Saury SS-189 - History

Saury SS-189 - History


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Saury
(SS-189: dp. 1,450 (surf.), 2,340 (subm.), 1. 310'6";
b. 27'1", dr. 13'8" (mean), s. 20 k. (surf.), 8.75 k.
(subm.), cpl. 55; a. 8 21" tt., 1 3", 4 mg.; cl. Sargo)

Saury (SS-189) was laid down on 28 June 1937 by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn., launched on 20 August 1938; sponsored by Mrs. James Paul Casbarfan, who headed the Navy's Ships Names and Sponsors Office, and commissioned on 3 April 1939, Lt. G. W. Patterson, Jr., in command.

Following commissioning, Saury conducted tests in the New London area and as far south as Annapolis before visiting New York City in late April for the world's fair. In mid-May, she conducted tests with experimental periscopes, then prepared for her shakedown cruise which, between 26 June and 26 August, took her from Newfoundland to Venezuela and the Canal Zone and back to southern New England. In September, she entered the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard, for post-shakedown overhaul.

After overhaul and final trials, Saury got underway on 4 December for the west coast. On the 12th she transited the Panama Canal and, nine days later, joined Submarine Division (SubDiv) 16 of Submarine Squadron ( SubRon) 6, at San Diego. Upkeep, exereises, and services as a target for surface units took her through March 1940. In April, she sailed west to participate in Fleet Problem XXI, an eight-phased problem simulating an attack on the defense of the Hawaiian area and the destruction of one fleet prior to the eoneentration of another.

Based afterward at Pearl Harbor, Saury conducted exercises in the Hawaiian Islands and as far west as Midway until she returned to the west coast in September for overhaul at Mare Island. From March to October 1941, she operated out of both Pearl Harbor and San Diego, then departed the former for her new base, Cavite, P.I.

Assigned to SubDiv 21, SubRon 2, after 1 June 1941, Saury arrived in Manila Bay in mid-November. On 8 December (7 December east of the International Date Line), she got underway for her first war patrol.

Clearing Manila Bay, Saury moved north to search for and intercept ships of the Japanese invasion force. Lack of emergency identification systems and radio problems complicated her job. During the next two weeks, she patrolled near Vigan and along a northsouth line at longitude 120° E. Then, on the 21st, she was ordered into Lingayen Gulf in response to Stingray's report of Japanese forces there.

Prior to dawn on the 22d, she took up patrol duties off San Fernando in the northern approaches to the gulf and moved south. At 0411, she sighted an enemy destroyer and, at 0424, she fired. Although the "fish" headed "right at" the destroyer, there was no explosion. At 0426, a second destroyer appeared; and, the hunter became the hunted. Saury commenced evasive tactics in the relatively shallow waters of the gulf. Depth charges were dropped, but none within 1,000 yards of the submarine. Saury continued on evasive courses, working her way to the northwest and out of the destroyer-patrolled area. By noon, she was clear. After dark, she moyed back into the gulf, past the enemy patrol line between San Fernando and Cape Bolinao.

At about 0210 on the 23d, an enemy destroyer sighted Saury. The submarine went to 120 feet. By 0216, three depth charges had exploded within 200 yards. Two more depth charges followed, but Saury escaped and continued to hunt for targets. Early afternoon brought more depth charging, but Saury was not damaged. On the 24th, she sighted a transport, running fast and very close in shore. The submarine was unable to close and attack.

That evening brought a change in orders; and, in preparing to clear the area, Saury found herself between two enemy ships. She headed out "playing tag with enemy destroyers all night." The next evening, she was again closed by an enemy destroyer. She went to 140 feet and evaded the enemy's depth charges. On the night of the 27th and 28th, she interrupted battery charging to avoid a division of enemy destroyers. On 1 January 1942, she sighted an enemy convoy, but was unable to close the range. On the 8th, she received orders to proceed to the Netherlands East Indies.

Moving south, Saury patrolled the Basilan Strait area on the 11th and 12th. By then, Tarakan had fallen and the submarine headed south to patrol the enemy's Davao-Tarakan line. By the 16th, she was 30 miles east of the Tarakan lightship; and, on the 18th, she crossed the equator into the southern latitudes.

On the 19th, the Japanese landed at Sandakan in North Borneo, and Saury arrived at Balikpapan to fuel and provision. The next day, the submarine— fueled but not provisioned—departed and, after patrolling toward Cape William, Celebes, took up station in the approaches to Balikpapan.

