The Champion Submarine-Killing Submarine of World War Two

 

Fifth War Patrol

Back to Main

South China and Sulu Seas
October 8 - December 1, 1944

 
 
(A) Prologue
BATFISH arrived Fremantle, W.A. from Fourth War Patrol September 12, 1944. Normal refit accomplished by U.S.S. GRIFFEN and Submarine Repair Unit, Navy #137. Sound tested and depermed September 27, 1944. Training period interrupted due to enemy submarine activity in area. Fired three exercise torpedoes including one Mark 18 from after tubes. Completed loading and training October 5, 1944. Delayed 52 hours to effect repairs to QB sound gear with final result that unit was replaced by taking similar installation out of CREVALLE. Ready for sea October 8.

All times are (-8) unless otherwise indicated.
(B) Narrative
8 October
1330 Underway from berth #3, Fremantle, W.A. in company with U.S.S. GUITTARRO under escort of HMAS PARKER. Conducted surface and submerged training in submarine operation area until 2300.
2320 Escort departed. Proceeding Exmouth Gulf at two engine speed in company with U.S.S. GUITARRO.
9-11 October
Enroute Exmouth conducting section dives, ship and fire control drills and training exercises with GUITARRO.
11 October
0745 Moored starboard side to Y-10 Exmouth Gulf. Commenced fueling ship.
0800 GUITARRO moored.
1905 GUITARRO underway.
1912 Underway proceeding up Exmouth Gulf enroute Lombak Straight.
2130 #2 Periscope jammed in the fully raised position. Indications were that some foreign body was in the bearings and after making an inspection of the packing and all four bearings an attempt was made to force the chipping out with grease. All efforts at "flushing" the bearings were futile. After trying every thing we could think of, I decided to decommission the periscope and proceed to station. This after the auxiliaryman and two officers had worked over eight hours and accomplished nothing. This commanding officer has made a patrol with a periscope jammed in the fully raised position and to eliminate a considerable handicap and a very great mental hazard, I ordered them to force it down as far as possible.
12 October
1100 Periscope down about 3/4 of the way and, after mulling over the pros and cons for the last six hours, decide to request permission to proceed to Darwin to effect repairs. In retrospect this may sound like a simple decision since its still going to be a long war and two or three days delay isn't going to make much difference, but when a boat is settled down "in the groove" as it were, and on their way to station, it's hard to accept any round about trips and stopovers.
13 October
Enroute Darwin at four engine speed
1517 Forced to slow to two engine speed because of excessive sparking on two main motors.
14-15 October
Enroute Darwin
1844 Moored starboard side to U.S.S. COUCAL, Port Darwin, W.A.
16-17 October
Making repairs to #2 periscope, ably assisted by U.S.S. COUCAL. Also checked all main motors. (See Defects and Damage section for particulars.)
17 October
1430 Underway for new patrol area in accordance with CFT 71 dispatch.
18 October
On a full power test all four motors still sparked excessively and showed considerable vibration at the brushes.
0805 Dived. Put one shaft out of commission at a time in order to take dial indicator readings and check brush rigging and brushes further. (See Defects and Damage section).
1038 Surfaced.
1305 Dove.
1314 Surfaced.
1437 SD contact at 12 miles, closed to 9 so dived. (Plane contact #1). Bow plane rigging out of commission. Limit switch carried away, which in turn caused the shear pin to do likewise.
1500 Surfaced.
1555 SD contact 19 miles, closed to 10 so dived. (Plane contact #2)
1641 Surfaced.
1700 Bow plane rigging back in commission.
1805 Commenced transit of pass east of TIMOR.
1815 Enemy radar signals on 530 mgcs. Probably from FUILORO Airport.
1826 Plane contact on SJ at 8,000 yards, bearing 165 relative, moved across stern and up port side to a minimum range of 1400 yards. Lost contact at 6,000 yards, bearing 330 relative. (Plane contact #3) No indication of radar on APR so did not dive. New moon, black night. This was in nature of an experiment as I wanted to test out our camouflage for future reference in the event that we run into a convoy at night with air cover and desire to remain on the surface as long as possible. This plane was not sighted from the bridge and was probably one of our "Black Cats."
2240 Sighted flare from direction of FUILORO on TIMOR, significance unknown.
19 October
Enroute area, making passage through MALAY Barrier into BANDA Sea.
0447 Dove for trim. Bow plane rigging motor failed again. Quite a thrilling dive in the dark, but another good drill for the J.O.O.D. and the stern planesman.
0745 Bow planes back in commission.
0806 Surfaced.
0849 SD contact at 10 miles. Dove. (Plane contact #4)
0925 Surfaced.
1220 SD contact at 30 miles, moved out to 35. (Plane contact #5)
2107 SJ contact 18,000 yards bearing 329 True. Commenced tracking. Target was in Joint Zone on course 095, speed 9.5 knots. At 12,000 yards could see two escort pips and plot showed they were patrolling station on each side of target and about 1000 yards from his track. At 10,000 yards picked up echo ranging from direction of the escorts, went to battle stations and started in. Sound had targets screws at 5,000 yards and reported them as light and fast, however, at 4,500 yards target was visible from bridge and appeared to be high and quite large. Due to this fact, and the fact that the radar pip was so large at extreme ranges decided we had, possibly, a tanker and therefore determined to let him have a full salvo. At
2210 Fired six bow tubes on a 90 starboard track, twenty six hundred yard torpedo run, gyros practically zero, using a one degree spread and with three torpedoes set for four feet and three for six feet. All ran under the target. This was the most accurately solved problem I have ever seen as the TDC generated for the next three hours and required only very small corrections about every half hour.
2218 Pulled out to 10,000 yards and started pacing him while I mulled over the situation. I was beginning to small a rat but hadn't quite made up my mind just what we had. Trying to reconcile the large appearing silhouette, and the strong radar signal with the light draft, the high speed screws and the fact that he wasn't zig zagging and took no evasive measures after firing was a little on the vague side; so I decided we would work up ahead, get on his track and look him over from periscope depth in the morning. I'm sure he saw or heard our torpedoes, because right after the first one should have hit, we could see him signaling to the starboard escort but none of the three changed course or speed. (Ship contact #1)
20 October
0005 In position to go in again if we wished. At this time my curiosity had the better of me so I decided to try one Mark 18 set at one foot. The problem was tracking so well, it was an opportunity I couldn't resist so at
0036 Fired #10 tube on a 90 starboard track, 180 gyro and very carefully aimed. Nothing happened. This torpedo broached about 30 yards from the tube but as far as I could tell it ran hot straight and normal. It exploded after a timed run to the port or far escort but nothing was seen from the bridge. Two minutes later the port escort disappeared from the radar screen. Although I saw no explosion from the bridge this and the fact that he stopped echo ranging at the time the explosion was felt in the ship, leads me to believe he may have sunk. However, the target and the starboard escort still did nothing. By this time I was mad enough to chew nails and we started working up ahead so as to be on his track at dawn and I went down to sleep it off for a couple of hours. At
0405 The O.O.D. sent word that the target group did a maneuver that he couldn't follow and that he was somewhat confused. As a result we ended up 18,000 yards astern with the target still on course 095. This in turn resulted in our being astern at daylight.
0518 With a range to the target of 13,000 yards it was light enough to see and the target still looked large enough to be worthwhile. Started end around. The target was now zig zagging and the one escort was working back and forth across his bow. However a closer inspection convinced me that he was not what he appeared to be and when it was obvious that he could not be hit with a torpedo with the sea that was running, I decided to close him and see what he would do if the four inch lobbed a few through him.
0541 Started to close on a divergent course. At a range of 9,000 yards he apparently saw us as he speeded up a couple of knots and zig zagged a little more radically. At 8,000 yards I got a good look at the escort for the first time, and far from being the spit kit I thought he was, I saw that he was a large modern ship very similar to the development of the PC-13 shown in the August, 1944 issue of the A-N Recognition Journal. However, by this time I was so disgusted at the torpedoes and time we had wasted that I was determined to at least fire a few rounds before we ran.
0614 When the range was 5,500 yards the target hoisted a flag signal, both he and the escort turned toward at high speed, the "Q" ship uncovered his guns and the first salvo was a straddle. BATFISH bent on four and started executing the well know maneuver of getting the hell out, but targets closed to 5,000 yards before our extra knot speed started to count. However, with the range opening we started to run into their overs (I counted a total of 15 salvos before we dove) so at
0620 Dove, went deep, and changed course to the right.
0644 Three depth charges, very close.
0645 Five more of the same only closer.
0647 Five more, a little farther away.
0648 Found an 8 temperature gradient at 390 feet and got away a wiser, but still chagrined young man.  

