Allied Warships

Balao (SS-285)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Balao after the Second World War.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant285 
Built byPortsmouth Navy Yard (Kittery, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered15 Dec 1941 
Laid down26 Jun 1942 
Launched27 Oct 1942 
Commissioned4 Feb 1943 
End service11 Jul 1963 
History

Decommissioned 20 August 1946.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Recommissioned 4 March 1952.
Decommissioned 11 July 1963.
Stricken 1 August 1963.
Sunk as a target off Charleston, South Carolina 4 September 1963.

 

Commands listed for USS Balao (285)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Richard Henry Crane, USN4 Feb 194325 Nov 1943
2T/Lt.Cdr. Cyrus Churchill Cole, USN25 Nov 194318 Apr 1944
3T/Cdr. Marion Frederick Ramirez de Arellano, USN18 Apr 19447 Feb 1945
4T/Lt.Cdr. Robert Kemble Rittenhouse Worthington, USN7 Feb 194530 Aug 1945
5T/Lt.Cdr. Harry Ellsworth Davey, Jr., USN30 Aug 1945Apr 1946

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Notable events involving Balao include:


The history of USS Balao as compiled on this page is extracted from her patrol reports.

This page was last updated in April 2017.

7 Apr 1943
With her final outfitting completed USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) started her training programme in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area.

29 Apr 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Newport, Rhode Island from Portsmouth, New Hampshire for her torpedo trials.

2 May 1943
Having completed her torpedo trials, USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN), arrived at New London, Connecticut from Newport, Rhode Island for further shakedown.

21 May 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for the Portsmouth Navy Yard for repairs.

1 Jun 1943
With her repairs completed, USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN), departed the Portsmouth Navy Yard for the Panama Canal Zone.

9 Jun 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone.

12 Jun 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) transited the Panama Canal.

14 Jun 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Brisbane, Australia.

10 Jul 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Brisbane, Australia. Voyage repairs were undertaken by USS Fulton.

25 Jul 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol between Truk and the Bismarck Archipelago.

For the daily positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

29 Jul 1943
Near the Jomard Channel, Louisiades Islands, USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN), fuelled from USS Coucal before proceeding to her patrol area.

10 Aug 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) spotted three Japanese vessels about 150 nautical miles south of Truk. While trying to approach Balao was detected and depth charged by one of these vessels. Balao sustained no damage.

(All times are zone -10)
0610 hours - Changed course to 020° to investigate either a dark cloud or smoke on the horizon.

0613 hours - Definitely determined smoke over the horizon bearing 020°.

0634 hours - Smoke now bearinging 030°. Decided to close until the tops of the ships could be seen. Position was 05°06'N, 151°38'E.

0651 hours - Could see the tops of three vessels through the periscope. Range was about 15 nautical miles.

0710 hours - Range had now decreased. Dived to continue the approach.

0731 hours - The range appeared to be opening so surfaced at 0740 hours.

0810 hours - The smallest vessel was seen coming towards. Looked like we had been sighted. Dived.

0815 hours - This smallest vessel was much closer than at first thought. Range was about 12000 yards.

0818 hours - Broke off the attack and changed course.

0845 hours - Depth charging started. Until 1120 hours a total of 13 depth charges was dropped but none had been close and Balao was not damaged.

1410 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. Remained dived for the remainder of the afternoon.

9 Sep 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi to fuel before proceeding to Brisbane. She was escorted in and out of Tulagi by HMNZS Kiwi (Lt.Cdr. G. Bridson, DSO, DSC, RNZNVR).

13 Sep 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Brisbane.

Enemy ships had been sighted several times but Balao had been unable to fire torpedoes as she was not in a favourable position or the enemy zigged away at the last moment.

At Brisbane she was refitted by Submarine Division 82 and the USS Fulton. Balao was also drydocked.

4 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol between Palau and the Bismarck Archipelago.

During 5 and 8 October (while on passage to Tulagi) training was undertaken together with USS Coucal, USS Growler and USS Silversides.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

10 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Tulagi for voyage repairs and to refuel.

11 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed Tulagi for her patrol area.

17 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy north of New Guinea with six torpedoes. No hits were obtained. Balao was depth charged following the attack and sustained some damage but was able to continue her patrol.

