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Gato Class Submarine
1,526 Tons (surfaced)
2,424 Tons (submerged)
311' x 27'3" x 16'10"
1 x 3" deck gun
6 bow, 4 stern torpedo tubes
24 x 21" torpedoes
First War Patrol
On September 30, spotted a cruiser and launched four torpedoes from her bow tubes. None hit, so she fired another two forward tubes shortly thereafter. These went wide and none hit.
One week later, patrolling off Kavieng Harbor spotted the Senkai Maru ship and fired two torpedoes. One missed forward and the other hit the target's hull forward. The enemy ship was still able to continue under her own power and Amberjack took up pursuit. About an hour later, both opened fire with their deck guns but neither was within range and they broke off fire. After two more hours of the chase, the submarine fired a slow speed torpedo which hit its target five minutes later. The cargo vessel, swung left and seemed to stop. Its bow swung up in the air, the ship took a vertical position, and sank sight shortly thereafter. Lifeboats were spotted as the submarine departed for Kavieng Harbor.
On October 10 while patrolling off Kavieng Harbor spotted Japanese ships in the harbor and launched four torpedoes into the anchorage. One damaged a freighter and another damaged Tonan Maru No. 2 causing it to sink in shallow water, but was later salvaged and returned to service.
On October 16, departed for Espiritu Santo for repairs to her ballast tanks arriving three days later. While undergoing repairs, transported aviation gas, bombs, and personnel to Guadalcanal. While en route, her destination was changed to Tulagi arriving October 25, unloaded then departed for Brisbane arriving October 30 and underwent refit alongside USS Griffin (AS-13) and training exercises.
Second War Patrol
On November 29, while on patrol ten miles east of the Treasury Islands, spotted a surfaced Japanese submarine. Before she could set up an attack, however, the enemy vessel rapidly drew away. She again saw a Japanese submarine on December 3, proceeding toward the entrance to Shortland Harbor and fired four torpedoes toward the fleeing enemy, but all failed to hit. During the next week and a half, she made numerous ship contacts, but carried out no attacks. On December 15, sighted a convoy consisting of four or five ships bound for Rabaul and launched two torpedoes at a large freighter, one at a small tanker, and one more at a small freighter. None hit any of the ships.
On December 20, while patrolling submerged, Amberjack began hearing explosions which drew closer and closer. She surfaced and saw two Japanese destroyer escorts, which began launching depth charges on the submarine. Within the space of one minute, six exploded close aboard, shook the vessel considerably, and caused numerous broken light bulbs. Some fittings mounted on the overhead were broken off, and several valves were sprung open. However, the submarine suffered no serious damage and moved on to continue her patrol off the northeast coast of New Ireland.
On January 3, 1943 spotted a destroyer waiting to rendezvous with a convoy from Palau, the submarine was unable to attack over a two day period and then departed for Brisbane arriving on January 11 and underwent refit for twelve days, reduced due to the urgent need for submarines patrols.
Third War Patrol
On February 4, attacked a cargo ship during a two-hour night surface attack, firing five torpedoes and using her deck gun. Return fire killed CPM Arthur C. Beeman and wounded an officer. Four days later moved to the western side of Ganongga Island. On February 10 directed southward to intercept shipping from Rabaul and Buka via Shortlands.
On February 13 instructed to search for enemy traffic in the Rabaul-Buka-Shortland area. That same day, the submarine recovered a downed Japanese aviator from the sea. That night, forced down by two destroyers but escaped. The last radio transmission received from Amberjack was on February 14 and was ordered north of latitude 6°30'S to hunt for shipping from Rabaul. No further messages were received and by March 10 she failed to report and presumed lost on March 22.
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