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112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
1946-1947, 112X, USS Cubera (SS-347)
1936 - 1947
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Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS
Grider, George, CAPT USN(Ret).
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Medically retired due to heart attack on active duty while Commanding Officer of USS CUBERA.
Subject: U.S.S. WAHOO - REPORT OF SECOND WAR PATROL.
PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 8, 1942 TO DECEMBER 26, 1942.
AREA: Dog (East).
OPERATION ORDER: ComSubPac SECRET Dispatch 041947 of
November 1942 and ComTaskFor 42 SECRET dispatch 150805
of November 1942.
Arrived Pearl Harbor on October 17, 1942, from first
war patrol. Commenced refit on October 18 with U.S.S.
SPERRY repair forces. Shifted to Submarine BASE, Pearl
on October 22, to complete refit, which was completed
on November 2. Three day training period and readiness
for sea on November 8. Installed 4 inch gun and two 20
November 8 - 0900(VW) Underway for patrol in company with small
escort vessel P-28. Made trim dive, received
indoctrinational depth charge, made structural test
firings of 4 inch gun, and fired 10 rounds of target
ammunition for training. Sighted numerous planes and
ships during the day. The escort returned to port at
November 9 - Sighted U.S.Navy patrol planes at 0700, 0710, and 1250,
all times Xray.
November 14 - Passed to command of ComSoPac at zero hours zed at Lat.
7-50N; Long. 176-15E.
November 16- Having run submerged during part of 14th and all of
15th daylight periods in passing Mili, decided to run
on the surface; MILI, JALUIT and MAKIN all being about
120 miles distant. At 1020(M) contacted airplane at 6
miles on radar and submerged.
November 20- Arrived in patrol area Dog (East) as directed by
ComTaskFor 150805 of November. Sea condition 6, wind
force 6, visibility low, and rains frequent. Continued
November 22- Sighted BOUGAINVILLE Island to southwest at a distance
of about 75 miles. Sea and wind moderating.
November 23- 1711(K) O.O.D. sighted an object believed to be a
periscope. It was in sight for but a few seconds, and
no further evidence was noted which would indicate the
presence of an enemy. BOUGAINVILLE and BUKA Islands
were in sight at this time.
November 30- At 2030(K) in Lat. 4d 55's; Long. 154-49E sighted the
smoke of a ship bearing 150dT. distance estimated at
8000 yards. Changed course to head for the smoke. The
night was quite dark; sky partially overcast and
threatening thunderstorms. Brilliant flashes of
lightning at irregular intervals illuminated the sea
and horizon on all bearings. The smoke and the target
were not visible except during these flashes. At 2040
a brilliant lightning flash revealed the source of the
smoke: A high hull, low superstructure vessel of
considerable size, giving the appearance of a lightly
burdened freighter or transport; angle on the bow about
10d starboard, range about 6000 yards. Neither sound
nor radar were able to pick up the target. A destroyer
escort was on station on the port bow of the target.
Dived. At 2043 sound operator reported echo ranging,
long scale, at true bearing of 070d, 280d relative.
Started swinging left. At 2046 the second sound
operator reported echo ranging on true bearing of 169d,
and shortly thereafter gave a propeller count of 120
RPM on that bearing. As this was apparently the target
group sighted we commenced swinging right. Commenced
sound tracking. Great difficult was had in picking up
the target or its escort by periscope, due to the
necessity of being trained on the proper bearing at the
instant of a lightning flash. Sound bearings proved
inadequate for this until at 2056 a flash revealed a
destroyer bearing 216dT, angle on the bow 90d
starboard, range estimated at 3000 yards. As gyro
angles were about 50d right and range indeterminate,
did not fire. Swung right for a straight shot on a
large track, but could not swing fast enough to even
get a reasonable shot. At 2100 all echo ranging
stopped. This was essentially a sound approach.
Attack was essentially a sound approach. Attack
position was lost by the time the first periscope
information was obtained. Radar was not used because it
failed originally to pick up target, and tests off
Pearl Harbor showed that even at short ranges the
entire conning tower and bridge structure must be out
of the water to obtain a contact. The approach was
unsuccessful partly due to inaccurate, inadequate, and
confused sound information and partly due to the
failure to appreciate the true nature of the approach
until too late, clinging to the hoe that lightning
flashes would provide data for a more accurate
December 2- At 0028(K) while 18 miles east of cape HENPAN, sound
picked up propellers bearing 245dT, which bearing
changed progressively to 180dT in 4 minutes. Moon was
shinning brightly and visibility was sufficiently good
to see CAPE HENPAN, and nothing could be sighted.
Propeller beat verified by several operators at 130
RPM. Sound must have been made by some submerged
object very close aboard, probably a fish.
December 7- Having patrolled the BUKA-KILINAILAU for seventeen (17)
days with but one contact decided to move eastward and
patrol the direct route between TRUK and the SHORTLANDS
for a few days. At 2036(K) in Lat. 5-20 S; Long. 155-
55 E, picked up propellers on sound. Propellers
started suddenly, worked up to about 120 RPM and faded
slowly. There was a high background noise on that
bearing for about 5 minutes, which faded gradually. It
sounded as it we had flushed a stationary submarine,
which dove on contact.
December 8- At 0220(K) in Lat. 5-20 S; Long. 156-15 E, sound picked
up echo ranging to northward. At 0230 radar reported
contact at 062dT at a range of 18,000 yards, which
contact was then lost. Came to normal approach course.
At 0237 sound and radar contacted target and commenced
tracking, radar data being intermittent. At 0245
sighted target bearing 082dT, range 14,000 by radar,
angle on the bow about 80d starboard. Target was a
large tanker, loaded, and headed in the general
direction of the SHORTLANDS, zig-zagging. Echo ranging
was heard continuously from the target's general
direction. Target speed computed to be 13 knots. At
0305 range had closed to 6000 yards on a track and true
bearing of 145d starboard when radar contacted the
escort astern of tanker. At 0307 echo ranging stopped.
The approach being over submerged to 40 feet and
tracked by radar and sound. Kept radar contact on AO
but lost it on escort at this depth. In analyzing this
approach it is apparent that is was over at the time
the target was sighted, a fact which was not realized
for twenty minutes thereafter. The performance of the
radar and sound were gratifying. This being the
important target we had moved east to get, we now
headed west to return to the passage between BUKA and
December 10- (Attack No. 1) At 1457 while in Lat. 4d-56' S; Long.
154-58 E, sighted heavy smoke bearing 293d T at
distance of about 16 miles. For the first in ten days
sea conditions were ideal for attack, with roughened
surface and many whitecaps. Shifted position to
northward and got ahead of the formation. Sound
conditions fair to poor. The source of the smoke
turned out to be a convoy of three AK's, of tonnages
approximating 8500, 6000, and 4000, escorted by one
ASASHIO class DD. The ships were heavily loaded and
headed for the SHORTLAND area. The formation was zig-
zagging by simultaneous ships movements with the DD
patrolling a front about two (2) miles wide at a mean
distance of about 1000 yards ahead of the leading AK.
Originally we decided to attack the DD first, but
although he passed us at a range of about 300 yards his
maneuvers were too radical for a good shot. Picked out
the largest AK as a target, swung to a large track to
open the range, and at 1627(K) fired a spread of four
(4) torpedoes at a range of 700 yards on 120d starboard
track, bow tubes. Three torpedoes hit, which was just
as well because even then he took nearly two (2) hours
to sink. The second target passed about 300 yards
astern during this firing. Made a setup to fire the
stern tubes at third AK, but DD got pretty close before
we could fire. Started down. DD laid first depth
charge pattern across our stern as we passed 120 feet.
They were fairly close aboard. The main induction
trunk flooded, the bridge speaker flooded, some lights
were knocked out, a small circulation water line
carried away in the pump room, and some odd nuts,
bolts, paint, etc. flew around. He continued making
passes and dropping depth charges. As we passed 250
feet and blew negative the gasket on the inboard vent
carried away. The flood valve did not hold, and we
went to 350 feet. By using negative vent stops and
locking the flood valve closed by hand it remained dry
the second time. Ran silent on reverse of convoy's
course, maneuvering to avoid attacks. Depth charges
dropped in varying numbers at following times: 1630,
1635, 1636, 1638, 1645, 1650, 1651, 1653, 1656, 1705,
1717, 1724, 1726, 1729, 1730, 1731, 1732, 1735, 1743,
and 1745. Total charges dropped were about 40, some
fairly close, but after 1700 they began to fall further
astern. At 1726 came to periscope depth for
observation. One AK was standing down the coast, one
was just beyond the target picking up survivors, and
the DD was patrolling the area dropping depth charges
periodically. The target was on even keel, with both
wells under water, about 2 feet of the bow and stern
visible, and the high part of the bridge and stack
visible. There were about ten (10) boats in the water.
