USS PERCH (SS-313)
The second Perch (SS-313) was laid down 5 January 1943 by the Electric Boat
Co., Groton, Conn.; launched 12 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. David A.
Hart; and commissioned 7 January 1944, Lt. Comer. Blish C. Hills in command.
After shakedown she departed 19 February
1944 for Key West, Fla., ,here she gave services to the Fleet Sound School.
She then sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 3 April.
On 29 April she departed Pearl Harbor
with Peto for Midway where Picada joined them. The South China Sea was the
hunting ground for the wolf pack. Early in the morning of 24 May, a medium
tanker was contacted and damaged by four torpedo hits. The counterattack by a
lone escort prevented further observation of the damage inflicted and knocked
out both high pressure air compressors by flooding of the pump room. Perch headed for the Marshall Islands,
arriving Majuro 4 June.
On 27 June Perch began her second war patrol, this time off Surigao Strait in
the Philippines. She sank a 100-ton Japanese trawler with gunfire before
returning to Pearl Harbor 26 August.
departed Pearl Harbor on her third war patrol 19 September.
At Midway she joined submarines Croaker and
Escolar and the three set out for the
confined waters of the East China and Yellow Seas. Perch unsuccessfully attacked one heavily escorted transport, and
performed lifeguard duty supporting B-29 raids on Honshu. Perch then headed for Saipan to refuel enroute to Brisbane,
Australia, for duty with Submarines, Southwest Pacific Fleet.
The fourth war patrol began 19 December
from Brisbane. First Perch patrolled
off Hainan, China; next off Singapore; and finally in Balabac Straits off
Borneo. She sighted no enemy ships, and the patrol ended at Fremantle, Western
Australia, 15 February 1945.
On 12 March Perch departed Fremantle carrying with her eleven Australian
specialists trained in commando warfare. On the first night of the mission, in
the Makassar Straits, above Balikpapan, Borneo, she landed four of the party
who were to make a reconnaissance of the beach and surrounding territory. Coming
in close ashore two nights later to disembark the remainder of the party, Perch contacted a 300-ton coastal
freighter that threatened to cut off her return to open water. Perch engaged with gunfire and with the
second hit the freighter burst into towering flames and sank. Perch returned to Fremantle, Western
Australia, completing her fifth war patrol.
On 15 April Perch departed Fremantle on her sixth war patrol and journeyed to
the Java Sea to hunt out the enemy. When she contacted a convoy of two ships,
an alert Japanese escort discovered Perch
and subjected her to a severe two-hour depth charging which caused
considerable damage throughout the boat. She then sailed to the China coast to
patrol off Hainan before returning to Pearl Harbor 5 June.
On 11 July Perch departed Pearl Harbor and after fueling at Saipan, proceeded
north for duty in the Lifeguard League off Japan. On 13 August she rescued a
Navy Corsair pilot from the water two miles offshore, bombarded fishing vessels
and buildings on the beach, and retired to sea. A few hours later the same day,
she picked up another pilot from the same fighter squadron five miles offshore.
Two days later Japan capitulated and Perch
returned to Pearl Harbor 30 August.
departed Pearl Harbor and set course for the Golden Gate,
arriving Hunter's Point 8 September. She decommissioned and was placed in
reserve in January 1947. On 19 January 1948 Perch
was redesignated as a submarine transport (SSP-313), and was placed in an
active status, attached to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
recommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard 20 May 1948,
Lt. Comdr. O. H. Payne in command. Through 1949, the ship participated in
various troop and cargo carrying exercises. On 31 January 1950 Perch was reclassified an ASSP. In September
1950 Perch transported a force of
British Commandos in a raid on the northeast coast of Korea west of Tanchon.
The target, a train tunnel on the north-south supply line, was destroyed, with
the loss of one man who was buried at sea. The commanding officer, Lt. Comdr.
R. D. Quinn, became the only submarine commanding officer to receive a combat
award during the Korean conflict when he was awarded the Bronze Star for this
From August 1951 to March 1952, Perch underwent overhaul at Mare Island.
From 1952 to 1954, Perch trained,
making reconnaissance-runs and raids on several Alaskan and Hawaiian
islands. In January 1955 Perch made a
cruise to WestPac conducting a reconnaissance and raid on Iwo Jima and
observed other islands in the Bonin Chain. Periods between Far Eastern cruises,
Perch performed type training and
intertype amphibious exercises in the San Diego area.
reclassified as an APSS on 24 October 1956, departed San
Diego 5 November for a reconnaissance exercise in the Panama Canal Area,
returning to San Diego 11 December. In late 1957 she made a reconnaissance
voyage from San Diego to Hawaii and Alaska, and spent most of 1958 and 1959 in
amphibious training exercises in the San Diego area with marines and Underwater
In December 1959 Perch departed San Diego, decommissioned on 31 March 1960, and
entered the Mare Island Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Vallejo, Calif.
recommissioned 11 November 1961, Lt. Comdr. C.H. Hedgepeth
in command, trained on the West Coast and Hawaii through 1962, and arrived at
her new homeport, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands in March 1963. Her operations
consisted of training Marine, Special Forces, and UDT personnel in
reconnaissance and also in providing training services to allied countries. In
May and June 1964 Perch traveled to
Mindoro and trained with British commando forces. July and August were spent in
Hong Kong, Pohong Bay, Korea (with R.O.K. Special Forces), Yokosuka and
March and April 1965, saw Perch participating in exercise Jungle
Drum III by landing 75 Marine Corps reconnaissance personnel on the Malay
Peninsula from the Gulf of Siam. Perch conducted
search and rescue operations in the Vietnam combat zone during August and
September. She made two amphibious landings on the coast of South Vietnam
during November and December as part of operation Dagger Thrust.
During January Perch landed UDT personnel for beach survey work in South Vietnam
as part of operation Double Eagle. She then provided services at Legaspi,
P.I. to train Filipino and American UDT personnel. Between local training
operations in the Subic Bay area, Perch worked
with Chinese Special Forces at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and with Army Special Forces
at Keelung, Taiwan.
In July Perch participated in operation Deck House II on the coast of
South Vietnam. Again in August, Perch conducted
several independent beach surveys with UDT personnel along the coast of South
Vietnam. For operation Deck House IV in September Perch landed UDT personnel on five successive nights for
preinvasion beach reconnaissance. On 7 October 1966, Perch headed for Pearl Harbor via Hong Kong, Palau Islands, Guam,
and Midway Island. She operated in Hawaiian waters until 1967 when she became
Naval Reserve Training submarine at San Diego. On 22 August 1968 Perch's classification was changed from
APSS-313 to LPSS-313. Into 1970 she continues to serve reservists at San Diego.
four battle stars for World War II service and one battle star for Korean War
[Note: The above USS PERCH (SS-313) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS PERCH (SS-313), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]