The U.S. SUBMARINE WAR
  in the PACIFIC  1941 - 1945


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US Submarine Operations


World War II U.S. Submarine Chronology
 The U.S. Silent Service in WWII in the Pacific 1941 - 1945
A World War II time table calendar of the important dates,
events and operations of U.S. submarines in the Pacific



1941    1942    1943    1944    1945

 

Dec 1941  
   
7
  • Japanese surprise attack on the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor conducting simultaneous attacks on the Philippines, Hong Kong and Siam
  • CNO orders unrestricted air and submarine warfare against Japan
8
  • The United States and Great Britain declare war on Japan.
10
  • Japanese invasion of Philippines and Guam commences
  • USS Sealion (SS-195) lost: Air attack Cavite Navy Yard
11
  • Japanese forces invade Burma
12
  • US Submarine USS S-38 reports sinking the first Japanese ship. Later scored as unconfirmed by JANAC
16
  • USS Swordfish (SS-193) credited with the first confirmed sinking of a Japanese ship in World War II
21
  • US submarines based in Manila withdraw to Surabaya, Java
   
Jan 1942  
   
2
  • Japan captures Manila
21
  • USS S-36 (SS-141) lost: Scuttled after running aground
24
  • USS S-26 (SS-131) lost: Atlantic - collision with friendly escort vessel
27
  • Battle of Java Sea
  • USS Gudgeon sinks I-173: The first Japanese Man-o-War sunk by a US submarine in WWII
  • US Asiatic Fleet subs withdraw to Fremantle, Australia
  • USS Seawolf delivers 37 tons of .30cal ammo to Corregidor. Evacs 25 pilots, spare sub parts and 16 torpedoes.
Feb 1942  
3
  • USS Trout delivers 3500 rounds of 3" AA ammo to Corregidor. Evacs 20 tons of Philippine gold and silver.
4
  • USS Seadragon evacs 21 army-navy personnel, 23 torpedoes, spare sub parts and radio equipment from Corregidor
14
  • USS Sargo delivers 1 million rounds of .30 cal ammo to Mindinao, evacs 24 Army personnel
20

24

  • USS Swordfish assists in the evacuation of Philippine President Quezon and a party of 9 to San Jose, Panay.
  • USS Swordfish evacs American High Commissioner to the Philippines and a party of 12, plus 5 navy enlisted personnel
26
  • USS S-38 Bombards probable Japanese radio position at Sangapura with 72 rounds of 4" ammo.
27
  • USS S-39 Lands on Chebia Island and searches for 40 British refugees from Singapore. None located.
28
  • USS Permit delivers her allowance of ammo to Corregidor. Evacs 31 US Navy personnel. Recovers 3 torpedoes
Mar 1942  
   
1
  • Third US  submarine fleet established in Brisbane , Australia
3
  • USS Perch (SS-176) lost: enemy action off of Surabaya
8
  • USS Shark (SS-174) lost: reported overdue, presumed lost Makassar Strait
   
Apr 1942  
9
  • US forces on Bataan surrender
1-10
  • USS Swordfish departs on patrol with 40 tons of food supplies for Corregidor. Unable to deliver due to the surrender of Bataan
2-10
  • USS Searaven departs on patrol with 3" ammo for Bataan and Corregidor. Unable to deliver due to the surrender of Bataan.
5
  • USS Snapper delivers 20 tons of food to Corregidor. Evacs 27 Army-Navy personnel
8
  • USS Seadragon delivers 20 tons of food to Corregidor, evacs 22 Army-Navy personnel
11
  • USS Searaven rescues 33 Australian Army personnel from Timor Island
  • USS Thresher provides weather reports for Doolittle's raid on Tokyo
22-May 6
  • USS Sailfish departs on ammo re-supply mission to Corregidor. Unable to deliver due to surrender
   
