Saturday, August 20, 2022

Silent Victory USS Porpoise War Patrol #1 AAR December 1941

Hello and welcome to the 1st War Patrol of the USS Porpoise (SS-172) with the game Silent Victory. The Porpoise is a new class of submarine by the US Navy that was designed and commissioned in the 1930s and fought throughout World War 2. The Porpoise is the first boat of this class and gave the class its name. At the beginning of WW2, the USS Porpoise was captained by Lieutenant Commander Joseph A. Callaghan.

In December 1941 the Porpoise is based at the Brisbane docks in Australia. The Navy outfits the Porpoise with war munitions and once the crew and Captain are aboard they ship out for their first War Patrol of WW2.

USS Porpoise in dock

The Porpoise makes it from the sub base to the Philippines without incident. The brass has ordered the Porpoise to patrol off the Philippine Islands and to sink any Japanese ships they encounter. The first two weeks of the patrol are slow without any sightings of the enemy. The crew begins to think that there isn't a war going on when they stumble across 2,800 ton Japanese freighter with a 1,200-ton escort ready to protect it.

Japanese Freighter

The Captain decides to attack so he submerges the sub and closes to medium range to acquire a firing solution. He decides to fire all four forward torpedo tubes at the freighter. The Porpoise fires its torpedoes in its first attack of the war. Two torpedoes miss the freighter but the other two hit and both explode, with these torpedoes being the terrible Mark 14 I was surprised any of them exploded. The torpedoes cause two damage which is enough to sink the freighter.

The escort begins a search of the area for the Porpoise but the US sub has already snuck away from the area. 

The Porpoise continues on with its patrol and pretty quickly runs into another lone Japanese ship with escort. The Captain submerges the submarine again despite it being dark and closes to medium range to attack again. The Captain fires four forward torpedoes at the 4,200-ton Japanese passenger ship and has two torpedoes hit but the Mark 14 torpedoes do not explode, two duds. The Escort amazingly picks up the quiet submarine and begins to stalk it. Captain Callaghan tries to evade the escort and its depth charges but one explodes too close and causes damage to the Porpoises' engines. 

The Porpoise continues evasive maneuvers as the depth charges explode around it and manages to escape away without taking any more damage. The crew attempts to fix the engines but the Engineer has to tell the Captain the damage cannot be repaired until back in dock. With the Porpoise down to one diesel engine remaining he sets course back to port for repairs. 

The crew sulks as the sub make its way back to port. Suddenly the hydrophone operator picks up enemy ships and the spotters on the bridge find a convoy on the horizon.

With so many torpedoes still onboard the Captain decides to attack, the sub can maneuver on the electric motors during the attack to not lose any maneuverability. The Captain submerges the submarine and closes to medium range. They located the biggest ship, a 5,900-ton freighter and the Captain fires his four forward torpedoes at it. Two of the four hit and they both explode causing 2 damage, a bad blow but not enough to sink it. 

The escorts look for the Porpoise but with the noise from the damaged ship the sub is able to evade them. Captain Callaghan decides to follow the damaged ship in order to sink it properly. Unfortunately, the escort sticks with the damaged freighter so they will have to deal with them again. The Porpoise has no more forward torpedoes so he turns the sub to face away from the freighter to begin the attack. He closes to medium range while submerged and fires two torpedoes but they both miss the freighter.

The Porpoise stays undetected from the escort and the Captain decides to follow the damaged freighter again hoping this time he can sink it. When they close in the crew is surprised to find the escort has abandoned the freighter so Captain Callaghan moves the Porpoise into close range and surfaces. He will have the freighter destroyed using the deck guns which make quick work of the freighter. With the second ship sunk on this patrol the Captain sets course for their home port and the Porpoise makes it back without running into any more Japanese ships or planes. The USS Porpoise's first War Patrol ends with success. They sunk two enemy ships for a total of 8,700 tons sunk. 

The USS Porpoise's first War Patrol ends with success. They suck two enemy ships for a total of 8,700 tons.

Fujikawa Maru 2,800 ton freighter
Nikko Maru      5,900 ton freighter

The USS Porpoise is awarded the Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia and its first Battle Star. After repairs and refit, the Porpoise will begin its second War Patrol so stay tuned.

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