Joseph Harris Willingham, Jr., USN

Born  20 Mar 1905Pell City, Alabama

Ranks

30 Jun 1936 Lt.
16 Dec 1940 Lt.Cdr.
15 Aug 1942 T/Cdr.
1 Aug 1943 T/Capt.

Decorations

  Navy Cross (1)
Apr/Jun 42 Navy Cross (1)
Aug/Oct 43 Navy Cross (1)

Warship Commands listed for Joseph Harris Willingham, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS Tautog (199)Lt.Submarine3 Jul 194028 Nov 1942
USS Bowfin (287)T/Cdr.Submarine1 May 194326 Oct 1943

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Tautog (199)


26 Dec 1941
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. Joseph Harris Willingham) leaves Pearl Harbor for her first war patrol, and was to patrol off the Marshall Islands.

4 Feb 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) returns to Pearl Harbor after conducting her first war patrol. She was sent to the Mare Island Navy yard for a refit.

9 Apr 1942
Her refit completed, USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) leaves the Mare Island Navy Yard and heads for Pearl Harbor.

24 Apr 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) leaves Pearl Harbor for her second war patrol. Once again she was ordered to patrol in the Marshall Islands area. Shortly after arriving in her assigned patrol area she was ordered to patrol off Truk to intercept ships returning from the Battle of the Coral Sea.

17 May 1942 (position 6.30, 152.00)
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) torpedoed and sank the Japanese submarine I-28 (offsite link) south of Truk in position 06°30'N, 152°00'E.

22 May 1942 (position 7.00, 151.00)
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese merchant ship Sanko Maru (5461 GRT) south-west of Truk in position 07°00'N, 151°00'E.

25 May 1942 (position 4.07, 143.32)
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant ship Shoka Maru (4467 GRT) about 385 nautical miles south-west of Ulithi, Caroline Islands in position 04°07'N, 143°32'E.

11 Jun 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) ended her second war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

17 Jul 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) leaves Fremantle, Australia on her third war patrol. She was to patrol off Indo-China.

6 Aug 1942 (position 13.51, 113.15)
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Ohio Maru (5873 GRT) in the South China Sea about 250 miles east-north-east of Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina in position 13°51'N, 113°15'E.

10 Sep 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. Joseph Harris Willingham) returns from her third war patrol, and is refitted at Albany, Australia.

8 Oct 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) leaves Australia for her fourth war patrol. Once again she was to patrol off Indo-China. She also embarked mines.

20 Oct 1942 (position 6.59, 119.20)
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) sank the Japanese fishing vessel Nanshin Maru (33 GRT) with gunfire in the Sulu Sea in position 06°59'N, 119°20'E.

2 Nov 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) laid a minefield off Haiphong, Indochina.

21 Nov 1942
USS Tautog (Lt.Cdr. J. H. Willingham) returned to Fremantle, Australia.

28 Nov 1942
Lt Cmdr William Bernard Sieglaff relieves Lt Cmdr Joseph Harris Willingham as Commanding Officer of USS Tautog.


Submarine USS Bowfin (287)


4 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) departed the Portsmouth Navy Yard for Newport, Rhode Island.

5 Jun 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) arrived at Newport, Rhode Island from the Portsmouth Navy Yard. At Newport she was to conduct her torpedo firing trials.

22 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) was put on the slipway at New London.

24 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) was put back in the water.

2 Jul 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) departed New London,Connecticut for the Panama Canal Zone.

10 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) arrived at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone from New London, Connecticut.

14 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) transited the Panama Canal.

15 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Brisbane, Australia.

10 Aug 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) arrived at Brisbane, Australia.

16 Aug 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

From 16 to 18 August 1943, USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN), conducted exercises in Moreton Bay before she proceeded towards Darwin, Australia.

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

24 Aug 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) arrived at Darwin.

25 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) departed Darwin for her patrol area.

3 Sep 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) conducted a special operation (no details available to us for the moment). Apparently Bowfin delivered supplies and evacuates some people from Binuni Point, Mindanao, Philippines.