On the 23d, as other Allied units moved into Makassar Strait to delay the Japanese, Saury shifted north to the Koetai (Mahakam) River Delta in hopes of impeding enemy shipping moving south to Balikpapan. On the morning of the 24th, she was illuminated, forced to go deep, and was unable to attack.

After the Japanese took Balikpapan, Saury was ordered to patrol off Cape William. On the 27th, she moved toward Java. On the 30th, she rendezvoused with a Duteh patrol vessel off Meinderts Reef, thence proceeded through Madoera Strait to Soerabaja.

On 9 February, as the Japanese were taking Makassar City, Saury departed Soerabaja for her second war patrol. The submarine headed east to patrol along the north coasts of the Lesser Soendas. On the 13th, she headed north-northwest for a three-day patrol between Kabaena and Salajar off the Celebes coast. From there, she moved southwest to patrol the entrance to Lombok Strait. On the night of the 19th and 20th, she received word of the Japanese landing on Bali; sighted her first enemy ships of the patrol; and commenced 18 hours of submerged evasive tactics to avoid enemy destroyers' depth charges. On the 24th, she shifted northward to an area southeast of Sepandjarlg Island where she sighted and attacked, unsuccessfully, an enemy convoy.

From 26 February to 8 March Saury patrolled from Meinderts Reef to Kangean Isiand, the eastern entranee to Madoera Strait. However, the Japanese moved on Soerabaja from the north and west. Batavia and Soerabaja fell. On the 9th, Saury began making her way to Australia. The submarine arrived at Fremantle on the 17th. Her torpedoes, Mark 14's, had not damaged the enemy.

On 28 April, Saury cleared Fremantle for her third war patrol, but, three days later, a crack in the after trim tank caused her to return to Australia. On 7 May, she again departed Fremantle and headed north. By the 14th, she was off Timor; and, by the 16th, she was in the Flores Sea, en route to the Banda Sea and the eastern Celebes coast. On the 18th, off Wowoni, she fired three torpedoes at an enemy cargo-passenger ship without effect. She remained in the area for two days to intercept enemy traffic to Kendari; then moved north to hunt in Greyhound Strait and the Molueea Passage. On the 23d and 24th, she was off Kema, whence she rounded North Cape to patrol off Manado on the northern Celebes coast.

On the 26th, Saury commenced hunting in the eastern Celebes Sea. On the 28th, she sighted and fired on a merchantman which had been converted into a seaplane carrier but again was unsuccessful.

On 8 June, the submarine turned south and began retracing her route through the Molueea Passage and Greyhound Strait. From the 12th to the 14th, she again patrolled off Kendari. On the 15th, she searched Boeton Passage; then moved into the Flores Sea, whence she headed via Timor for Australia. Saury returned to Fremantle on 28 June.

On 2 July, she sailed for Albany where tests were to be conducted on the Mark 14 torpedo. On the 18th Saury fired four torpedoes at a net 850 to 900 yards away. The torpedoes were set for 10 feet. The first passed through an area from which the net had been torn during the night. The other three penetrated the net at 21 feet.

From the 23d to the 25th, Saury escorted Holland back to Fremantle, then prepared for her fourth war patrol which would take her back to the Philippines.

Sailing at the end of the month, Saury transited Lombok Strait on 6 August and, by the 16th was running up the Iloilo-Manila sea lane. On the 17th, she investigated Ambulong Strait and Mangarin Bay. On the 18th, she moved up the Mindoro Coast to Cape Calavite, whence she took up station west of Corregidor.

On the 20th, the submarine moved into the presumed enemy convoy route. The next day, she sighted and attempted to close a tanker; then shifted her patrol to a line five miles off the coast.

On the 24th, the submarine again closed Manila Bay. At 0645, she sighted masts; but heavy rain soon moved in and obscured the target. At 0952, she fired two torpedoes. Her periscope began vibrating, hindering visibility and precluding the firing of two more torpedoes. At 0954, an explosion was heard and the target, a small tanker, was seen to take on a 5° list to port. Saury proceeded to 200 feet to avoid detection by enemy air patrol units. At about 1047, a bomb exploded close by the submarine. Depth charges followed and, at 1150 and 1152, two more bombs exploded.

The hunt for the submarine continued through the afternoon. At 1810, the sounds of propellers and pinging died out. At 1921, Saury surfaced, started reeharging and headed out to sea on her three available engines. An hour later, she was sighted by an enemy destroyer, which closed in fast. Saury submerged, and her elusive tactics were again suceessful.

