So it was then, as Shinano was proceeding to a safer port, she met Archerfish.
Shinano and her four escorts are still making 20 knots. The only break in their southerly course is the evasive zig-zag pattern they steer.
Archerfish, still in relentless pursuit, traveling a parallel course, is losing ground on her foe.
Commander Enright sends the following coded message to Pearl Harbor:
TO COMSUBPAC AND ALL SUBMARINES IN EMPIRE AREAS
AM PURSUING LARGE AIRCRAFT CARRIER FOUR DESTROYERS
POSITION 3230N LONG. 13745E
BASE COURSE 240 SPEED 20"
Pearl acknowledges and encourages Archerfish's pursuit.
The chase continues! Archerfish, giving all she can, is slowly falling behind. The target tracking party is plotting the enemy's zig-zag course. It is hoped Archerfish can overtake the Shinano by taking advantage of her evasive course. It's possible, but with Shinano making a steady 20 knots, not probable.
Slowly and surely, the target group slips from the grasp of Archerfish. At 11:00pm, Shinano and her escorts turn directly toward Archerfish! The Archerfish is only 6,000 yards away! She's too far away for a good firing position but close enough to be sighted by the enemy. Enright, fearing being spotted, but not wanting to dive Archerfish yet, orders the lookouts below. Valuable time will be lost if Archerfish has to dive before she gets good position on her target. The enemy fails to see Archerfish. As the destroyers turn away, Commander Enright calls the lookouts back to the bridge.
Now, shortly after midnight, Archerfish begins to slowly ease ahead of Shinano. She gains, but still she won't be able to get into firing position before dawn.
It seems as though an eternity passes as Archerfish struggles to maneuver into a good attack position. 03:00am, November 29. A break for Archerfish and her crew! Shinano and her escorts alter their course almost due South..........dead ahead of Archerfish!
"Right full rudder! Dive! Dive! Battle stations submerged!" Enright barks out the orders. Archerfish slides beneath the surface.