Keats Edmund Montross, USN

Born  1 May 1912Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Died  12 Jan 1945(32)USS Swordfish (SS-193)

Ranks

6 Jun 1938 Lt. (j.g.)
8 Dec 1941 Lt.
1 May 1943 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Mar 1944 T/Cdr.

Decorations

Warship Commands listed for Keats Edmund Montross, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS O-4 (65)Lt.SubmarineMay 1942Sep 1943
USS Swordfish (193)T/Lt.Cdr.Submarine8 Feb 194412 Jan 1945 (+)

Career information

Keats Edmund Montross was the son of James A. Montross and Rose Montross.

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS O-4 (65)


5 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS O-4 departed New London, Connecticut for Casco Bay, Maine.

6 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS O-4 arrived at Casco Bay, Maine from New London, Connecticut.

3 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS O-4 departed Casco Bay, Maine for New London, Connecticut.

4 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS O-4 arrived at New London, Connecticut from Casco Bay, Maine.


Submarine USS Swordfish (193)


2 Mar 1944
From 2 to 10 March 1944, USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) conducted training off Pearl Harbour.

13 Mar 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) depared Pearl Harbor for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Mariana Islands area.

No daily position are listed in the patrol report of USS Swordfish. The deck log is not available to us (at the moment). The positions displayed on this incomplete map below were taken from the patrol report.

15 Mar 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) made a short stop at Johnston Island. After topping off with fuel and water she departed for her patrol area.

5 Apr 1944 (position 20.23, 141.22)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy to the North-west of the Mariana Islands. She fired a total of eight torpedoes at two Japanese transport ships. A total of three hits were claimed.

Later on the same day Swordfish attacked a Japanese Mutsuki-class destroyer with three torpedoes. No hits were obtained. Swordfish was depth charges following the attack on the destroyer.

(All times are zone -10)
4 April 1944
0405 hours - Heard distant depth charging.

0410 hours - A lookout sighted a small vessel coming out of a rain squall. Radar picked this ship up at the same time, range was 10000 yards, bearing 185°(T). While Swordfish turned away the enemy was identified as a destroyer. The range closed to 5600 yards but then started to open up again.

0415 hours - Picked up three other pips on radar ranging from 18000 to 15000 yards. Commenced tracking. Started to work into a position for a dawn submerged attack as there was not sufficient time left for an immediate attack during the night. Position was 17°31'N, 142°28'E.

0547 hours - Dived. Went to battle stations. Commenced approach.

0647 hours - Had been tracking the convoy on a course of 285°(T), but at dawn the convoy zigged to 000°(T). We could not get closer then 5000 yards. A small escort turned towards an came to a range of about 3000 yards. Went deep to avoid detection.

0732 hours - Returned to periscope depth.

0740 hours - Heard distant depth charging.

1004 hours - Surfaced.

1050 hours - Sighted and obtained radar contact on a patrol plane. This plane and its relief were over the convoy until about two hours before sunset.

1227 hours - Sighted smoke of the convoy. Commenced an end around run and planned to attack after moonset.

5 April 1944
0439 hours - Started in for attack. Three escorts were seen on the dark side of the convoy which was thought to be made up of .

0513 hours - In position 20°23'N, 141°22'E fired four bow torpedoes at an unidentified freighter from 3100 yards.

0515 hours - Fired four stern torpedoes at a second freighter which was larger then the first one attack. Range was 3000 yards.

Also heard and observed one hit on the first target.

0518 hours - Heard and observed two timed explosions in the second target followed by a large flash and fire. Both targets were now observed to be burning.

0614 hours - Commenced another end around run.

0740 hours - Regained sight contact.

0753 hours - Heard distant depth charging.

0930 hours - Lost sight contact.

1140 hours - With radar contact with the convoy still at 22000 yards sighted a destroyer coming out of the haze and heading directly for Swordfish. Dived and went to battle stations. The destroyer passed 4000 yards astern and dropped 6 depth charges where he thought we were. The destroyer was identified as a Mutsuki-class destroyer.

1319 hours - Sighted the convoy passing with large port angle on the bow. A small escort headed our way. Went deep to avoid. Unable to see if any ships were missing from last night's attack.

1502 hours - After a careful search around through the periscope came to radar depth. All appeared clear so surfaced. Shortly after surfacing the destroyer (see 1140 hours) was sighted again.

1506 hours - Dived. When at periscope depth saw the destroyer rushing towards. Went to battle stations.

1521 hours - In position 21°16'N, 141°21'E fired three MK 18 torpedoes from the stern tubes at this Mutsuki-class destroyer from 1050 yards. One muffled explosion was heard but this was possibly the destroyer dropping depth charges. Swordfish meanwhile went deep.