Observed target continue to settle until dark, and at
1815 heard the bulkheads go. The watertight integrity
of this ship must have been remarkable. Issued ration
of 1/2 once rum to the crew. Surfaced after moonset at
2030 and moved off to north. Target identified as
being similar to SYOEI MARU, which is listed in ONI-
208-J as 5624 gross tons and in "RECOGNITION OF
JAPANESE MERCHANTMEN" dated February 12, 1942 as 8748
gross tons. It was a pretty big ship. At 2215
received SUBS 42 NR 73A concerning probable ships
movements in our area. Assumed this to be the convoy
already contacted and continued moving to northeast.
At 2340 received SUBS 42 NR 75A extending area.
Started general movement in direction of new area.
Decided to move in slowly to give the crew a chance to
recover from effects of depth charging.
December 12- At 0235 in Lat. 4-29N; Long. 156-12E, sound picked up a
noise similar to echo ranging. Shortly thereafter a
cargo ship was sighted and picked up by radar bearing
087dT, angle on the bow 90d port, range 10,000 yards.
At 0245 angle on the bow became 150d port. Radar track
for 30 minutes gave a mean course of about 020dT, speed
13. Ship was plainly visible during this time, and we
trailed on the quarter. As a course of 020d was
heading for no known Japanese base, we expected a
course change. Did not close range because of
excellent visibility. Trailing was doing no good and a
decision had to be reached prior to daylight. At 0305
decided to get on his track to the SHORTLAND area in
case he was at a rendezvous with an escort and would
proceed in that direction at daylight. He apparently
continued to northeast, as that is the last we saw of
him. Ship was of medium size with a single stack
amidships, coal burner, and gave an appearance of being
loaded. It is believed that the noise heard was a
fathometer, and that he was unescorted. This noise was
heard continuously after once picked up. Sound
conditions were not good, no propellers were ever
heard. The radar contact was fair to good, and once
contact was established it gave fairly good information
up to a range of about 12,000 yards. The bridge T.B.T.
was used as a check.
December 14- At 0815(K) sighted hospital ship similar to MANILA MARU
in Lat. 6-22N; Long. 156-13 E, heading for the
SHORTLANDS on course 190d. Ship was properly marked,
was on a steady course at steady speed, was unescorted,
and there were no aircraft in the air. This conformed
to International Law. When identification was
completed at a range of about 8500 yards we broke off
the approach and turned away. Sound conditions were
bad. The ship passed us about 3500 yards abeam and her
propellers were never heard.
December 14- (Attack No. 2) At 1321(K), sighted a submarine on the
surface in Lat. 6-30S; Long. 156-09E, on course 015d
departing the SHORTLAND area. Range estimated at 3000
yards speed 12. We just had time to swing and shoot.
Fired 6 minutes and 46 seconds after sighting. During
the swing, submarine was positively identified as
Japanese by the large flag and the designation I2
painted on the side of the conning tower. Firing range
800 yards, fired divergent spread of three torpedoes.
First torpedo hit about 20 feet forward of conning
tower 37 seconds after firing. Ship went down with
personnel still on the bridge. Two and one half
minutes after the torpedo explosion the submarine
collapsed at deep depth with a noise considerably
loader than the torpedo explosion. Apparently some of
the W.T. doors had been shut. There was no counter-
attack. At time of sighting the visibility was poor
due to rain squalls, the sea in condition 3, and sound
terrible. Even at 800 yards the targets propellers
could not be heard. This attack was brought to a
successful end largely through the splendid
coordination of four officers, whose performance was
outstanding. They were:
Lieut. G.W. Grider - O.O.D. and Diving Officer
Lieut. R.H. O'Kane - A.A.O.
Lieut. R.W. Paine - T.D.C. Operator
Lt.Cmdr. D.W. Morton - A.A.O.
December 15- Decided to let the area of the submarine sinking cool
off so went over and looked into KIETA Harbor. There
were no ships visible inside the port. While in that
vicinity sighted the masts of a steamer at 1535(K),
ship hull down, headed in a generally northward
direction. It had apparently come out of the SHORTLAND
area. Range was too great to determine the presence of
an escort. Nothing was heard on sound. Masts were in
sight for about 20 minutes. During the inspection of
KIETA several tall towers resembling radio,
directionfinder, or radar towers were noted, on the 460
meter peak of BAKAWARI Island.
