Walter Thomas Griffith, USN

Born  3 Jun 1911MansField, Louisiana

Ranks

31 May 1937 Lt.(j.g.)
1 Jul 1941 Lt.
1 Mar 1943 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Feb 1944 T/Cdr.

Decorations

Nov/Dec 43 Navy Cross (1)
Feb/Apr 44 Navy Cross (1)

Warship Commands listed for Walter Thomas Griffith, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS O-2 (63)Lt.SubmarineMay 1942
USS Bowfin (287)T/Lt.Cdr.Submarine26 Oct 194315 Apr 1944
USS Bullhead (332)T/Cdr.Submarine4 Dec 1944Jul 1945

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Bowfin (287)


1 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Fremantle for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

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

4 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) made a short stop at Exmouth Gulf to top off with fuel before proceeding towards her patrol area.

8 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the early morning hours, USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), made the northbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

9 Nov 1943 (position -2.22, 118.16)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank four sailing vessels with gunfire in Makassar Strait.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0859 hours - Sighted schooner masts and a twin engined land based bomber. Submerged. Closed the masts at 2/3 speed. The aircraft had spotted us and dropped two bombs.

0922 hours - At periscope depth. The aircraft was still circling overhead.

1008 hours - At periscope depth. All clear now so surfaced. Closed a group of five schooners at full speed.

1045 / 1145 hours - In position 03°39'S, 118°19'E sank by gunfire three two-masted schooners. All were heavily laden and south-east bound. No idea about the cargo but it must have been heavy as all three schooners sank like a rock after two good hits.

1220 hours - While chasing the last two schooners that were proceeding towards the shore dived for an approaching aircraft. The aircraft dropped one bomb.

1240 hours - An aircraft was seen to circle overhead.

1300 hours - The aircraft was still overhead.

1322 hours - The aircraft dropped one bomb. The targets were still making for the beach. Gave up the idea of getting these last two schooners. Cleared the area.

Total ammunition expended on these three schooners was 18 rounds of 4", 300 rounds of 20mm.

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

2100 hours - In position 04°20'S, 118°19'E sighted a dark object 015° on the port bow about 4 nautical miles away. The target tracked at 5 knots. Made an end around.

2130 hours - Closed in on a large auxiliary schooner on a south-east course. He had all sails up but there was no wind and he was making 5 knots on his engine. Two 4" shells were fired that hit and he sank like a stone in position 04°21'S, 118°15'E.

11 Nov 1943 (position 4.58, 119.42)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) claims the destruction of two small coastal tankers with gunfire in the Sibutu Passage in position 04°58'N, 119°42'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1653 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 025°(T). Closed at full speed. The bearing changed slightly to left until 1735 hours when it disappeared. Decided that whatever it was it would arrive at the Sibutu Passage about the same time as us. Proceeded towards the Sibutu Passage at 15 knots.

1924 hours - Entered the Sibutu Passage in bright moonlight. In position 04°36'N, 119°38'E sighted two dark objects on the starboard bow. Went ahead full to get into a favourable position. The targets developed into two small coastal steamers.

2050 hours - Well ahead of the targets. Submerged.

2115 hours - Range now 5000 yards. Went to 60 feet. Closed to inspect for armament.

2135 hours - The targets passed at 500 yards. There were definitely no large guns on either. The leading vessel was a small engines aft tanker of about 800 tons. She was very low in the water. The trailing vessel appreared to be twice as large. She also had the engine aft and was very low in the water. Both were smoking heavily.

2149 hours - In position 04°58'N, 119°42'E battle surfaced 2000 yards on the quarter of the largest vessel. The crews of the targets began to abandon ship even before we opened fire.

2150 / 2205 hours - Set both ships on fire fore and aft.

2205 hours - Set course to clear the scene at full speed. The fire of the targets was seen until 0030/12.

26 Nov 1943 (position 12.48, 109.34)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army tanker Ogurasan Maru (5069 GRT, built 1943) and later the same day the Japanese merchant cargo ship Tainan Maru (5407 GRT, built 1943) off Cape Varella, French Indo-China.

They were in convoy together with Teiritsu Maru (9877 GRT, built 1926, former French Leconte de Liste), Tarushima Maru (4865 GRT, built 1938) and Santos Maru (7266 GRT, built 1925) and four unidentified ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat Kazan Maru (1893 GRT, built 1936).

(All times are zone H, -8)
0200 hours - SD (air warning !!!) radar got large contacts at 2 miles and 1 mile. (SJ radar was not fuctioning correctly).

0203 hours - In position 12°48'N, 109°34'E SJ radar got contacts on each side of the submarine at range of 1000 to 4000 yards. It was pitch black and raining heavily. Came hard left and then backed emergency to keep from ramming an enormous tanker.

0205 hours - We now realised we were in the middle of a convoy.

0215 hour - Again backed full to keep from ramming another large tanker.

0220 hours - A careful sweep revealed that the convoy was northbound and consisted of five ships. Commenced tracking as to attack later tonight.

0351 hours - Fired three torpedoes at the leading vessel of the starboard columm of the convoy, a tanker. Obtained two hits. Large fires were started but these went out as the bow sank and the centre section went awash. Gasoline was still buring on the water near the target. As all this took place shifted target to the second target and fired first shot at this second vessel. The leading tanker now stopped and swung broadside to Bowfin. Fire had to be checked and back emergency to keep from ramming the tanker when the first torpedo of this intended salvo hit the second ship with a great rumbling explosion and flare up of flame which quickly went out.

0400 hours - The situation was now as this; Bowfin was less then 300 yards from a damaged tanker, with a second damaged vessel about 1500 yards beyond him. With bow and bridge blown up and awash amidships the tanker was still longer then Bowfin. Decided to finish off this tanker so swung the stern to the tanker and opened up the range.

