Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Silent Victory USS Porpoise War Patrol #2 AAR March 1942


Hello and welcome to the 2nd War Patrol of the USS Porpoise (SS-172). If you missed the Porpoises' 1st War Patrol you can click here to see what you missed.

USS Porpoise SS-172

It took a month to repair and refit the Porpoise after their 1st successful War Patrol. Lt. Commander Callaghan is ordered to take the Porpoise and patrol around the Solomon Islands.

With all provisions and crewmembers aboard the USS Porpoise sets out for its 2nd War Patrol. The sub transits from the sub pens in Australia to the Solomon Islands without incident. The spotters quickly find a lone freighter with an escort on the horizon. The captain decides to attack and closes to medium range and has the Porpoise submerged due to the sun making it easy for the escort to spot them. 

The captain decides to launch all four forward torpedo tubes at the 1,000-ton freighter and nothing for the escort. The Porpoise fires and three of the four torpedoes hit but two of the Mark 14 torpedoes are duds and do not explode. The other two hit and one does critical damage sending the freighter down to the bottom of the ocean. The escort attempts to find the Porpoise but the crew is getting good at evading after an attack and they escape without incident. 

The Porpoise continues on with the patrol and almost immediately the hydrophone operator detects another ship and the captain sent course for the noise. They come across a second lone ship with an escort. The crew has reloaded all forward torpedoes to fire at the 900-ton freighter. The captain decides to only fire two torpedoes at the small freighter and to save the 12 remaining torpedoes for bigger fish.

The Porpoise fires and the two torpedoes find their target and hit. One of the torpedoes is a dud of course but the second one hits and causes 1 damage which is enough to sink the Japanese Freighter. The escort sweeps the area but the Porpoise is about to slip away again without being detected.

After two successful attacks, the captain and crew are happy and continue on with their patrol. Unfortunately, the rest of the patrol is quiet as they come across no more Japanese ships. The captain sets course for the sub base and the Porpoise makes it home without incident.

The Porpoise's 2nd War Patrol ended successfully although the captain wasn't too happy to come back to port with 10 torpedoes but you need to have targets to attack. They sunk two freighters for a total of 1900 tons.

Keijo Maru    1,000 ton freighter
Akiura Maru    900 ton freighter

The USS Porpoise is awarded its second Battle Star for this War Patrol. The sub will spend the next month being resupplied before setting off for their 3rd War Patrol so come back nest time to see how much trouble they can deal out to the Japanese Navy.

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