May 1942  
   
3
  • Japanese forces occupy Tulagi, Solomon Islands
  • USS Spearfish evacs 6 Army officers, 6 Navy officers, 11 Army nurses, 1 Navy nurse and 1 civilian
6
  • US forces on Corregidor surrender
7
  • Battle of Coral Sea commences
10
  • USS Porpoise rescues 5 USAAF pilots near New Guinea
14
  • English relieves Withers as ComSubPac. Lockwood relieves Wilkes as ComSubSoWesPac
20
  • USS S-39 reconnoiters Deboyne Island
Jun 1942  
   
1
  • Japanese change naval code
3
  • Battle of Midway
6
  • Lockwood begins testing on Mark XIV torpedoes
19
  • USS S-27 (SS-132) lost: Grounded off Amchitka Island Alaska
Jul 1942  
   
 
  • Japanese naval code changes again
  • BuOrd confirms torpedoes running ten feet deeper than settings
4
  • Advance base established at Midway for US submarines SubPacFlt
  • US submarines torpedo four IJN destroyers around the Aleutian Islands, sinking three.
21
  • US submarines sink three Japanese destroyers near Kiska in the Aleutian Islands
30
  • USS Grunion (SS-216) lost: Unknown cause - Dutch Harbor Alaska
Aug 1942  
   
 
  • Brisbane based S-Class boats to be replaced with fleet subs out of Fremantle
  • US submarines deployed to Solomons campaign
  • USS Haddock tests SJ radar during war patrol
7
  • US Marine Corps amphibious invasion of Guadalcanal
8-9
  • Battle of Savo Island
10
  • USS S-44 sinks Japanese heavy cruiser. (1st major warship sunk by US submarines in WWII)
16
  • USS S-39 (SS-144) lost: Run aground - Rossel Island Australia
16-18
  • USS Argonaut carries 121 US Marines of Carlson's Raiders to Makin Island
  • USS Nautilus carries a portion of Carlson's Raiders to Makin Island. Supports raid on Makin Island with gunfire, sinking two ships in the lagoon
Oct 1942  
26
  • Naval Battle of Santa Cruz commences
29
  • USS Grenadier lays mines middle of Tonkin Gulf
   
Nov 1942  
30
  • Naval Battle of Tassafaronga commences
   
Jan 1943  
   
2
  • Lockwood replaces English as ComSubPac
10
  • USS Argonaut (SS-166) lost: Enemy action - New Britain
29
  • US captures Japanese 5-digit naval code book
   
Feb 1943  
   
7
  • Japanese evacuate Guadalcanal
  • Two US submarine squadrons transferred from Brisbane, Aus. to Pearl Harbor
16
  • USS Amberjack (SS-219) lost: Enemy action off New Britain
Mar 1943  
   
2
  • Battle of Bismarck Sea commences
5
  • USS Grampus (SS-207) lost: Enemy action off New Britain
15
  • USS Triton (SS-201) lost: Enemy action - Admiralty Islands
   
Apr 1943  
   
 
  • US code breakers crack Japanese naval code
3
  • USS Pickerel (SS-177) lost: Enemy action off Honshu coast
22
  • USS Grenadier (SS-210) lost: Enemy action off Malaya coast
18
  • Yamamoto killed after US air attack
Jun 1943  
   
12
  • USS R-12 (SS-89) lost: mechanical failure off the coast of Key West, Florida
24
  • Admiral Nimitz orders magnetic exploders deactivated. SubSoWesPac continues their use
Jul 1943  
   
4
  • Three US submarines enter Sea of Japan
20
  • USS Runner (SS-275) reported missing presumed lost  off Hokkaido coast
24
  • USS Tinosa fires 12 torpedoes at target with 11 duds.
   