0414 hours - Fired three stern torpedoes. One hit was seen under the stack.

0417 hours - Decided to clear the scene and reload the tubes.

0520 hours - The reload was completed. Retuned to the scene of the action.

0535 hours - A great dark mass loomed up dead ahead very close. Went right full emergency. SJ radar only picked up this target at a range of 600 yards. Commenced tracking.

0549 hours - Target speed zero. Commenced closing. When closer the bow of a ship was sighted, tought to have been our second target. This bow was sticking out of the water vertically. No further torpedoes were required. Cleared the area.

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

0837 hours - In heavy rain, wind and sea sighted a medium transport at a range of 5000 yards. Commenced tracking.

0846 hours - Submerged. Range was about 4500 yards. Had difficulty keeping the boat at radar depth at standard speed.

0908 hours - Went to 80 feet and all ahead full.

0925 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Could not see the target.

0940 hours - Surfaced to search for the target.

1000 hours - Obtained SJ radar contact on the target at a range of 6250 yards. Commenced tracking and pulling ahead in the heavy rain. Visibility was about 1500 yards.

1035 hours - Course of the target 330°(T), speed 6 knots. In position 1000 yards off track. Submerged to radar depth.

1050 hours - Sighted the target through the periscope at a range of about 2000 yards. The target was thought to be a 5000 tons transport.

1058 hours - In position 13°02'N, 109°28'E fired four bow torpedoes. All hit and the target sank in less then two minutes.

27 Nov 1943 (position 13.01, 109.30)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed and sank the French cargo ship Gouverneur General van Vollenhoven (691 GRT, built 1909) off coast of French Indochina in position 13°01'N, 109°30'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1045 hours - Sighted a ship standing south along the coast. Submerged and commenced approach. The target turned out to be a small French coastal steamer of about 1500 tons with one gun aft. He was making only 4 knots. Decided to track him for the remainder of the day in the hope something bigger came along.

1600 hours - It began raining and visibility was closing in. Decided to surfaced when hoping to catch something bigger but to sink this ship first.

1618 hours - In position 13°01'N, 109°30'E fired three stern torpedoes at this Frenchman. Two hits were obtained and he disintegrated. He sank in less then one minute.

1622 hours - Surfaced. There was a fire on the water where the ship sank.

28 Nov 1943 (position 12.45, 109.42)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed and sank the army cargo ship Sydney Maru (5425 GRT, built 1928) and merchant tanker Tonan Maru (9839 GRT, built 1906) off the French Indo-China coast in position 12°45'N, 109°42'E.

Bowfin in return is damaged by Japanese gunfire and is forced to terminate her patrol.

The convoy attacked was convoy No. 340 consisting of the ships above as well as transports Shohei Maru (7255 GRT, built 1931), Shinno Maru (???? GRT, built ????), Sekino Maru (994 GRT, built 1918) and tanker, Zuiyo Maru (7338 GRT, built 1917). They were escorted by the frigate Matsuwa.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0200 hours - USS Billfish, which was operating nearby, reported that she was in contact with a convoy.

0225 hours - SJ radar obtained contact on the convoy in position 12°46'N, 109°42'E.

0250 hours - The convoy appeared to consist of five ships and several escorts. There were three very large targets and two large ones. Commenced attack.

0314 hours - In position 12°45'N, 109°42'E fired four bow torpedoes at the leading and largest target. Four hits are claimed. The target sank in about four minutes. Shifted setup to the second vessel of the column.

0317 hours - Fired the remaining two bow torpedoes at this vessel. Both hit. The target was soon down aft and awash up to the bridge. The third vessel in the column now came closer. Decided non the less to swing around and fire our remaining two stern torpedoes at the damaged ship to finish her off.

0321 hours - The third vessel of the column now opened fire with a 5" or 6" gun from 500 yards range. The second shot appeared to hit the engine room. The second ship meanwhile appreared to be sinking so dicided not to fire the stern torpedoes at this vessel but at the tird vessel of the colomn instead.

0325 hours - Fired the two stern torpedoes at the third vessel. Both hit amidships. He stopped shooting at us and began to sink, sagging in the middle. Just before firing it was reported that the pressure hull had not been pierced but there must be some damage aft.

0327 hours - Steadied on the convoy's base course and pulled ahead while reloading our last two torpedoes forward. The engine room reported taking in water through the main induction. Contacted USS Billfish and reported our results as well as the damage done to us.

0342 hours - Reload completed. Went in for another attack.

0353 hours - Fired the last two torpedoes. The first torpedo prematured 13 seconds after firing and most likely deflected the second torpedo as no hit was obtained.

0355 hours - Headed north to go back over the scene of the action. Also decided to get clear of the coast before daylight as the damage to us was not completely clear by now.

0612 hours - It was getting light. Stopped and got a repair party on deck. Makeshift repairs were made and Bowfin was able to dive on completion of these but she was still leaking but it was controlable. Out of torpedoes anyway course was set to return to Australia.

2 Dec 1943 (position -3.25, 118.20)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank a sailing vessel with gunfire in Makassar Strait in position 03°25'S, 118°20'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0906 hours - Sighted a two-masted yacht. Closed.

0937 hours - Sank the yacht with four rounds of 4" in position 03°25'S, 118°20'E. Cargo must have been oil in drums as several were sighted floating on the water and oil was spread all over the area.

Total ammunition used in this action was twenty-seven rounds of 4".

3 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

3 Dec 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening of 3 December 1943, USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

9 Dec 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Fremantle.

At Fremantle Bowfin was refitted, repaired and docked.

8 Jan 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Fremantle for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Makassar Strait.

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

11 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) made a short stop at Exmouth Gulf to top off with fuel before proceeding towards her patrol area.

