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  USS Apogon SS-308
USN
Balao class submarine

1,550 Tons (surfaced)
2,429 Tons (submerged)
311.6' x 27' 3" x 16' 10"
10 x 23" Torpedo Tubes
with 24 torpedoes
1 x 5" deck gun
1 x 40mm gun
1 x 20mm cannon
Click For Enlargement
USN
Click For Enlargement
Seawolf Productions 2002

Ship History
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.

First Patrol
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.

Second Patrol
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 training.

Third Patrol
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 day, a 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.

Fourth Patrol
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 an attack. 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 prematurely ended her patrol proceeding to Midway on July 22 where crews installed additional bracing on the periscope shears 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.

Fifth Patrol
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 she 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.

Sixth 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.

Seventh Patrol
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.

Eight Patrol
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.

Post War
During January 1946, the submarine sailed for Pearl Harbor where she was to 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.

Sinking History
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.

References
SeaWolf Productions - USS Apogon SS-308

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

 

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