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USS ROCK

(SS-274)

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USS ROCK (SS-274) - a Gato-class submarine

In Commission 1943 to 1946

SS-274 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SS-274 Shellback Initiation Add a SS-274 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
DEC 1942 Keel Date: 23 DEC 1942
at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. Manitowoc WI
JUN 1943 Launch Date: 20 JUN 1943
OCT 1943 Commissioned: 26 OCT 1943
AUG 1966 - FEB 1967 West Pac
SEP 1969 Decommissioned: 13 SEP 1969

SS-274 General Specifications

Class: Gato-class submarine

Complement: 6 Officers and 54 Enlisted

Displacement: 1525 tons

Length: 311 feet 9 inches

Beam: 27 feet 3 inches

Draft: 17 feet 0 in

Range: 11 000 Nautical Miles

Final Disposition: Sold for scrap 17 August 1972



USS ROCK (SS-274)



Rock (SS-274) was laid down by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. Manitowoc Wis. 23 December 1942; launched 20 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. B. O. Wells and commissioned 26 October 1943 Comdr. John Jay Flachsenhar in command.


After a month of intensive training in Lake Michigan Rock passed through the Chicago Drainage Canal to Lockport Ill. There she entered a floating drydock for her voyage down the Mississippi River. She arrived in New Orleans on 29 November 1943 and got underway 6 days later for Panama where she received further training before sailing for Pearl Harbor on 2 January 1944. Following voyage repairs Rock departed from Pearl Harbor for her first war patrol on 8 February 1944.


On 29 February 1944 Rock contacted a large enemy convoy enroute to Truk. Detected while making a night surface approach on the convoy she fired a spread of four torpedoes from her stern tubes at a closing enemy destroyer without scoring. Then illuminated by the destroyer's searchlight and under fire from the surface ship's 5-inch guns she dived. For 4 hours she underwent depth charge attacks but survived. That night she surfaced and found that her periscopes were excessively damaged and that her bridge had been riddled with shrapnel. The damage necessitated a return to Pearl Harbor for repairs.


Rock began her second war patrol on 4 April 1944 destination-Honshu. However after 34 days in the Bungo Suido and Sagami Wan area without action she returned to Majuro where she was refitted by Sperry (AS-12).


Rock in company with Tilefish and Sawfish departed Majuro on 22 June 1944 in a coordinated attack group to patrol the Luzon Strait. At dawn on 19 July Rock attacked a Japanese convoy of seven large ships and three escorts firing 10 torpedoes six of which exploded. But as she immediately dove to escape a depth-charge attack she could not observe their effect. Two days later Rock contacted another enemy convoy consisting of six large ships and four escorts. She fired four torpedoes two of which seemed to hit but again Rock was forced down by depth charges and unable to assess damage to her targets. During the remainder of her time on station Rock weathered a severe typhoon and witnessed the sinking of a Japanese submarine by Sawfish. On 27 July she headed toward Pearl Harbor.


Rock departed Pearl Harbor on 9 September 1944 en route for the South China Sea for her fourth patrol. On 26 October 1944 she scored three hits on a tanker her only sinking Takasago Maru No. 7 accompanied by three escorts. On 27 October 1944 she fired nine torpedoes at Darter stranded on Bombay Shoal to prevent her salvage by the Japanese. Three of the torpedoes were hits. This patrol ended when Rock departed the area and sailed for Fremantle Western Australia for refit.


On 14 December 1944 Rock departed Fremantle on her fifth patrol. The only event of note during this 64-day patrol was the rescuing of a downed pilot from Lexington.


At the start of her sixth patrol 7 March to 4 May 1945 she picked up 15 merchant seamen adrift in a life raft for 32 days and landed them at Exmouth. Continuing northward the next day Rock was bombed by an aircraft and that night she was struck by a dud torpedo. Neither attack caused any critical damage. In a night attack on 27 March Rock fired on an enemy destroyer escort without success. On 18 April she joined Tigrone in bombarding Batan Island to leave the Japanese radio station in ruins. Rock then turned toward Saipan to complete a 54-day patrol.


From the Marianas the submarine headed for the United States arriving at Hunter's Point San Francisco 14 May for overhaul. She sailed for Pearl Harbor 7 August 1945 but with the cessation of hostilities was ordered east.


Officially credited with damaging 42 282 tons of enemy shipping during her six war patrols Rock participated in Navy Day celebrations at New Orleans then proceeded to New London where she began inactivation in November 1945. She was decommissioned 1 May 1946 and was berthed as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.


In early 1951 Rock was towed from New London to the


138


Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where she was converted to a radar picket submarine by bisecting her at the forward bulkhead of the control room and inserting a 30-foot section between the control room and the forward battery to house the new CIC and the majority of her new electronic equipment. Reclassified SSR-274 on 18 July 1952 Rock recommissioned at Philadelphia 12 October 1953. After a short period of training with SubRon 6 off the Virginia Capes she proceeded to San Diego to join SubRon 5. On 23 July 1954 she departed San Diego for the western Pacific area and a 6-month tour on the Taiwan Strait Patrol. She subsequently alternated deployments to WestPac with operations off the Pacific coast. She made 6-month deployments to WestPac in 1956 and during the winter of 1958-59.


On 31 December 1959 there no longer existed an operational requirement for a radar picket submarine in the Fleet and on that date the Air Control Center was decommissioned and Rock was redesignated AGSS auxiliary general submarine. Following operations off the Pacific coast and another overhaul Rock again deployed to WestPac in November 1961. She made subsequent 6-month deployments to WestPac in 1963 1965 1966-67 and 1968.


Operating in the eastern Pacific during the first half of 1969 Rock departed San Diego 11 July and conducted operations in support of fleet training in the Hawaiian operating areas until steaming 16 August for the Pacific coast. Less than a month later on 13 September 1969 Rock decommissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Struck from the Navy list on the same day she was designated for use as a target to destruction.


Rock earned four battle stars for World War II service.

[Note: The above USS ROCK (SS-274) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS ROCK (SS-274) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]