14 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), made the northbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

16 Jan 1944 (position -2.54, 118.24)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank a schooner with gunfire in the Makassar Strait in position 02°54'S, 118°24'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1830 hours - It has been very quiet in Makassar Strait. We have not seen a single ship since we were on station. But finally saw a small native sail boat in position 02°52'S, 118°30'E. As he was directly on the usual submarine path closed him to inspect. There were three natives onboard cooking supper. While inspecting him saw what appeared to be the single mast with a sail of another small native vessel about 7 miles to the north. Closed this vessel.

1900 hours - On closing this second craft noticed to our amazement that he was a nicely painted white schooner but he did not have a schooner rig. He had the rig of a small fishing boat which effectively disguised him from a distance. When we closed to inspect a crew of five were seen to jump overboard without dropping the sails. Sank the schooner with 20mm gunfire in position 02°54'S, 118°24'E.

1915 hours - Set a course for the north of Balikpapan.

Total ammunition expended; 798 rounds of 20mm.

18 Jan 1944 (position 0.18, 118.37)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant tanker Shoyu Maru (4408 GRT, built 1942) in Makassar Strait in position 00°18'N, 118°37'E.

Shoyu Maru was a transport vessel that was converted to an auxiliary tanker.

(All times are zone H, -8)
17 January 1944
2214 hours - SJ radar contact on the port bow at a range of 12500 yards in position 00°25'N, 118°36'E. Commenced tracking.

2240 hours - The contact was one large vessel with two escorts. One escort was astern and one was roving ahead. Enemy speed was 10 knots and they were zig-zagging on courses between 180° and 235°. The target looked like a tanker because he was long and low. However when range decreased he was seen to be a heavily laden transport.

2300 hours - Decided to attack the target with four bow torpedoes and then fire the remaining two bow torpedoes at the largest of the escorts which looked big enough to be a large destroyer.

2314 hours - In position 00°18'N, 118°37'E fired four bow torpedoes from 1200 yards. Only two torpedo tracks were sighted of which on would miss ahead so decided to fire the two remaining bow torpedoes at the target as well which was done one minute later.

2315 hours - Fired tubes five and six just as one torpedo hit the target aft. Number five torpedo however prematured and effected number six as well. Maneuvered to get a stern salvo off.

2320 hours - Fired no.7 and no.8 tubes from 1100 yards. Both prematured. Went ahead flank to reload.

2325 hours - As we cleared the scene the target was seen to be stopped, slightly down by the stern.

2349 hours - Reload completed.

18 January 1944
0038 hours - Reached the desired position to the north-west of the target group.

0046 hours - Started a battery charge as with two escorts we would probably be forced to stay down all day after the attack.

0130 hours - Secured battery charge.

0140 hours - Made trim dive.

0154 hours - Surfaced.

0200 hours - Commenced closing the target group from 15000 yards.

0236 hours - Submerged when the range was 9000 yards.

0330 hours - In position 00°18'N, 118°37'E commenced firing four torpedoes at the transport and two torpedoes at the destroyer and obtained four well placed hits on the target. When spray and debris quit falling he was gone. The two torpedoes fired at the destroyer hit the small escort beyond him. After the attack the only ship in sight was the destroyer. Went deep.

0333 / 0342 hours - Eight depth charges were dropped quite close but they caused no damage.

0350 hours - Came up to periscope depth to have a look as the destroyer remained astern. Indeed sighted the destroyer aster nat a range of about 5000 yards.

0358 hours - Surfaced with the destroyer 7000 yards astern. Cleared the area and set course for Mangkalihat.

20 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) was ordered to proceed to Darwin, Australia for torpedoes, engine repairs and repairs to the antenna.

24 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Darwin, Australia.

25 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Darwin to resume her 3rd war patrol.

27 Jan 1944 (position -7.07, 126.07)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) claims to have sunk a medium sized freighter in the Banda Sea in position 07°07'S, 126°07'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
26 January 1944
2304 hours - Obtained contact on SJ radar at a range of 9680 yards. Commenced tracking.

2320 hours - Targets course 220°(T), speed 10.5 knots. Commenced an end around to the eastward.

27 January 1944
0025 hours - Now 7000 yards ahead of the target. Turned in to attack.

0035 hours - Range now under 2000 yards. The target was now seen to be a medium freighter.

0038 hours - In position 07°07'S, 126°07'E fired three bow torpedoes from 1300 yards. The first torpedo broached, turned hard left, then right back to its course and passed ahead of the target. The second and third torpedoes both hit and broke the target in half just aft of the bridge. The stern part sank immediately but the bow did not and sank after a while.

28 Jan 1944 (position -3.25, 118.15)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese seaplane tender / oiler Kamoi (17000 GRT, offsite link) off Makassar, Netherlands East Indies in position 03°25'S, 118°15'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0555 hours - In position 05°50'S, 120°07'E sighted masts and funnel of what appeared to be a medium Maru west bound close inshore. Came hard left, all ahead full to open out and pull ahead.

0556 hours - No.4 engine out of commission. Cracked liner. Commenced pulling full power on the other engines.

0557 hours - The target commenced challenging us with a powerful searchlight from the top of his bridge. We were against the rising sun, but were end on so he most likely could make not much out of us. Range was about 8 to 10 miles.

0720 hours - Sighted a seaplane over the target.

0723 hours - Submerged when the plane headed towards us.

0742 hours - Surfaced. Continued chase.

0820 hours - As the inshore haze cleared away could see that our target was a large vessel with at least three masts.

0829 hours - Submerged for a closing contact on SD (air warning) radar.

0839 hours - Surfaced. Continued chase.

0949 hours - Sighted a seaplane coming towards from the direction of the target. Submerged.

