Reunion Information
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Unit Details

Strength
Submarine
 
Type
Sub-Surface Vessels
 

Description
Hull number SS-218

        

     


USS Albacore (SS-218) was a Gato-class submarine which served in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II, winning fourPresidential Unit Citations and nine battle stars for her service. During the war, she was credited with sinking 13 Japanese ships (including two destroyers, a light cruiser, and the aircraft carrier Taihō) and damaging another five; not all of these credits were confirmed by postwar JANAC accounting. She also holds the distinction of sinking the most warship tonnage of any U.S. submarine.

Albacore was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the albacore. Her keel was laid on 21 April 1941 by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 17 February 1942 (sponsored by Mrs. Elwin F. Cutts, the wife of CaptainCutts), and commissioned on 1 June 1942, Lieutenant CommanderRichard C. Lake (Class of 1929) in command.Following shakedown, the submarine proceeded via the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor and, from that base on 28 August 1942, began her first war patrol, to waters of the north and northeast pass through the coral reef which surrounds Truk. On 13 September, Albacore sighted two cargo vessels in column and prepared for her first combat action. She made a submerged approach and fired three torpedoes at the leading ship and two at the second. One or two torpedoes hit on the first ship; none struck the second. Albacore claimed to have damaged the leading vessel.

Her next enemy contact came on 1 October when she made a night surface attack on a Japanese tanker. She expended seven torpedoes and scored two hits. Although the tanker appeared to be low in the water, she was still able to leave the scene under her own power. On 9 October, Albacore spotted a Shōkaku-class aircraft carrier escorted by a heavy cruiser and a destroyer, but the submarine was depth charged by the escorts and forced to break off her pursuit. The next day, she attacked a freighter. One torpedo hit the mark, and 12 minutes after firing, the sound of two heavy explosions caused the submarine's crew to presume they had downed the vessel.
Beginning on the mid-morning of 11 October, Albacore was depth charged numerous times. At 1548, the conning officer finally spotted the Japanese attackers, two submarine chasers and an airplane. A third ship equipped with sound gear joined the group and continued the hunt. The ships crisscrossed over Albacore, close enough for propeller noise to reverberate throughout her hull and compelled her to proceed at silent running, with her ventilator fans shut down. After a chase of nearly seven hours, the Japanese ships disappeared astern, and Albacore then surfaced to clear the immediate area. The next day, Albacore headed for Midway Island. Although she had had several opportunities to score during the patrol, Albacore was not credited with any damage to Japanese shipping. The submarine arrived at Midway Island on 20 October and commenced a refit.
With her refurbishing completed and a new Oerlikon 20 mm cannon installed, Albacore sailed on 11 November for her second patrol. Her assigned areas were the Roger St. George's Channel, New Britain, along the east coast of New Guineato Vitiaz Strait, and the Dallman Pass off Madang harbor. On 24 November, the submarine spotted a convoy of two cargo vessels. Albacore maneuvered into position and fired two stern tubes, but neither torpedo found its target. Two days later, on 26 November, Albacore herself became the quarry. Two Japanese destroyers depth charged her and the explosions caused numerous small leaks around the cable packing glands in the pressure hull. After a two-hour chase, the Japanese retired, and Albacore shifted her patrol area to Vitiaz Strait. Another golden opportunity arose on 13 December, whenAlbacore found three Japanese destroyers. She released a three-torpedo spread but again was unsuccessful. On 18 December, Albacore was stationed off Madang. The submarine discovered what seemed to be a transport and a destroyer.
Albacore torpedoed the "transport," and it exploded in a mass of flames and sank. Albacore had in fact downed Tenryū, and the second Japanese cruiser sunk by an American submarine in World War II. Albacore put into port at Brisbane,Australia, on 30 December.
Albacore left Pearl Harbor on 24 October 1944 (with Hugh Raynor Rimmer, Class of 1937,[11] in command), topped off her fuel tanks at Midway Island on 28 October, and was never heard from again. According to Japanese records captured after the war, a submarine (presumed to be Albacore) struck a naval mine very close to the shore off northeastern Hokkaidō on 7 November 1944. A Japanese patrol boat witnessed the explosion of a submerged submarine and saw a great deal of heavy oil, cork, bedding, and food supplies rise to the surface. On 21 December, Albacore was presumed lost. Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 March 1945.