Aug 1943  
   
 
  • Admiral King orders submarines to make enemy tankers a top priority
  • Lockwood's test of contact exploders finds them defective. Orders an efficient substitute to be developed
   
Sep 1943  
   
 
  • New Mark XVIII electric torpedo supplied to US submarines
12
  • USS Grayling (SS-209) lost: Exact cause unknown - possible collision with enemy vessel off the coast of Luzon
27
  • USS Pompano (SS-181) lost: Exact cause unknown - possibly struck a mine off the coast of Honshu
28
  • USS Cisco (SS-290) lost: Exact cause unknown - possible enemy aerial or depth charge attack near the Sulu Sea
Oct 1943  
   
1
  • ComSubPac deploys first US submarine wolfpack
  • USS Halibut test fires torpedoes with newly designed contact exploder
7
  • USS S-44 (SS-155) lost: Enemy action off of Kurile Islands
11
  • USS Wahoo (SS-238) lost: Enemy action - Soya Strait
12
  • USS Dorado (SS-248) lost: Exact cause unknown - possibly by friendly fire aerial attack near the Panama Canal Zone
19
  • US Navy communiqué reveals that, since 7 Dec 1941, US submarines have sunk or damaged more than 400 enemy vessels with 319 confirmed sinkings.
   
Nov 1943  
   
 
  • Advanced base for SubSoWesPac established at Milne Bay, New Guinea
16
  • USS Corvina (SS-226) lost: Exact cause unknown - possibly sunk by enemy submarine I-176 near the Marshall Islands
19
  • US campaign in the Gilbert Islands commences
  • USS Sculpin (SS-191) lost: Enemy action off of the Gilbert Islands
   
Dec 1943  
   
3
  • USS Sailfish sinks IJN carrier Chuyo
9
  • USS Capelin (SS-289) lost: Exact cause unknown
Jan 1944  
   
11
  • British submarine HMS Tally Ho sinks IJN cruiser Kuma
20
  • ComSubSoWesPac orders magnetic exploders deactivated
 
  • US submarines sink a record 56 enemy ships
Feb 1944  
   
 
  • Japan deploys mine barrier from Kyushu to Formosa
16
  • USS Skate sinks IJN light cruiser Agano
17
  • US forces capture Eniwetok
24
  • USS Scorpion (SS-278) lost: Exact cause unknown - possibly struck an enemy mine near the Yellow Sea
26
  • USS Grayback (SS-208) lost: Enemy action - Ryukyu Islands
29
  • US invasion of Admiralty Islands commences
  • USS Trout (SS-202) lost: Enemy action - East China Sea
Mar 1944  
   
12
  • US develops "Two Roads to Japan" plan. Nimitz in the north and MacArthur in the south
29
  • USS Tullibee (SS-284) lost: circular run of one of her own torpedoes near Palau Islands
Apr 1944  
   
 
  • First Japanese escorts fitted with radar detectors
   
May 1944  
   
11
  • USS Gudgeon (SS-211) lost: Exact cause unknown - believed to be due to enemy action - Saipan
   
Jun 1944  
   
1
  • USS Herring (SS-233) lost: Enemy action - Kurile Islands
6 - 9
  • USS Harder sinks four IJN destroyers
14
  • USS Golet (SS-361) lost: Exact cause unknown - believed to be due to enemy action off the northern coast of Honshu
15
  • US forces invade Marianas
16
  • US submarines report the movement of two large IJN forces near the Philippine Islands, headed towards the Marianas.
19
  • Battle of the Philippine Sea
  • USS Cavalla sinks IJN carrier Shokaku
  • USS Albacore sinks the Taiho, Adm. Ozawa's flagship
   
Jul 1944  
   
4
  • USS S-28 (SS-133) lost: exact cause unknown - possible mechanical failure during a training exercise off Oahu Hawaii
6
  • USS Tang (SS-306) sinks the Dori Maru, and sets a record for the highest total tonnage sunk by an American submarine during a single war patrol (39,100 tons)
7
  • US submarines sink two IJN destroyers: one near Kurile Islands and one in the South China Sea
21
  • US forces invade Guam
26
  • USS Robalo (SS-273) lost: Exact cause unknown - possibly due to an enemy mine off of Borneo
   
Aug 1944  
   
13
  • USS Flier (SS-250) lost: Struck an enemy mine off of Borneo
18
  • USS Rasher sinks IJN carrier Otaka
24
  • USS Harder (SS-257) lost: Enemy action - off of the Philippine Islands
   
