USS REDFIN (SS-272)

3rd War Patrol 

On May 16, 1944 at 1000 hours the Officers and Crew returned from a two-week rest period.  The period between May 16th and 26th was devoted to training exercises and loading.  REDFIN received 24,605 gallons of fuel.  On May 21st LCDR Maurice W. SHEA was detached from REDFIN and LT Charles K. MILLER was promoted to LCDR as of March 1, 1944.  Ens. Bruce M. GRAHAM reported aboard on May 22, 1944. 

On May 26, 1944 at 1315 hours REDFIN departed FREMATLE for EXMOUTH GULF and arriving there on May 29th and mooring to the oil barge at 0945, received 13,042 gallons of fuel.  After fueling, REDFIN got underway to another area, anchored and held drills for the landing of the Filipinos on RAMOS ISLAND.  Fifteen gallons of gasoline was secured from the Commanding Officer, MOBILE ADVANCE BASE, EXMOUTH GULF.  This was to be used in the generators of the Filipinos. 

REDFIN departed EXMOUTH GULF on May 30th at 0808 hours enroute to RAMOS ISLAND.  On June 8th REDFIN arrived at RAMOS ISLAND, made transit of NORTH BALABAC STRAIT at 0437 hours and at 1919 hours anchored in 34 fathoms of water. The first rubber boat left at 1925 hours.  A total of nine boatloads were sent ashore using 3 boats.  The last boat returned at 2220 and after slipping the anchor, rather then the noisy and lengthy weighing anchor, REDFIN got underway at 2225.  Transited the SOUTH BALABAC STRAIT and headed for the patrol area, arriving off the western tip of JOLO at 2142 on June 10th. 

On June 11th sighted a large loaded Tanker with an Escort, while on the surface.  At 0025, REDFIN approached to 10,800 yards and submerged.  Closed the target to 3070 yards and fired a salvo of 6 torpedoes at 8 second intervals.  Heard one hit and saw the target stop and start smoking.  The target seemed to have beached himself 1000 yards off MATOS SHOAL, at 0602N 12050E.  REDFIN commenced retiring to the northwest for a reload.  REDFIN started another attack after reloading but the Escort picked them up and dropped 6 depth charges fairly close, but no damage.  The Escort returned to the damaged Tanker, ASANAGI MARU and REDFIN surfaced and headed up towards PANGUTARAN PASSAGE. 

On June 13th at 0616 hours, while submerged, sighted 2 Heavy Cruisers, 4 Destroyers and 1 Torpedo Boat coming out of TAWI TAWI.  Tried to make an attack but they were on a radical zigzag course and could not plot a firing solution.  They disappeared to the northwest towards BORNEO.  The 4 Destroyers and Torpedo Boats returned to BONGAO CHANNEL. Sighted more ships coming from TAWI TAWI, which consisted of 6 Carriers, 4 Battleships, 5 Heavy Cruisers, 1 Light Cruiser and 2 Destroyers.  REDFIN again attempted to make an attack but they too, were on a very radical zigzag course and REDFIN couldnt close on them. Several of the Crew expressed relief rather than disappointment because of the inevitable pounding REDFIN would have taken.  At 2000 hours REDFIN transmitted a contact report.  Later found out these ships were enroute to the MARIANAS. 

On June 21st at 1415 REDFIN sighted 2, loaded medium Able Peters with 2 Coastal Minesweepers on a very radical zigzag course.  Made an attack, while submerged, and at 1525 REDFIN fired 4 forward tubes at 8-second intervals.  There were no hits, went deep and took evasive action.  Sixteen depth charges were dropped none very close.  At 1654 went to periscope depth and took a look no targets in sight. 

On June 24th submerged and sighted the same two medium Able Peters attacked on June 21st with the same two escorts.  At 0816 fired a salvo of three torpedoes at the first ship, checked and saw one escort very close and coming in fast, heard two hits but they were not seen though the periscope.  Receive twenty-two depth charges some fairly close.  At 1002 took a periscope look, only one ship and two escorts in sight.  Believe the one, ASO MARU, sank at 0951N - 12506E southwest of Surigao Strait.

REDFIN proceeded around the southern end of LIMA SAWA ISLAND and was patrolling when the same two escorts and the ship were sighted.  At 1122 hours REDFIN started another submerged attack and fired a salvo of four torpedoes at 1223 hours.  Heard one hit and received twelve depth charges some fairly close.  At 1428 took a look and saw only one escort. 

On June 30th Leonard J. PLUTA was admitted to the sick list with acute appendicitis, started sulfa-therapy and ice packs.  On July 1st at 1950 hours transmitted message reporting the case of acute appendicitis.  On July 2nd at 2216 received instructions to take patient to DARWIN and to return to FREMANTLE.  REDFIN headed down toward SIBUTU STRAIT. Cleared SIBUTU STRAIT on July 4th at 0058 hours.  Cleared passage east of TIMOR on July 7th at 0015 hours.  On July 8th at 0846 arrived at DARWIN.  REDFIN received much appreciated mail, fresh vegetables and beer.  Transferred Leonard J. PLUTA to the medical facility.  REDFIN departed DARWIN at 1430 on July 8th and arrived at FREMANTLE on July 14th at 0740 hours and moored alongside USS FLIER (SS-250) in a nest with USS HAKE (SS-256) and USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) alongside USS ORION (AS-18).  At 0800 the Officers and Crew departed for a two week rest period at Rest Camp.