USS Archer-Fish War Patrol #1
23 December 1943 to 15 February 1944
Report and Endorsements


("Click" on title below to advance to that section of Report.)

Patrol Report


Sailing List - Patrol #1

Patrol Report of U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH (SS-311)


c/o Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, Calif.
    15 February, 1944
From:   Commanding Officer, U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH.
To:   Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Via:   Commander Submarine Division Two Hundred and One.
Commander Submarine Squadron Four.
Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.

Subject:   U.S.S. Archer-Fish, Report of War Patrol Number One.

Enclosure:   (A) Subject report.
(B) Track Chart (To ComSubpac only).
  1. Enclosure (A), covering the first war patrol of this vessel conducted in the area bounded by Latitude 23N. to Latitude 26N and Longitude 130E to China coast during the period 23 December 1943 to 15 February 1944, is forwarded herewith.

    G. W. KEHL




Subject:   U.S.S. Archer-Fish (SS-311) - Report of First War Patrol.


•Arrived Pearl Harbor from East coast November 29, 1943. Voyage repairs by Submarine Base November 30 through December 3. Installed P.P.I. radar, four .50 cal. gun mounts on deck with two gun lockers and ready service ammunition lockers. Renewed two broken castings in universal joint of bow plane rigging shaft. Renewed broken casting in No. 8 torpedo tube outer door operating linkage in after trim tank. Ship given gray camouflage paint job. Training period December 4-18 extended through 20th to include convoy problem. Fired six MK XIV torpedoes and test firing of seven MK XVIII torpedoes. Sound listening test satisfactory. Not depermed nor wiped. Loading period 21-22 December.


December 23, 1943

1300 (VW) - Underway from Submarine Base, Paarl Harbor, T.H. for Midway in accordance with. ComTaskForce 17 Operation Order No. 308-43 escorted by PC-1078.

1515 (VW) - Made trim and deep dive satisfactorily.

1835 (W) - Released escort.

December 24, 1943

0820 (W) - Exchange recognition signals with PB2Y plane - came in low, out of sun, aft. Sighted at 14 miles. SD Radar contact at 8 miles. On westerly course. Made trim and training dives. Zig-zagging during day1ight.

1440 (W) - Exchanged recognition signals with PB2Y p1ane sighted 16 miles - SD contact at 10 miles. On easterly course.

December 25, 1943

Sea and wind making up from the north. Quite rough - Exchanged recognition signals with PB2Y plane, sighted at seven miles, SD contact at 5 miles. Had to put three engines on propulsion to make required speed good.

December 26, 1943

Wind and sea moderating. Made training dives. Found four degree negative temperature gradient at 300 ft. on which we stopped for about 8 minutes. Apparently could have sat there indefinitely.

December 27, 1943

0830 (X) - Rendezvous with Midway escort planes.

1100 (X) - Arrived SubBase, Midway, Took on 15,000 gallons fuel, topped off fresh provisions, caved in superstructure and deck plating forward around capstan repaired and strengthened. Conning tower depth gauge calibrated. Gray paint topside touched up, having been washed off by heavy seas.

1520 (Y) - Underway, departed Midway for patrol area.

1725 (Y) - Air escort departed, made trim dive.

December 29, 1943

0110 (M) - Crossed international date line - dropped December 28.

1328 (M) - Dived for SD plane contact at 8 miles - Plane sighted at 5 miles - Identified as Catalina - pulled flare, recognition signals not exchanged. Plane contact #1.

1400 (M) - Surfaced.

December 30, 1943

0710 (M) - Sighted floating object abeam at 500 yds. Lat. 27-56N; 172-53.5 E. Closed and determined to be floating mine. Fired two drums of 20 mm and two clips from Tommy gun at same with no effect. Mine about 30 inches in diameter with typical fittings.

January 1, 1944

1245 (L) - Sighted plane estimated range 11 miles, (Plane contact #2) elevation about 3 - No radar contact. Dived when plane at estimated 8 miles. Similar to NELL or SALLY. Position 27-55N;159-54E.

1356 (L) - Surfaced.

January 2-4, 1944

En route area, routine daily dive and training; making turns for 11.5 knots on one main engine; making good average of about 10 knots due to heavy seas from northwest to north.

January 5, 1944

0000 (K) - Went to two engine speed.

0408 (K) - SJ radar contact bearing 342(T) range 80,000 yards on Haha Shima Retto.

0655 (K) - Sighted Kita Io Shima bearing 217(T.). Estimated distance 50 miles Made trim dive.

0745 (K) - Surfaced. Slowed to one engine speed.

0856 (K) - Sighted masts with high periscope, bearing North, estimated range 20,000 yds. Closed to investigate. Made out sampan or fishing vessel; evaded on surface. Believe not sighted. Closest range about 14000 yds. Not contacted by radar.

1115 (K) - SD radar contact at 13½ miles. Dived when contact had closed to 8½ miles. Plane not sighted. Plane contact #3.

1200 (I) - Surfaced.

1411 (I) - SD radar contact at 8 miles. Dived.

1414 (I) - Two bombs - either small or not close. Plane not sighted. Plane contact #4.

1713 (I) - Surfaced.

January 7, 1944

0800 (I) - Arrived at position Lat. 25-55'N; Long. 133-07'E. Commenced station patrol four miles east and west of this point.

0900 (I) - Made trim dive - routined torpedoes.

1115 (I) - Surfaced.

1615 (I) - Made dive for BT card. Found gasket in hull flange of after engine room main induction blown in, partially, for a space of about 4 inches, causing an appreciable leak at deep submergence; If we have to stay deep for any period of time in quiet running, this may prove embarrassing.

1720 (I) - Surfaced.

2000 (I) - Departed above position. Set course 204 T speed 8 kts.

January 8, 1944

0800 (I) - Set course to entered area.

1925 (I) - Entered area. Headed west at 9 knots.

