Outstanding performance on her 10th patrol,USS Sailfish, SS- 192

The first Sailfish (SS-192), a Sargo class diesel-powered attack submarine, was laid down on October 18, 1937 as Squalus by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth N.H., launched on September 14, 1938. 

On May 12, Squalus began a series of test dives off Portsmouth. After successfully completing 18 dives she went down again off the Isle of Shoals on the morning of May 23. Failure of the main induction valve caused the flooding of her after engine room, and the submarine sank stern first to the bottom in 60 fathoms of water.

Her sister ship, Scullpin (SS-191), located the stricken ship and established communications. The newly developed McCann rescue chamber, a revised version of the Momsen diving bell, was used in rescuing the 33 survivors, but 26 men were trapped and lost in the flooded after portion of the ship.

The submarine was refloated using cables passed underneath her hull and attached to pontoons on each side. After overcoming tremendous technical difficulties in one of the most grueling salvage operations in Naval history, Squalus was raised, towed into Ports- mouth Navy Yard on September 13; and formally decommissioned on November 15. The submarine was renamed Sailfish on February 9, 1940. After reconditioning, repair, and overhaul, she was recommissioned on May 15, 1940, Lt. Comdr. Morton C. Mumma in command.

With refit completed in mid-September, Sailfish departed Portsmouth on January 1941 and headed for the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal, she arrived at Pearl Harbor in early March, after refueling at San Diego. The submarine then sailed west to Manila where she operated with Submarines, Asiatic Fleet until the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Departing 19 February for her third patrol, she headed through Lombok Strait to the Java Sea. Following an unsuccessful attack on the Japanese warship, March 2ed,  she was forced to dive deep to escape the depth charge attack of the destroyer and patrol aircraft. That night, she contacted a carrier-type vessel, escorted by four destroyers. Sailfish torpedoed and sank the aircraft ferry, Kamogawa Maru, near the approach to Lombok Strait. Leaving the ship aflame and dead in the water, Sailfishdove to escape vigorous depth charge attack. After eluding Japanese destroyers and aircraft, she arrived at Fremantle, Australia, on 19 March.

After an overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard from January 27 to April 22, Sailfish returned to Pearl Harbor on April 30. Departing Hawaii on May 17 for her eighth patrol, she stopped off to fuel at Midway and proceeded to her station off the east coast of Honshu. Several contacts were made but were not attacked due to bad weather. On June 15, she encountered two freighters off Todo Saki. Firing a spread of three torpedoes, she observed one hit which stopped the maru dead in the water. Sailfish went deep to escape an ensuing depth charge attack and listened over the sound gear as the cargo ship, Shinju Maru, broke up and sank. Ten days later, she torpedoed and sank the passenger cargo ship, Iburi Maru, in the same general area. During the twelve hours period following the sinking of the Iburi Maru, Sailfish was pinned down by a sustained search and depth charge attack in which over 97 charges were dropped. She suffered only minor damage, and Sailfish set course for Midway on 26 June, arriving there on 3 July.

After refit at Pearl Harbor, she departed on November 17, for her tenth patrol, which took her south of Honshu. Prior to arriving on station, after refueling at Midway, she intercepted a fast convoy of Japanese ships on the night of December 3rd about 240 miles southeast of Yokosuka. The group consisted of a carrier, a cruiser, and two destroyers. Despite high seas whipped up by typhoon winds, shortly after midnight of the 4th, Sailfish maneuvered into firing position and fired a spread of three torpedoes at the carrier, scoring two hits. She went deep to escape the escorting destroyers, but resurfaced within a few hours to resume the attack. Before dawn, she fired another spread of three "fish," scoring two more hits on the stricken carrier. Eluding the Japanese ASW attack, which was hampered by the raging seas, Sailfish came to periscope depth at dawn and saw the carrier dead in the water, with a list to port and down by the stern. Preparations to abandon ship were in progress. Later in the morning, Sailfish fired another spread of three torpedoes, scoring two final hits. Loud internal explosions and breaking-up noises were heard, while the submarine went to test depth to escape a depth charge attack. Shortly afterwards, the carrier, Chuyo, went to the bottom.