1000 hours - Surfaced.

1004 hours - Rain squalls between Bowfin and the target.

1047 hours - Submerged for a seaplane coming from the direction of the target.

1055 hours - Surfaced.

1108 hours - A seaplane was in sight over the target.

1240 hours - Again a seaplane was in sight over the target.

1246 hours - Submerged when the seaplane came towards.

1256 hours - The seaplane was still in sight close aboard.

1308 hours - Plane still close aboard.

1327 hours - Surfaced.

1328 hours - Submerged for the seaplane.

1342 hours - Surfaced. Put all engines on full power.

1357 hours - Again a seaplane in sight over the target.

1422 hours - Submerged for the seaplane coming in.

1438 hours - Surfaced. Had one and sometimes two seaplanes in sight for the remainder of the afternoon. By now it was clear that the target, which now appeared to be a large tanker, was not going to enter Makassar. No surface escort was seen or it must have been a small one.

1740 hours - Clear of the shoals now. Aircraft appeared to have knocked off for the day. Targets base course was now 305°(T) and she was most likely en-route to Balikpapan.

1840 hours - Now on the targets base course 17 miles ahead of him. Slowed to target speed and commenced a battery charge. In twelve hourse we have run 200 miles.

1852 hours - Stopped to let the target close.

1930 hours - Went to battle stations and commenced closing the target for a night surface action. The target was zig-zagging between courses of 250° and 350° at a speed of 11 knots.

2039 hours - An escort was now sighted trailing on th port quarter at a range of 7000 yards.

2052 hours - In position 03°25'S, 118°15'E commenced firing six bow torpedoes from 3500 yards at the target but the target just zigged and all missed.

2053 hours - Went ahead full as the escort was now very close but he fortunately did not see us.

2054 hours - The target signalled to the escort whixh started dropping depth charges three minutes later until 2121 hours.

2130 hours - Completed a reload of the forward torpedo tubes. Went in to attack again.

2214 hours - Fired six bow torpedoes from 2200 yards. Got two hits near the bridge of the target. Enormous explosions with pillows of black smoke rising several hundred feet in the air. The target was completely enveloped by smoke. It was thought he was finished.

2216 hours - Had a look to see if the target was done for. As smoke had cleared that target was seen to be stopped but apparently undamaged. Made ready the stern tubes.

2220 hours - Range was now 3000 yards.

2221 hours - The target trained a powerful searchlight near us and opened up with four machine guns and two deck guns. Put the wheel hard over and the searchlight cought the wake of our turn and let it have everything. The searchlight crossed the submarine twice but did not pick Bowfin up.

2228 hours - The target trained the searchlight on enormous clouds of smoke astern of her, kept it there for a while, and then turned it off.

2230 hours - All stopped, watching the target who was starting up again. Only two aft tubes were ready to shoot.

2245 hours - Fired two stern torpedoes from 3000 yards. Both missed ahead.

2300 hours - Two more tubes aft were now ready.

2329 hours - Fired two stern torpedoes from 3000 yards. Both hit forward of the bridge with enormous flames, explosions and smoke. Again thought the target was done for, but when smoke cleared away he was still there, stopped again, down by the bow. Made ready our last torpedo aft. Fired were seen raging inside the tanker through the holes in her side.

2339 hours - Fired our last stern torpedo from 4600 yards. It missed. The targets bow was now awash.

2348 hours - Came round and fired our last torpedo from a bow tube from 4200 yards. It hit between the focsle and the bridge with a terrific explosion. Range was now 1500 yards.

2349 hours - The searchlight came on and the machine guns opened up as did her after deck gun. Cleared the bridge. Our stern was on to the target by now.

2350 hours - The searchlight caught Bowfin now.

2351 hours - Submerged. The tanker was now awash to its bridge with the stern almost clear of the water. Out of torpedoes now, started to clear the area.

29 Jan 1944
In the evening, USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), lays mines off south-eastern coast of Borneo near Balikpapan. No further details are known to us for this moment.

30 Jan 1944 (position -5.50, 116.52)
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank two sailing vessels with gunfire in the Java Sea in position 05°50'S, 116°52'E.

During the night of 30/31 January 1944, USS Bowfin, made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1122 hours - Near Sibbalds Bank sighted two large schooners to the westward. They were proceeding northwards.

1142 hours - Submerged for an aircraft contact.

1224 hours - Surfaced. Commenced closing the schooners.

1240 hours - Sank the first schooner with 4" and 20mm.

1258 hours - Sank the second schooner with 4".

1300 hours - Set course for Lombok Strait.

Total ammunition expended in this action was 18 rounds of 4" and 450 rounds of 20mm.

2 Feb 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) made a short stop at Exmouth Gulf before she continued her passage to Fremantle.

5 Feb 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle.

28 Feb 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Fremantle on her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Celebes Sea area.

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

6 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) made a short stop at Darwin, Australia to top off with fuel before proceeding towards her patrol area.

11 Mar 1944 (position -1.25, 128.14)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Tsukikawa Maru (4673 GRT, built 1942) south of Halmahera in position 01°25'S, 128°14'E.

Tsukikawa Maru was in convoy together with Asaka Maru (4338 GRT, built 1909), Chuk(w)a Maru (2189 GRT, built 1920) and one other so far unidentified Maru. They were escorted by the minelayer Wakataka and the auxiliary submarine chaser Takunan Maru No.5.

(All times are zone H, -8)
10 March 1944
1013 hours - In position 01°30'S, 128°18'E sighted four columns of smoke bearing 350°(T). Commenced approach.

1042 hours - Heard echo ranging from the direction of the convoy.

1045 hours - Sighted masts of the convoy. There were two parallel columns of two ships each. We were now on the base course of the convoy, which was 165°(T).