2015(I) - First Lieutenant and two men went into superstructure to examine leaking main induction flange. Found lose bolt in way of blown in section of gasket. Gasket is soft rubber. Believe it should be Consolco or at least canvas inserted rubber. Tightened up on lose bolt.

January 9, 1944

1530 (I) - Made deep dive for BT card and to check main induction leak. The latter about the same as yesterday.

January 10, 1944

2213 (H) - Made landfall with SJ radar on Northeast coast of Formosa bearing 310(T.) range 80,000 yards.

January 11, 1944

0408 (H) - Sighted Samucho Kaku Light bearing 320(T.) estimated distance 22 miles. Apparently burning at full intensity but showing a steady white light.

0443 (H) - Sighted Kuasoan To Island, bearing 270(T.), 12 miles.

0604 (H) - Dived, working up east coast of Formosa; planning to patrol for a few days in the vicinity of Hoka Sho Light. Making 20 minute periscope observations running at 90 ft.

1400 (H) - Sighted smoke bearing 2400(T.) in direction of land - Bearing changing to right. Came to normal approach course. Not sighted again.

1456 (H) - Sighted large transport or bomber plane bearing 3250(T.) Estimated range 6 miles; heading for Formosa. Plane contact No.5.

1815 (H) Surfaced. Commenced patrolling a 20 mile line east and west 15 miles north of Hoka Sho Light.

2351 (H) - SJ radar contact at 12,000 yds. commenced tracking and approach. Closed to 8,000 yards and made out some sort of patrol or escort craft circling on station about 16 miles NNW of Hoka Sho Light, probably similar to PC. Partially overcast, full moon overhead, We apparently not sighted. Hauled out to keep range over 10,000 yet maintain radar contact in the hope that he was waiting for someone larger. He slowly drifted away to westward. He was not worth a torpedo. Ship contact No.2.

January 12, 1944

0200 (H) - Lost radar contact with patrol boat at 14,000 yards. Resumed patrol.

0610 (H) - Dived. Continued patrolling east and west, north of Hoka Sho Light, making periscope observations every 20 minutes, running at 90 ft.

1752 (H) - Surfaced. Patrolled same line as last night.

January 13, 1944

0210 (H) - Master gyro out of commission.

0307 (H) - Gyro back in commission but not settled on meridian.

0617 (H) - Dived for the day. Sea calm enough to remain at periscope depth today with continuous periscope watch.

1419 (H) - Sighted two large planes bearing west, heading south, estimated range 20 miles - not identified.
Plane contact No. 6.

180I (H) - Surfaced. SJ radar not operating properly. Put SJ out of commission to renew Magnetron and return. Radar officer and technician spent the night repairing connection link between wave meter and transmitters which was broken. Master gyro follow-up system still undependable after being worked on all day by gyro electricians. Patrolled same line as last two nights.

January 14, 1944

0614 (H) - Dived for the day. SJ radar still inoperative. Will work it over during the day and hope that it will function tonight. Will also replace master gyro follow-up motor with spare, whose base has to be redrilled for attaching and securing bolts. Heavier seas have built up making depth control at periscope depth slightly precarious. Making periodic periscope observations.

1739 (H) - Surfaced - SJ radar operative - Patrolling same area.

January 15, 1944

0616 (H) - Dived. Commenced replacing follow-up head of master gyro. Very heavy swells from NNE, could not work on gyro on surface.

1743 (H) Surfaced, having made periscope observations every 30 minutes during the day. Broached twice. Visibility very poor with continuous rain. Believe sound would pick up contacts before periscope. Patrolled area north of Hoka Sho Light during the night. Master gyro and follow-up system apparently back in commission and working satisfactorily though no azimuth since 9th. Found grit in grease in ball race in follow-up head.

January 16,1944

0624 (H) - Dived. Same heavy seas and poor visibility as has existed for three days.

1153 (H) - Surfaced. Closed Hoka Sho Light to get a good radar fix and then headed down east coast of Formosa, hoping to change our luck with a change in locale. Wanted to move over to Turnabout Light and China coast but consider it inadvisable with present storm, heavy seas, and continuous overcast. No stars or sun sights would have been possible since we made landfall on Formosa on January 10th. Will patrol to eastward of Formosa. Doubt if torpedoes would run properly with depth setting less than 15 feet in the seas we are and have been having.

January 17, 1944

Patrolling on surface, heading to eastward, planning to patrol off Miyako Shima for a few days.

January 18, 1944

0105 (H) - SJ - radar contact at 7000 yards. Ship contact No. 3, attack No. 1. Heavy seas from N.E., heavy overcast, intermittent rain squalls. Commenced radar tracking; determined target course 170 (T) speed 7. Kept range around 8,000 while working up ahead.

0240 (H) - Ahead of target with course and speed checking right on. Went to battle stations and commenced approach. Visibility about 2,000 yards. Planned to fire stern tubes on a 90 port track, 1,500 to 2,000 yards range, using three torpedoes, When range had. closed to 4,000 yards, radar "pip" was so large, 1½ inches, decided to use four torpedoes.

0320 (H) - Commenced firing stern tubes with set up as planned except range greater due to necessity of keeping fair steerageway in heavy sea in order to maintain small silhouette. Wanted to use 6 foot depth setting since target had not been sighted, but felt. that 10 ft. setting was the least that torpedoes could be expected to run in this sea. Four torpedoes tracked out normally by sound.

0323-20 (H) - Two almost simultaneous explosions.

0325 (H) - Two more explosions. Nothing seen. Shortly after attack, the following picked up on 500 Kcs.:

SSS 0 51 06 274 10 BT N
CQ DE F0R 1718 0 AR
17103 C SSS SSS

Radioman says this not from our target as it was very weak and appears to be of British origin. 0pened range to 8,000 yards and started working up ahead again. Target headed to westward for awhile and then came back to 170 speed 7.

