Allied Warships

Bullhead (SS-332)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Bullhead as completed.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant332 
Built byElectric Boat Co. (Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A.) 
Ordered6 Jun 1942 
Laid down21 Oct 1943 
Launched16 Jul 1944 
Commissioned4 Dec 1944 
Lost6 Aug 1945 
Loss position8° 20'S, 115° 42'E
History

USS Bullhead (Lt.Cdr. Edward Rowell Holt, Jr., USN) was sunk on her 3rd war patrol by Japanese aircraft off the north-east coast of Bali in position 08º20'S, 115º42'E. All 84 hands lost.
The Japanese Army aircraft, belonging to the 73rd Chutai, based on Bali, made an attack at 0803 hrs, dropping 2 x 60 kg bombs which the pilot claimed to have hit, with oil and bubbles surfacing in the aftermath.

 

Commands listed for USS Bullhead (332)

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

CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Walter Thomas Griffith, USN4 Dec 1944Jul 1945
2T/Lt.Cdr. Edward Rowell Holt, USNJul 19456 Aug 1945 (+)

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Bullhead include:


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

This page was last updated in March 2017.

21 Dec 1944
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Newport, Rhode Island for her torpedo trials.

23 Dec 1944
With her torpedo trials completed, USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), returned to New London, Connecticut.

29 Dec 1944
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Long Island sound together with USS Enright (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Bradley, Jr., USNR), USS Scott (Lt.Cdr. Cdr. H.W. Osterhaus, Jr., USNR), USS Schmitt (Lt. T.A. Melusky, USNR) and USS Lionfish (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Spruance, USN).

30 Dec 1944
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Long Island sound together with USS Enright (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Bradley, Jr., USNR), USS Scott (Lt.Cdr. Cdr. H.W. Osterhaus, Jr., USNR), USS Schmitt (Lt. T.A. Melusky, USNR) and USS Lionfish (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Spruance, USN).

5 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) is put on the slipway at New London.

7 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) is put back in the water.

9 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Key West, Florida.

15 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Key West, Florida for services with the Fleet Sound School.

16 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

17 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

19 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

20 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

21 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

23 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

24 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

25 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

26 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

27 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

29 Jan 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Key West, Florida for Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone.

2 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived in the Panama Canal Zone.

5 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR) and USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR).

6 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR), USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR), USS SC-684, USS SC-986, USS SC-996 and USS SC-1017.

7 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR), USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR), USS SC-684, USS SC-986, USS SC-996 and USS SC-1017.

8 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises in Panama Bay together with USS Paul Jones (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Payne, USNR), USS Bulmer (Lt. T.C. Farrell, USNR), USS SC-684, USS SC-986, USS SC-996 and USS SC-1017.

11 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Pearl Harbor.

26 Feb 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbor.

4 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Whitman (Lt. E.A. Sandor, USNR) and USS Austin (Lt. W.H. White, USNR).

5 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Pruitt (Lt. D.B. Harby, USNR), USS YMS-300 (Lt. R.A. Woods, USNR) and USS Seahorse (Cdr. H.H. Greer, Jr., USN).

9 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea. En-route she pauses at Guam for provisions and fuel.

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

19 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) arrived at Guam.

21 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed Guam for her patrol area.

31 Mar 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) bombarded the radio station at Patras Island.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0202 hours - Radar picked up Patras Island bearing 180°(T), range 10 nautical miles. Considered, due to the bright moonlight, to bombard the radio station.

0237 hours - Commenced closing the island to determine the visiblilty. The radio tower and buildings could be seen from 8000 yards so pulled out to the southward to prepare for firing.

0334 hours - Opened fire on the radio station from 4700 yards. The first 18 rounds landed beautifully in the area near the base of the radio tower with one positive hit in the building nearest to the tower.

0340 hours - Ceased firing and commenced retiring from the area.

16 Apr 1945
In the afternoon, USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), picked up three US aviators from a crashed B-25 bomber to the east-south-east of Hong Kong.

24 Apr 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) again bombarded the radio station at Patras Island.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0630 hours - Sighted Patras Island bearing 140°(T), distant 10 miles. Commenced closing.

0715 hours - Submerged.

1830 hours - Battle surfaced. Intended to fire all 5" ammunition at the radio station but after 10 minutes decided that the military value of Patras does not warrent the expenditure.

1840 hours - Ceased firing and set course for Hong Kong.

28 Apr 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Subic Bay, Philippines. She was escorted in by USS Doyle C. Barnes (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Ingle, Jr., USNR).

At Subic Bay she was refitted by USS Howard W. Gilmore.

21 May 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) departed from Subic Bay for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Siam, then east of Singapore and later in the Java Sea.

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

30 May 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank a small sailing vessel with gunfire in the Gulf of Siam in position 06°52'N, 101°40'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1910 hours - In position 06°52'N, 101°40'E surfaced with a large two-masted lugger, estimated at 150 ton, in sight close to the beach. All ahead full to get between him and the shore.

1925 hours - Opened fire.

1930 hours - The target sank. Cleared the area for deeper water. Ammunition used 12 rounds of 5", 16 rounds of 40mm and 240 rounds of 20mm.

18 Jun 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank the Japanese vessel Sakura Maru No.58 (+/- 700 GRT) with gunfire off St. Nicholas Point near the Sunda Strait in position 05°53'S, 106°02'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
0910 hours - In position 05°53'S, 106°02'E sighted a small camouflaged vessel heading eastward near St. Nicholas Point.

0917 hours - Battle surfaced and headed towards the target which quickly turned towards the beach. Opened fire with 40mm and 20mm.