The convoy attacked was Japanese convoy SO-406 enroute from Palau to Rabaul. This convoy was made up of Asuka Maru (7523 GRT, built 1924), Ryuosan Maru (2456 GRT, built 1940), Taga Maru (2868 GRT, built 1939), Fukko Maru (3834 GRT, built 1924), Tairin Maru (1915 GRT, built 1941) and Hokkai Maru (2278 GRT, built 1940). The convoy was escorted by the Japanese submarine chasers Ch 17 and Ch 40 (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -11)
0957 hours - Sighted smoke over the horizon bearing 006°. Distance 20 to 30 nautical miles. Closed to investigate.

1004 hours - Commenced tracking. Used high speed to obtain a position ahead and on track.

1358 hours - Submerged and went to battle stations. Continued to close. Still only smoke in sight.

1429 hours - In position 00°36'N, 141°33'E sighted masts of one ship bearing 290°, range about 16000 yards. Smoke columns indicated at least four ships. Later one escort was seen on the starboard beam and another was heard pinging on the port beam but this one was not sighted. Started attack.

1530 hours - Fired six torpedoes from a range of 2400 yards. The closest escort was only 1200 yards away. Just after firing the convoy zigged towards us so all torpedoes missed. They were all heard to explode at the end of their run.

1542 hours - Four depth charges exploded very close as Balao was passing 400 feet. Balao had lost trim and ended up at 490 feet but then leveled off at 400 feet. She had sustained some damage from the depth charges.

1805 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

1947 hours - Surfaced. Inspected the boat carefully and commenced repairs.

Balao chased the enemy convoy until the 19th but was unable to attack again.

23 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy north-north-east of Manus Island. It is thought one ship was sunk and two were damaged. This has not been confirmed by Japanese records. A second attack was spoiled when Balao was spotted and shelled by one of the escorts.

The convoy attacked was Japanese convoy O-006 enroute from Rabaul to Moji, via Palau. It was made up of tanker Tennan Maru (5407 GRT, built 1943) and transports Johore Maru (6187 GRT, built 1932), Kazan Maru (1893 GRT, built 1936), Hozukawa Maru (328 GRT, built 1898, not sure if this is the correct ship), Bunzan Maru (1999 GRT, built 1942) and Kosei Maru (2205 GRT, built 1924, not sure if this is the correct Kosei Maru as several ships had the same name). They were escorted by the Japanese submarine chasers Ch-22 and Ch-24 (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -11)
22 October 1943
1907 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 127°. Changed course to close.

1928 hours - Commenced tracking.

2335 hours - Reversed course, going in for the attack. Position was 00°34'N, 147°40'E.

23 October 1943
0002 hours - Sighted a small escort on our starboard bow, on an opposite course. Passed him abeam at a range of 2400 yards according to our SJ radar. The convoy was seen to be zig-zagging.

0017 hours - Fired six bow torpedoes from 2000 yards then swung left for stern shots.

0018 hours - Fired four stern tubes at the same targets from 2500 yards.

It is believed a total of six torpedoes were heard to explode.

0020 hours - Changed course and went to all ahead full.

0025 hours - Bow tubes reloaded.

0037 hours - Stern tubes reloaded except for tube no.7 which was defective after having fired the torpedo inside it.

0037 - 0122 hours - Tried to get into a position for another attack. The convoy was a mess now. It is thought one of the targets had sunk as she had been observed with a 30 degree down angle with her stern in the air and she was not shighted afterwards. One ship was seen with a heavy list and another one lay low in the water. Both were smoking furiously.

0127 hours - Commenced second attack. Picked out the largest ship which had not been the target of the first attack.

0132 hours - One of the escorts came up from astern and opened fire from our port quarter. Went ahead emergency and changed course to put him astern (this was CH-22). Broke off the attack.

0135 hours - The escort was now closing the range to 2400 yards by radar. The merchant ship we wanted to attack now also opened fire and one shell whistled of the bridge. Dived to 450 feet and rigged for depth charges.

0140 hours - Received three small depth charges but they were not very close. The escort never gained contact.

Surfaced. Commenced battery charge and set course to overtake the convoy.

28 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Tulagi for fuel, 4 torpedoes and repairs. She departed to return to her patrol area later on the same day.

3 Nov 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy west-south-west of Satawan Atoll. Six torpedoes were fired for a possible hit.

(All times are zone -11)
1140 hours - Sighted smoke on horizon bearing 160°. Turned towards.

1427 hours - So far unable to close much but the convoy now made a change of course towards us. Position was 05°09'N, 153°06'E.

