For Archerfish and crew, the greatest achievement was to come on their fifth war patrol, deep within enemy waters. In a few short moments she would break the back of Japanese air-sea power.
On October 31, 1944, Archerfish began her fifth patrol. Her crew was hungry for action. Since her first patrol, Archerfish had only one other enemy prize to her credit. An 800 ton Japanese coast-defense frigate had met death at the hands of Archerfish.
November 28, on what was beginning to seem like another uneventful effort, Archerfish was patrolling her assigned area South-east of Tokyo Bay. She, along with several other U.S. subs were assigned to form a lifeguard route from the Marianas Islands to Tokyo Bay. U.S. B-29 bombers were conducting air raids on Tokyo. The subs were to pick-up downed fliers if the need should arise.
Evening was approaching. Commanding Officer Joe Enright was ordering routine watch stations for the night. Archerfish, on the surface, her narrow bow cutting through the waves, was cruising on one of her four diesels. Her battery was being charged, air tanks being recharged and garbage dumped overboard in weighted bags. It seemed like another routine nightfall coming on.