USS Hogan (DMS-6) at Mare Island, 11 January 1944

USS Hogan (DMS-6) at Mare Island, 11 January 1944


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USS Hogan (DMS-6) at Mare Island, 11 January 1944

Here we see a side view of the Wickes class destroyer USS Hogan (DMS-6) at Mare Island on 11 January 1944, with her deck looking much more crowded than when she was new.

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.


USS Hogan (DMS-6) at Mare Island, 11 January 1944 - History

Hogan (DD-178) was launched by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif., 12 April 1919 sponsored by Mrs. Magnus A. Anderson, a sister of the Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane and commissioned 1 October 1919, Lt. Comdr. E:. M. Williams in command.

After shakedown.Hogan arrived San Diego 21 November to join the Pacific Destroyer Force. From 23 November to 6 February 1920 she sailed in company with her division and engaged in fleet maneuvers, patrol duty, torpedo exercises and target practice along the California coast. On 25 March she departed for Hawaii, where she operated for the next month. The destroyer rejoined her squadron at San Diego in late April for 5 months of gunnery exercises and trial runs in that area. She returned to San Diego in early 1921 and engaged in important experimental torpedo practice and divisional operations until 9 December. For the remainder of her service Hogan assisted U.S. battleships in conducting torpedo firing exercises in the Pacific. She decommissioned at San Diego 27 May 1922.

Recommissioned 7 August l940, Hogan underwent conversion to a high speed minesweeper at Mare Island and reclassified DMS-6. Her activity up to World War II consisted mainly of intensified minesweeper training and patrol duty in the Caribbean and along the Eastern Coast,

During the early months of the war Hogan acted as a convoy escort in the Caribbean and eastern Atlantic, protecting shipping from U-boat attack. The first major operation in which she took part was the invasion of North Africa in late 1942. For this important amphibious assault, mounted over an entire ocean, Hogan departed Norfolk 24 October and arrived with the Center Force off Fedhala for preliminary sweeps 7 November. As the landings began early next day, the minesweeper continued to patrol the vital transport area. Just after 0500 she was sent to investigate strange running lights and came upon a French steamer and escort vessel. Hogan ordered both ships to reverse course, and when the order was not obeyed fired a burst of machine gun fire across the escort's bow. The ship, Victoria, replied with fire of her own and attempted to ram the minesweeper, but Hogan avoided her and with 20-mm fire forced her surrender.

In the days that followed the minesweeper continued to conduct antisubmarine patrol off Fedhala, searching for submarines that attacked the transports 11 November. The ship entered Casablanca harbor 18 November, the invasion a success, and after patrol duties sailed for Norfolk, arriving 26 December.

Hogan next returned to coastal convoy duties until November 1943. She sailed 13 November from Norfolk to join the Pacific Fleet, transited the Panama Canal, arriving Mare Island 5 December. The minesweeper was needed for the first phase of the long island campaign toward Japan, the invasion of the Marshalls, and sailed for Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein 16 January 1944. Hogan carried out antisubmarine patrol off Roi Island before departing 4 February for Espiritu Santo, where she arrived 27 February.

After another period of convoy duty, Hogan arrived Milne Bay 7 April to prepare for the Hollandia operation. The attack group sailed 18 April and arrived Humboldt Bay 4 days later. Hogan and other minesweepers cleared enemy mines for Admiral Barbey's invasion force, after which the ship carried out shore bombardment and screening duties. She arrived Cape Sudest with HMAS Westralia 25 April.

Hogan sailed from Eniwetok 10 June to make preliminary sweeps of Saipan for the invasion to come. She remained off Saipan during the assault 15 June, coming under enemy shore fire, and moved to Guam the next day. As the Japanese fleet moved toward the Marianas for a decisive naval battle, Hogan returned to Saipan to protect the transports In the great carrier battle which followed 19-20 June, the American fleet won a stunning victory, crippling the Japanese naval air arm and securing the Marianas operation from interference. Hogan returned to the staging base at Eniwetok 30 June, but returned to Guam 12 July to carry out screening and minesweeping duties tor the assault there. She arrived Espiritu Santo 5 August 1944.

Following a tour of escort duty in the Solomons, Hogan steamed via Pearl Harbor to San Francisco for repairs, arriving 5 October. As the recapture of the Philippines gained momentum, the ship steamed from San Francisco 6 November and arrived Manus staging area 4 December 1944. Moving to Leyte Gulf before Christmas,Hogan sortied with the Minesweeping and Hydrographic Group 2 January 1945. Kamikaze attacks, symbol of Japanese desperation, began soon afterward, and continued during the voyage to Lingayen Gulf. The minesweepers entered the invasion area 2 January and began their dangerous sweeping operations. Four of the minesweepers were sunk or damaged, and Hogan's gunners were busy with attacking aircraft. With the operation well underway, the ship arrived Leyte Gulf 16 January.

After retiring to Tinian, Hogan sailed once more 7 February to take part in the important assault on Iwo Jima. During this operation she swept mines, screened transports, and carried out shore bombardment before departing with a group of battleships and their escorts 7 March. Arriving Pearl Harbor 13 April via Ulithi she continued to San Diego 3 May 1945.

Hogan underwent major repairs and reclassified AG105 5 June 1945. The veteran ship was assigned as a target ship for bombing tests and was sunk off San Diego 8 November 1945.


US WW2 Sub Sunk Itself When its Own Torpedo Made a Full Circle & Struck It

On March 26, 1944, the submarine USS Tullibee made radar contact with a Japanese convoy carrying troops and prepared to attack it despite harsh weather conditions. It was the last time anyone would hear from the submarine, which along with the entire crew seemed to have just disappeared. It was believed to have been sunk by a Japanese destroyer during the attack on the convoy, or perhaps by another submarine.

That was the assumption until after the war ended. Only after Japan surrendered and American prisoners of war were released, did the only survivor from the Tullibee appear to tell the story of the lost submarine. It had not been hit by an enemy vessel, but by bad luck.

Gato-class submarines

USS Tullibee (SS-284) was one of the U.S. Navy’s seventy-seven Gato-class submarines. These were the first American mass-produced submarines and were a realization of long-standing goals to make a submarine with a longer range and higher endurance. These qualities quickly became necessary to meet the demands of missions in the Pacific theater of World War II.

USS Gato off Mare Island Navy Yard on November 29, 1944.

With a length of 311 feet 8 inches and total displacement of 2,424 tons, Gato-class boats were quite large. Since there was room for a huge fuel bunkerage, they were capable of conducting 75-day patrols from Hawaii to Japan and back.

Another significant improvement that increased the boat’s combat abilities was increased diving depth. Gato-class submarines were projected to submerge to a record depth of 300 feet, but in reality they were going even deeper.

The submarines also had an improved armament, with ten torpedo tubes and twenty-four 21-inch Mark-14 torpedoes. Because patrols were so long, torpedoes had to be used sparingly. For that reason deck armament was improved with one 3-inch deck gun, one 40 mm Bofors gun, and one 20 mm Oerlikon gun.

The U.S. Navy Gato-class submarine USS Tunny (SSG-282) launching an SSM-N-8 Regulus I missile.

The first Gato-class submarine to be completed, USS Drum (SS-228) was laid down just before the war on September 11, 1941. The production of the class lasted until April 21, 1944, when they were replaced with improved Balao-class submarines.

Along with the Balao-class boats, Gatos were the backbone of the U.S. Navy submarine fleet during the Second World War. With only 29 losses, the combined 197 submarines of these two classes made a large contribution to winning a war against the Japanese fleet in the Pacific.

The USS Drum (SS-228) as it sat moored at Battleship Alabama Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama, prior to damage by storm surge and placement on concrete pylons.

USS Tullibee (SS-284)

USS Tullibee was launched from the Mare Island Navy Yard in California on November 11, 1942, and was commissioned on February 15, 1943. It was just in time for the tides of war to start changing in the Pacific.

After going through the required shakedown cruise, Tullibee sailed to Hawaii on May 8, 1943. Once there, the entire crew had to undergo further training, and the boat had to be tested even more. The result of the tests was two months spent in the Navy dockyard repairing the hull for air leaks, hardly a good omen.

USS Tullibee (SS-284), off the coast of Mare Island, California.

Tullibee on war patrol

Things hardly changed when Tullibee went on its first patrol on July 19, 1943. It was tasked with patrolling the Saipan-Truk traffic lane, searching for Japanese cargo ships. The goal was to disrupt the supply lines of the Japanese stronghold at the Truk Lagoon, where the majority of the Japanese fleet was at the time.

Still inexperienced, Tullibee‘s crew (that consisted mostly of 19-year-olds) showed some confusion when the submarine got engaged in combat for the first time. On August 10, Tullibee spotted a convoy of three freighters with an escort. Commanding officer Charles F. Brindupke decided to attack and fired four torpedoes at two vessels.

