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  USS Herring SS-233
USN
Gato Class Submarine

1,525 Tons (surfaced)
2,424 Tons (submerged)
311' x 27' 3" x 17"
10 × 21" torpedo tubes
(6 fwd, 4 aft)
with 24 torpedoes
1 x 3" 50 cal deck gun
2 × 20mm MG
2 × 40mml AA

Ship History
Built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Laid down July 14, 1941. Launched January 5, 1942. Comissioned May 4, 1942 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Johnson.

Wartime History
On July 5, 1942 arrives at New London, Connecticut, then on July 23, 1942 arrives at Newport, Rhode Island for torpedo testing until October 3, 1942.

First War Patrol
Herring was one of five submarines sent to the Mediterranean Sea to patrol prior to "Operation Torch". On November 5, 1942 began patrolling off Casablanca. During the patrol, the submarine spotted several vessels but did not attack. On November 8, 1942 attacked and sank Ville du Havre. Afterwards, departed for Rosneath, Scotland arriving November 25, 1942.

Second War Patrol
On December 16, 1942 departed from Rosneath, Scotland on her second war patrol but failed to spot any targets.

Third War Patrol
Details unknown.

Fourth War Patrol
Herring conducted an anti-submarine patrol off Iceland. During March 5 to April 13, 1943 placed under the command of Lt. Commander John Corbus

Fifth War Patrol
Afterwards, Herring returned to the United States July 26, 1943. On August 9, 1943 under the command of Commander Raymond W. Johnson departed New London, Connecticut via the Panama Canal bound for Pearl Harbor.

Sixth War Patrol
On November 15, 1943 departed Pearl Harbor on her first war patrol in the Pacific Ocean area. On December 14, 1943 Herring sank cargo ship Hakozaki Maru northeast of Shanghai at roughly position 33°01'N, 124°01'E.

On January 1 1944 off Aogashima, Herring fired three torpedoes from the surface and scores a hit on aircraft transport Nagoya Maru roughly 220 miles south-southwest of Tokyo Bay at 32°10'N, 138°37'E. Afterwards, Ikazuchi counter attacks the submarine unsuccessfully.

Seventh War Patrol
Under the command of Lieutenant Commander David Zabriskie, Jr., Herring followed an aircraft carrier but was detected and forced to dive deep before she could make an attack.

Eight War Patrol
On May 16, 1944 USS Herring departed from Pearl Harbor traveling via Midway on May 21, 1944 to top off fuel before departing for the Kuril Islands.

On May 31, 1944 rendezvous with USS Barb in the Sea of Okhotsk roughly 150 miles west of Matsuwa (Matua) to attack Japanese shipping in the area. Later that day Herring attacked a convoy. A torpedo hits frigate Ishigaki (860 tons) that blows off the bow. Before sinking, the damaged vessel manages to drop several depth charges on the submarine. Also sunk is Army cargo ship Hokuyo Maru (1590 tons) west of Matsuwa (Matua) at roughly Lat 48°00'N, Long 153°00'E.

During the night of May 31, 1944 Herring was patrolling off Matsuwa (Matua) and torpedoed two vessels at anchor off the island, sinking Iwaki Maru (3,124 tons) cargo vessel Hiburi Maru (4366 tons) at Lat 48°00'N Long 153°00'E.

Sinking History
On June 1, 1944 during the morning, Herring was spotted by Japanese shore batteries on Matsuwa (Matua) from the Matsuwa Detachment of the Japanese Army Guards Division 52. The shore batteries scored two direct hits on the conning tower causing "bubbles covered an area about 5 meters wide, and heavy oil covered an area of approximately 15 miles." The entire crew was lost in the sinking at Lat 48°00'N Long 153°00'E.

Herring was the only American submarine sunk by a shore battery during World War II. She earned five battle stars for her service for her World War II service.

Memorials
This submarine is memorialized at the Naval Weapons Station at Seal Beach, California. Another memorial and the ship's bell is located at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. During June 2005, near the site of the sinking a memorial sign to the crew was placed during the fourth Kamchatka-Kuril historical and geographical expedition, led by the Russian researcher Evgeny Vereshaga.

References
UBoat.net - Herring (SS-233)
CombinedFleet.com - Submarine Operations Research Group Attack Data USS Herring SS-233

CombinedFleet.com - IJN Escort Ishigaki Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016

 

 

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