 

 



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  USS Albacore (SS-218): Feb 29, 2012
 
   

On Eternal Patrol - USS Albacore (SS-218)

 
  Name
1

Walter Henry Barber, Jr.

 
2

Kenneth Ripley Baumer

 
3

Henry Forbes Bigelow, Jr.

 
4

Edward Brown Blackmon

 
5

William Walter Bower

 
6

Allan Rose Brannam

 
7

Herbert Hodge Burch

 

8

Nicholas John Cado

 
9

John Joseph Carano

 

10

Charles Lee Carpenter

 
11

James Louis Carpenter

 
12

Pasquale Charles Carracino

 
13

David Stanley Chapman

 
14

Douglas Childress, Jr.

 
15

Frederick Herbert Childs, Jr.

 
16

Perry Aubrey Collom

 
17

Audrey Cecil Crayton

 

18

Jack Eugene Cugnin

 
19

John Wilber Culbertson

 

20

Philip Hugh Davis

 
21

Ray Ellis Davis*

 
22

Fred Wallace Day

 
23

Julius Delfonso

 
24

James Leroy DeWitt

 
25

James Thomas Dunlap

 
26

Carl Hillis Eskew

 

27

John Francis Fortier, Jr.

 
28

Gordon Harvey Fullilove, Jr.

 
29

John Wilfred Gant

 
30

John Paul Gennett

 
31

William Henry Gibson

 
32

John Frederick Gilkeson

 

33

Charles Chester Hall

 
34

James Kenneth Harrell

 
35

Robert Daniel Hill

 
36

Allen Don Hudgins

 
37

Donald Patrick Hughes

 
38

Eugene Edsel Hutchinson

 
39

Burton Paul Johnson

 

40

Sheridan Patrick Jones

 

41

George Kaplafka

 
42

Nelson Kelley, Jr.

 
43

Morris Keith Kincaid

 

44

Victor Edward Kinon

 

45

Joseph Mike Krizanek

 

46

Arthur Star Kruger

 

47

Walter Emery Lang, Jr.

 

48

Jack Allen Little

 
49

Kenneth Walter Manful

 

50

Patrick Kennyless McKenna

 

51

Willie Alexander McNeill

 

52

Joseph Norfleet Mercer

 
53

Leonard David Moss

 
54

Richard Joseph Naudack

 

55

Encarnacion Nevarez.

 

56

Joseph Hayes Northam

 

57

Frank Robert Nystrom

 
58

Robert James O'Brien

 

59

Elmer Harold Peterson

 
60

Charles Francis Pieringer, Jr.

 

61

James Teel Porter

 

62

Jerrold Winfred Reed, Jr.

 
63

Francis Albert Riley

 
64

Hugh Raynor Rimmer

 
65

A. B. Roberts

 

66

James Ernest Rowe

 
67

Philip Shoenthal

 
68

George Maurice Sisk

 

69

Joe Lewis Spratt

 
70

Harold William St. Clair

 
71

Arthur Lemmie Stanton

 
72

Robert Joseph Starace

 
73

John Henry Stephenson

 
74

Maurice Crooks Strattan

 
75 Earl Richard Tanner  
76 William George Tesser  
77 Paul Raymond Tomich  
78 Charles Edward Traynor  
79 Theodore Taylor Walker  
80 Elmer Weisenfluh  
81 James Donald Welch  
82 Richard Albert West  
83 Wesley Joseph Willans  
84 Leslie Allan Wilmott  
85 David Robert Wood

   
Last Updated:
Feb 29, 2012
   
 


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