1446 hours - Started tracking. Enemy course 330°, speed 8.5 knots. The convoy was seen to be made up of two merchant ships of about 6000-7000 tons. A small escort was on the convoy's port bow at a range of about 3000 yards from the leading merchant ship. Selected the closest ship as the target of our attack.

1521 hours - Fired six torpedoes from 2100 yards.

1523 hours - Heard one explosion. Did not see the torpedo hit but a column of water was seen to shoot up just off the bow of the target. Both ships turned towards. The escort was still ahead of the formation. No pinging was heard.

1524 hours - Went deep and changed course to get off the torpedo tracks.

1525 hours - Depth charging started. About 10 were dropped in 15 minutes. Balao was at 400-435 feet and the escort did not gain contact.

1825 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

14 Nov 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi before proceeding to Milne Bay, New Guinea.

16 Nov 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Milne Bay, New Guinea.

At Milne Bay she was refitted by Submarine Division 82 and the USS Fulton. Refit was completed on 1 December 1943. Training was carried out in Milne Bay on 2, 4 and 5 December 1943.

8 Dec 1943
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed from Milne Bay for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol south of Truk. Upon departing exercises were carried out with USS Coucal. During part of the passage to Tulagi Coucal remained in company for exercises. Coucal and Balao parted company at 1700/10 (zone -11).

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

12 Dec 1943
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi for fuel. She was escorted in and out by USS Sheldrake.

27 Dec 1943
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) attacked a Japanese task force of 2 heavy cruisers escorted by two destroyers about 200 nautical miles south-south-west of Truk in position 04°10'N, 150°20'E. Six torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

The heavy cruisers were Kumano and Suzuya (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -11)
1540 hours - In position 04°10'N, 150°29'E heard peculiar noises. Came to periscope depth to have a look.

1601 hours - Sighted what was first thought to be a pair of trawlers or patrol vessels just over the horizon. Went to battle stations. They soon turned out to be two Mogami-class heavy cruisers escorted by two Asashio-class destroyers. Their speed was above 20 knots and they were zig-zagging. Both destroyers were on either bow of the leading cruisers about 3000 yards ahead of them. Started attack.

1616 hours - In position 04°10'N, 150°20'E fired four stern tubes. No hits were obtained. Went deep on firing.

1621 hours - Heard three end of run torpedo explosions.

1725 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

1 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese troop transport Kiyosumi Maru (6991 GRT, built 1934) south of Truk, Caroline Islands in position 04°32'N, 147°23'E.

Kiyosumi Maru was escorted by the Japanese destroyer Yukaze and the Japanese minesweeper W 22 (all links are offsite links). The damaged ship was towed to Truk.

(All times are zone -11)

1 January 1944
0840 hours - In position 02°34'N, 146°47'E sighted smoke on horizon. Started maneuvering to get ahead on an estimated southeasterly course and found, to our surprise, that the target was heading north.

1150 hours - Weather began closing in, with frequent rain squalls. Kept SJ radar manned to ensure he didn't zig towards us when going through the rain.

1215 hours - The target came towards out of a rain squall. Dived.

1232 hours - Rain squall cleared, sighted the target through the periscope. Went to battle stations and started approach. Range was about 10000 yards. The targets base course was about 060°. An escort was ahead of the target and what looked like a small merchant vessel was astern.

1412 hours - It became evident that we could not close. Secured from battle stations.

1453 hours - Surfaced and continued trailing the convoy.

1853 hours - The sun was dropping behind clouds in our quarter. Went to full speed ahead and commenced an end around.

2018 hours - Went to battle stations.

2332 hours - Started attack.

2345 hours - In position 04°32'N, 147°23'E started firing a full bow salvo of six torpedoes. Three hits were seen before Balao dived. The closest escort was very near.

2350 hours - Depth charging started.

2 January 1944
0230 hours - The 9th and last depth charge was dropped. Some had been close and some minor damage was sustained by Balao.

7 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed her patrol area for Tulagi.

11 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi for fuel. She was escorted in and out by USS SC-1268.

15 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Brisbane.

At Brisbane she was refitted by the Submarine Repair Unit. Refit was completed on 29 January 1944. Training was carried out between 1-3 February 1944.

6 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol north of New Guinea.

Before proceeding to her patrol area Balao was to proceed to Tulagi for fuel. During this passage exercises were carried out until 0030/08 with USS Conyngham and HMAS Bendigo.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

11 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) fuelled at Tulagi before proceeding on patrol. She was escorted in and out by USS Constant

23 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Nikki Maru (5857 GRT, built 1918) about 35 nautical miles north of Biak, New Guinea in position 00°07'S, 135°42'E.