As a matter of record this "Q" ship had the following characteristics: An MFM ship of about 300 foot length and a minimum draft. Foremast 62 feet above water line. Very high freeboard - may be stripped AK or built up high speed small ship. Fast, light screws, 200 turns or 9 knots; guns covered with tarpaulins, sound gear, can make seventeen knots with no smoke so must be a diesel; high stack, bridge amidships. The escort was a PC of about 800 tons, clipper bow, very low rakish silhouette, about a 3 inch gun forward; and a large well filled depth charge rack aft.
0725 Sound lost screws astern. Came up to periscope depth. Echo ranging astern but could see nothing.
1335 Surfaced. Proceeding patrol station through Flores Sea.
21 October
0505 Dove.
0617 Sighted several small sailboats, probably natives, but decided to make passage of the TIGER ISLANDS submerged, rather than take a chance of being spotted.
1853 Surfaced.
1900 Several explosions from vicinity of Macassar City, perhaps the aviators are having a bombing party tonight.
22 October
Enroute area, proceeding up MACASSAR Strait.
0443 SJ contact 4,800 yards bearing 018. Looks like a small patrol boat. Avoided.
0505 Dove.
0515 Identified our erstwhile contact as native rigged sailboat which remained in sight most of the day.
1831 Surfaced.
23 October
0532 Dove. Sighted several sailboats of various descriptions, a native canoe and a large amount of debris during the day.
1827 Surfaced. Heard latest good news re- the invasion of the Philippines, also received orders changing our patrol area to the Sulu and Mindanao Seas.
1839 SJ radar contact at 7,000 yards bearing 087. This contact was accompanied by much SJ radar interference so decided it was the PADDLE. No answer to the recognition signal.
2300 Speeded up to three engine speed in hopes of intercepting some of the reported units of the Nip Navy coming our way.
24 October
0330 SJ radar interference bearing 051 True. Exchanged recognition signals with U.S. Submarine.
0515 Dove.
0648 Sighted two patrol planes (MAVIS), flying northeast. (Plane contact #6)
1114 Surfaced.
1320 Sighted two masted ship bearing 300 True on the horizon. Commenced tracking.
1337 Dove.
1415 Identified our ship as a tree (complete) floating in such a position as to look suspiciously like a medium sized ship. We have been dodging debris like this for the last two days, but this looked more like the real thing than anything yet.
1430 Surfaced.
25 October
Proceeding northward toward Sibutu Passage. With the situation shaping up the way it is, I would give almost anything for the time we lost chasing the "Q" ship in the Flores Sea.
0522 Submerged south of SIBUTU Passage.
1733 Surfaced and commenced transit of SIBUTU at 17 knots.
26 October
Proceeding towards NEGROS at 17 knots.
0425 Dove from trim.
0453 Surfaced. Three engine speed.
1025 SD contact 24 miles, closed to 20 and disappeared. (Plane contact #7).
1528 SD contact 16 miles, closed to 15 and closing (No IFF response) so dove. (Plane contact #8)
1717 Sighted three planes bearing 235. (Plane contact #9) Dove.
1821 Surfaced. Patrolling northeast and southeast, between NEGROS and MINDANAO. It sure looks like we missed the boat on the Jap fleet both going in and coming out.
2045 Radar contact bearing 307, 25,000 yards. Manned radar tracking stations. When contact started to get us wet decided we were a little desperate and trying too hard to find a Baker Baker.
27 October
Navy Day - I hope.
0235 Very strong radar signal on 182 mgcs.
0240 Turned on SD for a plane sweep and found that the reliable instrument was being jammed and by someone who was taking pride in his work.
0517 Dove. Patrolling western approach to Mindanao Sea between NEGROS and MINDANAO.
2340 Very strong signal on APR at 184 mgcs.
2347 Plane contact on SJ at 23,450 yards moving fast. Contact verified on SD. (Plane contact #10) I would like very much to know if these planes are own or enemy. No IFF response.
28 October
Patrolling area between NEGROS Island and MINDANAO. So far we have seen nothing but a lot of debris on the water, several lights at odd intervals on the beach and a few unidentified planes in the air. Although the Battle of the Philippines is apparently still going on I think we must be closing this particular barn door after the horse has been stolen. However comma.
0513 Dove.
0913 Sighted sailboat bearing 160 True.
1345 Four more sailboats. Did my best to will them into men of war and ended up with a headache.
1833 Surfaced. More radar at 184 mgcs tonight, but no contacts.
29 October
Patrolling same threshold as before.
0519 Dove.
1309 Surfaced.
2140 Radar on APR at 185 mgcs.
2155 Plane contact SJ at 13,000 yards bearing 116 relative. (Plane contact #11) Manned SD and dove when plane got in to 4 miles. APR very loud, moon nearly full, SJ range 7,500 yards bearing 109, not sighted from bridge, but plane too inquisitive.
2241 Surfaced.
30 October
Patrolling as before.
0513 Dove.
0833 Sighted a "Black Cat" bearing 174 True. I guess the aviators have the situation well in hand now and perhaps we can go to more fertile fields. I hate to think about how fertile this particular place apparently was the day before we arrived. A curse on all "Q" ships!
1818 Surfaced.
1911 Received word of downed aviators so headed for the rescue at three engine speed.
2155 SD contact 28 miles. NO IFF response but probably friendly as own planes are searching also. (Plane contact #12)
2300 On the alleged spot. Commenced search following recognized search doctrine firing green very stars every fifteen minutes preceded by a long blast on the whistle.
2324 Plane contact 18 miles, move in to 9 and out to 17. No IFF but probably same plane as earlier contacted.
31 October
0140 Plane contact 12 miles, closed to four and faded out at 17. Moon nearly full, fifty percent overcast, not sighted. (Plane contact #13)
0230 SJ radar interference. Exchanged recognition signals and calls with U.S.S. HARDHEAD.
0320 Went within hailing distance of HARDHEAD and invited him to join the search. He agreed to search to south of reported position while BATFISH searched to northward.
0355 Returned to "spot" and commenced new search in daylight.
0750 SD contact 16 miles. Sighted from bridge and identified as a PBY. (Plane contact #14) He paid no attention to us and was sighted three times during the morning and at no time was the range less than nine miles.
1215 SD contact 24 miles. Sighted unidentified plane on a southerly course. (Plane contact #15)
1310 Same plane at 17 miles, going north. Looks like a B-24.
1453 HARDHEAD left us to rendezvous with another U.S. Submarine.
1543 SD contact 8 miles. Identified as a carrier plane. (Plane contact #16)
1701 Another plane at 20 miles. (Plane contact #17)
2333 Another at 28 miles. (Plane contact #18)
1 November
Searching in accordance to plan to southward of reported position of rubber boat. I'm very much afraid these aviators are goners or else, as I hope, they have been picked up by our own planes. Decided to search until dark tonight and then return to the MINDANAO Sea
0017 SD contact at 17 miles. (Plane contact #19)
0522 Dove.
0855 Surfaced.
0920 Plane contact 28 miles. (Plane contact #20)
1240 SD contact 21 miles (Plane contact #21) moved in to 5 miles so at
1247 Dove. (Plane not sighted from bridge and no IFF response)
1403 Surfaced.
2000 Secured search for survivors and headed back towards NEGROS Island. In our search the last two days we have thoroughly covered 1600 square miles, parts of it twice, and investigated no less than 100 objects floating on the water all of which turned out to be debris, logs and tree trunks, native boats, airplane belly tanks, and any and all kinds of flotsom and jetsom.
2030 Received orders to proceed to area to west of northern Luzon. Changed course for Mindoro Strait.
2301 Sighted what appeared to be a green flare, but apparently was a shooting star as we searched the area closely for two hours firing very stars every five or ten minutes but found nothing.
2 November
0522 Dived.
1057 Surfaced.
1132 SD contact 10 miles, moving in. (Plane contact #22)
1133 Dove.
1356 Surfaced.
1610 Plane contact 16 miles. Sighted from bridge. Dove. (Plane contact #23)
1730 Surfaced.
1800 Commenced transit Mindoro Strait.
3 November
0150 Three sources of SJ radar interference. Exchanged recognition signals with two U.S. Submarines.
0530 Dove.
1553 Surfaced.
2114 Dove to was out 4A and B fuel ballast tanks.
2125 Surfaced.
4 November
0536 Dove. Patrolling in area to west of Luzon
1815 Surfaced.
2030 Received orders to assume lifeguard duties off LINGAYEN GULF for carrier strikes on fifth through eighth.
5 November
Patrolling area in vicinity of lifeguard station.
0205 Exchanged recognition signals and calls with U.S.S. RAY on SJ radar.
0224 SJ contact at 9600 yards. U.S.S. RAY.
0430 Circling on lifeguard station.
0609 SD contact (Plane contact #24) at 18miles. No IFF but think he is our air cover. Contact moved in to 12 and faded out.
0620 SD contact 10 miles, moving in, still no IFF. (Plane contact #25)
0623 Contact moved in to 3 miles, sighted from bridge and identified as a SALLY and flying directly overhead. The red balls looked as big as the plane itself. Dove - no bombs?
0740 Surfaced after plane was lost from sight. No indications of a strike going on as yet.
0814 SD contact at 28 miles, moving in. (Plane contact #26) Faded out at 22 miles.
0940 SD contact 21 miles. (Plane contact #27)
0948 Plane sighted from bridge at range of 12 miles and identified as a two engine bomber. I wish we had a little fighter protection.
0955 Lost sight of plane in clouds.
0958 Plane at 11 miles and coming in fast.
0959 Dove. By now I am fairly well convinced that the strike today is taking place further south, so I decided to stay submerged and maintain a high periscope patrol, and surface at the first indications of a raid in this locality. In the meantime, we will close Lingayen Gulf which is only 15 miles away and perhaps be able to catch something coming out.
1336 Sighted trawler proceeding westward across the Gulf.
1406 One SALLY on a northeasterly course. (Plane contact #28).
1535 Another SALLY going south. (Plane contact #29)
1600 Two JUDYS bearing 070 True, close to water. (Plane contact #30)
1632 Two SALLIES on starboard beam, close! (Plane contact #31)
1819 Surfaced, having seen no smoke, dogfights, ack ack or carrier planes all day. If there was a strike here today, there were no visible indications and without fighter cover we would not have accomplished any rescues anywhere in this locality.
