Allied Warships

Gudgeon (SS-211)

Submarine of the Gar class


USS Gudgeon as completed

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassGar 
Pennant211 
Built byMare Island Navy Yard (Vallejo, California, U.S.A.) 
Ordered1 Jul 1939 
Laid down22 Nov 1939 
Launched25 Jan 1941 
Commissioned21 Apr 1941 
Lost18 Apr 1944 
Loss position22° 52'N, 143° 32'E
History

USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr Robert Alexander Bonin, USN) was sunk 18 April 1944 by a G3M "Nell", an IJN aircraft of the 901st Air Group on A/S patrol, 166 nautical miles south-east (bearing 132°) from Iwo Jima, position 22º52'5"N, 143º32E. The pilot claimed to have sighted a surfacing sub and in the attack scored direct hits on the bow and the conning tower with 2-250 kg (550 lb) bombs, leaving a gaping hole in the centre section. A column of oil was thrown into the air and the sub sank quickly, followed by a heavy under water detonation.

As related in most US sources, it was believed the attack which accounted for the loss of the boat, actually did take place on this date when, according to translated reports, 2 Japanese aircraft (actually only 1 was involved) attacked a submarine 166 miles north of "Yuoh" Island. But there is no "Yuoh" Island in the Pacific.
US researchers, based on the projected track of Gudgeon, made the incorrect assumption the sub was in the vicinity of Maug island, Marianas, and entered the possibility this was the place in the record.

Evaluation: The translator of the original report appears to have been rather unskilled, as he mis-translated the kanji giving the bearing of the attack and failed to recognise the island's name. Since YUOH is composed of 2 sillables, it can be read in 2 different ways, e.g. Yu-oh or y-uoh.
A section of the 901st Air Group was temporarily based on Iwo Jima, to cover passage of a convoy. The japanese word for sulphur is "iwo" (pronounced e-ohh) and the pilot, in their report mentioned he was patrolling to the south-east of "sulphur island" when they sighted the sub. There is little doubt at this point that Gudgeon met her fate south-east of Iwo Jima on April 18th.

 

Commands listed for USS Gudgeon (211)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Elton Watters Grenfell, USN21 Apr 194115 Apr 1942

2Lt.Cdr. Hylan Benton Lyon, USN26 May 194214 Jun 1942
3Lt.Cdr. William Shirley Stovall, Jr., USN11 Jul 19426 Mar 1943
4Lt.Cdr. William Shuyler Post, Jr., USN6 Mar 19435 Mar 1944
5Lt.Cdr. Robert Alexander Bonin, USN5 Mar 194418 Apr 1944 (+)

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Noteable events involving Gudgeon include:


11 Dec 1941
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. Elton Watters Grenfell) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol, and was ordered to patrol off Kyushu in Japanese home waters.

27 Jan 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. Elton W. Grenfell) torpedoed and sank the Japanese submarine I-73 (offsite link) about 240 nautical miles west of Midway in position 28°24'N, 178°35'E.

29 Jan 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Grenfell) ended her 1st war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

22 Feb 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Grenfell) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China Sea.

27 Mar 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Grenfell) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant Nissho Maru (6526 GRT) in the East China Sea south-east of Kumun Island in position 33°50'N, 127°33'E.

15 Apr 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Grenfell) ended her 2nd war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

18 May 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. Hylan Benton Lyon) departed Pearl Harbor for her 3th war patrol, and was ordered to patrol northwest of Midway during the defence of that island.

14 Jun 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Lyon) ended her 3th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

11 Jul 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. William Shirley Stovall, Jr.) departed Pearl Harbor for her 4th war patrol, and was ordered to patrol in the Caroline Islands area.

3 Aug 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. William Shirley Stovall, Jr.) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Naniwa Maru (4853 GRT) off Truk in position 07°37'N, 150°11'E.

