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USS Bullhead (SS-332)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Bullhead (SS-332)

USS Bullhead (SS-332) was laid down on 21 October 1943 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co.; launched on 16 July 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Howard Doyle; and commissioned on 4 December 1944, Comdr. Walter T. Griffith in command.

Followlng a month of shakedown training in Narragansett Bay, USS Bullhead (SS-332) sailed on 9 January 1945 for Key West, Fla., where she received two weeks of additional training before pushing on to Panama. During a practice dive, the main induction failed to close rapidly enough because of low hydraulic pressure, and tons of water flooded in before it could be shut. The crew saved the submarine by shifting ballast, pumping out water, and continuing the dive. She proceeded on without incident and reached Pearl Harbor on 26 February. After voyage repairs, USS Bullhead (SS-332) left Oahu on 9 March.

USS Bullhead (SS-332) refitted at Subic Bay, then carried out eight days of exercises along the Luzon coast, and finally set out on her second war patrol on 21 May. On the 16th, she entered the western end of the Java Sea. USS Bullhead (SS-332) discovered her next victim on the 18th. Once again, she trained her guns on a 700 ton vessel which sank soon after being hit at the waterline. After a brief refit period, in the course of which her 5 inch gun was replaced, the submarine left Fremantle on 31 July to begin her third patrol. She was to transit Lombok Strait and patrol in the Java Sea with several other American and British submarines. USS Bullhead (SS-332) rendezvoused with a Dutch submarine, Q 21, on 2 August and transferred mail to her. Four days later, the submarine reported that she had safely passed through the strait and was in her patrol area.

No further word was ever received from her, and, on 24 August, she was reported overdue and presumed lost. Postwar analysis of Japanese records revealed that a Japanese Army plane from the 73rd Chūtai, depth-charged a submarine off the Bali coast near the northern mouth of Lombok Stralt on 6 August. The pilot claimed two direct hits and reported a gush of oil and air bubbles at the spot where the target went down. It was presumed that the proximity of mountains shortened her radar's range and prevented USS Bullhead (SS-332) from receiving warning of the plane's approach. The submarine went down with all hands. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 17 September 1945.

For a complete history of USS Bullhead (SS-332) please see its DANFS page.