Amberjack (SS 219)

Following her second patrol, Amberjack's period of refit, rest and recuperation was cut to twelve days, due to the urgent necessity for submarines in the operating areas. She started out on 24 January, but was forced to return to port for the repair of minor leaks experienced during a deep dive.

Lieutenant Commander J.A. Bole, Jr. Again departing Brisbane on 26 January 1943, Amberjack, under Lieutenant Commander J. A. Bole, Jr., started her third war patrol in the Solomons area. On 29 January she was directed to pass close to Tetipari Island and then proceed to the northwest and patrol the approaches to Shortland Basin. Orders were radioed on 1 February for her to move north and patrol the western approaches to Buka Passage. Having complied with these orders, Amberjack made her first radio report, on 3 February, telling of contact with an enemy submarine 14 miles southeast of Treasury Island on 1 February, and of sinking a two-masted schooner by gunfire twenty miles from Buka the afternoon of 3 February 1943. At this time she was ordered to move south along the Buka-Shortland traffic lane and patrol east of Vella Lavella Island.

Making a second radio transmission on 4 February, Amberjack reported having sunk a 5,000-ton freighter laden with explosives in a two-hour night surface attack that date in which five torpedoes were fired. During this engagement Chief Pharmacist's Mate Arthur C. Beeman was killed by machine gun fire, and an officer was slightly wounded in the hand. On 8 February, Amberjack was ordered to move to the west side of Ganongga Island and on the 10th, she was directed to keep south of Latitude 7°-30'S, and to cover the traffic routes from Rabaul and Buka to Shortland Basin. On 13 February Amberjack was assigned the entire Rabaul-Buka-Shortland Sea area, and told to hunt for traffic.

The last radio transmission received from Amberjack was made on 14 February 1943. She related having been forced down the night before by two destroyers, and that she had recovered from the water and taken prisoner an enemy aviator on 13 February. She was ordered north of Latitude 6°-30'S, and told to keep hunting for Rabaul traffic.

USS Amberjack

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All further messages to Amberjack remained unanswered, and when, by March 10, she had failed to make her routine report estimating the time of her arrival at base, she was ordered to do so. No reply was received, and she was reported as presumed lost on 22 March 1943.

Reports received from the enemy since the end of the war record an attack which probably sank Amberjack. On 16 February 1943, the torpedo boat Hiyo-Dori and subchaser number 18 attacked a U.S. submarine with nine depth charges in 5°-05'S, 152°-37'E. An escorting patrol plane had previously attacked the submarine. A large amount of heavy oil and "parts of the hull" came to the surface. This attack is believed to have sunk Amberjack. However, no final conclusions can be drawn, since Grampus was lost in the same area at about the same time. From the evidence available, it is considered most likely that the attack of 16 February sank Amberjack, but if she did survive this attack, any one of the attacks and sightings thought to have been made on Grampus (see section on Grampus' loss) might have been made on Amberjack.

This vessel was credited with sinking three ships, for a total of 28,600 tons, and damaging two more ships for 14,000 tons damaged. Amberjack's first patrol was made in the Shortland-Rabaul-Buka area, as her last was. During this firstPeriscope track patrol conducted during the last half of September and the first half of October 1942, she sank a freighter, a transport and a large tanker of 19,600 tons. In addition she damaged a freighter and a transport, and made a valuable reconnaissance of several islands in her area. The second patrol of this vessel was in the area west of Bougainville. Although several attacks were made, no damage was done to the enemy. On the basis of her radio report, Amberjack was credited with having sunk a 5,000-ton freighter on her final patrol. The enlisted men's recreation center at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor is named for Chief Pharmacist's Mate Arthur C. Beeman, who was killed in the gun battle of 4 February.

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Submarine insignia.
U.S.S. Amberjack (SS-219)
Name Rate   Name Rate
Allmon, Mervin W.
Baker, William A.
Banister, Paul S.
Barr, Luther V.
Bartoli, Renato
Beeman, Arthur C.
Blauvelt, R.P.
Bole, John A.
Bolze, John F.
Brant, Harold J.
Brossy, Henry E.
Brousseau, Maurice J.
Buchan, Wilson N.
Cacciato, Diego, Jr.
Caldwell, Leland J. D.
Chaffin, Elmer E.
Cheney, John F.
Chrzan, Raymond J.
Clark, Benjamin L.
Coleman, James L.
Coultas, William E.
Davis, Edward S.
Davis, Le Roy C.
De Groot, James
Demler, A. M.
Ducharme, Donald
Eastman, Alton G. H.
Everett, Ernest J.
Gillard, George H.
Gosciniak, Thaddeus
Hamilton, John W.
Henderson, Lloyd G.
Hiatt, Don L.
Hill, William M. O.
Jackson, Vernon T.
James, Homer E.
Jeter, William L.
MoMM1
RM3
MoMM2
F1
S1
CPhM
LT
LCDR-CO
FC1
SC2
LCDR-XO
S2
EM1
TM3
S2
F2
LT
TM3
TM1
GM2
MoMM2
S1
EM3
F2
ENS
QM3
TM2
RT1
S2
MoMM2
MoMM2
EM2
EM3
F2
MoMM2
EM2
SM3
    Jewell, Thomas E.
Kingston, Francis P.
Koreyva, Victor J.
Lester, Robert L.
Levesque, Raymond A.
Lewellyn, James E.
Lord, H. S.
Lucas, Joseph B., Jr.
Macy, Marvin R.
Massey, Arthur R.
McDaniel, Ray
McLean, Robert A.
Montague, Wallace
Muir, Charles R.
Ogilvie, Harold B.
Ouzts, Cleveland M., Jr.
Pavlin, Bruce R.
Pisarski, Henry
Ranger, James A.
Rakyta, John G.
Runkowski, Chester L.
Ryall, Lewis R.
Sallee, Coy K.
Seidell, Daniel R.
Smorol, Paul P.
Spierer, Elwood R.
Springsteen, Chester A.
St. John, Francis T.
Stern, Richard G.
Taylor, Henry A.
Thurman, Irby H.
Tobin, William J.
Trask, Paul B.
Ullstrom, John H.
Ward, Alonzo G.
Wilson, Eldon I.
Winquist, Henry C.A.
CSM
MoMM2
MoMM1
S2
EM2
ENS
LTJG
MoMM2
RM2
MA2
S1
TM1
MA1
CTM
TM2
MoMM1
EM2
F1
RM2
S1
TM3
MoMM1
SC1
ENS
F2
S1
S1
Y1
LTJG
TM2
F1
EM2
TM2
S2
EM3
F3
CMoMM

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Night Battle - Painting by E.V. Vandos
Night Battle - Painting by E.V. Vandos

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Related Resource: Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations