Allied Warships

Archerfish (SS-311)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Archerfish as seen after the Second World War

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant311 
Built byPortsmouth Navy Yard (Kittery, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered21 Apr 1942 
Laid down22 Jan 1943 
Launched28 May 1943 
Commissioned4 Sep 1943 
End service1 May 1968 
History

Decommissioned on 12 June 1946 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California.
Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Mare Island.
Recommissioned on 7 March 1952.
Decommissioned on 21 October 1955, at New London, Connecticut.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at New London.
Recommissioned on 1 August 1957.
Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register on 1 May 1968.
Sunk as a target by USS Snook (SSN-592) off the coast of California on 19 October 1968.

 

Commands listed for USS Archerfish (311)

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

CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. George William Kehl, USN4 Sep 194318 May 1944
2T/Cdr. William Harry Wright, USN18 May 194429 Sep 1944
3T/Cdr. Joseph Francis Enright, USN29 Sep 194415 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Archerfish include:


The history of USS Archerfish as compiled on this page is extracted from her patrol reports.

This page was last updated in April 2017.

4 Sep 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) was commissioned at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She then commenced a period of trials and training.

14 Oct 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) arrived at Newport, Rhode Island for torpedo trials.

17 Oct 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) arrived at New London, Connecticut to continue her training programme.

2 Nov 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) departed New London for the Panama Canal Zone.

10 Nov 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) arrived at Coco Solo.

15 Nov 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) departed Balboa for Pearl Harbour.

29 Nov 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

30 Nov 1943
From 30 November 1943 to 3 December 1943 USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) underwent voyage repairs at Pearl Harbour.

4 Dec 1943
From 4 December 1943 to 20 December 1943 USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) underwent her final training off Pearl Harbour.

23 Dec 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol north of Formosa.

She was escorted out by USS PC 1078.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

27 Dec 1943
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) refuels at Midway before proceeding to her patrol area.

18 Jan 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) attacked what is thought to be a Japanese escort vessel to the North of Iriomote Jima in position 25°14'N, 123°42'E. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -8)
0105 hours - In position 25°29'N, 123°43'E obtained a radar contact at a range of 7000 yards. Commenced radar tracking. Target course turned out to be 170°, speed 7 knots. Kept the range at about 8000 yards while working up ahead.

0240 hours - Now ahead of the target with course and speed right on. Went to battle stations and commenced approach. Visibility was about 2000 yards. Planned to fire the stern tubes on a 90° port track from a range of 1500 to 2000 yards using three torpedoes. When the range had closed to 4000 yards the pip was so large that it was decided to use four torpedoes.

0320 hours - In position 25°14'N, 123°42'E commenced firing the stern tubes as planned except a greater range.

0323 hours - Heard two almost simultaneous explosions.

0325 hours - Heard two more explosions. Nothing could be seen. Opened the range to 8000 yards and started working up ahead again. The target headed to the westward for a while and then came back to a 170° track, speed 7 knots.

0552 hours - Dived 12000 yards ahead of the target. In the meantime the torpedo tubes were reloaded. When the range had closed to 9000 yards pinging was heard. Decided that the target must be some sort of escort craft and that most likely the torpedoes had run under. Contact with the target was however soon lost.

22 Jan 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) attacked and possibly damaged what is thought to be a large merchant vessel in a Japanese convoy to the north of Formosa in position 25°45'N, 121°24'E. She was then hunted and depth charged but no damage was done to her.

(All times are zone -8)
2142 hours - Obtained a radar contact bearing 011°, range 24000 yards. Commenced tracking and approach. Determined contact to be 4 large and 3 smaller smaller ships on a base course of 215° at a speed of 14 knots. They were zig-zagging. Started attack.

2341 hours - In position 25°45'N, 121°24'E commenced firing torpedoes at a 8000 to 10000 tons merchant vessel.

2341 hours - A terrific explosion occured which shook Archerfish considerably. Four torpedoes had been fired. Archerfish then turned away. She was then taken under fire. When they shell splashes came to close ...

2348 hours - Dived. Rigged for depth charges and silent running.

2357 hours - The first pattern of 6 depth charges was dropped. The 4th of these was close but caused no damage.

0012/23 hours - One depth charge was dropped, not close.

0018/23 hours - Two depth charges were dropped, these were closer then the previous one.

0104/23 hours - Two depth charges were dropped, not close.

0130/23 hours - Went to 100 feet to listen.

0208/23 hours - Surfaced.

25 Jan 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel to the west coast of Formosa. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -8)
0628 hours - In position 24°19'N, 122°06'E sighted smoke on the horizon to the north. Closed on four engines. Made out two 'Maru's ' through the periscope.