0552 (H) - Dived, on track of target, 12,000 yards ahead Made reload aft. When range had closed to 9,000 yards on TDC commenced hearing pinging on 16 Kcs. from bearing of target. This was the first time pinging was heard and we had been listening since initial radar contact. Were able to stay at periscope depth at speed. Radar depth out of the question. Decided that he was some sort of escort craft and that torpedoes had missed by under-running. Unable to pick up target in periscope, screws not heard. His course was apparently taking him to Irimote Jima

1815 (H) - Surfaced with range indicator unit of SJ radar out of commission. P.P.I. scope operative.

2145 (H) - SJ radar contact (P.P.I. scope) on land at estimated 68,000 yds.

January 19, 1944

0915 (H) - SD radar contact at 32 miles. Plane contact No. 7. Dived when contact had closed to 9 miles. Routined torpedoes and worked on range unit of SJ radar.

1354 (H) - Surfaced. SJ radar back in commission and working fine.

January 20, 1944

1410 (H) - SD radar contact on plane at 10 miles. Plane contact No. 8. Dived when contact had closed in to 9 miles. Our diving time is considerably increased by heavy seas. Plane not sighted. Rain is changing from continuous to frequent. We hope the weather is going to break at last. Routined torpedoes.

1605 (H) Surfaced.

January 21, 1944

0940 (H) - SD radar contact on plane at 18 miles. Plane contact No. 9. Range increased to 21 miles and faded out. Sea moderating. Weather appears to be improving. Rain squalls less frequent.

1133 (H) - Lookout sighted large plane bearing 075(T.), low altitude heading in, estimated range 8 to 10 miles. As diving alarm sounded SD radar contact at 8 miles. Plane contact No. l0. Routined torpedoes.

1430 (H) - Surfaced. Rain and overcast still with us. Decided to head back to Hoka Sho vicinity and work over into Straits of Formosa, remaining submerged tomorrow during daylight so no possibility of detecting us.

2023 (H) - Started tracking and approach on SJ radar contact at 18,200 yds. Believe contact is secondary "pip" on Uotsurì Shima Island, but tracking to make sure.

2048 (H) Secured from approach and tracking.

January 22, 1944

0606 (H) - Dived for the day. Running at 100 ft., making periscope observations every 30 minutes at 2/3 speed to prevent broaching.

1800 (H) - Surfaced.

2142 (H) - SJ radar contact bearing 0110 (T), range 24,000yds. Ship contact No. 4; attack No. 2. Commenced tracking and approach Determined contact to be 4 large and 3 smaller ships on base course 215 (T). speed 14 - zigzagging. They seemed to be heading to hug the west coast of Formosa. In attempting to determine his zig plan we almost let them get by completely. It worked out to be 190 to 240 possibly constant helm. Came in for 120 track on nearest large ship which appeared to be second in column of vary lose and wide column of open order with one smaller ship patrolling ahead, one on stbd. side and the other astern. Planned to let this one have four from forward and swing to fire four from stern at rear ship.

2341-10 (H) - Commenced firing. Target appeared to be on left limit of zig and starting back to his right. Best consensus of opinion on target appearance is as fallows: Clipper bow, flush deck, cruiser stern; squat stack amidships atop possible deck houses, mast forward and aft of stack; length about 600 feet; tonnage 8,000 to 10,000. "Long, Low and smooth."

2342-40 (H) - Terrific explosion which shook this ship and blast from which was felt by all hands on the bridge. Lookout who was staying on this ship reported he disappeared several minutes after this hit or hits. Believe he was either a warship and we got his magazine or a large Maru loaded with explosives.

After four torpedoes were fired commenced swinging to right through 180 degrees. Before we got around gunfire commenced.

2348 (H) - Decided they were getting too close. Dived. Rigged for depth charge and silent running. Had a bad few minutes when we broached due to shifting to hand power on bow and stern planes to soon. Finally got down to 250 ft. after flooding 6000 lbs. extra into negative to get through a five degree negative temperature gradient between 100 and 140 ft. We figured we had 45 to 50 fathoms of water. We had celebrated the first anniversary of our keel laying in right smart fashion.

2357-30 (H) - First of a pattern of six depth charges, the fourth being quite close but no damage.

January 23, 1944

0012 (H) - One depth charge, not close.

0018 (H) - Two depth charges, closer than last one.

0104-10 (H) - Two depth charges, farther than last ones.

0130 (H) - Came up to 100 feet above temperature gradient to listen.

0208 (H) - Surfaced. Set course to pass north of Hoka Sho Light and patrol east coast of Formosa, having decided there was no chance of overtaking this group. Sent no contact report as no one in area to south of us to best of our knowledge.

0603 (H) - Dived for the day, 15 miles north west of Hoka Sho.

1757 (H) - Surfaced.

2130 (H) - Commenced trying to get Archer-Fish Serial No. One off to ComSubPac.

January 24, 1944

0400 (H) - Got receipt for Serial No. One from ComSubPac.

0610 (H) - Dived for day off Samucho Kaku Light.

1800 (H) - Surfaced.

January 25, 1944

0628 (H) - Sighted smoke on horizon to North. Closed on four engines. Ship Contact No. 5. Made out two Marus through periscope.

0639 (H) - Dived as it got lighter range about 25,000 yds. and continued on it at periscope depth. Everything looked good, small angle on bow, no escorts nor planes sighted. Target speed 8 to l0 knots.

0700 (H) - Two ships started zig-zagging, simultaneous turns, base course 2l5T, between 190 and 240 about every nine minutes. Came to normal approach course and ran at standard except for observations.

0804 (H) - Had bow tubes ready but closest range was 3,500 yds. This would have been a good spot for MK 18 torpedoes. Decided to open out from coast as it was a clear day, the whole of Formosa in sight at 7 miles, make an end around and try again. The ships were smoking coal burners of about 3000 and 4000 tons. Pulled torpedoes from tubes forward to check them. These ships were apparently heading down east coast of Formosa.

