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Dragonet (SS-293)

(SS-293: dp. 1,526; l. 311'8"; b. 27'3"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20 k.; cpl. 66; a. 1 4", 10 21"- tt.; cl. Gato)

A family of fishes found in the warm seas of the world.

Dragonet (SS-293) was launched 18 April 1943 by Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Gingrich; and commissioned 6 March 1944, Commander J. H. Lewis in command.

Dragonet reached Pearl Harbor from New London 9 October 1944, and put out on her first war patrol 1 November, bound for the Kurile Islands and the Sea of Okohotsk. On the morning of 15 December 1944, while submerged south of Matsuwa, Dragonet struck an uncharted submerged pinnacle, which holed her pressure hull in the forward torpedo room. The space was completely flooded, and in order to surface the submarine, it was necessary to blow water out of the compartment with compressed air. At 0845 she surfaced, just 4 milesfrom the airfield on Matsuwa, and set course to clear the danger area as quickly as possible. Her bow planes were rigged out, and in order to rerig them, it would be necessary to enter the flooded compartment. Next day this was accomplished by putting pressure in the forward battery compartment, and opening the water-tight door into the forward torpedo room. The determination and skill of her crew were further tried when she had to run through 2 days of storm to reach Midway 20 December for emergency repairs.

After overhaul at Mare Island, Dragonet returned to Pearl Harbor 2 April 1945, and sailed on her next patrol 19 April. She called at Guam to refuel from 1 to 3 May, then proceeded to lifeguard duty south of the Japanese home islands. She rescued four downed Army aviators during this patrol, and returned to refit at Guam between 10 June and 8 July.

Dragonet's third war patrol, between 8 July 1945 and 17 August, was a combination of lifeguard duty and offensive against Japanese shipping in Bungo Suido. At this late stage in the war, the remnants of the Japanese merchant marine provided few targets, and none was contacted by Dragonet. She rescued a downed naval aviator near Okino Shima. Putting in to Saipan at the close of the war, she sailed on to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Mare Island 16 April 1946.

Dragonet's second and third war patrols were designated as "successful." She received two battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Thu Apr 21 04:28:34 EDT 2016