Allied Warships

Tang (SS-306)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Tang returning after her second war patrol.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant306 
Built byMare Island Navy Yard (Vallejo, California, U.S.A.) 
Ordered15 Dec 1941 
Laid down15 Jan 1943 
Launched17 Aug 1943 
Commissioned15 Oct 1943 
Lost24 Oct 1944 
Loss position25° 06'N, 119° 31'E
History

USS Tang (Cdr. Richard Hetherington O'Kane) is sunk by a circular-running torpedo fired by herself near Turnabout Island in Formosa Strait in position 25º06'N, 119º31'E. There were only 9 survivors, including the Commanding Officer, O'Kane. They were picked up by a Japanese escort and became POW's.

After his return from Japan, Cdr. O'Kane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on 27 March 1946.
Citation;
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, commanding U.S.S. Tang. Place and date: Vicinity Philippine Islands, 23 and 24 October 1944. Entered service at: New Hampshire. Born: 2 February 1911, Dover, N.H. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Tang operating against 2 enemy Japanese convoys on 23 and 24 October 1944, during her fifth and last war patrol. Boldly maneuvering on the surface into the midst of a heavily escorted convoy, Comdr. O'Kane stood in the fusillade of bullets and shells from all directions to launch smashing hits on 3 tankers, coolly swung his ship to fire at a freighter and, in a split-second decision, shot out of the path of an onrushing transport, missing it by inches. Boxed in by blazing tankers, a freighter, transport, and several destroyers, he blasted 2 of the targets with his remaining torpedoes and, with pyrotechnics bursting on all sides, cleared the area. Twenty-four hours later, he again made contact with a heavily escorted convoy steaming to support the Leyte campaign with reinforcements and supplies and with crated planes piled high on each unit. In defiance of the enemy's relentless fire, he closed the concentration of ship and in quick succession sent 2 torpedoes each into the first and second transports and an adjacent tanker, finding his mark with each torpedo in a series of violent explosions at less than l,000-yard range. With ships bearing down from all sides, he charged the enemy at high speed, exploding the tanker in a burst of flame, smashing the transport dead in the water, and blasting the destroyer with a mighty roar which rocked the Tang from stem to stern. Expending his last 2 torpedoes into the remnants of a once powerful convoy before his own ship went down, Comdr. O'Kane, aided by his gallant command, achieved an illustrious record of heroism in combat, enhancing the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

 

Commands listed for USS Tang (306)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Richard Hetherington O'Kane, USN15 Oct 194324 Oct 1944

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Notable events involving Tang include:


8 Jan 1944
With her trials and initial training completed USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. Richard Hetherington O'Kane) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

22 Jan 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Mariana / Caroline Islands area.

17 Feb 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Gyoten Maru (6854 GRT) and the Japanese merchant tanker Kuniei Maru (5184 GRT) about 130 nautical miles west-north-west of Truk in position 08°00'N, 149°17'E.

22 Feb 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese auxiliary gunboat Fukuyama Maru (3581 GRT) about 60 nautical miles south-west of Saipan in position 15°14'N, 144°55'E.

23 Feb 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese repair ship Yamashimo Maru (6777 GRT) west of Saipan in position 14°45'N, 144°32'E.

24 Feb 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Echizen Maru (2424 GRT) west of Saipan in position 15°45'N, 143°29'E.

25 Feb 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fleet tanker Choko Maru (1790 GRT) west of Saipan in position 15°46'N, 144°10'E.

3 Mar 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) ended her 1st war patrol at Midway.

16 Mar 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) departed from Midway for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Palau's.

15 May 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) ended her 2nd war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She had on board 22 aviators she had rescued during air-attacks on Truk.

8 Jun 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China and the Yellow Seas.

24 Jun 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ships Tamahoko Maru (6780 GRT) and Kennichi Maru (1937 GRT) and the Japanese merchant tanker Nasusan Maru (4399 GRT) and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Tainan Maru (3175 GRT) outside Nagasaki harbour, Kyushu, Japan in position 32°24'N, 129°38'E.

30 Jun 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Nikkin Maru (5705 GRT) in the Yellow Sea off Mokpo, Korea in position 35°05'N, 125°00'E.

1 Jul 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fleet tanker Takatori Maru No.1 (878 GRT) off Mokpo, Korea in position 34°21'N, 123°55'E and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Taiun Maru No.2 (998 GRT) in position 34°42'N, 125°25'E.

4 Jul 1944
While operation in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of Korea, USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ships Asukasan Maru (6886 GRT) in position 35°22'N, 125°56'E and Yamaoka Maru (6932 GRT) in position 36°05'N, 125°48'E.

6 Jul 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Dori Go (1469 GRT) in the Yellow Sea in position 38°50'N, 123°35'E.

14 Jul 1944
USS Tang (Lt.Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) ended her outstanding 3rd war patrol at Midway.

31 Jul 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) departed from Midway for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the east coast of Honshu in Japanese home waters.

11 Aug 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Roko Maru (3328 GRT) off the southern coast of Honshu, Japan in position 33°58'N, 136°18'E.

22 Aug 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Nansatsu Maru No.2 (116 GRT) off Mikizaki, Japan in position 34°01'N, 136°21'E.

23 Aug 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese cargo ship Tsukushi Maru (1859 GRT) off Hamamatsu, Japan in position 34°37'N, 137°52'E.

25 Aug 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant tanker Nanko Maru No.8 (834 GRT) south of Mikizaki, Japan in position 33°55'N, 136°18'E.

3 Sep 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

24 Sep 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Formosa Strait.

27 Sep 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. Richard Hetherington O'Kane) refuels at Midway.

11 Oct 1944
USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ships Joshu Go (1658 GRT) and Oita Maru (711 GRT) in Formosa Strait in position 25°00'N, 121°00'E.

23 Oct 1944
While operating in Formosa Strait USS Tang (Cdr. R.H. O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ships Toun Maru (1915 GRT) and Tatsuju Maru (1944 GRT) and the Japanese troop transport Wakatake Maru (1920 GRT) in position 24°49'N, 120°26'E and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Kori Go (1339 GRT) in position 24°42'N, 120°21'E.

24 Oct 1944
While continuing her operations in Formosa Strait, USS Tang (Cdr. Richard Hetherington O'Kane) torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Matsumoto Maru (7024 GRT) in position 25°04'N, 119°35'E and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Ebara Maru (6957 GRT) in position 25°03'N, 119°35'E. However the Tang is sunk by her own torpedo thereafter.

Media links


The War Below

James Scott


Escape from the deep

Kershaw, Alex


The Last Patrol

Holmes, Harry


Clear The Bridge!

O\'Kane, Richard


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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