The above mentioned Nikki Maru was in convoy together with Moji Maru (3831 GRT, built 1922). They were escorted by the Japanese minelayer Wakataka (offsite link).

(All times are zone -11)
22 February 1944
2005 hours - In position 00°15'S, 136°18'E sighted smoke bearing 080°. Shortly thereafter sighted the hull of a ship to the left of the smoke. Opened the range and close the range again after dark. Commenced tracking and tried to get into position to attack.

2300 hours - Had the enemy's speed and course. The convoy was made up of an escort and two merchant vessels.

2350 hours - Went to battle stations and started attack.

23 February 1944
0013 hours - In position 00°07'S, 135°42'E fired six torpedoes at the last ship of the convoy from 3100 yards.

0015 hours - Obtained three hits on the target.

0018 hours - Heard three end of run explosions. Balao meanwhile cleared the area on the surface. In the early evening Balao was back in the area of the attack and picked up one Japanese survivor.

26 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) was depth charged while trying to attack an enemy convoy north of New Guinea. The attack had to be broken off.

The convoy attacked was made up of Kibi Maru (2961 GRT, built 1943), Narita Maru (1915 GRT, built 1942), Taiei Maru (2934 GRT, built 1912) and Daigen Maru No.3 (5255 GRT, built 1908). They were escorted by the Japanese submarine chaser Ch-35 and the Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-3 and CHa-63.

(All times are zone -11)
1653 hours - In position 00°32'S, 139°05'E sighted smoke bearing 273°. Commenced maneuvering for an attack position.

1925 hours - Dived and commenced approach. Chose the largest Maru as the target.

2028 hours - One of the escorts must have spotted Balao as she dropped two depth charges and turned towards. Went deep and rigged for a depth charge attack. At this time sound reported torpedoes running it now appeared that the escort did not drop depth charges after all but that it were two torpedoes hitting a target. This was USS Gato at work.

2032 to 2115 hours - A total of 17 depth charges were dropped keeping Balao down.

2356 hours - Surfaced.

29 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Akiura Maru (6803 GRT, built 1938) and troop transport Shoho Maru (2723 GRT, built 1941) about 90 nautical miles north-west of Manokwari, New Guinea in position 00°06'N, 132°53'E.

For the moment the composition of this convoy is not known to us.

(All times are zone -11)
28 February 1944
1218 hours - In position 00°42'N, 131°57'E sighted smoke on the horizon. Distance was about 40 nautical miles. Commenced closing.

1318 hours - Submerged to continue the approach. Went to battle stations.

The convoy however changed course and Balao was unable to attack. She had to remain submerged for most of the afternoon as there was air cover of the convoy.

1720 hours - Surfaced.

1800 hours - The aircraft made off to the South, set off in pursuit of the convoy.

2108 hours - Obtained radar contact on two ships of the convoy. Commenced tracking.

29 February 1944
0005 hours - Went to battle stations. Continued to get into attack position.

0056 hours - Started attack.

0109 hours - In position 00°06'N, 132°53'E fired six bow torpedoes at the target we had selected from a range of 3100 yards. An Akiura Maru class vessel (correctly identified). The third torpedo hooked sharply to the left and then circled to the right.

0110 hours - Two torpedo hits were seen and heard.

0111 hours - Fired four stern torpedoes at two ships which were overlapping from a range of 2700 yards (closest ship).

0112 hours - Heard and saw a very loud exlosion on the initial target.

0113 hours - Obtained three more torpedo hits. One of the ships targeted was hit once, the other twice.

0114 hours - Another loud explosion on the initial target. Her radar 'pip' then faded out.

0015 hours - Heard two more heavy explosions. The radar 'pip' on one of the targets of the stern tubes then faded out. The 'pips' of the escort and other merchant vessel remained on the radar screen.

3 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) attacked an escorted transport ship about 80 nautical miles north-east of Biak in position 00°35'S, 137°05'E. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -11)
0023 hours - In position 00°17'S, 136°55'E sighted a ship heading across moon slick. Closed to radar range and commenced tracking.

0235 hours - Went to battle stations and commenced closing to pick up the escort on the radar. On closing it became clear that the target was smaller then first thought. None the less he was over 2500 tons and was worth attacking.

0317 hours - In position 00°35'S, 137°05'E fired four bow torpedoes from 3100 yards and turned away at flank speed to clear the area. No hits were obtained. Four end of run explosions were heard.