However, the attack ended up with one of the Japanese ships ramming into Tullibee, damaging its main periscope. The submarine immediately dived and was attacked with depth charges by a Japanese escort ship. Tullibee managed to escape, but so did the convoy.

Charles F. Brindupke.

It took three attempts for Tullibee‘s crew to conduct a successful attack. On August 22, it sank a passenger-cargo ship and damaged one freighter. The submarine ended its first patrol on September 6 by returning to Midway.

Following patrols were more successful. During the 52 days of its second patrol in the East China Sea in October and November 1943, Tullibee had several successful attacks. It sank one passenger-cargo ship, damaged another, and damaged one tanker.

The third patrol saw Tullibee and two other submarines patrolling the region around the Mariana Islands, intercepting vessels sailing from Truk to Japan.

Besides sinking another freighter, Tullibee also managed to damage the enemy escort carrier Unyo. This was the longest of its patrols, lasting for 58 days from December 14, 1943, until February 10, 1944.

The escort carrier Un’yō steaming astern on Feb 4 or Feb 5, 1944, after losing bow in the stormy seas off Tateyama. Usually misidentified as “The escort carrier Chūyō steaming astern on 4 December 1943 after having her bow blown off by a torpedo.”

Eternal Patrol

It was March 5, 1944, when Tullibee left Pearl Harbor after almost an entire month of rest. A week later, it reached Midway, refueled and set out on its fourth patrol on March 14. The orders were to sail north of Palau Island to participate in Desecrate One — an operation by 11 aircraft carriers against Japanese forces at Palau. It was the last time the vessel was seen.

Tullibee was supposed to serve in a protective role, but it never appeared at its station. It was formally declared lost on May 15, 1944. Even though there was no report or even intercepted Japanese messages to confirm a loss, the sub was believed to have been sunk by an enemy vessel.

The Japanese merchant ship Nagisan Maru burns in the Palau Islands. The ship was sunk during the U.S. Navy’s “Operation Desecrate One” by three Grumman TBM-1C Avengers of Torpedo Squadron 31 (VT-31) from the light aircraft carrier USS Cabot (CVL-28).

Cliff Kuykendall – the prisoner of war

The war continued, and the Tullibee crew of 60 men was written off. Their mourning families were denied any answer as to what had happened. But when the war ended. The answer suddenly came out of nowhere.

The Japanese government surrendered on September 2, 1945. Five days before, the occupation of Japan had begun. Allied soldiers being held in captivity in Japan were all set free. Most of them had been engaged as forced labor in mines across the entire country, such as the copper mine in Ashio.

Among the men who were set free on the 4 th of September was Cliff Kuykendall, who had ended up in Ashio after spending 17 months working in several other mines as a prisoner of war. Before he was transported to Japan, he survived the torture while being held as a prisoner at the Island of Palau. He was even tied to a tree for three days while American bombs were falling all around the island during the Operation Desecrate One.

He arrived Palau on the Japanese destroyer Wakatake, which had picked him up in the open sea north of the island. He was the only survivor from the USS Tullibee.

After he was set free, Cliff revealed the mystery of the missing submarine.

U.S. Navy Grumman TBF-1 Avenger aircraft of Torpedo Squadron VT-5 from the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) fly over the site where squadron aircraft scored four direct hits on the Japanese destroyer Wakatake, sinking her in fifteen seconds 110 km north of Palau.

Hit by its own torpedo!

On March 26, 19-year-old Gunner’s Mate 2 nd Class Cliff Kuykendall was on lookout duty on the bridge when a convoy of a troopship, three freighters, and three escort ships was spotted on the radar. It was pouring rain but commanding officer Charles F. Brindupke was determined to attack.

It was only at the third attempt that he managed to fire two torpedoes at the troopship. Kuykendall was standing on top of the bridge waiting for the explosion when the submarine was struck by a huge explosion. Cliff went sky high and ended up in the sea.

As he was struggling to stay on surface, he watched as his boat was going down and his mates were screaming for help. It was only his lifebelt that kept him alive.

Charles F. Brindupke.

When all sounds were gone, Cliff remained alone, floating for the whole night. The next day he was picked up by the Japanese destroyer.

As he was reporting on what happened that day, Cliff was sure that Japanese escorts were far enough away not to be able to attack his submarine. It was not sunk by Japanese, he told. The only logical conclusion was that one of the fired torpedoes made a circular run and returned to hit and sink the submarine.

The Tullibee was armed with Mark-14 torpedoes, which were known to have such failures.

Mark-14 torpedo side view and interior mechanisms, as published in a service manual.

Mark-14: the torpedo that goes round

The weakest point of the US Navy submarine force was definitively the Mark-14 torpedo. It was developed during the Depression Era in the 1930s when the industry was down on its knees. This allowed the entire project to pass with numerous bugs unnoticed.

Captain Theodore Westfall, NTS CO and Captain Carl Bushnell of the Bureau of Ordnance, inspect a Mark-14 torpedo at the Naval Torpedo Station, Keyport, Washington, 1943.

In short, the weapon was highly unreliable. It tended to run too deep, to explode prematurely or not explode at all. However, the most lethal drawback was the torpedo’s tendency to run a circular course that returned it to submarine from which it was fired.

The circular run was a result of the failure of the gyro system that was responsible for straightening the rudder of the torpedo once it was fired. If the rudder was not straightened, the torpedo wouldn’t make a straight course toward the target but would instead make a round trip back to the spot from which it was fired.

During World War Two, there were 24 recorded incidents of a circular run. In 22 cases, submarines managed to evade the torpedo. The USS Tang and USS Tullibee didn’t.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

The first Silversides (SS-236) was laid down on 4 November 1940 by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo Calif., launched on 26 August 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Hogan and commissioned on 15 December 1941, Lt. Comdr. C. C. Burlingame in command.

After shakedown off the California coast, Silversides set course for Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 4 April 1942. Departing Pearl Harbor on the 30th, Silversides headed for the Japanese home islands, in the area of Kii Suido, for the first of her many successful war patrols. On 10 May, the submarine sank a Japanese trawler with her 3-inch gun. During this action, an enemy machinegun bullet killed one of her deck gunners. In retaliation, the submarine's gunners riddled the enemy until he spouted flames and sank. On 13 May Silversides torpedoed an enemy submarine but, although explosions were heard, a definite sinking could not be confirmed.

On 17 May, Silversides torpedoed and sank a 4,000-ton cargo ship and damaged a second in one of the more interesting engagements of the war. While maneuvering through an enemy fishing fleet and approaching the cargo ships, the submarine's periscope became entangled in a fishnet marked by Japanese flags held aloft on bamboo poles. Silversides bored in on the ill-fated enemy ships, fishnet and all, and fired three torpedoes at the first ship, with two hits that tore her stern open. While that ship was sinking, the second cargo ship was also hit, but its fate could not be determined. Patrol boats were closing in as the submarine, probably the only American submarine to make an attack while flying the Japanese flag, quickly left the vicinity. After damaging a freighter and tanker in the same area, Silversides terminated her first war patrol at Pearl Harbor on 21 June.

Silversides' second war patrol was also conducted in the area of Kii Suido, from 15 July to 8 September. On 28 July, she sank a 4,000-ton transport, followed by the sinking of the passenger-cargo ship Nikkei Maru on 8 August. She scored damaging hits on a large tanker on the night of the 14th and, on the 31st, sank two enemy trawlers before returning to Pearl Harbor.

Although there were no confirmed sinkings during Silversides' third war patrol, conducted in the Caroline Islands, the submarine did do severe damage to a large cargo ship and gained two observed torpedo hits on a Japanese destroyer or light minelayer for undetermined damage. She terminated her third patrol at Brisbane, Australia, on 25 November.

Silversides departed Brisbane on 17 December and set course for New Ireland for her fourth war patrol. While far out at sea on the night of Christmas Eve, the submarine's pharmacist's mate performed a successful emergency appendectomy on one of the crewmen. With the operation over at 0400 on the 25th, the submarine surfaced only to be immediately forced down by a Japanese destroyer and compelled to endure a severe depth charge attack. Thinking herself safe, Silversides surfaced only to find the destroyer still there. In addition, a Japanese airplane had arrived on the scene, and proceeded to drop three bombs on the submarine, severely damaging her bow planes and causing them to lock on full dive. Silversides managed to level off just short of crush depth and eventually evaded the enemy ship before surfacing to recharge her batteries and effect emergency repairs.

