(H) TORPEDO ATTACK DATA

       U.S.S. PUFFER (SS268) TORPEDO ATTACK NO.1, PATROL NO.1

       Time: 0240 I Date: Sept.17,1943 Lat. 04-14S Long. 127-09E

 

TARGET DATA - DAMAGE INFLICTED

DESCRIPTION

This attack was made on a convoy consisting of two ships and a small escort. The leading ship is believed to have been a Naval Auxiliary ship or transport which can be best identified as similar to the U.S.S. CEAUMONT. The second ship was a heavily laden freighter similar to HEIAN MARU, Page 215, ONI J. Escort was not seen until after the attack was completed. From previous contact it is believed that the escort came from Ambon and rendezvoused with the two ships. Escort was about 160 feet long and had the same general appearance as our World War 1 sub chasers. Formation was roughly a column, open order formation, with ships zigging simultaneously. The zigs averaged 35° and short legs clocked as follows: 1,4,7.5,11.5 minutes, respectively. Contact was made by periscope at night when searching horizon prior to surfacing after a previous contact with what was believed to have been a submarine but after the attack proved to be the escort proceeding to the rendezvous. It was a moonlight night and periscope visibility estimated at 6,000 yards.

 

SHIPS SUNK

One freighter similar to HEIAN MARU shown on page 215, ONI J, listed as 5346 -5454 tons.

 

SHIPS DAMAGED

One Naval Auxiliary or transport best described as similar to the U.S.S. CHAUM0NT with an estimated tonnage of 7500 tons.

 

DAMAGE DETERIMED BY

Immediately after six torpedoes were heard to explode the Naval Auxiliary, as seen to take a small port list, turn very slowly away and sound reported her screws stopped. Three minutes later the screws were heard to start at a slightly reduced speed and the ship proceeded on a course to Ambon Base. After a quick observation of the above ship, the periscope was shifted to the freighter. All that was visible above the water was the bridge structure and that was sinking lower very rapidly, going out of sight in one and one-half minutes from the time the six explosions were heard. Sound reported all screws stopped and after the freighter was seen to disappear sound heard characteristic noises of ship breaking up. Screws of this were never heard again nor was the ship seen in the periscope.

 

TARGET DRAFT

For Naval Auxiliary or Transport: Target draft estimated…

 

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TARGET_DRAFT(CONT'D)

as 15 feet. Course 024. Speed estimated as 7-3/4 knots. Range as 1600 yards. estimated)

For HEIAN MARU type freighter: Target draft estimated as 20 feet. Course 035°. Speed estimated as 7-3/4 knots. Range estimated as 1900 yards.

 

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed 4 knots. Course 130°. Depth 65 feet. Angle ZERO.

 

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Fired 6 torpedoes (Torpex Heads) in two salvos of three each using a 3 divergent spread, first salvo at leading target and second salvo at trailing target. This was a periscope attack on a bright moonlight night with check bearings being applied before firing each torpedo at ten-second intervals. Torpedo depth set was 12 feet. This depth was ordered since it was considered that the maximum depth of the target was 20 feet and the minimum depth 15 feet.

 

ATTACK NO.1

Tubes fired       No.1     No.2     No.3     No.4     No.5     No.6

Track angle       99°P     99°P     95°P     101°P    106°P    101°P

Gyro angle        330      334      339.5    345      340.5    344.5

Depth set         12 ft    12 ft    12 ft    12 ft    12 ft    12 ft

Power             H.P.     H.P.     H.P.     H.P.     H.P.     H.P.

Hit or miss       Miss     Miss     Miss     Hit      Hit      Hit

Erratic           No       No       No       No       No       No

Mark torpedo      14-3A    14-3A    14-3A    14-3A    14-3A    14-3A

Serial No.        24367    24549    22558    24809    22462    41837

Mark exploder     6-1      6-1      6-1      6-1      6-1      6-1

Serial No.        11928    6796     9730     6794     6786     11957

*Actuation set    CM       CM       CM       CM       CM       CM

Actuation actual None     None     None     C        C        C

Mark warhead      16       16       16       16       16       16

Serial No.        5685     9730     842      911      9707     9767

Explosive         TPX      TPX      TPX      TPX      TPX      TPX

Firing interval   10sec    10sec    10sec    10sec    10sec    10sec

Type spread       -----------------DIVERGENT------------------------

                  0°       3°L      3°R      0°       3°L      3°R

Sea conditions               FLAT           CALM

Overhaul activity            U.S.S. FULTON

Torpedo performance          Perfect

Tube performance             Perfect

Fire control Performance     Perfect

 

*Contact-c; Magnetic-M; Contact and Magnetic-CM.

