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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Lizardfish

 

A slender marine fish having a scaly lizardlike head and large mouth.

 

(88-373: dp. 1,526 (std.), 2,424 (subm.) ; l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20.25 k. (surf.), 8.75 k. (subm.); cpl. 66; a. 15", 10 21" tt.; cl. Balao)

 

Lizardfish (SS-373) was laid down 14 March 1944 by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wis.; launched 16 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Lausdale G. Sasscer; wife of Congressman Sasscer of Maryland; and commissioned 30 December 1944, Comdr. Ovid M. Butler in command.

 

Lizardfish departed the Manitowoc River 20 January 1945 for Lockport, Ill., where she was loaded on a floating drydock and towed down the Mississippi River. She arrived at Algiers, La., 1 February and put to sea 5 days later for the Panama Canal and Pearl Harbor, arriving 23 March.

 

Lizardfish left Pearl Harbor on her first war patrol 9 April 1945. Topping off with fuel at Saipan on the 21st, she set course for the South China Sen. The submarine maintained a thorough close-in patrol of Indochina between 30 April and 18 May but contacted no enemy traffic. From 23 to 28 May a similar painstaking patrol in the Java Sea produced no enemy contacts. Completing this arduous patrol, Lizardfish arrived Fremantle, Australia, 2 June.

 

Lizardfish got underway 28 June 1945 on her second patrol in the Java and South China Seas. Throughout this well-planned and aggressive patrol the submarine sought out targets and carried destruction to the enemy in confined harbors, straits, and anchorages. After careful submerged reconnaissance, she made two daring daylight gun attacks within range of shore batteries. On 5 July she entered the coral-fringed bay of Chelukan Bawang, Bali, discovering four landing barges, a 250-ton sea truck, and a 100-ton submarine chaser, all heavily camouflaged. She made a submerged run and sank Submarine Chaser Alo. 37, then battle-surfaced and opened her deck guns. Her 5-inch salvos started a gasoline fire which destroyed a nest of four landing barges. She then demolished a boat shed and ripped apart the bow of a sea truck- inside. Leaving this target in a flaming mass, she headed out to sea. On 19 July near Sunda Strait she was patrolling southward along the western shore when she sighted a convoy of sea trucks. The submarine surfaced and commenced firing at the closest target, started a brisk fire, and shifted targets. Meanwhile a shore battery opened up and was lobbing shells close by. When ammunition was expended, Lizardfish submerged, leaving behind three ships burning fiercely. She surfaced that night and headed for lifeguard station off Singapore in support of Army liberator bomber strikes. The submarine arrived Subic Bay, Philippines, 6 August and was there when Japan capitulated 9 days later.

 

Lizardfish cleared Subic Bay 31 August and set course for the West Coast, touched Pearl Harbor, and arrived San Francisco 22 September. At Eureka, Calif., 24 October for Navy Day celebrations, Lizardfish 5 days later tied-up at Tiburon, Calif., remaining there until 2 January 1946 when she got underway to act as schoolship for the Sonar School at San Diego, Calif. She completed her training services 5 March and reported for inactivation at San Francisco. After operations off the California coast, she decommissioned, and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Mare Island Navy Yard, 24 June 1946.

 

Lizardfish remained in reserve until 16 March 1959 when she departed for Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for snorkel conversion and fitting out. She was transferred to the Government of Italy 9 January 1960 and serves the Italian Navy under the name Evangelista Tarricelli (8-512).

 

Lizardfish received one battle star for World War II service.