Saturday, September 12, 2020

Silent Victory USS Tambor War Patrol 2

Today Lieutenant Commander Smith, Captain of the USS Tambor, begins his second war patrol. The Tambor's first war patrol was a success with being awarded a Bronze Star, you can click here to read War Patrol 1. For their second War Patrol, the USS Tambor has been assigned to patrol around Midway Island with the sub pulling away from Pearl Harbor in March 1942.

Pearl Harbor
The Tambor pulls away from Pearl Harbor and makes it to open water without being spotted by an enemy aircraft. The patrol begins pretty slow without any contacts either good or bad. Nearly half of the patrol passes before any contacts are spotted.

One of the lookouts spots a lone ship at midday. The captain looks over the situation and decides to dive once an escort is detected. Once under the waves, the Tambor creeps closer to the freighter, despite the escort, the captain moves into close range. The captain decides to fire four fore torpedoes at the freighter, two of the torpedoes miss the target but two hits! The dud situation is still bad so one of the torpedoes doesn't go off but the one that does cause enough damage to sink the freighter which weighs in at 5,200 tons.

The Tambor is able to sneak off during the commotion without the escort ever detecting them.

The sub continues on with its patrol and the next week the boat stumbles upon another lone ship with an escort in the Pacific Ocean. With the sun shining down the captain decides to approach submerged and gets into close range with the freighter without being detected. Captain Smith decides on a full attack of four fore torpedoes and two aft torpedoes.

The captain orders "Fire" and the six torpedoes are away. The captain's calculations were on the money and five of the six torpedoes hit the freighter. Out of the five hits, only two torpedoes do not go off but the three that do cause plenty of damage to sink the freighter which had a weight of 6,900 tons. Just like their first attack, the Tambor is able to sneak away from the battle without being spotted by the escort.

At this point in the patrol there are only a few weeks left and despite their luck running good in the last two weeks the rest of the patrol finishes without any further contacts. The submarine makes the transit to Pearl Harbor without being spotted and the USS Tambor completes its second War Patrol at the end of April 1942.

The USS Tambor destroyed two freighters on this war patrol for a total of 12,100 tons.

Taikyo Maru 5,200 Ton Freighter
Oshikamu Maru 6,900 Ton Freighter

The Navy concludes that the War Patrol was a success and awards the Tambor second battle star. The USS Tambor has now successfully completed two War Patrols and has sunk five ships for a total of 19,300 tons.

Lieutenant Commander Smith has been ordered to patrol around the Empire Of Japan for his third War Patrol after a month of refit and resupply at Pearl Harbor. Come back next week for the Tambor's third War Patrol.

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