Built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Laid down December 9, 1942. Launched March 10, 1943. Commissioned July 16, 1943 with Lieutenant Commander Walter Paul Schoeni in command. After her shakedown cruise off the New England,
departed New London, CT on September 13 via the Panama Canal on September 25 before arriving at Pearl Harbor on October 11 and immediately commenced
three weeks of training.
After loading fuel and provisions, Apogon got underway
on November 3 on her first war patrol patrolling a 60 mile radius off Moen and the shipping
lanes between Truk and Kwajalein. Next, the submarine
supported Operation Galvanic, the seizure of the
Gilbert Islands. After a brief stop at Johnston on November 5 to top
off her fuel
tanks, continued to her assigned area. During this patrol, she sighted
four contacts deemed worthy of torpedo expenditure and actually attacked three.
The only major damage she inflicted occurred on December 4, she sank a 2,962 ton Japanese gunboat. On December 18, she ended her patrol
at Midway. After a refit, Apogon proceeded
to Pearl Harbor arriving on December 26 for more repairs and training.
Departed Pearl Harbor on January 15, 1944 off the Marianas. On February 1, Apogon sighted a six-ship convoy and fired torpedoes. The
crew heard an explosion and saw the target burst into flames.
Ten minutes later, the lookout saw about 50' of the ship's
stern sticking out of the water, then disappeared. Apogon
then attacked another Japanese auxiliary ship. Although Apogon claimed to
have sunk both, she was not officially credited with destroying
either. After 50 days, returned to Pearl Harbor on March 9. Apogon moored beside USS Bushnell
(AS-15) on March 10 to commence refit. The submarine was dry-docked
at Pearl Harbor from March 15
to 19 for the installation of two new propellers and additional
Departed April 2 via a refueling stop at Johnston on April 4 and departed the same day to a patrol area south of Japan. However, when a
crewman was preparing to clean a 20mm cannon the next
live cartridge was accidentally discharged and ricocheted
into the man's leg. Apogon returned to Johnston to transfer the wounded crewmen to the hospital then departed on April 6. No enemy shipping was encountered during the entire patrol that terminated on May 22 at Majuro. Afterwards, Apogon underwent a refit on May 23 before getting underway on June 8 for trials.
Apogon departed on her fourth patrol in the area between
Formosa and the Philippines, as part of a wolf pack with USS GUARDFISH (SS-217),
USS THRESHER (SS-200), and USS PIRANHA (SS-389).
On 12 July, Apogon
and her consorts spotted a nine-ship Japanese convoy sailing with
approximately six escorts. The submarines immediately began preparing
The leading Japanese ship of the center column of the formation apparently
sighted the wake of Apogon's periscope and turned back to ram the
submarine. As Apogon was turning to port to bring her stern tubes
to bear, she
was struck on the starboard side by the freighter. About eight feet
of the main periscope and periscope shears were torn off, and the
radar masts were bent and put out of commission.
As a result, Apogon
ended her patrol proceeding to Midway on July 22 where crews installed additional bracing on the periscope
before the submarine proceeded on to Pearl Harbor arriving on July 26 and entered dry dock. During repairs, both
tail shafts were replaced and realigned, and the periscope, periscope
shears, and the radar masts were replaced. The three main engines
were also overhauled.
On September 12, Apogon departed for her fifth patrol off the Kuril Islands. The submarine
claimed to have sunk a Japanese patrol craft on 23 September, but
this kill was not confirmed. Four days later, her luck improved for
sank a 2,000-ton cargo ship. Following this sinking she rescued two
Japanese survivors. The next month proved fruitless, and Apogon arrived
at Midway on 28 October, ending her fifth patrol.
After a month of refit,
Apogon commenced her sixth patrol on 20 November, again sailing for
the Kuril Islands. The only action of this patrol
was an attack on a tanker, which the submarine hit and damaged with
a torpedo. On 5 January 1945, Apogon arrived in Pearl Harbor for
a brief stay before getting underway on 7 January for the Mare Island
Navy Yard to undergo a major overhaul.
Apogon returned to action on 28 May. Her patrol station was the Kuril
Islands-Sea of Okhotsk area. She attacked a convoy of four Japanese
ships and escort vessels on 18 June and sank one 2,614-ton transport.
On 2 July, Apogon severely damaged a small submarine chaser. The
patrol ended on 14 July at Midway.
On August 7, 1945 began her eighth patrol, assigned to the Marcus Island area. She made no
attacks during this patrol. Afterwards, Apogon returned to Pearl Harbor
on September 2 then departed for San Diego arriving September 11 and placed in reserve on October 1.
During January 1946, the submarine sailed for Pearl Harbor where
undergo preliminary work and tests in preparation to be used as a target
in atomic bomb testing. Following completion of this refitting, Apogon
arrived at Bikini Atoll on May 31, 1946.
On July 25, 1946 sunk by atomic
bomb test "Baker" off Bikini Atoll. Officiallly, she was struck from
the Navy list on February 25, 1947.
SeaWolf Productions -
USS Apogon SS-308
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November 16, 2018