1155 (H) - Surfaced and commenced end around on four engines. Had planned to surface an hour sooner but spent the hour getting the SD to working properly. Felt pretty sure these babies would have air cover since there were no surface escorts. Knew they would be hugging the coast so headed down about 15 miles off the coast of Formosa for a night attack. Made no sight contact as visibility very poor in direction of land; could see only tops of peaks Formosa. It had become overcast and hazy since early morning.

1800 (H) - Slowed and commenced closing coast. Will close to 5 miles an then head up the coast.

1914 (H) - Made radar contact with two vessels, which were hugging the coast very closely, just rounding San Seadai Light, range 11,000 yards. Commenced tracking and approach, went up ahead to a spot which offered deep water close up to the beach. As range closed, it became apparent that these were not our same two vessels of the morning. One of them could have been but the other was an escort as evidenced by its much smaller radar "pip" and as later events proved. The escort was on the port bow of target, seaward side, at about 700 yards.

2058-35 (H) - Commenced firing four bow tubes at range of 2100 yards, 85 port track, small gyro angle, 8 ft. depth setting, 8 second interval, 2 degree divergent spread at large "pip." Target and escort not sighted prior to firing due to dark land background. However, they had a pretty fair horizon behind us. As soon as we fired came right at flank speed to 070 which put Kasho To Island on our starboard beam at 18 miles, opened out from the coast, and put target and escort abaft port beam. No hits screen nor heard, no end of run explosions heard.

2101 (H) - Escort opened up with 3 to 4 inch gun, but did not seem to be on us, about the time we steadied on our course. Had made stern tubes ready during turn but decided not to fire as things looked fishy, and range too great. Escort was sighted during turn and tentatively identified as "catcher" type patrol boat similar to our PC boats. Decided to get out of that bight and continue on at best speed into a head sea which sent showers of phosphorescent spray into the air. At least our chaser would be hampered in his shooting by an unstable platform. His gun could be seen and heard up to 10,000 yards but no splashes seen. Thought I heard one. Range opened slowly at first but later rapidly and he was tracked out on about course 100. He fired a total of about 15 rounds.

2103 (H) The following copied on 500 Kcs.:

D22 56 2119 AAA 252 20 AAA TZ KA
AAA TZ C KA 3 TDD IU XTA 2256 2119
2124 SN 2123 AAA XAW

He agreed fairly well with our position.

2250 (H) - Lost radar contact at about 14,000 yds. Those two vessels were about 2 to 3000 yards off the beach with torpedo run of about 2,000 yards. so that there might be four MK XIV-3A torpedoes ashore in Formosa. Decided we'd made the western part of our area hot enough in the last few days so continued eastward. Do not understand why we missed unless sea was too rough for 8 ft. depth setting. Both plot and TDC agreed on course and speed. Spread was enough to cover three target lengths and give one hit if target was 200 ft. or more. Target was estimated at about 4000 tons from radar pip. Possibly the torpedoes under-ran the target.

January 26, 1944

Ran submerged today to reload, routine torpedoes, rest up, and avoid having SD radar DF'd during our change in locality

January 27, 1944

Patrolling on surface. Discovered trainers seat on deck gun missing. Probably worked loose and carried away while heading into heavy seas during the night of January 25th.

1153 (H) - SD radar contact at 6 miles and sighted plane bearing 130 relative at same time. Dived. Plane identified as Mavis Plane contact No. 11.

1201 (H) - Large depth bomb sounded like overhead. Shook the boat, some. paint knocked off. Believe that this bomb was not close but that it was a "block-buster" since it went off eight minutes after we dived. Were leveled off at 150 ft. having changed course 90. Went to 300 ft. and rigged for depth charge. No damage. Indications are that they direction find or home on our SD radar when we run on the surface during daylight, even though we always run it intermittently; i.e., on for five seconds out of thirty seconds. Remained submerged until dusk.

1757 (H) - Surfaced. Have decided to patrol eastern half of area during the remaining week in the area, since we have spent no time there. Will patrol on the surface except after an all night run toward and in the vicinity of the island chain to the north. Any traffic near those islands would probably have air escort from the islands and a plane sighting would put us down and divert traffic.

January 28, 1944

0611 (H) - Made trim dive.

0638 (H) - Surfaced, patrolling on surface.

January 29, 1944

0552 (H) - Dived for the day.

1743 (H) - Surfaced.

1829 (H) - Sighted loom of searchlights on Okinawa Shima, distant about 40 miles. They played around for about 30 minutes.

January 30, 1944

0548 (H) - Dived for the day.

1741 (H) - Surfaced.

January 31, 1944

0548 (H) - Made trim dive.

0624 (H) - Surfaced. Patrolling on surface.

February 1, 1944

0545 (H) - Dived for the day.

1735 (H) - Surfaced.

February 2, 1944

0544 (H) - Made trim dive.

0614 (H) - Surfaced. Patrolling on surface.

February 3, 1944

0549 (H) - Dived for the day.

1739 (H) - Surfaced.

February 4, 1944

0558 (H) - Made trim dive.

0628 (H) - Surfaced. Patrolling on surface.

February 5, 1944

0600 (H) - Dived for the day.

1734 (H) - Surfaced. Started working eastward toward departure point.

February 6, 1944

0649 (I) - Made trim dive.

0736 (I) - Surfaced.

1630 (I) - Departed area in accordance with operation order.

2145 (I) - SJ radar contact on Rasa Island bearing 020 (T) 27,150 yards.

2330 (I) - Sent Archer-Fish Serial No. Two to ComSubPac via San Francisco.

February 7, 1944

0636 (I) - Made trim dive.

0656 (I) - Surfaced.

February 8, 1944

0610 (I) - Made trim dive.

0629 (I) - Surfaced.

0740 (I) - Decoded ComSubPac 072131 to Archer-Fish.

0805 (I) - Dived for the day. Decided to remain submerged to avoid detection by Bonin based planes.

1752 (I) - Surfaced. SJ radar contact on Kito Io Shima Island bearing 125 (T), distance about 40 miles.

