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Devilfish (SS-292)

(SS-292: dp. 1,526; l. 311'8"; b. 27'3"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20 k.; cpl. 66; a. 1 5", 10 21" tt.; cl. Gato)

Any of several gigantic, viviparous rays found in warm seas; the octopus or other large cephalopods.

Devilfish (SS-292) was launched 30 May 1943 by Camp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Mrs. F. W. Fenno, Jr.; and commissioned 1 September 1944, Commander E. C. Stephen in command.

Devilfish aided the training program of the Fleet Sonar School at Key West between 18 October and 2 November 1944. She reached Pearl Harbor 2 December. On the last day of the year, she sailed on her first war patrol, putting into Saipan to refuel between 12 and 15 January 1945. Devilfish patrolled the dangerous waters of Kii Suido and Bungo Suido off the island of Shikoku, and served as lifeguard for Army pilots making bombing raids on Japan. She refitted at Guam between 13 February and 15 March 1945, called at Saipan, and sailed 16 March for her second war patrol.

Assigned to the area between Sagami Wan and the northern Nanpo Shoto, Devilfish was attacked by a kamikaze plane on 20 March 1945 before she entered her patrol area. The plane crashed her as the submarine was submerging, destroying the mast structure and causing serious leakage. Devilfish returned to Saipan and Pearl Harbor for repairs, departing Pearl Harbor 20 May on her third patrol. She sought targets in Bungo Suido and off northern Honshu, and on 16 June, in heavy seas, attacked an enemy submarine carrying a midget submarine on its deck. On 26 June, she attacked an escort ship, but in both cases the targets escaped. During this patrol she acted as lifeguard for strikes accompanying the Okinawa operation, and several times rendezvoused with other submarines to take off medical cases and previously rescued aviators.

Devilfish put in to Guam to refit between 7 July and 2 August 1945, then sailed to the Nanpo Shoto for her fourth war patrol, during which her primary mission was lifeguard duty for the 3d Fleet raids on Japan. On 10 August she bombarded Tori Shima, and on 16 August, after the end of hostilities, departed for Midway and San Francisco. There she was placed in commission in reserve 18 April 1946, and out of commission in reserve 30 September 1946.

Devilfish received three battle stars for World War II service, one of which was for her second war patrol, designated as "successful."

Published: Thu Apr 21 04:21:14 EDT 2016