year down to the maximum operating depths of our submarines.

The above conclusions are supported by the excellent sound conditions prevailing in all parts of the area.
(P) Health, Food, and Habitability
The health of the officers and crew was, in general, satisfactory. One officer, Ensign C.A. Morgan, U.S.N., suffered from a small hernia, previously incurred in service, and will be hospitalized upon arrival in port. He is to be commended, however, for his fortitude in disregarding his own discomfort and continuing to stand his watches. Only after being ordered to do so would he accept a relief and then for only the time necessary to rid himself of the immediate pain. The hernia was aggravated by rough weather and during the latter part of the patrol he was able to get along quite nicely.

A ship's cook suffered second degree burns about the neck and arm when a coffee silex burst near him. Prompt treatment by the PhM restored him to duty in short order. One infected leg was effectively treated by the application of hot wet dressings hourly and the use of sulfthiazole powder. Other than the foregoing there were only the usual common complaints of colds, minor cuts and bruises. There were surprisingly few colds.

The cooks are to be commended on the excellent quality of the food served as well as the variety. We still were eating fresh lettuce, fresh eggs, and ice cream after five weeks underway. The stowage problem was effectively solved and we will be returning to port with about twenty-five days supply of normal provisions. No food spoiled or was damaged in any way. There were no cases of food poisoning.

The boat was quite comfortable throughout the patrol. All hands slept under blankets habitually. Frequent field days helped spend our idle hours as well as enabled us to live quite comfortably. As much surface patrolling was done as was considered practicable and this added to the general comfort of all hands although our submerged days were comfortable also. The water situation was never acute, and showers were opened at frequent intervals.
(Q) Personnel
This was the first patrol for this vessel and also the first for two officers and over half of the crew. The weather was unusually trying and a lack of contacts during the first three weeks in the area lent to the monotony. Under these conditions the Commanding Officer has nothing but praise for the splendid performance of duty on the part of both officers and men. Morale remained high throughout, even when it looked as if we would return to base without having fired a torpedo. There was, however, a very noticeable increase in enthusiasm when we heard the explosions of our first torpedoes fired.

The dull days were shortened by continual instruction in submarines, field days, material upkeep, and associated pursuits.

Excellent work on the part of the cooks was a great help.

This vessel is particularly fortunate in having an outstanding group of experienced Chief Petty Officers who led the way in breaking in the new hands.

Men fresh from submarine school found their places rapidly and are now well along in their training.

It is believed that the training periods afforded new construction submarines are of tremendous value and are adequate when coupled with a reasonable amount of caution on the part of the Commanding Officer. Once a patrol has been successfully completed by a new submarine it is felt that she has won half the battle. All hands are surer of their footing and they have ceased to be "the BATFISH detail" - they are instead a fighting unit "the BATFISH crew". Admittedly this metamorphosis is largely psychological, but its importance cannot, I believe, be overestimated.

The one single factor which contributes most to morale continues to be the execution of successful attacks.
(R) Miles Steamed - Fuel Used
Pearl Harbor to Midway  1,224 miles 14,860 gals.
Midway to Area 6A  2,350 miles 22,760 gals.
In Area 6A 2,973 miles 17,440 gals.
Area 6A to Midway 2,357 miles 24,270 gals.
TOTAL 8,904 miles 79,330 gals.
(S) Duration
Days enroute to area (From Pearl) 16
Days in area 27
Days enroute to base (To Midway) 8
Days submerged 20
(T) Factors of Endurance Remaining

Torpedoes

Fuel Provisions   Personnel Factor

16

28,210 gals.

25 days

21 days

Limiting factor this patrol: Terminated by Operation Order
(U) Remarks
Viewing the entire patrol as conducted in retrospect, the Commanding Officer feels that he is guilty of several errors in judgment. Uncertainty as to the effectiveness of our new camouflage resulted in firing torpedoes at ranges which are considered excessive. Luckily the maximum calculated number of hits was obtained in spite of this. The new camouflage was put on during the final loading period at Pearl and no opportunity existed thereafter for determining its effectiveness. It is earnestly recommended that some provision be made during the training period for "feeling out" our own ship's visibility under varying conditions.

After the first attack on the convoy during the morning of 20 January it is now thought that a chase of the two undamaged ships would have been preferable to staying to sink the damaged ship. Which would probably have sunk anyway. At least more opportunities to make later attacks on the damaged ship would have presented themselves whereas two undamaged ships were making port at best speed.

The convoy contacted on 9 January on which no attack was made because of developments in the weather might have been effectively attacked had I not waited to recharge the battery. I'm now convinced that it doesn't pay to delay an instant in launching an attack once contact is made. Anything may happen to frustrate an attack if delayed to gain more advantageous conditions.

It is hoped that the experience gained on this patrol, my first in command, will aid in obtaining more impressive results in the future.

PATROL SUMMARY
Torpedoes fired: 8 Number of hits: 5
Ships sunk: 2 Ships sunk (Official): 1
Tonnage: 15,678 Tonnage (Official): 5,486

This patrol was designated as successful for the Combat Insignia Award


Sunk: Ginyo Maru - 8,613 tons (Officially credited as Hidaka Maru - 5,486 tons)

Details: Torpedo Attack #1 and #3 on 1/20/44

Ginyo Maru - 8,613 tons

Sunk: Tatukami Maru - 7,065 tons (No official credit given.)

Details: Torpedo Attack #2 on 1/20/44

Tatukami Maru - 7,065 tons

Pictures courtesy of Shelley Shelstad and History-on-cdrom.com