1100 hours - A total of six vessel were in sight, four Maru's and two escorts, one ahead and one astern. Planned to split the bow tubes between the two leading Maru's which were the largest and then swing aroud to fire the stern tubes at the other two Maru's.

1140 hours - In position 01°30'S, 128°17'E commenced firing the bow tubes. The bow of the leading ship of the far column was just overlapping the stern of the leading ship of the near column. Range was 2650 yards. Then three torpedoes were fired at the leading ship of the near column from 2400 yards but just as these were being fired the first torpedoes fired began to premature. In all four out of six torpedoes fired prematured. A two-engined land based bomber now began to dive towards the periscope and both the escorts were also coming towards. While going deep four aircraft bombs exploded fairly close before both escorts began working on us. While Bowfin was at 350 feet there was the sound of a grapnel or chain being dragged the lenght of the ship. A total of 24 depth charges were dropped in 3 groups about half-an-hour apart. All charges were quite close but caused no damage.

1330 hours - One escort was still heard hunting. Came up to have a look. A single escort was sighted 5000 yards to the south. The largest Maru of the convoy was seen bearing 120°(T), range 10000 yards. He had a port list and was down by the stern. Commenced closing at 80 feet.

1400 hours - A two-engined bomber and one escort was seen to be closing us. Went deep but nothing happened.

1423 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The escort was seen still 5000 yards away. The Maru was at 9000 yards and appeared to be circling.

1524 hours - A second Maru was seen coming from the south, this Maru had been leading the second column. She appeared to be undamaged. The escort had moved towards the damaged Maru. An aircraft was still circling in the area.

1540 hours - It now appeared that the second Maru was going to take the damaged one in tow. Continued to close.

1556 hours - Three aircraft were now seen to circle overhead. Bowfin was now inside their circle.

1704 hours - There were now five aircraft circling overhead.

1740 hours - All aircraft were gone now. The undamaged Maru had a cable over to the damaged one. The escort was patrolling between Bowfin and the target.

1832 hours - With the formation straightenened out and taking a strain on the tow line, commenced firing torpedoes. Fired the first three at the escort from a range of 585 yards, then shifted to the towing Maru and fired three more from a range of 520 yards. One of the torpedoes turned right and went down our starboard side. Went deep to evade. All the other torpedoes missed. The escort dropped ten depth charges during the next half hour.

2145 hours - Surfaced. Evaded the escort which was still hunting in the area at a range of about 5000 yards.

11 March 1944

0219 hours - Having run south and west to cover possible target positions we were convinced the target were still in Obi Strait. Went north through Tabalai Stait and then into Obi Strait.

0300 hours - About 5 miles south of our last attack sighted an escort (thought to be a minesweeper) dead ahead patrolling on east - west courses. Put our stern on and watched him for a while. Sighting him assured us our targets were still there somewhere. Visibility was not good due to rain squalls.

0320 hours - Submerged to get the crew some rest.

0530 hours - Nothing in sight. Closed pinging which now bore 310°(T).

0630 hours - Sighted smoke of two ships bearing 304°(T).

0651 hours - Sighted masts of two ships dead ahead.

0709 hours - Identified these two ships as the Maru that had been towing and the 'minesweeper'. No sign of the damaged Maru.

0730 hours - Sighted the damaged Maru lying to. It now appeared that my last attack stopped to towing operation and that the damaged ship had been left alone. Had it not been for the circling torpedo we might have observed this.

0755 hours - Heard by sound and then sighted a reinforcing escort vessel coming up Tobalai Strait.

0919 hours - The air cover was back on station but only three planes this time. All were twin-engined bombers.

0941 hours - Sound reported fast screws closing from ahead. Had a look through the periscope and sighted the 'minesweeper' coming fast down our port side. Went back to 100 feet to let him pass.

1011 hours - Had another look. The 'minesweeper' had stopped about 1500 yards on our port quarter. She was putting a boat in the water. The towing Maru was standing towards us about 300 yards away with the 'new' escort on his port hand. Swung hard left to open track and give the Maru the stern tubes. Went back to 100 feet for the moment.

1020 hours - The Maru had zigged widely to his right. Looked like a bow shot now. Got four bow tubes ready.

1024 hours - The Maru zigged hard left again presenting a stern tube shot.

1030 hours - Commenced firing torpedoes from 700 yards. One torpedo prematured right at his side foward of his bridge throwing water all over the soldiers jamming her deck. One timed torpedo hit was obtained. On the next look the Maru was stopped and both escorts came rushing towards, range now about 1500 yards. Went deep after a short look at our damaged Maru from yesterday. One aircraft had dropped bombs shortly after we fired the torpedoes.

1035 hours - Received five very close depth charges overhead. No damage.

1059 hours - Five more depth charges. Again very close but fortunately again no damage. Not even a light bulb was broken.

1100 hours - Went to 450 feet.

1200 hours - No depth charges were dropped for an hour. Went to periscope depth.

1216 hours - Two depth charges were dropped quite some way off.

1240 hours - Escort now about 7000 yards to the south. Commenced the Maru that were had damaged yesterday. The Maru we have attacked this moring and the 'minesweeper' were no longer in sight. Also no aircraft were sighted.

1415 hours - Fired a stern tube from 800 yards. A hit was obtained under the bridge but it caused little damage. Fired another torpedo which hit just abaft the bridge. The explosion ripped off a string of plates but above the waterline. Fired two more torpedoes but now set to 15 feet. Both hit and broke the ships back. Aircraft bombs were now dropped so went to 100 feet, leaving the ship in a sinking condition. A total of four bombs were dropped but these were not close. The escort did not close the scene.

1450 hours - At periscope depth. Nothing in sight but lifeboats and two landing barges.

