Lagarto (SS 371)

Commander F.D. Latta

Lagarto, under Commander F.D. Latta, departed Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, on 12 April 1945, for her second patrol in the South China Sea. On 27 April, she was directed to the outer part of Siam Gulf.

Lagarto contacted Baya, already patrolling in Siam Gulf on 2 May 1945, and exchanged calls with her by SJ radar. Later that day Baya sent Lagarto a contact report on a convoy she had contacted consisting of one tanker, one auxiliary and two destroyers. Lagarto soon reported being in contact with the convoy, and began coming in for an attack with Baya. However, the enemy escorts were equipped with 10 cm radar, and detected Baya and drove her off with gun-fire, whereupon the two submarines decided to wait and plan a subsequent attack.

Early on the morning of 3 May 1945, Lagarto and Baya made a rendezvous at about 7°-55'N, 102°-18'E and discussed plans. Lagarto was to dive on the convoy's track to make a contact at 1400, while Baya was to be ten to fifteen miles further along the track. During the day, numerous contact reports were exchanged. At 0010 on 4 May after a prolonged but unsuccessful attack, Baya was finally driven off by the alert escorts, and no further contact of any kind was ever made with Lagarto.

Japanese information available now records an attack on a U.S. submarine made by the Minelayer Hatsutaka, believed to be one of the two radar-equipped escorts of the convoy attacked. The attack was made at 7°-55'N, 102°-00'E in about 30 fathoms of water, and in view of the information presented above, the attack here described must be presumed to be the one which sank Lagarto.

This vessel's first patrol was in the Nansei Shoto chain as part of an anti-picket boat sweep made by submarines to aid Admiral Halsey's Task Force 38 in getting carrier planes to Japan undetected. She sank the Japanese submarine I-371 on 24 February 1945, and participated in several surface gun attacks with Haddock and Sennet./p>

Two small vessels were sunk and two more damaged in these attacks, and Lagarto shared credit for the results with these submarines. Commander Latta had previously made seven patrols as Commanding Officer of Narwhal. Every patrol made by this officer was designated successful for the award of combat insignia, a record surpassed by no commanding officer in the Submarine Force.

USS Lagarto - Launching at Manitowoc, Wisconsin
USS Lagarto - Launching at Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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Submarine insignia.
U.S.S. Lagarto (SS-371)
Name Rate   Name Rate
Andrews, Harold D.
Anker, Charles
Auchard, Frederick L.
Bjornson, Charles H.
Breithaupt, Charles W., Jr.
Britain, Wardour L.
Brock, Aaron
Byrer, Clark R.
Carleton, William E.
Cathey, Lloyd F.
Catozzi, Sylvester G.
Clouse, Sylvester G.
Cook, Caldwell T.
Davis, John E., Jr.
Doud, Leslie M.
Enns, Alvin H.
Fisher, Richard L.
Franze, John J.
Frasch, Oakley R.
Gerlach, James N.
Grace, Richard F.
Graves, William
Gray, Dennis J.
Green, Robert
Gregorick, Richard L.
Gregory, James P.
Halstead, Glen E.
Hardegree, Thomas
Harrington, George C.
Harrington, Thomas J.
Harris, James B.
Harrison, James C.
Hinken, Walter E.
Honaker, William F.
Irving, Lloyd G.
Jefferson, Hezekiah
Jobe, Jesse
Johnson, Fred
Johnson, John R.
Jordan, William H., Jr.
Keeney, A.H., Jr.
Kimball, Philip M.
Kirtley, Albert
CTM
CMoMM
LTJG
F1
Y2
CRM
S2
F1
RM1
MoMM3
QM3
TM2
MoMM1
TM2
RM2
TM3
MoMM1
S1
MoMM1
F1
F2
QM1
EM2
StM2
EM1
S2
RM2
MoMM1
MoMM3
MoMM2
S1
MoMM3
TM3
EM3
LT
S1
CEM
S1
CEM
S1
LT
RT1
StM1
    Kneidl, John W.
Latta, Frank D.
Lee, Noah B., Jr.
Lewis, Robert J.
Lynch, Louis J.
Mabin, William T.
Marriott, Joy M., Jr.
McDonald, James H.
McGee, Justin M.
Mendenhall, William H.
Moore, Willis L.
Moss, William G.
O'Hara, Lloyd R.
Ortega, Howard E.
Paper, Dick M.
Pash, Joseph S.
Patterson, Robert R.
Perry, Robert C.
Peterson, John W.
Peterson, Robert F.
Phelps, Walter B.
Plushnik, Harry R.
Price, Gerald A.
Reeves, Morris D.
Reichert, Raymond E.
Robison, Eugene T.
Root, John H.
Ruble, Roy T.
Rutledge, Walter J.
Shackelford, Wesley C.
Simmerman, Ralph E.
Spalding, Robert B.
Stehn, John E.
Stiegler, Donald G.
St. John, Ulysses M., Jr
Tait, Floyd
Todd, Harold A., Jr.
Turner, Frank D.
Wade, Arthur M.
Warnick, William C.
Wicklander, Max M.
Williams, John L.
MoMM2
CDR-CO
S1
MoMM2
F1
SM1
S1
SC2
TM2
LT-XO
F1
S1
RT2
F1
S1
LTJG
RM3
EM3
TM3
QM3
LTJG
F1
CMoMM
EM2
F1
BM1
MoMM1
LT
S1
SM2
TM2
CPhM
GM2
EM2
EM3
MoMM2
LTJG
CGM
S1
S1
MoMM2
S1

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Related Resource: Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations