PATROL NUMBER 11
IN HIROHITO'S HOT TUB

This first appeared in The Tinosa Blatt, August, 1988, page 8.
Excerpted from the book Encounter by Watrous and published by Wittmer in 1988.
Edited for web site.

Upon TINOSA's arrival in Guam on May 17, 1945, a five day upkeep was conducted by Subdiv 202 and Proteus. Five men were transferred to the squadron and six new hands reported aboard. Major alterations accomplished during this period included the installation of a new fathometer, and mine clearing cables were mounted on the diving planes. Five more days were spent in training exercises, and at 1500 on May 29, she took departure Apra Harbor on patrol.

She sailed in company with FLYING FISH and BOWFIN. The three were to be an element of a group of nine submarines commanded by E.C. Hydernan in SEA DOG whose task was to enter the Sea of Japan and conduct coordinated attacks on enemy shipping. The other three boat elements of the group, known as Hydeman's Hellcats, were SEA DOG, CREVALLE, SPADEFISH and TUNNY, SKATE, BONEFISH. The Sea of Japan was a perilous place to operate. Japanese antisubmarine forces and mines had already destroyed six U.S. submarines in the area. TINOSA headed northwest toward Yaku Shima where she would transit the Ryukyu Islands.

On June 1 at 1230, TINOSA received a report of a downed fighter pilot ninety miles dead ahead, and she increased speed. FLYING FISH advised TINOSA that BOWFIN was closer and would investigate. At 1315 there was a report of a B-29 ditching 250 miles to the north. The three submarines headed for that position with the expectation of arriving there at 0200 the next morning.

Visibility was poor in a dense fog. TINOSA started a search in the area at 0200, and because of the fog fired Very's flares and sounded her whistle at frequent intervals. She then stopped her engines to listen for any noise the survivors might provide.

Comsubpac had ordered aircraft to search for the survivors as they could be seen from the air better than they could be seen on the surface in the low lying fog. A search plane arrived on the scene at 0447 .

She searched in vain for four hours, when suddenly at 0845, radio picked up an SOS from a life raft transmitter, and a few seconds later the search plane reported that they had sighted the survivors in a life raft. Latham searched until noon without finding the raft. At that time he asked the aircraft to circle low over the survivors so that he could get a bearing. They agreed to comply when the next SOS was transmitted.

The SOS came at 1230. TINOSA obtained a bearing and at 1244 she came alongside the life raft. Soon ten of the eleven Army airmen who had parachuted from the stricken plane were safely aboard. The parachute of the other airman had failed to open. TINOSA and her consorts resumed their trek for the Ryukyus.

At 2200 TINOSA received information of a downed fighter pilot and altered course to make a search. At 0030 on June 4, she reached the bailout position and conducted a three hour search without finding any survivors. She broke off the search and headed for a rendezvous where she had been directed to transfer the rescued airmen to SCABBARDFISH. By 2300 the airmen were gone from TINOSA and on their way home.

At 2350 there was a radar contact 16 miles to the east and Latham prepared to attack. The contact was going away from TINOSA and by 0150 it was apparent that to continue the chase would put her too far behind her scheduled arrival on station, so Latham broke off the attack.

June 6 operations were the subject of a special report, presumably mine detection in the Sasebo area.

On June 7 and 8 TINOSA was buffeted by heavy seas. On the morning of the 8th, it was discovered that the port mine clearing cable on the bow planes had become fouled on a deck cleat which would prevent rigging out the bow planes. Lt. Grose and Rodman volunteered to go forward and undertake the dangerous mission of clearing the cable. This was safely accomplished and the ship's force set about making anti fouling devices which were installed that night.

TINOSA was now on her assigned station off the east coast of Korea, and on the 9th, she dove early in the morning to conduct a submerged patrol. By 1330 she had moved to the entrance of Bokuko Ko harbor in search of sitting ducks. The harbor was empty.

At 1422 smoke was sighted to the southwest. Soon the target appeared and was identified as a small freighter, fully loaded and headed northwest along the coast at six knots. The range was four miles.

TINOSA went to battle stations, and at 1503, when the range had closed to 1800 yards, fired three bow shots. The first two missed, but the third hit amidships and the target broke in half and sank.

At 1524 the next day TINOSA was patrolling on the surface some forty five miles north of her previous sinking when she made radar contact on a target thirty-one miles to the north. Latham fired up all four engines and headed for a position to attack. It was 1930 before TINOSA was ready to commence the approach on the target which was a 4,000 ton freighter. At 2040 she fired three stern tubes from 1500 yards.

The first unit was heard to hit but did not explode. The second torpedo made a circular run and came back at TINOSA, passing close aboard. Latham flooded negative tank and went deep to avoid subsequent passes of the errant torpedo, at the same time firing another stern tube hoping to get a hit and an explosion. It missed. The target dropped three depth charges which were not close.

At 2148 Latham surfaced to continue the attack but was unable to make contact. Since TINOSA had already encroached on BOWFIN'S area it was decided not to pursue further. She returned to her area.

