USS Sculpin (SS-191)
USS Sculpin (SS-191), 1939-43
The Sargo-class submarine, USS Sculpin (SS-191), was commissioned on January 16, 1939 at Kittery, Maine. The submarine is noted for the pre-war period for the assistance she rendered in May 1939 for the search of USS Squalus (SS-192) when the boat foundered off New Hampshire. Ordered to the Pacific, Sculpin served at Pearl Harbor and was operating in the Philippines when the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Following United States' entry into the war, she served in the South Pacific and was based out of Australia for six war patrols before refurbishment at Mare Island, California. Returning for duty in the Pacific in May 1943, Sculpin was deployed on her ninth war patrol that November to intercept and attack Japanese forces leaving Truk Island to oppose the Northern Attack Force (Task Force 52) steaming to attack Tarawa Atoll. Captain John P. Cromwell, USN, commander of the submarine coordinated attack group, was also onboard. Coming under attack by enemy depth charges on November 19, the submarine's commanding officer, Commander Fred Connaway surfaced in order for the crew's survival. For his actions onboard during this time, Captain Cromwell posthumously received the Medal of Honor. Japanese destroyer Yamagumo picked-up 42 of Sculpin's crew, who were then transported to Truk and questioned. Japanese aircraft carrier Chuyo took 21 survivors and was transporting them when she was sunk by USS Sailfish (SS-192). Sailfish was originally named Squalus, which Sculpin helped save in 1939. The remaining 21 survivors worked at the Ashio copper mines in Japan for the duration of World War II.
The NHHC Navy Library has more to read about Sculpin, please click here
Image: NH 97302: USS Sculpin (SS-191), in San Francisco Bay, California, May 1943. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.