1600 hours - Surfaced and set off in pursuit of the towing Maru and the escorts. The Maru now had a five hour start on us.

1647 hours - Submerged for a contact on SD radar.

1711 hours - Surfaced. Continued pursuit.

2025 hours - In position 02°18'S, 128°04'E sighted the target group in the bright moonlight beaing 130°(T) on a parallel course. This position gave them 4 knots maximum speed. The Maru was definitely slowed by the hit and 'near miss'. Made an end around outside radar range due to the bright moonlight.

2225 hours - Now well ahead of the target. With an Island in the background put our bow towards and waited for the enemy to come within radar range but the SJ radar then malfuntioned.

2244 hours - Had to dive to periscope depth. Trying to get the radar working.

2256 hours - Radar back in commission. Went to radar depth to check the range which was now 6400 yards. Then went back to 60 feet (periscope depth).

2328 hours - Commenced firing torpedoes from a range of 1250 yards in position 02°18'S, 128°04'E. The first three torpedoes prematured about 500 yards short of the target. The last torpedo passed the target astern. Evaded the escorts at periscope depth. The 'minesweeper', who had no more depth charges, come down our port side and the other escort came down the starboard side. During the next 30 minutes he dropped ten depth charges. All were close. The Maru came hard left towards us and made a square around us at a range of 1000 yards. If we had more torpedoes he would have been a dead duck. Troops were seen still jamming the decks. After rounding us the Maru formed up astern of the 'minesweeper' and they headed towards Manipa Strait zig-zagging, while the other escort tried to keep us down.

12 March 1944
0059 hours - The escort was working back and forth across our stern slowly getting closer so we went to 300 feet when he got into 800 yards range. It was thought he might be hearing us.

0240 hours - Could still her screws and pinging astern. Planed up to have a look. The escort was at least 5000 yards away.

0312 hours - Surfaced and headed for Darwin around Boano Island and east of Timor.

12 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed her patrol area for Darwin to take on board new torpedoes.

14 Mar 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) called at Darwin where she refuelled and took on board 17 new torpedoes. She heads back to her patrol area the next day.

18 Mar 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) made two torpedo attacks on an medium sized transport south-west of Taliabu Island. No torpedo hits were obtained in both attacks.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0530 hours - Sighted smoke and masts of a ship bearing 256°(T) in position 02°08'S, 125°20'E. Went ahead full and commenced an end around to the north.

0624 hours - All ahead flank.

0827 hours - A single float plane and a two-engined bomber were making wide sweeps over the target.

0938 hours - Submerged 18 miles ahead of the target which had tracked on a steady course of 270°(T) at 7.5 knots. The target appeared to be a medium sized Maru.

1100 hours - Could see two submarine chasers on either quarter of the target. The target was still tracking on a steady course and speed. The target looked like about 3000 tons.

1129 hours - In position 02°30'S, 124°17'E fired four torpedoes from 800 yards. No hits were obtained. Decided that the torpedoes had run under the target. He then began a slow swing to starboard. Fired the last two bow torpedoes but again no hits. Went deep to avoid an auxiliary submarine chaser rushing towards.

1133 to 1225 hours - The escort dropped 16 depth charges. The drops were in patterns of two or three. All charges were more or less overhead and jarred Bowfin considerably but caused no damage.

1306 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Smoke of the Maru was still in sight but the submarine chaser was not seen. Commenced reload.

1450 hours - Surfaced in hot pursuit and commenced an end around run to the south.

1740 hours - The target was now zig-zagging and base course had changed from 270°(T) to 220°(T).

1758 hours - Stopped on the targets base course.

1937 hours - In position 02°50'S, 124°10'E fired four torpedoes from the stern tubes from 3400 yards. No torpedo tracks were seen but sound reported them running normally.

1939 hours - The target began a slow turn towards Bowfin. He then opened fire. Submerged. Decided not to waste more torpedoes on this target.

2041 hours - Surfaced.

24 Mar 1944 (position 5.27, 125.39)
During an attack on a Japanese convoy about 95 nautical miles south of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines, USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) torpedoed sank the Japanese troop transport Shinkyo Maru (2672 GRT, built 1933) and the Japanese army cargo ship Bengal Maru (5399 GRT, built 1921) in position 05°27'N, 125°39'E.

The ships sunk were part of convoy H-22 (Manila - Kau, Halmahera) which was made up of, besides the two ships sunk, the auxiliary gunboat Anshu Maru (2601 GRT, built 1937), Atlas Maru (7349 GRT, built 1919), Kuramasan Maru (1995 GRT, built 1927), Mito Maru (7061 GRT, built 1921) and Toyooka Maru (7097 GRT, built 1915). They were escorted by the torpedo boat Hayabusa and the auxiliary submarine chaser Kyo Maru No.12 (344 GRT, built 1940).

(All times are zone H, -8)
1418 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 315°(T). Only sighted smoke once and it could not be picked up again.

1435 hours - Sighted masts of a large Maru bearing 250°(T) drawing to the left in position 05°27'N, 125°10'E. Range 8 miles. Came to normal approach course at full speed.

1450 hours - Sighted a floatplane circling the target at mast height.

1600 hours - The target was out of sight.

1630 hours - Decided to surface so as not to lose him.

1638 hours - When about to surface sighted five columns of smoke bearing 340°(T). This convoy was hugging the Mindanao coast. If we had not chased the single ship we would have been in a perfect position to attack the convoy. Decided to let the convoy pass and then surface for a night attack as our battery was very low.

1736 hours - Could see masts and bridge of five large Maru's. Estimates tonnages six to eight Thousand tons.

1749 hours - Pinging from the direction from the convoy. The convoy tracked at a speed of 8 knots.

1824 hours - Surfaced and commenced run around Sarangini Islands to the convoy's estimated 2100 hours position.

