COMMANDER TASK FORCE SEVENTEEN OPERATION PLAN 1-45

[Operation Plan for Submarine Operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas, 1945]

Note: This operation plan, issued in January 1945 remained in effect until the end of the war. Annex A - STANDARD PATROL INSTRUCTIONS - is the final result of experience gained from three years of submarine combat patrols. The plan is included in its entirety in view of its possible use for the guidance of future submarine operations. Existing for the task group organization and the patrol area dispersions, the operation plan in effect in SubSoWesPac during the last year of the war is practically a duplication of this one. In the many revisions of the plans that took place during the war, each force (SubPac and SubSoWesPac) regularly plagiarized each others plan so that, by the end of the war, the instructions for patrolling in both forces had become standardized.


COMMANDER TASK FORCE SEVENTEEN
OPERATION PLAN NO. 1-45

1 January 1945.

This is the basic plan from which all operation orders and all other operation plans for Task Force Seventeen are derived. Commanding Officers of all units of the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, must carefully study and fully understand this plan. They should require their officers to read and understand such parts of this plan as concern the duties of those officers.

This plan is effective upon receipt and supersedes Commander Task Force Seventeen Operations Plan Number 1-43, which should be destroyed by burning. No report of destruction need be made.


UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET,
SUBMARINE FORCE, PACIFIC FLEET,
TASK FORCE SEVENTEEN,
U.S.S. LITCHFIELD, FLAGSHIP.

PEARL HARBOR, T.H.,
1 January 1945; 1215

TASK ORGANIZATION

(a) Task Group 17.1 - Empire Patrol Group
       Submarines as assigned.

(b) Task Group 17.2 - Special Mission Group
       Submarines as assigned.

(c) Task Group 17.3 - Miscellaneous Operations Group
       Submarines and surface ships assigned.
       Task Unit 17.3.1 - U.S.S. HOLLAND (AS-3) - Force Headquarters Ship.

(d) Task Group 17.4 - Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet - Commander, Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
Submarines and surface ships assigned.

(e) Task Group 17.5 - Refitting and Training Group. MIDWAY - Submarine Squadron Commander assigned.
Submarines and surface ships assigned.

(f) Task Group 17.6 - Refitting and Training Group. MAJURO - Submarine Squadron Commander assigned.
       Submarine Advance Base, MAJURO.
       Submarines and surface ships assigned.

(g) Task Group 17.7 - Refitting and Training Group, SAIPAN - Submarine Squadron Commander assigned.
       Submarines and surface ships assigned.

(h) Task Group 17.8 - Overhauling and Training Group, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Submarine Squadron Commander assigned.
       Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, Administration, MARE ISLAND.
       Submarines and surface ships assigned.

(i) Task Group 17.9 - Refitting and Training Group, SAN DIEGO - Submarine Squadron Commander assigned.
       Submarines and surface ships assigned.


(j) Task Group 17.10 - Refitting and Training Group, GUAM - Submarine Squadron Commander assigned.
       Submarine Advanced Base, GUAM.
       Submarines and surface ships assigned.

(k) Task Groups 17.10 - 17.29 - Coordinated Attack Groups - Submarine Squadron, Division, or Commanding Officers assigned.
       Three or more submarines assigned each group.

1. Information.

Due to the semipermanent nature of this plan and the rapidly changing strategic situation in the PACIFIC, any information concerning our own or enemy forces would probably be obsolete before distribution of this plan could be effected. Commanding Officers of Task Force Seventeen are therefore directed to keep abreast of the current situation by a careful study of intelligence bulletins and official communiques.

SUBDIVISIONS OF THE PACIFIC

All land and water areas of the PACIFIC are divided by a line drawn as follows:

From the intersection of the COAST of CHINA with longitude one one one degrees east due south to latitude twenty degrees north, then east along latitude twenty degrees north to longitude one three zero degrees east, then south along longitude one three zero degrees east to the Equator, and then south along longitude one five nine degrees east, and then south along longitude one five nine degrees east.

All of the area to the north and east of the above line comprises the PACIFIC OCEAN AREA and is under the command of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas. All of the area to the south and west of that line comprises the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA under the command of the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area.


The PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS are further subdivided as follows:

NORTH PACIFIC - North of latitude forty-two degrees north.

CENTRAL PACIFIC - Between latitude forty-two degrees north and Equator.

SOUTH PACIFIC - South of Equator.