 

REMARKS

The time between firing and explosions show that the actual was double the estimated range used in firing. Based on this fact as basis for actual range, target course as determined by periscope observation being reasonably correct, and the average target length of 425 feet, the following analysis is submitted: Target speed was actually from 9 to 11 knots instead of the 7-3/4 knots used on TDC, to make…

 

-20-

 

 

REMARKS (CONT’D)

target track accurately at the greater range. The first set of three explosions heard was actually the second salvo of torpedoes fired hitting the targets the torpedo spread to the left or forward of the target (The second torpedo of the salvo spread 3 to left of MOT) hitting the leading ship and the remaining two torpedoes of the salvo hitting the trailing ship. The first torpedo of this second salvo fired to hit the MOT apparently hit the freighter (second ship), stopped it, thus allowing the third torpedo angled 3° to the right of the MOT to hit. This also accounts for the extremely rapid sinking of the freighter on what seemed to be an even keel.

 

The first salvo of three torpedoes apparently passed ahead of the leading target and exploded at the end of their run five minutes after firing and was the second set of three explosions heard.

 

U.S.S. PUFFER (SS26S) TORPEDO ATTACK NO.2 PATROL NO.1

TIME: 1110H DATE: Oct.9, 1943 Lat. 01-0SN Long.119-31E

 

TARGET DATA -DAMAGE INFLICTED

DESCRIPTION

This attack was made on a single unloaded vessel of the KINRYU MARU class (ONI 20S-J, Page 44). Escort had passed previously and was searching approximately

10 to 15 thousand yards a1ead; it was a CHIDORI class destroyer. Target was zigging normally between the limits of 190° true to 238° true. Contact was made by periscope at a range of approximately 16,000 yards. Visibility unlimited -sea a very slight chop.

 

SHIPS SUNK

None actually witnessed.

 

SHIPS DAMAGED AND POSSIBLY SUNK

One freighter of the KINRYU MARU class shown on Page 4 ONI 208-J, listed as 9,310 tons.

DAMAGE DETERMINED BY

Heard two torpedoes explode and immediately after saw target take a list of at least 50 degrees and saw that the ship from the bridge aft was enveloped in smoke.

Target was very slowly turning away and sound reported screws stopped and never again heard them start up. Two and one-half hours later heard a dull explosion in the direction of the target.

TARGET DRAFT

Target draft estimated at 15 feet, course 233° true, speed 12 knots, range 1760 yards.

 

OWN SHIP DATA

Speed 4 knots, course 315° true, depth 67 feet, angle ZERO.

 

-21-


 

FIRE CONTROL AND TORPEDO DATA

Fired four torpedoes from the forward tubes, the first two using Torpex heads and the second two TNT heads. A 3° divergent spread was used and torpedo depth

set was 10 feet. A ten second firing interval was used and check bearings used before each shot. TDC was tracking perfectly and had to apply no corrections.

Nine minutes later two torpedoes were fired from the stern tubes with a depth setting of 8 feet and a 1° spread used to cover any possible current. Both were Torpex heads. The torpedoes were running straight for the target. The first exploded prematurely after a 16 second run and the second never exploded.

 

ATTACK N0.2

Tubes fired       No.6     No.2     No.3     No.4     No.7     No.8

Track angle       105°P    110°P    107°P    118°P    67°S     70°S

Gyro angle        354      349      352.5    341      174.5    176.5

Depth set         10ft.    10 ft    10 ft    10ft     8 ft     8ft

Power             High     High     High     High     High     High

Hit or miss       Hit      Hit      Miss     Miss     Prem-    Dud

                                                      ature

Erratic           No       No       No       No       Yes      Yes

Mark torpedo      14-3A    14-3A    14-3A    14-3A    14-3A    14-3A

Serial No.        24191    24830    23363    22434    32422    20260

Mark exploder     6-1      6-1      6-1      6-1      6-1      6-1

Serial No.        1-0924   9579     6789     11958    11954    5762

Actuation set              C 0 N T A C T - M A G N E T I C

Actuation actual CONTACT   ---      ---      ---      Prem-    Dud

                                                      ature

Mark Warhead      16       16       15-1     15-1     16       16

Serial No.        3670     10551    1574     3785     6034     5305

Explosive         TPX      TPX      TNT      TNT      TPX      TPX

                                    (TPX extonder)

Firing interval   0 sec    11sec    10sec    10sec    0 sec    9 sec

Type spread       --------------D I V E R G E N T-------------------

                  1.5°R    1.5°L    4.5°R    4.5°L    1°L      1°R

Sea conditions               LIGHT CHOP

Overhaul activity            U. S. S. FULTON

Torpedo performance HOT-STRAIGHT                       Prem-    Dud

                                                       ature

Tube performance             PERFECT

Fire control performance     PERFECT

 

REMARKS

Target apparently sighted wakes shortly before torpedoes hit and started turning away. The first two torpedoes hit, both aft. The third and fourth torpedoes passed astern and ahead, respectively. Apparently the vessel was running with very little fuel aboard which permitted it to use empty fuel tanks for correcting list. When last seen the list was about 10° and the stern was settling. The “premature” and "dud” fired nine minutes later unquestionably cheated us of a sure sinking and gave the destroyer a starting point from which to track us. Target commenced firing small caliber guns in direction of premature.