0639 hours - Dived as it got lighter. Range was about 25000 yards. Continued to close while at periscope depth. Everything looked good. No aircraft or escorts were sighted. The convoy's speed was 8 to 10 knots.

0700 hours - The two ships started zig-zagging. Continued to run in.

0804 hours - Now had come to close to the coast. Decided to make an end around and start another attack.

1155 hours - Surfaced and commenced an end around on four engines. Had planned to surace an hour earlier but the SD radar was out of action and had to be repaired. Knew they would be hugging the coast so headed down about 15 nautical miles off the coast of Formosa for a night attack.

1914 hours - In position 23°06'N, 121°30'E made radar contact with two vessels, which were hugging the coast very closely. Range was 11000 yards. Commenced tracking and approach went up ahead to a sport which offered deep water up close up to the beach. As the range closed it became apparent that these ships were not the same ships as this morning. One of them could have been but the other ships 'pip' was much smaller and must be an escort vessel.

2058 hours - In position 22°54'N, 121°19'E commenced firing four bow torpedoes from 2100 yards at the large 'pip'. The target and escort were not sighted before firing because of the dark background of the land. No hits were seen nor heard and also no end of run explosions were heard.

2101 hours - The escort opened up with a 3" or 4" gun but it did not seem to be firing on Archerfish which was in the meantime retiring to seaward.

27 Jan 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) is bombed from the air by a Japanese Mavis aircraft. No damage was done to Archerfish.

(All times are zone -8)
1153 hours - In position 23°51'N, 124°53'E obtained SD radar contact at 6 nautical miles and sighted an aircraft at the same time bearing 130°. Dived.

1201 hours - A large depth charge was dropped overhead. It shook the boat and knocked off some paint. Remained dived for the remainder of the day.

1757 hours - Surfaced.

6 Feb 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) departed her patrol area for Midway.

15 Feb 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Midway.

16 Mar 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) departed from Midway for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Palau's.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

25 Mar 1944
At 0837 hours (zone -10), in position 13°24'N, 147°50'E, about 150 nautical miles east of Guam, USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) detected an aircraft with her SD radar. She then crash dived. Three minutes later a depth charge was dropped but it caused no damage to Archerfish.

8 Apr 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) departed her patrol area for Pearl Harbour.

23 Apr 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) refuels at Johnston Island.

27 Apr 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. G.W. Kehl, USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

18 May 1944
Cdr. William Harry Wright, USN takes over command of USS Archerfish from Cdr. George William Kehl, USN.

28 May 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Bonin Islands. She was escorted out by USS PC-569.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

1 Jun 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) refuels at Midway, and departed from there for her patrol area the next day.

28 Jun 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese corvette Kaibokan 24 (740 tons, offsite link) about 30 nautical miles south-west of Iwo Jima in position 24°25'N, 141°20'E.

Kaibokan 24 had escorted the landing ships T 103 and T 130 from Tokyo to Iwo Jima and was now covering their unloading operations.

(All times are zone -10)
27 June 1944
1830 hours - Sighted a large ship, resembling an LST, standing in towards the eastern shore of Iwo Jima. Also sighted mast of 8 to 10 smaller ships at anchor to the west of the Island. A destroyer was also seen patrolling the area.

2030 hours - Secured from battle stations, pinging idicated that the destroyer was still patrolling in the area.

2228 hours - Surfaced.

2245 hours - Obtained contact with the SJ radar. Range 12000 yards. Closed. The target turned out to be a small vessel not worth attacking.

28 June 1944
0438 hours - Dived 4 nautical miles west of Iwo Jima.

0518 hours - 5 small ships stood out from the beach passing either side of us. They were proceeding to the north-west. There were still 8 small ships seen to be at anchor. A fighter plane was circling overhead. Spent the next hour and a half investigating these crat but none is big.

0618 hours - Sighted the destroyer and a small ship standing up from the south. The small ship was of about 500 tons, not worth attacking. The destroyer then went to the east side of the Island. Two LST-type ships were seen unloading near the beach.

1005 hours - In a perfect position to attack the destroyer with torpedoes. Started attack. The destroyer however came not closer then 4000 yards. Decided that if he did not come to us, we would go to him.

1106 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1100 yards. Two hits were obtained. The target soon sank. Archerfish retired to deeper water.

1115 hours - A counter attack started causing some minor damage to Archerfish.

2 Jul 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy east of Chichi Jima in position 27°07N, 142°03'E. Either 5 or 6 hits were claimed but the results are so ar unknown to us.

(All times are zone -10)
1040 hours - Sighted black smoke bearing 030°. Two float planes were circling over the smoke.

