Allied Warships

Bluefish (SS-222)

Submarine of the Gato class


USS Bluefish during launch
USN Photograph.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassGato 
Pennant222 
Built byElectric Boat Co. (Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A.) 
Ordered9 Sep 1940 
Laid down5 Jun 1942 
Launched21 Feb 1943 
Commissioned24 May 1943 
End service20 Nov 1953 
History

Decommissioned 12 February 1947.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Recommissioned 7 January 1952.
Decommissioned 20 November 1953.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Stricken 1 June 1959.
Sold 8 June 1960 to be broken up for scrap.

 

Commands listed for USS Bluefish (222)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. George Egbert Porter, Jr., USN24 May 194331 Jan 1944
2Charles Mitchell Henderson, USN31 Jan 194410 Apr 1945
3Lt.Cdr. George Woodruff Forbes, Jr., USN10 Apr 194528 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Bluefish include:


13 Jul 1943
USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for the Panama Canal Zone.

25 Jul 1943
USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter, USN) transited the Panama Canal.

21 Aug 1943
USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter) arrived at Brisbane, Australia.

9 Sep 1943
USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter) departed from Brisbane for her 1st war patrol.

25 Sep 1943
While on her 1st war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese merchant Akashi Maru (3228 GRT) south-east of Celebes, Netherlands East Indies, in position 06°23'S, 118°55'E.

On the 29th Bluefish again spots the Akashi Maru and now sends her to the bottom north of Wetar, Netherlands East Indies, in position 06°11'S, 126°00'E.

27 Sep 1943
While on her 1st war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter) torpedoed and sank the Japanese torpedo boat Kasasagi (595 tons) (offsite link) about 25 nautical miles south of Celebes in the Flores Sea, Netherlands East Indies in position 05°45'S, 121°50'E.

8 Nov 1943
While on her 2nd war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter) torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Kyokuei Maru (10570 GRT) in the South China Sea in position 17°00'N, 116°19'E.

18 Nov 1943
While on her 2nd war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.E. Porter) torpedoed and sank the Japanese torpedo boat Sanae (900 tons, offsite link) and damaged the Japanese fleet oiler Ondo (14050 GRT) in the Celebes Sea about 90 nautical miles south of Basilan Island, 05°00'N, 122°00'E.

30 Dec 1943
While on her 3rd war patrol USS Bluefish (Cdr. G.E. Porter) torpedoed and sank the Japanese oiler Ichiyu Maru (5061 GRT) in the Java Sea in position 02°45'S, 109°10'E.

3 Jan 1944
While on her 3rd war patrol USS Bluefish (Cdr. G.E. Porter) lays mines off the eastern Malayan coast.

4 Jan 1944
While on her 3rd war patrol USS Bluefish (Cdr. G.E. Porter) attacked a Japanese convoy of the Coast of Indo-China together with USS Rasher. Bluefish torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Hakko Maru (6046 GRT) in position 07°10'N, 108°28'E.

4 Mar 1944
While on her 4th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. Charles M. Henderson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese oiler Ominesan Maru (10536 GRT) in the South China Sea about 300 nautical miles west of Miri, Sarawak in position 05°29'N, 108°46'E.

6 May 1944

Operation Transom,
Carrier raid against Surabaya by the Eastern Fleet.

On 6 May 1944 the Eastern Fleet put to sea from Trincomalee, Ceylon in two task forces;
Task Force 65, which was made up of the British battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN and flagship of Admiral Sommerville, CinC Eastern Fleet), HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN), the French battleship Richelieu (Capt. Merveilleux du Vignaux), the British light cruisers HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN), HMS Nigeria (Capt. H.A. King, DSO, RN), the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and the British destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Penn (Lt. M.J.W. Pawsey, RN), the Australian destroyers HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC, RAN) and the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN).

Task Force 66, which was made up of the British battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN and flagship of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet) (went to Task Force 65 the next day), the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN), the US aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. J.H. Cassady, USN), the British light cruiser HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), the New Zealand light cruiser HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) and the British destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and the US destroyers USS Cummings (Cdr. P.D. Williams, USN), USS Dunlap (Cdr. C. Iverson, USN) and USS Fanning (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Bentley, USN).

On 10 May 1944, the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the destroyers were fuelled at sea by the capital ships and the cruisers. During fuelling from HMS Valiant the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen sustained some minor damage (fractured hull plate on her port side) but the crew of the Van Galen was able to effect emergency repairs.