17 Aug 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese tankers Shinkoku Maru (10020 GRT) and Nichiei Maru (10020 GRT) north-west of Truk in position 07°43'N, 151°13'E.

2 Sep 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) ended her 4th war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

2 Oct 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) departed Brisbane, Australia for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bismarck Sea.

21 Oct 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Choko Maru (6783 GRT) about 110 nautical miles west-north-west of Rabaul in position 03°30'S, 150°30'E.

1 Dec 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) ended her 5th war patrol at Brisbane.

27 Dec 1942
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) departed Brisbane for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Philippines and to land six men and equipment on Negros island.

14 Jan 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) lands 6 men and equipment near Catmon Point, Negros, Philippines.

10 Feb 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Stovall, Jr) picked up 28 men from Timor, Netherlands East Indies and took them to Fremantle.

18 Feb 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. William Shirley Stovall, Jr.) ended her 6th war patrol at Fremantle.

13 Mar 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. William Schuyler Post, Jr.) departed Fremantle for her 7th war patrol.

22 Mar 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Meigen Maru (5434 GRT) in the Java Sea about 30 nautical miles north of Surabaya, Java, Netherlands East Indies in position 06°31'S, 112°47'E.

27 Mar 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fleet tanker Toho Maru (9987 GRT, offsite link) in Makassar Strait in position 00°00'N, 118°18'E, and damaged the Japanese tanker Kyoei Maru (1192 GRT) in position 00°54'N, 119°01'E.

6 Apr 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) ended her 7th war patrol at Fremantle.

15 Apr 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) departed Fremantle for her 8th war patrol.

28 Apr 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Kamakura Maru (17526 GRT) about 30 nautical miles south-west of Naso Point, Panay, Philippines in position 10°18'N, 121°44'E.

30 Apr 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) lands 6 men and 3 tons of equipment on Panay, Philippines.

4 May 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) sank the Japanese trawler Naku Maru (500 GRT) with gunfire west of Panay, Philippines in position 10°11'N, 121°43'E.

12 May 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Sumatra Maru (5861 GRT) off Bulusan, Luzon, Philippines in position 12°43'N, 124°08'E.

25 May 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) ended her 8th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was ordered to the US west coast for an overhaul.

1 Sep 1943
With her overhaul completed USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Mariana Islands area.

28 Sep 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant Taian Maru (3158 GRT) north of Saipan in position 15°22'N, 145°38'E.

29 Sep 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese auxiliary gunboat Santo Maru (3266 GRT) north of Saipan in position 15°28'N, 145°57'E.

6 Oct 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) ended her 9th war patrol at Midway.

31 Oct 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) departed from Midway for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China Sea.

23 Nov 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the Japanese frigate Wakamiya (870 tons, offsite link) and the troop transport Nekka Maru (6783 GRT) and torpedoed and damaged the tankers Ichiyo Maru (5106 GRT) and Goyo Maru (8469 GRT, offsite link) in the East China Sea about 70 nautical miles north of Shusan Island, China in position 28°38'N, 122°00'E.

11 Dec 1943
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) ended her 10th war patrol when she returned to base.

18 Jan 1944
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) departed from her base for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

11 Feb 1944
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) torpedoed and sank the already damaged (by Chinese air attack) Japanese merchant Satsuma Maru (3091 GRT) off Wenchow, China, in position 27°38'N, 121°15'E.

17 Feb 1944
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Post, Jr) sank a Japanese sampan with gunfire in the East China Sea in position 28°01'N, 123°23'E. Another sampan is damaged.

5 Mar 1944
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr. William S. Post, Jr) ended her 11th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

4 Apr 1944
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr Robert Alexander Bonin) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 12th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the northern Mariana Islands area.

7 Apr 1944
USS Gudgeon (Lt.Cdr Robert Alexander Bonin) refuels at Johnston Island. Then departed from however is never seen or heard from again.

Media links


The Last Patrol

Holmes, Harry


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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