A voracious food fish common to the U.S. Atlantic Coast, bluish above and silvery below, two to three feet in length and very destructive to other fish. The first submarine was named for the fish, the second to commemorate the service of Bluefish (SS-222).
The first Bluefish (SS-222) was laid down on 5 June 1942 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co.; launched on 21 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Robert Y. Menzie, wife of the Superintendent of Hull Construction at the builders’ yard; and commissioned on 24 May 1943, Lt. Comdr. George E. Porter in command.
Bluefish departed New London, Conn., 21 July and reported to TF 72 at Brisbane, Australia, 21 August 1943. Betwen 9 September 1943 and 29 July 1945 she completed nine war patrols. Her operating area extended from the Netherlands East Indies to the waters south of Honshu. Bluefish sank 12 Japanese ships totaling 50,839 tons, including the destroyer Sanae, 18 November 1943; the submarine I-351, 15 July 1945; and a submarine chaser. In addition Bluefish assisted Puffer (SS-268) in sinking a 5135-ton tanker.
With the cessation of hostilities Bluefish returned to the United States, arriving at Philadelphia Navy Yard 9 October. She was placed in the 16th Fleet and on 21 October moved to the Submarine Base, New London. She was later towed to Electric Boat Co., Groton, where she underwent repairs. On 12 June 1946 she returned to New London where she went out of commission in reserve 12 February 1947.
Bluefish was recommissioned 7 February 1952 at the Submarine Base, New London, and reported to Submarine Division 82, Atlantic Fleet. On 7 April she proceeded to Key West, Fla., and reported to Submarine Division 41 on 11 April. She operated along the Florida coast and in the Caribbean, engaging in local operations and training exercises until May 1953.
On 7 June 1953 Bluefish arrived at the Naval Base, Portsmouth, N. H. Following pre-inactivation overhaul at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, she wsa placed out of commission in reserve at New London 20 November 1953.
Bluefish was struck from the Navy List on 1 June 1959.
Robert J. Cressman
30 January 2006