USS Icefish

5th War Patrol Report

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c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
22 August 1945

CONFIDENTIAL

From: Commanding Officer, U.S.S. ICEFISH (SS367)
To: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.
Via: (1) Commander Submarine Division ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-TWO
(2) Commander Submarine Squadron SIXTEEN
(3) Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet
(4) Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet

Subject: U.S.S. ICEFISH, Report of War Patrol number Five.

Enclosure: (A) Subject report
(B) Track Chart (Comsubpac only)

1. Enclosure (A), covering the fifth war patrol of this vessel conducted in the HONG KONG area during the period 29 July 1945 to 22 August 1945, is forwarded herewith.

R.W. Peterson


(A) PROLOGUE

Arrived Fremantle, West Australia from fourth war patrol on 4 July 1945. Received a normal refit from Submarine Division 302 under the supervision of Submarine Squadron 30, from 5 July to 19 July 1945. Major items of repair were as follows: 20 mm. gun on after cigarette deck replaced by 40 mm. gun, directional APR installed, and silencer placed on the low pressure blower.

Training period was conducted from 20 July to 26 July 1945, including the following exercises: Battle surface firing, submerged and surface approaches and the firing of three MK14-3A and four MK27 torpedoes.

Loaded 28 July with fourteen MK14-3A torpedoes forward; five MK18-3 and five MK27 torpedoes aft. The ship was sound tested on 21 July, depermed 27 July and fumigated 28 July 1945. The following personnel changes were effected:

Lieutenant K.G. NICHOLS, U.S.N.R. was detached.
Seventeen enlisted men were transferred and seventeen reported aboard for duty.

(B) NARRATIVE

29 July

1433 (H) Underway from alongside U.S.S. CLYTIE with U.S.S. KRAKEN for fifth war patrol in accordance with ComTaskGroup 71.1 Operation Order 99-45.

1500 Fired battle surface practice.

1900 Held convoy attack exercise with U.S.S. KRAKEN on targets provided by Comsubron 30.

2200 Exercise completed, proceeding to area with U.S.S. KRAKEN, 5 miles to starboard. Held daily training dives, emergency drills, radar tracking exercises, and V.H.F. drills with KRAKEN, enroute LOMBOK STRAITS.


5 August

0623 Sighted unidentified aircraft, 085°T, range 4 miles. Submerged. (A.C. #2).

0638 Surfaced. All clear.

1434 Sighted large Javanese junk bearing 314°T on the horizon, closed to investigate. Boarding party reported nothing aboard except several sacks of dried fish full of maggots, and a crew of 10 frightened natives; presented them with a carton of cigarettes to soothe their nerves and proceeded. (S.C. #5).


7 August

0600 Completed transit of KARIMATA STRAITS.

1200 Position: Lat. 00-52S Long. 107-17E

1430 We are in vicinity of rendezvous between HARDHEAD, BUMPER and LAMPREY so transmitted to them over wolf pack giving our position.

1632 Sighted small vessel on the horizon bearing 349°T. Closed to investigate. The boat was an engine driven lugger, approximately 50 feet long, and displacing about 15 tons. The cargo consisted of building brick, rice and oil; enroute from SINGAPORE to BORNEO. In accordance with latest directives regarding safety of boat crews, took aboard the crew of five Chinese, two Malaccans, and one Jap. Another Jap jumped over the side rather than come aboard and was not seen again. (S.C. #8).

1720 Opened fire with 5 inch and both 40 mm. guns. Lugger caught fire and sank quickly. Expended 4 rounds 5 inch and 30 rounds 40 mm.

2042 Transmitted to C.T.F. 71 giving details of sinking and requesting rendezvous with HARDHEAD, who is just ahead of us enroute SUBIC, to transfer our prisoners.

2335 Received message from C.T.F. telling us to transfer prisoners to CROAKER upon arrival in area, or all but the Jap to any native craft.


11 August

0900 Sighted U.S.S. CROAKER bearing 040°T. Closed for rendezvous. (S.C. #10).

0950 Transferred our eight prisoners and mail to the CROAKER. Exchanged movies, a few needed supplies and received area information.

1200 Position: Lat. 20-44N Long. 112-43E

1500 Entered patrol area 165 miles southwest of HONG KONG.


12 August

2352 SDI radar contact bearing 027°T, range 2,650 yards. During the next hour and a half ten "pixie" contacts were obtained, at ranges from 1,800 to 4,200 yards. All contacts disappeared a few minutes after contacted. Must have been bird contacts under unusual atmospheric conditions.


15 August

1221 Received Alpoa 579 directing cessation of all offensive operations.


16 August

1740 Completed transit of LUZON STRAIT.


18 August

0800 During the day sighted and contacted on SD radar many friendly aircraft while crossing air routes between OKINAWA and the PHILIPPINES.


22 August

0530 (K) At rendezvous with escort, LCI 1062

1043 (K) Moored portside of U.S.S. Orion


HEALTH, FOOD, AND HABITABILITY

The quality of the food was excellent, especially the eggs and butter received in Fremantle. The preparation was only fair. The proficiency of the average submarine cook these days leaves much to be desired. We have no baker.

The eight prisoners taken were cleaned up, given clothes from the new Red Cross survivor kits, messed in the after torpedo room, and given the use of the maneuvering room head. One had syphilis and was isolated as far as was possible from all hands. They all kept very clean and worked hard, specially the two Eurasians who were excellent mess cooks and tackled their work with pride and gusto. The Japanese was kept incommunicado and was berthed in the after torpedo room.

MILES STEAMED -- FUEL USED

Fremantle to area . . . 4411 miles . . . 57,619 gals.
In area . . . 553 miles . . . 4,340 gals.
Area to SAIPAN . . . 2795 miles . . . 35,385 gals.

DURATION

Days enroute to area . . . 13
Days in area . . . 3
Days enroute to base . . . 8
Days submerged . . . 5 (to conserve fuel)


This patrol was characterized by lack of enemy contacts, air or surface. It was terminated as a result of Japanese overtures for peace, and was the last war patrol of the U.S.S. ICEFISH in World War II.


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