2225 Exchanged recognition signals and calls with U.S.S. RAY.
6 November
Patrolling in vicinity of our lifeguard station.
0510 Sighted plane to eastward, flying north. (Plane contact #32) No IFF.
0540 Sighted two SALLIES over San Fernando Flying northwest. SD range 19 miles. (Plane contact #33)
0600 Sighted two engine bomber dead astern, skimming the water and coming in fast. No SD contact. Dove. (Plane contact #34).
0620 Two planes, SALLIES, on about 14 miles and one about 8, both searching close to water. (Plane contact #35)
0634 Plane with two engines and enormous meat balls nearly flew down the periscope. (Plane contact #36). Since the Japs seem to be determined to give us unasked for air cover, decided to repeat yesterdays performance, and remain submerged conducting high periscope patrol.
1000 Sighted trawler rounding Cape BOLINAO. He looks like our friend of yesterday.
1040 Sighted two columns of smoke moving up the coast toward PIEDRA Point.
1101 Sighted masts of two ships on northerly course, hugging the coast. Battle stations submerged. At this time we were just off BOLINAO Harbor and right on the target's track. However, after consulting the chart saw that, after rounding Cape Bolinao, the targets would probably change course to northeast, so we headed so as to be on their track after an anticipated zig of 20 right. This assumption proved to be correct and with range to leading ship about 10,000 yards the convoy did a column right movement to course 010. As the targets closed the picture developed as follows: Two anti-submarine screens to seaward of convoy consisting of two DD, a SF or CM and four PC's. One column of heavy ships, an AOGA class CA, a large AK and a medium large AP. Inboard of these, no more than about 500 yards from the shore were two and possibly three small AK's. Air cover by land based bombers completed the picture. Commenced approach on CA, which appeared to be damaged as she and a 2 or 3 port list. (Ship contact #2)
1202 Rigged for silent running and ran under first escort of the outer screen.
1215 Made ready bow tubes. Raised periscope for a firing set up and a quick sweep around showed we were about to be run down by the second DD of the inner screen. He was 30 on the starboard bow, range 500 yards, angle on the bow about 3 port. At this time the CA lined up for 100 track with 220 yard torpedo run. Went to 120 feet but did not fire by sound as I planned to come back up as soon as the DD crossed our track. Escort the bounced a couple pings off our hull and slowed down, apparently trying to verify contact. By the time we got back up to periscope depth at 1222 the only decent target was the AK, as the AP had cut under his stern and was now leading the inboard column. around PIEDRA Point. Sound indicted the AK had slowed down, so cut her speed to 5 knots and at
1224 Fired six bow tubes on a 120 port track, 2320 yard torpedo run spread by periscope. BATFISH swinging slowly left the to keep gyros steady. All torpedoes missed ahead. Perhaps we shouldn't have fired since wee didn't know the target's speed for certain and since he was changing course slowly to the right but I felt sure the spread used would cover any errors we might have. Firing was hurried for two reasons, first, the target was opening slowly, and secondly an escort on tour starboard beam and one astern were getting too close for comfort and air cover limited periscope exposure. Target apparently just had steerage way and changed course 20 from time first torpedo until we were forced down.
1227 Counter attack developed with four escorts boxing us rather effectively for a time. Slinked away through a hole in the box at 350 feet, 2 temperature gradient and lots of reef noises. This is a hard one to take and discouraged is not a strong enough word for the way I feel right now. Thirteen torpedoes and all but possibly one are strikes.
1543 Sighted two plnaes, unidentified, two engine, range about 7 miles. (Plane contact #37)
1602 Two more planes, headed northwest, flying low, probably same ones.
1642 Three planes heading southwest.
1838 Surfaced.
7 November
Patrolling in area in vicinity of lifeguard station.
0626 SD contact 14 miles closing. (Plane contact #38)
0628 Plane closed to 11 miles. Sighted SALLY coming in astern. Dove.
0653 Sighted plane at about 10 miles. Probably same one that forced us down.
0724 Surfaced. Sighted unidentified plane astern going away. No IFF.
0900 No evidence of a strike as yet so decided to dive and look in San Fernando Harbor to see if the convoy of yesterday is still there.
0903 Dove.
1311 Sighted "RUFE" on an easterly course at about 12 miles. (Plane contact #39)
1520 Echo ranging. A look showed two PC's patrolling off San Fernando. Also could see a CA, a large AK and several smaller ships moored and anchored in the harbor. (Ship contact #3).
1550 Satisfied that the convoy was still in evidence, turned to clear but we must have run over a magnetic loop or an anti-submarine sound cable because at
1610 Four PC boats formed up astern, two in column on each quarter and started working down our track. All echo ranging. Range to closest about 5,000 yards.
1624 Evasive tactics are definitely in order. Went to 250 feet and started fish tailing. We are more or less restricted to courses as we are getting set down toward Lingayen Gulf, a place I'm desirous of keeping out of.
1645 Boxed in again and a fifth PC has joined up. This must be the latest standard anti-submarine doctrine for the Japs or at least for these particular escorts, as they have us in the same condition they had us yesterday.
1700 Found a hole in their formation.
1715 Five depth charges, none close all sounded aft.
1725 Lost screws, could hear only pinging. How these lads picked us up and tracked us the way they did is a mystery to us, but I must say they are improving their technique. Our JP gave no indication of unusual noises and the best we could tell we are not leaving air or oil slicks.
1822 Surfaced. Could still hear pinging astern, but could make no radar contact with the source. Sound conditions are excellent around here at this time of day.
2030 Received orders to rendezvous with RAY and RATON tomorrow night and operate as a coordinated attack group. Commanding Officer RAY, Commander Task Group.
2355 Exchanged recognition signals on SJ with U.S. Submarine range 8450.
8 November
Patrolling to west and south across convoy route.
0854 Sighted smoke bearing 180 True, commenced tracking. (Ship contact #4) Convoy on base course of about 100 speed 6 1/2 knots. Sent contact report on area frequency and at
0920 commenced end around at 17 1/2 knots.
0948 Closed sufficiently to see tops through high periscope and counted eight ships, in an open order most of them smoking heavily.
1015 Sighted two PETE type planes flying over convoy. (Plane contact #40) Maintained sight contact with these planes all morning but they apparently didn't' see us.
1200 Convoy changed base course to 160, thereby causing us to lose all the ground we had gained as we ended up on their port quarter again. Since it would have been impossible to get around them to eastward in daylight (we are only 20 miles off the coast of Luzon) changed course to the southwest and started new end around to westward.
1225 Counted 14 ships through high periscope.
1226 One plane broke off and headed directly for us. SD range 12 miles.
1227 Noticed that one escort had also broken off and was coming in with a bone in his teeth. Felt we could have outrun the escort (a large PC) but not the plane so at
1230 Dove.
1239 First of three patterns of depth charges, none particularly close.
1300 The escort was joined by a friend and both were effective in that they kept us down and away from their charges the rest of the afternoon.
1630 Smoke from the convoy no longer visible, although we've done our best keeping up with them submerged.
1708 Surfaced. Started chase.
1710 Two A/S vessels coming in fast on starboard bow. Dove. Had not seen these prior to surfacing.
1715 One depth charge.
1716 Another depth charge. These two stayed on our tail for the next hour and a half and were 15,000 yards astern when we surfaced.
1852 Surfaced. Unable to regain contact. I figure the convoy is about 45 miles ahead of us. Sent contact report on area frequency to Commander Task Group 71.1.
2134 Gave up chase and headed back toward our arreae and our rendezvous. I hope the boats off Manila get into this outfit.
2200 Received order from RAY to patrol submerged off coast at Latitude 17'N tomorrow.
9 November
0058 Exchanged recognition signals with RATON on SJ.
0505 Plane contact on SJ at 9,000 yards. Strong APR signals on 158 mgcs. (Plane contact #41) Faded out at 12,000 yards.
0539 Dove. Wind and sea picking up, made depth control difficult.
1817 Surfaced in a typhoon. Received orders to ride out storm independently.
10 November
Storm shows some signs of abating. Barometer rising.
0537 Dove. Decided to stay submerged today so everyone could get some sleep. Taking observations only twice an hour.
1805 Surfaced. Storm has moderated considerably.
11 November
Patrolling in area.
0531 Dove.
1012 Sighted two large patrol vessels heading south. Unable to close.
1820 Surfaced.
2000 Received orders from RAY to conduct submerged reconnaissance of San Fernando Harbor tomorrow.
12 November
0525 Submerged off Fagg Reef. Conducting reconnaissance of beach south of San Fernando Point.
1030 Sighted tops of a large AK and successive cuts shows she was in San Fernando Harbor. After a close study of charts and evaluating data on mine fields, decided against proceeding between San Fernando Point and Fagg Reef so at
1120 Changed course to 350 to make an approach into San Fernando Harbor from the northwest.
1300 In position 16-40N, 120-16E. Got a good look into Harbor and could see one large AK anchored and two medium AK's moored to dock. Several tugs or small craft underway inside but no patrol craft to be seen. After our experience off here on November 7th, I am inclined to be a little cautious, but since it appears to be wide open today decided to go on in. There are hangars and an air strip between San Fernando Point and Poro, but not much activity as yet in that direction. (Ship contact #5)
1345 Battle stations submerged. Commenced working our way into harbor to line up for an attack.
1415 This is going to be a difficult shot. The anchored AK is heading into the wind which is from 330 and 15 knots. The moored ships are also heading 330 and its going to have to be down the throat or nearly so on any of them. In addition we are getting set to eastward by a strong current and haven't much to take cuts on except San Fernando Point. However, since we are in this far, I'm determined to do something, so after another good look for anti-submarine nets, close planes and patrol craft, at