December 17- At 0205(K) while patrolling in Lat. 5-45 S; Long 156-13
E, picked up echo ranging. The moon had set and the
night was clear and dark, with the sea a flat calm.
Closed the sound by surface running and at 0241 sighted
a small ship believed to be a small destroyer or escort
vessel. Range at sighting estimated to be 4000 yards.
Sound conditions were spotty, with the propeller sounds
fading in and out - mostly out. Radar could not pick
up the ship. At time of sighting we were about 20d
abaft his beam, and while watching he zigged away.
there were no ships in company. As a stern chase on
the surface on an echo ranging anti-submarine vessel
which is zigzagging has small merit, we broke off the
December 19- Cleared area Dog (south) at 2000(K) ad directed by Subs
42 - Serial 78 Afirm [sic].
December 20- At 0030(K) while about 30 miles East of BUKA Island we
picked up a plane by its motor noise. SD radar not
manned at the time. Submerged for one hour. This was
the first indication of aircraft activity we had
encountered in the area. At 2000(K) cleared area
Dog(east) for BRISBANE in accordance with Subs 42
serial 11 cast as modified by serial 78 afirm [sic].
December 21- Sighted lights believed to be aircraft flares to
westward of BUKA Island at 0010 and 0022. At 0138(K)
contacted airplane on radar at 2 miles and submerged
for one hour. At 1650(K) sighted smoke bearing 048dT.
Position Lat. 6-20S; Long. 154-00E. Closed on normal
approach course until dark but never sighted any ships.
At dark we were about ten miles into GROUPERS area.
Broke off the approach and resumed assigned track.
Ship apparently was enroute from RABAUL to the
SHORTLANDS. Received Subs serial 86 afirm [sic] at
2015(K) requiring acknowledgement. Acknowledged at
0330(K) on 23rd.
December 23- While running on surface in Lat. 12-06S; Long. 157-02E,
picked up airplane on radar at 5 miles and then sighted
it. Plane was flying high in a cloudy sky, proceeding
in a southerly direction. He sighted us, turned and
headed for as at a gliding angle. Fired emergency
rocket and flare. He continued to close in and at a
range of about two miles we submerged. Believed plane
to be friendly, but we don't even let a friendly plane
come close unless he gives a clue that he recognizes
us. Stayed down for an hour and when we surfaced he
December 26- Passed MORETON Island light for surface into BRISBANE
at 0330 (Love).
SUMMARY OF SUBMARINE ATTACKS
Attack # 1 Attack # 2
1. Number of torpedoes fired 4 4
2. Firing interval: 12"-9"=12" 9"-1
3. Point of aim: M.O.T. M.O.T.
4. Track angles: 122dS, 125dS 78dP, 80dP, 82dP
5. Depth setting: First two: 15' All: 10'
Second two: 6'
6. Estimated draft: 23' 18'
7. Torpedo performance: Normal. Normal.
8. Estimated enemy speed: 11 kts. 12 kts.
9. Results of attack: 3 hits. 1 hit.
Target sank. Target sank.
10. Evidence of sinking: Visual. Visual.
11. Spread employed: Divergent: Divergent:
0d, 6dR, 6dL, 6dL. 0d, 4dL, 4dR.
12. Estimated firing range: 700-800 yds. 850 yds.
13. Gyro Angles: 355d 359d
Detailed data required is listed in table above. There
were eight (8) contacts and two (2) attacks. The two night contacts,
on November 30th and December 12th, should have resulted in attacks,
but we muffed the chances. Anyhow, we did learn something about night
fighting, we hope.
Pearl Harbor to Solomans. Normal. Trade winds to
MARSHALL then variable light winds. Sea smooth,
conditions 0 to 2. Usual tropical rain squalls at
November 19-30 Ran into heavy sea with strong winds from westward,
which lasted until the 22nd. Wind and sea then
moderated and became variable in force and direction
with short periods of calm during the shifts.
Temperature remained in the middle 80's, and the
humidity was low. Visibility varied, being excellent
during the forenoon and limited by haze and rain
squalls during afternoon and evening. In general, it
was good submarine weather.