While off Truk on 18 January 1943, Silversides torpedoed and sank tanker Toei Maru. Two days later the submarine had one of her most productive days of the war. After paralleling a convoy throughout the daylight hours, she moved on ahead at sundown to lay in wait. As the targets moved into range, she fired her torpedoes at overlapping targets and sank three enemy ships--the cargo ships Surabaya Maru, Somedono Maru, and Meiu Maru. The attack had scarcely abated when it was discovered that an armed torpedo was stuck in a forward torpedo tube. Since it was impossible to disarm the torpedo, the commanding officer decided to attempt to refire it, an extremely dangerous maneuver. The submarine moved in reverse at top speed and fired. The torpedo shot safely from the tube, disappearing as it moved toward the horizon.

When a serious oil leak was discovered later that night, the submarine left the patrol area two days ahead of schedule and returned to Pearl Harbor on 31 January.

Silversides' fifth war patrol commenced on 17 May and was conducted in the Solomon Islands area. Her primary mission was to lay a minefield in Steffan Strait, between New Hanover and New Ireland, but she did not neglect enemy shipping. On the night of 10 and 11 June, she sank the 5,256-ton cargo ship Hide Maru but, for her efforts, was forced to endure a severe, though fruitless, depth charging. She returned to Brisbane for refit on 16 July.

For her sixth war patrol (21 July to 4 September) Silversides patrolled between the Solomon and Caroline Islands. Since she was plagued with malfunctioning torpedoes and a scarcity of targets, she returned to Brisbane empty-handed.

Silversides set sail on 5 October for her seventh war patrol in which she sank four enemy ships in waters ranging from the Solomons to the coast of New Guinea. On the 18th, she torpedoed and sank the cargo ship Tairin Maru, and, on the 24th, made a series of daring attacks to send the cargo ships Tennan Maru and Kazan Maru and the passenger-cargo ship Johore Maru beneath the waves. She returned to Pearl Harbor for refit on 8 November.

Silversides patrolled off the Palau Islands for her eighth war patrol where, on 29 December, she brought havoc to an enemy convoy of cargo ships, sinking Tenposan Maru, Shichisei Maru, and Ryuto Maru. She terminated her sixth patrol at Pearl Harbor on 15 January 1944.

For her ninth war patrol, Silversides departed Pearl Harbor on 15 February and set course for waters west of the Marianas. On 16 March, she sank the cargo ship Kofuku Maru but, since the remainder of the patrol was void of worthwhile targets, the submarine returned to Fremantle on 8 April.

While on her tenth war patrol, off the Marianas Islands, Silversides destroyed six enemy vessels for a total of over 14,000 tons. On 10 May, she torpedoed and sank the cargo ship Okinawa Maru, followed up with the passenger-cargo ship Mikage Maru and then sent the converted gunboat Choan Maru No. 2 beneath the waves. Ten days later, she added to her score when she sank another converted gunboat, the 998-ton Shosei Maru. On 29 May, the submarine torpedoed and sank the cargo ships Shoken Maru and Horaizan Maru and then headed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 11 June. Two days later, she got underway for Mare Island Navy Yard for overhaul, returning to Pearl Harbor on 12 September.

Silversides set sail on 24 September for her eleventh war patrol, conducted off Kyushu, Japan. Although this patrol was unproductive, she aided in the rescue of a stricken sister submarine. Salmon (SS-182) had been badly damaged in a severe depth charging and was forced to surface and try to escape while fighting enemy escorts in a gun battle, a task for which a submarine is badly outmatched. The gunfire flashes brought Silversides to the scene. She deliberately drew the attention of some of the escorts, then quickly dove to escape the gunfire. Soon submarines Trigger (SS-237) and Sterlet (SS-392) joined in helping Silversides to guard Salmon, and in escorting the stricken submarine back to Saipan, arriving on 3 November. Silversides terminated her eleventh patrol at Midway on 23 November.

Silversides' twelfth war patrol commenced on 22 December and was spent in the East China Sea. Despite aggressive search, she found few worthwhile targets. However, when an opportunity did come her way, Silversides took full advantage. On 25 January 1945, she slammed home torpedoes to sink the 4,556-ton cargo ship Malay Maru. She returned to Midway on 12 February. During her thirteenth war patrol, Silversides was a member of a coordinated attack group with Hackleback (SS-295) and Threadfin (SS-410), patrolling off Kyushu. Although she again found few worthwhile targets, the submarine did manage to damage a large freighter and to sink a trawler before returning to Pearl Harbor on 29 April.

Silversides' fourteenth and final war patrol began with departure from Pearl Harbor on 30 May. This patrol was spent on lifeguard station in support of air strikes on Honshu, Japan. On 22 July, she rescued a downed fighter pilot from the aircraft carrier Independernce (CV-22), and two days later recovered a downed United States Army airman She ended this patrol at Apra Harbor, Guam, on 30 July. The submarine was undergoing refit there when the hostilities with Japan ended on 15 August.

Silversides transited the Panama Canal on 15 September, arriving at New York City on the 21st. After shifting to New London, Conn., she was decommissioned on 17 April 1946 and placed in reserve until 15 October 1947, when she was placed in service as a training ship for naval reservists at Chicago, III. She remained there for the rest of her service. On 6 November 1962, she was reclassified as an auxiliary submarine (AGSS) and, on 30 June 1969, her name was struck from the Navy list. The South Chicago Chamber of Commerce has applied to the Navy Department for custody of Silversides to preserve her as a memorial.


Part 6: Where to Find These Records

Washington, DC

You may do research in immigration records in person at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001. Staff is available there to answer your questions. NARA microfilm publications may be examined during regular research room hours no prior arrangement is necessary.

NARA Regional Facilities

Some National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regional facilities have selected immigration records call to verify their availability or check the online Microfilm Catalog.

Libraries with large genealogical collections also have selected NARA microfilm publications.

Commercial genealogy vendors such as Ancestry.com have some NARA immigration microfilm publications online.

To obtain immigration records by mail

Order copies of passenger arrival records online, or with NATF Form 81

You can also obtain the NATF Form 81 by writing to: National Archives and Records Administration, Attn: NWCTB, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001.


USS Hogan (DMS-6) at Mare Island, 11 January 1944 - History

Silversides

(SS-236: dp. 1,526 (surf.), 2,424 (subm.)- 1. 311'10"b. 27'4", dr. 15'2'' s. 20.25 k. (surf.), 8.75 k.(subm.) cpl. 80 a. i 3'', 10 21" tt. cl. Gato)

The first Silversides (SS-236) was laid down on 4 November 1940 by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo Calif., launched on 26 August 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Hogan and commissioned on 15 December 1941, Lt. Comdr. C. C. Burlingame in command.

After shakedown off the California coast, Silversides set course for Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 4 April 1942. Departing Pearl Harbor on the 30th, Silversides headed for the Japanese home islands, in the area of Kii Suido, for the first of her many successful war patrols. On 10 May, the submarine sank a Japanese trawler with her 3-inch gun. During this action, an enemy machinegun bullet killed one of her deck gunners. In retaliation, the submarine's gunners riddled the enemy until he spouted flames and sank On 13 May Silversid es torpedoed an enemy submarine but, although explosions were heard, a definite sinking could not be confirmed.

On 17 May, Silversides torpedoed and sank a 4,000ton cargo ship and damaged a second in one of the more interesting engagements of the war. While maneuvering through an enemy fishing fleet and approaching the cargo ships, the submarine's periscope became entangled in a fishnet marked by Japanese flags held aloft on bamboo poles. Silversid es bored in on the ill-fated enemy ships, fishnet and all, and fired three torpedoes at the first ship, with two hits that tore her stern open. While that ship was sinking, the second cargo ship was also hit, but its fate could not be determined. Patrol boats were closing in as the submarine, probably the only American submarine to make an attack while flying the Japanese flag, quickly left the vicinity. After damaging a freighter and tanker in the same area, Silversides terminated her first war patrol at Pearl Harbor on 21 June.

Silversides' second war patrol was also conducted in the area of Kii Suido, from 15 July to 8 September. On 28 July, she sank a 4,000-ton transport, followed by the sinking of the passenger-cargo ship Nikkei Maru on 8 August. She scored damaging hits on a large tanker on the night of the 14th and, on the 31st, sank two enemy trawlers before returning to Pearl Harbor.

Although there were no confirmed sinkings during Silversides' third war patrol, conducted in the Caroline Islands, the submarine did do severe damage to a large cargo ship and gained two observed torpedo hits on a Japanese destroyer or light minelayer for undetermined damage. She terminated her third patrol at Brisbane, Australia, on 25 November.

Silversides departed Brisbane on 17 December and set course for New Ireland for her fourth war patrol. While far out at sea on the night of Christmas Eve, the submarine's pharmacist's mate performed a successful emergency appendectomy on one of the crewmen. With the operation over at 0400 on the 25th, the submarine surfaced only to be immediately forced down by a Japanese destroyer and compelled to endure a severe depth charge attack. Thinking herself safe, Silversides surfaced only to find the destroyer still there. In addition, a Japanese airplane had arrived on the scene, and proceeded to drop three bombs on the submarine, severely damaging her bow planes and causing them to look on full dive. Silversides managed to level off just short of crush depth and eventually evaded the enemy ship before surfacing to recharge her batteries and effect emergency repairs.