1048 hours - The smoke was seen to be coming from a scattered convoy of 4 or 5 ships. Range was 16000 yards. The convoy was zig-zagging and on a southerly course.

1124 hours - The convoy was seen to be made up of a large transport and 4 smaller ones. Two destroyers and two patrol vessels were seen to be the escort. Started attack.

1157 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes at the largest transport. Range was 3000 yards.

1159 hours - Fired 2 stern torpedoes at one of the destroyers from 1200 yards. Shortly afterwards the remaining 2 torpedoes were also fired but due to an error in drill the last torpedo was not fired.

1201 hours - Heard 4 timed torpedo hits from the first 6 torpedoes fired at the large transport soon followed by 1 or 2 more hits from the torpedoes fired from the stern tubes. The results could not be observed as Archerfish had gone deep on firing.

1203 hours - The counter attack followed. A total of 107 depth charges were counted but no damage was done to Archerfish.

4 Jul 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) was ordered to perform lifequard duties during air strikes on Iwo Jima. She rescued one downed aviator.

15 Jul 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Midway.

7 Aug 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) departed from Midway for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol east of Kyushu and south of Shikoku in Japanese home waters.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

13 Aug 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) damaged a Japanese guard boat with gunfire in the North Pacific Ocean in position 32°55'N, 152°43'E.

(All time are zone -10)
0920 hours - Sighted masts and started tracking for position ahead.

0949 hours - The target was seen to be a Japanese guard boat, a diesel trawler of about 300 tons displacement. The masts were high with conspicuous antenna. Two 20 or 40mm guns were visible on the deck house and fore-castle. There was also a rack with two depth charges aft. Decided to attack with the 4" gun from a range outside of the trawlers armament.

1118 hours - Surfaced. Range was 5500 yards. Closed at speed until the range was reduced to 4500 yards. The target was firing at a slow rate, his fall of shot being about 1000 yards short, the large splashes indicated his armement as being 40mm. After Archerfish had fired 5 rounds the target made smoke and tried to hide behind it. Soon after he jettisoned his depth charges and came towards. By now 6 hits had been obtained and his upperworks were splintered and he was dismasted. He was then left in this state in order not to waste more ammunition.

18 Sep 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) departed her patrol area for Midway.

24 Sep 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) arrived at Midway. Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN reported on board as relief Commanding Officer. He took over command just after arriving at Pearl Harbour.

25 Sep 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) departed Midway for Pearl Harbour.

29 Sep 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. W.H. Wright, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

30 Oct 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Honshu, Japan and to perform lifeguard duties during air raids on Japan. She was escorted out by USS PC-580.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

9 Nov 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) arrived at Saipan. There some minor repairs were made and she refuels. She continues her 5th war patrol on the 11th.

29 Nov 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano (59000 tons, offsite link) 160 nautical miles south-east of Cape Muroto, Japan in position 33°07'N, 137°04'E.

Shinano was en-route from Yokosuka to Kure and was escorted by the destroyers Isokaze, Yukikaze, and Hamakaze.

(All times are zone -10)
28 November 1944
2048 hours - In position 33°33'N, 138°45'E obtained radar contact bearing 028°, range 24700 yards. Started tracking from ahead.

2140 hours - Identified the target as an aircraft carrier. Enemy course was 210°, speed 20 knots. It appears there was only one escort. Started a surface approach from the starboard side.

2230 hours - Escort on the starboard beam sighted so it was not possible to approach from this side. Changed course to get back on the targets base course.

2250 hours - Range to the carrier was now 15000 yards. Range to the closest escort was 6100 yards.

2300 yards - The enemy task force was now seen to be made up of the aircraft carrier and 4 escorts. One on either beam, one ahead and one astern.

2330 hours - Sent out a contact message.

2400 hours - The enemy turned west. Archerfish was now very far off track. Changed our course and went full speed ahead to obtain a more favourable position.

29 November 1944
0241 hours - Sent out another contact message. It appeared that we would not be able to obtain a good firing position.

0300 hours - The enemy changed course again now to the south. He was coming towards now.

0305 hours - Submerged. Sighted the carrier through the periscope. Range was 7000 yards.

0316 hours - The carrier made another course change. We were in a good position to attack. Range was now 1400 yards.

0317 hours - In position 33°07'N, 137°04'E started firing all bow tubes from 1400 yards. All hit. Two hits were observed but then Archerfish had to go deep as one of the escorts was coming very near. Breaking up noises started immediately.

0325 hours - Depth charging started. A total of 14 depth charges were dropped.

0345 hours - The last depth charge was droppped. None had been very close.

0405 hours - Breaking up noises were no longer heard. The carrier must have gone down.

