Saturday, July 16, 2022

Silent Victory USS Narwhal War Patrol #4 AAR September 1942


Hello and welcome to the fourth War Patrol of the Narwhal class USS Narwhal (SS-167). If you missed the Narwhal's last patrol you can click here to find out what you missed.

After the Narwhal's third War Patrol the boat arrived at the sub pens at Pearl Harbor at the end of June 1942. It took two months to refit and restock the sub. Lt Commander Brown receives his new orders which are to take the Narwhal and patrol off the coast of the Empire Of Japan and lay down a minefield.

Early September 1942 the Narwahl leaves Pearl Harbor for their fourth War Patrol. Because the mission is to lay down a minefield the sub had to ship out with 10 fewer torpedoes. The Narwhal transits from Pearl Harbor to the coast of Japan without incident.

The Narwhal successfully lays down all their minds and continues on with their patrol off of the Japanese islands. After a few days sonar picks up some screws and the Narwhal finds two Japanese freighters with an escort. Despite getting burned doing this on their last patrol, the Captain decides to wait until the cover of night to attack.

As the sun sets the sub has had no issue tracking the ships and decides to attack the at medium range while submerged. Captain Brown orders six torpedoes fired, three each to the transports. The torpedoes fired at the first ship all hit! Unfortunately due to being equipped with the terrible Mark 14 torpedoes two of them do not explode but the third does hit and damages the ship. Two torpedoes fired at the second ship miss but the third and last torpedo hits the ship and again it doesn't go off.

The damaged ship wasn't hurt enough to sink and now the escort is alerted and actively searching for the Narwhal. The Captain realizes he won't get another shot at the enemy again and orders the Narwhal to run silent and escape which the sub does.

The rest of the patrol goes without any more contacts and the Narwhal makes it back to Pearl Harbor undetected.

The Narwhal is awarded its fourth Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia and Battle Star. For completing the Mine Laying successfully Lt Commander Brown is awarded the Navy Commendation Ribbon.

After four successful War Patrols, the Narwhal has sunk a total of 5 ships for total tons of 25,500. The Narwhal will spend the next two months restocking and will then begin their fifth War Patrol, Click here for the Narwhal's Fifth War Patrol!

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