USS ANGLER (SS-240)
Angler (SS-240) was laid down on 9 November 1942 by the Electric Boat Co.
Conn.; launched on 4 July 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Patrick H. Drewery
the wife of Congressman Patrick H. Drewery of the House Naval Affairs Committee; and commiss
ioned at New London
on 1 October 1943
Lt. Comdr. Roger I. Olsen in command.
Following shakedown in the New London and Newport
Angler sailed to Key West
Fla. She arrived on 21 November and after one week of operations with the Fleet Sound School
sailed for Pearl Harbor on 27 November.
Selected to be transferred from Pearl Harbor to base on Fremantle
Angler commenced her first war patrol on 10 January 1944
her patrol to terminate at Fremantle. Angler encountered a Japanese convoy north of the Marianas on 29
and attacked with torpedoes. She claimed to have sunk one ship and damaged two others
but postwar records confirmed only the sinking of the 890-ton net tender Shuko Maru. Having developed "structural noises" which prevented sil
Angler turned back to Midway for repairs
arriving on 4 February.
Angler began her second war patrol on 15 February
assigned the waters off the east coast of the Philippines in the Mindanao and Sulu Seas. While she was nearing her patrol area
General Douglas MacArthur had learned that the Japanese were massa
cring all the civilians they could find on the island of Panay. MacArthur requested that a submarine be assigned to evacuate what was believed to be about twenty civilians from the island. The task fell to Angler
and she found 58 men
d children-not about 20-awaiting rescue. Angler took all of them on board and berthed them in the forward and after torpedo rooms. Meals were limited to two per day in an attempt to stretch the submarine's overtaxed food supply. Toward the end
of the cruise
many of the passengers and crew became nauseous. The captain suspected the water supply may have been contaminated
and requested that the fresh water tanks be cleaned upon arrival at Fremantle on 9 April.
Angler sailed on 3 May for another patrol-one of eight submarines assigned to support the carrier strike scheduled to hit Surabaya
Java. Their job would be to destroy retreating Japanese ships
to provide lifeguard services
and to guard the ma
jor passages from the Java Sea (the Sunda and Lombok Straits) to the Indian Ocean lest the Japanese try to move into the Indian Ocean to attack the Allied strike force. Launched as scheduled on 17 May the strikes achieved complete surprise.
The only action of the patrol for Angler came on 20 May
when she torpedoed and sank the 2
105-ton cargo ship Otori Maru. Japanese escort vessels administered a bad pounding to Angler
but she escaped damage.
The next day
nausea again gripped everyone on board Angler. The situation was reported to Fremantle
and the submarine was ordered to return at once. Things on board Angler continued to grow worse. On 22 May
Lt. Comdr. Olsen not
ed in the log: "Physical condition of officers and crew is so bad that it is difficult to maintain watch
either surface or submerged. Put crew on fruit juice alone
no water. Held thorough field day in case boat is contaminated. Exercised special sup
ervision in cooking
dishwashing." On 23 May he wrote
"Decided to run submerged as we did not have enough able-bodied people to maintain proper surface watch.
Flasher (SS-249) and Childs (AVD-1) were sent to intercept Angler and lend assistance. Crevalle (SS-291) also arrived and transferred a doctor to assist the ailing crewmembers. Angler finally arrived at Fremantle on 2
9 May. An investigation concluded that an electrician had taken a can of carbon tetrachloride on board as a cleaning agent
which was strictly forbidden. Although the illness was attributed the tetrachloride
suspected that the fresh wa
ter tanks had not been cleaned as requested
and that that was the cause of the mysterious malady that had laid low Angler's crew.
Angler began her fifth patrol on 21 June. She paused to refuel alongside a barge in Exmouth Gulf on 24 June
and while maneuvering into position
hit an uncharted obstruction. Returning to Fremantle for repairs
Angler was underway again
on 29 June with a new starboard propeller. She rendezvoused with Flasher and Crevalle to carry out one of the first "wolf pack" patrols of the war. The group worked the middle area of the South China Sea and along the Indochinese coast
ithout success. They were then ordered to move to a position off the west coast of Luzon. On 25 July
Angler and her sister ships picked up a large northbound convoy and began a series of attacks over the next few days. While Angler fail
ed to damage any ships
the pack as a whole sank six ships for 36
000 tons. The patrol continued uneventfully until 23 August
when Angler returned to Fremantle.
On 18 September
the submarine departed on her next patrol
to operate with Bluegill (SS-242) in the Sulu Sea. On 14 October Angler torpedoed and sank the 2
400-ton transport Nanrei Maru.
At 0145 on 22 October
the men on watch on Angler's bridge were startled by voices calling out of the darkness. Repeated attempts to locate the source of the calling proved unsuccessful
but the dawn soon revealed "one of the most gruesome sight
s imaginable as far as you could see ..." the water literally covered with wreckage and dead Japanese
most clad in Army uniforms. Aircraft in the vicinity made stopping to investigate one lifeboat a risky proposition
but Angler returned at sunse
t. At 1806
she brought this boat alongside and counted 26 men-soldiers and naval ratings. Determining who was the senior officer of the group
the submarine retained three men for questioning
and after giving the remaining men in the boat some food
and a course to land
80 miles away
released the lifeboat. The three prisoners retained on board-Second Lieutenant Seigi
Sergeant Sei Fuji
and Sergeant Toyonaga Nishikawa-had willingly agreed to go along with the Americans.