1424 Fired tubes 3 and 4 at the anchored AK on a 20 starboard track, range 2500 yards, aimed by periscope one at MOT and one just ahead of the bow to allow for the easterly set in case it was strong enough to affect the course of the torpedo.
1425 Fired #1 and #2 at moored AK on a 15 starboard track, range 4800 yards aimed by periscope, #1, which was only Mark 14 we had, was set in low power.
1426 Watched wakes of first two torpedoes pass astern of AK and explode on beach near the airplane hangars, where they may have done some damage.
1427 Took a quick sweep; saw a RUFE coming in, saw second two torpedoes well on their way to moored AK, down periscope, rig in sound heads, take her down to 90 feet.
1430 Heard and felt one explosion timed as #1 torpedo. It hit something solid, either the ship or the dock.
1432 First of eight aircraft bombs.
1445 Last bomb.
1515 Tried to come up for a look but planes have different ideas. (Plane contact #42) Another fifteen minutes and we will be too far out to see the extent of the damage. After sweating my way in and out of this place I'm somewhat disappointed at the meager results.
1843 Surfaced.
2000 Received orders to report results of reconnaissance and to form scouting line.
13 November
Patrolling west and east in scouting line with RAY and RATON at 9 knots.
1139 Received orders to form new scouting line and patrol at 17 knots.
1540 SD contact 16 miles. (Plane contact #43) Faded out.
1544 Sighted four planes (SALLY) to westward on a converging course. Dove.
1605 Two SALLIES at about 7 miles flying north.
1635 Surfaced.
1954 SJ contact 35,000 yards. Commenced tracking. Sent contact report on 2880. (Ship contact #6)
2033 At 20,000 yards identified ship as a large, lighted hospital ship, but decided to close and investigate him more closely anyway.
2130 AH was properly lighted and not acting suspicious so broke off approach and returned to scouting position. RATON also tracked this ship.
14 November
Patrolling in area as part of coordinated attack group with RAY and RATON.
0601 Sighted plane crossing astern at about 5 miles (SALLY). (Plane contact #44) Dove.
0620 Plane still in sight bearing 002 True.
0756 Surfaced.
1650 Received contact report from RATON.
1702 Sighted smoke bearing 213 True. Commenced tracking from ahead.
1946 SJ contact 16,000 yards, bearing 206 True. We had a total of eight pips of which at least four appeared to be marus. There may be more, as the smaller escorts wouldn't show up at this range. (Ship contact #7) Picked out largest and attempted to stay on her while we tracked from ahead, favoring our stern tubes. The RATON said she was attacking from starboard flank and RAY from port flank. Convoy was on course 340 True, speed 7.5 knots with escorts patrolling ahead and on both flanks. At
2116 With range to largest ship 9,000 yards saw and hard a tremendous explosion followed 10 seconds later by another. Looks like the RAY hit a ship loaded with high test gas.
2117 Ship sank.
2119 Convoy appeared to scatter, various units stopping apparently very confused, or at least they appeared to be from the looks of the radar screen.
2122 Saw several red lights from vicinity of convoy.
2130 Three explosions, sound like depth charges.
2149 Searchlight display from convoy, range 6,500 yards.
2155 Three explosions.
2156 One explosion. Sounds like the RATON is getting her licks in.
2210 One explosion, may be depth charge.
2212 One explosion, more depth charges. During this time we have maintained contact with what is left of the convoy but have tracked no particular ships. At
2245 Received word from RAY that he was clear and to attack from port flank. At this time we had contact with four ships, two small, one medium and one large pip. Range 6,500 yards astern. Commenced approach on largest pip which was tracking on course 350, speed 7.2 knots, zigging between 335 and 045 on 3, 4, and 6 minute legs. Two escorts patrolling ahead and back and forth on each flank.
2340 After wishing at least twenty times for bow torpedoes, finally got in excellent position to fire when target next zigged to left.
2344 Sighted near escort from bridge range 4,500 yards.
2347 Sighted target from bridge range 4,700 yards. She appears to be a medium sized maru, has quite a bit of superstructure and is smoking heavily but other than that is unidentifiable as to type, size, age, and I estimate she is an AK or combination AK and AP. The escort appears to be a large PC, a DE or a small DD. No moon, surface haze, a good surface approach night.
2358 Target either saw us, changed base course, or is on a two hour zig zag plan because she didn't zig left as expected but all the way back to 045, leaving us 4,000 yards on her beam. Since we have no bow torpedoes I will have to work up ahead of her again.
15 November
0024 In position 1200 yards off track, range 4,200 yards, stopped and kept stern pointed at near escort, waiting for target to come on.
0028 Escort passed 1800 yards astern
0029 At 3,000 yards target zigged away 20 so came around and at
0031 Fired four stern tubes on a 70 port track 3,200 yard torpedo run, gyros practically zero, using 1 spread.
0035 Saw and heard two explosions on AK, 15 seconds apart, timed as second and third torpedoes.
0036 Heard and felt one explosion timed as fourth torpedo to far escort.
0037 Leading escort fired two very stars and remaining ship headed due east, while BATFISH pulled out to make reload.
0038 Far escort which had stopped and stopped pinging at time of 3rd explosion disappeared from radar screen and I believe he sank a this time. He was never in sight from the bridge.
0039 Target sank. Remaining escort made a half hearted attempt to counter attack, but at no time came close than 4,300 yards.
0105 Commenced search for remaining target which was heading east at last contact.
0205 Made contact, one ship and one escort, course 070, speed 9 knots, zig zagging radically. Commenced tracking.
0215 Target changed base course to 340 True.
0230 Range to target 6,000 yards on starboard beam. Made contact with a U.S. Submarine (radar interference, no reply to challenge) at 5,400 yards. He was 30 on target's port bow and on an attack course. Asked the RAY and RATON if they were making an attack to which they replied in the negative. Tried to challenge submarine again, meanwhile pacing target abeam, but received no answer. On PPI screen watched submarine go in and dive to radar depth about 3,500 yards ahead of target. At
0258 when could see no results of an attack started working up ahead of target again when another U.S. Submarine (radar interference from direction of contact) came in for an attack from the target's bow. Attempted to challenge on SJ with no results and then broadcast blind on 2880 requesting identification of submarines.
0315 As we were to north of our area and in the "College" territory decided these two boats must be part of a Task Force Seventeen wolf pack and since the target appeared to be in good hands at
0355 secured tracking and headed south to join up with RAY and RATON. This is a classic example of the necessity of a standard pack frequency codes and calls for boats of two different task forces operating in close proximity instead of depending on recognition signals by keying the SJ radar.
0430 Patrolling in vicinity of this mornings attack, waiting for further orders from U.S.S. RAY.
0700 Running through considerable debris and oil drums searching for survivors.
1000 Sighted body of dead Jap floating in life jacket. Went alongside and salvaged his pack. Only papers on him were in a sort of wallet and unintelligible tome. Raffled off his bayonet, cartridge belt, canteen, etc. for the benefit of the Welfare Fund and wrapped up his wallet for delivery to O.N.I.
2215 Received orders to pass to operational control of ComSubPac at 0000 (GCT tomorrow).
16 November
0616 Trim dive.
0632 Surfaced. Departed area, heading for safety lane at three engine speed.
1214 Sighted floating mine in Lat. 20-25 N. 118-32 E. Longitude. Exploded same with rifle fire from about 350 yards, and was uncomfortably surprised at the power of the detonation.
1918 Exchanged calls with RATON by radar.
2000 Forced to slow to two engine speed due to heavy head seas.
17-30 November
Enroute Pearl.
20 November
1030(K) SD contact 7 miles. Sighted two engine bomber from bridge range 5 miles. Dove. (Plane contact #45)
1107(K) Surfaced.
21 November
1510(K) SD contact 4 miles. Sighted two Liberators passing overhead. (Plane contact #46) Lost contact at 12 miles.
22 November
1220(K) SD contact 6 miles. Sighted MAVIS flying southwest. (Plane contact #47) Dove.
1300(K) Surfaced.
1 December
0940(V-W) Rendezvous with U.S.S. RATON and U.S.S. HALIBUT.
1000(V-W) Rendezvous with escort.
1345(V-W) Moored Submarine Base, P.H., T.H.
(C) Weather
Enroute to station the strong SW wind, encountered the first day out, moderated and the seas subsided sufficiently to make a comfortable trip via EXMOUTH GULF and DARWIN. After passing north of the MALAY BARRIER, generally smooth seas and light breezes prevailed through the FLORES SEA, MAKASSAR STRAITS, CELEBES SEA, SIBUTU PASS, and SULU SEAS. On station at the western approach to MINDANAO SEA only a flat calm and glassy sea existed along with a very high barometer. Up until the 9th of November we had reason to doubt the frequency of the November typhoons off the northwestern coast of Luzon. However, a sudden drop in barometer to 29.64 brought the usual heavy seas and typical tropical disturbances listed for this season, and a 30 to 35 knot wind backed around in a counter clockwise direction until even close in to the coast, the island offered no lee. The barometer hung at the low for two days and started a slow rise on the night of the eleventh of November. The seas ran high for a couple more days until the wind shifted to northeast and the cross effect smoothed them out. From twelve to sixteen November a high barometer and moderate swell existed. Enroute from station a strong northeast wind kicked up a moderate sea which we considered very good for this time of year
(D) Tidal Information
No unusual currents were experienced in the FLORES SEA, MAKASSAR STRAITS, CELEBES SEA, SIBUTU PASS, and SULU SEA. All seemed to be tidal currents as described in Coast Pilot and one exceeded two knots, no heavy weather being encountered here.