December 1-10 Sea became clam, varying from 0 to 1, with humidity
increasing until it became uncomfortable. Winds were
light and variable. Visibility spotty with sky usually
overcast and local rain squalls prevalent.
December 10-20 Variable. Sea would change from calm through condition
3 and back and back to calm. Land mostly obscured by
haze. Moon extremely bright with corresponding
excellent night visibility. Humidity reasonable. Rain
squalls were frequent.
Enroute to BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA.
Calm Seam with moderate swell. The normal Southeast
Trades were encountered, the visibility remaining
excellent day and night. Infrequent rain squalls were
3. TIDAL INFORMATION
The currents were never predictable, but a general
trend was sometimes noted. Off BUKA, the currents were
to the North or Northeast from CAPE HENPAN to the
longitude of KILINAILAU. Between latitudes 5-00S and
5-30S and longitudes 155-30E and 157-00E the currents
were generally between Northeast and Southeast. In the
area North of BOUGAINVILLE STRAITS the currents were to
South and Southeast, regardless of wind, sea, or tides.
Drift varied from 0.4 to 1.0 knots.
4. NAVIGATIONAL AIDS.
BUKA, BOUGAINVILLE AND KILINAILAU Islands were in sight
at various times and the peaks and tangents were useful
in establishing an approximate position. KILINAILAU
was visible for 8 or 10 miles and showed up well at
night. The Southern Reef is well covered with trees.
The landmarks on BUKA plotted fairly well, especially
off CAPE HENPAN. A good fix was rarely obtained off
BOUGAINVILLE. The peaks were usually obscured by haze
and the tangents never seemed to be in the same place
twice. The southeast coast of BOUGAINVILLE Strait
provided excellent landmarks for establishing position.
A general land haze in the area prevented the full use
of these landmarks. With the excellent night
visibility prevalent no difficulty was experienced with
ordinary celo-navigation. The navigation officer fixed
our position once or twice each night using ordinary
5. DESCRIPTION OF ALL ENEMY WARSHIPS, MERCHANT VESSELS,
PATROL VESSELS, AND SAMPANS SIGHTED INCLUDING POSITION,
COURSE AND SPEED, AND TIME OF SIGHTING.
1. (a) 2030(K) November 30.
(b) One large AK with 1 or 2 DD escorts.
(c) Lat 4-55 S; Long. 154-49 E.
(d) Course 305d.
(e) Speed 13 knots.
(f) Empty cargo ship and escort from SHORTLANDS to
2. (a) 0220(K) December 8.
(b) AO similar to KYOKUTO MARU, with escort.
(c) Lat 5-20 S; Long. 156-15 E.
(d) Course 160d - 220d.
(e) Speed 18 knots.
(f) Loaded tanker and escort from EMPIRE to
3. (a) 1630(K) December 10.
(b) Convoy of 3 AK's escorted by one ASASHIO
(c) Lat 4-56 S; Long. 154-58 E.
(d) Course 090d - 135d.
(e) Speed 11 knots.
(f) Ships enroute from RABAUL to SHORTLAND fully
Loaded. Sunk one AK of about 8500 tons. Ship
sunk was a one deck, split well, single stack
freighter, with prominent knigpost forward and
aft. Kingposts were of the goalpost type with
mast in the center. Stack was also very
prominent for height and lack of surrounding
superstructure. Tentatively identified as
similar to SYOEI MARU and believed to be about
4. (a) 0235(K) December 12.
(b) Medium sized cargo ship probably unescorted.
(c) Lat 4-29 N; Long. 156-12 E.
(d) Course 345d - 030d.
(e) Speed 13 knots.
(f) Picked up sound similar to echo ranging which
is believed to have been made by fathometer.
Ship apparently enroute EMPIRE from
SHORTLANDS, but seemed to be loaded.
5. (a) 0815(K) December 14.
(b) Hospital ship similar to MANILA MARU.
(c) Lat 6-22 N; Long. 156-13 E.
(d) Course 190d.
(e) Speed 12 knots.
(f) Ship conformed to Geneva Convention and in
accordance with directives of ComTaskFor 7 we
did not attack.
6. (a) 1321(K) December 14.
(b) Japanese Submarine I-2
(c) Lat 6-30 S; Long. 150-09 E.
(d) Course 015d.
(e) Speed 11 knots.
(f) Fired three torpedoes and sunk Target. He was
proceeding singly on the surface leaving the
7. (a) 1535(K) December 15.
