USS SEA CAT (SS-399)
Sea Cat (SS-399) was laid down on 30
October 1943 by the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard; launched on 21 February
1944; sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Cochrane; and commissioned on 16 May 1944,
Comdr. R. B. McGregor in command.
After shakedown and trials off the New England coast,
the new submarine departed New London, Conn., on 28 August and
proceeded via the Panama Canal to Hawaii. Following training in Hawaiian waters, Sea Cat departed
Pearl Harbor on 28 October and headed, via Midway and Saipan, for the South China Sea
where she operated in a wolf pack which also included Pampanito (SS-383),
Pipefish (SS-388), and Sea Raven (SS-196).
During the war patrol, Sea Cat fired torpedoes at two Japanese
merchantmen which, together, displaced about 15,000 tons. Her
commanding officer thought that they had both been sunk, but a postwar
study of Japanese records did not confirm either sinking. After 61 days at
sea, including 37 days in her patrol area, Sea Cat arrived at Guam for refit.
The submarine got underway again on 1 February 1945 for
her second war patrol which she conducted in the East China Sea in a
wolf pack which included Segundo (SS-398) and Razorback (SS-394).
During operations off the coast of Kyushu, she damaged a 300-ton
cargo ship by gunfire and attacked a 2,000-ton ship with torpedoes. Although
she reported sinking the latter, Japanese records do not seem to
support the claim. Sea Cat completed
the patrol upon arriving at Midway on 24 March.
On 27 April, the submarine sailed for the Yellow Sea where she
and six other submarines preyed upon Japanese shipping. Sea Cat, herself,
accounted for some 400 tons of enemy vessels by gunfire, and she picked
up two survivors of the sunken enemy shins for questioning before
returning to Pearl Harbor on 25 June.
She headed toward the Kurils on 6 August for her fourth
war patrol; but, upon arrival in her patrol area, learned that hostilities
had ceased. She was ordered to proceed to the Japanese home islands and
was in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender ceremony on 2
September. She then sailed for the Marianas and reached Guam on the 7th.
Following a brief stay at Apra Harbor, the submarine headed home. Following
operations in the San Diego area into the spring of 1946, the ship
proceeded to San Francisco Bay and arrived at Mare Island on 15 April 1946
Yard work completed on 26 July, Sea Cat sailed back
to San Diego, whence she departed on 12 August for her first
simulated war patrol. On this cruise she visited Hawaii; Canton Island;
Swains, Samoa, and Atafu Island; Tsingtao, and Shanghai.
Then, transferred to the Atlantic Fleet, the submarine
arrived at Balboa, Canal Zone, on 12 January 1947. After two and
one-half years of exercises out of Balboa, her home port was
changed to Key West in June 1949. In the autumn, it was decided to have a number of
experimental changes made to the ship during her forthcoming overhaul,
and she was redesignated AGSS-399 on 30 September. On 7 November, she
arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where the work was done.
The modifications and repairs were completed on 11 March 1950, and the
submarine returned, via New London, to Key West. She operated from that
base until she got under way on 9 January 1952 for Philadelphia
and another overhaul. After her arrival on the 15th, she was converted
to a fleet-type snorkel submarine and redesignated SS-399.
Overhaul and conversion completed. Sea Cat departed
Philadelphia on 26 June 1952 and returned to Key West.
She operated from that base for the remainder of her career,
spending most of her time in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and in
waters off the southern coast of the United States. In July 1966,
she interrupted her customary routine by crossing the Atlantic for a
four-month deployment with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.
returning to Key West on 30 October, the submarine
resumed her former routine and operated in Florida waters and the Caribbean until she was decommissioned on 2
December 1968 and struck from the Navy list
on the same day.
Sea Cat earned three battle stars for her
World War II
[Note: The above USS SEA CAT (SS-399) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS SEA CAT (SS-399), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]