The next night, she sighted another enemy warship a destroyer or a torpedo boat. The submarine, badly in need of a charge, did not attack. The 29th brought extremely poor weather. On the 31st, she sighted a hospital ship. On 3 September, the day she headed south, the weather began to clear.

On the 7th, Saury received orders to patrol off Makassar City and, while surfaced on the night of the 11th, she sighted a cargoman. At 2058, she sent three torpedoes at the target. At 2100, an explosion rocked the target. Flames enveloped the center of the ship. Its superstructure and deck cargo blazed. Eighteen minutes later, the target blew up. Japanese records identified the victim as the 8,606-ton aircraft ferry, Kanto Maru.

On the 17th, Saury cleared Lombok Strait and headed for Exmouth Gulf where she delivered excess fuel to a barge; thence continued on to Fremantle, arriving on 23 September.

From 24 September to 18 October, she underwent upkeep and repairs. She then shifted to Brisbane whence she departed on 31 October for her fifth war patrol. Her 27-day patrol was conducted off western and northern New Britain where she had 27 contacts was able to develop 4; and fired 13 torpedoes, of which only one was a possible hit.

On 21 December, Saury arrived at Pearl Harbor and, on the 29th, she moored at Mare Island. During her ensuing overhaul, she received a bathythermograph and a high periscope.

Saury returned to Pearl Harbor on 16 April 1943 and, on 7 May, she departed for her sixth war patrol which would take her into the East China Sea to operate off the northern Ryukyus and in the coastal waters of Kyushu. During the patrol, she would also test the effectiveness of the high periscope in daytime attacks and the usefulness of the bathythermograph in locating thermal layers to hide in.

On 11 May, Saury topped off on fuel and lubricating oil at Midway, then continued west On the 19th, she ran into the edges of a typhoon. On the 20th, "the bottom dropped out of the barometer", but, the next day, the storm abated. On the 25th, the submarine entered her assigned area and headed toward Amami O Shima, a naval base some 200 miles south of the industrial port of Kagoshima on southern Kyushu.

Patrolling to the west of the island, Saury sighted her first enemy Maru soon after 0900 on the 26th; but the ship was too distant to catch. About an hour later she abandoned the approach; then sighted a five-ship convoy on the port quarter At 1030, she fired tubes 1 2, and 3. One minute and 44 seconds later, a torpedo exploded against the stern of a transport. Nine seconds after that, another hit broke the target's back and sent debris high into the air. The 2,300-ton Kagi Maru went under.

At 1034, Saury went deep. By 1038, nine depth charges had been dropped; but, none was close.

On the afternoon of the 28th, Saury, patrolling on the surface with her high periscope in operation sighted the masts of a steamer and moved to intercept. Fourteen minutes later, at 1643, she submerged. At 1724, she fired four torpedoes at the target, the unEscorted, empty, 10,216-ton tanker, Akatsuki Maru. Three missed, one hit. The tanker's speed had been underestimated. The tanker dropped two depth charges. Saury fired six more torpedoes. Four scored and the tanker went under.

In the late afternoon of the 29th, Saury, again on the surface and using the high periscope, sighted smoke about fourteen miles off. At 1913, she submerged and began tracking a convoy of four cargo ships and three tankers. At 2058, she surfaced and attacked. Japanese records show that she sank Takamisan Maru 1,992 tons, and Shoko Maru, 5,385 tons.

On the 30th, Saury headed back to Midway. On 7 June, her number 4 main engine went out of commission. The next day, she arrived at Midway; and, on the 13th, she moored at Pearl Harbor for repairs and refit.

A month later on 13 July, the submarine departed Hawaii on her 7th war patrol. On the 21st, her number 4 marn engine again went out of commission, and remained out for the duration of the patrol. Poor weather then slowed her westward progress still further; and, on the night of the 30th, while half way between Iwo Jima and Okinawa, she made her first contact of the patrol.

The contact was made by radar at about 2225. Saury set a course to intercept the targets, two large warships and a destroyer. At 0303 on the 31st, Saury submerged. At 0325, she turned to attack, Iosing, regaining, losing, and then regaining depth control. By then, the targets had passed firing bearing. A few seconds later, at 0338, the sound operator reported a bearing of 180° relative. Almost simultaneously, the periscope revealed a destroyer with a 0° angle on the bow. The commanding officer ordered Saury deep. A few seconds later, two jolts shook Saury. She took on a 5° list to port. She continued to go deeper, then retired to the east. No depth charges were heard. Saury remained at 175 to 200 feet all day. At 2020, she surfaeed. Her periscope shears were bent 30° from the vertical to starboard. All equipment mounted therein was damaged. Both periscopes and both radars were out of commission. Saury had been blinded.

