Robert Kemble Rittenhouse Worthington, USN

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Ranks

2 Jun 1938 Ens.
2 Jun 1941 T/Lt. (j.g.)
15 Jun 1942 T/Lt.
1 Mar 1944 T/Lt.Cdr.
5 Nov 1945 T/Cdr.

Decorations

Feb/Mar 45 Navy Cross (1)

Warship Commands listed for Robert Kemble Rittenhouse Worthington, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS Balao (285)T/Lt.Cdr.Submarine7 Feb 194530 Aug 1945
USS Tusk (426)T/Cdr.Submarine15 Jul 194915 Aug 1951 (2)

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Balao (285)


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

22 Feb 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) departed Saipan for exercises.

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

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

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

9 Mar 1945 (position 31.19, 130.06)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) attacked a small escorted tanker off south-west Kyushu with four torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

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

0910 hours - Battle stations.

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

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

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

0951 hours - Depth charging started.

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

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

18 Mar 1945 (position 35.00, 123.51)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) sank the Japanese trawler Daito Maru No.2 (188 GRT, built 1944) with gunfire in the Yellow Sea in position 35°00'N, 123°51'E.

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

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

0720 hours - The 5" gun was firing again.

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

0825 hours - One of the POW's died.

19 Mar 1945 (position 33.09, 122.08)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Hakozaki Maru (10413 GRT, built 1922) and torpedoed and damaged the Japanese troop transport Tatsuharu Maru (6345 GRT, built 1939) off the Yangtze estuary about 90 nautical miles north-north-west of Shanghai, China in position 33°05'N, 122°11'E.

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

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

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

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

1854 hours - Surfaced and commenced pursuit of the convoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1813 hours - Commenced firing at the third target.

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

1830 hours - Commenced firing at the fourth target.

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

21 Mar 1945 (position 35.30, 124.23)
While trying to attack a Japanese convoy in the Yellow Sea, USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K.R. Worthington, USN) is driven off by one of the escorts. Four torpedoes were then fired at this escort but no hits were obtained.

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

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

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

0438 hours - Commenced approach.

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

0545 hours - Started another approach.

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

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

0712 hours - Dived and released a bubble target.

0759 hours - Appear to have evaded him.

0820 hours - The escort came nearer again.

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

0917 hours - Screws overhead.

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

1240 hours - At periscope depth. Nothing sighted.

26 Mar 1945 (position 35.14, 123.44)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) sank the Japanese army stores ship Shinto Maru No.1 (884 GRT, built 1944) with gunfire in the Yellow Sea in position 35°14'N, 123°44'E.

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

0730 hours - Dived on track.

0831 hours - Battle stations torpedo.

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

0938 hours - Surfaced and took pictures.

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

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

0956 hours - Dived.

1010 hours - Target was seen to sink.

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

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

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

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

4 May 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Because of several defects, USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN), set course to return to Guam. Later she was ordered to proceed to Saipan.

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

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

19 May 1945 (position 38.09, 124.40)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) sank a sampan / junk in the Yellow Sea in position 38°09'N, 124°40'E.

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

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

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

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

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

3 Jun 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) made a short stop at Midway. She departed for Pearl Harbour after a few hours in port.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Aug 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) picked up one downed US aviator.

5 Aug 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) picked up one downed US aviator.

10 Aug 1945 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) picked up two downed US aviators.

14 Aug 1945 (position 39.12, 141.56)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. R.K. Worthington, USN) sank a Japanese lugger (possibly a guard boat) with gunfire off the east coast of Honshu, Japan in position 39°12'N, 141°56'E. Another was damaged in the same attack.

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

1528 hours - Battle surfaced.

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

1541 hours - Ceased firing.

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

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


Submarine USS Tusk (426)


26 Aug 1949
While on clandestine operations USS Tusk (SS 426) and USS Cochino (SS 345) ran through a violent polar gale off Norway, and the jolting received by Cochino played their part in causing an electrical fire and battery explosion, followed by the generation of deadly hydrogen [chlorine] on 25 August. Defying the most unfavorable possible weather conditions, men of Cochino and USS Tusk fought to save the submarine for 14 hours, performing acts of skillful seamanship and high courage. A second battery explosion on 26 August made "Abandon Ship" the only possible order, and Cochino sank north of Norway in position 71.35N. 23.35E. All Cochino's men were rescued by the valiant Tusk who had lost seven of her own men in the attempt to save Cochino. (3)

Media links


Blind Man's Bluff

Sherry Sontag


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