Sep 1944  
   
 
  • To combat extreme losses, Japanese merchants travel only by day
  • IJN escorts fitted with radar
15
  • US forces invade Palaus and Morotai
16
  • USS Barb sinks IJN carrier Unyo
20
  • US invasion of Philippines commences
29
  • USS Narwhal rescues 81 allied POWs following the sinking of the Shinyo Maru
   
Oct 1944  
   
3
  • USS Seawolf (SS-197) lost: Friendly fire off of Morotai Island
17
  • USS Escolar (SS-294) lost: exact cause unknown near Tsushima Strait
22
  • Japanese combined fleet sets sail for what is to become known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf
23
  • US submarines Darter and Dace, off Palawan Island, spots the Japanese First Strike Force headed to Leyte Gulf and reports the position to US Task Force 38;the Darter then sinks Adm. Kurita's flagship, the heavy cruiser Atago while the Darter sinks a second cruiser, the Maya.
24
  • USS Darter (SS-227) lost: run aground near Palawan Passage
  • USS Shark II  (SS-314) lost: enemy action - Luzon Strait
  • USS Tang(SS-306) lost: Circular run of her own torpedo - Formosa Strait
   
Nov 1944  
   
7
  • USS Albacore (SS-218) lost: struck enemy mine - NE coast of Honshu
8
  • USS Growler (SS-215) lost : Exact cause unknown - believed to be due to enemy action or possibly a circular torpedo run - Philippine Islands)
11
  • USS Scamp (SS-277) lost: Enemy action - Bonin Islands
  • Japan launches the aircraft carrier Shinano
17
  • USS Spadefish sinks IJN carrier Shinyo
21
  • USS Sealion sinks IJN battleship Kongo
29
  • USS Archerfish sinks IJN carrier Shinano
Dec 1944  
   
19
  • USS Redfish sinks carrier Unryu
27
  • US submarines report the sinking of 27 enemy vessels throughout the pacific and Far Eastern waters
   
Jan 1945  
   
9
  • US forces invade Luzon
12
  • USS Swordfish (SS-193) lost: Exact cause unknown - believed to be due to enemy action
   
Feb 1945  
   
4
  • US forces enter Manila
  • USS Barbel (SS-316) lost: Enemy action - SW of Palawan
9-12
  • USS Batfish sinks three Japanese submarines in four days
16
  • First US air strikes on Japan
19
  • US invasion of Iwo Jima
   
Mar 1945  
   
20
  • USS Kete (SS-369) lost: exact cause unknown - Ryukyu Islands
28
  • USS Trigger (SS-237) lost: enemy aerial attack - Nansei Shoto
Apr 1945  
   
1
  • US forces invade Okinawa
  • Fife succeeds Christie at Fremantle
8
  • USS Snook (SS-279) lost: exact cause unknown - part of a US Wolfpack performing lifeguard duty east of Formosa
 
  • Japan blockaded by sea
   
May 1945  
   
3
  • USS Lagarto (SS-317) lost: enemy action -  Gulf of Siam
   
Jun 1945  
   
 
  • Three US submarine wolfpacks enter the Sea of Japan
18
  • USS Bonefish (SS-223) lost: enemy action - part of US wolfpack operating in the Sea of Japan
July 1945  
   
1
  • USS Barb attacks enemy coastal installations off of Kaihyo Island. First time a US submarine uses rockets to attack enemy shore positions.
   
Aug 1945  
   
6
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Japan
  • USS Bullhead (SS-332) lost: enemy action - Java Sea
9
  • Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki Japan
14
  • Japan surrenders - Victory in the Pacific
   

 

 
 
 
  RESOURCE NOTES:
Product photo
United States Submarine Operations in World War II
By Theodore Roscoe
United States Naval Institute
George Banta Company Inc Copyright 1949
The Last Patrol The Last Patrol
By Harry Holmes
Wrens Park Publishing
Copyright 1994
Product photo Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan
By Clay Blair
J.B. Lippincott Company
Copyright 1975

War Beneath the Sea
Submarine Conflict During WW II
by Peter Padfield
J. Wiley & Sons
Copyright 1995

 

 


 
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