While off Truk on 18 January 1943, Silversides torpedoed and sank tanker Toei Maru. Two days later the submarine had one of her most productive days of the war. After paralleling a convoy throughout the daylight hours, she moved on ahead at sundown to lay in wait. As the bargets moved into range, she fired her torpedoes at overlapping targets and sank three enemy ships-the cargo ships Surabaya Maru, Somedono Maru, and Meiu Maru. The attack had scarcely abated when it was discovered that an armed torpedo was stuck in a forward torpedo tube. Since it was impossible to disarm the torpedo, the commanding Officer decided to attempt to refire it, an extremely dangerous maneuver. The submarine moved in reverse at top speed and fired. The borpedo shot safely from the tube, disappearing as it moved toward the horizon.

When a serious oil leak was discovered later that night, the submarine left the patrol area two days ahead of schedule and returned to Pearl Harbor on 31 January.

Silversides' fifth war patrol commenced on 17 May and was conducted in the Solomon Islands area. Her primary mission was to lay a minefield in Steffan Strait, between New Hanover and New Ireland, but she did not neglect enemy shipping. On the night of 10 and 11 June, she sank the 5,256-ton cargo ship Hide Maru but, for her efforts, was forced to endure a severe, though fruitless, depth charging. She returned to Brisbane for refit on 16 July.

For her sixth war patrol (21 July to 4 September)

Silversid es patrolled between the Solomon and Caroline Islands. Since she was plagued with malfunctioning torpedoes and a scarcity of targets, she returned to Brisbane empty-handed.

Silversides set sail on 5 October for her seventh war patrol in which she sank four enemy ships in waters ranging from the Solomons to the coast of New Guinea. On the 18th, she torpedoed and sank the cargo ship Tairin Maru, and, on the 24th, made a series of daring attacks to send the cargo ships Tennan Maru and Kazan Maru and the passenger-cargo ship Josore Maru beneath the waves. She returned to Pearl Harbor for refit on 8 November.

Silversides patrolled off the Palau Islands for her eighth war patrol where, on 29 December, she brought havoc to an enemy convoy of cargo ships, sinking Tenposan Maru, Shichisei Maru, and Ryuto Maru. She terminated her sixth patrol at Pearl Harbor on 15 January 1944.

For her ninth war patrol, Silversides departed Pearl Harbor on 15 February and set course for waters west of the Marianas. On 16 March, she sank the cargo ship Kofueu Maru but, since the remainder of the patrol was void of worthwhile targets, the submarine returned to Fremantle on 8 April.

While on her tenth war patrol, off the Marianas Islands, Silversides destroyed six enemy vessels for a botal of over 14,000 tons. On 10 May, she torpedoed and sank the cargo ship Okinawa Maru, followed up with the passenger-cargo ship Mikage Maru and then sent the converted gunboat Cohan Maru No. 2 beneath the waves. Ten days later, she added to her score when she sank another converted gunboat, the 998-ton Shosei Maru. On 29 May, the submarine torpedoed and sank the cargo ships Shaken Maru and Horaizan Maru and then headed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 11 June. Two days later, she got underway for Mare Island Navy Yard for overhaul, returning to Pearl Harbor on 12 September.

Silversides set sail on 24 September for her eleventh war patrol, conducted off Kyushu, Japan. Although this patrol was unproductive, she aided in the rescue of a stricken sister submarine. Salmon (SS-182) had been badly damaged in a severe depth charging and was forced to surface and try to escape while fighting enemy escorts in a gun battle, a task for which a submarine is badly outmatched. The gunfire flashes brought Silversides to the scene. She deliberately drew the attention of some of the escorts, then quickly dove to escape the gunfire. Soon submarines Trigger (SS-237) and Sterlet (SS-392) joined in helping Silversides to guard Salmon, and in escorting the stricken submarine back to Saipan, arriving on 3 November. Silversides terminated her eleventh patrol at Midway on 23 November.

Silversides' twelfth war patrol commenced on 22 De
cember and was spent in the East China Sea. Despite
aggressive search, she found few worthwhile targets.
However, when an opportunity did come her way, Siversides took full advantage. On 25 January 1945, she slammed home torpedoes to sink the 4,556-ton cargo ship
Malay Maru. She returned to Midway on 12 February.During her thirteenth war patrol, Silversides was a member of a coordinated attack group with Hackleback
(SS-295) and Threadfin (SS&mdash410), patrolling off Kyushu. Although she again found few worthwhile targets, the submarine did manage to damage a large freighter and to sink a trawler before returning to Pearl Harbor on 29 April.

Silversides' fourteenth and final war patrol began with departure from Pearl Harbor on 30 May. This patrol was spent on lifeguard station in support of air strikes on Honshu, Japan. On 22 July, she rescued a downed fighter pilot from the aircraft carrier Independence ( CV-22), and two days later recovered a downed United States Army airman She ended this patrol at Apra Harbor, Guam, on 30 July. The submarine was undergoing refit there when the hostilities with Japan ended on 15 August.

Silversides transited the Panama Canal on 15 September, arriving at New York City on the 21st. After shifting to New London, Conn., she was decommissioned on 17 April 1946 and placed in reserve until 15 October 1947, when she was placed in service as a training ship for naval reservists at Chicago, III. She remained there for the rest of her service. On 6 November 1962, she was reclassified as an auxiliary submarine (AGSS)

and, on 30 June 1969, her name was struck from the Navy list. The South Chicago Chamber of Commerce has applied to the Navy Department for custody of Silversides to preserve her as a memorial.

Silversides (SS-236) received twelve battle stars for World War II service.


USS Indianapolis (CA-35)

Authored By: JR Potts, AUS 173d AB | Last Edited: 08/21/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

USS Indianapolis was the second ship built as an 8 inch 9,800 ton Portland-class heavy cruiser. The vessel was constructed at the Camden, New Jersey Naval Yard and launched on November 7th, 1931. By the time she was commissioned, the design was already being criticized as having limited armament for her weight limit. Her class had limits for two major reasons 1) the Washington Naval Treaty signed after World War 1 limited ship tonnage to 10,000 tons and 2) there was extensive political pressure to downsize the United States Navy after the war. The Portland-class was a class with four ships scheduled to her name but this was reduced to just the USS Portland and the USS Indianapolis by the time of construction. The remaining two ships still on the drawing board were assigned to the last of the New Orleans-class, these taking on more firepower and other improvements. Political pressure after the war had an unintended consequence for the US Navy began concentrating more on heavy cruisers after taking some time to review the building programs of other navies, subsequently mirroring best construction practices from the cruiser classes being built by the major powers. The US Navy shipbuilding program began in the 1930's and was well timed with another World War to come in a short nine years. By the start of World War 2, the US program had built eighteen heavy cruisers while Japan had finished some twelve of her own and Germany just two.

The USS Indianapolis had a surface displacement of 11,574 tons and could make approximately 32.7 knots with an endurance range of 10,000 nautical miles at 15 knots. Her main battery consisted of 9x8 inch (200mm) 55-caliber guns in 3x3 mounts (three guns in three turrets - "triple mounting"). For anti-aircraft protection the Indianapolis could call upon her 8x1 inch (130mm) 25-caliber cannons fitted as single mounts and 8x1 (12.7mm) 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns, also in single mounts. She came in heavy with a full load displacement of 12,755 tons. To save displacement weight based on the Washington Treaty, the Indianapolis was designed without the heavy armor plating, protected only to an extent along the sides and bottom toward the keel, extending almost the full length of the ship. This armor served as protection against mines and torpedoes. However, her armor was only inches thick and covered just her vital machinery spaces. This lack of belt armor and overall armor was also a tactic developed by navies when sail was still the primary means of propulsion - cruisers relied on their speed whereas battleships relied on their armor protection. While she was more vulnerable, she was also still capable of great speed to manage an escape.