Through MINDORO PASS an ebb current of about three knots was encountered up until slack water, but this was a night of a full moon and its direction conformed to that of the pass.

Off the northwestern coast of Luzon a southwesterly set of less than one knot was felt but close inshore variable counter currents sometimes exceeded two knots. At the entrance to SAN FERNANDO HARBOR such a current had a strong two knot drift with an easterly set. The Coast Pilot data covers most of the area under the various existing conditions.
(E) Navigational Aids
No navigational lights were observed to be burning anywhere along the coasts enroute to station or on station. Occasionally along the route the light house structure could be observed, but no illumination. Tangents and Peaks were used for day time piloting and radar bearings and ranges on the many small islands gave excellent fixes at night.

Off the northwest coast of LUZON, positions were obtained by cuts on high peaks. On Chart No. 4705, the peaks back of LINGAYAN GULF cold be seen sixty miles at sea in the early morning; MT. PULOG, 9606'; MT. SANTO TONAS 7400'; MT. MONSERAT, 5783'; and MT. ESTILETE, 4727'; are easily identified by their cone peaks.

Lighthouse structures observed:

CAPJE BOLLINAO LT.       (
SAN FERNANDO PT. LT.  ( Chart No. 4705 Northwestern Coast of Luzon
TAGUDIN LT.                      (
CANDON LT.                       (
(F) Ship Contacts
Coming Soon
(G) Aircraft Contacts
Coming Soon
(H) Attack Data
U.S.S BATFISH

Torpedo Attack No. 1

Patrol No. 5

Time: 2030, Date: 19 October

Lat. 645'S, Long. 11830'E

Target Data - Damage Inflicted

Description: Radar contact on one ship, two escorts, in Flores Sea. Ship later identified as "Q" ship. MFM design of 300 feet length and minimum draft. Foremast 62 feet above water line. Very high free board, may be a stripped AK or a built up high speed small ship. Fast, light screws, 200 turns for 9 knots, guns covered with tarpaulins, has sound gear and can make 17 knots with no smoke, probably diesel powered. High stack, bridge amidships. The escort that was seen was identified as the development of the PC-13 shown in August issue of the A-N Recognition Manual.
Ship(s) Sunk: None.
Ship(s) Damaged or probably sunk: None.
Damage determined by: No hits.
Target draft: 2', Course: 095, Speed: 9 knots, Range: 2950-2800 yards (at firing)

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 4 knots, Course: 010, Depth: Surface

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Night radar attack initial contact at 18,000 yards. Target was steering a steady course, 095, speed 9.5 knots. At 12,000 yards could see two escort pips and plot showed they were patrolling station on each side of target about 1,000 yards from his track. At 10,000 yards sound could hear echo ranging and at 5,000 yards the screws of all three ships. Targets screws were light and fast. Target visible from bridge at 4,500 yards. Had a perfect set up and fired six bow tubes on 090 - 095 starboard track, 2600 yard torpedo run, using a 1 spread. Gyro angles 356 to 000, depth set at four feet on 2, 4 and 6 and six feet on 1, 3 and 5. All torpedoes ran under the target. Sea conditions about #2.
Tubes Fired #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
Track Angle 91 S 92 S 93 S 95 S 95 S 96 S
Gyro Angle 356-20 356-15 359-30 356-30 002 000-30
Depth Set 6' 4' 6' 4' 6' 4'
Power High High High High High High
Hit or Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss
Erratic No No No No No No
Mark Torpedo 23 23 23 23 23 23
Serial Number 50058 49529 41671 58131 50204 49826
Mark Exploder 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5
Serial Number 14289 8522 6974 24950 26356 13160
Actuation Set Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact
Actuation actual --- --- --- --- --- ---
Mark Warhead 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1
Serial Number 13821 13677 2656 14153 12833 16432
Explosive Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex
Firing Interval --- 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec.
Type Spread Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent
Sea Conditions 2 2 2 2 2 2
Overhaul Activity Torpedo Depot, Navy #137
U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack #2

Patrol No. 5

Time: 0036, Date: 20 October

Lat. 645'S, Long.: 11900'E

Target Data - Damage Inflicted

Description: Same as attack #1.
Ship(s) Sunk:
Ship(s) Damaged or probably Sunk: One escort vessel, a development of PC-13 may have sunk. (EU)
Damage determined by: One explosion three minutes and forty seconds after firing was heard and felt in the ship, but not observed from the bridge. At this time the port or far escort stopped echo ranging and shortly thereafter the pip disappeared from the radar screen. At the time of firing she was on target's port quarter about 1,000 yards off her track. The following morning the remaining escort was identified as a PC.
Target Draft: 2', Course: 095, Speed 9 knots, Range: 2855 yards (at firing).

