Allied Warships

Sunfish (SS-281)

Submarine of the Gato class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassGato 
Pennant281 
Built byMare Island Navy Yard (Vallejo, California, U.S.A.) 
Ordered9 Sep 1940 
Laid down26 Sep 1941 
Launched2 May 1942 
Commissioned15 Jul 1942 
End service26 Dec 1945 
History

Decommissioned 26 December 1945.
Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Stricken 1 May 1960.
Sold 15 December 1960 to be broken up for scrap.

 

Commands listed for USS Sunfish (281)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Richard Ward Peterson, USN15 Jul 194216 Dec 1943
2T/Lt.Cdr. Edward Ellis Shelby, USN16 Dec 19436 Mar 1945
3Cdr. John Ward Reed, USN6 Mar 19451 May 1945

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Notable events involving Sunfish include:


26 Oct 1942
With her trials and initial training completed USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) departed from San Francisco bound for Pearl Harbor.

1 Nov 1942
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

23 Nov 1942
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol of Honshu and Hokkaido in Japanese home waters.

14 Dec 1942
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) lays mines in entrance to Iseno Umi Bay, Japan. She continues to lay mines on the 15th, 16th and 17th December.

18 Dec 1942
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese Kyowa Maru (1917 GRT) off the south coast of Honshu, Japan in position 34°10'N, 136°52'E.

14 Jan 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) ended her 1st war patrol at Midway.

4 Feb 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) departed from Midway for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China Sea.

20 Feb 1943
The Japanese auxiliary patrol vessel Yoshida Maru (2920 GRT) is damaged by a mine in position 34°28'N, 137°20'E. The mine was most likely laid by USS Sunfish between 14 / 17 December 1942.

13 Mar 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Kosei Maru (3262 GRT) near Tokara Jima, Ryukyu Islands in position 29°04'N, 129°17'E.

3 Apr 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) ended her 2nd war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

4 May 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Caroline Islands area.

24 Jun 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) ended her 3rd war patrol.

28 Jul 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) departed from for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Formosa.

13 Aug 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese auxiliary gunboat Edo Maru (1299 GRT) about 180 nautical miles from Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands in position 24°04'N, 142°21'E.

4 Sep 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Kozan Maru (4180 GRT) off the Bonin Islands in position 22°06'N, 119°50'E.

25 Sep 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

16 Oct 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol north-east of Formosa.

14 Dec 1943
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Peterson) ended her 5th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

14 Jan 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Caroline and Mariana Islands area.

23 Feb 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and sank the Japanese collier Shinyubari Maru (5354 GRT) about 40 nautical miles west of Saipan in position 15°23'N, 145°03'E.

7 Mar 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) ended her 6th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was now sent to US west coast for a major overhaul.

22 Jun 1944
With her overhaul completed USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol of the Kuril Islands.

5 Jul 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant passenger/cargo ship Shinmei Maru (2577 GRT) off Paramushiro, Kuril Islands in position 51°28'N, 156°28'E.

7 Jul 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) sank the Japanese fishing vessels Hokuyo Maru No.105, Kannon Maru No.5, Ebisu Maru, and Kinei Maru with gunfire off the Kuril Islands in position 47°29'E, 152°29'E.

Note; Some sources, based on the sub's patrol report, give that Sunfish sank 13 fishing vessels on this day, but this can't be confirmed.

9 Jul 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Taihei Maru (6284 GRT) north of Araito Island in position 51°19'N, 155°43'E.

1 Aug 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) ended her 7th war patrol at Midway.

20 Aug 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) departed from Midway for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Yellow Sea.

10 Sep 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant tanker Chihaya Maru (4701 GRT) east of Quelpart Island in position 33°47'N, 127°37'E.

13 Sep 1944
While operating in the Yellow Sea USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese army cargo ship Gyoku Maru (6854 GRT) in position 34°32'N, 124°44'E, and torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Etajima Maru (6933 GRT) in position 35°04'N, 24°49'E.

27 Sep 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) ended her 8th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

23 Oct 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China and Yellow Seas.

17 Nov 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese army transport Edogawa Maru (6968 GRT) west of Quelpart Island in position 33°40'N, 124°30'E. The badly damaged Japanese ship sank the next day.

18 Nov 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Seisho Maru (5463 GRT) in the East China Sea west of Saishu Island in position 33°36'N, 124°18'E.

30 Nov 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Dairen Maru (3748 GRT) off western Korea in position 38°08'N, 124°35'E.

19 Dec 1944
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) ended her 9th war patrol at Majuro.

15 Jan 1945
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) departed from Majuro for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China and Yellow Seas.

20 Feb 1945
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) has to abort her 10th war patrol when a collision with an unsighted ice floe bent both periscopes.

27 Feb 1945
USS Sunfish (Lt.Cdr. E.E. Shelby) ended her 10th war patrol at Guam.

31 Mar 1945
USS Sunfish (Cdr. J.W. Reed) departed from Guam for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Honshu and Hokkaido in Japanese home waters.

16 Apr 1945
USS Sunfish (Cdr. J.W. Reed) torpedoed and sank the Japanese corvette Kaibokan 73 (745 tons, built 1945) and the Japanese troop transport Manryu Maru (1630 GRT, former Norwegian Bordvik, offsite link) off Yamado harbour, Honshu, Japan in position 39°36'N, 142°05'E.

19 Apr 1945
While operating off Shizunai, Hokkaido, Japan USS Sunfish (Cdr. J.W. Reed) torpedoed and sank the Japanese sinking auxiliary gunboat Kaiho Maru (1093 GRT) in position 42°22'N, 142°16'E, and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Taisei Maru (1948 GRT) in position 42°22'N, 142°13'E.

28 Apr 1945
USS Sunfish (Cdr. J.W. Reed) ended her 11th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

30 Apr 1945
USS Sunfish departed from Pearl Harbor bound for the Mare Island Navy Yard where she is to receive a major overhaul.

7 May 1945
USS Sunfish arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard.

31 Jul 1945
With her overhaul completed USS Sunfish departed from the Mare Island Navy Yard bound for Pearl Harbor.

9 Aug 1945
USS Sunfish departed from arrived at Pearl Harbor.

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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