1522 to 1524 hours - Eight depth charges were dropped, but they were not very close. The destroyer kept pinging but dropped no further depth charges.

1700 hours - Could no longer heard the destroyer.

1900 hours - Surfaced. SJ radar was out of action. Repairs were undertaken.

7 Apr 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) sighted another Japanese convoy north-west of the Mariana Islands. Twice an attack was started but during both attacks the convoy changed course leaving Swordfish unable to fire torpedoes. During the chase after the last failed attack Swordfish was twice detected and bombed by Japanese aircraft and finally the chase was abandoned.

(All times are zone -10)
6 April 1944

1959 hours - In position 21°54'N, 140°50'E obtained radar contact at 2400 yards. Commenced tracking. Moon was almost full and night was very light. Two destroyers were patrolling 6000 to 8000 yards ahead of the convoy.

2300 hours - SJ radar interference from another SJ radar set.

7 April 1944

0045 hours - Received a very garbled message from USS Searaven on 450 Kcs.

0141 hours - With radar range to the leading destroyers at 14000 yards dived to radar depth ahead of the convoy. The convoy had been zigging between 180° and 120° about every 20 to 30 minutes. Went to periscope depth when the range to the nearest destroyer was 10000 yards.

0242 hours - By this time could only see a small escort through the periscope at a range of 3000 yards. Believed the convoy must have changes course radically.

0344 hours - Surfaced and commenced chase to work ahead for another attempt to attack. Kept in radar and sight contact with the convoy.

0735 hours - Sent a contact report on 450 Kcs.

1100 hours - In position 20°10'N, 141°32'E sighted an aircraft near the convoy about 12 nautical miles away coming towards us. Dived to 175 feet. A malfuntion to a valve occured. Temporary repairs were made.

1500 hours - Surfaced and continued the chase of the convoy.

2143 hours - In position ahead of the convoy. Submerged to attack.

2230 hours - Passed right between the two leading destroyers. Again they were 6000 to 8000 yards ahead of the convoy.

2306 hours - By now it had become clear that the convoy had again zigged radically as it had the night before.

8 April 1944

0025 hours - Surfaced and commenced chase.

0343 hours - Heard about 12 depth charges explode.

0435 hours - Heard more depth charges explode. Saw escorts blinking lights and two escorts dropping astern of the convoy. Looked like another submarine had made an attack. Closed to 12000 yards to look for cripples but saw none.

0617 hours - Sighted an anidentified object on the horizon. Closed and identified it as the forward half of a Japanese aircraft, most likely a 'Betty'. This plane was floating nose down and wings about half under water. Took pictures.

0955 hours - In position 18°29'N, 143°04'E obtained SD radar contact at 4 miles. Crash dived, went deep and rigged for depth charges.

0957 hours - One bomb, fairly close, it caused some minor damage.

1000 hours - A second bomb exploded but not close.

1252 hours - Surfaced. Resumed chase of the convoy.

1313 hours - In position 18°32'N, 143°06'E obtained SD radar contact, range 7 nautical miles. Dived.

1315 hours - One bomb exploded. Again fairly close.

1316 hours - A second bomb exploded. Not close. The valve that had been damaged earlier still leaked and three gyro spindles were found to be bent on forward torpedoes. Remained down for repairs and abandoned the chase of the convoy.

21 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) was ordered to leave her patrol area and to proceed to Majuro.

29 Apr 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) ended her 11th war patrol at Majuro. She was escorted in by USS Sederstrom (Lt. J.P. Farley, USNR).

16 May 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 16-18 May 1944, USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN), conducted training off Majuro.

22 May 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) departed Majuro for her 12th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Bonin Islands. Swordfish and USS Grouper (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Wahlig, USN), were escorted out by USS Weaver (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Paret, USNR).

No daily position are listed in the patrol report of USS Swordfish. The deck log is not available to us (at the moment). The positions displayed on this incomplete map below were taken from the patrol report.

9 Jun 1944 (position 26.59, 143.13)
While on her 12th war patrol USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese destroyer Matsukaze (offsite link) about 70 nautical miles south-east of Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands in position 26°59'N, 143°13'E.

Matsukaze was escorting convoy No. 3606. This convoy was made up of Sugiyama Maru (4297 GRT, built 1914), Shinroku Maru (2857 GRT, built 1944), Kanseishi Maru (4804 GRT, built 1929), Kaiko Maru (1515 GRT, built 1922), Awaji Maru (2045 GRT, built 1906), Yamatama Maru (4642 GRT, built 1944), Daiten Maru (4642 GRT, built 1943), Ryuko Maru (5626 GRT, built 1936), Toyokawa Maru (5123 GRT, built 1911), Toko Maru (530 GRT, built 1944), Shozui Maru (2719 GRT, built 1940), Miho Maru (4667 GRT, built 1943) and Hakuyo Maru (1391 GRT, built 1942).