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 3 knots, Course: 183, Depth: Surface

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Second attack on target, radar surface approach. Problem generating a perfect set up, fired tube #10 on a 90 starboard track, range 2,850 yards, gyro angle 180. Torpedo was set to run at one foot and broached about 50 yards from ship and then apparently ran hot straight and normal. No hits obtained on target, but an explosion three minutes and forty seconds after firing may have sunk the far escort.
Tubes Fired #10
Track Angle 92 S
Gyro Angle 180-10
Depth Set 1'
Power High
Hit or Miss Miss
Erratic Broached
Mark Torpedo 18-1
Serial Number 56431
Mark Exploder 8-5
Serial Number 9864
Actuation Set Contact
Actuation actual ---
Mark Warhead 18-2
Serial Number 3402
Explosive Torpex and TNT
Firing Interval ---
Type Spread ---
Sea Conditions 2
Overhaul Activity Torpedo Depot, Navy #137
Remarks: Torpedo was heard to broach shortly after leaving tube, but thereafter appeared to run hot, straight, and normal.
U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack #3

Patrol No. 5

Time: 1224, Date: 6 November

Lat. 1627'N, Long.: 11951'E

Target Data - Damage Inflicted

Description: Target was a large AK in a convoy of thirteen ships of which one was an AOGA class CA, and seven were escorts. Ships contacted by sighting smoke through periscope and were proceeding up the west coast of Luzon heading for San Fernando.
Ship(s) Sunk: None.
Ship(s) Damaged or probably Sunk: None.
Damage determined by: No hits.
Target draft: 12', Course 010-015 T., Speed: 3.5 knots, Range: 2320-2290 Yds (at firing)

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 3 knots, Course: 068-051 T., Depth: 64 ft., Angle: 1-2 rise.

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Periscope attack on convoy of six ships and seven escorts. The original approach was made on a AOGA class heavy cruiser and after set up was thwarted by a destroyer escort on the inner anti-submarine screen, which forced BATFISH down to 120 feet to avoid being rammed, after returning to periscope depth, a quick set up was obtained on a large AK. Sound indicated that the target had slowed, so fired six tubes with a large spread to cover all possible speed errors. No ping range. Fired all bow torpedoes on a 120 port track, 2300 yard torpedo run, torpedoes set for eight feet. Target changing course slowly to right while firing and during torpedo run. Torpedoes were spread two target's length by periscope and all crossed ahead. Development of quick counter attack prevented firing stern tubes.
Tubes Fired #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
Track Angle 120 P 122 P 120 P 132 P 132 P 132 P
Gyro Angle 002 004-20 009 002-30 006 009-10
Depth Set 8' 8' 8' 8' 8' 8'
Power High High High High High High
Hit or Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss
Erratic No No No No No No
Mark Torpedo 23 23 23 23 23 23
Serial Number 50411 61845 50124 65462 65376 49790
Mark Exploder 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5
Serial Number 25859 26596 24874 26603 26599 21788
Actuation Set Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact
Actuation actual --- --- --- --- --- ---
Mark Warhead 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1
Serial Number 17822 17832 17689 17637 17787 17853
Explosive Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex
Firing Interval 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec. 8 sec.
Type Spread Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent
Sea Conditions Swells Swells Swells Swells Swells Swells
Overhaul Activity Torpedo Depot, Navy #137
U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack #4

Patrol No. 5

Time: 1424, Date: 12 November

Lat. 1638'N, Long.: 12018'E

Target Data - Damage Inflicted

Description: Sighted one large AK anchored and two medium AK moored to dock in San Fernando Harbor. No anti-submarine craft patrolling entrance and could see no anti-submarine net or booms. No immediate activity on nearby airfield.
Ship(s) Sunk:
Ship(s) Damaged or probably Sunk: One medium AK. (EU)
Damaged determined by: One hit five minutes and twenty eight seconds after firing #1 torpedo which was set on low power. This was a solid hit and connected with either the ship or the dock. Damage not observed due to counter attack by aircraft.
Target Draft: 10', Course: 330, Speed: 0, Range: 2500 yds (anchored), 4800 yds (moored).

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 3 knots, Course: 160T., Depth: 65 ft., Angle: 0 (at firing)

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Periscope attack. Made an approach from north in order to attack ships in San Fernando Harbor. One target, a large AK at anchor, was heading into the wind on course 330 True. Two medium AK's were moored to a dock and heading about 330 also. During the approach we experienced a strong easterly set which was cause of some concern as I had no way of getting cross bearings. After running into the 20 fathom curve decided I had better fire then as the bottom shoaled rapidly to 50 feet, 1000 yards closer in and I wanted to leave some slack for an escape. Fired tubes #3 and #4 at the anchored AK on a 20 starboard track, range 2,500 yards; aimed by periscope, one at MOT and one just ahead of the bow to allow for set. Fired #1, set in low power and #2 (MK 23) at moored AK on a 15 starboard track, range 4,800 yards, aimed as before with #1 at the MOT. Watched first two torpedoes pass under stern of target and exploded on beach. Forced down by plane before #1 and #2 reached target, but heard one solid hit 5 minutes and 28 seconds after firing #1, and I believe this torpedo hit either the moored AK or the dock.
Tubes Fired #3 #4 #1 #2
Track Angle 22 S 22 S 15 S 16 S
Gyro Angle 000-25 000-35 352-10 352-40
Depth Set 6' 6' 6' 6'
Power High High High High
Hit or Miss Miss Miss Hit Miss
Erratic No No No No
Mark Torpedo 23 23 14-3A 23
Serial Number 50587 65593 26604 30438
Mark Exploder 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-5
Serial Number 26403 26612 1084 26270
Actuation Set Contact Contact Contact Contact
Actuation actual --- --- Contact ---
Mark Warhead 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1
Serial Number 3513 17912 17830 14242
Explosive Torpex Torpex Torpex Torpex
Firing Interval --- 8 sec. 12 sec. 8 sec.
Type Spread Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent
Sea Conditions Swells Swells Swells Swells
Overhaul Activity Torpedo Depot, Navy #137
U.S.S. BATFISH

Torpedo Attack #5

Patrol No. 5

Time: 0025, Date: 15 November

Lat. 18N, Long. 118E

Target Data - Damage Inflicted

Description: Contacted convoy of at least eight ships while operating as part of a coordinated attack group. Initial contact was made by RATON and BATFISH tracked from ahead while RAY and RATON delivered their attack.
Ship(s) Sunk: One medium Maru (AK or AK/AP) (EU)
                        One escort (unidentified)
Ship(s) Damaged or probably Sunk: None.
Damaged determined by: Saw and heard two hits in AK timed as second and third torpedoes. Three minutes later target sank. Heard and felt one explosion timed as fourth torpedo to far escort. At this time his screws and echo ranges stopped and one minute later disappeared from radar screen. Target was never in sight from bridge.
Target Draft: 10', Course: 300 T., Speed: 7.2 knots, Range: 3750 yards (at firing)

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed: 3.7 knots, Course: 300 T., Depth Surface, Angle: 0 (at firing)

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Type Attack: Night radar attack while operating as a coordinated attack group with RAY and RATON. RATON made original contact and BATFISH after sighting smoke turned to track from ahead. RAY delivered first attack from port flank and exploded an AK carrying gasoline. Shortly thereafter RATON attacked from starboard flank. At 2245 received word from RAY that he was clear and for BATFISH to attack from port flank. The remnants of the convoy, four ships, had reformed and were on base course 350, speed 7.2 knots, zigging radically from 335 to 045 on 3, 4, and 6 minute legs. First two attempts to get in firing position were thwarted by unexpected zigs and since we had no bow torpedoes we did not get into attack position until 0024 at which time fired four stern tubes on a 70 port track, 3200 yard torpedo run. Torpedoes set for six feet and gyros practically zero. Two hits in target which sank 3 minutes later and one timed hit in far escort which stopped and then disappeared from radar screen one minute later.
Tubes Fired #7 #8 #9 #10
Track Angle 69 P 70 P 70 P 69 P
Gyro Angle 176 175-30 175 171
Depth Set 6' 6' 6' 6'
Power --- --- --- ---
Hit or Miss Miss Hit Hit Hit
Erratic No No No No
Mark Torpedo 18-1 18-1 18-1 18-1
Serial Number 54299 54649 54335 55595
Mark Exploder 8-5 8-5 8-5 8-5
Serial Number 9390 9633 9677 9649
Actuation Set Contact Contact Contact Contact
Actuation actual --- Contact Contact Contact
Mark Warhead 18-2 18-2 18-2 18-2
Serial Number 1512 3453 2528 2365
Explosive Torpex and TNT Torpex and TNT Torpex and TNT Torpex and TNT
Firing Interval ---. 10 sec. 10 sec. 10 sec.
Type Spread Divergent Divergent Divergent Divergent
Sea Conditions Choppy with Swells Choppy with Swells Choppy with Swells Choppy with Swells
Overhaul Activity Torpedo Depot, Navy #137
(I) Mines
On November 16th in position 20-25'N, 118-32'E sighted a floating mine which we exploded with rifle fire. This was a contact type mine and I believe it may have been torn loose from its moorings during the typhoon of last week.

