USS PLAICE (SS-390)
(SS-390) was laid down by the Portsmouth Navy Yard,
Portsmouth, N.H. 14 July 1943; launched 15 November 1943; sponsored by Miss
Eleanor Fazzi; and commissioned 12 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. Clyde B. Stevens
Following shakedown and training, Plaice got underway for the Panama Canal
Zone 15 April, and arrived Pearl Harbor 13 May. She departed on her first war
patrol in the Bonin Islands area 3 June. Plaice
torpedoed and sank 986-ton ex-gunboat Hyakufuku
Maru 30 June; 857-ton ex-net tender Kogi
Maru 5 July; and 300-ton Submarine
Chaser No. 50 on 18 July, before returning to Midway Island.
The submarine was off on her second war
patrol 17 August, this time in the Nansei Shoto area. In the early afternoon 7
September, Plaice scored one torpedo
hit on a Kongo Maru class liner converted
to an auxiliary cruiser. On 24 September, Plaice
fired four torpedoes at a Fuso class battleship, briefly stopping its
screws. Three days later she sank 800-ton Coast
Defense Vessel No. 10., and put three torpedoes into the side of a
transport, which blossomed a bright orange flame. The patrol ended as Plaice drew into Midway 7 October and
got underway the following day for Pearl Harbor with Thresher.
departed Pearl Harbor 9 November for her third patrol in the
Southwestern Japanese Empire off the coast of Shikoku and Kyushu. She patrolled
the traffic lanes east of Van Diemen Strait and pulled into Guam 20 December
without having sunk any ships on the patrol.
The undersea raider departed Guam on her
fourth patrol in the Luzon Straits-Formosa areas. Plaice was part of a coordinated attack group which included the
submarine Archer Fish, Batfish,
Blackfish, Scabbardfish, and Sea
Poacher. This long patrol in the face of enemy antisubmarine measures
resulted in but one contact worthy of torpedo fire, a convoy of a small
freighter, a medium freighter and three escorts. Three attacks resulted in but
one hit. On 23 March 1945, Plaice moored
The fifth patrol originated from Midway
Island 26 April and took Plaice to
the Kurile Islands-Okhotsk Sea area. The first enemy contact was made 13 May,
when the submarine trailed four sea trucks and four small luggers until she
opened a, surface engagement with her 5-inch and 40 mm guns, sinking all four
sea trucks and two luggers. When all her larger ammunition had been expended,
she drove the remaining two luggers toward the beach and damaged them by 20 mm.
and small arms fire. On 18 May seven fishing boats, averaging 250-tons each,
hove into view. The staccato of 20 mm. and .50 caliber guns tore into two of
the boats and damaged them visibly. Plaice
ended her patrol at Pearl Harbor 13 June.
The sixth patrol, commencing 18 July took
Plaice to the East China Sea area,
but she made no enemy contacts. She picked up five survivors from an Army B-25,
and transferred them to a Navy patrol bomber the following day. On 15 August
Japan accepted the Potsdam Ultimatum and nine days later Plaice pulled into Midway.
After the war was over, Plaice operated in the Pacific until, by
directive dated November 1947, she was placed out of commission, in reserve, at
Mare Island, Calif. Plaice was
reactived 18 May 1963 in preparation for transfer to Brazil, 7 September 1963
under the Military Assistance Program.
received six battle stars for World War II service.
[Note: The above USS PLAICE (SS-390) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS PLAICE (SS-390), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]