Temporary repairs were made; and, at 0403 on 1 August, Saury headed home, arriving at Midway on the 8th and at Pearl Harbor on the 12th. Her patrol had ended before she had reached her assigned area but she was credited with causing damage to an enemy destroyer.

During repair and refit, Saury was given an enlarged conning tower, new periscope shears, and new radar equipment. Her number 4 engine was completely overhauled. On 4 October, she was ready for sea.

On her eighth and ninth war patrols, 4 October to 26 November 1943 and 21 December 19 13 to 14 February 1944, Saury inflieted no damage. Much of the latter patrol was spent in fighting extremely bad weather in the East China Sea, during which proper navigational positions were unobtainable. At the end of that patrol, one day out of Midway, she was swamped by an oversized swell while her hatches were open. The wave overtook Saury from the quarter, pushed her over to a 40° list to port; turned her 140° from her course; and sent green water through the conning tower hatch and main induction. Electrical equipment grounded out and small fires were started but quickly extinguished. Auxiliary power was restored in half an hour, but repairs to main control required almost a full day, and repairs to the master gyro took even longer.

Saury arrived at Pearl Harbor from Midway on 21 February and continued on to Mare Island where she underwent overhaul and re-engining during March and April. On 16 June, she returned to Pearl Harbor, and on the 29th, she departed on her 10th war patrol.

On 3 July, she topped off at Midway. On 5 July, a cracked cylinder liner forced her back to Midway for repairs, and, on the 6th, she headed out again. On the 11th, another cylinder liner cracked, but she continued on toward her assigned area, San Bernardino Strait in the Philippines, which she entered on the 18th.

On 4 August, the submarine shifted north in hope of better hunting, and, on the 6th, she sighted an unEscorted freighter. However, the glassy sea, unlimited visibility, and enemy, land-based, patrol planes eombined against her, and she broke off the attack. Four days later, she departed the area, arriving at Majuro on the 23d.

From 20 September to 29 November 1944, Saury conducted her eleventh and last war patrol. She patrolled in the Nansei Shoto area from 20 September to 4 November, rescuing a downed pilot of VF-8 but sinking no enemy ships as she hunted in the wake of the fast carrier forces. After stopping at Saipan from 5 to 10 November, she proceeded on the second phase of the patrol—an anti-patrol vessel sweep north of the Bonins. Extremely poor weather again interfered, but on the 18th, she damaged a tanker. On the 29th, she returned to Pearl Harbor.

For the remainder of the war, Saury served in the Hawaiian area as a target and training submarine. On 19 August 1945, she sailed for San Francisco and inactivation. Saury was decommissioned on 22 June 1946, and her name was struck from thc Navy list on 19 July. She was sold and delivered to the Learner Co. Oakland, Calif., in May 1947, and was scrapped the following October.

Saury earned seven battle stars during World War


USS Saury (SS-189)

4 × Hooven-Owens-Rentschler (H.O.R.) 9-cylinder diesel engines (two hydraulic-drive, two driving electrical generators) ΐ] Β]
2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries Α]
4 × high-speed General Electric electric motors with reduction gears ΐ]
two shafts ΐ]
5,500 shp (4.1 MW) surfaced ΐ]

USS Saury (SS-189), a Sargo-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the saury, a long-beaked relative of the flying fish found in the temperate zones of the Atlantic.

Her keel was laid down on 28 June 1937 by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 20 August 1938 sponsored by Mrs. James Paul Casbarian, who headed the Navy's Ships Names and Sponsors Office, and commissioned on 3 April 1939 with Lieutenant G. W. Patterson, Jr., in command.


Saury SS-189 - History

USS Saury , a 1450-ton Sargo class submarine built at Groton, Connecticut, was commissioned in early April 1939. She spent most of the remainder of that year conducting tests off the East Coast, making a shakedown cruise to Venezuela and the Panama Canal Zone and undergoing post-shakedown overhaul. Late in 1939 Saury went to the Pacific, where in April 1940 she participated in Fleet Problem XXI, a large exercise held in Hawaiian waters. The submarine was based at Pearl Harbor until October 1941, when she was sent west to reinforce the defenses of the Philippine Islands. When Japan began the Pacific War on 8 December (local time), she was sent to conduct anti-invasion patrols north of Lingayen Gulf. On 22 December 1941 she made an unsuccessful attack on an enemy destroyer and escaped several depth-charge counter attacks. Saury later operated in the Dutch East Indies and ended her first war patrol at Soerabaja at the end of January 1942. Her next combat cruise, part of the futile effort to defend the East Indies against the conquering Japanese, was completed in mid-March at Fremantle, Australia.