4 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy north of New Guinea. Two hits were obtained on one of the transports of the convoy but the torpedoes failed to explode.

(All times are zone -11)
0916 hours - In position 01°00N, 138°30'E sighted smoke on the horizon. Closed to investigate. The smoke proved to be coming from 2 transports on a north-westerly course, speed 9 knots. Commenced tracking from ahead.

1243 hours - Ran into a weather front. Steadied on the convoy's base course hoping to find the convoy again when the weather cleared.

1558 hours - Weather cleared and there was the convoy.

1802 hours - Dived for the attack.

1957 hours - In position 02°00'N, 137°48'E fired four torpedoes from the stern tubes at the leading transport from a range of 2400 yards. Balao stayed up to watch the results and the escorts.

1959 hours - Saw two high columns of water alongside the target. The torpedoes hit but failed to explode and the target turned away soon afterwards.

2004 hours - Both escorts were seen coming towards. Went deep.

2005 hours - The first of 16 depth charges. None were close enough to cause damage.

2246 hours - Surfaced and cleared the area.

5 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed her patrol area for Langemak Bak.

7 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) arrived at Langemak Bak where she toon on board fuel and provisions from USS Coucal. Balao was escorted in by USS PC-1134.

8 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed Langemak Bak for Pearl Harbour. She was escorted out by USS PC-1134.

13 Mar 1944
At 1130 hours (zone -11), in position 14°45'N 155°25'E, USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN), was detected and depth charged by a Japanese 'Betty' aircraft. No damage was sustained.

19 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

At Pearl Harbour she was refitted by Submarine Division 122 Relief crew and the USS Griffin. Refit was completed on 12 April 1944. Training was carried out during 14 to 22 April.

24 Apr 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Palau. Balao was escorted out by USS PC-1077.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

29 Apr 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) made a stop at Midway for voyage repairs and fuel. She departed for her patrol area after about 8 hours.

2 Jun 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy about 150 nautical miles south-west of Palau in position 05°40'N, 133°00'E. It is thought a ship was sunk but this does not appear to have been the case.

The composition of this convoy is for the moment unknown to us.

(All times are zone -9)
1 June 1944
2101 hours - In position 05°48'N, 133°28'E obtained radar contact bearing 340°, range 16500 yards. Shortly afterwards the bridge made sight contact. The target group consists of 4 or 5 ships. Commenced tracking.

2147 hours - Enemy course 245°, speed 7.5 knots. Increased speed to 17 knots to pull ahead.

2349 hours - Dived and turned towards to attack.

2 June 1944
0030 hours - Main target group in sight. Three transports are in column with a Chidori-class torpedo boat pinging ahead.

0055 hours - In position 05°40'N, 133°00'E fired six bow tubes at a passenger/freighter from 2600 yards. Turned to get off the tracks and went deep. Two torpedo explosions were heard.

0102 hours - Depth charging started. 4 depth charges were dropped but they were not at all near.

0230 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The escort was still in the vicinity of the attack, range 5 nautical miles.

0305 hours - Surfaced and commenced an end around.

12 Jun 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) ended her 5th war patrol at Majuro. She was escorted in by USS Burden R. Hastings.

Refit was undertaken USS Sperry and was completed 27 June 1944. Training was undertaken during 2 and 3 July 1944.

5 Jul 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) departed from Majuro for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Palau. She was escorted out by USS Jubilant.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

26 Jul 1944
In the afternoon, USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN), picked up a crashed US aviator off Palau.

27 Jul 1944
In the afternoon, USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN), picked up two crashed US aviators off Palau.

29 Jul 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) sank a sampan with gunfire off the Palaus in position 09°27'N, 133°19'E.

(All times are zone -9)
1539 hours - In position 09°20'N, 133°08'E sighted two sampans through the periscope bearing 090°, distance 8 nautical miles.

1634 hours - USS Drum called, she had also spotted the sampans and would like to attack with the gun.

1635 hours - Sighted Drum bearing 140°.

1637 hours - Went to battle stations and surfaced. Went to 18 knots heading for the left hand sampan.

1650 hours - In position 09°27'N, 133°19'E opened fire at the sampan from 7000 yards. When the range was 6000 yards it was noticed that the target was on fire from splinter effect of near misses as she had not been hit.

1700 hours - Opened firing with 20mm from 1000 yards. The crew abandoned the sampan.