President Roosevelt Finds a New Love

On January 10th, 1933, she left Camden, New Jersey, and steamed towards Cuba for her standard "shakedown" cruise. By accounts, all went well and she continued to train her new crew in warm Caribbean waters, mostly near the Canal Zone and then in the Pacific by the Chilean coast line. In May, she returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a normal overhaul. With a new coat of paint she left the yard and was routed northwards to Maine to pick up the Commander in Chief, President Franklyn Delano Roosevelt, and left for Maryland to embark a member of his cabinet. While current American presidents fly by way of "Air Force One", President Roosevelt took a liking to USS Indianapolis and chose her as his "Ship of State" to become his personal transport at sea throughout the Americas. Roosevelt used Indianapolis as a symbol of American military power against world leaders and royalty who visited Washington. In 1934, she took the President and a large party for review of the Atlantic fleet down the Hudson River, beginning the traditional of "Fleet Week". In 1936, she steamed from Charleston, South Carolina with the President to the Pan Am Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

War Comes for the Indianapolis

By 1937, Europe was falling into chaos. The Untied States Navy was keeping a watchful eye towards the military moves of Nazi Germany and began war-related training exercises with the Atlantic and Pacific fleets - the Indianapolis' days as a "Ship of State" were more or less over. She was transferred to the Pacific Fleet stationed at Mare Island Naval Yard in California. Indianapolis and the fleet trained for war and, in April 1940, tensions between the United States and Japan were reaching fever pitches. Washington transferred the fleet out of California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in an effort to help protect American interests in the Pacific. Japan, as an island nation, was always short of natural resources - especially oil - and the deployment of the American fleet to Hawaii was viewed as a threat to their envisioned Pacific sphere of influence. As a result, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, officially forcing the entry of American into the way. However, USS Indianapolis was not at Pearl at the time of the attack but on exercises off of Johnson Island just west of Hawaii. Indianapolis was ordered to join up with Task Force 12 consisting of the carriers USS Lexington and USS Enterprise as well as escorts that were carrying US Marine fighter aircraft from Pearl to tiny Midway Island, northwest of Hawaii. Indianapolis supported the aircraft carriers who launched search planes sent to hunt for the Japanese fleet, southwest of Oahu, and returned to Pearl Harbor on December 13th having not found the enemy. In February of 1942, Indianapolis was south of Rabaul, New Britain, supporting USS Yorktown's task force sent to attack Japanese shipping located near enemy-held ports at Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. These ports had become a large marshaling area for the Japanese Navy. The carrier-based planes and anti-aircraft support from surface warships were put into action. The USS Indianapolis was credited with shooting down sixteen Japanese bombers sent to attack the task force. Heavy damage was inflicted on the Japanese shipping in the ports as well.

Indianapolis then returned to the United States for overhaul and alterations to be completed at the Mare Island Navy Yard. After the refit was complete, the Indianapolis was assigned to escort a convoy to Australia. By July of 1942, she then joined the Aleutians Fleet protecting the North Pacific island chain where the Japanese had landed ground forces along the Aleutian Islands, a collection of American holdings. The invasion itself was intended as a diversion to commit the USN carriers and force them out of their protective Pearl Harbor surroundings. The trap failed and the Japanese fleet was, in turn, ambushed themselves. During their time in the unforgiving North Pacific, the Indianapolis crew had already attained some experience with cold weather fighting from their days in the Atlantic but the Aleutians were a constant barrage of rain and storms coupled with violent winds and heavy rolling seas. When Indianapolis found an opening in the fog at Kiska Island harbor, she open up with her 8-inch guns, joining the other surface warships in the task force, and caught the Japanese defenders unaware. The end result say sinking enemy ships destroyed shore-based strongholds. US forces occupied Adak Island that month, providing a base suitable for planes that would allow attacks on Dutch Harbor and Unalaska Island. Through August 1943, she remained in Aleutians waters to support landings at Attu and Kiska. However the Japanese were able to escape under the cover of fog and darkness but their presence in the Aleutians was over by August 15th, 1943.

Indianapolis returned to Mare Island for much needed repairs and then steamed on to Pearl Harbor as the flag ship of Vice Admiral Raymond A. Spruance commanding the 5th Fleet. The fleet invaded the Gilbert Islands on November 19th, 1943, and Indianapolis bombarded Tarawa, in support of the invasion, with close-fire support of strong points against the 10,000 Japanese dug-in defenders. Twenty-two thousand US Marines landed and four out of every ten were either wounded or killed. In three days of heavy fighting, some 3,000 US Marines were killed by a determined defense. Indianapolis moved on to the Marshall Islands and bombarded Kwajalein on January 31st, 1944. From March through April, the task force moved into the Carolinas to support General Douglas MacArthur and, in June, bombarded Tinian, Saipan and Guam. A 120mm shell hit Indianapolis but did not detonate, thusly causing little in the way of damage. While protecting the carriers during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, she picked up a number of downed US Navy pilots and shot down a Japanese bomber herself. Through July, the mission was to bombard the island and cover Army and Marine landings, the target being Tinian on the 24th. On to the Admiralty Islands in September, the Indianapolis shelled Palau and Manus. The Indianapolis was once again in need of maintenance (this time on her 8-inch guns) and returned to Mare Island, California for repairs.

In January of 1945, CA-35 was ready to go out once again and, with Admiral Spruance onboard, she joined her sisters as part of Task Force 58. In February, she arrived at Iwo Jima as fire support for the landings, moving in as close as possible to pinpoint Japanese positions with her main guns. By February 25th, she was back with Task Force 58 as carrier protection against aerial attacks from Japan. In March, she shelled Okinawa for seven days before the ground invasion and shot down six Japanese planes. While still shelling Okinawa, a Japanese bomb pierced the main deck along the port side and exploded below causing heavy damage and killing nine sailors while injuring a further twenty-six. The ship was taking on water from hull damage which forced a to return to Mare Island in April.

After repairs were completed, Indianapolis was rearmed with new radar-guided 20mm anti-aircraft cannons fitted as twin mounts. During her time in the yard, the Navy Department decided to use CA-35 for a special mission to transport top secret components to Tinian Island, these components turning out to be parts for the American Atomic Bomb. She made her way to San Francisco to pick up the firing assembly and 132 pounds of Uranium 235 - the Uranium was to be kept in the Admiral's cabin. Two scientists, posing as Army officers, were assigned to watch the bomb parts along with a heavy Marine guard. She left San Francisco en route to Pearl Harbor without an escort. Arriving in Hawaii on July 26th, she proceeded to Tinian and unloaded the precious cargo.

No one on board had known what the cargo was, not even Captain Charles Butler McVay III, who had commanded Indianapolis since November 1944. While her was not her first Captain, he held 26 years of US Navy service and had run up a solid record to include a Silver Star, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He was third generation Navy man and the son of an Admiral, having graduated from the Naval Academy in 1920 and seemingly born for high command. McVay had always received superior performance reports, oft-noted as being a very capable officer and his crew was generally respectful of the program he ran. The delivery mission now being over, the orders for the USS Indianapolis were relatively simple - to leave Tinian for Leyte via Guam and undergo seventeen days of training. Upon completion, the Indie was then to report to Admiral Oldendorf commanding Task Force 95. Preparing to depart, McVay made normal requests to take on additional stores, refuel and ask for an escort for the voyage to Leyte. The convoy and routing Officer, Lieutenant Waldron, told Captain McVay he would request a destroyer escort but did not know if one would be made available. Waldron rang up the office of Vice Admiral Murray, Commander Marianas, and the answer came down that an escort was not necessary - of course McVay, perhaps knowing better, did not officially complain. USS Indianapolis was an out-of-date capital ship that had no submarine detection sonar and her belt armor had been limited due to the post-World War 1 restrictions mentioned earlier. For the first time in US Naval history, it seemed that a capital ship would sail without an escort. The three day passage was laid out as a straight course at 15.7 knots.

Indianapolis arrived at Guam where a number of the crew who had completed their tours of duty and were replaced by other sailors. At 9:10am on July 28th, 1945, (Saturday morning) the Indianapolis dropped her moorings and left Guam, sailing towards Leyte. Soon after she cleared the harbor, a standard message was sent from the port directors office to the 5th Fleet and CINCPAC, the Navy command in the Pacific, that USS Indianapolis CA-35 departed Guam 2300z 27 July SOA 15.7 knots, ETA Leyte 0200z 31 July. The ship was at ease knowing the mystery cargo had been delivered and everyone knew the war was almost over - Germany had already capitulated back in May and the Japanese Empire was a fighter "on the ropes".

On Sunday, the weather had turned for the worse and became heavy seas covered over in dark clouds. The ship continued the customary anti-submarine practice of "zig-zagging" on course at 262 True. The screws were making staggering turns to confuse any submarine that might be listening. The forward engine room made 167 turns per minute on the two outboard screws and the aft engine room made 157 revolutions per minute on the inboard two screws. This averaged out to be 162 turns in making the scheduled 15.7 knots to Leyte at 0200z July 31. Before retiring for the evening, Captain McVay cancelled the zigzag order based on the current weather conditions and left word on the bridge to contact him if events had changed.