Saury was based in Australia for her next three war patrols, conducted between April and December 1942. In July she fired Mark XIV torpedoes in tests that demonstrated that these weapons ran much deeper than expected, one of a series of serious technical deficiencies that crippled U.S. Navy submarine operations during the Pacific war's first year and a half. Saury sank a Japanese aircraft ferry in September, but other attacks were spoiled by premature torpedo warhead detonations.

Following overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Yard, in May 1943 the submarine began operating from Pearl Harbor. Her sixth war patrol was very successful, costing the Japanese a tanker and three freighters in late May. Engine troubles ( Saury was built with H.O.R. diesels, which proved to be very troublesome), a damaging collision with a Japanese destroyer, bad weather and a serious flooding incident helped keep her scoreless on her seventh, eighth and ninth patrols. In March-May 1944 Saury was again overhauled at Mare Island, work that included installation of new engines. Even so, she had further machinery casualties during her tenth war patrol, off the Philippines in June-August. In September-November 1944 Saury made an eleventh cruise. Operating in the vicinity of Japan, she damaged one enemy ship and rescued a U.S. Navy fighter pilot who had crashed at sea during the mid-October carrier raids on Okinawa.

This was the now-ageing submarine's last voyage into hostile territory. For the rest of World War II Saury was employed on training and target duties in Hawaiian waters. She spent the last months of 1945 and the first half of 1946 preparing for inactivation. Formally decommissioned in June 1946, she was stricken from the list of Navy ships in mid-July and, in May 1947, was sold for scrapping.

This page features all the views we have concerning USS Saury (SS-189).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 4 April 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 72KB 740 x 615 pixels

Seen from astern, while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 4 April 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 71KB 740 x 625 pixels

Plan view, forward, taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 April 1943.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.
Note the small gasoline truck on the wharf, at right. The truck parked beyond it is marked "Photographic Dept."

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 98KB 740 x 625 pixels

Plan view, aft, taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 April 1943.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.
Several landing craft, tank, are in the right background, one wearing pattern camouflage. The two outboard LCTs are LCT-394 (seen bow-on) and LCT-395 (seen from astern).
Note the wooden fender platforms floating at left.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 95KB 740 x 625 pixels

Underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 69KB 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 53KB 740 x 620 pixels

Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 53KB 740 x 620 pixels

Seen from ahead, while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 48KB 740 x 625 pixels

Seen from astern, while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 57KB 740 x 615 pixels

At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 3 June 1944.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.
Note the two-armed overhead travelling crane in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 127KB 740 x 615 pixels

Plan view, aft, taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 3 June 1944.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 119KB 740 x 620 pixels

Aerial view, looking west, with the supply depot in upper center, 13 October 1941. Part of the Submarine Base is at lower left the Navy Yard is in the upper left and Ford Island is in the top right.
See Photo # 80-G-451131 (complete caption) for identification of some of the ships present.


USS SAURY (SS-189): The Perils of “Pooping”

On 28 June 1937, the keel of PCU SAURY (SS-189) was laid at Electric Boat Company in Groton, CT. Between December of 1941 and November of 1944, SAURY successfully completed eleven war patrols and was awarded seven battle stars. But on the night of 12 February 1944, her crew discovered just how fickle Mother Nature can be.

As Theodore Roscoe described the scene in United States Submarine Operations in World War II, SAURY “was about a day’s run west of Midway, returning from patrol. Drumming along on the surface, she was making normal time, and the crew was engaged in such routine activities as standing lookout, polishing brightwork and plucking the hairs on a forearm. …Then at 2225, without warning or previous omen,” SAURY was “pooped,” or swamped with her hatches open.

In his patrol report, the sub’s commanding officer, Commander A.H. Dropp, described the situation like this: “[T]ook a big one over very suddenly causing a list of about 40 [degrees] port and taking much water thru the conning tower hatch and the main and hull inductions. The pooping sea caused the ship’s head to swing about 140 degrees in about a half a minute. Major damage sustained was grounding out of the main control cubicle. Due to heavy seas it was not advisable to proceed on direct drive engines and therefore lay to until control cell grounds were cleared….”