(b) Medium sized steamship.
(c) Lat 6-00 N; Long. 156-05 E.
(d) Course - northerly.
(e) Speed - moderate.
(f) Sighted masts and stack of ship hull down.
8. (a) 0205(K) December 17.
(b) Small DD or escort vessel.
(c) Lat 5-45 S; Long. 156-13 E.
(d) Course - southerly.
(e) Speed - moderate.
(f) Proceeding singly in the direction of
6. DESCRIPTION OF ALL AIRCRAFT SIGHTED, INCLUDING
TYPE, POSITION, COURSE, ALTITUDE AND TIME OF
1. (a) Time and date - November 8.
(b) Type - Various.
(c) Position - Off Pearl Harbor.
(d) Course - Various.
(e) Altitude - Various.
(f) Remarks - Normal operating planes.
2. (a) November 9 at 0700, 0710 and 1250.
(b) U.S. Navy PBY
(c) 200 - 250 miles SW of Pearl Harbor.
(d) SW in AM - NE in PM.
(e) 1000 - 2000 feet.
(f) Routine Patrols.
3. (a) November 16 at 1020(M).
(c) 150 miles SW of MILI ATOLL.
(f) Radar contact at 6 miles.
4. (a) 0030(K) December 20.
(c) 30 miles East of BUKA.
(f) Picked up by motor noise.
5. (a) 0138(K) December 21.
(c) 50 miles west of BUKA.
(f) Radar contact.
6. (a) 1110(K) December 23.
(b) Similar to British "Albermarle I" bombers.
(c) Lat. 11-50S; Long. 157-02E.
(e) 10,000 to 15,000 feet.
(f) First picked up by radar at 4 miles. Moved
out to five and a half miles, then came in.
Fired one recognition signal without apparent
7. SUMMARY OF S/M ATTACKS.
Listed under paragraph 1 NARRATIVE.
8. ENEMY A/S MEASURES.
(a) Escort for AK sighted on November 20th apparently
used echo ranging from about 2045 to 2100, was silent
then started echo ranging again about 2145. Echo
ranging on 17 kcs, with pings at 8 second intervals.
Passed about 3000 yards abeam without detection - zig-
(b) Escort for AO sighted on December 8th was echo-
ranging continuously until we reached a point 6000
yards on his quarter, at which time echo ranging
(c) Convoy encountered on December 10th was zig-
zagging by simultaneous ships movements in obedience to
flag hoists on escorting DD. Escort patrolled area
across the front of the formation at high speed. No
echo ranging was heard. Depth charge attacks after
sinking of the one AK lasted for one hour 15 minutes,
and DD probably expended all its depth charges. After
the first four or five attacks had been delivered in
rapid succession around the firing point, DD
periodically stopped and listened for contact.
Apparently our position was undetected once we cleared
(d) Cargo ship contacted on December 12 was zig-
zagging, and was making a sound similar to echo ranging
which is believed to have been a fathometer. No escort
(e) The small DD or escort vessel encountered on
December 17th was echo ranging and zig-zagging. As he
has headed in the general direction of the SHORTLANDS
it is presumed that he had released a convoy to the
northward and was proceeding to port.
9. DESCRIPTION OF ENEMY MINE SWEEPING OPERATIONS.
No minecraft or mining operations were noted.
10. MAJOR DEFECTS EXPERIENCED.
The gasket on the negative tank inboard vent carried
away when the vent was opened under air pressure of 120
lb.in2. A retainer should be installed on gasket
similar to that on the flood valve.
Radio reception was very good and was compete. Bells
were copied on 44.8 kcs. and on the 5 megacycle band.
The other frequencies were not as good and were seldom
used. Attempted to use the underwater loop for
reception submerged on December 1. Keel depth 56 feet;
depth of loop 19 feet; distance to transmitting station
1200 miles; frequency 44.6 kcs. Faint signals were
heard, but were unable to copy through high noise
level. Used the loop for copying on surface and when
running at 40 feet; signals were generally readable
down to a depth of 55 feet.
Last serial received 72. A 86. C 14. D 1. (Dec. 22ND,.
Last serial sent 250305 .
12. SOUND CONDITIONS AND DENSITY LAYERS.
Sound conditions varied from very poor to excellent,
with the conditions getting progressively worse near
land. The two extreme conditions were encountered on
December 8th and 14th. On the 8th propellers were
heard at 15,000 yards, the location being 65 miles from
land. On the 14th propellers could not be heard at 800
yards, the location being 5 miles off the channel of
BOUGAINVILLE Straits. The water was laden with
vegetable matter in suspension, the quantity
increasing as the shore line was approached. This
resulted in a large number of fish, which were seen and
heard almost constantly. Fish noises caused the sound
operators considerable trouble until they learned to
recognize the variations. Besides the usual clicks,
wheezes, and whistles previously encountered, we
frequently picked up a noise similar to a reciprocating
engine with a loose bearing making from 120 to 140 RPM.
This turned out to be from whales. All observed
temperature gradients were zero with a water
temperature of 85d. Density layers seemed to be
present at various times, but were never highly
pronounced. A slight increase in speed or change in
variable water was sufficient to change depth through
all such layers encountered.
13. HEALTH AND HABITABILITY.
The health of the crew was excellent throughout this
patrol Only six persons received treatment for colds,
none of which passed the "sniffling" stage. The only
serious illness was one case of Cellulitis, left ankle,
which was treated with hot MGSO4 dressings and a short
course of Sulfathiazole. Habitability was excellent
during the entire patrol due to good functioning of the
Air Conditioning Plant. When the air conditioning
units were shut down during the depth charge attack a
marked discomfort was noted throughout the boat within
a few minutes, although some sweating would doubtless
have been noticeable in any case. The average
submerged temperature was 85d F.
14. MILES STEAMED ENROUTE TO AND FROM STATION.
Miles steamed to station, 2987.
Time enroute, 264.5 hours.
Average speed enroute, 11.3 knots.
Miles steamed from station, 1515.
Time enroute, 127 hours.
Average speed enroute, 11.9 knots.
15. FUEL EXPENDED.
Fuel used enroute to station 29,912 gallons.
Fuel rate of consumption 10.0 gal. 1 mile.
Fuel expended on station 9430 gallons.
Fuel expended enroute Brisbane 26,428 gallons.
Fuel rate of consumption 17.4 gal. 1 mile.
16. FACTORS OF ENDURANCE REMAINING.
(a) Torpedoes - 17
(b) Fuel - 26,050
(c) Provisions - 30 days.
(d) Fresh water - Unlimited.
(e) Personnel - 15 days.
Patrol was ended by the provisions of the operation
order. No factor of endurance was reached.
Our weakness in night fighting was clearly brought out
by this patrol Although we had sunk on ship on our
previous patrol at night, we missed two on this patrol
through lack of perspective and just plain confusion.
The experience gained should make us mort adept at this
type of attack on future patrols. From the contacts we
made it is believed that much of the shipping into the
SHORTLAND area is coming direct from the EMPIRE. The
general track seemed to be between course 000d and 015d
with a focal point at about Lat. 6-30dS; Long. 156-10E.
TF42/A16-3 TASK FORCE FORTY-TWO
Serial 01249 Care of Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California,
December 28, 1942
From: The Commander Task Force Forty-Two.
To : The Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.
Via : The Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
Subject: U.S.S. WAHOO (SS238), Second War Patrol, Comments on.
Enclosure: (A) Copy of Subject Patrol Report.
1. Enclosure (A) is forwarded herewith.
2. The Wahoo completed her second war patrol on /December 26,
1942, having spent 46 days at sea and 29 days in the assigned area.
3. Eight contacts were made, of which only two were developed
into attacks, both of which resulted in sinkings. However, it is
believed that at least three of the other contacts should have been
developed into attacks; namely on 30 November on the freighter, on 8
December on the large tanker, and again on December 12, speed should
have been used to close this apparently unescorted vessel. It is
noted that the radar functioned exceptionally well and it appears that
this information was not used to best advantage to develop these
4. Sound conditions varied from poor to good; generally,
however, they were poor.
5. The WAHOO returned in excellent material condition. The
current refit will be accomplished by the SPERRY (AS12).
6. The WAHOO is congratulated on sinking:
1 freighter of SYOEI MARU Class - 5644 tons.
1 submarine (I-2) - 1955 tons.
JAMES FIFE, jr.
VCNO, Cinclant, Cincpac,
CSS 8 & 10, CSD 102, WAHOO File,
Each SS TF42 (not to be taken to sea, BURN),
Patrol Summary File, War Diary.