 

-22-


 

(I)    MINES

       No mines, mine laying or minesweeping operations were noted.

(J)    ANTI-SUBMARINE MEASURES AND EVASIVE TACTICS

Ambone Area

Anti-submarine measures in this area consisted of: patrol boat described and ship contact #1 employing listening only, camouflaged tug (ship contact #5)

apparently employing heavy smoke and listening, plane (air craft contact #4) on bright moonlight nights. Pinging was never heard in this area.

After attack #1 the escort passed down the port side of the ship and dropped two depth charges. The escort was apparently never sure of our position. Evasion consisted of going under temperature layer and putting escort astern.

It is believed that a small boat patrol is maintained in the straits between Baeroe Island and Sula Sanana Island. While making this passage we were challenged; the challenging ship was never seen but sound picked up two

sets of fast light screws.

 

MAKASSAR STRAITS AREA

On the morning of October 9, 1943, a CHIDORI class torpedo boat was sighted, apparently on a straight course for Balik Papan, and pinging on the search scale. As later circumstances showed this torpedo boat was escorting a freighter which was about 15 miles astern.

After attack #2 the same torpedo boat sighted earlier was again sighted closing the scene of attack at high speed. The freighter was firing its small caliber guns in our direction and had dropped three depth charges. The torpedo boat closed this ship rapidly and crossed astern dropping a pattern of six depth charges close aboard. He then circled down port side and took station astern close aboard, pinging on short scale directly on us, then working back and forth across stern. He would follow on bearings between 190° and 195° degrees relative at slow speed tracking. After he had tracked us for about an hour his pinging would stop, he would speed up, screws would be heard through the hull, and then the depth charges would explode all close aboard. The patterns dropped varied in number from two to six and from the times of explosions seemed to be varied in depth and not thrown out at random to cover a large area. This procedure was continued until about 1800H with very little variation and the torpedo boat maintaining constant contact. We were either leaving a trail or else this fellow is definitely the best soundman any of us have ever seen or heard.

At about 1800H the torpedo boats screws and pinging became weaker and he seemed to be searching all around, soon after this sound pic1ced up more pinging further off. Both ships now continued pinging on long scale astern. This search astern continued for sometime then both ships speeded up, shifting to short scale and closed in astern taking station close aboard one on each quarter. We were then tracked and the same events took place as described above except both ships let go depth charges. From this time…

 

-23-


 

(J) ANTI-SUBMARINE MEASURSES AND EVASION TACTICS (CONTINUED)

Until the departure of one of the attacking ships, one would listen and the other ping, both on station on the quarters. While both ships were around there seemed to be a slight amount of confusion between them, but not enough to let us out. A number of rehearsal runs were made, screws being heard throughout the boat but no depth charges. During these dry runs rapid pinging was heard, and it is believed he was running his fathometer while crossing.

The last depth charges were dropped at 0115H, Oct. 10, the destroyers maintained contact and continued with runs until 1225H, Oct. 10. Then screws faded out and pinging stopped.

In brief the runs were made as follows: Destroyer would feel his way slowly up from astern, pinging manually when close aboard and shoot several short ones at us when directly overhead; he would then stop his screws and one or two single pings would be heard (thought to be fathometer); then he would go to full speed and in due time a gurgling noise would be heard followed by the explosions of the charges.

After the first string of depth charges exploded across our stern the ship was taken to deep submerge, rigged for silent running and all efforts were made to shake him off. The bathythermograph showed nothing but a straight line,

after indicating beautiful layers on previous days in other portions of the area. The ship was exceedingly hard to control in depth because of leaks into the boat, and as a result turned very sluggishly because of the 10 to 15 degree up angle, and the current. Every effort was made to keep the ship constantly swinging so that the attacking ships would have difficult tracking. When the runs would start the rudder would be put over to clear the charges.

On both attacks the ship attacking dropped depth charges.

 

(K) MAJOR DEFECTS AND DAMAGE

E N G I N E E R I N G

ELECTRICAL

Bowplane resistance switch: Grounded out once. Repaired in two hours.

Degaussing gear: M-Coil now has reading of 50,000 ohms.

Commutators of M-Coil motor-generator badly damaged due to attempt to run this machine after it was soaked with salt water.

Washing machine motor: Two weeks after start of patrol this motor overhaul just completed by U.S.S. FULTON) was permanently out of commission. The washing machine motor has been a continuous source of trouble since commissioning. It is suggested that since we have to use this GE machine which is definitely not designed for this use that a spare motor be carried aboard.

Pit Log: Pit log was out of commission for short periods of time on several occasions. Cleaning and resetting of…

 

-24-


 

(K) MAJOR DEFECTS AND DAMAGE (CONT'D)

control unit contactors remedied the trouble. Rodmeter was bent when this vessel grounded and was replaced with spare rodmeter without incident.