Areas in the NORTH and CENTRAL PACIFIC AREAS are patrolled by submarines of the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet (Task Force Seventeen). Areas in the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC are patrolled by submarines Southwest Pacific Force (Submarines Seventh Fleet; Task Force Seventy-one, based in WESTERN AUSTRALIA; and Task Group Seventy-one point Nine, based in EASTERN AUSTRALIA). (By agreement with Commander Submarines Seventh Fleet, submarines of Pacific Fleet are patrolling the strip of water westward of longitude one three zero degrees east between latitudes twenty degrees north and eighteen degrees thirty minutes north.) Except for submarines engaged in sound training, there are no submarine operations in the SOUTH PACIFIC at the present time.

For purposes of local defense, and for routing, escorting and protection of shipping, the PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS are divided into various sea frontiers, as follows:

Alaskan Sea Frontier.
Western Sea Frontier.
Panama Sea Frontier.
Hawaiian Sea Frontier.
Marshalls-Gilberts Area.
Forward Areas (comprising sea area surrounding newly won bases in the CENTRAL PACIFIC).
Philippine Sea Frontier (to be established in future).

CONTROL OF PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS:

The UNITED STATES controls all of the ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, HAWAIIAN ISLANDS and GILBERT ISLANDS, with no enemy garrisons located in any of those islands.


(a) Inflict maximum damage to enemy ships and shipping by offensive patrol at focal points.

(b) Plant offensive minefields in suitable enemy waters to destroy enemy ships and to force the enemy to adopt countermeasures.

(c) Other tasks as may be required from time to time by the strategic or tactical situations, or based on intelligence which may come to hand. Such special tasks include supporting naval or land forces by attacks on shipping in threatened areas; reconnaissance; lifeguard duties for air strikes; transport of troops for raids on enemy bases or installations; landing of agents for intelligence purposes in enemy held territory; evacuation of armed forces or civilians from enemy held territory; delivery of supplies to armed UNITED STATES or ALLIED Forces, or to agents in enemy held territory, as may be necessary or desirable.

3. (a) Task Group 17.1 - Empire Patrol Group.
       (1) Conduct offensive patrols in enemy EMPIRE AREAS in furtherance of general plan to inflict maximum damage to enemy ships and shipping. Standard patrol instructions are contained in Annex "A". Geographic limitations of submarine patrol areas are given in Appendix I to Annex "A".
       (2) Destroy with torpedoes or guns all enemy vessels encountered, except hospital ships and ships given safe passage by proper authority.
       (3) Plant offensive minefields, as directed, in enemy waters.
       (4) Bombard suitable military and industrial targets in enemy held territory.
       (5) Perform reconnaissance and other tasks as required from time to time by the strategic or tactical situation or based on intelligence which may come to hand.

(b) Task Group 17.2 - Special Mission Group.
       (1) Conduct special operations as directed.

(c) Task Group 17.3 - Miscellaneous Operations Group.
       (1) Miscellaneous movements and operations not connected with patrols or with training.


(d) Task Group 17.4 - Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
       (1) Assign refit of submarines to the industrial activities available in PEARL HARBOR AREA; coordinate, standardize, and supervise the refit and training of all submarines in all PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS (including WEST COAST AREAS).
       (2) For PEARL HARBOR AREA carry out all tasks as assigned below to Refitting and Training Groups.

(e) Task Group 17.5 - Refitting and Training Group, MIDWAY,
(f) Task Group 17.6 - Refitting and Training Group, MAJURO,
(g) Task Group 17.7 - Refitting and Training Group, SAIPAN,
(h) Task Group 17.10 - Refitting and Training Group, GUAM,
       (1) Assign submarines to refitting agencies and supervisor training of submarines assigned. Arrange for recuperation of submarine crews during refit periods. Available submarine tenders will be assigned to the various refit and training groups to meet the refitting requirements. Normally procedure will be for submarines to alternate refit at PEARL HARBOR with refit at an advanced base, but the need for special repairs, alterations, or special training, or equalizing of the work load at various bases, may require variations from this procedure.
       (2) Submarines arriving at PEARL HARBOR or at an advanced base will be assigned by the Task Group Commander to the base or a tender for refit or voyage repairs and to a Squadron Commander (not necessarily their own Squadron Commander) for supervision of refit and training. As soon as possible after arrival, based upon the necessary length of refit and training required, the Task Group Commander will recommend a readiness for sea date to the Commander, Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, for his approval. Except for vital repairs, submarines must not be delayed beyond the approved readiness date without the Force Commander's approval. On the approved readiness for sea date, submarines pass to the direct operational control of the Commander Task Force Seventeen, who will assign them to Task Group 17.1, Task Group 17.2, Task Group 17.3, or to a coordinated attack group, depending upon the task or mission assigned.



