|Ship Class||Salmon-class Submarine|
|Builder||Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut, United States|
|Laid Down||15 Apr 1936|
|Launched||12 Jun 1937|
|Commissioned||15 Mar 1938|
|Decommissioned||24 Sep 1945|
|Displacement||1435 tons standard; 2198 tons submerged|
|Machinery||Four 1,375hp H.O.R. diesel engines, Two 1,650hp Elliot Motor electric motors|
|Armament||1x3in, 2x12.7mm machine guns, 2x7.62mm machine guns, 8x21in torpedo tubes|
|Submerged Speed||9 knots|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Salmon was the lead ship of her class of submarines. After shakedown training off the western Atlantic Ocean under the command of Lieutenant M. M. Stephens, she joined Squadron 6 of the US Navy Submarine Force's Submarine Division 15 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. She was the flagship of the division until late 1939, when the division shifted its base to San Diego, California, United States, where she remained until late 1941. With submarine tender Holland, the submarines Salmon, Swordfish, Sturgeon, and Skipjack were shifted to Manila, Luzon, Philippines, arriving on 18 Nov 1941 and forming Submarine Division 21 of the Asiatic Fleet.
Salmon was underway on a patrol along the west coast of Luzon when the Japanese struck. On 22 Dec, while on the surface in the Lingayen Gulf, she encountered two Japanese destroyers and damaged them both, and then escaped into a rain squall after the attack. In Jan 1942, she moved south to operate in the Gulf of Davao and off the southern tip of Mindanao, then moved further south to the Manipa Strait and in the Molucca Islands as the Japanese advanced. In Feb 1942, she patrolled the Flores Sea from north of Timor to Lombok Strait in the Sunda Islands. On 13 Feb, she made port call at Tjilatjap, Java, ending her first war patrol. On 20 Feb, she set out on her second war patrol just as Tjilatjap was being abandoned due to risk of Japanese attack, patrolling between Sepandjang and the area just west of Bawean. The second patrol ended at Fremantle, Australia on 23 Mar.
On 3 May 1942, Salmon departed Fremantle to waters south of Java for her third war patrol. On 3 May and 28 May, she sank the 11,441-ton repair ship Asahi and the 4,382-ton passenger ship Ganges Maru, respectively. She returned to Fremantle on 24 Jun. On 21 Jul, she departed for her fourth war patrol to the South China Sea and Sulu Sea area, between Borneo and Palawan of the Philippine Islands. She returned to Fremantle on 8 Sep without any opportunity to commence attacks. On 10 Oct, she departed Fremantle for her fifth patrol off of western Luzon. During the night of 10 Nov, she challenged a sampan in Subic Bay, which was abandoned by her Japanese crew. Salmon's crew boarded the sampan and removed documents, radio equipment, and other articles, before scuttling the sampan. On 17 Nov, she attacked three vessels off Manila Bay and sank the 5,873-ton converted salvage vessel Oregon Maru. She entered Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1942, which ended her fifth patrol. She underwent an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard in California, United States between 13 Dec 1942 and 30 Mar 1943, receiving new radar equipment and two 20mm gun mounts.
Salmon arrived at Pearl Harbor on 8 Apr 1943, then set out for her sixth war patrol on 29 Apr to Honshu, Japan. She damaged two freighters on 3 Jun before arriving at Midway on 19 Jun to end the patrol. On 17 Jul, she departed from Midway for her seventh war patrol to the Kuril Islands. On 9 Aug, she sank a small coastal vessel and on the next day the 2,411-ton passenger ship Wakanoura Maru off the northern coast of Hokkaido. The seventh war patrol ended at Pearl Harbor on 25 Aug. On 27 Sep, she set sail for her eighth war patrol to the Kuril Islands. After damaging two freighters, she returned to Pearl Harbor on 17 Nov. Her ninth war patrol took place between 15 Dec 1943 and 25 Feb 1944, during which time she damaged one freighter on 22 Jan. Her tenth war patrol, which began on 1 Apr from Pearl Harbor, took her to Ulithi Islands between 15 and 20 Apr, Yap between 22 to 26 Apr, and Woleai between 28 Apr and 9 May to collect photo reconnaissance. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 21 May.
On 24 Sep 1944, Salmon sailed with submarines Trigger and Sterlet to raid Japanese shipping in the Ryukyu Islands. On 30 Oct, she attacked the 10,500-ton tanker Jinei Maru that had previously been damaged by Trigger. After firing four torpedoes, she dove to avoid the attack by the tanker's four escort vessels. Two of the torpedoes hit, but leaks due to depth charge damage forced her to surface. The Japanese vessels hesitated, which gave Salmon's crew a few minutes to correct the ship's list. As the Japanese vessels closed, Salmon's 20mm guns killed most or all topside personnel of one vessel while the other three closed in on her, hitting her a few times with small caliber guns. Salmon sent out a plain language radio to call for the other two submarines to assist, which probably discouraged the Japanese escort vessels, as indicated by the activation of their sound gear. Noting the hesitation by her enemy, Salmon sailed into a rain squall and slipped away from the engagement. Jinei Maru was eventually sunk by a torpedo from Sterlet. Submarines Sterlet, Trigger, and Silversides escorted Salmon to Tanapag Harbor, Saipan in the Mariana Islands, arriving on 3 Nov.
On 10 Nov 1944, Salmon set sail from Saipan alongside of submarine tender Holland for San Francisco, California, United States. On 26 Jan 1945, she departed from San Francisco with submarine Redfish for Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States via the Panama Canal, arriving on 17 Feb. After repairs at Portsmouth Navy Yard, she became a training vessel for the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. She was decommissioned immediately after the end of WW2 and was sold for scraps on 4 Apr 1946.
Source: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
USS Salmon Operational Timeline
|15 Mar 1938||Salmon was commissioned into service.|
|28 May 1942||USS Salmon sank Japanese passenger-cargo ship Ganges Maru in the South China Sea.|
|24 Sep 1945||Salmon was decommissioned from service.|
» Salmon Submarine Operations Research Group Attack Data
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