After escaping a strafing attack by a Japanese fighter on December 7, she made contact and commenced tracking two cargo ships with escorts on the morning of 13 December south of Kyushu. That night she fired a spread of four torpedoes at the two freighters. Two solid explosions were heard, including an internal secondary explosion. Sailfish heard Totai Maru break up and sink as the destroyers made a vigorous but inaccurate depth charge attack. When Sailfish caught up with the other freighter, she was dead in the water, but covered by a screen of five destroyers. Rather than face suicidal odds, the submarine quietly cleared the area. On the night of 20 December, she intercepted an enemy hospital ship, which she left unmolested.

On December 21, in the approach to Bungo Suido, Sailfish intercepted six cargo ships escorted by two destroyers. With five torpedoes left, she fired a spread of three, scoring two hits on the largest target. Diving to escape the approaching destroyers, the submarine detected breaking-up noises as Ugo Maru went to the bottom. Sailfish terminated her tenth patrol at Pearl Harbor on January 5th, 1944.

After an extensive overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 15 January to 17 June 1944, she returned to Hawaii and sailed on 9 July in company with Greenling (SS-213) and Billfish (SS-286) to prey on shipping in the Luzon-Formosa area. On the afternoon of 7 August, Sailfish made contact with an enemy convoy. She maneuvered into a firing position and launched a spread of three torpedoes at a small tanker. One hit caused the tanker to disintegrate into a column of water, smoke, and debris.

The next target she contacted was a battleship escorted by four destroyers, which she detected shortly after midnight on August 18. Sailfish fired a salvo of four torpedoes at the heavy, but one of the escorts ran into the path of the lethal fish and was severely damaged or sunk by one or more of the torpedoes.

On August 24, south of Formosa, SS-192 made radar contact with an enemy convoy consisting of four cargo ships escorted by two small patrol craft. Working into firing position, Sailfish launched a salvo of four torpedoes, scoring two hits. The cargo ship, Toan Maru, was enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Shortly afterwards, the ship broke in two and sank. Resurfacing after escaping a depth charge attack, Sailfish closed on a second cargo ship of the convoy, scoring two hits out of four torpedoes fired. The submarine`s crew felt that the cargo ship either had been sunk or badly damaged, but the sinking was not confirmed by postwar examination of Japanese records. Sailfish terminated her eleventh patrol at Midway on September 6, 1944.

Her twelfth patrol- September 26 to December 11- was conducted between Luzon and Formosa, in company with Pomfret (SS-391) and Parche (SS-384). After passing through the edge of a typhoon, Sailfish arrived on station. On 12 October, she rescued eleven Navy fliers who had ditched their stricken aircraft after strikes against Japanese bases on Formosa. She sank a sampan and damaged a tug with her deck gun as the enemy craft tried to capture the downed aviators. The following day, she rescued another flier. The submarines pulled into Saipan, arriving 24 October, to drop off their temporary passengers, to refuel, and to make minor repairs.
Sailfish headed for Hawaii via Midway and completed her twelfth and final war patrol upon arriving at Pearl Harbor on December 11, 1944.

On October 2ed entered the navy yard for deactivation. Decommissioned on October 27, 1945, she was initially scheduled to be a target ship in the A-bomb tests or to be sunk by conventional ordnance. However, she was placed on sale in March 1948 and struck from the Navy list on April 30, 1948. The hulk was sold to Luria Brothers of Philadelphia for scrap on June 18, 1948.

She was awarded nine battle stars for service in the Pacific and received the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding performance on her tenth patrol.

Image Country Year Description
Guyana 1993 50th anni` of WW-II.The war at sea 1943,USS Sailfish SS-192 (ss of 10 stamp )
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