USS Icefish

2nd War Patrol Report

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c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
20 January 1945

CONFIDENTIAL

From: Commanding Officer, U.S.S. ICEFISH (SS367)
To: Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Via: (1) The Commander Submarine Division FORTY-TWO
(2) The Commander Submarine Squadron FOUR
(3) The Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet

Subject: U.S.S. ICEFISH (SS367), Report of War Patrol number Two.

Enclosure: (A) Subject report
(B) Track Chart (ComSub7thFlt)

1. Enclosure (A), covering the second war patrol of this vessel conducted in East China Sea during the period 8 December 1944 to 20 January 1945, is forwarded herewith.

R.W. Peterson

A) PROLOGUE

Arrived MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 13 November 1944, for refit by Submarine Division 221 Relief Crew and U.S.S. HOWARD W. GILMORE.

Major items of work were:

Repaired #3 and #4 F.P.T. vent risers, stopped many hydraulic leaks, repaired #1 periscope, cleaned #2 periscope optics, and repaired other items damaged on first patrol.

Drained, flushed and renewed oil in hydraulic system. Found large quantity of carbon in strainer as result of lube oil used in system.

Overhauled #3 and #4 main engines.

Drydocked, not depermed or wiped.

Given surface sound test; found shaft squeal at all speeds.

Lieut. Comdr. W.L. SMALL, U.S.N., was detached. Lieut. Comdr. G.G. HINMAN, U.S.N., and Lieut. G.A. PALMER, U.S.N., reported aboard for duty.

Fifteen men were detached; fifteen were received.

Conducted training exercises from 30 November to 5 December 1944, including firing of three practice torpedoes, battle surface gun firing, and coordinated attack exercises with SAWFISH and DRUM. Loaded torpedoes, ammunition and stores 6 and 7 December 1944. Readiness for sea date: 8 December 1944.


(B) NARRATIVE

8 December 1944

0702 Underway from Majuro on second war patrol in accordance with ComTaskForce Seventeen Operation Order 401-44 of 3 December 1944, as a unit of Task Force 17.11 to be composed of U.S.S. SPOT, U.S.S. ICEFISH AND U.S.S. BALAO. Escorted by U.S.S. RAMSEY.

1115 Released escort.

1406 Made trim and deep dive.

1457 Sighted 2 SBD aircraft at 7 miles. After a prolonged period of SJ radar interference, at 1848 had SJ radar ship contact, range 31,450 yards. Ship tracked out to 36,500 yards. Unidentified.


12-13 December 1944

Conducted daily training dives, fire control drills, and school of the boat.


15 December 1944

0548 Sighted and exchanged calls with escort, PC 1127.

1018 Moored to U.S.S. FULTON, TANAPAG HARBOR, SAIPAN.


17 December 1944

1358 Underway from SAIPAN enroute assigned area in accordance with ComTask Group 17.11.


22 December 1944

0559 Submerged on northerly course, along line from NAGASAKI to OKINAWA.


25 December 1944

0337 to 0539 Sighted glows of three bright white lights over horizon, bearing 160°T, 068°T and 000°T; each was on for about one hour; possibly aircraft float lights, since characteristics were similar to those dropped by aircraft in our vicinity on first patrol.

0631 Submerged for patrol south of SAISHMU TO on NAGASAKI - TSUSHIMA - SHANGHAI shipping routes. Held Christmas services.

1900 Surfaced. Patrolled to westward, then to northward, toward YELLOW SEA area, across routes from MARA TO - SOCOTRA ROCK, SAISHU TO and KOKUZAN to SHANGHAI. Took half-hourly soundings during the night; these checked well with those charted. Standing high periscope watch as night due to exceptionally good visibility.


26 December 1944

Since entering the area for extended submerged operations bow planed and steering, and stern plans to a much less extent, have grown progressively noisier. This noise seems to be centered in the Waterbury speed gears, and is transmitted throughout the boat through hydraulic lines, causing them to vibrate and rattle objects in their vicinity.

1924 Making periscope sweeps to locate aircraft prior to coming up again. After a period of several minutes, on the next horizon sweep, sighted a patrol vessel, PC type, zero angle on the bow, about 4,000 yards. Rigged for silent running for first time in area. When bow planes and steering telemotors were used in hand operation, their chattering and rumbling could be plainly heard in all compartments; we were far from able to run silently.


27 December 1944

2245 While securing the auxiliary engine the field excitation switch shorted out, setting a fire behind the board and blowing the after auxiliary board breakers. Rigged temporary battery ventilation circuit and shifted to emergency steering until repairs were completed 3 hours later.


30 December 1944

1148 Heard first of a series of 123 distant depth charges; nothing in sight through periscope for 20,000 yards.

The condition of the hydraulic system has become such that reduction in noise is considered necessary before proceeding farther into the area. Decided to patrol area south of SAISHU TO until situation could be rectified.


31 December 1944

0800 Heard first of a series of 40 distant depth charge explosions. Nothing sighted.

2256 Sighted two very bright, large, rectangular lights blinking close to horizon. Nothing quite like these ever seen by anyone on bridge. No SJ contact. They did not look like fishermen's lights. Surrounding areas have been depth charged extensively recently. Suspected submarine trap and avoided.


1 January 1945

Patrolled in same vicinity as yesterday.


3 January 1945

Waterbury speed gears still are excessively noisy, despite continued efforts to relieve the situation. The din in torpedo rooms when this machinery is run, and the chattering and hammering in hydraulic lines, is beyond reason; our ability to make an undetected submerged approach on escorted ships is very much in doubt.

When in silent running condition, heavy rumbling and chattering in bow planes and steering telemotors, plus a loud, occasional thud in the vicinity of the rudder, and a thumping of the bow planes, both present prior to this patrol, preclude silent running. Personnel have been justifiably concerned over this condition.

It was therefore decided to leave the area, and to notify SPOT and BALAO via Comsubpac and NPM.3


3 January 1945

1340 Departed area.


7 January 1945

On surface, proceeding toward Pearl in accordance with orders of Comsubpac.


20 January 1945

0630 Made rendezvous with PC 483

1150 Arrived Sub Base, Pearl harbor, T.H.


HEALTH, FOOD AND HABITABILITY

Health of the crew was, in general, excellent. One man suffered a severe abrasion of the right shin from a fall. There is one case of chronic seasickness. One officer suffered persistent infection of the finger as a result of a small scratch inflicted in SAIPAN, and was off the watch list for three days. One electrician suffered a second degree electrical burn of right hand and wrist when the auxiliary engine excitation switch shorted out and was off the watch for three days. The improvement in the condition of the drinking water over that of the last patrol was marked, and there were no further illnesses from this source.

Food was excellent. Thanks to the training received by our Bkr3c on the U.S.S. WARD-18 at MAJURO, baking was superb throughout the patrol.

Habitability was very good. During the one short period of silent running the boat was very comfortable.


MILES STEAMED -- FUEL USED

Base to area (Majuro) . . . 4362 mi. . . . 65,570 gals.
In area . . . 1390 mi. . . . 14,609 gals.
Area to base (Pearl) . . . 4670 mi. . . . 61,870 gals.

DURATION

Days enroute to area . . . 14 (exclusive 2 days SAIPAN)
Days in area . . . 11
Days enroute to base . . . 16
Days submerged . . . 16

REMARKS

None.


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