Besides Matsukaze the convoy was escorted by the torpedo boat Chidori, the frigates Oki, Amakusa and Nomi, the submarine chasers Ch 16 and Ch 18 and the auxiliary minesweepers Showa Maru No.7 and Showa Maru No.8 (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -9)
8 June 1944
1525 hours - In position 29°10'N, 143°17'E sighted a destroyer bearing 290°(T), range 18000 yards. Turned towards to try to pick up the convoy this destroyer was most likely escorting.

2323 hours - In position 27°49'N, 143°08'E obtained radar contact bearing 125°(T). Two ships.

2355 hours - Sighted, in the bright moonlight, six ships, three freighters, two escorts and the destroyer we had been following. Commenced an end around run.

9 June 1944
0315 hours - We were now ahead of the convoy at a range of 16000 yards. Went to battle stations.

0337 hours - Radar range was now 10900 yards. Dived to radar depth. At 8000 yards went to periscope depth. Started an attack on one of the freighters. The destroyer however came near so shifted target.

0416 hours - In position 26°59'N, 143°13'E fired four torpedoes from 1200 yards. Went deep on firing.

0417 hours - Heard two timed explosions.

0419 hours - A depth charge exploded. Most likely one of the destroyers depth charges that was knocked off the destroyers stern when she was hit.

0421 hours - Heard the sounds of a ship breaking up.

0424 hours - Another escort was now heard to approach.

0428 hours - Six distant depth charges were heard to explode.

0434 hours - Eight distant depth charges were heard to explode.

0530 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted one escort and one freighter at a range of 16000 yards. An aircraft was also seen patrolling near the convoy.

0735 hours - Surfaced and commenced chase but it soom became evident the convoy was heading for Chichi Shima which was only 50 nautical miles away so abandoned the chase.

15 Jun 1944 (position 29.30, 141.11)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Kanseishi Maru (4804 GRT, built 1929) about 150 nautical miles north-north-west of Chichi Jima in position 29°30'N, 141°11'E. Two earlier attacks on the convoy Knseishi Maru was part had failed.

Besides Kanseishi Maru, the convoy attacked was made up of Miho Maru (4667 GRT, built 1943), Toyokawa Maru (5123 GRT, built 1911) and Awaji Maru (2045 GRT, built 1906).

They were escorted by the destroyer Satsuki, the frigates Oki, Amakusa and Nomi and the auxiliary minesweepers Showa Maru No.7 and Showa Maru No.8 (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -9)
14 June 1944
1410 hours - Sighted smoke.

1500 hours - In position 28°13'N, 140°55'E sighted a convoy consisting of four ships and five escorts. Range was about 20000 yards. Decided to trail the convoy and make a night surface attack.

1715 hours - Lost sight contact with the convoy.

1815 hours - Surfaced and commenced chase.

2048 hours - Regained radar contact with the convoy.

2120 hours - Commenced approach from the port beam of the convoy.

2135 hours - Broke off this approach as we would get to close to one of the escorts. Worked over to the other side of the convoy and commenced approach from the starboard bow.

2255 hours - Swordfish was detected by one of the escorts.

2256 hours - In position 29°21'N, 141°05'E fired four bow tubes at one of the transports from 1975 yards. All missed.

2258 hours - Sighted a small escort 20° on the starboard bow, range 500 yards. This quickly closed to 200 yards before Swordfish was able to maneuver to avoid. The escort dropped no depth charges. The convoy now seemed to disperse so commenced trailing one unidentified which seemed to be separated from the rest.

15 June 1944
0006 hours - Commenced approach on a single ship with one escort ahead and one small escort astern.

0025 hours - In position 29°28'N, 141°04'E fired four bow tubes from a range of 1500 yards. Again all torpedoes missed.

0029 hours - Commenced another approach on the same target.

0104 hours - Again fired four bow torpedoes from 1000 yards. Position was 29°30'N, 141°11'E. Three hits were obtained. The target began to settle by the bow.

0118 hours - The radar pip of the target disappeared. An escort dropped a few depth charges but then started to pick up survivors.

0154 hours - Abandoned the chase of the remainder of the convoy.

22 Jun 1944 (position 25.18, 141.17)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) made an unsuccessful torpedo attack on two trawlers off Iwo Jima. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -9)
1844 hours - Surfaced. In position 26°08'N, 141°28'E sighted two trawlers, range 10000 yards. Commenced an end around run with the targets to port. These trawlers were apparently heading for Iwo Shima, course 200°(T).