2018 hours - Radar contact on targets at 15600 yards. There were five targets on the radar screen. Commenced tracking. Targets course was 090°(T), speed 8 knots.

2231 hours - Started in for attack. Planned to give the largest ship four bow tubes, the ship astern of him one bow tube, then swing and give this second ship two more torpedoes from the stern tubes.

2246 hours - In position 05°27'N, 125°39'E fired five bow topedoes at the largest Maru and the overlapping Maru beyond. Range was about 3000 yards. The first three torpedoes hit the largest Maru, one forward of the bridge and two aft of the bridge. The other two torpedoes hit the overlapping Maru beyond. Both Maru's stopped cold and went down astern. In the meantime Bowfin had swung hard right to fire two stern tubes at another Maru.

2249 hours - Fired two stern tubes. Both hit aft of his bridge.

2250 hours - Stopped to watch them sink. A destroyer was now seen coming towards and signalling.

2251 hours - All ahead flank.

2259 hours - Now at 9000 yards range. Radar showed only three Maru's and two destroyers. One of the Maru's was stopped and well down as her pip was very small, two of the Maru's had been sunk. Set course to return to Fremantle.

26 Mar 1944 (position -3.16, 125.43)
In the afternoon, USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), is detected and depth charged by a Japanese 'Q-ship' west of Buru Island near position 03°16'S, 125°43'E. Some minor damage is caused by the depth charges.

1 Apr 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Fremantle.

At Fremantle she was refitted by submarine repair unit 137. She was also docked.


Submarine USS Bullhead (332)


21 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Newport, Rhode Island for her torpedo trials.

23 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her torpedo trials completed, USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), returned to New London, Connecticut.

29 Dec 1944
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Long Island sound together with USS Enright (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Bradley, Jr., USNR), USS Scott (Lt.Cdr. Cdr. H.W. Osterhaus, Jr., USNR), USS Schmitt (Lt. T.A. Melusky, USNR) and USS Lionfish (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Spruance, USN).

30 Dec 1944
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Long Island sound together with USS Enright (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Bradley, Jr., USNR), USS Scott (Lt.Cdr. Cdr. H.W. Osterhaus, Jr., USNR), USS Schmitt (Lt. T.A. Melusky, USNR) and USS Lionfish (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Spruance, USN).

5 Jan 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) is put on the slipway at New London.

7 Jan 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) is put back in the water.

9 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Key West, Florida.

15 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Key West, Florida for services with the Fleet Sound School.

16 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

17 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

19 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

20 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

21 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

23 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

24 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

25 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

26 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

27 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

29 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Key West, Florida for Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone.

2 Feb 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived in the Panama Canal Zone.

5 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR) and USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR).

6 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR), USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR), USS SC-684, USS SC-986, USS SC-996 and USS SC-1017.

7 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR), USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR), USS SC-684, USS SC-986, USS SC-996 and USS SC-1017.

8 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR), USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR), USS SC-684, USS SC-986, USS SC-996 and USS SC-1017.

11 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Pearl Harbor.

26 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

4 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Whitman (Lt. E.A. Sandor, USNR) and USS Austin (Lt. W.H. White, USNR).

5 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Pruitt (Lt. D.B. Harby, USNR), USS YMS-300 (Lt. R.A. Woods, USNR) and USS Seahorse (Cdr. H.H. Greer, Jr., USN).

9 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea. En-route she pauses at Guam for provisions and fuel.

For daily positions (though incomplete) of USS Bullhead during this patrol see the map below.

19 Mar 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Guam.

21 Mar 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Guam for her patrol area.

31 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) bombarded the radio station at Patras Island.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0202 hours - Radar picked up Patras Island bearing 180°(T), range 10 nautical miles. Considered, due to the bright moonlight, to bombard the radio station.

0237 hours - Commenced closing the island to determine the visiblilty. The radio tower and buildings could be seen from 8000 yards so pulled out to the southward to prepare for firing.

0334 hours - Opened fire on the radio station from 4700 yards. The first 18 rounds landed beautifully in the area near the base of the radio tower with one positive hit in the building nearest to the tower.

0340 hours - Ceased firing and commenced retiring from the area.

16 Apr 1945
In the afternoon, USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), picked up three US aviators from a crashed B-25 bomber to the east-south-east of Hong Kong.

24 Apr 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) again bombarded the radio station at Patras Island.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0630 hours - Sighted Patras Island bearing 140°(T), distant 10 miles. Commenced closing.

0715 hours - Submerged.

1830 hours - Battle surfaced. Intended to fire all 5" ammunition at the radio station but after 10 minutes decided that the military value of Patras does not warrent the expenditure.

1840 hours - Ceased firing and set course for Hong Kong.

28 Apr 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Subic Bay, Philippines. She was escorted in by USS Doyle C. Barnes (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Ingle, Jr., USNR).

At Subic Bay she was refitted by USS Howard W. Gilmore.

21 May 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Subic Bay for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Siam, then east of Singapore and later in the Java Sea.

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

30 May 1945 (position 6.52, 101.40)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank a small sailing vessel with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam in position 06°52'N, 101°40'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1910 hours - In position 06°52'N, 101°40'E surfaced with a large two-masted lugger, estimated at 150 ton, in sight close to the beach. All ahead full to get between him and the shore.

1925 hours - Opened fire.

1930 hours - The target sank. Cleared the area for deeper water. Ammunition used 12 rounds of 5", 16 rounds of 40mm and 240 rounds of 20mm.

18 Jun 1945 (position -5.53, 106.02)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank the Japanese vessel Sakura Maru No.58 (+/- 700 GRT) with gunfire off St. Nicholas Point near the Sunda Strait in position 05°53'S, 106°02'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0910 hours - In position 05°53'S, 106°02'E sighted a small camouflaged vessel heading eastward near St. Nicholas Point.

