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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Flier

 

The round sunfish widely known in the United States.

 

(SS-250: dp. 1,526; l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20 k.; cpl. 60; a. 1 3", 10 21" tt.; cl. Gato)

 

Flier (SS-250) was launched 11 July 1943 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. A. S. Pierce; and commissioned 18 October 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. W. Crowley in command.

 

Flier reached Pearl Harbor from New London 20 December 1943, and prepared for her first war patrol, sailing 12 January 1944. Damage suffered in a grounding near Midway necessitated her return to the west coast for repairs, and on 21 May she sailed again for action, heading for a patrol area west of Luzon. She made her first contact on 4 June, attacking a well-escorted convoy for five merchantmen. Firing three torpedoes at each of two ships, she sent a large transport to the bottom and scored a hit on another ship, before clearing the area to evade counter-measures.

 

On 13 June 1944, Flier attacked a convoy of 11 ships, cargo carriers and tankers, guarded by at least six escorts. The alert behavior of the escorts resulted in severe attack on Flier before she could observe what damage she had done to the convoy. On 22 June, she began a long chase after another large convoy, scoring four hits for six torpedoes fired at two cargo ships that day, and three hits for four torpedoes launched against another cargo ship of the same convoy the next day.

 

Flier put in to Fremantle, Australia, to refit between 5 July 1944 and 2 August, then sailed on her second war patrol, bound for the coast of Indochina. On the evening of 13 August, as she transited Balabac Strait on the surface, she was rocked by a great explosion. She sank in 1 minute after striking the mine, but 13 officers and men got out of her. Eight of them reached the beach of Mantangula Island after 15 hours in the water. Friendly natives guided them to a coast-watcher, who arranged for them to be picked up by submarine, and on the night of 30-31 August, they were taken on board by Redfin (SS-272).

 

Flier received one battle star for World War II service on her single war patrol, designated "Successful." She is credited with having sunk 10,380 tons of Japanese shipping.