Allied Warships

Caiman (SS-323)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Caiman after the war.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant323 
Built byElectric Boat Co. (Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A.) 
Ordered6 Jun 1942 
Laid down24 Jun 1943 
Launched30 Mar 1944 
Commissioned17 Jul 1944 
End service30 Jun 1972 
History

Decommissioned, stricken and transferred yo Turkey on 30 June 1972.

 

Commands listed for USS Caiman (323)

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

CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. John Behling Azer, USN17 Jul 194429 Nov 1944
2T/Cdr. Frederick Colby Lucas, Jr., USN29 Nov 19446 Feb 1945
3T/Lt.Cdr. William Louis Fey, Jr., USN6 Feb 194529 Aug 1945
4T/Cdr. Norman Dwight Gage, USN29 Aug 1945Sep 1947

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Notable events involving Caiman include:


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

This page was last updated in January 2017.

27 Jul 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put on the slipway at New London.

29 Jul 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put back in the water.

30 Jul 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) shifted from New London, Connecticut to Newport, Rhode Island for her torpedo firing trials.

2 Aug 1944
Having completed her torpedo firing trials, USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) shifted from Newport, Rhode Island to New London, Connecticut.

5 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted deep diving trials in the New London area.

14 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put on the slipway at New London.

15 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put back in the water.

18 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put on the slipway at New London.

20 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put back in the water.

21 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Key West, Florida for services with the Fleet Sound School.

28 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Key West where she was put on the slipway. She was put back in the water later the same day.

29 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Key West, Florida from New London, Connecticut.

29 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

30 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

31 Aug 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

1 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put on the slipway at Key West.

2 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) is put back in the water. She then ran trials off Key West.

3 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) departed Key West, Florida for Port Everglades, Florida.

4 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Port Everglades, Florida from Key West, Florida.

7 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) departed Port Everglades, Florida for Colon, Panama Canal Zone.

11 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Colon, Panama Canal Zone.

14 Sep 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Pearl Harbour.

1 Oct 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour from Balboa, Panama Canal Zone.

27 Oct 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Connolly (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Collier, USNR), USS Snyder (Lt.Cdr. E. Moore, USNR) and USS Sealion (Cdr. E.T. Reich, USN).

28 Oct 1944
During 28/29 October 1944, USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN), conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Connolly (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Collier, USNR), USS Tills (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Brooks, USNR) and USS Finback (Cdr. R.R. Williams, Jr., USN). These exercises included night exercises.

29 Oct 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Pringle (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Kelley, Jr., USN), USS Finback (Cdr. R.R. Williams, Jr., USN) and USS Sealion (Cdr. E.T. Reich, USN).

3 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Bright (Lt.Cdr. W.A. McMahan, USNR), USS Hemminger (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Bodler, USNR), USS Snyder (Lt.Cdr. E. Moore, USNR), USS Blenny (Cdr. W.H. Hazzard, USN) and USS Spikefish (Cdr. N.J. Nicholas, USN).

7 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS O'Brien (Cdr. W.W. Outerbridge, USN) and USS Lansdowne (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Maddox, USN).

8 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour.

10 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour.

13 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to proceed to Saipan to top off with fuel and then to patrol in the South China Sea. She was escorted out by USS USS PC-579 (Lt. R.L. Biggs, USNR).

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Caiman during this patrol see the map below.

25 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) arrived at Saipan.

26 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) departed Saipan for her patrol area.

28 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN) returned to Saipan due to Cdr. Azer being sick. She was escorted in by USS Dunlap (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Welte, USN).

29 Nov 1944
Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN takes over command of USS Caiman from Cdr. J.B. Azer, USN who was to sick to go on patrol.

30 Nov 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Saipan together with USS Ellet (Cdr. E.C. Rider, USN).

1 Dec 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Saipan together with USS Cassin (Cdr. V.J. Meola, USN), USS Ellet (Cdr. E.C. Rider, USN) and USS Grayson (Cdr. W.V. Pratt, III, USN).

2 Dec 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Saipan together with USS Cassin (Cdr. V.J. Meola, USN), USS Ellet (Cdr. E.C. Rider, USN) and USS Grayson (Cdr. W.V. Pratt, III, USN).

4 Dec 1944
After a four day training period, USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN), departed Saipan for her patrol area. She was escorted out by USS PC-1126 (Lt. J.F. Carrere, USNR).

