2nd War Patrol 

LCDR Marshall H. AUSTIN reported aboard REDFIN on February 25, 1944. 

On March 02, 1944 at 0930 hours the Officers and Crew reported aboard REDFIN after 2 weeks Rest Period.  At 1100 the crew was mustered at quarters for Change of Command.  LCDR Marshall H. AUSTIN relieved CDR Robert D. KING as Commanding Officer of USS REDFIN. 

The period between March 2nd and 7th was devoted to training and loading.  On March 8th REDFIN got underway at 2120 to patrol an area 200 miles off FREMANTLE on a scouting line, returning on March 14 at 0850 hours and moored alongside USS CREVALLE (SS-291) at Berth #4.  Between 15 and 17 March REDFIN conducted practice approaches and training exercises.  On March 18th they loaded 11 torpedoes, lube oil, fresh water and 18,800 gallons of fuel. 

March 19, 1944 REDFIN got underway for DARWIN, AUSTRALIA at 1313 hours making training dives, fire control drills and battle surfacing drills on the way.  Arriving in DARWIN on March 26th at 0910 hours, REDFIN took on fuel and water, made minor repairs and was underway at 1655 for her 2nd War Patrol in the CELEBES SEA. 

DARWIN was noted for having tides between 15’ and 20’, the deck watch had to constantly adjust the mooring lines to compensate for this changing tide. 

REDFIN proceeded via MANIPA STRAIT, TOBALAI STRAIT and OBI STRAIT to an area between MAKASSAR STRAIT and DAVO, searching for targets all the way. 

On Tuesday, April 11th REDFIN arrived off BASILIAN STRAIT and started the patrol.  At 1658 a Fibuki-Class Destroyer, AKIGUMO, was sighted.  REDFIN started a normal approach at 7500 yards and changed course for a stern shot.  At 1715, #7, #8, #9 and #10 tubes were fired at 8 second intervals.  At 1715-48 the first torpedo hit followed by the 2nd and 3rd hits.  At 1718-30 the destroyer was observed to sink at nearly a vertical angle down, by the stern at 06°43’N – 122°23’E.  Shortly after sinking a violent explosion was heard, it was determined to be the destroyer’s own depth charges. 

On April 12th REDFIN sighted an enemy Light Cruiser of the Kuma-Class and a destroyer.  REDFIN started an attack but lost them in the darkness and rainstorm.  When they were picked up again they were 4120 yards astern.  REDFIN fired 4 stern torpedoes and went ahead at flank speed with a hard right rudder to evade the targets.  All the torpedoes missed.  REDFIN headed north to the southern coast on MINDANAO. 

On April 15th a convoy of 5 ships and 3 escorts were sighted at 1656 hours.  It was raining heavy and REDFIN kept losing the targets in the rain squalls.  At 2219 hours she started in for a surface attack and fired 3 torpedoes at one target, an AK and 3 torpedoes at a second target, a tanker.  Observed and heard 2 hits on the tanker and was sure that both targets were sunk.  REDFIN reversed course and made flank speed in the opposite direction. 

Reloaded the bow tubes (no torpedoes aft) and started another run.  On April 16th at 0112 hours the targets were sighted at 12,000 yards.  REDFIN started the approach and when the range was 2700 yards she fired #1, #2 and #3 tubes at the leading AK, SHINYU MARU, and #4, #5 and #6 at the trailing AK, YAMAGATA MARU.  Two hits on each of the targets were observed and heard and believe both targets sank.  YAMAGATA MARU was sunk at 06°52’N – 123°47’E.  REDFIN went to flank speed and headed to the north.  The torpedo boat that was escorting the AK’s turned a large search light on REDFIN and was coming after them at a high speed.  REDFIN submerged, knowing that they couldn’t outrun the enemy, and took 14 depth charges, none came close. 

On April 18th REDFIN sent a “contact message” to USS CREVALLE (SS-291) that a Japanese Tanker was headed through a narrow passage in the Sulu Archipelago. REDFIN’S message also said that she’d “sunk 4 ships and was headed for the barn to drink some "Moose Milk", a favorite drink of the REDFIN officers.  Moose Milk was a barely drinkable mixture of Advocat (a Dutch liqueur), milk and the poor whiskey that was issued as a ration for all sub officers on Rest Leave. 

On April 21st REDFIN received orders to reverse course and pick up a party of about 6 British Subjects at position, Latitude 5°-13’-10” North and Longitude: 119°-16’-10” East.  After reaching the designated point, 4 of REDFIN crew, Ens.HELZ, Robert KAHLER, Kenneth HARRINGTON and George CARINDER, went ashore at 2022 hours on April 22nd in a rubber boat to rescue the people.  After landing all hell broke loose and they had to vacate the area in a hurry.  KAHLER sent REDFIN an S.O.S. and Capt. AUSTIN had to make a decision whether he would abandon them to their own fate or jeopardize the REDFIN and Crew in the shallow and poorly charted waters.  He chose the latter in an effort to save them.

After paddling most of the night, they were picked up by REDFIN at 0515 hours on the 23rd April.  REDFIN left the area and proceeded through SIBITU STRAIT and MAKASSAR STRAIT heading to FREMANTLE.

REDFIN arrived at FREMANTLE on May 02, 1944 and moored at 1130 hours starboard side to USS ORION (AS-18).  At 1200 hours the Officers and Crew left the ship for 2 weeks of Rest Period.