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Lamprey

 

Any of certain eel-like aquatic vertebrates.

 

(SS-372: dp. 1,526 (surf.), 2,424 (subm.); l. 311'9"; b. 2713"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20 k. (surf.), 8.5 (subm.); cpl. 66; a. 1 3", 10 21" tt.; cl. Balao)

 

Lamprey (SS-372) was laid down 22 February 1944 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wis.; launched 18 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. W. T. Nelson; and commissioned 17 November 1944, Comdr. William T. Nelson in command.


After trials, tests, and training in Lake Michigan, the new submarine entered a floating drydock 7 December at Lacksport, Ill.; was floated down the Mississippi River; and arrived New Orleans on the 13th. Four days later she departed New Orleans for the Pacific.


Lamprey sailed from Pearl Harbor 17 February 1945 for the coast of Luzon and her first war patrol. She steamed on life guard duty off Formosa and Hong Kong until 29 March; transited the Singapore Straits 8 April; and the next day steamed through the Karimata Straits into the Java Sea. She sighted no worthwhile targets, however, because most of Japan’s merchant marine and fleet was already sunk or trapped in port. The submarine headed for a refit at Fremantle, Australia, arriving 22 April 1945.


Under a new commanding officer, Lt. Comdr. L. B. McDonald, Lamprey cleared Fremantle 21 May and entered the Java Sea bound for her patrol area in the Siam Gulf. On 28 May Lamprey and Blueback closed for a coordinated gun attack which damaged and set afire a 600-ton escort ship. Lamprey set course for Subic Bay where she arrived 29 June.


The submarine returned to sea 26 July for her third war patrol and spent most of her time searching for targets along the Gulf of Siam. She entered the Singapore area 8 August to patrol west of Pengiboe Island where she sank a small craft with gunfire. She was relieved on station by British submarine Spearhead the same day and headed for Borneo. On 12 August her guns destroyed a cargo-carrying lugger from Surabaya. The submarine was closing in on a two-masted schooner 15 August when she received word to cease hostilities.


Lamprey departed Subic Bay 31 August and moored in San Francisco 22 September. She entered Mare Island Navy Yard, decommissioned 3 June 1946, and went into reserve. On 21 July 1960 she was transferred on loan to the Government of Argentina and served the Argentine Navy as Santiago del Estero (S-12). Struck from the Navy List on 1 September 1971, the boat was later sold to Argentina. By 1975, Santiago del Estero was laid up at Puerto Belgrano and stripped for spare parts.


Lamprey received four battle stars for World War II service.


Partial update 12 June 2007