USS Pompano (SS-181)

USS "Pompano" (SS-181), a United States "Porpoise"-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the pompano.

Her keel was laid down on 14 January 1936 by the Mare Island Navy Yard in California. She was launched on 11 March 1937, sponsored by Mrs. Isaac I. Yates, and commissioned on 12 June 1937 with Lieutenant Commander Lewis S. Parks (Class of 1925) in command.

In the years preceding World War II, "Pompano" operated out of Mare Island off the West Coast of the United States, training her crew and patrolling in a constant state of readiness.

Although the submarine was awarded a battle star for the attack on Pearl Harbor, she had not yet arrived from Mare Island. Reaching port shortly after the attack, she sailed from Pearl Harbor on 18 December 1941 for her first war patrol, devoted mainly to reconnoitering the eastern Marshall Islands for an aircraft carrier strike in January. Friendly (or, at least, American) planes from in April. "ibid.", p.412-3.] She made only one other attack, spent two-thirds of the patrol fighting rough weather, and returned to Midway 5 May, then to Pearl Harbor five days later.

On 6 June the submarine was underway again from Pearl Harbor for the Nagoya, Japan. Stopping briefly at Midway to top up supplies, she entered her area 19 June, patrolling across traffic lanes from Japan to the south. She celebrated the Fourth of July by putting two more torpedoes into a grounded ship, damaged by an earlier attack by Sam Dealey's USS|Harder|SS-257|2. Next day, she encountered a convoy, firing four torpedoes with no hits. on 7 July, she came upon two destroyers and, showing surprising aggressiveness, fired three torpedoes at each, missing every time. Two days after that, an ill-advised long shot at a three-ship convoy also missed, while on 10 July, a tanker escaped thanks to two erratic Mark XIVs. ["ibid.", p.461. By now, the Sub Force was saying, "two more".] Her last two torpedoes were extreme-range misses against a freighter. ["ibid."] A good-sized sampan was sunk with gunfire 17 July. "Pompano" ended the unsuccessful patrol at Midway 28 July.

"Pompano" left Midway 20 August, bound for Hokkaidō and Honshū. She was never heard from again, and when she failed to return, was presumed lost. The Japanese knew she was in her area, however, for two ships fell to her torpedoes during September: "Akama Maru", a 5,600-ton cargo carrier, on 3 September, and "Taiko Maru", a 2,958-ton cargo carrier on 25 September. The enemy made no anti-submarine attacks during this period in "Pompano"'s area, so newly-laid mines in the vicinity, not known to U.S.Navy intelligence until after she sailed, ["ibid.".] probably sank her. "Pompano" was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 January 1944.

"Pompano" received seven battle stars for service in World War II.



External links

* [ On Eternal Patrol: USS "Pompano"]

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