No other mines or mining activities were encountered.

There is apparently no protective minefield in the northern approaches to San Fernando Harbor in as far as the 20 fathom curve.
(J) Anti-Submarine Measures and Tactics
The escorted "Q" ship encountered in the Flores Sea was proceeding on an easterly course and was in the middle of the Joint Zone. This may or may not have been a coincidence. Neither showed any indications of radar, nor showed inclinations of submarine hunting on a dark night, and took no action after torpedoes were fired at them. In daylight the tactics seemed to be to play possum until we were within gun range. Deployment and fire control were handled by the "Q" ship. Both the "Q" ship and the escort searched and dropped depth charges and I cannot understand their giving up the attack so quickly unless they believed that they had holed us with gunfire and that we had sunk. (We dove in about 28 seconds on four engines.)

After the attack on the convoy November 6th, the counterattack was accompanied by noises on all three sound gears that indicated some form of mousetrap or hedge hog. The JP described it as the sound of a lot of pebbles striking the water. On the QC/JK it sounded to me like several people clapping their hands. Also, I could find no attack formation in the "ADDENDUM to CINCPAC - CINCPOA WEEKLY INTELLIGENCE" of 4 August, 1944 which is a translation of captured documents on Japanese underwater sound gear and methods, that quite fit the box formation employed by these escorts at this time and again the next day off San Fernando. Four anti-submarine vessels took position one on each bow and one on each quarter and took turns making an attack at times aided by a fifth. They alternately echo ranged and listened but I could figure no particular system by which any particular vessel did either. The bow escorts made the attack and then moved aft to the quarter. At no time did they seem hurried and as long as they were able to track us they were very efficient. On November 7th we were picked up at 5,000 yards and I feel sure we must have been originally spotted by a plane because our later venture into San Fernando Harbor dispels any theory of a submerged magnetic loop or sound buoys.

The many very close plane contacts that produced no bomb attacks leads me to believe that a great percentage of Jap pilots and crews spend fully as much time looking up as they do down and thanks to our own aviation, the anti-submarine search is only partly effective.

All ships encountered off Luzon had air cover in the daytime and any end arounds in daylight have to be done at extreme range.

A plane-escort combination effectively thwarted our tracking of the convoy on November 8th, and succeeded in keeping us down most of the afternoon.
(K) Major Defects and Damage
1. QB SOUND GEAR

The QB sound gear was damaged during the third war patrol and repaired during the subsequent refit. About midway of the fourth patrol it became misaligned and due to excessive vibration and noise could only be used at very slow speeds and with minimum speed of train. Gears were checked by Submarine Repair Unit, Navy #137, and no misalignment could be found. Shaft and all glands were repacked. During training period a bad hydraulic leak developed, and after renewing the hydraulic packing several times, it was decided that the hydraulic cylinder was cracked, probably as a result of the original damage, so the unit was removed and completely replaced by a similar unit from the U.S.S. CREVALLE. After one week's operation, misalignment developed again with the same vibration and noise that restricted the use of this equipment during the fourth war patrol. It is believed that complete stripping of this gear will be necessary to find and eliminate the trouble.

2. #2 PERISCOPE

While fueling at Exmouth Gulf, the topside greasing schedule was carried out. The first time #2 periscope was used after this, it jammed in the fully raised position and indications were that something was caught in the bearings. Since it apparently had been forced in by the grease, attempted to flush it out the same way with no results. Inspected all but the lower bearing through hand hole plates but could see nothing. Pulled packing with negative results. Decided to decommission the periscope and proceed to area. After forcing the scope down about 3/4 of the way, and, incidentally scoring the shaft considerably received orders to proceed Darwin for repairs. On pulling the scope, two bolts were found to be lodged between the periscope lower bearing and the housing. One, a 1/2" by 1 1/2 " steel bolt with a steel lock washer, was at such an angle that it was forming a wedge between the periscope and the bearing housing. The other, a 1/2" by 1" steel bolt with lock washer was resting on top of the bearing, but free from the periscope and had done no damage. The jam was caused by the bolt head and washer against the periscope. All four bearings were very badly scored as was the periscope for about three quarters of its length. Scraped high points off the bearings, stoned the periscope and replaced and tested satisfactorily. To properly repair this damage it will be necessary to renew all the bearings.

3. MAIN MOTORS

While proceeding Darwin at four engine speed overheating and excessive sparking developed on #2 and #4 main motors. Found 84 brushes cracked or with loose rivets and worn spades. These brushes were the new soldered rivet type and had been installed after the third war patrol. The damaged brushes were all in the leading position and most of them were in the outer three holders. Excessive vibration was found on the brush rigging of all four main motors at speeds in excess of 200 turns. Dial indicator readings taken on the commutators were within reasonable limits. renewing the brushes was at best a temporary repair and has failed to eliminate the cause. Upon leaving station both port motors sparked considerably and there is a very noticeable brush chatter on all four.

4. SD RADAR

Enroute Pearl, the SD antenna developed a moisture ground giving a maximum insulation reading of 200,000 ohms. Ranges of planes were reduced to about six miles. Believe the rubber insulation in the head may be cracked allowing moisture to ground out the transmission line.

5. ALTERATIONS

This ship has no complete and up to date list of approved alterations, but it is believed that there are some 50-60 that are applicable and which have not been accomplished and it is hoped that as many of the most important as possible will be undertaken during the coming refit.
(L) Radio
Radio Perth, W.A. (XIXO) "Bakers" was copied from 8 October, 1944 to 16 November, 1944. Good reception was maintained at all times by utilizing the various frequencies, 4370 and 9250 at night and 12630 and 16140 during daylight. 16140 proved invaluable during daylight outside of the 3500 mile radius of Perth. Interference was always encountered to some degree on 4370, 9250, and 12630 kcs., excessive at times. Radio Perth's system of repeating "Baker" number proved helpful. Several times, due to interference, it was necessary to get repeats on later schedules.

On 16 November, 1944, shifted to Radio Honolulu (NPM) Fox schedules for the return from station to Pearl Harbor, T.H. Results were highly satisfactory. Some interference was experienced on 6045 Kcs. and 9515, quite heavy while near the Philippines, but cleared a few hundred miles eastward. 16740 kcs was very good during daylight at all times. 4515 was not used until within 800 miles of Pearl. Press sent by NPM was greatly appreciated by all hands.

Communications on the area frequency (2880) was satisfactory. Several messages between other boats were intercepted at various times and we used this frequency quite extensively during the time we operated in th coordinated attack group with the U.S.S. RAY and RATON. The Japs usually kept this frequency well cluttered up but no deception messages were transmitted as far as we know.

4235 Series, ship to shore frequencies. Considerable difficulty was experienced on two different occasions by us in trying to get messages off. On 1 November, while in the central Philippines we set watch on 8470 kcs and called Perth (VIXO). (VIXO) and Radio Darwin (WHM) both answered. We sent out message to (VIXO) but he didn't get much of it due to interference so he shifted us to 12705 kcs. We only got through S1, so he again shifted us this time to 8290. We never established communication on 8290 so after 15 minutes we shifted back to 8470 kcs. This time Radio Darwin answered immediately and we sent the message to him. However, he would not receipt for it or answer at all. At this time someone using Z4N (which is call sign for CTG 71.5) (Base ship) answered and requested a portion of the message. We sent the repetition and he came back with receipt and authenticator. His authentication was incorrect. Wrongly we did not challenge his authentication with the result that the next day we received a message from CTF 71 saying our message was badly garbled, jammed and only partially received, and with instructions to reencypher and retransmit.

That night (November 2) with a paraphrased, reencyphered version of our message, again set watch on 8470 kcs. We called "VNKO" (All Australian Stations). NAP (Radio Hollandia, New Guinea) answered with communications S5 both ways. We sent the message to him, but he authenticated incorrectly and we spent 20 minutes trying to get him to authenticate properly. He corrected his authenticator twice but it was still incorrect. Was still trying to get him when another ship called with an urgent message so we waited almost an hour until he cleared his message. Then heard VIXO very faintly shifting us to 8290. Got through very well on this frequency.

Radio Perth (VIXO) used CSP 1750 and associated publications (call sign device) to encypher "Q" signals and frequencies.