7 Dec 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) accidentily fired a torpedo from no.9 (stern) tube with the outer door closed. The torpedo exploded at the end of the run but the torpedo tube was out of commission for the remainder of the patrol.

27 Dec 1944
USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) attacked but missed a Japanese A/S vessel with three torpedoes off the west coast of Luzon, Philippines. Caiman was then briefly depth charged but sustained no damage.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1113 hours - In position 15°55'N, 119°41'E sound reported fast screws bearing 350°(T).

1118 hours - Sighted masts of what was first believed to be a destroyer but later turned out to be a smaller escort vessel, more like a frigate or submarine chaser. Commenced approach.

1145 hours - In position 15°45'N, 119°42'E fired three stern torpedoes from a range of 1500 yards. All missed.

1146 hours - The target was seen to turn towards. Went to 400 feet and rigged for depth charging.

1149 hours - Four depth charges were dropped, none close. The A/S vessel remained in the area for a short while but then made off.

16 Jan 1945
During the night of 16/17 January 1945, USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the suface.

22 Jan 1945
USS Caiman (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

7 Feb 1945
From 7 to 16 February 1945, USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN), conducted training exercises off Fremantle. These included three nights of exercises as well.

18 Feb 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) departed from Fremantle for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Siam.

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Caiman during this patrol see the map below.

23 Feb 1945
During the night of 23/24 February 1945, USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN), made the northbound passage of Lombok Strait on the suface.

27 Mar 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) attacked two small Japanese freighters with a total of four torpedoes east of Marang, Mayala in position 05°11'N, 103°20'E. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1044 hours - In position 05°15'N, 103°21'E sighted masts and superstructure of two vessels bearing 290°(T), range about 14000 yards. Changed course to intercept.

1145 hours - In position 05°11'N, 103°20'E fired four bow torpedoes from a range of about 3500 yards at two 1000 ton freighters. No hits were obtained.

1152 hours - Sighted a third vessel thought to be a trawler. At this time also three depth charges exploded. Sound reported pinging coming from the direction of the targets.

6 Apr 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Subic Bay, Philippines. She was escorted in by USS Kenneth M. Willett (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Flynn, USNR). At Subic Bay she was refitted by a relief crew from Submarine Division 262 and USS Anthedon.

24 Apr 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) conducted exercises off Subic Bay together with USS Eichenberger (Lt.Cdr. N. Harrell, USN) and USS Hammerhead (Cdr. F.M. Smith, USN).

28 Apr 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) departed from Subic Bay for her 3rd war patrol. Once again she was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Siam. She was escorted out by USS Kenneth M. Willett (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Flynn, USNR).

For daily and attack positions for USS Caiman during this patrol see the map below.

29 May 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) was ordered to proceed to Subic Bay.

31 May 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) made a short call at Subic Bay for fuel and provisions. She departed later the same day for a patrol area to the west of Borneo. She was escorted in and out by USS Rolf (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Hubbell, USNR).

11 Jun 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) sank two schooners with gunfire in off the west coast of Borneo in position 01°00'N, 108°54'E.

(All times are zone I, -9)
1045 hours - In position 01°00'N, 108°54'E sighted two two-masted topsail schooners proceeding north. Closed to investigate.

1155 hours - Manned the 5" gun and opened fire. Ranges to the schooners were 4500 and 2800 yards respectively.

1226 hours - Both schooners were now on the bottom of the sea. Each schooner required about five hits to sink but it took a total of eighty-three rounds to obtain results.

20 Jun 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) departed her patrol area for Fremantle.

21 Jun 1945
In the evening, USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

27 Jun 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle.

22 Jul 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) departed from Fremantle for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Java Sea and to land agents on Java (we have no details available for her two special operations for the moment).

For daily and attack positions for USS Caiman during this patrol see the map below.

27 Jul 1945
During the night of 27/28 July 1945, USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN), made the northbound passage of Lombok Strait.

10 Aug 1945
At 1330 hours (time zone I, -9) USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) sank the native prau Sari Berkat with 40mm gunfire in the Java Sea, north of Madura Island, in position 05°58'S, 114°10'E.

15 Aug 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) was ordered to proceed to Subic Bay.

19 Aug 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Subic Bay.

31 Aug 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) departed Subic Bay, Philippines for Pearl Harbour.

14 Sep 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour from Subic Bay, Philippines.

15 Sep 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) departed Pearl Harbour for San Diego, California.

22 Sep 1945
USS Caiman (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Fey, Jr., USN) arrived at San Diego, California from Pearl Harbour.

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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