1720 hours - Sent over the boarding party to remove everything of value. The sampan was then set on fire.

1750 hours - Cleared the area for deeper water.

12 Aug 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS Conyngham.

13 Aug 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) departed Saipan for Pearl Harbour. She was escorted out by USS Conyngham.

22 Aug 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) ended her 6th war patrol at Pearl Harbour.

24 Aug 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) departed Pearl Harbour for the Mare Island Navy Yard where she was to refit.

30 Aug 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.F.R. de Arellano, USN) arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard from Pearl Harbour to refit.

7 Nov 1944
Having completed her refit and post refit trials, USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN), departed the Mare Island Navy Yard for Pearl Harbour.

15 Nov 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

4 Dec 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Yellow Sea as part of a coordinated attack group together with USS Spot and USS Icefish. She was escorted out by USS PC-571.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

15 Dec 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) arrived at Saipan.

17 Dec 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) departed from Saipan for her patrol area.

2 Jan 1945
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) sinks a large Japanese schooner in the Yellow Sea in position 38°45'N, 122°56'E.

(All times are zone -9)
1353 hours - In position 38°30'N, 122°45'E sighted masts of a sailing vessel, range was about 14000 yards. Maneuvered to close and look him over.

1540 hours - The vessel was a large big schooner of about 700 tons.

1855 hours - Surfaced, maneuvered to get into a firing position.

1946 hours - In position 38°45'N, 122°56'E fired a torpedo from 1000 yards but it drifted to the right and missed astern.

2016 hours - Fired another torpedo. Range was 870 yards. Again the torpedo broached and drifter to the right. This torpedo also missed.

2042 hours - Fired another torpedo from 910 yards. This torpedo also broached but hit the target. The target broke in half and soon sank. No survivors were seen.

8 Jan 1945
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Daigo Maru (5244 GRT, built 1944, offsite link) in the Yellow Sea south-west of Korea in position 34°28'N, 122°39'E.

(All times are zone -9)
7 January 1945
2325 hours - Radar back in commission. It's first sweep obtained a radar contact bearing 165°, range 17000 yards. Closed. No escort was picked up by the radar. Position was 34°30'N, 123°00'E.

8 January 1945
0003 hours - Went to battle stations.

0113 hours - In position 34°45'N, 122°56'E fired six bow torpedoes from a range of abuot 2500 yards.

0115 hours - Saw, heard and felt three torpedo explosions.

0131 hours - As the target refused to sink fired two more torpedoes from about 1800 yards. One hit was obtained.

0143 hours - As the target still was not sinking fired yet another torpedo. Range was 1850 yards. It missed.

0153 hours - In position 34°28'N, 122°39'E fired four stern torpedoes from about 2750 yards. Two hits were obtained. As the target now had six holes in it was sure he would sink. Retired to the north.

0222 hours - At 10000 yards range the 'pip' of the target was still very large and more importantly she was moving at 6 knots !!!. Turned towards again.

0249 hours - Dived when the range was 4000 yards.

0308 hours - Fired another torpedo. It missed.

0311 hours - Fired yet another torpedo. Again it missed.

0314 hours - Fired one more torpedo from 1085 yards. It hit. The target was now finally sinking.

0320 hours - Surfaced. No survivors were seen.

13 Jan 1945
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) departed her patrol area for Guam.

19 Jan 1945
USS Balao (Cdr. M.R. de Arellano, USN) ended her 7th war patrol at Guam. She was escorted in by USS Boyd.

At Guam she was refitted by Submarine Division 282 Relief crew and the USS Apollo. Refit was completed on 3 February 1945. Training was carried out during 8 to 19 February 1945.

21 Feb 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) shifted from Guam to Saipan.

22 Feb 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) departed Saipan for exercises.

23 Feb 1945
Upon completion of the exercises USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) returned at Saipan.

27 Feb 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) departed from Saipan for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China and Yellow Seas as part of a coordinated attack group USS Tench, USS Guardfish and USS Sea Devil.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

9 Mar 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) attacked a small escorted tanker off south-west Kyushu with four torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -9)
0907 hours - In position 31°20'N, 130°05'E sighted smoke bearing 129°. Range about 8000 yards.

0910 hours - Battle stations.

0920 hours - Sighted an escort well ahead of the target. Later another escort was seen.

0930 hours - The target appeared to be a small tanker.

0944 hours - In position 31°19'N, 130°06'E fired four torpedoes from 1870 yards. No hits were heard but the target was covered in smoke.