0917 hours - Battle surfaced and headed towards the target which quickly turned towards the beach. Opened fire with 40mm and 20mm.

0930 hours - The target sank. Headed for deeper water. Ammunition used 37 rounds of 5", 68 rounds of 40mm and 240 rounds of 20mm.

19 Jun 1945 (position -5.56, 106.00)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank the Japanese vessel Tachibana Maru No.57 with gunfire in the Sunda Strait in position 05°56'S, 106°00'E. Two other small vessels were damaged.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1320 hours - In position 05°53'S, 106°02'E sighted smoke bearing 123°(T). These were probably the same ships that tried to come out last night but turned back. Commenced approach. The contact developed in two ships, the leading one was a large Sugar Charlie followed by a small merchant vessel. Decided to give this merchant vessel four torpedoes. The picket boats sighted earlier were trailing astern.

As the targets came closer both were seen to be large steel hulled Sugar Charlies.

1415 hours - Battle surfaced in position 06°52'N, 101°40'E and closed the nearest target. By now three Sugar Charlies had been sighted. The two largest ones were 700 ton, the third one was 500 ton. The second and third Sugar Charlie had been overlapping therefore they were mistaken for one larger vessel.

1421 hours - Opened fire. The picket boats started closing us when we had surfaced but now they had second thoughts. The third Sugar Charlie also turned back.

1430 hours - The first target sank. Shifted fire to the second target. Three definite hits were obtained before the target took cover behind a point of land. Meanwhile sprayed a nearby dock and buildings with 40mm. Then shifted fire to the smaller vessel which was in a cove now. Hit him with 5" and 40mm. Ceased firing as there were now only 9 rounds of 5" left. The total of ammunition used in this action was 50 rounds of 5" and 72 rounds of 40mm. Position was now 05°56'S, 106°00'E.

1440 hours - Ceased firing. Made for deeper water.

25 Jun 1945 (position -8.26, 115.47)
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank a small vessel with gunfire in Lombok Strait in position 08°26'S, 115°47'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1630 hours - In position 08°16'S, 115°46'E sighted a large two-masted schooner with double jib standing across Lombok Strait from Ampenan on a southerly wind. Commenced tracking.

1816 hours - In position 08°26'S, 115°47'E surfaced with the schooner on the port bow. Sighted a small vessel in the shadow of the beach on the Bali side of Lombok Strait. Decided to pass the schooner close aboard and look him over. The schooner was seen to have a deck cargo of boxes and drums. She also had an auxiliary engine. Passed him at 15 yards.

Contacted USS Heardhead and told him about this schooner. Started a search for the small ship sighted earlier.

2005 hours - Caught up with the target in the open about 5 miles off shore. The target turned out to be a Sugar Charlie of about 300 tons.

2010 hours - Commenced firing with 40mm and 20mm.

2012 hours - Ceased firing. The target was burning fore and aft. Subsequent explosions indicated that she was loaded with drums of gas or oil. Commenced circling the target to make sure she was done for. Found ten men handing on the the debris. From their cries they sounded like natives so decided to pick them up. Ammunition used in this action, 1 round of 5", 30 rounds of 40mm, 120 rounds of 20mm and 200 rounds of .50 cal.

2038 hours - Took on board ten Javanese men and stowed them in the empty magazine. Two of them had been injured. USS Hardhead and meanwhile dealt with the schooner.

26 Jun 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) attacked a Japanese escort vessel with six torpedoes in the Bali Sea, north of Lombok Strait, in position 07°33'S, 115°47'E. No hits were obtained. The ship attacked was most likely the Japanese submarine chaser Ch 2.

(All times are zone H, -8)
26 June 1945
1950 hours - In position 07°32'S, 115°07'E obtained radar contact bearing 280°(T), range 17800 yards. Notified USS Icefish and USS Puffer. Unable to contact USS Baya.

2020 hours - One of the targets had radar, 156 mgcs, 500 PR. They were zigzagging on a base course of 85°(T) at a speed of 12 knots.

2035 hours - Informed Icefish and Puffer that i would not attack until one of them had made contact. Still unable to contact Baya. It was bright moonlite. Commenced working over to the port side to get off moon.

2100 hours - Targets base course is now 090°(T), speed 12 knots.

2115 hours - Exchanged calls with USS Blueback via SJ.

2246 hours - Blueback reported that she was in contact.

2251 hours - Submerged and commenced approach. One target was pinging. Two targets were sighted and are thought to be minesweepers or Chidori class torpedo boats.

2324 hours - In position 07°33'S, 115°47'E fired six bow torpedoes from 1480 yards. The second and fourth torpedo broached. No hits were obtained. The target was seen to turn towards.

2326 hours - Rigged for depth charging and went to 200 feet.

2333 hours - Depth charging started. Four were dropped but they were not close.

2344 hours - Returned to periscope depth.

2346 hours - One target in sight astern at a range of 4500 yards.

27 June 1945
0010 hours - Lost sight of the target. Came up to 45 feet. All clear on both ST and SJ radar.

0020 hours - Surfaced. Informed the pack that we had missed and told Blueback to go ahead.

0045 hours - Regained contact in position 07°29'S, 115°52'E.

0120 hours - Blueback dived to attack.

0140 hours - Our target slowed, stopped and then circled around. Heard a few depth charges exploding.

0149 hours - The target blew up and disappeared. No idea where the second target is. Bullhead searched for the other ship and contact was regained at 0418 hours but no attack could be started.

27 Jun 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

2 Jul 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) ended her 2nd war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.


You can help improve officers Walter Thomas Griffith's page
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this officer.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve his page.

Allied Commanders main page