Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Grayling (SS-209) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Grayling (SS-209) 

USS Grayling (SS-209) was laid down at the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 15 December 1939; launched 4 September 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Herbert F. Leary; and commissioned 1 March 1941, Lt. Comdr. E. Olson in command.

Joining the Atlantic Fleet, USS Grayling (SS-209) sailed on shakedown cruise 4 August to Morehead City, N.C., and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, returning to Portsmouth 29 August. After final acceptance, she departed 17 November, armed at Newport, B.I., and sailed for duty with the Pacific Fleet. USS Grayling (SS-209) transited the Panama Canal 3 December and moored at San Diego 10 December. USS Grayling (SS-209) sailed for Pearl Harbor 17 December, arrived 24 December, and had the honor of being chosen for the Pacific Fleet change of command ceremony 31 December 1941. 

After the ceremonies, USS Grayling (SS-209) stood out of Pearl Harbor on her first war patrol 5 January 1942. Cruising the Northern Gilbert Islands, USS Grayling (SS-209) failed to register a kill, but gained much in training and readiness, returning to Pearl Harbor 7 March. Her second patrol, beginning 27 March, was more successful. Cruising off the coast of Japan itself, USS Grayling (SS-209) sank her first ship 13 April, sending the cargo freighter Ryujin Maru to the bottom. She returned to Hawaii 16 May.

At Pearl Harbor USS Grayling (SS-209) repaired and was fitted with surface radar, after which she began her fourth patrol 19 October. Although attacked by gunfire and six separate depth charge runs by Japanese destroyers, USS Grayling (SS-209) succeeded 10 November in sinking a 4,000-ton cargo ship southwest of Truk. She also destroyed an enemy schooner 4 December before putting into Fremantle, Australia, 13 December.

USS Grayling (SS-209) began her eighth and last war patrol in July from Fremantle. She made two visits to the coast of the Philippines delivering supplies and equipment to guerrillas at Pucio Point, Pandan Bay, Panay, 31 July and 23 August 1943. Cruising in the Philippines area, USS Grayling (SS-209) recorded her last kill, the passenger-cargo Meizan Maru 27 August in the Tablas Strait, but was not heard from again after 9 September. USS Grayling (SS-209) was officially reported "lost with all hands" 30 September 1943, after having recorded five major kills totalling 20,575 tons. All but the first of USS Grayling (SS-209)'s eight war patrols were declared "successful."

For a complete history of USS Grayling (SS-209) please see its DANFS page.