Finback file photo [14702]

USS Finback

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassGato-class Submarine
Hull NumberSS-230
BuilderPortsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States
Laid Down5 Feb 1941
Launched25 Aug 1941
Commissioned31 Jan 1942
Decommissioned21 Apr 1950
Displacement1549 tons standard; 2424 tons submerged
Length312 feet
Beam27 feet
Draft17 feet
MachineryFour Fairbanks-Morse Model 38D8-? 9-cylinder diesel engines (5,400shp), four high-speed Elliott electric motors (2,740shp), two 126-cell Sargo batteries, two propellers
Speed21 knots
Range11,000nm at 10 knots surfaced, 48 hours at 2 knots submerged
Crew60
Armament6x533mm forward torpedo tubes, 4x533mm aft torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, 1x76mm gun
Submerged Speed9 knots

Contributor:

ww2dbaseUSS Finback was commissioned into United States Navy service early in the Pacific War. She arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States on 29 May 1942, and on 31 May she was dispatched to the Midway area in anticipation of a Japanese attack. Between mid-1942 and the end of the war, she embarked on 12 war patrols, 9 of which were designated successful. She sank a total of 69,383 tons of enemy shipping during the war, and rescued, among other downed aviators, future President of the United States George Bush. After the war, she served as a training submarine and participated in exercises in the Caribbean Sea. She was decommissioned from service in 1950 and was placed in reserve at New London, Connecticut, United States. She was sold for scrap in 1959.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Submarine USS Finback (SS-230) Interactive Map

USS Finback Operational Timeline

5 Feb 1941 The keel of submarine Finback was laid down.
25 Aug 1941 Submarine Finback was launched, sponsored by Mrs. A. E. Watson.
31 Jan 1942 USS Finback was commissioned into service, Lieutenant Commander Jesse L. Hull in command.
29 May 1942 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
31 May 1942 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for the anticipated Japanese attack on Midway Atoll.
9 Jun 1942 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
25 Jun 1942 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol.
5 Jul 1942 USS Finback attacked two Japanese destroyers in the Central Pacific, firing six torpedoes and claimed one hit. She was counterattacked with depth charges.
11 Jul 1942 USS Finback conducted a reconnaissance mission in Vega Bay, Kiska, US Territory of Alaska.
11 Aug 1942 USS Finback conducted a survey mission in Tanaga Bay, Tanaga, US Territory of Alaska.
12 Aug 1942 USS Finback arrived at Dutch Harbor, US Territory of Alaska, ending her first war patrol.
23 Aug 1942 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
23 Sep 1942 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her second war patrol.
14 Oct 1942 USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy of four transports and a patrol vessel east of Taiwan, damaging one transport with 2 of 4 torpedoes fired.
18 Oct 1942 USS Finback damaged a large Japanese freighter east of Taiwan, hitting her with 2 of torpedoes fired.
20 Oct 1942 USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy off China, firing 9 torpedoes and claiming 3 hits and claiming two sinkings.
25 Oct 1942 USS Finback attacked a Japanese transport with three torpedoes east of Taiwan; all torpedoes missed.
3 Nov 1942 USS Finback sank a small vessel east of Taiwan with gunfire.
20 Nov 1942 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her second war patrol.
16 Dec 1942 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her third war patrol. The first phase of this war patrol would be to escort a carrier force rather than to hunt for enemy shipping.
17 Jan 1943 USS Finback sank a Japanese patrol boat south of Japan with her deck gun.
6 Feb 1943 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her third war patrol.
27 Feb 1943 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her fourth war patrol.
21 Mar 1943 USS Finback damaged a Japanese cargo ship in the Southwestern Pacific, hitting her with two of three torpedoes fired.
24 Mar 1943 USS Finback spotted a Japanese convoy and began to shadow it.
26 Mar 1943 USS Finback attacked the Japanese convoy which she initially intercepted on 24 Mar 1943 north of New Guinea, Dutch East Indies. She damged two transports with 3 of 6 torpedoes fired and was counterattacked with depth charges.
5 Apr 1943 USS Finback hit a damaged and beached Japanese merchant ship off Wake Island with 1 of 2 torpedoes fired.
13 Apr 1943 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her fourth war patrol.
12 May 1943 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her fifth war patrol.
27 May 1943 USS Finback sank a Japanese cargo ship east of Philippine Islands, hitting her with 2 of 3 torpedoes fired.
2 Jun 1943 USS Finback damaged a Japanese ship east of Philippine Islands, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes fired.
8 Jun 1943 USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy east of Philippine Islands and claimed two transports sunk and another ship damaged, hitting them with 4 of 8 torpedoes fired.
11 Jun 1943 USS Finback sank a Japanese cargo ship east of Philippine Islands, hitting her with 2 of 3 torpedoes fired.
15 Jun 1943 USS Finback fired three torpedoes at a Japanese ship east of Philippine Islands; all torpedoes missed.
26 Jun 1943 USS Finback arrived at Fremantle, Australia, ending her fifth war patrol.
18 Jul 1943 USS Finback completed refitting at Fremantle, Australia and departed for her sixth war patrol.
30 Jul 1943 USS Finback sank a Japanese freighter in the South China Sea, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes fired.
1 Aug 1943 USS Finback damaged a Japanese transport in the South China Sea, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired.
3 Aug 1943 USS Finback sank a Japanese cargo ship in the South China Sea, hitting her with 2 of 5 torpedoes fired.
11 Aug 1943 USS Finback damaged a Japanese ship in the South China Sea, hitting her with 1 of 7 torpedoes fired.
19 Aug 1943 USS Finback attacked several Japanese surface ships with gunfire east of Borneo, sinking one small patrol vessel.
25 Aug 1943 USS Finback fired two torpedoes at a Japanese transport in the Dutch East Indies; all torpedoes missed.
12 Sep 1943 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her sixth war patrol.
15 Dec 1943 USS Finback completed overhaul at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii and departed for her seventh war patrol.
1 Jan 1944 USS Finback sank a Japanese tanker in the East China Sea, hitting her with 5 of 6 torpedoes fired.
30 Jan 1944 USS Finback damaged a fishing trawler with gunfire in the East China Sea.
31 Jan 1944 USS Finback sank a fishing trawler with gunfire in the East China Sea.
11 Feb 1944 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her seventh war patrol.
6 Mar 1944 USS Finback completed refitting at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii and departed for her eighth war patrol.
12 Apr 1944 USS Finback attacked a six-ship Japanese convoy escorted by three patrol vessels east of Philippine Islands, firing 9 torpedoes and reporting 5 hits; she was then counterattacked with depth charges.
16 Apr 1944 USS Finback conducted a reconnaissance mission at Oroluk Atoll, Caroline Islands, firing on a damaged ship and a tower on land during the mission.
19 Apr 1944 USS Finback sank a small Japanese vessel in the Pacific Ocean with her deck gun.
1 May 1944 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her eighth war patrol.
30 May 1944 USS Finback completed refitting at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii and departed for her ninth war patrol.
21 Jul 1944 USS Finback arrived at Majuro, Marshall Islands, ending her ninth war patrol.
16 Aug 1944 USS Finback, with the new commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Robert Russell Williams, Jr., departed Majuro, Marshall Islands for her tenth war patrol.
2 Sep 1944 USS Finback rescued downed aviator and future President of the United States George Bush off Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands.
10 Sep 1944 USS Finback fired 6 torpedoes at a Japanese destroyer escort in the Western Pacific; all torpedoes missed. She would continue to shadow the convoy the warship was escorting.
11 Sep 1944 USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy in the Western Pacific, sinking a tanker and a transport, hitting them with 3 of 6 torpedoes fired.
16 Dec 1944 USS Finback attacked a Japanese convoy in the Western Pacific, firing a total of 20 torpedoes but making only 2 hits, sinking a transport.
24 Dec 1944 USS Finback arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her eleventh war patrol.
20 Jan 1945 USS Finback departed for her twelfth and final war patrol in the East China Sea.
25 Mar 1945 USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her twelfth and final war patrol.
29 Aug 1945 USS Finback departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for New London, Connecticut, United States.
21 Apr 1950 USS Finback was decommissioned from service.
1 Sep 1958 Submarine Finback was struck from the US Naval Register.
15 Jul 1959 Submarine Finback was sold for scrap.