       (3) Submarines proceeding to or through the MARIANAS normally will be routed to SAIPAN for fueling and voyage repairs and to GUAM for refits.

(i) Task Group 17.8 - Overhauling and Training Group, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA.
       (1) Represent Force Commander in matters concerning submarine overhauls in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA.
       (2) Conduct training exercises as prescribed by Commander Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet.
       (3) Arrange transportation, distribution, etc., of submarine personnel to and from mainland and outlying bases. Arrange for recuperation of submarine officers and crews during overhauls in SAN FRANCISCO AREA.

(j) Task Group 17.9 - Refitting and Training Group, SAN DIEGO.
       (1) Refit, upkeep, and training of submarines assigned to Commander Fleet Operational Command, Pacific Fleet, in SAN DIEGO AREA.
       (2) Supervise training of new construction submarines in SAN DIEGO AREA, and arrange for submarine services for Commander Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet.

(k) Task Groups 17.11 to 17.29 - Coordinated Attack Groups.
       (1) Conduct coordinated patrols and coordinated attacks in accordance with Annex "A" and in accordance with established "wolf pack" doctrine prescribed in Appendix II to Annex "A".

(x) (1) Commanders of Refitting and Training Groups represent Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, in their respective areas in all matters pertaining to submarine operations and submarine administration. They represent Commander Training Command, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, in matters pertaining to submarine refitting and training.


(2) SUBMARINE AREAS, BOMBING AND ATTACK RESTRICTIONS IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS:
       PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS are subdivided into various classifications (or zones) for purpose of imposing restrictions on attacks on and by submarines. The definitions of these classifications and the restrictions imposed on submarines, surface ships, and aircraft when operating in each class of area are contained in Cincpoa Standard Operating Procedures SOP-1. Thorough knowledge of these instructions is vital to submarines and each must carry a copy of that letter. The geographical boundaries of the various class areas are specified in Addenda to Cincpoa Standard Operating Procedure SOP-1. A new Addendum is issued from time to time by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, to meet the tactical needs of planned operations. Minor or temporary changes in the geographical limitations are issued by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet in the form of serially numbered Cincpoa Zone Notices. All submarines departing for patrols in PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS or making passage through PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS to the westward of OAHU must carry the effective Addendum and a complete file of all effective Cincpoa Zone Notices, and must adhere rigidly to the restrictions imposed. All PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS to the eastward of OAHU are classified as AIR-SURFACE ZONES (excepting designated submarine HAVENS). Submarines making passage to the eastward of OAHU are not required to carry effective Addendum and Cincpoa Zone Notices. They will be informed in their operations orders that areas transited are AIR-SURFACE ZONES and they will comply with the restrictions imposed by Cincpoa Standard Operation Procedure SOP-1 for passage through such zones.

4. Logistic support at PEARL HARBOR; MIDWAY; MAJURO; GUAM; NAVY YARD, MARE ISLAND; and NAVAL REPAIR BASE, SAN DIEGO.
       Fuel and voyage repairs available at SAIPAN.

5. Communications in accordance with Annex "B".


This plan is effective upon receipt and supersedes Commander Task Force Seventeen Operation Plan Number One dash Forty-Three, which should be destroyed by burning. No report of destruction need be made.

Use Greenwich civil time in the date time group of all dispatches. Whenever time is specified in the text of a message, include the designating letter for zone description.

Commander Task Force Seventeen at PEARL HARBOR or in U.S.S. HOLLAND at GUAM.

/s/
C. A. Lockwood, Jr.,
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy,
Commander Task Force Seventeen.

Annexes:
"A" - Standard Patrol Instructions
       Appendices
       I - Patrol Areas
       II - Coordinated Submarine Attack Doctrine
"B" - Communication Plan
       Appendices
       I - Submarine Information Code
       II - Recognition Manual - Extracts for Submarines

DISTRIBUTION:
       (2ON-44)
List I-E, Case 3
Special:
       Comsublant (2)
       Comsowespac (40)
       Comtaskgroup 71.9
For distribution one each to submarines scheduled to proceed to SubPac for duty

Cominch (8), Cincpac (10)
Opnav (3), Com3rdFlt (2) , Com5thFlt (2) , Com7thFlt (2) , CTG 17.5, 17.6, 17.7, 17.8, 17.9, 17.10 (2)
Subschool NL (8), ComHSF (5),
ComAirPac (2), ComNorPac (2),
ComSubRon 3 (2)

/s/
E. L. HYNES, 2nd,
Lieut. Commander, USNR,
Flag Secretary.


Source: US Naval Administrative History of World War II: Volume 170-C, Commander Submarine Force, Appendix IV.