0951 hours - Depth charging started.

1200 hours - Depth charging ceased. 8 depth charges had been dropped. Some had been close.

1225 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

18 Mar 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) sank the Japanese trawler Daito Maru No.2 (188 GRT, built 1944) with gunfire in the Yellow Sea in position 35°00'N, 123°51'E.

(All times are zone -9)
0656 hours - Battle surfaced to engage a Japanese trawler.

0706 hours - Opened fire. 20mm richocet off the targets sides so the target must be steel and not wood. the 5" gun misfired after the first shot.

0720 hours - The 5" gun was firing again.

0723 hours - The target capsized after another 8 rounds of 5". Nine survivors were seen in the water. Commenced maneuvering to pick up survivors. Picked up four 'frozen' Japanese.

0825 hours - One of the POW's died.

19 Mar 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Hakozaki Maru (10413 GRT, built 1922) and torpedoed and damaged the Japanese troop transport Tatsuharu Maru (6345 GRT, built 1939) off the Yangtze estuary about 90 nautical miles north-north-west of Shanghai, China in position 33°05'N, 122°11'E.

The above mentioned ships were in convoy together with transport Nikko Maru (5058 GRT, built 1903). They were escorted by the Japanese frigates Chikubu, Kaibokan 40, Kaibokan 102 and Kaibokan 106. (All links are offsite links)

Balao also sank the merchant fishing vessels Daito Maru No.1 (156 GRT), Katsura Maru No.1, Eiho Maru No.1 and Eiho Maru No.2 with gunfire in position 34°11'N, 123°01'E.

(All times are zone -9)
18 March 1945
1538 hours - In position 34°33'N, 123°56'E sighted four large ships and two escorts bearing 160°, range 18000 yards.

1716 hours - Standing by to surface but could not do so as a single merchant ship was nearby.

1854 hours - Surfaced and commenced pursuit of the convoy.

19 March 1945
0020 hours - In position 33°32'N, 122°27'E, convoy picked up by the radar again bearing 290°, range 21150 yards. Commenced tracking. Radar reported two merchants and four escorts. Started to get into a good position for attack.

0252 hours - In position 33°09'N, 122°08'E fired six bow tubes at two of the merchant vessels. Then swung left and fired all four stern tubes at another merchant vessel but Balao was still swinging when these torpedoes were fired so they all missed. It is thought the bow torpedoes resulted in four hits.

---------------------------------------------

1535 hours - Identified two sets of masts bearing 053°. Headed towards. Position was 34°07'N, 122°55'E.

1729 hours - Identified the ships as trawlers of about 150 tons. They had the Japanese flag painted on their bows.

1743 hours - Battle surfaced. Sighted two more trawlers 7000 yards to the northward.

1745 hours - In position 34°11'N, 123°01'E opened fire with the 5" gun at the left target and with 40mm at the right target.

1757 hours - One target sunk, the other was buring. The last two 5" rounds pooped her, blowing away her stern so left her.

1800 hours - Headed for the other two trawlers 4 nautical miles to the north-east.

1813 hours - Commenced firing at the third target.

1818 hours - Ceased fire. The target was burning fouriously.

1830 hours - Commenced firing at the fourth target.

1832 hours - Ceased firing. The target was a mass of flames. Ceased firing. One survivor was picked u who turned out to be Chinese.

21 Mar 1945
While trying to attack a Japanese convoy in the Yellow Sea, USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) is driven off by one of the escorts. Four torpedoes were then fired at this escort but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -9)
0311 hours - Obtained radar concact bearing 315 degrees, range 19000 yards. Position was 35°34'N, 124°12'E.

0319 hours - Three targets, bearing now 330 degrees, range 18000 yards.

0327 hours - Convoy was now thought to be two ships and four escorts. Enemy base course was 140 degrees, speed 9 knots.

0438 hours - Commenced approach.

0445 hours - Base course of the convoy now 090 degrees. Had to obtained a new attack position.

0545 hours - Started another approach.

0616 hours - An escort was now at a range of 1400 yards. In position 35°30'N, 124°23'E fired four stern torpedoes at her from a range of almost 1500 yards. No hits were obtained. The escort started to chase Balao.

0710 hours - Splashes from gunfire to port and getting closer. Released a radar decoy.

0712 hours - Dived and released a bubble target.

0759 hours - Appear to have evaded him.

0820 hours - The escort came nearer again.