 

Electrical damage due to depth charging:

(1) Both sound gear training motors were immersed in salt water for nearly a day. The starboard motor armature was given the hot water treatment and baked out and new field coils were installed. However, this motor failed again after six hours use. Both of these motors remained out of commission.

(2) No.1 air conditioning circulating water pump motor was emersed in salt water. Hot water treatment and baking out have failed to put this motor back in commission.

(3) Bow plane starting resistance cracked. Mica chipped off. Salt water shorted out cables to this resistance causing small electrical fire. Placed back in commission.

(4) Brushes knocked off both lighting motor generators. No damage to brushes of rigging.

(5) Magnetic brake spring for stern planes apparently broken.

(6) Knocked two fans off bulkhead in After Torpedo Room.

(7) Broke various light bulbs and steam tights in After Torpedo Room, both engine rooms, Conning Tower and officers' shower.

(8) Broke eight lamps in rudder angle indicator system and fifteen lamps in TP-TR circuit.

(9) Threw circulating water alarms in engine rooms out of adjustment.

(10) Sparks jumped from main cubicle to bulkhead -no damage. 

(11) Unscrewed light bulbs in emergency lighting circuit Maneuvering Room, After Engine Room and After Torpedo Room.

(12) Ruptured bellows in Pit Log. Broke adjusting screw on lower contact in control unit and jarred contact setting out of adjustment.

(13) Broke lower glass in bridge gyro repeater. Repeater flooded.

(14) Completely flooded out TBT cables and equipment, searchlight cable from Conning Tower to Control Room, and running lights and cables.

 

MECHANICAL

Main engines: Engine performance was excellent until near the end of the patrol. Only minor air starter check valve and injector failures were encountered.

On Oct.8th, immediately after starting #4 engine, fresh water pressure was lost. The cylinder liner of #16 unit was found to be cracked. Renewed liner and exhaust valves. It is believed engine was started with water in #16 unit. On Oct. 14th, while running 80-90 on three generators, throttleman detected slight knock in #4 Engine and stopped engine immediately. Bearing metal was found in the crankcase and further inspection disclosed that connecting rod bearing of #12 unit was badly wiped and the journel badly scored. #4 unit…

 

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(K) MAJOR DEFECTS AND DAMAGE (CONT'D)

bearing was slightly affected. #4 and #12 connecting rods and pistons were removed, new pistons were secured in cylinders to cover ports, and engine was placed back in commission to be used with fourteen cylinders in emergencies.

Outboard exhaust valves: Enroute from Panama to Brisbane and from Brisbane to Darwin engine outboard exhaust valves failed to close numerous times on dives. It was found that valves would fail to close if engines were run steadily for eight hours or more prior to an attempt to close them. Inspection disclosed salt to be forming on valve seats in a thick hard scale. After scale was knocked loose valves would close normally. Details of this serious military defect were given to U.S.S. FULTON whose remedial action consisted of simply readjusting all valves. Enroute to Darwin it was found that this readjusting had done no good whatever.

It was decided that the hot valve seats were evaporating the muffler spray water causing salt scale to form on the valve seats, and that if the valve

seat could be kept cool the problem would be solved. To accomplish this cooling, a row of holes were drilled through each exhaust valve body water jacket in such a manner that the water would spray heavily on the valve seats. The holes in the outer shell of the water jacket were tapped and plugged. Since this jury alteration only one failure to close has been encountered even though engines have had long steady runs of 18 hours or more.

Damage due to depth charging:

(1) Various gauges thrown out of adjustment.

(2) Caused leaks in flanges of salt water to lube oil coolers.

(3) Broke gauge glasses in main engine fresh water expansion tanks.

(4) Caused leaks in #4 engine salt water pump casing.

 

H U L L

(1) The main induction outboard valve gaskets (engine air induction outboard valve and ship's ventilation supply outboard valve) were blown off. This caused the main induction to gradually flood and undoubtedly emit a stream of bubbles in the process to very conveniently locate our position to the enemy. The Commanding Officer considers the gaskets as now installed a most serious military defect that should be corrected by the installation of "T" gaskets immediately.

(2) All deck hatches, conning tower door, and escape trunk door were unseated with each salvo of depth charges and leaked continuously thereafter. It is recommended that these gaskets also be changed to "T" gaskets since had these gaskets blow entirely out, the boat would have been lost.

 

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(K) MAJOR DEFECTS AND DAMAGE (CONT'D)

As a matter of interest, the piston like movement of the hatches caused a piece of rope under the hatch in the crew's mess to rise up like a charmed snake every time a depth charge hit.

(3) Rudder post mis-alignment may be indicated by occasional noisy operation in both hand and power and overloading of the main steering pump.

(4) Mis-alignment of the stern plane system may be indicated by noisy operation and overloading of the stern plane motor.

(5) Mis-aligned the door between the Maneuvering Room and the after Torpedo Room. The same is indicated on the Conning Tower Door, however, the door can still be made tight. It is requested that this door be removed as soon as possible.