Continuing her war patrol
at 1915 on 23 October
Angler made radar contact with the main Japanese force steaming to contest the Allied invasion of Leyte. Angler tracked the task force until 0240 the following morning
and her contact rep
orts proved of inestimable value to the American forces off Leyte. Ironically
Angler had just made contact with the only worthwhile convoy of her entire patrol. Although the maneuvers to clear the convoy took her ten miles astern of the task f
orce Angler forsook the convoy for the more important task force. On 1 November
she rendezvoused with Hardhead (SS-365)
and received on board Cdr. Fred E. Bakutis
a pilot from Fighting Squadron (VF) 20 who had been rescued by Hardhe
ad a short time before. Angler eventually returned to Fremantle on 9 November.
On 4 December
Angler left on her sixth patrol
during which time she served a brief period of lifeguard duty. On 13 December Bergall (SS-320) was fired on by a Japanese destroyer. A shell tore a large hole in Bergall's pressure hu
ll and left the submarine unable to dive. Angler
operating in the Java Sea
received orders to proceed to Bergall's assistance
take off the crew and torpedo the ship. She found the crippled submarine on 15 December. Bergall's com
Comdr. John Hyde had decided to remain in Bergall with a skeleton crew. Angler trailed Bergall to take everyone off if a Japanese attack threatened. The two submarines traveled nearly 2
through waters mo
stly controlled by the enemy
and reached Exmouth Gulf safely on 20 December without seeing any Japanese airplanes or ships.
Angler resumed her patrol
but contacted no enemy shipping. She put in to Saipan briefly on 6 February 1945
then continued on to Pearl Harbor. Angler reached the west coast of the United States on 24 February
and immediately began overh
aul at the Bethlehem Steel Co. yard at San Francisco. She was underway again on 18 May
and by 12 June was ready to begin her seventh and final war patrol. On 27 June
she made a fuel stop at Saipan then sailed to patrol the waters east of Honshu. At t
hat stage of the war
shipping targets were few and far between
and Angler found made only two contacts one of these moved away faster than Angler could close
but the submarine developed the other into a torpedo attack on 25 July 1945
which proved unsuccessful.
conduct three shore bombardment missions during this patrol. The first
on 26 July
found her making a careful reconnaissance to locate a Japanese installation on Kinkasan Island. From a range somewhere between 3
000 and 4
Angler hurled 25 rounds of 5-inch at a target area containing closely bunched buildings
and a lighthouse. Although she claimed at least 20 hits
the large clouds of smoke and dust made a closer assessment of damage impo
Five days later
on 31 July 1945
after an all-day close-in observation
Angler surfaced at dusk in a thick fog
and fired 50 rounds of 5-inch at what looked like a thickly congested factory installation. The next day
on 1 August
Angler joined Sea Poacher (SS-406) and Thornback (SS-418) in carrying out a coordinated gun action against boat sheds and boats; Angler firing 23 rounds of 5- inch
320 rounds of 40-millimeter and 300 ro
unds of 20-millimeter.
Angler arrived at Midway on 9 August
and was at that atoll when hostilities ceased on 15 August. She sailed for Pearl Harbor on 26 August and paused there briefly before continuing on to the United States. The submarine transited the Panama Can
al on 14 September
and called at New Orleans on 20 September. A month of leave and upkeep followed; and
on 24 October
Angler got underway for Jacksonville
Fla. She continued on to Newport to unload her torpedoes on 2 November
and arrived a
t New London on 6 November. Angler sailed to Portsmouth
in February 1946 to begin deactivation. She returned to New London on 21 April
and was decommissioned there on 12 February.
Following her recommissioning on 2 April 1951
Angler held shakedown in the Caribbean. She then began operations from her home port of New London. In October 1952
Angler was decommissioned and entered the General Dynamics Corp. yard at G
for overhaul and conversion. She was redesignated SSK-240 in February 1953.
Upon completion of overhaul
Angler was recommissioned in September 1953 and rejoined the Atlantic Fleet. Following her shakedown in the West Indies from November through March 1954
she returned to New London. She then operated along the east c
oast and in the West Indies for the next two years
taking part in numerous Atlantic Fleet exercises
and spent the period from January through April 1956 undergoing overhaul at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Naval Shipyard. Angler made a training cruise
to the West Indies
then returned to the east coast. In October
the submarine deployed to northern Europe and visited several ports in Great Britain before returning in December to New London.
Angler spent the first eight months of 1957 participating in exercises along the east coast. On 27 September
she was underway for Europe to take part in NATO fleet exercises. She then visited Dieppe
ing to New London. Her final operation of the year was a training cruise to Bermuda in November.
From 24 February to 23 March 1958
Angler participated in Operation "Springboard
" held in the West Indies and Caribbean
following those evolutions with numerous training exercises. On 3 November
Angler once again entered the Portsmouth
Naval Shipyard for overhaul. Repairs were completed in March 1959
and the submarine resumed her schedule of operations and exercises along the east coast. She also rendered services to the Submarine School
New London. In 1960
the ship was redesign
ated as SS-240.
On 24 October 1962
Angler commenced her first deployment to the 6th Fleet and conducted operations in the Mediterranean. In the course of her deployment
she visited ports in Spain
and Greece. She returned to New London on 6 Feb
ruary 1963 and resumed operations with the submarine school. During 1963
Angler was redesignated AGSS- 240. For the remainder of her career
the submarine continued her pattern of periodic deployments to the Caribbean and West Indies
hipman and Naval Reserve training cruises
and operated in conjunction with the submarine school
Angler was decommissioned on 1 April 1967 and was assigned to the Naval Reserve training program at Philadelphia. On 30 June 1971
she was redesignated to TXSS-240. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 December 1971. Sold to
the Union Minerals and Alloys Corp.
of New York City on 1 February 1974
she was removed from naval custody on 4 March 1974 to be broken up for scrap.
Angler won six battle stars for her World War II service.
[Note: The above USS ANGLER (SS-240) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS ANGLER (SS-240) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]