0905 hours - The escort had contact on us. Released another beacon and bubble target but these delayed the enemy only briefly.

0917 hours - Screws overhead.

0919 hours - 21 explosions in rapid succession but they caused no damage to Balao. The enemy hunted Balao for the remainder of the morning.

1240 hours - At periscope depth. Nothing sighted.

26 Mar 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) sank the Japanese army stores ship Shinto Maru No.1 (884 GRT, built 1944) with gunfire in the Yellow Sea in position 35°14'N, 123°44'E.

(All times are zone -9)
0652 hours - In position 35°02'N, 123°48'E sighted smoke bearing 055°. Sighted a small engines aft ship through the periscope.

0730 hours - Dived on track.

0831 hours - Battle stations torpedo.

0900 hours - The target is a small transport vessel, bridge and stack aft.

0938 hours - Surfaced and took pictures.

0942 hours - Opened fire with the 5", 40mm and 20mm guns.

0953 hours - Ceased firing. The target was buring and holed.

0956 hours - Dived.

1010 hours - Target was seen to sink.

8 Apr 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) ended her 8th war patrol at Guam. She was escorted in by USS SC-1070.

At Guam she was refitted by Submarine Division 201 Relief crew and the USS Proteus. Refit was completed on 23 April 1945. Training was carried out during 25 April to 1 May 1945.

3 May 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) departed from Guam for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Yellow Sea in a coordinated attack group together with USS Dragonet, USS Shad and USS Spikefish.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

4 May 1945
Because of several defects, USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN), set course to return to Guam. Later she was ordered to proceed to Saipan.

6 May 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS LCI(L)-1098.

6 May 1945
After repairs, USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN), departed Saipan to resume her 9th war patrol. She was escorted out by USS LCI(L)-1098.

19 May 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) sank a sampan / junk in the Yellow Sea in position 38°09'N, 124°40'E.

(All times are zone -9)
1309 hours - Here comes another ship (several had been sighted in the morning). Started approach. Position was 38°09'N, 124°35'E.

1412 hours - Not in an ideal position but it would not become any better. Range was 2000 yards. Fired three torpedoes. Position was now 38°09'N, 124°40'E.

1415 hours - One of the torpedoes hit a junk that was nearby. The other two torpedoes missed the target.

1421 hours - Retired to the west to open the range to the coast.

23 May 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) suffers a breakdown of her stern diving planes. Early the next morining she was ordered to break off her patrol and proceed to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

3 Jun 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) made a short stop at Midway. She departed for Pearl Harbour after a few hours in port.

7 Jun 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) ended her 9th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was escorted in by USS PC-1077.

At Pearl Harbour she was refitted by Submarine Division 104 and the Pearl Harbour submarine base. Refit was completed on 24 June 1945. Training was carried out during 29 June to 4 July 1945.

7 Jul 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol and to perform lifeguard duties to the east of Honshu, Japan.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

19 Jul 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS YMS 374.

21 Jul 1945
After voyage repairs and topping off with fuel, USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN), departed Saipan for her patrol area. She was escorted out by USS SC-995.

3 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) picked up one downed US aviator.

5 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) picked up one downed US aviator.

10 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) picked up two downed US aviators.

14 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) sank a Japanese lugger (possibly a guard boat) with gunfire off the east coast of Honshu, Japan in position 39°12'N, 141°56'E. Another was damaged in the same attack.

(All times are zone -9)
1445 hours - In position position 39°04'N, 142°16'E sighted two small luggers or picket vessels bearing 239°. They were hugging the coast on a northerly course. Each appeared to have a small gun forward.

1528 hours - Battle surfaced.

1531 hours - Commenced firing. Both luggers immediately turned for the beach. The first target engaged beached herself so fire was then shifted to the second target which was soon in a sinking condition. Position was now 39°12'N, 141°56'E.

1541 hours - Ceased firing.

21 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) arrived at Midway. She departed for Pearl Harbour later the same day.

25 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) ended her 10th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was escorted in by USS PC-485.

31 Aug 1945
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. H.E. Davey, Jr., USN) departed Pearl Harbour for the US east coast. She arrived at New York on 27 September 1945.

20 Feb 1962
Accidentally snagged the towline of high seas tug Torrent IV while cruising at a depth of 34 m (110 ft) off the Florida coast. The snag damaged one of Balao's masthead lights, punched 2 small holes in the periscope shrouds, broke an antenna off and damaged another one. Neither the tug nor the towed barge were damaged.

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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