Auxiliary power was restored within 30 minutes, but it took nearly a full day of repairs before the boat was capable of resuming normal operations. “Fortunately the ‘pooping’ had happened outside of enemy waters,” Roscoe noted. “Dire consequences could have resulted, otherwise, for SAURY was unable to dive on her motors for 21 hours.” The boat returned safely to Midway, but, Roscoe writes, “all hands agreed they could have dispensed with the ‘pooping’ experience.”


Saury SS-189 - History

The following table shows the officers assigned to submarine-related commands during World War II organized by their Class Year at the US Naval Academy. This table utilizes the sources used in the other
Submarine Commander pages at this site, but especially on research conducted by Tom Woronko. Some information on officers who were killed in action came from On Eternal Patrol . Class years 1926 to 1930
inclusive can be found on this page.

It shows the commands, including those not related to submarine when known, each held during the war (and in some cases just before and just after the war), with dates known to be in command, as well as the
ranks they held, with dates of rank where known. Note that after early 1942 nearly all wartime promotions were temporary in nature - temporary ranks often outstripped permanent ranks by a great deal. Also, date of
rank was primarily for determining seniority and does not necessarily indicate when the officer actually assumed the rank. Postwar, many temporary ranks did become permanent with the same date of seniority.

Please email me if you spot any errors in this table or have any comments.


Saury SS-189 - History

USS Saury , a 1450-ton Sargo class submarine built at Groton, Connecticut, was commissioned in early April 1939. She spent most of the remainder of that year conducting tests off the East Coast, making a shakedown cruise to Venezuela and the Panama Canal Zone and undergoing post-shakedown overhaul. Late in 1939 Saury went to the Pacific, where in April 1940 she participated in Fleet Problem XXI, a large exercise held in Hawaiian waters. The submarine was based at Pearl Harbor until October 1941, when she was sent west to reinforce the defenses of the Philippine Islands. When Japan began the Pacific War on 8 December (local time), she was sent to conduct anti-invasion patrols north of Lingayen Gulf. On 22 December 1941 she made an unsuccessful attack on an enemy destroyer and escaped several depth-charge counter attacks. Saury later operated in the Dutch East Indies and ended her first war patrol at Soerabaja at the end of January 1942. Her next combat cruise, part of the futile effort to defend the East Indies against the conquering Japanese, was completed in mid-March at Fremantle, Australia.

Saury was based in Australia for her next three war patrols, conducted between April and December 1942. In July she fired Mark XIV torpedoes in tests that demonstrated that these weapons ran much deeper than expected, one of a series of serious technical deficiencies that crippled U.S. Navy submarine operations during the Pacific war's first year and a half. Saury sank a Japanese aircraft ferry in September, but other attacks were spoiled by premature torpedo warhead detonations.

Following overhaul at the Mare Island Navy Yard, in May 1943 the submarine began operating from Pearl Harbor. Her sixth war patrol was very successful, costing the Japanese a tanker and three freighters in late May. Engine troubles ( Saury was built with H.O.R. diesels, which proved to be very troublesome), a damaging collision with a Japanese destroyer, bad weather and a serious flooding incident helped keep her scoreless on her seventh, eighth and ninth patrols. In March-May 1944 Saury was again overhauled at Mare Island, work that included installation of new engines. Even so, she had further machinery casualties during her tenth war patrol, off the Philippines in June-August. In September-November 1944 Saury made an eleventh cruise. Operating in the vicinity of Japan, she damaged one enemy ship and rescued a U.S. Navy fighter pilot who had crashed at sea during the mid-October carrier raids on Okinawa.

This was the now-ageing submarine's last voyage into hostile territory. For the rest of World War II Saury was employed on training and target duties in Hawaiian waters. She spent the last months of 1945 and the first half of 1946 preparing for inactivation. Formally decommissioned in June 1946, she was stricken from the list of Navy ships in mid-July and, in May 1947, was sold for scrapping.

This page features all the views we have concerning USS Saury (SS-189).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 4 April 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 72KB 740 x 615 pixels

Seen from astern, while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 4 April 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 71KB 740 x 625 pixels

Plan view, forward, taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 April 1943.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.
Note the small gasoline truck on the wharf, at right. The truck parked beyond it is marked "Photographic Dept."