(6) Items 3,4, and 5, above, might possibly be an indication of a possible mis-alignment of the stern. Complete checking is necessary during the re-fit period.

(7) Leaks in silver soldered joints of #4 air bank. Exact location to be determined when in dock. The silver soldering of high pressure air lines on this vessel is definitely of marked inferior quality. This vessel has to be docked on three different occasions in its short career to correct defective silver soldering. The Commanding Officer felt and predicted that this defect in this vessel would lead it into serious difficulties if depth charged but in each case time was granted only to correct the particular joint that was leaking at the time. With this condition existing, the vessel cannot be taken into combat with confidence.

(8) Antenna trunk flooded.

(9) All shallow depth gauges out of adjustment.

(10) Broken sea pressure gauge in After Torpedo Room.

(11) Backed out plug on Maneuvering Room water closet flushing line sea valve casting. Plug is in opening where sea pressure gauge line formerly connected. After the numerous occasions on which it has been reported that plugs in sea lines and castings blow out, it is not understood why this practice is still sanctioned and permitted.

(12) Mis-aligned the starboard sound head shaft causing difficult and noisy training. Had to train by hand thereafter.

(13) Port sound head shaft mis-aligned and leaking badly.

(14) Broke reach rod on sea valve for sea pressure gauge in After Torpedo Room.

(15) Broke off wash basin in After Torpedo Room.

(16) Ruptured flanged union of trim line in After Torpedo Room.

(17) Broke off oxygen bottle adapter for valve and gauge in After Torpedo Room.

(18) Sprung sheet metal doors as follows:

(a) Crew's head in After Battery (2 doors).

(b) Air loc1c door in After Battery.

 

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(K) MAJOR DEFECTS AND DAMAGE (CONT 'D)

(19) Low air salvage hull valve in Forward Torpedo .Room sprung leak at hull flange.

(20) Capstan and windlass emergency change valve packing gland sprung leak.

(21) Partial sheet metal bulkhead port side aft in Forward Torpedo Room sprung.

(22) Forward W.R.T. tank overflow valve to forward trim tank leaking.

(23) Broke valve stem on after battery high salvage hull valve.

 

0 R D N A N C E

TORPEDOES

Mark 14-3A Torpedo #32422 Mark 6-1 Exploder #11954 was a premature on firing.

Mark 14-3A Torpedo #20260 Mark 6-1 Exploder #5762 was a dud on firing.

Mark 14-3A Torpedo #22901 flooded its afterbody when made ready.

Mark 14-3A Torpedo 1125163 flooded its afterbody when made ready.

On the night of September 15, 1943, torpedo tubes numbered 7,8,9 10 were made ready at periscope depth (66 feet) but were not fired due to small size

of target. After securing tubes, the torpedoes were checked and following conditions were found:

 

TUBE   MK.& TORP.NO. AFTERBODY      GYRO           EXP.NO.        CONDITION

7      14-3A 32422    Dry            Dry            6-1 11954      Dry

8      14-3A 20260    Dry            Dry            6-1 5762       Dry

9      14-3A 22901    2 gal water    Dry            6-1 6816       Dry

10     14-3A 25163    5 gal water    Flooded        6-1 5183       Dry

 

If these torpedoes had been fired it is possible that #9 would have been a sinker and #10 a sinker or erratic gyro performance. These torpedoes were in excellent condition when received from the U.S.S. FULTON and had been carefully routined in accordance with existing instructions.

The above torpedoes were again made ready on the night of September 17, 1943, after the bow tubes had been fired at the two-ship convoy. The stern tubes were not fired due to excessive range and large track angle. Inspection revealed torpedoes tubes 9 and 10 again had flooded afterbodies with about a pint of water in gyro pot of torpedo in #10 tube. Found gyro setting socket loose in torpedo in #10 tube (#25163).

The torpedoes in tubes #7 and #8 were again made ready on October 9, 1943, and were fired at freighter which had previously been hit twice. Torpedo from tube #7 (#32422) premature in about 15 seconds and the torpedo from tube #8 (#20260) was probably a dud as it was set at 8 feet depth and headed straight for the target but never exploded.

On the afternoon of September 16, 1943, torpedo tubes numbered 1,2,3,4 were made ready at periscope…

 

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(K) MAJOR DEFECTS AND DAMAGE (CONT’D)

DEPTH (67feet) and not fired as the target was a camouflaged "Q" ship. Outer doors were not opened; however, when blowing water from W.R.T. pressure in the tubes reached 20 pounds per square inch momentarily which approximates pressure in these tubes at periscope depth. Inspection of the torpedoes revealed no flooding.

 

3" 50 Cal. Gun -Difficult Training

While routining the 3" 50 cal. gun on the evening of September 17, 1943, it was found very difficult to train. However, by September 20 it was training

normal again except for hard spots on the starboard bow and port quarter. Throughout the remainder of the patrol the gun trained hard on the starboard bow and port quarter and occasionally all the way around.