Lieutenant Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto felt unworthy as Captain of the Japanese submarine I-58. It was already 1945 and he had not destroyed a single enemy ship or even had the opportunity to die for his Emperor. He had entered the Naval Academy in 1926 and, after other assignments in submarines during 1944, was assigned as captain of a new boat - the large I-class - a vessel of 355 feet in length and twice as large as German submarines though only slightly larger than American boats. Now he was patrolling between Guam and Leyte hunting Allied warships. Visibility was improving and Mochitsura brought I-58 to periscope depth and, in front of the rising moon, appearing was a black dot some 10,000 meters away about five miles, dove the boat in preparation for action. The crew completed their tasks but Hashimoto felt the tension. It was now 11:35pm when I-58 resurfaced back to periscope depth. The black dot was taking shape and Hashimoto new it was a battleship or cruiser and it was coming straight on. The decision was to attack with six standard torpedoes fired at 3-second intervals. At 12:02am, the order to fire was given and the torpedoes fanned out towards the USS Indianapolis now just 2,000 meters away.

At 12:14 am, July 30th, 1945, the first torpedo hit forward of Turret Number 1 and blew off a portion of the bow in the process - a second torpedo hit just under the bridge. The second hit took out most of the electrical power and communications on the ship now deteriorated to solely verbal while pockets of men did what they could. However, Indianapolis was mortally wounded and started to list. Captain McVay took time to gather as much information as he could in the dark, knowing his ship could not be saved, and ordered a distress signal be sent - ultimately giving the order to abandon ship. Indianapolis sank by the head in just twelve minutes. Loud cheers greeted Hashimoto who was trying to verify the attack but saw nothing through the periscope. I-58 surfaced later and, seeing floating debris, radioed back home to the IJN that she had sank an American battleship, Iowa-class. This incorrect observation was common throughout much of the war on all sides. To this point, the USS Indianapolis - a cruiser - had been awarded 10 Battle Stars but had seen the last of her fighting days. While she sank to the bottom of the ocean, her crew would have to fight on in desperation for their own lives.

Bad to Die, Worse to be a Survivor

The men hit the water over a long distance due to the Indianapolis continuing to make turns as she sank. The true number of sailors going down with the ship was never known but official reports indicated some 300 of the 1,196 men on board went down while the remaining 900 went into the water. None of the life boats or 26-foot whale boats could get off the ship in time. Captain McVay had found an overturned life raft when he hit the water lashed three such rafts together. McVay had no idea how many men were in the water because hundreds of men went in the water over the twelve minute time from the first torpedo strike. With two screws turning the whole time, the men were separated by a few thousand yards depending on when and where they abandoned ship. Swimmers were moving at 1 knot southwest due to the small wind resistance area in the water. Rafts with men aboard, on the other hand, would travel about 10 knots in a northeast drift with wind having a much larger area to effect. By morning, the groups of men were miles apart, drifting in a southwest or northeast axis. Swimmers had minimal vision even at the top of a 12 foot swell so men that were even close to each other had great difficulty seeing each other with sun and spray in their eyes.

Minimal rations and water were available due to no life boats making it off the ship. Men who were burned and bleeding were among the injured, some covered in oil. Some swimmers had life jackets on while some did not - most of the seriously wounded died on the first day in the water. When a man died, his life jacket was removed and given to a swimmer without one - nothing ceremonious here for survival of the living took first place. The United States Navy was unaware of the events that had befallen the mighty Indianapolis as at least three parties failed to act on the distress call and no rescue patrols had been sent aloft.

By the second day, it was a staggering 100-degrees F in the Pacific. Some men began to drink the salty sea water, only furthering their dehydration cause. Some survivors hallucinated that that they had found a fresh water spring in the middle of the ocean while others had convinced themselves that their ship had not sunk, it merely sat just below the surface of the water, within reach of swimming down to and collecting fresh water and ice cream. Many tried such a venture and never came up while others started swimming to islands that did not exist, never to be seen again.

By this time, collections of urine and vomit in the water began drawing the attention of sharks. At first, their targets were the floating dead but this soon turned into attacks on the living - within time, several hundreds of sharks were feeding on the sailors. Lost and forgotten by the Navy, the men of the Indianapolis were in the water for 100 hours. Some became resigned to their fate, knowing that the Navy had not seen the Indianapolis as overdue. Around 4pm on the 4th day of the ordeal, a non-descript USN PBY happened to be in the area on patrol and accidentally stumbled upon the vast range of men in the water. The word immediately went out to Leyte and a massive rescue effort by any means was launched. Some 326 men were saved that day, the rest sunk with the ship, died of their combat wounds or were taken by sharks. For the survivors, the ordeal was finally over. For Captain McVay, however, it seemed that his problems were just beginning.

The War Ends But the Trial of the USS Indianapolis Begins

Within days the Atomic Bomb was dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by a pair of USAAF Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, forcing the surrender of the Empire. For thousands of family members and friends related to the Indianapolis, the question remained: why did the Navy not mount a rescue mission for the surviving men of the Indianapolis? Thousands of letters and phone calls were sent to the Navy Department and Congress was looking for answers. So the Navy Department investigated the issue and decided to Court Martial Captain McVay. Despite the fact that some 436 USN warships were lost, 700 ships overall, throughout the whole of World War 2, only one captain was Courts Marshaled - Captain McVay. The two charges were 1) negligence by not continuing the common USN practice of "zig-zagging" and 2) by not giving the order to abandon ship, causing additional lives to be lost. The Navy decided it was necessary to have the Commanding officer of the I-58, Lieutenant Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto, testify against Captain McVay in court - a first in American naval history. This decision indicated the Navy was feeling heat from the families.

During the trial crew members testified that communications system on the ship was out due to the attack and some heard the order to abandon ship and others did not. US Navy submarine commanders testified that zig-zagging made no difference in attacking ships and Lt Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto also testified that the outcome would have been the same if the Indianapolis had been zigzagging or not - only minor course changes would have been necessary on his part. However, the court found Captain McVay guilty on both counts. McVay did not challenge the verdict for he was an Academy man from a Navy family and accepted his fate. McVay stayed in the Navy but continued to receive hate mail from grief-stricken family members of sailors lost on the Indianapolis. McVay retired in 1949 and, per custom, was promoted to Rear Admiral. On November 6th, 1968, having lived a tortured and stained existence after the war, McVay received yet another letter from a family member of an Indianapolis casualty. He took his service revolver and committed suicide.

True Justice Finally Comes - the in Form of a 12-Year Old Boy

In 1998, a twelve-year-old school boy by the name of Hunter Scott had watched the movie Steven Spielberg motion picture "Jaws" and began wondering if the reference to the Indianapolis was true. As a school project, Scott interviewed 150 survivors and became aware of the court martial and the miscarriage of justice concerning Captain McVay. Scott and many survivors testified before Congress and, in 2000, the Congress passed a resolution to exonerate Captain McVay for the loss of the Indianapolis. While the correct measure, it proved too little, too late for Captain McVay.

Though she will always be remembered for her misfortune, one can never forget the true value of the Indianapolis as a fighting ship of the United States Navy. Her dedicated crew and her design made much possible in containing, and ultimately defeating, the Empire of Japan - bringing World War 2 to an official close. Considering the situation, no one can fault the actions of McVay today and the sailors of the Indianapolis - either living or dead - are all heroes for their commitment, dedicated and self-sacrifice. Their actions served a nation more than any politician's words ever have. May Captain McVay and his men forever rest in peace.

August 2017 - On August 19th, 2017, it was announced that the wreck of USS Indianapolis was located by researchers of the "USS Indianapolis Project". It resides at a depth of 18,000 feet.


History of USS NAUTILUS

Construction of NAUTILUS was made possible by the successful development of a nuclear propulsion plant by a group of scientists and engineers at the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission, under the leadership of Captain Hyman G. Rickover, USN.

In July of 1951, Congress authorized construction of the world’s first nuclear powered submarine. On December 12th of that year, the Navy Department announced that she would be the sixth ship of the fleet to bear the name NAUTILUS. Her keel was laid by President Harry S. Truman at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut on June 14, 1952.

After nearly 18 months of construction, NAUTILUS was launched on January 21, 1954 with First Lady Mamie Eisenhower breaking the traditional bottle of champagne across NAUTILUS’ bow as she slid down the ways into the Thames River. Eight months later, on September 30, 1954, NAUTILUS became the first commissioned nuclear powered ship in the United States Navy.

On the morning of January 17, 1955, at 11 am EST, NAUTILUS’ first Commanding Officer, Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson, ordered all lines cast off and signaled the memorable and historic message, “Underway On Nuclear Power.” Over the next several years, NAUTILUS shattered all submerged speed and distance records.

CDR Anderson On July 23, 1958, NAUTILUS departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii under top secret orders to conduct “Operation Sunshine”, the first crossing of the North Pole by a ship. At 11:15 pm on August 3, 1958, NAUTILUS’ second Commanding Officer, Commander William R. Anderson, announced to his crew, “For the world, our country, and the Navy – the North Pole.” With 116 men aboard, NAUTILUS had accomplished the “impossible”, reaching the geographic North Pole – 90 degrees North.