0610 hours - Daylight and first periscope observation. Nothing in sight.

1000 hours - Heard a huge exlosion. Could not originate from the target as she would have been gone by now.

In fact the explosion was Shinano finally sinking. She had received four torpedo hits during the attack. Damage was severe and she later turned over but remained floating until she finally sank around 1000 hours.

9 Dec 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) attacked one of two Japanese escort vessels with four torpedoes in position 34°00'N, 141°45'E. No hits were obtained and no counter attack followed.

(All times are zone -10)
8 December 1944
2327 hours - Radar obtained a contact on two ships at a range of 12000 yards. From the size of the pips it was believed it were two escort vessels returning to Tokyo. They were zig-zagging at 13 knots. The fact that the were zig-zagging indicates that they considered themselves to be torpedo bait.

9 December 1944
0050 hours - The targets were sighted from the bridge at a range of 7000 yards. When the range had closed to 4000 yards it was seen that they appeared like destroyers but identification was no certain.

0210 hours - In position 34°00'N, 141°45'E fired four toredoes at the closest target from a range of 3200 yards. No hits were obtained.

0214 hours - Heard torpedoes exloding at the end of their run. The torpedoes may have run under but no counter attack followed.

15 Dec 1944
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) ended her 5th war patrol at Guam. She was escorted in by USS Motive.

10 Jan 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed from Guam for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the northern part of the South China Sea. She was part of a wolfpack together with USS Blackfish (Cdr. R.F. Sellars, USN) and USS Batfish (Cdr. J.K. Fyfe, USN). Cdr. Enright was the group commander.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

13 Feb 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) is forced to abandon her war patrol three days early due to problems with the forward hydroplanes.

14 Feb 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) claims the destuction of a Japanese submarine to the east of Formosa. The target, which might also have been a patrol vessel, has not been identified.

(All times are zone -8)
2053 hours - In position 20°47'N, 127°45'E picked up contact with the SJ radar at 7200 yards. Closed at full speed. Enemy speed 10.5 knots.

2115 hours - Range was now 2650 yards. The target was low in the water, most likely a submarine.

2117 hours - Enemy course 235°, with 25° zigs which were irregular in time.

2148 hours - Sent out a report that we had a contact with no SJ radar interference to the 'Bennets Blazers' wolf pack asking for their positions.

2145 to 2308 hours - Kept the range between 5000 to 6000 yards while working up the targets starboard side. Waited for the positions of the 'Blazers' coming in.

2309 hours - All 'Blazers' had reported being about 140 nautical miles east of us. Decided to go in to attack.

1215 hours - Again thought the target to be a submarine. The conning tower was more square then of the USN boats. No periscope shears and gun platforms were seen. The conning tower was half way between the bow and stern. The deck was flat.

2317 hours - In position 20°37'N, 127°33'E fired four bow torpedoes from a range of 1300 yards. The all missed as the enemy zigged towards.

2320 hours - As the enemy continued on, not noticing being attacked, four stern torpedoes from 2000 yards were fired which resulted in one hit. The enemy 'pip' immediately started to disappear from the radar screen and the target was no longer visible from the bridge. The 'pip' was completely gone after about 1.5 minutes.

19 Feb 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) arrived at Saipan.

22 Feb 1945
With repairs to her forward hydroplanes and voyage repairs completed, USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed Saipan for Pearl Harbour.

3 Mar 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) ended her 6th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

6 Mar 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor bound for San Francisco.

13 Mar 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) arrived at the Hunters Point Navy Yard for a major overhaul.

14 Jun 1945
With her overhaul completed USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed from San Francisco bound for Pearl Harbor.

22 Jun 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbor to begin a short training period.

10 Jul 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Japanese home waters off the east coast of Honshu and the south coast of Hokkaido. She was also to perform lifeguard duties. She was escorted out of Pearl Harbour by USS PC-487.

For the daily positions of USS Archerfish during this patrol see the map below. These positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions for 5 and 6 August 1945.

22 Jul 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS LCI(L)-1098.

24 Jul 1945
After voyage repairs and fuelling, USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed Saipan for her patrol area. She was escorted out by USS LCI(L)-95.

31 Aug 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) enters Tokyo Bay.

3 Sep 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) departed Tokyo Bay for Pearl Harbour.

12 Sep 1945
USS Archerfish (Cdr. J.F. Enright, USN) ended her 7th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. Archerfish remained at Pearl Harbour for the remainder of 1945.

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


amazon.com
($ 61.19)

amazon.co.uk
(£ 56.95)

amazon.de
(EUR 60.49)


Shinano!

Enright, Joseph F.


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