We transmitted four other messages in addition to the two above and had no trouble getting them off on 8470 kcs. All the trouble was experienced on the 4235 series was during the week or so after the Second Battle of The Philippines.

On 16 November when we passed from Operational Control CTF 71 to Task Force 17, we sent a message to Radio Honolulu (NPM) using 16940 kcs. We got through S2. At that time we were westward of Luzon. Very good results considering the distance and time of transmission. (000Z 16th).

We shifted to NPM Fox, as we passed from Task Force #71 to Task Force #17 on 16 November, 1944. At that time we were west of Luzon. Considerable interference was experienced on 9515 kcs for four or five days until we cleared the Philippines. From there on eastward 9515 was very satisfactory, used during the periods of 0500 and 0800 zebra and 2000 and 2200 zebra daily. 6045 was very good from about 0800 to 2000 zebra and 16730 was excellent between the hours of 2200 to 0500-0600 zebra. 9515 and 9090 were both very satisfactory.
(M) Radar
The performance of the SJ radar was reliable throughout the patrol with no serious casualties to the equipment other than a few routine tube failures.

The addition of a 20,000 yard sweep on the P.P.I. by the ship's force has proven itself to be very desirable and has been employed to good advantage. A precision sweep has also been added to the P.P.I. by means of a switch arrangement that permits the sweep to be triggered by the range pulse when desired. Thus, an 8,000 yard sweep can be obtained on the P.P.I. starting at any range within the limits of the range steps. This permits a much better discrimination of targets on a convoy when the range is outside of the normal 8,000 yard sweep.

The SD radar performed in a satisfactory manner, though the ranges obtained were not exceptional nor even up to past standards on several occasions. There is evidence of a mismatch in the antenna system which results in high standing waves and arcing at the R.F. input to the receiver. This condition has existed to some extent since pulling of the antenna and installation of the sealing plug, but has recently been aggravated. The symptoms are such that there is a possibility that one of the quarter wave matching sections in the line has slipped or that the head itself is at fault. The antenna will be pulled and the condition investigated at the next refit.

ENEMY RADAR:

The most prominent enemy radar detected on the APR-1 Mindanao, Negros and Luzon was at 150 MC, PRF of 450 and PW of 8 MS. Sometimes it sweeps at an irregular rate; other times it seems to be non-directional. Indications are that it is early warning aircraft detection radar.

There were also indications of radar at 190 MC, PRF of 800 and PW of 11 MS off Negros and Luzon but to a lesser degree.
(N) Sound Gear and Sound Conditions
The QB sound gear vibrates and is excessively noisy at any ship speed greater than dead slow and at all but minimum speeds of train - probably due to misalignment.

Sound conditions in the China Sea off the west coast of Luzon are good, with an average range of about 5,500 yards for definite screw beats and a mean range of 12,000 yards for detecting echo ranging.
(O) Density Layers
In general sound conditions as indicated by Bathythermograph observations were good in the operating areas. Isoballast water was encountered down to 200 feet where a slight negative gradient was found. In regular morning dives no gradients were experienced down to 150 feet.
No Date ZT(HOW) Lat. Long. Remarks
1 20 October 1000 645'S 11830'E Isothermal to 300' Sharp neg. grad. to 400'
2 27 October 1100 840'N 12237'E Isoballast to 200'
3 28 October 0900 858'N 12405'E Isoballast to 200' Slight neg. grad. to 350'
4 6 November 1200 1611'N 11956'E Isoballast to 200' Slight neg. grad. to 350'
(P) Health, Food, and Habitability
Health was average with the usual minor complaints of colds, cuts, and bruises.

Food was of Australian origin and of a very poor quality being frequently indigestible and totally unappetizing. All kinds of tricks and subterfuge were tried in an attempt to disguise the taste, but in general they were unsuccessful. Necessary surveys were frequent an often large. On two different occasions 300 pounds of beef had to be thrown overboard and fowl once. Weevils were encountered in both the rice and the macaroni cutting the supply of these staple foods almost in half. In many cases canned fruits were found to be green and canned fruit juices, except for apple juice, were so bitter that it was impossible to drink more than a swallow. No shipboard inspection for quality and quantity in the time allotted for loading stores could have corrected these deficiencies and it is therefore incumbent upon the issuing agency to check and double check the food they issue to operating submarines. In my opinion morale and patrol results are in a direct ratio to the food served, and while the preparation of it is the responsibility of the boat, no navy cooks are capable of performing miracles. We have two first class men, both with experience above average, and many of their best efforts went to feed the sharks.

Habitability was average with our forward battery air conditioning unit doing fine work in the doldrums.
(Q) Personnel
Men transferred after last patrol 9
Men making this patrol 74
Men qualified at start of patrol 54
Men qualified at end of patrol 67
Unqualified men making first patrol 4
Men advanced in rating 12
(R) Miles Steamed - Fuel Used
Fremantle to area 2,400 Miles 33,060 Gals.
In Area 5,460 Miles 49,860 Gals.
From Area to Pearl Harbor 4,700 Miles 57,000 Gals.
(S) Duration
Days enroute to Area 11
Days in Area 28
Days enroute Base (P.H). 16
Days submerged 18
(T) Factors of Endurance Remaining
Torpedoes 3 Aft
Fuel 4,150 Gals.
Provisions 1 Day
Personnel Factor 7 Days
Limiting factor this patrol: Lack of torpedoes; orders from ComSubSoWesPac.
(U) Radio and Radar Countermeasures
1. Ship or station: U.S.S. BATFISH (SS310)
2. Position, bearing and altitude when enemy radio signals were observed: Northern SULU Sea.
3. Position of Transmitting Station: Believed to be on NEGROS or MINDANAO Island.
4. Date of jamming: 1 November, 1944 Time: From 1600 to 1800
5. Frequencies jammed: 8470 Kcs.
6. Describe signal jammed: CW(A1) 8470 Kcs.
7. Use of circuit (tactical, administrative): Administrative (Ship to Shore)
8. Was enemy jamming signal stable: No.
9. What was ratio of strength of own signal to enemy jamming signal: Both S5
10. What was power output of own transmitter at time of jamming: 200 Watts
11. Location of enemy jammer: Believed to be on NEGROS or MINDANAO Island (land based).
12. Type of jamming signals: CW-Random keying
13. Effectiveness of jamming: Blocked reception of our message by Radio Perth, W.A.
14. Action taken to overcome jamming: Shifted frequency to 12705 Kcs.
15. Did jamming transmitter appear to be monitored by a look-in receiver: Yes
16. Bandwidth covered by enemy jamming signals: 4 or 5 Kcs.
17. If frequency was shifted, how long before enemy jammed new frequency: Enemy did not jam new frequency.
(V) Remarks
MARK 18 TORPEDOES:

Eight Mark 18-1 torpedoes with Mark 18-2 warheads and Mark 6-5 exploders were carried aft this run. No difficulties were encountered while charging these torpedoes; the specific gravities came up quickly. Freshening charges were found to be necessary every nine days and no water was added. Charging, ventilating, and hydrogen burning were done in accordance with Submarine Force Seventh Fleet Maintenance Instructions dated April, 1944. One short circuit in a hydrogen burning line was found in the after part of the afterbody requiring the removal of the vertical steering engine. The short was caused by a loose connections. All connections in this circuit should be checked during installation to avoid repetitions of this type of failure. One torpedo broached in a sea state 2 with a one foot depth setting. One out of four broached in a state 3 sea with a depth setting of six feet but both torpedoes apparently ran normally afterwards.

COMMUNICATIONS:

The need for some means of communication between submarines of different Task Forces operating in adjacent areas was evident the morning of November 15th. Keying SJ radar proved inadequate in this case and no answer could be received to our message sent blind on 2880 voice.

PATROL SUMMARY

Torpedoes fired: 21 Number of hits: 5
Ships sunk: 2 Ships sunk (Official): 0
Ships damaged: 2 Ships damaged (Official): 0
Tonnage: 5,000 Tonnage (Official): 0
Damaged Tonnage: 4,300 Tonnage (Official): 0
This patrol was designated as successful for the Combat Insignia Award

 

Damaged: Unidentified Patrol Craft - 300 tons (No official credit given.)

Details: Torpedo Attack #2 on 10/20/44

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Damaged: Unidentified AK (cargo ship) - 4,000 tons (No official credit given.)

Details: Torpedo Attack #4 on 11/12/44

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Sunk: Unidentified AK (cargo ship) - 4,000 tons (No official credit given.)

Details: Torpedo Attack #5 on 11/15/44

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Sunk: Unidentified destroyer escort - 1,000 tons (No official credit given.)

Details: Torpedo Attack #5 on 11/15/44

No Picture Available

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