A carrangoid fish of the warm waters of the Pacific.
(SS–383: dp. 1,526 (surf.), 2,391 (subm.); l. 311’6”; b. 27’3”; dr. 15’3”; s. 20 k. (surf.), 9 k. (subm.); a. 1 4”, 2 20mm, 10 21” tt.; cl. Balao)
Pampanito (SS–383) was laid down by the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 15 March 1943; launched 12 July 1943; sponsored by Mrs. James Wolfender; and commissioned 6 November 1943, Lt. Comdr. Charles B. Jackson, Jr. in command.
After shakedown off New London, Pampanito transited the Panama Canal and arrived Pearl Harbor 14 February 1944.
Her 1st war patrol (15 March to 2 May) was conducted in the southwest approaches to Saipan and Guam. She served on lifeguard duty south of Yap, then scored two torpedo hits on a destroyer before sailing for Midway and Pearl Harbor for refit and repairs to a hull badly damaged by depth charges.
Pampanito’s 2nd war patrol (3 June–23 July) took place off Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu. On 23 June a submerged Japanese submarine fired two torpedoes, just missing Pampanito. On 6 July Pampanito damaged a Japanese gunboat, and 11 days later headed for Midway.
Pampanito’s 3rd war patrol (17 August–28 September), a “wolfpack” operation with Growler (SS–215) and Sealion (SS–315), was conducted in the South China Sea. On 12 September she sank 10,509-ton transport Kachidoki Maru and 5,135-ton tanker Zuiho Maru and damaged a 3rd ship. On 15 September, with Sealion and later Barb and Queenfish, she helped rescue British and Australian survivors of a POW ship sunk while enroute from Singapore to Formosa. She then set course for Saipan, disembarked the survivors, and steamed on to Pearl Harbor.
Pampanito’s 4th war patrol (28 October–30 December) took place off Formosa and the coast of southeastern China with Seacat, Pipefish, and Searaven. Sinking 1,200-ton cargo ship Shinko Maru No. 1, 19 November, she damaged a 2nd ship before putting in to Fremantle for refit. Her 5th war patrol in the Gulf of Siam (23 January–12 February 1945) with Guavina was highlighted by two sinkings, 6,968-ton cargo ship Engen Maru 6 February and 3,520-ton passengercargo ship Eifuku Maru 8 February.
Refitted at Subic Bay, Pampanito returned to the Gulf of Siam for her 6th war patrol. Operating with Caiman, Sealion, and Mingo, she sighted only 1 target before sailing for Pearl Harbor.
From Pearl Harbor the ship proceeded to San Francisco for overhaul, departing for Pearl Harbor again 1 August. With the end of the war she was ordered to return to San Francisco. She decommissioned at Mare Island 15 December 1945. She remained in reserve until April 1960 when she was assigned to Naval Reserve Training at Mare Island. Reclassified AGSS–383, 6 November 1962, she remains active as a Naval Reserve Training ship at Vallejo, Calif., into 1970.
Pampanito earned 6 battle stars for World War II service.