The training of this gun has been a problem since before commissioning. It has been lifted three times and temporary remedial action taken by the insertion of shims under the gun and in the training rack. After several all day dives the gun again trained hard due to uneven swelling of the sections of the wooden foundation. This was item 1R of this vessel’s commissioning inspection and survey report and was commented by the Bureau of Ships as follows:

 

“The wooden foundation should be firm, level, and sufficiently flat to provide adequate bearing surface for the gun. However, the holding-down clip clearance

in the gun should be sufficient to prevent binding due to slight irregularities resulting from setting when tight on the holding-down bolts. In BuOrd letter SS268 S8 (Prkd) of May 7, 1943, the Bureau of Ordnance called attention to 0.D.4431 and recommends that the wood gun foundations have 75% bearing surface and be flat within .002 in. in 45 in. It is desired that the Supervisor insure that this requirement is met and advise the Bureaus as to conditions after checking".

 

DEPTH CHARGE DAMAGE TO ORDNANCE

(1) TBT System completely flooded including both forward and after TBT’S, the selector Switch in the Conning Tower, and the cable between them.

(2) Bent gyro spindles on tubes #5,6,9,10.

(3) Broke pressure gauge to number 10 torpedo tube.

(4) Flooded gyro setters in After Torpedo Room.

 

C 0 M M U N I C A T I O N S

 

DAMAGE DUE TO DEPTH CHARGE ATTACK

The rubber covering on the upper end of the SD Radar mast was found to have two holes pierced in it due to depth charge attack. The holes were immediately

plugged with Permatex, but salt water had already entered the mast. Insulation reading gradually dropped off until on October 19, 1943, a reading of 100,000 ohms was obtained and the trace became completely unsatisfactory.

 

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(L) RADIO

Radio reception was excellent, all serials were received and messages were cleared in minimum time. While in the area minor interference was experienced on KCS between 2245 to 2315 HOW. This interference sounded like carrier waves from some station using voice.

Last serial received from CTF 71 58

Last serial sent to CTF 71 43

(M) RADAR

Materially both the SJ and the SD radars held up very well and withstood the effects of the severe depth charging without incident. The SD Radar performed excellently in all respects until Oct. 19, 1943, when mast grounded due to salt water entering tube. Only one plane was sighted before being picked up by radar and he was flying low. High land was picked up at ranges of from 35 to 40 miles, planes averaged about 15.

The SJ Radar was very disappointing. It appears ill adapted to searching although of great value as a fire control unit when coached on the target. Ranges obtained on land targets were never in excess of 20,000 yards.

(N) SOUND GEAR AND SOUND CONDITIONS

Sound conditions were uniformly good throughout the area, particularly off Cape Mangkalihat on the day of the depth

charging.

(0) DENSITY LAYERS

From the bathythermograph the following temperature

changes were noted:

TIME &                              SURFACE        TEMP.CHGE.            LAYER

DATE           LAT.   LONG.          TEMP           AT                   TEMP.

0545 I 

09 Sept        07-23S 128-09E        82°            None to               200'             

0540 I

10 Sept        03-45S 127-26E        82°            130'                     79° 0550 I

11 Sept        03-41S 127-42E        82°            80’                    80.5°

0540 I

12 Sept        03-20S 127-59E        83°            120'                     81°

0540 I

13 Sept        03-44S 128-26E        83°            140'                  80.5°

0550 I

14 Sept        04-07S 129-38E        83°            160'                     76°

0556

15 Sept        04-06S 129-11E        82.5°          140'                   76.5°

1540 I

15 Sept        04-04S 128-08E        82°            110'                     79°

0500 I

16 Sept        03-51S 127-57E        82°            100'                     80°

0507 I

17 Sept        04-16S 127-09E        83°            260'                     77°

0542 I

20 Sept        02-26N 125-45E        86°            100'                     81°

0530 I

21 Sept        03-04N 123-37E        86°            100'                     83°

 

-30-


 

DENSITY LAYERS (CONT'D)

TIME &                              SURFACE        TEMP.CHGE.            LAYER

DATE           LAT.   LONG.          TEMP           AT                   TEMP.

0700 I

22 Sept        03-13N 123-15E        86°            110'                    82°

0520 I

25 Sept        00-55N 119-47E        86°            125'                    83°

0530 I

26 Sept        00-21N 119-28E        86°            190'                    82°

0438 H

27 Sept        01-14S 117-58E        86°            165'                    81°

0450 H

28 Sept        01-15S 117-47E        86°            170'                    80°

0500 H

3 Oct          03-25N 118-10E        86°            130'                    83°

On September 29, 1943, the sea became somewhat choppy as compared to the previous days of flat calm. From then on there were no layers noted in the vicinity 1°N to 3°N and 116-45E to 119-30E. The choppiness may have mixed

the water sufficiently to eliminate the layers previously existing.