June 11 was spent on surface patrol and was uneventful except for two dives to avoid aircraft. The next morning Latham decided to have another look into the harbor at Bokuko Ko, so at 0534 TINOSA submerged and headed in. At 0920 smoke and the tops of masts were sighted, and at 0948 Latham started an approach. However, at 1012 it was determined that the target was too small for an attack. At 1055 a large sea truck was sighted three and a half miles to the southwest, and the tracking party went to work. Visibility was 3,000 yards in patchy fog, and the target went out of sight so TINOSA surfaced and commenced an end around. By 1311 visual contact was reestablished at a range of three miles. Visibility had decreased to 1,000 yards. It was now decided to sink her with deck armament.

At 1335 the guns were manned and ready, and TINOSA bore in on four engines through the lifting fog. At 1339 she opened fire at a range of 4,000 yards. By the time she had closed to 700 yards the unfortunate victim had suffered thirty-six hits from the five inch deck gun and was sinking. There was one lifeboat load of survivors. A small fishing boat was witness to this action from 1500 yards.

On June 13 TINOSA was in the southern part of her area, and at 0445 dove to conduct a submerged patrol. At 1750 she sighted another sea truck and attempted to close but was unable to do so. The next day was more of the same.

June 15 was spent submerged near the Korean coast in a flat calm sea and 6, 000 yards visibility. Fishing boats were all around. At 1339 a loud metallic noise was heard from the pump room area. Apparently negative flood valve operating linkage had parted within the tank. The tank would be out of commission for the rest of the patrol.

At 2043 TINOSA surfaced and headed northeast for deeper water. The next day was spent on the surface except for a single dive to avoid aircraft. At 2145 she made contact with FLYING FISH which came alongside for a short rendezvous. At 2245 TINOSA returned to her own area, and the next day was spent on the surface without incident.

The early morning hours of June 18 were spent steaming toward Bokuko Ko at seventeen knots and trying not to collide with the myriad of fishing boats that were working the area. At 0404 radar made contact with a potential target at a range of five miles, and TINOSA went to battle stations. A dense fog set in which limited visibility to 75 yards.

TINOSA was now three miles off the coast. Latham maneuvered his ship to a point six miles ahead of the target and commenced an approach. At 0602 three bow tubes were fired at a range of 600 yards. All missed. They were heard to explode after they had run 3,500 yards. At 0635 TINOSA was in position for another attack and fired two bow tubes at a range of 700 yards. These did not hit either, and it was decided that although the target looked large in the morning fog, it was actually of too shallow a draft for torpedoes. The setup had been excellent and the fish had been set at six and four feet respectively and appeared to pass under the target. TINOSA broke off the attack and submerged at 0833 until 2008.

TINOSA headed south. Latham, disappointed at the small targets encountered, the saturation of fishing craft, and the poor visibility on the Korean coast, decided to patrol in the northern Korean Strait near Tsushima. While enroute, at 0305 radar made contact with a target at a range of six miles to the northeast. By 0423 the target was identified as a small freighter. Latham started an end around.

At 0539 TINOSA submerged twelve miles ahead of the contact and went to battle stations. By 0712 she was in position and fired three bow tubes from 750 yards. All three units hit the target, which sank in thirty-five seconds. About twenty survivors were seen clinging to wreckage. TINOSA surfaced and took steps to clear the area. At 0928 she submerged.

All was quiet until 1729 when smoke was sighted to the southwest at an estimated range of ten miles. TINOSA took off at full speed in an attempt to attain an attack position. It was late in the day and there was a limited amount of "juice in the can." However, at 1924 she was where she wanted to be, and from a range of 1200 yards, fired four bow tubes. Two of them were hits and the hapless freighter sank in fifty seconds. At 1928 a loud, close explosion was heard which was believed to be an aerial bomb, although no aircraft had been sighted. Latham took her deep and rigged for depth charge, but no further countermeasures were taken. At 2054 she surfaced.

It was now time to leave this area and head north to rendezvous with the rest of the Hellcats and conduct special missions in La Perouse Strait at the northern end of Hokkaido Shima.

Early in the morning of June 26, TINOSA transited Kita Uruppu Suido into the Pacific and headed for Midway Island. There she arrived at 0834 on June 30, and at 1334 on the same day, was underway for Pearl Harbor where she arrived at 1120 on July 4.

This was an outstanding patrol for TINOSA, which was so noted by Comsubpac and she was given credit for sinking four ships (12,100 tons) and damaging one (4,000 tons).

Hydeman's Hellcats took a heavy toll of Japanese shipping in this one month foray into the Emperor's back yard. Twenty-eight ships were sunk for a total tonnage of 57,052. There was a heavy price to pay however, for BONEFISH, after sinking two ships (12,380 tons) was detected by the enemy and was subjected to a severe attack.

She was lost with all hands.

11th RUN TRIVIA

Duration of patrol: 36 days

Ship Contacts: 24

Air Contacts: 10

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