February 11-13, 1944

Riding out storm from Northwest

February 15, 1944

0850 (X) - Contacted Midway escort planes.

1048 (X) - Moored Midway.


• En route to and from area, weather was generally good with some periods of heavy seas and swells from the northwest. Medium storm February 11-13. In eastern part of area, weather was generally good. The western part of area, especially in vicinity of Formosa, was continuously overcast with rain squalls and generally poor visibility, usually improving at night. During the period from January 10 to January 24, no sun nor star sights were obtainable.

• During the entire patrol the sea was rough to rougher, usually with heavy swells which made periscope observations precarious. There were only three or four days when the sea was calm.

Tidal Information:

• Currents encountered in the Japan Stream were weaker and set more to the northward than shown on the charts, undoubtedly due to the state of the sea (ENE, average force 5). The average set observed was 030 T with a drift of about 1.2 knots.

• To the northward of Hoka Sho and to the eastward of Menka Sho the current set appeared to shift about an hour and a half after high and low water at Kirun Ko with a set of 350 T drift eight tenths of a knot during ebb.

Navigational Aids:

• The following navigational lights were noted in the area:

(1) Samucho Kaku Light - Fixed white, visible 29 miles. This light appeared to be in a group of four or five dimmer white lights.

(2) Poitau Kaku Light - Apparently normal characteristics.

(3) Hoka Sho Light - Flashing white every 14 sec. usually visible about 15 miles. On night attack on convoy, intensity of light appeared to be increased giving it a greater range.

(4) San Sendai Light - Group flashing (2), white, every 7 sec. visible at least 12 miles.

(5) Taito Ko Light - believed sighted during attack of night of January 25 at about 13 miles but characteristics not observed.

(6) Kasho To Light - showed normal characteristics during night of January 25th.

• Navigation in the western part of the area would have been impossible without the SJ radar, which kept us out of trouble. The PPI scope was an aid In identifying peaks, points, etc.

Ship Contacts:

1. Operating on the surface on the morning of 5 January, in the area of 26-04'N / 141-25'E, a Sampan was sighted through the periscope at an initial estimated range of 20,000 yards, on an estimated course of 140 Time of initial contact was 0856(K). Closed to about 14,000 yards to establish identity, then opened; not able to pick up with SJ.

2. Operating on the surface on the night of 11 January, at 2351(H), radar picked up a small patrol or escort vessel at a range of 12,000 yards. The contact appeared to be circling in the area of 25-45'N / 121-50'E. Closed on surface to 8,000 yards in bright moonlight. Determined identity; then opened, but maintained radar contact in the event he was waiting for something larger.

3. Operating on the surface on the night of 18 January, at 0105(H), radar picked up what appeared to be a single ship at a range of 7,000 yards in the area of 25-29'N / 123-43'E. Estimated course of target was 170 at 7 knots. Commenced attack No.1.

4. Operating on the surface on the night of 22 January, at 2142(H), radar detected a convoy of four (4) large and three(3) small ships at a range of 2,400 yards. Their Estimated course was 215 at a speed of 14 knots, in the area of 25-45'N / 121-24'E. Commenced attack No.2.

5. Operating on the surface on the morning of 25 January, at 0628(H), the lookouts spotted two (2) medium size Marus on an estimated course of 215 at 9 knots. This was in the area of 24-19'N / 122-06'E. Initial range to the targets was estimated (smoke) to be 30,000 yards. Started approach; broke off when closest range 3,500 yards.

6. Operating on the surface on the night of 25 January, at 1914(H), radar made contact with one (1) Maru and one (1) escort vessel in the vicinity of 23-06'N / 121-30'E. Their estimated course and speed was 210 at 9½ knots at a range of 11,000 yards. Commenced attack No.3.

Plane Contacts:

1. Operating on the surface on the afternoon of 29 December, at 1328(M), radar indicated an aircraft at 8 miles on a heading of 100 in the area of 27-56'N / 172-53.5'E. Plane identified as a PBY. Pulled flare. Dived when plane continued heading in.

2. Operating on the surface on the afternoon of 1 January, at 1245(L), the lookouts spotted a plane at 200 with an estimated range of 11 miles. We were in the vicinity of 27-55'N / 159-54'E. It was either a Nell or a Sally. Dived when plane appeared to head toward us at about 8 miles.

3. Operating on the surface on the morning of 5 January, at 1115(K), radar indicated a plane in the vicinity of 25-56'N / 140-41'E, at a range of 13½ miles. Not sighted; dived when range closed to 8½ miles.

4. Operating on the surface on the afternoon of 5 January, at 1411(I), radar indicated a plane in the vicinity of 25-55'N / 140-20'E, at a range of 8 miles. Dived on radar contact. Not sighted. Two bombs - small or not close - 3 minutes after diving. Were leveled off at 175 feet.

5. Operating submerged in the vicinity of 25-22'N /122-15'E, on the afternoon of 11 January, at 1456(H), a large bomber or transport was spotted through the periscope; range 6 miles; course 235.

6. Operating submerged in the vicinity of 25-50'N /122-05'E, on the afternoon of 13 January, at 1419(H), spotted two large unidentified planes through the periscope; range 20 miles; course 130.

7. Operating on the surface on the morning of 19 January, at 0915(H), radar indicated a plane in the vicinity of 25-08'N / 122-48'E, at a range of 32 miles. Not sighted; dived when range closed to 9 miles.

8. Operating on the surface on the afternoon of 20 January, at 1410(H), radar indicated a plane in the vicinity of 24-15'N / 122-54.5'E, at a range of 10 miles. Not sighted; dived when range closed to 9 miles.

9. Operating on the surface on the morning of 21 January, at 0940(H), radar indicated a plane in the vicinity of 25-16'N / 124-09'E, at a range of 18 miles. Range increased to 21 miles and faded out.