Photographs

Launching of submarine Finback, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 25 Aug 1941Submarine Finback shortly after launching, off Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 25 Aug 1941Crew of USS Finback pulling downed airman Lieutenant (jg) George Bush from the water off Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands, 2 Sep 1944George Bush and other rescued airmen with some of the officers and men of USS Finback, Sep 1944
See all 5 photographs of Submarine USS Finback (SS-230)



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. E K Bellinger says:
12 Dec 2014 03:02:13 PM

Looking for people with knowledge of FINBACK and any surviving crewmen of last three patrols of FINBACK. My dad, Larry Lutwitzi, QM on Patrol 12, just passed on Dec 3. I am trying to reconcile things that he told me about this patrol with the records. Anyone who has info, please add it here. Thank you.
2. Mark Parscale says:
4 Jan 2015 07:00:18 AM

I see above that she was decommissioned in 1950 at New London, Conn. I was born in New London in 1950 and my Dad was in the submarine service - was QM 1st class --
3. Mark thompson says:
27 Dec 2015 05:37:12 PM

My Dad Joseph D Thompson known as Tommy was a Chief Yeoman on the Finback. His family was invited to George Bushes Inauguration, because the crew rescued him at sea when his plane was shot down.I still have the invitations for all of us. My mom was sick and my dad didn't won't to go with out here. He died at 82 in 1995 . He was in an orphanage till age of 13. He found out he had a mom and brothers and sisters , so he broke out of the orphan and sold papers on the corner streets to help support his family . He joined the Navy in 1930 and was on the last decommissioned War 1 sub marine and I still have that article. He sent all of his checks to help his mom and step dad whom he liked. He got his younger brother out of the orphanage he was in and sent him to live with family. This is my Dad and my hero !
4. Johnny the Finn says:
16 Feb 2016 05:11:01 AM

Dear Mark, I am looking for a soldier with your father´s name. However, my Joseph D Thompson was active in 101st Airborne Division in Lofer, Austria, on May 10th, 1945.
Does anybody have any information of him?
5. Anonymous says:
3 Mar 2016 07:33:49 AM

Dear Mr. Bellinger,

check this website: http://www.maritime..../subreports.htm

you will find the original record of all the war patrol of USN Submarine, there's also 12th patrol of Finback (check Finback part 1).
May your father rest in peace.
6. Anonymous says:
27 Mar 2017 01:01:09 PM

In search of a crew list with my father's name on it. My father was W. T. Alford, USNA 39. During WWII he was at one point serving on Finback

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Submarine USS Finback (SS-230) Photo Gallery
Launching of submarine Finback, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 25 Aug 1941
See all 5 photographs of Submarine USS Finback (SS-230)




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