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USS Grayback (SS-208) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Grayback (SS-208)  

USS Grayback (SS-208) was laid down on 3 April 1940 ar Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co.;  launched on 31 January 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Wilson Brown, wife of Rear Adm. Wilson Brown, the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy; and commissioned on 30 June 1941 at New London, Conn., Lt. Willard A. Saunders in command.

Attached to the Atlantic Fleet, USS Grayback (SS-208) conducted her shakedown cruise in Long Island Sound out of Newport, R.I., New London, and New York. Following America's entry into the war Grayback sailed for the Pacific on 12 January 1942 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 8 February. Her first war patrol (15 February-10 April) took her along the coast of Saipan and Guam.

USS Grayback (SS-208) continued on patrol, torpedoing and damaging several Japanese ships. On 17 January 1943 she attacked a destroyer escorting a large maru, hoping to disable the escort and then sink the freighter with her deck guns. However, the destroyer evaded the torpedoes and dropped 19 depth charges on USS Grayback (SS-208). One blew a gasket on a manhole cover; and the submarine, leaking seriously, was ordered back to Brisbane where she arrived 23 February.

Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 12 September 1943, USS Grayback (SS-208) prepared for her eighth war patrol. Sailing on 26 September with Shad (SS-235), she rendezvoused with USSnCero (SS-225) at Midway to form the first of the Submarine Force's highly successful wolfpacks. USS Grayback (SS-208)  sailed from Pearl Harbor on 28 January 1944 for the East China Sea. On 24 February, USS Grayback (SS-208) radioed that she had sunk two cargo ships on 19 February, in an attack on Japanese convoy TAPA 02, sinking the army cargo ship Taikei Maru, and  the army cargo ship Toshin Maru, that had rescued Taikei Maru's survivors, both cargo vessel's people being rescued by the Japanese destroyer Harukaze. With only two torpedoes remaining, she was ordered home from patrol.

On 26 February 1944, USS Grayback (SS-208) suffered damage when land-based Japanese naval aircraft attacked her in the East China Sea. According to Japanese reports the submarine "exploded and sank immediately," but antisubmarine craft were called in to depth-charge the area, clearly marked by a trail of air bubbles, until at last a heavy oil slick swelled to the surface. USS Grayback (SS-208) had ended her last patrol, one which cost the enemy some 21,594 tons of shipping. Slated to reach Midway on 7 March 1944, USS Grayback (SS-208) did not arrive as scheduled. She was listed as overdue, presumed lost, on 30 March 1944. 

For a complete history of USS Grayback (SS-208) please see its DANFS page.