2042 hours - While getting ahead of the targets, got radar contact on two other ships on the starboard beam, range 5500 yards. Position was 26°00'N, 141°45'E. Tracked them on course 030° but the pips appeared small so continued tracking the original targets.

2126 hours - The ships were now visible, radar range was 7200 yards.

2225 hours - Ahead of the target. All stopped with the stern pointed at the target and on the targets track. Let the target come up astern and gradually working off track and keeping stern to the target until ...

2310 hours - In position 25°18'N, 141°17'E fired two stern torpedoes for a torpedo run of 1800 yards. One torpedo explosion was heard but neither ship appeared to be hit. It is thought the torpedo might have exploded in the targets wake.

2318 hours - Heard an end of run explosion. It was thought not advisable to fire more torpedoes at these small ships.

27 Jun 1944 (position 27.10, 141.57)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) heavily damaged or sank two Japanese trawlers with gunfire near Chichi-Jima

(All times are zone -9)
26 June 1944
2137 hours - In position 27°00'N, 141°55'E radar contact at a range of 7300 yards.

2147 hours - Sighted six trawlers. Decided to attack by gunfire. These trawlers were tracked on a course of 140°(T) which headed them for Chichi Chima.

2317 hours - Commenced approach on the port quarter of the rear ship.

2328 hours - In position 27°25'N, 141°55'E commenced firing with all guns at the rear ship from a range of 1000 yards.

2330 hours - Ceased firing. Pulled away to clear the jam on the 3" gun. The 20mm fire was very effective. Saw a small fire start on the ship fired upon. He stopped and dropped from the column. Now planned to cripple another one and then finish them both off.

2350 hours - Commenced another approach but now on the 5th ship.

27 June 1944
0010 hours - In position 27°10'N, 141°57'E commenced firing all guns on this ship from 900 yards. From now on until 0120 hours made runs on the target at ranges of 1000 to 500 yards and finally stopping at 300 yards from the target and blasting away. The first hit with the 3" gun on this target was made at 0022 hours.

0120 hours - As the other ships had increased speed to 10 knots it was estimated that they would arrive at Chichi Chima before we could intercept them so with the present target afire from stem to stern and main deck almost awash, commenced search for the trawler previously damaged.

0215 hours - Abandoned the search for the damaged trawler.

0445 hours - Dived.

28 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) departed her patrol area and set course for Midway.

30 Jun 1944 (position 28.02, 153.24)
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) sank or heavily damaged a Japanese picket boat / fishing vessel with gunfire in the North Pacific in position 28°02'N, 153°24'E.

(All times are zone -10)
1412 hours - In position 28°02'N, 154°23'E sighted the masts of three small trawlers. Took a course to get ahead of them.

1715 hours - Dived ahead of the trawlers, enemy speed was 7 knots, enemy course 330°(T). Sighted them through the periscope after diving however numerous rain squalls obscured the targets every now and then. They did not appear to be closing and to be stopped.

1936 hours - Surfaced.

1955 hours - Obtained radar contact on the three trawlers at a range of 6300 yards. Decided on gun action. Commenced approach.

2027 hours - In position 28°02'N, 153°24'E commenced firing all guns on the rear ship, range 900 yards. The enemy promptly returned fire with small calibre mchine guns. however 20mm soon silenced his gunfire. From now on until 2145 hours made runs on the target at ranges of 1000 to 500 yards. The targets speed was abut 10 knots. The target attempted to ram us once.

2150 hours - Secured from battle stations. The target was now down by the stern with water up to the deckhouse amidships, she listed 20° and fires were burning. The other two trawlers had left the scene at the start of the action. As ammunition supply was low we made no effort to search for them.

5 Jul 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) made a short stop at Midway before proceeding towards Pearl Harbour.

9 Jul 1944
USS Swordfish (Lt.Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) ended her 12th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was escorted in by USS PC 485 (Lt. W.C. Sands, USNR). On the 11th Swordfish then went into refit at the Navy Yard there. Refit was completed in early October.

22 Dec 1944
USS Swordfish (Cdr. K.E. Montross, USN) left Pearl Harbor for her 13th war patrol. She was to patrol of Nansei Shoto. On 26 December 1944 she topped off with fuel at Midway. On 2 January 1945, she was ordered to patrol clear of the Nansei Shoto area until completion of scheduled air strikes. She acknowledged receipt of these orders on 3 January. No further communication was received from the submarine. On 15 February, after repeated attempts to contact her by radio had failed, she was reported as presumed lost, the victim of unknown causes.


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