Each morning dive was made to 200 feet and the temperature gradient was noted for possible use during day.

 

(P) HEALTH, FOOD, AND HABITABILITY

The health of the crew was excellent; only two man day Were lost during the patrol due to a severe case of athlete’s foot. Four men suffered from nervous strain during depth charging but seemed alright two days later.

The food furnished by the U.S.S. FULTON was excellent both in quantity and quality and had a great deal to do with keeping the crew in top notch condition.

Habitability was excellent until the depth charging. During the depth charging with the air conditioning secured the heat and humidity rose rapidly and efficiency dropped off. At the end of 38 hours submerged the men were

breathing heavily and almost completely exhausted in spite of all available means being used to purify the air.

 

(Q) PERSONNEL

The performance of duty of the officers and crew during the entire patrol was most commendable and in accordance with the highest traditions of the Navy. It was outstandingly so during the grounding and long severe depth charging.

The performance of duty of Lt. Comdr. F.G. Hess, USN, Lt. Comdr. L. C. Bernard, USN, and Lieut. C.R. Dwyer, USN, displayed a very high degree of professional knowledge and ability and was in no small measure responsible for successfully getting the ship off the reefs and successfully controlling damage, leaks, and depth control during the long depth charging. The Commanding Officer is convinced that the work of these experienced officers made the difference between saving and losing the vessel. Their suggestions and untiring efforts were always sound and correct.

 

-31-


 

(Q) PERSONNEL (CONT'D)

The performance of duty of STOLTZ, Frank Nicholas, 05-10-84, CRM(PA), USN, on the one remaining sound head which had to be trained by hand was particularly outstanding and made it possible to continually maneuver the ship to the best advantage during the depth charging. The performance of duty of HETRICK, William Herman, 250 49 66, MoMM1c, USN, was particularly outstanding in organizing bucket brigades, keeping exhausted men trying, and in general maintaining the morale of the crew at a high level. Recommendations for suitable awards will be made the subject of separate correspondence.

 

(R) MILES STEAMED - FUEL USED

Darwin, Australia, to area...                      550 MILES

5665 FUEL

In area                                            5537 MILES

44,008 gal. FUEL

Area to Fremantle, Australia                       2429 MILES

34,888 gal. FUEL

(Miles shown are actual navigational miles)

Fuel jettisoned                                    20,119 gal.

 

(S) DURATION

Days enroute to area. . 2

Days in area . . . . . 36

Days enroute to base. . 9

Days submerged . . . . 30

 

(T) FACTORS OF ENDURANCE REMAINING

Torpedoes                                          12

Fuel (At Darwin, Australia)                        22,933 gal.

Provisions                                         20 days

Personnel Factor                                    9 days

Limiting factor this patrol:                Depth charge damage.

 

(U) REMARKS

This vessel employs the system of making approaches wherein the Executive Officer, Lt.Comdr. F. G. HESS, USN, calls the periscope observations which leaves the Commanding Officer free to concentrate on maneuvering the ship to the best attainable position and insure all other details of firing are correct. On night tracks and approaches the Executive Officer has been moved to the bridge due to better night vision.

 

-32-

 


 

UNITED STATES FLEET

COMMANDER SEVENTH FLEET

 

PUFFER arrived Fremantle October 24 from First war Patrol in vicinity of Makassar Strait and Celebes Sea.

 

Patrol lasted 55 days

 

Made 14 enemy contacts.

 

Made Two Attacks

 

September 17 (02401) Fired six torpedoes in

night periscope attack on 5000 ton nav8.l auxiliary and 15,454 ton Heian type AK. Heard six explosions. Auxiliary damaged and AK sunk.

Lat. 08°14'S   Long. 127°09'E

 

October 9, (0838 II) Fired four torpedoes at Kinryu Maru AK. Two hits aft of bridge and inside of stern. Fired two torpedoes 'more', although believed the target sinking. One prematured and the other apparently a "dud". Damaged one 9310 ton Kinryu type AK.

Lat. 1°8'N     Long. 119°31'E.

 

SUNK                                1 (HEIAN type)        9310 tons

 

DAMAGED                             1 AK (Kinryu type)    9310 tons

1 Naval auxiliary     5000 tons

(unidentified)

Total                 14,310 tons

 

Torpedoes expended 12

 


 

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

 

SUBMARINE SQUADRON SIXTEEN

FC5-16/A16-3

SERIAL ( 27 )

FIRST ENDORSEMENT to U.S.S. RASHER, Flagship,

PUFFER Report of 1st

War Patrol SS268                    26 October 1943.

Serial 050 (no date)

 

From:          The Commander Submarine Squadron SIXTEEN.

To:            The Commander in Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

Via:           The Commander Task Force SEVENTY 0NE.

The Commander SEVENTH FLEET.

Subject:       U.S.S. PUFFER (SS268)-Report of first War Patrol-Comment on.