In May 1959, NAUTILUS entered Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine for her first complete overhaul – the first of any nuclear powered ship – and the replacement of her second fuel core. Upon completion of her overhaul in August 1960, NAUTILUS departed for a period of refresher training, then deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to become the first nuclear powered submarine assigned to the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Over the next six years, NAUTILUS participated in several fleet exercises while steaming over 200,000 miles. In the spring of 1966, she again entered the record books when she logged her 300,000th mile underway. During the following 12 years, NAUTILUS was involved in a variety of developmental testing programs while continuing to serve alongside many of the more modern nuclear powered submarines she had preceded.

In the spring of 1979, NAUTILUS set out from Groton, Connecticut on her final voyage. She reached Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California on May 26, 1979 – her last day underway. She was decommissioned on March 3, 1980 after a career spanning 25 years and over half a million miles steamed.

In recognition of her pioneering role in the practical use of nuclear power, NAUTILUS was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior on May 20, 1982. Following an extensive historic ship conversion at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, NAUTILUS was towed to Groton, Connecticut arriving on July 6, 1985.

On April 11, 1986, eighty-six years to the day after the birth of the Submarine Force, Historic Ship NAUTILUS, joined by the Submarine Force Museum, opened to the public as the first and finest exhibit of its kind in the world, providing an exciting, visible link between yesterday’s Submarine Force and the Submarine Force of tomorrow.


Padre Steve’s Pre-Navy Navy Experiences

I officially entered the Navy in 1999 however I had spent a significant amount of my young life hanging around the Navy as a “Navy Brat” as well as a Navy Junior ROTC Cadet.

USS J. C. Breckenridge AP 176

My first “underway” was returning from the Philippines on the USS J. C. Breckenridge AP 176 in 1964. The ship was a troopship and at the time was engaged in the transport of military personnel and their dependents from the Far East to San Fransisco. In this capacity the ship made regular stops at Guam, Yokosuka, Okinawa, and Inchon, as well as Adak, Alaska, and Midway Island as she sailed between the Philippines, Japan and the west coast. We rode her back following my father’s assignment at Cubi Point Naval Air Station.

Children’s Playroom on Breckenridge

The trip across the Pacific was something that I remember to this day. A Marine stood guard outside of the family quarters in a starched “sateen” fatigue uniform. I remember Marines going over the side of the ship into waiting landing craft at one stop, probably Inchon. I had a tee-shirt from the ship that I wore proudly until it was a tattered rag.

Edison High School NJROTC Cadets on USS Gray April 1978 L-R Alvin Friend, Mark DeGuzman, Jeff Vanover, Joe Mariani (top) Randy Richardson, Delwin Brown and Padre Steve

When I entered High School I joined the Navy Junior ROTC unit. I was very fortunate because our instructors, LCDR Jim Breedlove and Senior Chief Petty Officer John Ness ensured that we had many opportunities to go underway on various ships.

USS Agerholm DD-826

The first of these was the USS Agerholm DD-826 a Gearing Class destroyer commissioned in 1946 which had received a FRAM-1 modernization and fired the only live nuclear ASROC. I embarked Agerholm in San Diego with 5 other cadets in October 1975. During the trip we were able to observe gunnery exercises in the #2 5″ 38 gun mount and help man a towing hawser in exercises with the USS O’Callahan and USS Carpenter DD-825. The trip was exhilarating as we rode heavy seas, and got to stand watches alongside real sailors.

USS Coral Sea CVA-43

The second trip for me was on the USS Coral Sea in July 1976 where I spent 2 weeks working in the ship’s medical department. The trip about Coral Sea was interesting as we were able to observe flight operations and see how carrier operated.

USS Pyro AE-24

I then went on the USS Pyro in the fall of 1976 for a 5 day underway where I witnessed a burial at sea and met the chaplain who covered the service force. On Pyro I was able to work with the Signalmen.

USS Mount Vernon LSD-39

In February 1977 a number of us traveled to Portland Oregon to embark on USS Mount Vernon LSD-39 for its trip from an overhaul back to her home port of San Diego during which we disembarked at Alameda. That was an interesting trip as well as upon entering the Pacific from the Colombia River we ran into a major storm and we got to see how a flat-bottomed amphibious ship rode in heavy seas, the answer, not well. On the Mount Vernon we stood various watches the most memorable was in the Main Engineering plant. Mount Vernon like most of the ships of the day was powered by steam turbines and the Engine Room was about 100 degrees.

USS Frederick LST-1184

My final underway was a round trip from San Diego to Pearl Harbor and back. On the outbound trip we rode the USS Frederick LST-1184 as it transited with its Amphibious Group of 7 ships for a WESTPAC deployment. On Frederick I was paired with the Operations department and Navigation division. This was interesting as I got to practice skills that I had learned in the classroom as well as learn about the early satellite navigation systems Loran and Omega. It was on Frederick that I first felt the call to be a Navy Chaplain and aboard which I would celebrate my first Eucharist underway 23 years later.

We spent a week in Peal Harbor when I was able to visit the USS Arizona and USS Utah Memorials, meet Navy Divers, Army Maritime Transportation Corps personnel and tour their landing craft. We had some liberty in Pearl and the son of one of my parents friends from the Navy picked me up from a day of snorkeling during which I was badly sunburned with 2nd degree burns on my back. This lent me the nickname “Lobsterman” by my fellow cadets.

USS Gray FF-1054

The return trip was on the USS Gray FF-1054 a Knox Class Frigate which my dad had helped prepare for commissioning in 1970. Gray and a cruiser destroyer force headed by the USS Chicago CG-10 was returning from deployment. On Gray I got to see my first underway replenishment

These journeys were important in my life, they put a love of the sea and love of the Navy deep in me that could not be quenched even by my 17 and a half years of service in the Army. As a Chaplain I had the privilege of serving on the USS Hue City CG-66.

One of my photos of USS Hue City CG-66 during boarding Operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf

I still love the sea and who knows if I will get another sea tour, but I have been blessed in all of these experiences. Of the ships themselves only Hue City is active in the US Navy while Frederick was sold to Mexico where she still serves.

Harpoon Hitting Agerholm

Agerholm was expended as a target for the Harpoon missile system, Breckenridge, Coral Sea, Gray, Portland were scrapped and Pyro was decommissioned and remains in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay California. They were all great ships manned by great crews.

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1798 – Congress agreed to pay a yearly tribute to Tripoli, considering it the only way to protect U.S. shipping. The US has no appreciable Navy as yet. This is the most expedient and assured way to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean.

1923 – Lt. Alford J. Williams, USN, sets a new world’s speed record of 266.59 MPH (429.02 KPH) in Mineola, New York in a Curtiss R2C-1 racer.

1927 - US Army Air Corps Capt. Hawthorne C. Gray succeeds in setting new altitude record in a silk, rubberized, and aluminum-coated balloon out of Scott Field, Illinois, reaching 42,270 feet, but dies when he fails to keep track of his time on oxygen, and exhausts his supply. The record is recognized by National Aeronautical Association, but not by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale because the dead aeronaut "was not in personal possession of his instruments." Gray is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his three ascents on 9 March, 4 May and 4 November.

1941 - Tail section of Lockheed YP-38 Lightning, 39–689, separates in flight over Glendale, California, Lockheed Lightning crashes inverted on house at 1147 Elm Street, killing Lockheed test pilot Ralph Virden. Home owner survives, indeed, sleeps right through the crash.

1944 – British Gen. John Dill dies in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, the only foreigner to be so honored.

1947 - A USAF pilot and co-pilot successfully belly-land burning Boeing B-29-70-BW Superfortress, 44-69989, of the 98th Bomb Group, in a wheat stubblefield S of Wilbur, Washington, after ordering five crew to bail out. The bomber was on a flight from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, to Spokane Air Force Base when an engine caught fire. Residents of Wilbur saw it circling with an engine afire as the pilot sought a place to put it down. First communications to Spokane Field that it was in trouble came about 1500 hrs. Those who jumped received various injuries, but the pilot and co-pilot were uninjured.

1954 - Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart, BuNo 135762, disintegrated in mid-air over San Diego Bay, California, during a demonstration for Navy officials and the press, killing Convair test pilot, Charles E. Richbourg. Pilot inadvertently exceeded airframe limitations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conv . y_1954.jpg

1954 - A USAF Convair T-29A-CO, 50–189, on a routine training flight departs Tucson Municipal Airport, Arizona, after refueling for return leg to Ellington AFB, Texas. Shortly after departure, the pilot radios that he has mechanical problems and requests emergency return to Tucson. Aircraft strikes power lines on final approach and crashes into a perimeter fence short of the runway. All crew are KWF.