10. Operating on the surface on the morning of 21 January, at 1133(H), lookout sighted an aircraft similar to a Nell, in the vicinity of 25-24.5'N / 124-14'E. Radar indicated a 9 mile range to the plane, which was on an estimated course of 255. Plane was sighted by lookout before radar contact.

11. Operating on the surface on the morning of 27 January, at 1153(H), lookout and radar simultaneously sighted a Mavis aircraft in the vicinity of 23-51'N / 124-53'E. Radar indicated a 6 mile range to the plane, which was on an estimated course of 060. Dropped one large overhead.


• No mining activity nor minefields were observed. A floating mine was observed in Lat. 27-56' North, Long. 172-53 East about 30 inches in diameter and apparently with hones. 120 rounds of 2 mm and 40 rounds of .45 cal. ammunition expended at ranges of about 250 to 500 yards with no visible affect.

Attack Data:

1. Torpedo Attack No. 1, Patrol No. 1:

• Commenced night-surface-radar attack at 0320(H), 18 January 1944, on a single ship in very rough seas with heavy swells from N.E., with heavy overcast and intermittent rain squalls. Visibility 2,000 yards; the target was never seen.

• Fired four Mark 14-3A torpedoes (from tubes #7, #8, #9, #10) at eight second intervals, with depth settings of 10 ft. The Mark VI-IA exploders were set to explode on contact. All torpedoes ran hot, straight, and normal; all missed.

• Torpedoes probably under-ran the target. Target later heard pinging, indicating that it was some sort of shallow draft escort vessel. Seas too rough for less depth setting. It is to be noted that first two torpedoes exploded 1½ minutes before the last two. Their time of run took them past the target, but may have been set off by heavy seas.

• An end-around run was made for an early morning attack, but no further contact except by sound was made.

2. Torpedo Attack No. 2, Patrol No. 1:

• Commenced night-surface-radar attack at 2341(H), 22 January 1944, on one of large ships of a convoy of four large and three small ships. Target seen as a dim outline shortly before firing - other ships not seen. Very dark night, overcast with intermittent rain squalls. Sea quite rough with swells from N.E. Visibility about 3,000 yards.

• Fired four Mark 14-3A torpedoes (from tubes #3, #4, #5, #6) at eight second intervals, with depth settings of 8 ft. The Mark VI-IA exploders were set to explode on contact. All torpedoes ran hot, straight, and normal. One hit, one possible, and two misses.

• Target zig-zagging on base course 215 between 190 and 240, 3 to 4 minute legs. Was on 190 at firing but believe he was starting to turn to 240 during torpedo run. Target blew up with a terrific explosion which shook this ship and blast which was very strong on the bridge, leaving a huge pall of black smoke. Target length estimated at 600 ft. from binocular formula and time of torpedo run. Estimated tonnage 8,000 - 10,000. Ship was characterized by two officers and one lookout who saw him as "long, low, and smooth". Counter attack was immediate with fairly close gunfire which drove us down. Kept down for 2½ hours. Took 11 depth charges, first series being closest. No damage.

3. Torpedo Attack No. 3, Patrol No. 1:

• Commenced night-surface-radar attack at 2058(H), 25 January 1944, on estimated 4,000 ton ship (not sighted) accompanied by one escort which was 700 yards on his port bow. Target was skirting the coast of Formosa about 2 to 3 thousand yards off shore. Very dark night. Visibility toward Formosa less than 200 yards. Overcast. Quite rough sea from N.E.

• Fired four Mark 14-3A torpedoes (from tubes #1, #2, #3, #4) at eight second intervals, with depth settings of 8 ft. The Mark VI-IA exploders were set to explode on contact. All torpedoes ran hot, straight, and normal; all missed.

• Do not understand misses unless torpedoes under-ran target. Plot and TDC checked with each other on target course and speed. Possibly rough sea caused erratic runs. If target length was at least 200 ft. should have gotten one hit with three target length coverage.

Anti-Submarine Measures and Evasion Tactics:

• The depth bomb dropped by the four engine flying boat on 27 January, which exploded eight minutes after we started the dive (there was no delay) was either a "block-buster" or he could see us at 150 feet and had laid it close. It was a bright sunny midday with slight surface chop.

Major Defects and Damage:

1. Leaking gasket in hull flange of after engine room main induction. This soft rubber gasket was pushed in for a space of 3 or 4 inches and caused an appreciable leak. After it was discovered, deep submergence was avoided whenever possible to avoid aggravating the leak. The flange bolts were tightened but this did not correct the situation. The blueprints show pressed asbestos gaskets throughout the main induction piping. Main induction flange gaskets should be replaced with pressed asbestos (Consolco) and the piping made tight.

2. Hydraulic oil leak in normal power steering piping in crew's dinette at silver soldered joint which is inaccessible in maze of piping.

3. Inter-cooler between third and fourth stages of starboard H.P. air compressor developed air leak due to vibration. Replaced with only spare and leaking intercooler brazed.

4. H.P. air compressor motors developed high ground readings four times. Twice on each one. Required renewal of affected field coils with only spare and drying out of grounded coil so that it could be used again. Believe moisture enters motor case via shaft opening, which has no bearing nor packing.

5. Much trouble was experienced with master gyro. The difficulty was finally determined to be in the follow-up system, but not corrected until the entire the entire follow-up head was removed and disassembled when a ball race was discovered to be binding due to dirty grease. After this was cleaned up, no more trouble was experienced.

6. Developed low voltage and gravity in cell #119 in forward battery.

7. Upper conning tower hatch leaked on submerging until pressure seated it. It was found that one of the dogs was loose but when this was adjusted to take up with the other two, the leak was worse. Hatch seat and hatch should be checked for warping, gasket renewed and hatch made tight.

8. H.P. air compressor valve plates and springs became a problem. Complete allowance of spares has never been received. Most of the spares were used prior to return to base. In some cases the valve springs would break near the end where they had been ground down in manufacture to make a flat surface; this small piece would nick or crack the valve plate. In other cases the valve plate would crack radially for no apparent reason, indicating brittleness or improper material. Complete allowance of spares should be provided.