0930 hours - The target sank. Headed for deeper water. Ammunition used 37 rounds of 5", 68 rounds of 40mm and 240 rounds of 20mm.

19 Jun 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank the Japanese vessel Tachibana Maru No.57 with gunfire in the Sunda Strait in position 05°56'S, 106°00'E. Two other small vessels were damaged.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1320 hours - In position 05°53'S, 106°02'E sighted smoke bearing 123°(T). These were probably the same ships that tried to come out last night but turned back. Commenced approach. The contact developed in two ships, the leading one was a large Sugar Charlie followed by a small merchant vessel. Decided to give this merchant vessel four torpedoes. The picket boats sighted earlier were trailing astern.

As the targets came closer both were seen to be large steel hulled Sugar Charlies.

1415 hours - Battle surfaced in position 06°52'N, 101°40'E and closed the nearest target. By now three Sugar Charlies had been sighted. The two largest ones were 700 ton, the third one was 500 ton. The second and third Sugar Charlie had been overlapping therefore they were mistaken for one larger vessel.

1421 hours - Opened fire. The picket boats started closing us when we had surfaced but now they had second thoughts. The third Sugar Charlie also turned back.

1430 hours - The first target sank. Shifted fire to the second target. Three definite hits were obtained before the target took cover behind a point of land. Meanwhile sprayed a nearby dock and buildings with 40mm. Then shifted fire to the smaller vessel which was in a cove now. Hit him with 5" and 40mm. Ceased firing as there were now only 9 rounds of 5" left. The total of ammunition used in this action was 50 rounds of 5" and 72 rounds of 40mm. Position was now 05°56'S, 106°00'E.

1440 hours - Ceased firing. Made for deeper water.

25 Jun 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) sank a small vessel with gunfire in Lombok Strait in position 08°26'S, 115°47'E.

(All times are zone H, -8)
1630 hours - In position 08°16'S, 115°46'E sighted a large two-masted schooner with double jib standing across Lombok Strait from Ampenan on a southerly wind. Commenced tracking.

1816 hours - In position 08°26'S, 115°47'E surfaced with the schooner on the port bow. Sighted a small vessel in the shadow of the beach on the Bali side of Lombok Strait. Decided to pass the schooner close aboard and look him over. The schooner was seen to have a deck cargo of boxes and drums. She also had an auxiliary engine. Passed him at 15 yards.

Contacted USS Heardhead and told him about this schooner. Started a search for the small ship sighted earlier.

2005 hours - Caught up with the target in the open about 5 miles off shore. The target turned out to be a Sugar Charlie of about 300 tons.

2010 hours - Commenced firing with 40mm and 20mm.

2012 hours - Ceased firing. The target was burning fore and aft. Subsequent explosions indicated that she was loaded with drums of gas or oil. Commenced circling the target to make sure she was done for. Found ten men handing on the the debris. From their cries they sounded like natives so decided to pick them up. Ammunition used in this action, 1 round of 5", 30 rounds of 40mm, 120 rounds of 20mm and 200 rounds of .50 cal.

2038 hours - Took on board ten Javanese men and stowed them in the empty magazine. Two of them had been injured. USS Hardhead and meanwhile dealt with the schooner.

26 Jun 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN) attacked a Japanese escort vessel with six torpedoes in the Bali Sea, north of Lombok Strait, in position 07°33'S, 115°47'E. No hits were obtained. The ship attacked was most likely the Japanese submarine chaser Ch 2.

(All times are zone H, -8)
26 June 1945
1950 hours - In position 07°32'S, 115°07'E obtained radar contact bearing 280°(T), range 17800 yards. Notified USS Icefish and USS Puffer. Unable to contact USS Baya.

2020 hours - One of the targets had radar, 156 mgcs, 500 PR. They were zigzagging on a base course of 85°(T) at a speed of 12 knots.

2035 hours - Informed Icefish and Puffer that i would not attack until one of them had made contact. Still unable to contact Baya. It was bright moonlite. Commenced working over to the port side to get off moon.

2100 hours - Targets base course is now 090°(T), speed 12 knots.

2115 hours - Exchanged calls with USS Blueback via SJ.

2246 hours - Blueback reported that she was in contact.

2251 hours - Submerged and commenced approach. One target was pinging. Two targets were sighted and are thought to be minesweepers or Chidori class torpedo boats.

2324 hours - In position 07°33'S, 115°47'E fired six bow torpedoes from 1480 yards. The second and fourth torpedo broached. No hits were obtained. The target was seen to turn towards.

2326 hours - Rigged for depth charging and went to 200 feet.

2333 hours - Depth charging started. Four were dropped but they were not close.

2344 hours - Returned to periscope depth.

2346 hours - One target in sight astern at a range of 4500 yards.

27 June 1945
0010 hours - Lost sight of the target. Came up to 45 feet. All clear on both ST and SJ radar.

0020 hours - Surfaced. Informed the pack that we had missed and told Blueback to go ahead.

0045 hours - Regained contact in position 07°29'S, 115°52'E.

0120 hours - Blueback dived to attack.

0140 hours - Our target slowed, stopped and then circled around. Heard a few depth charges exploding.

0149 hours - The target blew up and disappeared. No idea where the second target is. Bullhead searched for the other ship and contact was regained at 0418 hours but no attack could be started.

27 Jun 1945
In the evening, USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith, USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

2 Jul 1945
USS Bullhead (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) ended her 2nd war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

30 Jul 1945
USS Bullhead (Lt.Cdr. Edward Rowell Holt, Jr.) departed from Fremantle for her 3rd war patrol, and was ordered to patrol in the Java Sea.

Media links


The Last Patrol

Holmes, Harry


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)

Return to the Allied Warships section