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 98KB 740 x 625 pixels

Plan view, aft, taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 April 1943.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.
Several landing craft, tank, are in the right background, one wearing pattern camouflage. The two outboard LCTs are LCT-394 (seen bow-on) and LCT-395 (seen from astern).
Note the wooden fender platforms floating at left.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 95KB 740 x 625 pixels

Underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 69KB 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 53KB 740 x 620 pixels

Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 53KB 740 x 620 pixels

Seen from ahead, while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 48KB 740 x 625 pixels

Seen from astern, while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 May 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 57KB 740 x 615 pixels

At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 3 June 1944.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.
Note the two-armed overhead travelling crane in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 127KB 740 x 615 pixels

Plan view, aft, taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 3 June 1944.
White outlines mark recent alterations to the submarine.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 119KB 740 x 620 pixels

Aerial view, looking west, with the supply depot in upper center, 13 October 1941. Part of the Submarine Base is at lower left the Navy Yard is in the upper left and Ford Island is in the top right.
See Photo # 80-G-451131 (complete caption) for identification of some of the ships present.


What Saury family records will you find?

There are 350 census records available for the last name Saury. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Saury census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 105 immigration records available for the last name Saury. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 29 military records available for the last name Saury. For the veterans among your Saury ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 350 census records available for the last name Saury. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Saury census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 105 immigration records available for the last name Saury. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 29 military records available for the last name Saury. For the veterans among your Saury ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.


Fifth and sixth war patrols

From 24 September to 18 October, she underwent upkeep and repairs. She then shifted to Brisbane, whence she departed on 31 October for her fifth war patrol. Her 27-day patrol was conducted off western and northern New Britain, where she had 27 contacts, was able to develop four, and fired 13 torpedoes, of which only one was a possible hit.

On 21 December, Saury arrived at Pearl Harbor and, on 29 December, she moored at Mare Island. During her ensuing overhaul, she received a bathythermograph and a high periscope.

Saury returned to Pearl Harbor on 16 April 1943 and, on 7 May, she departed for her sixth war patrol which would take her into the East China Sea to operate off the northern Ryukyu Islands and in the coastal waters of Kyūshū. During the patrol, she would also test the effectiveness of the high periscope in daytime attacks and the usefulness of the bathythermograph in locating thermal layers in which to hide.

On 11 May, Saury topped off on fuel and lubricating oil at Midway Island, then continued west. On 19 May, she ran into the edges of a typhoon. On 20 May, "the bottom dropped out of the barometer", but the next day, the storm abated. On 25 May, the submarine entered her assigned area and headed toward Amami Ōshima, a naval base some 200 miles (300 km) south of the industrial port of Kagoshima on southern Kyūshū.

Patrolling to the west of the island, Saury sighted her first enemy maru soon after 09:00 on 26 May but the ship was too distant to catch. About an hour later, she abandoned the approach then sighted a five-ship convoy on the port quarter. At 10:30, she fired tubes one, two, and three. One minute and 44 seconds later, a torpedo exploded against the stern of a transport. Nine seconds after that, another hit broke the target's back and sent debris high into the air. The 2,300-ton Kagi Maru went under. At 10:34, Saury went deep. By 10:38, nine depth charges had been dropped, but none was close.

On the afternoon of 28 May, Saury, patrolling on the surface with her high periscope in operation, sighted the masts of a steamer and moved to intercept. Fourteen minutes later, at 16:43, she submerged. At 17:24, she launched four torpedoes at the target, the unescorted, empty, 10,216-ton tanker, Akatsuki Maru. Three missed, one hit. The tanker's speed had been underestimated. The tanker dropped two depth charges. Saury fired six more torpedoes. Four scored and the tanker went under.

In the late afternoon of 29 May, Saury, again on the surface and using the high periscope, sighted smoke about fourteen miles (21 km) off. At 19:13, she submerged and began tracking a convoy of four cargo ships and three tankers. At 20:58, she surfaced and attacked. Japanese records show that she sank Takamisan Maru, 1,992 tons, and Shoko Maru, 5,385 tons.

On 30 May, Saury headed back to Midway Island. On 7 June, her number four main engine went out of commission. The next day, she arrived at Midway and, on 13 June, she moored at Pearl Harbor for repairs and refit.


1939, USS Saury, SS-189, Commissioning, Gow Ng Cachet (N1896)

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Cachet Maker Walter Czubay

Cachets should be listed in chronological order based on earliest known usage. Use the postmark date or best guess. This applies to add-on cachets as well.

