USS RASHER (SS-269)
an attack submarine
was laid down 4
May 1942 by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.
Wisc.; launched 20 December 1942; sponsored by Mrs. G. C.
Weaver; and commissioned 8 June 1943
Comdr. E. S.
Hutchinson in command.
Following builder's trials in Lake Michigan
decommissioned and towed down the Mississippi on a floating
drydock. After recommissioning and fitting out in New
the new submarine trained in the Bay of Panama
departed Balboa 8 August 1943
and arrived at Brisbane
on 11 September.
On her first war patrol
24 September through 24 November
Rasher operated in the Makassar Strait-Celebes Sea
and sank the passenger-cargo ship Kogane Maru in a
submerged attack at dawn on 9 October. Four days later
she spotted a convoy of four merchantmen
escorted by two destroyers and a "Pete" seaplane
salvoes of three torpedoes each
and crash dived to avoid the
and bombs from the scout plane. Freighter Kenkoku
Maru broke up and sank
while the escorts struck back in a
vigorous but vain counterattack. On the afternoon of 31
while patrolling the shipping lanes off the Borneo
Rasher commenced trailing tanker Koryo Maru
because of a patrolling float plane
was unable to attack until
night. Rasher then surfaced
attacked and sent the tanker to
the bottom after a thunderous explosion of exploding torpedoes
The submarine's next victim was tanker Tango Maru
which lost her stern to a spread of three torpedoes on the
afternoon of 8 November. Rasher escaped the escorts by diving
deep and silently slipping away. A midnight attack on a second
convoy off Mangkalihat resulted in hit on a tanker
vigorous countermeasures by enemy destroyers prevented any
assessment of damage. Rasher escaped the enemy surface craft
her torpedoes expended
headed home and arrived at
Fremantle on 24 November.
Rasher commenced her second war patrol
on 19 December 1943 and stalked Japanese shipping in the
South China Sea off Borneo. When she attacked a three-tanker
convoy on the night of 4 January 1944
her first torpedo
exploded prematurely. A wild melee ensued
scattering and escorts racing about
firing in all directions.
Rasher was pursuing Hakko Maru when the tanker exploded
from a torpedo from Bluefish (SS-222). Rasher fired at a second
target while submerged
and heard the explosions rip into the
but was unable to confirm a sinking. She pursued
the third tanker
firing a spread of four fish early in the
morning of the 5th. A mushroom of fire arose as the last two
and Kiyo Maru sank
leaving only an oil
slick and scattered debris. During the patrol
mines off the approaches to Saigon harbor. Prematurely
exploding torpedoes and vigilant escorts frustrated her attacks
on convoys on 11 and 17 January. A week later she returned
Rasher's third war patrol from 19 February to 4 April 1944
was conducted in the Java-Celebes Sea area. On 25 February
she attacked a Japanese convoy off Bali
sinking cargo ships
Tango Maru and Ryusei Maru. Then
Makassar Strait into the Celebes Sea
she destroyed cargo
ship Nattai Maru on 3 March. En route home
Nichinan Maru on 27 March
and sent the 2
to Davy Jones's Locker.
Rasher returned to Makassar Strait-Celebes Sea area for her
from 30 April to 23 June. On 11 May
torpedoed and sank the freighter Choi Maru. Next to go down
were the converted gunboat Anshu Maru on 29 May and the
tanker Shioya Maru in the Celebes Sea off Manado 8 June.
Six days later
the cargo ship Koan Maru went to the bottom
after taking a spread of torpedoes aft and capsizing.
Her fifth patrol
from 22 July to 3 September
largely with Bluefish (SS-222) in the South China Sea west of
Luzon. South of Scarborough Shoal
Rasher fired a spread of
five torpedoes at the largest ship in a three-ship convoy.