25 Sep 1943 (position 9.44, 11.56)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Kirishima Maru (5959 GRT, built 1931) in the South China Sea in position 09°44'N, 111°56'E. Kirishima Maru, a transport ship, had been converted to a tanker in early 1943.

Kirishima Maru was in convoy SA-12 (Singapore - Moji) together with fleet oiler Ashizuri (7951 GRT, built 1943), tanker Seishin Maru (5239 GRT, built 1943) and troop transports Ussuri Maru (6386 GRT, built 1932) and Teiko Maru (15105 GRT, former French passenger liner D'Artagnan, built 1925). They were escorted by the submarine chaser Ch-19.

(All times are zone I, -9)
0940 hours - Sighted USS Billfish (Cdr. F.C. Lucas, Jr., USN) to the westward. She informed us of a convoy she was in contact with and that she was going to attack. After Billfish submerged the convoy made two very wide southerly zigs leaving her unable to attack. Bowfin remained on the surface tracking the convoy which was contacted at 0958 hours in position 09°27'N, 111°30'E. The convoy was made up of two colums of two ships each. A large ship thought to be a tender was acting as escort.

1310 hours - Bowfin was now in a position between the two columns. In position 09°44'N, 111°56'E fired four torpedoes at what is thought to be the most valuable vessel of the convoy, a large transport. Then fired the two remaining bow torpedoes at the transport that was the second in that line. Three torpedoes are thought to have hit the first target and two are claimed to have hit the transport.

1318 hours - Fired four stern torpedoes at the tanker in the other column. Two hits are claimed but these were not observed as Bowfin meanwhile went deep.

1328 hours - A ship was heard to break up and sink.

1451 hours - Surfaced and went to the area where the ship had sunk. Nothing but wreckage was sighted.

27 Sep 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) attacked a small steamer in the Sulu Sea west of Negros Island, Philippines in position 09°21'N, 122°25'E. Two torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone I, -9)
1706 hours - In position 12°51'N, 120°11'E sighted masts of a ship bearing 156°(T), range about 12 miles. Commenced tracking and an end around.

1720 hours - Submerged to attack. The target was zig-zagging on a base course of 340°(T), enemy speed 12 knots.

1842 hours - In position 09°21'N, 122°25'E fired one stern torpedo. It was intended to fire two but tube no.7 misfired.

1843 hours - Fired tube no.9. Both torpedoes missed. The target by now was identified as a 1500 tons inter-island steamer. She turned away and increased speed.

1853 hours - Fired no.7 tube again after the outer door could not be closed. The torpedo now left the tube and ran normally before exploding at the end of her run.

29 Sep 1943 (position 5.17, 121.57)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) delivers supplies and evacuates people from Siquijor Island, Philippines.

30 Sep 1943 (position 8.17, 121.57)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) sank the small Japanese self propelled barge with gunfire in the Sulu Sea west of Mindanao Island, Philippines in position 08°17'N, 121°57'E.

(All times are zone I, -9)
0740 hours - In position 08°36'N, 122°04'E sighted a small craft on the starboard bow. Went to gun action stations and closed. The target was identified as a diesel driven self propelled bargo of about 75 tons. There were about 100 Japanese soldiers on board.

0810 hours - In position 08°17'N, 121°57'E opened fire with the 4" deck gun from 4500 yards.

0820 hours - The enemy returned fire with a machine gun. Bowfin now also opened fire with 20mm.

0823 hours - The barge sank. 20 rounds of 4" had been fired as well as 420 rounds of 20mm.

2 Oct 1943 (position -0.55, 118.13)
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) sank a schooner with gunfire in Makassar Strait in position 00°55'S, 118°13'E.

(All times are zone I, -9)
1412 hours - In position 00°30'S, 118°09'E sighted a sail ahead. It was seen to be a two-masted schooner of bout 50 tons. Fired two rounds across her bow to bring her to but she started an auxiliary engine and continued on her course.

1457 hours - In position 00°55'S, 118°13'E opened fire on the schooner with the 4" gun.

1458 hours - Ceased fire as the schooner was sinking rapidly, 8 rounds of 4" having been fired.

4 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

10 Oct 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.


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