Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Submarine
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Mingo II (SS-261)

(SS‑261: dp. 1,526 (surf.), 2,424 (subm.); l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20.25 (surf.), 8.75 (subm.); cpl. 60; a. 1 3", 2 .50 cal. mg., 2 .30 cal. mg. 10 21" tt.; cl. Gato)

An Iroquois term of reproach applied to neighboring Indians, especially to a band in the Ohio Valley. The first Mingo retained her former name; the second was named for a fish of the Caribbean with rough leathery skin.


Mingo (SS‑261) was laid down 21 March 1942 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; launched 30 November; sponsored by Mrs. Henry L. Pence; and commissioned 12 February 1943, Lt. Cmdr. Ralph C. Lynch, Jr., in command.

After shakedown off Long Island, Mingo sailed for Newport, R.I., 1 April 1943 for 3 weeks of operations with the torpedo station. She cleared New London 16 May for the Pacific via the Canal Zone.

After further training at Pearl Harbor, Mingo departed on her maiden war patrol 25 June. She made damaging attacks on three Japanese merchant ships and bombarded Sorol Island off the Palaus before returning to Pearl Harbor for refit.

Her second war patrol, from 29 September to 20 November, took her to the Marshalls; Carolines; and Marianas. Her torpedoes damaged a Japanese carrier of the Kasuga class. She departed the Hawaiian Islands for overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, San Pablo Bay, Calif. The submarine left the west coast 3 February 1944 for operations in the Pacific.

For her third war patrol, Mingo joined the 7th Fleet in patrolling the South China Sea. She then sailed for Brisbane, Australia, via the Bismark Sea and Milne Bay, New Guinea, arriving 9 May. She continued on to Manus, Admiralty Islands, 10 June for further training.

Mingo left Manus for the Philippines 18 June on her fourth war patrol. On 7 July she attacked a Japanese high‑speed convoy off Luzon and sank 2,100‑ton destroyer Tamanawi. The submarine put in to Fremantle, Australia, 30 July.

Mingo began her fifth war patrol 27 August. Although her primary operation was lifeguard duty in support of the 13th Air Force strikes on the Philippines and Borneo, she sank four coastal freighters. Mingo did a noteworthy job as lifeguard as she rescued 16 Liberator fliers shot down off Balikpapan, Borneo, six from rubber boats in Makassar Strait and the other 10 from the beach of Celebes Island. She moored in Fremantle 13 October.

Her sixth war patrol, mostly reconnaissance duty, took place west of Borneo. On 25 December Mingo made a night torpedo attack on a Japanese convoy on a run between Singapore and Brunei, Borneo. Beside damaging an escort gunboat, she sank loaded 9,486‑ton tanker Manila Maru. The sinking of a maru of that name was prophetic, for the Japanese were only 3 months away from losing their hold completely on the ship's namesake, the Philippine capital. After assisting two other submarines in successful attacks, she returned to Fremantle 29 December for repairs.

Mingo took station at the South China Sea again for her seventh and last war patrol from 6 February to 10 April. On 14 February she sailed to Fremantle to repair damage caused by a hurricane in which she had lost two men on the 10th. She departed 19 February for further patrol off the Gulf of Siam before arriving in the Marianas 10 April.

While en route to Hawaii 14 August, Mingo received word of the end of hostilities. After a short stay at Pearl Harbor, she sailed for the west coast.

On January 1947 Mingo decommissioned at Mare Island and entered the Pacific Fleet. Recommissioned 20 May 1955. Mingo was transferred on loan to Japan under the Military Assistance Program and renamed Kuroshio (SS-501) 15 August. She continued to serve the Japanese Navy as Kuroshio until decommissioned 31 March 1966.

Mingo received five battle stars for World War II service. Five of her seven war patrols were designated "successful."

Published: Mon Aug 10 12:47:15 EDT 2015