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Gato Class Submarine
1,526 Tons (surfaced)
2,424 Tons (submerged)
307' x 27.3' x 19.3'
10 × 21" torpedo tubes
(6 fwd, 4 aft)
with 24 torpedoes
1 x 3" deck gun
2 × .50cal MG
2 × 30cal MG
USN Feb 3, 1944
During this same period Gato undertook reconnaissance of Tarawa and Makin. During these operations Gato sank five enemy ships totalling 41,000 tons.
After an overhaul at Mare Island, Gato returned to the Southwest Pacific where she conducted three more war patrols in 1943 and 1944. On her seventh patrol Gato captured a prisoner of war from a life raft off the Admiralties. Two weeks later, after sinking the cargo ship TSUNESHIMA MARU, the submarine was subjected to a severe depth charging from her escorts. Following the depth charge attack, Gato surfaced and found an unexploded depth charge lodged in the rudder. With the help of the Japanese prisoner, the ship's Gunnery Officer dislodged the charge and lashed it to a rubber raft which was set adrift with a slow leak.
Eight War Patrol
On February 5, 1944 Gato surfaced in Open Bay near Maitanakunai to rescue two group of Allied aviators from behind enemy lines. The first group included: Gordon Manuel, Owen Giertsen, Carl Planck and Edward Czarnecki. The second group included William Townsend, David McClymont and Fred Hargesheimer. Afterwards, the aviators were transported to Finschafen to be debriefed.
On February 15, 1944 Gato sunk a trawler off Truk. On February 26, 1944 sank transport Daigen Maru # 3. On March 12, 1944 sank the Okinoyama Maru No. 3 sunk during a daylight attack using only her deck gun. Afterwards, two other trawlers were sunk by only fire from her deck gun before returning to Pearl Harbor on April 1, 1944.
Gato's vigilance patrolling the north entrance to the Bougainville Sound and her aggressive attacks during her fourth through eighth war patrols was credited with the destruction of 13 enemy ships totalling 69,400 tons.
During May 1944 transferred to the Central Pacific. Her ninth and tenth patrols were primarily reconnaissance and lifeguard missions in the vicinity first of Truk and the Bonin Islands. After completing her tenth patrol, Gato was overhauled at Mare Island.
During January 1945, departed Pearl Harbor on her eleventh war patrol in the Yellow Sea sinking two ships including one destroyer escort. Her twelfth and thirteenth patrols were conducted off the coast of Japan as a lifeguard in support of air operations over those islands. During this duty ten U.S. Army aviators were rescued from the waters of the Pacific. At the end of her thirteenth patrol Gato anchored in Tokyo Bay to witness the signing of the instrument of surrender aboard USS Missouri.
Gato earned thirteen Battle Stars and five Presidential Unit Citations. She participated in the Midway Operations, the Capture and Defense of Guadalcanal, the Asiatic-Pacific Raids of 1944, the Marianas Operation, the Western Caroline Islands Operation, Iwo Jima Operation, Okinawa-Gunto Assault and Occupation, and the Third Fleet Operations Against Japan
Her aggressive attacks during her fourth through eighth war patrols in the Solomons, Bismarck Sea, New Guinea and Truk areas earned for her a Presidential Unit Citation and the nickname "The Goalkeeper" from Admiral William F. Halsey.
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