USS Redfin (SS-272)
USS "Redfin" (SS/SSR/AGSS-272), a "Gato"-class
submarine, was a ship of the United States Navynamed for the redfin, any of several North American fishes with reddish fins.
"Redfin" (SS-272) was laid down
16 February 1942by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wisc.; launched 4 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. B. B. Wygant; and commissioned 31 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. R. D. King in command.
First war patrol, January – March 1944
Departing New Orleans
15 October 1943, "Redfin" proceeded to Fremantle, Australia. On her first war patrol 4 Januaryto 17 February 1944, she encountered an enemy convoyof four ships in the South China Sea 16 Januaryand damaged the IJN Destroyer Amatsukaze. From 8 Marchto 14 March, she patrolled north of Australia to defend against a possible Japanese attack.
Second war patrol, March – May 1944
On her second war patrol
19 Marchto 1 May, "Redfin" sank the 1,900-ton Japanese destroyer"Akigumo" off Zamboanga, Mindanao, 11 April. During the night of 15 April– 16 April, she sank two Japanese passenger-cargo ships, "Shinyu Maru", 4,621 tons, and "Yamagata Maru", 3,807 tons. On the night of 22 April– 23 April, she landed four of her crew near Dent Haven, Borneo, to evacuate a British reconnaissance party. Attacked by the Japanese, the landing party returned to "Redfin", but the British agents were later evacuated by an Australian officer, and transferred to USS|Harder|SS-257|3.
Third war patrol, May – July 1944
On her third war patrol,
26 Mayto 1 July, she landed six Philippine guerrillas on a small island near Balabac Strait 8 June. Proceeding to scout the enemy naval base at Tawi Tawi, she sank the 5,142-ton Japanese tanker "Asanagi Maru" on 11 June. She also warned American forces in the Marianas of the departure from Tawi Tawi of the Japanese task force that was later defeated in the Battle of the Philippine Seaon 19 Juneand 20 June. Operating off Leyte on 24 June, she sank the 3,028-ton Japanese passenger-cargo ship "Aso Maru", before returning to Fremantle.
Fourth, fifth, and sixth war patrols, August 1944 – September 1945
6 August, she laid a minefield off the west coast of Borneoon 19 Augustand rescued eight survivors of USS|Flier|SS-250|3 at Palawan Islandon 30 August. After lifeguard duty for airstrikes against Balikpapan, Borneo, she departed Fremantle 26 October, and sank the 15,226-ton Japanese tanker "Nichinan Maru No. 2" west of the Philippines 8 November.
Completing her fourth war patrol
7 January 1945, she proceeded to Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco Bay, California, where she received special mine detection gear. Underway from Pearl Harbor 30 Mayto 10 July, and later from 30 Julyto 5 Septembershe made mine surveys first off Honshūand Hokkaidō, and later off Kyūshū, Japan.
Radar picket submarine, 1953–1959
Decommissioned at New London, Conn.,
1 November 1946, she entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyardin April 1951 for conversion, and was reclassified SSR-272. Recommissioned 9 January 1953, she engaged in radar-picket duty for the next 6 years in American coastal waters, off northern Europe, and in the Mediterranean.
Auxiliary research submarine, 1959–1967
In April 1959 she entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and received an
inertial guidance system. "Redfin" became a laboratory and training ship for the testing of inertial guidance systems used in Polaris submarines. She preceded the first ballistic missilesubmarine USS|George Washington|SSBN-598|3 as flagship of Submarine Squadron 14.
After searching for the lost USS|Thresher|SSN-593|3 in April 1963, she was reclassified AGSS-272 on
28 June. Operating in the Atlantic, she continued to assist in special research and development projects, including the Polaris A-3 missile, until she decommissioned 15 May 1967to become a Naval Reserve Training Ship at Baltimore, Md. "Redfin" was struck from the Navy List on 1 July 1970and sold to the North American Smelting Co., Wilmington, Del., on 3 March 1971.
"Redfin" received six
battle stars for World War IIservice.
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