Diving to avoid being rammed
Rasher heard the sounds of a
ship breaking up as the Shiroganesan Maru went down. On the
dark stormy night of 18 August
Rasher's radar picked up a
protected by destroyers and air cover. The
a tanker loaded with gasoline
exploded into a column of flame 1
000 feet high
with parts of
the ship being blown 500 yards from the flaming hulk. The
escorts fired wildly and laid depth charge patterns 2 miles
astern of Rasher. The submarine fired a second spread of
" sinking the cargo-transport Eishin Maru and
scoring hits on a second vessel. Rasher resumed the attack on
the shattered convoy
sinking transport Teia Maru and
carrier Taiyo. Bluefish intercepted the remaining ships
sinking two tankers. Spadefish (SS-411) joined the wolfpack
and scored hits on two of the surviving transports. All torpedoes expended
Rasher set course for Midway
thence proceeded via Hawaii to San Francisco
arriving Hunter's Point
Naval Shipyard on 11 September for overhaul.
Rasher departed San Francisco on 20 December 1944
arriving at Midway via Pearl Harbor in early January 1945.
Her sixth patrol
as a unit of a wolfpack with Pilotfish
(SS-386) and Finback (SS-230)
commenced on 29 January
and was conducted in the southern sector of the East China
no suitable targets were found
and ubiquitous patrol aircraft.
The patrol ended on 16 March 1945 at Guam.
Her seventh patrol
17 April to 29 May 1945
more rewarding. On lifeguard station off Honshu
two small craft with gunfire. No aircraft came down in her
and she returned to Midway on 29 May.
Rasher departed Midway 23 June 1945 to take lifeguard
station off southern Formosa. No Allied planes were downed in
her area before orders arrived to proceed to the Gulf of Siam.
While she was en route the war ended
and Rasher returned to
the Philippines. She departed Subic Bay on 31 August
arriving New York on 6 October
via Pearl Harbor and the
Panama Canal. Following deactivation overhaul
decommissioned 22 June 1946 and was placed in the Atlantic
Reserve Fleet at New London
She was placed in commission in reserve at Philadelphia
Naval Shipyard 14 Dec 1951 Lt. V. D. Ely in command.
After being reclassified as a radar picket submarine
she commenced conversion which continued after she decommissioned 28 May 1952. After extensive hull and interior
alterations at Philadelphia Navy Yard
she was recommissioned 22 July 1953
Lt. Comdr. R. W. Steeher in command. She departed New London on 12 November
San Diego 17 December via Guantanamo Bay and the Panama Canal.
The following 2 years were spent off the west coast in
operations from Washington to Acapulco. On 4 January 1956
she deployed to the 7th Fleet
where she operated with U.S.
and SEATO naval units. She returned to San Diego 3 July
1956. Prior to and following a second WestPac deployment
from 4 March to 4 September 1958
SSR-269 served in Fleet
exercises as an early warning ship
and in ASW training
On 28 December 1959
Rasher departed the continental
United States for the Far East. While attached to the 7th
she participated in exercise "Blue Star
" a large-scale
American-Nationalist Chinese amphibious exercise. In May
she took part in the Black Ship Festival at Shimoda
commemorating Admiral Perry's landing. She returned
to San Diego on 20 June 1960.
Rasher was reclassified as an auxiliary submarine
on 1 July 1960
with conversion being accomplished at
Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Involved in maintaining fleet
readiness until mid-August 1962 when she deployed to WestPac
Rasher continued to exhibit her usual high standards of
performance. She returned to San Diego on 15 February 1963
and was overhauled that summer.
During the next year
AGSS-269 was engaged in strike
exercises involving other American and Canadian ships. Her
beginning on 3 August 1964
support of 7th Fleet operations off Vietnam
as well as ASW
exercises with SEATO allies.
After returning to San Diego on 5 February 1965
ASW and amphibious training. Her next WestPac deployment
from 3 January to 17 July 1966
and ASW training support for Republic of Korea
and Thai units
as well as operations with the 7th
Fleet off Vietnam.
Rasher spent the remainder of her commissioned career
providing training services off the coast of California to UDT
and ASW units. She was decommissioned 27 May 1967
later was towed to Portland
where she served as a
training submarine for Naval reservists until struck from the
20 December 1971.
Rasher was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for
outstanding performance in combat during World War II
and 5. She received seven battle stars in World
War II service
and two battle stars for service off Vietnam.
[Note: The above USS RASHER (SS-269) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS RASHER (SS-269) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]