 

1.     The first war patrol of PUFFER covered a period of fifty-five days, from 31 August 1943 to 24 Oct. 1943, inclusive. This includes time spent enroute to and from area. Patrol was conducted in MAKASSAR STRAIT and CELEBES SEA AREA.

2.     The grounding of PUFFER on 6 October was unfortunate, but the subsequent freeing of the vessel from the reef, with little obvious damage is commendable.

3.     The conduct of the Commanding Officer, officers and crew of PUFFER during the prolonged depth charging on 9 - 10 October, by a determined and skilled enemy, is worthy of the highest praise. PUFFER survived this attack solely by reason of the tenacity and continued efforts of all hands.

4.     Material condition of PUFFER, as a, result of grounding and depth charging, may require more than the usual two weeks refit period. A thorough examination of hull and fittings will be made during drydocking. At present, it appears that the silver soldering of the air lines of banks two and four, plus overhaul of three main engines will determine the length of the refit period.

5.     It is recommended that PUFFER be credited with inflicting the following damage to the enemy:

SUNK

1 AK (HEIAN TYPE)            5454 tons

 

DAMAGED

1 AIC (KINRYU TYPE)          9310 tons

1 Unknown naval auxiliary    5000 tons

 

TOTAL 14,310 tons

 

 

Signed

J. M. Haines


24-71 /A16-3                 UNITED STATES NAVY                          12-1 c3

 

Serial 0884                                 5 November 1943      

 

C-0-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L                     16 Nov. 1943

A16-3/(23)/SS268

SECOND ENDORSEMENT to                       100137

USS PUFFER First War                        1 0f 1

 

Patrol Report SS268/A16-3                   2307

Serial 050 undated.

 

From:                        COMMANDER TASK FORCE SEVENTY-ONE.

To:                          COMMANDER in CHIEF UNITED STATES FLEET.

Via:                         COMMANDER SEVENTH FLEET.

Subject:                     U.S.S. PUFFER Report of First war Patrol

Comment on.

                            

               1.     Forwarded, concurring in the remarks of the Commander Submarine Squadron Sixteen.

 

2.     Examination of the hull of the PUFFER upon

docking revealed no damage incident to grounding except damage to the port sound head and the pitometer log rodmeter. No serious damage to the hull resulted from the depth charge attacks. All high pressure connections to air banks #2, 3, 4, and 5 are being renewed with Walworth fittings.

3.     The depth charge attacks on 9 and 10 October were exceptional in accuracy and duration. When finally broke off, the PUFFER must have been believed a "sure kill" by the enemy. The outstanding demonstration of courage, determination, and moral fortitude by all hands saved this vessel and merits the highest praise.

4.     This patrol is considered "successful!! for purpose of awarding of the Submarine Combat Insigna.

5.     The Task Force Commander congratulates the Commanding Officer, officers and crew on the completion of this rugged patrol, during which the following damage was inflicted on the enemy.


 

 

E24-71 /A 16-3               UNITED STATES NAVY                  12-1cs

 

Serial 0884                                 5 November 1943

 

C-0-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

 

Subject:       U.S.S. PUFFER Report of First War Patrol-

Comment on.

 

               SUNK

1 AK (HEINAN MARU type)                     5,346 tons

 

DAMAGED

               1 AK (KUMAGAWA MARU)                        7,509 tons

               1 Unknown Naval Auxiliary                   7,500 tons

Total 15,009 tons

 

 

R. W. CHRISTIE

 

Signed by B. L. Carr W 

Lt. Comdr., USN,

Flag Secretary.

 

DISTRIBUTION

 

Cominch                      (2) -via Com7thFleet

Vice Opnav                   (1) -via Com7thFleet

Vice Opnav (Op-23c)          (1)

Com1stFleet                  (1)

Com2ndFleet                  (1)

Com3rdFleet                  (1)

Com7thFleet                  (1)

Comsubs1stFleet              (2)

Comsubs2ndFleet              (2)

Comtaskfor 72                (2)

ComsubRon 16                 (1)

Divcoms Ron 16               (1)

Oine S/M School              (2)

Fleet Radio Unit,

Melborne              (1)

Intell. Cen.,Pac.

Ocean Areas           (1)

Each S/M W.A.                (1) - NOT TO BE TAKEN TO SEA -BURN

 


 

UNITED STATES FLEET

COMMANDER SEVENTH FLEET

A16-3                                                            11/An

Serial: 02307

 

17 NOV. 1943

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

 

THIRD ENDORSEMENT to

USS PUFFER FIRST WAR PATROL

Report SS268/A16-3 Serial

050 undated

From:                 The Commander SEVENTH FLEET.

To:                   The Commander in Chief, U.S. FLEET.

Subject:              U.S.S. PUFFER -Report of First War Patrol- Comment on.

 

1.                     Forwarded.

 

2.                     Attention is invited to the remarks of the Commanding Officer under the entry October 10, 2000 H.

 

 

 

Signed

H. W. Graff

Chief of Staff

 

 

Copy to: VCNO