Ran a circular course

USS Tullibee,(SS-284)
was a Gato class submarine, laid down on April 1, 1942 at Mare Island Calif., by the Mare Island Navy Yard, launched November 11, 1942, and commissioned February 16, 1943.

On 19 July, Tullibee got underway for the Western Caroline Islands and her first war patrol. On the 28th, she sighted a passenger-cargo ship, accompanied by an escort and an aircraft that prevented an American attack. On August 6, the submarine began patrolling the Saipan-Truk traffic lanes. Five days later, she sighted smoke on the horizon which proved to be three freighters with an escort. Tullibee closed the range to 2,700 yards; fired one torpedo at the ship on the right and three at the vessel on the left. As the submarine fired the first torpedo, a ship rammed her and bent her number one periscope. She went deep and was depth charged by the escort as the ships sped away. As they had been set to run at a depth of 16 feet, too deep for the draft of the largest target, none of the torpedoes exploded.

On August 22, Tullibee sighted a convoy of five ships escorted by two destroyers; closed to 2,000 yards; and fired three torpedoes at the nearest freighter. Two minutes later, she fired three more at another ship. As she went deep to avoid a destroyer heading her way, she heard one explosion. She soon heard the bursts of two more torpedo explosions, followed by breaking up noises. When she surfaced, she sighted over 1,000 empty 60-gallon oil drums, but no ships. Postwar examination of Japanese records indicated that Tullibee had damaged one freighter and had sunk the passenger-cargo ship Kaisho Maru. The patrol terminated when the submarine reached Midway Island on 6 September.

On March 6, Tullibee stood out of Pearl Harbor to begin her fourth war patrol. Nine days later, she called at Midway to top off her fuel and then proceeded to her patrol area in the Palaus. She was scheduled to support carrier strikes, Operation Desecrate, against those islands on 30 and 31 March. On March 26, Tullibee arrived on station and began patrolling. The next day, she made radar contact on a convoy consisting of a large passenger-cargo ship, two medium-sized freighters, a destroyer and two other escorts. The submarine made several surface runs on the transport but kept losing her in rain squalls. Tullibee finally closed to 3,000 yards and fired two torpedoes from her bow tubes at the target. About two minutes later, the submarine was rocked by a violent explosion. Gunner`s Mate C. W. Kukyendall, on the bridge at the time, was knocked unconscious and thrown into the water. When Kukyendall, the sole survivor, regained consciousness, the submarine was gone. Apparently, one of her own torpedoes ran a circular course and sank the submarine which had launched it.

Tullibee was struck from the Navy list on 29 July 1944.

Operation Desecrate
The Islands of Palau have played a bloody role in the Pacific arena during WW-II. On March 31, 1944 during Operation Desecrate the US Navy air raided Palau and sunk more than 60 ships in its lagoon. The main object of the operation was to prevent the Japanese Army and Navy in Palau from providing flanking air support against Mac Arthur`s invasion of Hollandia/northern New Guinea.

Image Country Year Description
Palau 1994 March 1944 operation desecrate. USS Tullibee SS-284
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