• Radio reception was generally good. On some nights atmospheric conditions and Jap interference were such that several schedules were required to fill out messages from repeats. Six serials missed.


• Radar results were excellent. There were no major casualties. The radar officer and radar technician spent much time in keeping the sets at optimum operating efficiency and adjustment. SJ motor generator has never been satisfactory in that it's voltage output is unstable. Our present one is the second that has been installed in an attempt to correct this condition. We take A.C. power from the I.C. motor generator and keep the SJ motor generator as a standby.

• The SJ Radar and P.P.I. scope proved invaluable as an aid to navigation around the islands in our area under the weather conditions experienced.

• We made it a practice to watch the P.P.I. scope and about every 10 minutes make a careful hand training sweep watching the SJ range indicator scope.

Sound Gear and Sound Conditions:

• In general sound conditions seemed good. Much fish noises were heard and at one time an inexperienced operator reported screws and got a turn count on what proved to be croaking fish. An echo range of 3500 yards was obtained on the approach in the early morning of January 25th, east of Formosa.

Density Layers:

1. Date: 27 December 1943.

Time: 0127 CCT
Lat. 29-00'N Long. 174-00'W.
Five degree negative temperature gradient between 300 and 380 feet. We sat on top of this layer stopped for about eight minutes.

2. Date: 22 January 1944.

Time: 1548 GCT
Lat. 25-45'N Long. 121-24'E.
Five degree gradient between 100 and 200 feet.

• Deep submergence was not accomplished daily because of leak in main induction, which, it was feared, would be aggravated by recurring strain.

Health, Food, and Habitability:

• The health of the crew was good. All ailments were minor.

• Food was excellent and well prepared. The food mixer obtained and installed in Pearl Harbor was a great aid in making good bread and cake.

• Habitability in the ship was good. No extremes of temperature were encountered. CO2 got up around two percent during all day dives.

• A summary of cases requiring medical attention is as follows:

    No. of Cases   Days Lost
Constipation   37   0
Catarrhal Fever   2   0
Minor Injuries (burns, lacerations)   11   6*
Headache   36   0
Pediiculosis   4   0
Fungus Infection - Feet   6   0
Hemorrhoids   1   0
Ear Ache   2   0
Toothache   3   0

*One man on sick list due accidental knife flesh wound in leg requiring two stitches.


• This was the first war patrol for the ship, the commanding officer, and over half of the officers and crew. All hands answered every call made upon them with a will which was gratifying and which was strictly in keeping with United States Naval tradition and the spirt of America.

Miles Steamed - Fuel Used:

Pearl to Midway           1,214 miles           14,810 gallons
Midway to Area           2,990 miles           21,780 gallons
In Area           3,666 miles           28,770 gallons
Area to Midway           2,863 miles           39,450 gallons


Days en route to area:             15
Days in area:             28
Days en route to base:             10
Days submerged:             19

Factors of Endurance Remaining:

Torpedoes         Fuel         Provisions         Personnel Factor
12                   20 days         20 days
Limiting factor this patrol: Fuel


• Bad weather in the Formosa area was a great handicap. The eastern part of the area is apparently entirely devoid of shipping.

• We have "black-lighting" for night lighting in TDC. It has proved satisfactory. Illumination of range scale could be better.

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Serial 046

  Care of Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California.
16 February 1944.

FIRST ENDORSEMENT to U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH Report of First War patrol.

From:   The Commander Submarine Division SIXTY-ONE.
To:   The Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Via:   (1) Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, Subordinate Command.
(2) Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
(3) Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Subject:   U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH - Report of First War Patrol.

1. Twenty-eight days of this fifty-three day patrol were spent in the assigned area in the vicinity of northern Formosa. This was the first War Patrol of the ARCHER-FISH and also the first for her Commanding Officer and many of the crew.

2. That part of the area to the westward of Formosa was not patrolled because the Commanding Officer believed that weather conditions were unfavorable for navigation in that shallow water area. Four contacts were made on suitable torpedo targets and three attacks were made. Bad weather handicapped the patrol.

3. Attack summary:

  • Attack No. 1 - This was a night surface attack, made on and unseen target at a range of 2575 yards. The sea was rough so torpedos were set to run at 10 feet. Four torpedos missed, probably by running under since later indications were that this was a patrol vessel. An end-around run was made for an early morning attack but no further contact except by sound was made.
  • Attack No. 2 - In a night surface attack on a 4 ship convoy with 3 escorts, four torpedoes were fired at a range of 2630 yards. One and possibly two hits were made and the target apparently exploded. After the attack, gunfire forced the ARCHER-FISH to submerge and take her first depth charging.
  • Attack No. 3 - After making and end-around run on two ships unescorted, contact was lost with these ships. Another ship with one escort was contacted after dark and a surface attack made with four torpedoes at 2100 yards, target not sighted. All missed. Causes of misses are unknown.

4. Material condition is excellent. All repairs will be made in normal refit.

5. The Commanding Office, officers and crew are congratulated on the creditable completion of their First War Patrol. It is hoped that the experience gained will lead to greater successes on future patrols. It is recommended that the ARCHER-FISH be credited with the following damage to the enemy:


1 - Freighter (Unidentified) 8,000 tons.

    C. C. Smith
Copy to: C.O., ARCHER-FISH  

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Serial 037   Care of Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.,
17 February 1944,

SECOND ENDORSEMENT to U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH Report of First War Patrol.

From:   The Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, Subordinate Command.
To :   The Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Via :   (1) The Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
(2) The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Subject:   U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH - Report of First War Patrol.
  • Forwarded, concurring with the remarks and recommendation described in the first endorsement.
Copy to: ComSubDiv-61

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Serial 0384


  Care of Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California,
24 February 1944.


