Pompano (SS 181)

Lieutenant Commander W. M. Thomas

After leaving Midway on 20 August 1943 to start her seventh war patrol, Pompano, with Lieutenant Commander W. M. Thomas in command, was never heard from again. Her orders were to patrol off the east coast of Honshu from about 29 August to sunset of 27 September 1943, and then to return to Pearl Harbor for refit, stopping at Midway enroute for fuel.

When no transmission was received from her, especially just prior to her expected arrival at Midway on 5 October, word was sent from Pearl to keep a sharp lookout for her. By 15 October, all hope was abandoned, and Pompano was reported as presumed lost in enemy waters.

Japanese information available now shows no attack which could conceivably have been on Pompano. On 6 September Pompano was informed by dispatch that the area to the north of her own was open. Since that area was considered more productive of sinkings than the one she was in, it is quite possible that she moved into it. Both the one between Honshu and Hokkaido, and the one east of northern Honshu are known to have been mined by the enemy, with the greatest concentration of mines in the northern area. In view of the evidence given, it is considered probable that Pompano met her end by an enemy mine. Operational loss or loss by an unreported attack are alternate possibilities.

In the six patrols completed before her loss, Pompano sank ten enemy ships for a total of 42,000 tons, and damaged four, totaling 55,300 tons. In the first month of the war, Pompano patrolled near Wake Island, and sank a large freighter-transport of 16,500 tons. On her second patrol, conducted east of Formosa, she sank a large transport, a tanker, a small freighter, and two patrol boats. Pompano went to the Empire for her third patrol, from mid-August to mid-September 1942, and sank a freighter and a patrol boat. In the Marshalls area on her fourth patrol, she damaged two tankers.

Going to the Empire again for her fifth patrol, Pompano damaged an aircraft carrier. She went to Japan a third time for her sixth patrol, this time along the coast south of Honshu. There she sank a sampan and damaged a freighter.

USS Pompano

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Submarine insignia.
U.S.S. Pompano (SS-181)
Name Rate   Name Rate
Allen, Don E.
Anstine, Leonard M.
Appel, Jesse L.
Bennett, John J.
Bissell, Robert D.
Blum, Carl
Brooks, G.S., Jr.
Buckley, James J.
Carlson, R.W.
Case, Robert F.
Caskey, Lee E.
Christian, William O.
Cravens, Huston Q.
Delbridge, Chester A.
Dennis, William W.W.
Eaves, George E.
Feazelle, Charles F.
Gaffney, George A., Jr.
Galloway, Edward J.
Ganious, Sherman
Gipson, Veldean
Graeflin, John F.
Gray, Lowell K.
Gross, Robert R.
Guess, Hiram P.
Hanson, Donald S.
Hanson, John W.
Hastings, William W.
Helms, Theodore P.
Jenckes, Robert B.
Jenkins, John D.
Jennings, George A.
Johnigan, Otis P.
Johnson, Stanley F.
Keesee, Martin L.
Kirschbaum, Fred J.
Lassiter, J.H.
Laux, Eugene G.
MoMM1
MoMM2
S1
S1
S1
TM2
LTJG
MoMM2
LT
CTM
MoMM1
FC3
QM2
F1
MoMM2
SM1
EM2
SM3
EM2
StM1
TM2
MoMM2
F1
EM2
CTM
MoMM2
Y1
F1
GM2
MoMM2
MoMM2
MoMM2
RM1
EM3
RM2
EM1
LT
EM3
    Leonard, Wesley L.
Lorenz, R.
Madden, Charles A.
Mansfield, Raymond L.
Masucci, Donald P.
Matthews, Cleo L.
McGrath, Thomas P.
Messerschmidt, William G.
Meyer, Robert G.
Mikkelson, William A.
Moitz, Arthur M.
Morgan, Raymond D.
O'Connell, Bernard J.
Owen, Jay S.
Page, Howard S.
Parady, Phillip D.
Phillips, Chester R.
Phipps, Chester
Poole, Clair C.
Proctor, Wayne C.
Pyzow, Walter
Rafferty, Cleo T.
Reed, G. Russell
Revotskie, Peter
Rice, Robert L.
Ritzenheim, Vincent P.
Rodgers, Arthur D.
Rogers, William H.
Rokosz, Stanley F.
Rubscha, Joseph, Jr.
Scott, Frank B.
Shedloski, Joseph N.
Slinden, Irvin G.
Swanson, Vernon L.
Thomas, Willis M.
Wagner, Virl R.
Warwick, Michael J.
White, David W.
Wilson, Charlie A.
StM1
LT
CEM
F1
F1
MoMM1
LT-XO
F2
GM3
TM2
TM3
TM2
F1
SC1
S1
QM3
CMoMM
CMoMM
LT
F1
EM2
PhM1
TM2
F2
RM3
F2
EM2
SC1
Bkr3
F1
RT1
F2
F2
TM1
LCDR-CO
TM3
EM3
S1
CMoMM

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A Tight Place - Painting by E.V. Vandos
A Tight Place - Painting by E.V. Vandos

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Related Resource: Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations