USS Bullhead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from USS Bullhead (SS-332))
Jump to: navigation, search
USS Bullhead (SS-332)
USS-Bullhead.jpg
History
United States
Builder: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[1]
Laid down: October 21, 1943[1]
Launched: July 16, 1944[1]
Commissioned: December 4, 1944[1]
Fate: Sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Java Sea, August 6, 1945[2]
Notes: One of the last vessels to be sunk in WW2
Badge: Uss bullhead insignia.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Balao-class diesel-electric submarine[2]
Displacement:
  • 1,526 tons (1550 t) surfaced[2]
  • 2,424 tons (2460 t) submerged[2]
Length: 311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)[2]
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[2]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[2]
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 20.25 knots (37 km/h) surfaced[6]
  • 8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[6]
Range: 11,000 nm (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)[6]
Endurance:
  • 48 hours at 2 knots (4 km/h) submerged[6]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[6]
Complement: 10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[6]
Armament:

USS Bullhead (SS-332), a Balao-class submarine, was the very last US Navy ship sunk by enemy action during World War II,[7] probably on the same day that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. She was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bullhead (any large-headed fish, especially the catfish, miller's thumb, and sculpin). Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on July 16, 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Howard R. Doyle, and commissioned December 4, 1944 with Commander W. T. Griffith in command.

Operations[edit]

Bullhead served in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II.

The war operations of Bullhead extended from March 21 to August 1945 during which time she completed two war patrols. Her area of operations included the Java Sea and South China Sea and the Gulf of Siam.

First patrol[edit]

During the greater portion of her first war patrol Bullhead performed lifeguard services and on two occasions bombarded Pratas Island, China, damaging enemy radio installations. She also rescued three airmen from a downed B-29 Superfortress following an air strike on the China coast.

Second patrol[edit]

On her second patrol, in May and June 1945 in the Gulf of Siam and the South China Sea, Bullhead sank two small freighters, a schooner and a sub chaser totaling 1800 tons and damaged two more sub chasers and another small freighter, all in gun actions.[8]

Third patrol and sinking[edit]

On July 31, 1945 Bullhead left Fremantle submarine base, Western Australia to commence her third war patrol. Her orders were to patrol in a "wolfpack" with Capitaine (SS-336) and Puffer (SS-268) in the Java Sea until September 5 and then head for Subic Bay in the Philippines.

Bullhead reported on August 6 that she had passed through Lombok Strait. That was the last word received from Bullhead. On August 12, Capitaine, planning to arrive on August 13, ordered Bullhead to take position the following day in a scouting line with Capitaine and Puffer. Receiving no reply, Capitaine reported on August 15, "Have been unable to contact Bullhead by any means since arriving in area."

Since the British submarines HMS Taciturn and Thorough, were in the same general area as Bullhead, and Cod (SS-224) and Chub (SS-329) passed through in transit at various times, it is difficult to determine precisely which of the many Japanese anti-submarine attacks was the one that sank Bullhead. However, one occurred on August 6, 1945, when a Mitsubishi Ki-51 from the 73rd Independent Chutai (literally "company" or squadron) of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force attacked with depth charges. It claimed two direct hits, and for ten minutes thereafter, there was a great amount of gushing oil and air bubbles rising in the water. Since the position given is very near the Bali coast, it is presumed that the proximity of mountain peaks shortened Bullhead's radar range and prevented her receiving a warning of the plane's approach. 84 men were lost while serving on USS Bullhead during her service.

Commendations[edit]

Bullhead received two battle stars for her World War II service.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–280. ISBN 0-313-26202-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–280. ISBN 978-0-313-26202-9. 
  4. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 p. 261
  5. ^ a b c U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  6. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  7. ^ "Military: When was the last time the U.S. Navy lost a ship in combat? - Quora". www.quora.com. 
  8. ^ Bullhead's 1945 records claims are one ship sunk 30 May; one ship sunk June 18; one ship sunk and three damaged 19 June and one ship sunk June 25; for confirmation of two ships sunk by Bullhead June 18 & 19 – see [1]

External links[edit]