1955 - While operating in the Pacific with the 7th Fleet, USS Hancock (CVA-19) flies aboard Vought F7U-3 Cutlass, BuNo 129586, 'D', of VF-124, but tailhook floats over all wires, jet hits barrier, and ejection seat is jarred into firing when nose gear collapses. Pilot LTJG George Barrett Milliard, in his seat, is thrown 200 feet down the deck and suffers fatal injuries when he strikes the tail of an AD Skyraider. Airframe written off.

1956 – Following nearly two weeks of protest and political instability in Hungary, Soviet tanks and troops viciously crush the protests.

1958 - A United States Air Force Boeing B-47E-56-BW Stratojet, 51-2391, of the 12th Bomb Squadron, 341st Bomb Wing (M), catches fire during take-off from Dyess AFB, Texas, crashes from 1,500 feet (460 m) altitude. Three crew eject, okay: Capt. Don E. Youngmark, 37, aircraft commander Capt. John M. Gerding, 27, pilot and Capt. John M. Dowling, 30, observer and navigator. The crew chief was killed – no bail out attempted.

One sealed pit nuclear weapon containing no plutonium and some tritium was aboard the plane the resultant detonation of its primary HE made a crater 35 feet in diameter and six feet deep. There was some local tritium contamination. The weapon secondary was recovered intact but damaged near the crash site the weapon case was destroyed. The tritium reservoir was found intact but leaking. The impact crater contained many small fragments of bomb casing, but no HE, which was believed to have been consumed by either explosion or fire.

1960 – Test pilot Robert Rushworth flew the X-15 to 14,905 meters (48,903 feet) and Mach 1.95.

1962 – In a test of the Nike Hercules air defense missile, Shot Tightrope of Operation Fishbowl is successfully detonated 69,000 feet above Johnston Atoll. It would also be the last atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States.

1962 - A Russian-flown MiG-21 Fishbed intercepted two US Air Force F-104C Starfighters from the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing on a reconnaissance sortie near Santa Clara, Cuba, but the F-104s disengaged and retired northward.

1965 – Test pilot Bill Dans flew the X-15 to 24,445 meters (80,204 feet) and Mach 4.22.

1969 – Former USS Bailey (DD-492) was sunk as a target off Florida.

1971 – USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636) launches a Poseidon C-3 missile in first surface launch of Poseidon missile.

1984 – CGC Northwind (WAGB-282) seizes the P/C Alexi I off Jamaica for carrying 20 tons of marijuana, becoming the first icebreaker to make a narcotics seizure.

Nov 05, 2018 #1252 2018-11-05T02:10

1863 – “Curlew” was a Union screw steamer of 343 tons, built in 1856 at Newtown, N.Y. she collided with steamer USS Louisiana and sank near Point Lookout, Maryland.

1863 – “Nassau” was a Union chartered steam tug of 518 tons, built in 1851 at New York that was sunk at Brazos Pass, Texas.

1863 – “Patridge” was a Union schooner that was lost at Brazos Pass, Texas.

1864 – “R. H. Barnum” was a Union stern wheel paddle steamer of 30 tons built in 1862 at Warren, Ohio. She was captured and burned by Lt. Col. A. Witcher and the 34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion in Buffalo Shoals near Louisa, Kentucky.

1864 – “Fawn” was a Union steamer of 25 tons built at Pittsburgh, Pa. She was captured and burned by Lt. Col. A. Witcher and the 34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion in Buffalo Shoals.

1864 – CSS Spray was a Confederate steam gunboat of 105 tons armed with two guns and thought to be built at Wilmington in 1852. She was sunk by Confederates on the St. Mary’s River, Georgia to avoid capture by Union forces.

1864 - CSS Run'Her was a steamer built in England in 1863 that was part of a group of four blockade runners carrying equipment and materials for the manufacturing and laying of mines. After departing London, the vessel sank in Angra Bay, São Miguel Island (Azores) during a stopover on her way to the Confederation due to a maneuver error ordered by her captain.

1909 - The United States Army Wright Military Flyer, serial 1, piloted by Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm with 2nd Lieutenant Frederick E. Humphreys as passenger crashes into the ground at College Park Airport, Maryland, while executing a sharp right turn. The aircraft had lost altitude due to engine misfiring and the aircrew had not taken account of their proximity to the ground when banking the aircraft to the right. Both officers were unhurt but the aircraft required repairs. The skids and the right wing had to be replaced.

1915 – At Pensacola Bay, FL., LCDR Henry C. Mustin launched himself from USS North Carolina (ACR-12) via catapult in a Curtiss Model AB-2 seaplane, recording both the world's first catapulting of an aircraft from a ship and the first takeoff from a ship underway.

1917 – USS Alcedo (SP-166) was torpedoed and sunk by UC-71 (Ernst Steindorff), off Penmarch, France. There were 21 casualties.

1923 – Tests designed to prove the feasibility of launching a small seaplane from a submarine occur at Hampton Roads Naval Base. A Martin MS-1, stored disassembled in a tank on board USS S-1, was removed and assembled. Then the submarine submerged allowing the plane to float free and take off.

1934 - Pioneer Air Service aviator Col. Horace Meek Hickam, (1885–1934), dies when his Curtiss A-12 Shrike, 33–250, of the 60th Service Squadron, strikes an obstruction during night landing practice on the unlighted field at Fort Crockett, Texas, and overturns.
"The field at Fort Crockett, Texas, home of the 3rd Attack Group, was too short. Because of its smallness and the roughness of its southern end, planes landing to the south, even against a light wind, made it a point to touch down between its boundary lights-the field's only lights just beyond the shallow embankment of its northern threshold. On the evening of November 5, Air Reserve Second Lieutenants Harry N. Renshaw and Andrew N. Wynne were standing on the porch of Group Operations talking to Captain Charles C. Chauncey, the Operations Officer, watching Uncle Horace Hickam shooting night landings in his Curtiss A-12. It was close to eight o'clock as they observed the Colonel coming in for his second touchdown. They realized he was low and was going to undershoot, so did Hickam. He applied power to correct the error and then chopped it off too soon. The watchers saw the A-12's wheels hit the embankment just below its top, saw the plane flipped on its nose, skidding along the ground, the weight of its engine tearing up the turf, and then saw it snap over on its back, slewing completely around. The three men were running toward the aircraft before the sound had died. Wynne arrived first, yelling, ‘Colonel, are you hurt? Can you hear me?’ There was no answer. The cockpit rim was flat on the ground. A group of enlisted men came charging up, followed by the crash truck and an ambulance. Even after Renshaw had driven the cab of the ambulance under the broken tail fin, with the men holding up the fuselage, they could not get Hickam free of the cockpit. It was necessary to dig a trench to do that. By the time Renshaw and Wynne had managed to get the Colonel out of his parachute and onto a litter, Captain Byrnes, the base doctor, had arrived. While the ambulance raced to the Marine Hospital, Byrnes did what he could, but it was too late. Renshaw believed his CO was dead before they had managed to free him from the cockpit." Hickam Field, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, was named for him 21 May 1935.

1941 – The Japanese government decides to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the United States, setting a deadline of the end of November. The US rejects the offer because the Japanese will not repudiate the Tripartite Agreement with Italy and Germany and because the Japanese wish to maintain bases in China. The US code breaking service continues to intercept all Japanese diplomatic communication.

1945 – Ensign J. C. West (VF-41) took off from USS Wake Island (CVE-65) in a Ryan FR-1 Fireball, a combination prop-jet design, and soon experienced problems with the Wright R-1820-72W Cyclone radial piston engine. Before the reciprocating powerplant failed completely, he started the General Electric I-16 jet engine and returned to the ship, thus making the first ever landing by jet power alone on a carrier.

1948 - Boeing DB-17G Flying Fortress, 44-83678 returning to Eglin AFB, Florida from Fort Wayne, Indiana, crashes and burns NE of the runway at Eglin main base early Friday. All five on board are KWF, including Lt. Col. Frederick W. Eley, 43, of Shalimar, Florida, Maj. Bydie J. Nettles, 29, who lived in Shalimar, Florida, Capt. Robert LeMar, 31, Ben's Lake, Eglin AFB, test pilot with the 3203rd crew chief M/Sgt. Carl LeMieux, 31, of Milton, Florida and Sgt. William E. Bazer, 36, assistant engineer, Destin, Florida.

1959 – Test pilot Scott Crossfield flew the X-15 to 13,857 meters (45,464 feet) and Mach 1.00 before an engine fire forced an emergency landing. Despite the narration in the following video, not all the fuel was jettisoned and the plane landed heavy, resulting in fuselage structural failure.

1986 – USS Rentz (FFG-46), Reeves (CG-24) and Oldendorf (DD-972) visit Qingdao (Tsing Tao) China – the first US Naval visit to China since 1949.

2009 – US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 and wounds 29 at Fort Hood, Texas in the deadliest mass shooting at a US military installation.


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