On 15 May 1944, task forces 65 and 66 were fuelled at Exmouth Gulf, Australia by Task Force 67 which was made up of of six Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers; Eaglesdale (8032 GRT, built 1942), Echodale (8150 GRT, built 1941), Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942), Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Pearleaf (5911 GRT, built 1917), Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) and supplyship (used as distilling ship) Bacchus (3154 GRT, built 1936). This force had already left Trincomalee on 30 April and was escorted by the British heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. A.S. Russell, DSO, RN). They had also been escorted near Ceylon by a local escort for A/S purposes, this local escort had been made up of the British destroyer HMS Rotherham, Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen and the British frigate HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RD, RNR). The local escort returned to Ceylon on 5 May 1944. The two cruisers mentioned above now joined Task Force 66. Later this day Task Forces 65 and 66 went to sea again for the actual attack on Surabaya. On leaving Exmouth Gulf the fleet was spotted by the merhant vessel Aroona. This ship was now instructed to put into Exmouth Gulf and was held there by HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdale, OBE, RAN) for 24 hours and to impress on the master and crew of this vessel the necessity of not disclosing any information concerning the Fleet on the arrival of their ship at Fremantle (their next port of call).

In the early morning hours of the 17th the carriers launched 45 dive bombers and 40 fighters for an attack on the harbour and oil installations (Wonokromo oil refeniry) of Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (USS Saratoga: 12 Avengers (1 had to return with engine trouble shortly after being launched), 18 Dauntless, 24 Hellcats; HMS Illustrious: 18 Avengers (2 of which force landed in the sea shortly after being launched), 16 Corsairs). On the ground they destroyed 12 enemy aircraft (20 were claimed). The damage to the harbour and shipping were over estimated (10 ships were thought to have been hit) as in fact only the small transport ship Shinrei Maru (987 GRT, built 1918) was sunk and patrol vessel P 36, auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-107 and CHa-108, tanker Yosei Maru (2594 GRT, built 1928, former Dutch Josefina) and cargo ships Choka Maru (???? GRT, built ????) and Tencho Maru (2716 GRT, built 1919) were damaged.

On the 18th the US ships were released. The other ships then proceeded to Exmouth Gulf where they arrived to fuel the next day before starting on the return trip to Ceylon less destroyer HMAS Quiberon which was to refit in Australia and was sent to Fremantle.

On 23 May 1944, the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the destroyers were fuelled at sea by the capital ships and the cruisers.

Task Force 65 and 66 arrived back at Trincomalee on the 27th.

During this operation several US Submarine guarded the passages to the Indian Ocean to spot a possible Japanese counter attack. The submarines deployed for this purpose were the following; In the Sunda Strait from 12 to 23 May 1944; USS Angler (Cdr. R. I. Olsen, USN) and USS Gunnel (Cdr. J.S. McCain, Jr., USN).
South of Lombok Strait from 13 to 20 May 1944; USS Cabrilla (Cdr. W.C. Thompson, Jr., USN) and also the USS Bluefish (Cdr. C.M. Henderson, USN) from 13 May until the night of the 16th.
South of Bali Strait from 17 to 20 May; USS Bluefish.
North of Bali Strait; USS Puffer (Cdr. F.G. Selby, USN) during the night of 16/17 May.

The following US Submarines were deployed in the Surabaya area for air/sea rescue duties; USS Puffer in the Madura Strait about 40 miles to the east of Surabaya.
USS Rasher (Cdr. W.R. Laughton, USN) in the Java Sea about 40 miles to the north of Surabaya. (1)

16 Jun 1944
While on her 5th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Henderson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant Nanshin Maru (1422 GRT) in the Celebes Sea south-west of Tarakan, Borneo, Netherlands East Indies in position 02°22'N, 118°24'E.

21 Jun 1944
While on her 5th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Henderson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Kanan Maru (3280 GRT) off the southern approaches to Makassar Strait in position 03°58'S, 116°35'E.

14 Aug 1944
While on her 6th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Henderson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Shinpo Maru (5135 GRT), previously damaged by USS Puffer on 12 August, off Golo Island in position 13°39'N, 120°22'E.

19 Aug 1944
While on her 6th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Henderson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fleet tanker/seaplane carrier Hayasui (18300 GRT) some 80 nautical miles northwest of Cape Bolinao in position 17°34'N, 119°23'E, and damaged the Japanese hospital ship Awa Maru (11249 GRT) in position 17°36'N, 119°38'E.

15 Jul 1945
While on her 9th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. George W. Forbes, Jr.) torpedoed and sank the Japanese submarine I-351 (2650 tons, built 1945, offsite link) about 100 nautical miles east-north-east of Natuna Besar, Borneo in position 05°44'N, 110°06'E.

19 Jul 1945
While on her 9th war patrol USS Bluefish (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Forbes, Jr.) sank a small Japanese vessel with gunfire east of Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies in position 00°04'S, 105°08'E.

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


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($ 39.90)


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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($ 59.03)

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(£ 56.95)

amazon.de
(EUR 58.49)

Sources

  1. Files 2.12.03.6853 and 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4767 (British National Archives, Kew, London)

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