Thumbnail Link
To Cachet
Close-Up Image
Thumbnail Link
To Full
Cover Front Image
Thumbnail Link
To Postmark
or Back Image
Postmark Date
Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text
Ship
---------
Category

1937-06-12
Locy Type FDC 3r (AC-BBT)
"COMM'ING / N. NAVY YARD"
USS Bagley DD-386

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge, sponsored by the National Cachet Society and Walter Czubay.

1937-09-30
Locy Type 3 (AC-BBT)
"NORFOLK / VIRGINIA"
USS Yorktown CV-5

1938-02-09
Locy Type FDC 3 (A-BTT)
"FIRST DAY / POSTAL SER."
USS Warrington DD-383

From the Tom Kean collection.

1938-05-12
Locy Type 3 (A-BBT)
"FIRST DAY / NORFOLK,VA."
USS Enterprise CV-6

1938-06-15
Locy Type FDC 3r (A-BBT)
"NAVY YARD / BROOKLYN"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge and sponsored by Walter Czubay. Cover contained an insert with Walter Czubay's USCS rubberstamp.

1938-06-15
Locy Type FDC 3r (A-BBT)
"NAVY YARD / BROOKLYN"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by Ted Rauterberg and sponsored by Walter Czubay.

1938-09-08
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"NORFOLK / VIRGINIA"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge and sponsored by Walter Czubay.

1938-09-17
Locy Type 3r (AC-TBB)
"PEARL / HARBOR T H"
USS Avocet AVP-4

Cachet by C. Wright Richell and Raymond A. Aiken and sponsored by Walter Czubay. Notation on the back indicates that 44 covers with this cachet were canceled.

1938-09-20
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"CROSSING 0 / MERIDIAN"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge and sponsored by Walter Czubay and theNational Cachet Society.

1938-09-21
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"PORTSMOUTH / ENGLAND"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge and sponsored by Walter Czubay.

1938-10-03
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"COMMISSION / DATE"
USS Phoenix CL-46

Cachet by Walter Czubay and National Cachet Society

1938-11-11
Locy Type 3 (A-TTB)
"SAN DIEGO / CALIFORNIA"
USS Whitney AD-4

Cachet by Leonard Rogers, sponsored by Walter Czubay.

Cachet by Leonard Rogers, sponsored by Walter Czubay. This cachet is slightly different than the one above it. At the bottom, this cachet says "SPONSOR WALTER CZUBAY R.C.D. 134" whereas the one above says "Sponsored by Walt. Czubay".

1938-12-12
Locy Type 3rt (C-BTT)
"SHANGHAI / CHINA"

1st Anniversary of the Decommissioning of -
USS Panay PR-5

Asiatic Fleet postmark. From the Tom Kean collection.

1939-01-03
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"BUENOS AIRES / ARGENTINA"
USS Phoenix CL-46

1939-02-01
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"GONAIVES / HAITI"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge and sponsored by Walter Czubay.

1939-02-02
Locy Type FDPS 3 (A-BTT)
"NAVY YARD / NEW YORK"
USS Benham DD-397

First Day of Postal Service

1939-02-06
Locy Type 3r (AC-BTT)
"GONAIVES, / HAITI"
USS Raleigh CL-7

Cachet by Raymond A. Aiken, sponsored by Walter Czubay.

1939-03-12
Locy Type 3r (A-BBT)
"GUANTANAMO / BAY CUBA"
USS Honolulu CL-48

Cachet by M. Fay Muridge and sponsored by Walter Czubay.

1939-04-03
Locy Type FDC 3r (A-BBT)
"FIRST DAY IN / COMMISSION"
USS Saury SS-189

Joint effort with M. Fay Muridge (her name is at the 9:00 position in the cachet). Walter Czubay's name is in the 3:00 position.

1939-06-13
Locy Type 3r (A-TBT)
"WORLDS FAIR / NEW YORK"
USS Wichita CA-45

Note: Cachet is thermographed.

Cachet sponsored by Walter Czubay and the National Cachet Society

1939-10-27
Locy Type 3 (AC-TTB)
"SAN PEDRO / CALIF"
USS Arizona BB-39

Cachet sponsored by Walter Czubay and the National Cachet Society.

Cachet sponsored by Walter Czubay and the National Cachet Society.

1939-11-10
Locy Type 3 (A-BBT)
"FIRST DAY / CANCEL"
USS Bernadou DD-153


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