From:   The Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
To :   The Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Via :   The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Subject:   U.S.S. ARCHER-FISH (SS-3I1) - Report of First War Patrol
(23 December 1943 to 15 February 1944).

1. The first war patrol of the ARCHER-FISH was the first for the new Commanding Officer. The patrol was conducted in the area in vicinity of Formosa.

2. Four contacts were made worthy of torpedoes, and three of these were aggressively attacked.

3. The efficiency of the patrol was handicapped by unusually severe weather, which undoubtedly cut down area coverage.

  • This patrol is designated as not successful for Combat Insignia Award.
  • The Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, congratulates the Commanding Officer, officers, and crew for having inflicted the following damage upon the enemy:


1 - Passenger-Freighter (class unknown) - 9,000 tons (Attack #2).

    C. A. LOCKWOOD, Jr.
Distribution and authentication on following page.    

(Page 2)

Serial 0384


  Care of Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California,
24 February 1944.


Cominch   (5)
CNO   (5)
Cincpac   (6)
Intel. Cen. Pac. Ocean Areas   (1)
Comservpac (Adv. Base Plan. Unit)   (1)
Cinclant   (2)
Comsubslant   (8)
S/M School, NL   (2)
Comsopac   (2)
Comsowespac   (1)
Comsubsowespac   (2)
CTF 72   (2)
Comnorpac   (1)
Comsubspac   (40)
SUBAD, MI   (2)
ComsubspaoSubordcom   (3)
All Squadron and Division
Commanders, Subspac
Comsubstrainpac   (2)
All Submarines, Subspac   (1)
    E. L. HYNES, 2nd.,
Flag Secretary.

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George William KEHL, Commander, USN

James Seerley CLARK, Lieut-Cmdr., USN

Sigmund Albert BOBCZYNSKI, Lieutenant, USN

William Henry CRAWFORD Jr., Lieutenant, USN

Clark Kelly SPRINKLE, Lieutenant, USNR

Romolo COUSINS, Lieutenant (jg), USNR

John Kneeland ANDREWS, Lieutenant (jg), USNR

Frederick A. OYHUS, Ensign, USNR

ACUNA, William Leon, TM3c, USNR

ANDERSON, Thomas Little, MoMM2c, USNR

BAIRD, Willie Benjamin, EM3c, USNR

BAROODY, Joseph James, SC3c, USNR

BENNETT, John Paul, EM1c, USN

BLANCHARD, Joseph Roger Leo, S1c, USNR


BROWN, John Melvin, CMoMM, USN


BRUNDAGE, Vincent George, CCS, USN

BUNTAIN, Finley Cline Monroe, TM2c, USN

BURNHAM, George Joseph, S1c, USNR

CAMP, Warren Henry, MoMM2c, USNR

CARNAHAN, Eugene Earl, Ylc, USN

CHONKO, John Joseph, EM1c, USN

CICHON, John Joseph, MoMM1c, USN

CLOTHAKIS, Nicholas Vasilios, RM3c, USNR

COUSINS, Richard Merton, S2c, USN

ELDRIDGE, Lee Spencer, EM2c, USN

ELLIOTT, Amos Demoin, MoMM1c, USN

ELLZEY, Daniel Webster, CQM, USN

ENSIGN, Everett Raymond, EM2c, USN

FOX, Taylor Lincoln, TM2c, USN

GREEN, Jesse Odis, CTM, USN

HEALEY, John Patrick, S2c, USN

HEPFLER, George, TM2c, USN

HOFFMAN, Lambert Dall, MoMMLc, USN

KEAST, Edwin Paul, SC3c, USNR

KENNEY, Richard Albert, FCS3c, USN

LA BARROW, Richard Child, CEM, USN

LAFFIN, Sylvester John, TM1c, USN

LEVINE, Myrim Noah, RM3c, USNR

LIGHTER, Hershel Arthur, MoMM2c, USN

MAIORANA, Benny Frank, EM3c, USNR

MAYHEW, Wilbur Wesley, TM3c, USNR

MANTZEY, Edward Minnin, QM2c, USN

MURPHY, Ernest James, QM3c, USN

  MYERS, Earl Edgar, F3c, USNR


OLESEWSKI, Francis Xavier, EM2c, USNR

OLIVER, Paul Linza, EM3c, USNR

POTANOVIC, John Francis, F2c, USN

POWERS, James Howard, MM1c, USN

RECORD, Burrell Aaron, CMoMM, USN

RUEDIGER, Manfred Warner, TM2c, USN

SCANLAN, Richard Cullen, RM2c, USN

SHERMAN, William Eugene, CMM, USN

SMITH, Frederick Stanton, PhMlc, USN

STEVENS, Charles Roland, F2c, USNR

SYKES, William Lewis, S1c, USNR

TARBOX, Fred "A", EM3c, USN

TREDWAY, William Chasteen, RM1c, USNR

TJADEN, Beryl Stanley, MoMM2c, USNR


VERZWYVELT, Anthony Everist, F2c, USNR

WATSON, Roy Vernon, MoMM1c, USNR

WELLS, Lowell Earnest, S1c, USNR

WELLS, Charles Neal, M0MM3c, USNR

WHALEN, Thomas William, M0MM2c, USNR

WHARTON, Wade Lemuel, BM2c, USNR

WHEELER, George Dewey, Jr., S1c, USNR

WHITE, Robert, EM3c, USNR

WILKEN, Carl Anthony, Flc, USNR

WHITE, Charles Cutler, EM3c, USNR

WILL, Alfred Irving, F2c, USNR

WILSON, Harold Emerson, RT1c, USNR

WILSON, Norman Jay, S1c, USNR

WINKLE, Norman William, S1c, USNR

WOOD, Paul Richard, S1c, USN

WOODRUFF, George Elmer, SM3c, USNR

YOTTER, Carl Norman, TM3c, USNR

YOUNG, Donald Augustus, StM2c, USNR

ZIELINSKI, Edward Felix, TM3c, USNR

ZYCH, Henry Joseph, F1c, USN

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