USS TORO (SS-422)
Toro (SS-422) was laid down on 27 May 1944 at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy
Yard; launched on 23 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Alan G. Kirk; and commissioned on 8 December
1944, Comdr. James D. Grant in command.
her completion on 26 December 1944, Toro participated in training exercises out of
and New London before arriving at Key West on 11 February 1945. She provided
services to the Fleet Sonar School; then, on the 28th, departed Key West in company with Bumper (SS-333),
bound for the Canal Zone were she underwent a week of intensive training. The two submarines set a
westward course for Hawaii on 15 March and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 1 April. Toro conducted training
exercises out of that port with Submarine Division 101 until 24 April when she departed
Oahu in company with Billfish (SS-286). She arrived at Saipan on 6 May
and, after one false start, got underway for her first war patrol on the 10th.
arriving in her patrol and lifeguard area south of Shikoku and east of Kyushu on the 16th, she occasionally encountered
Japanese planes as she pursued her duties. On the 18th, following a probable periscope sighting, Toro detected
a transmission on Japanese submarine radar frequency and attempted to close the
she patrolled Bungo Suidp, she was often assigned as lifeguard for air
strikes against the Japanese islands. While off Omino Shima before sunrise on the 25th,
word that a B-29 was in trouble. She began the search in state four seas with
only fair visibility and, two hours after dawn, homed in by friendly air cover, she rescued two
Army aviators who had been floating in their lifejackets for three and one-half
hours. Twenty minutes later, she rescued another aviator and then continued her search for
additional survivors until late in the day. While patrolling on the surface on the following
morning, she made radar contact with a possible target at 2,000 yards. The submarine turned toward the
contact and shortly there after a torpedo wake crossed her bow, indicating that an
enemy vessel had first located her. Toro dove and had no further contact
with the unseen attacker. Toro continued patrols and lifeguard duty in Bungo Suido until 14 June when she
set her course for the Marianas. She moored at Apra Harbor five days later.
refit by Fulton (AS-11), she got underway from Guam on 14 July; paused briefly at Saipan for fuel, water, and the
replacement of her torpedoes with Mark 18's; and arrived in her patrol area on the 24th. Late in the day, she was
drawn far out of her assigned area in a fruitless search for a downed flier. The departure of Toro's air
cover at 1800 left her in a most dangerous situation due to the expected passage of an American task force on an
antishipping sweep. Unable to clear the area in time, Toro made radar
contact with the
task force at 2055. Despite attempts to establish her identity, Toro was
soon the target of two obviously unfriendly American ships which bore down on the submarine at a speed of 22
knots and bracketed her with gunfire at a distance of 7,400 yards. Toro attempted to establish her
identity using a flare, smoke bombs, and sonar; but the ships were still firing when she passed 150 feet. The
beleaguered submarine continued down to 400 feet and rigged for depth charges. The surface vessels,
thinking that they had sunk a Japanese picket boat, remained in the area for half an
hour searching for survivors without discovering that their target had been a
friendly submarine. An hour after midnight, Toro surfaced and set her course
back to her
morning, she returned to her lifeguard station and, in the afternoon, rescued
three British aviators afloat on a raft. She maintained her station for carrier strikes against Japan on
the 28th and, shortly after noon on the 30th, received a distress message from an Army Mustang plane. After
circling his plane over the submarine the pilot parachuted from the crippled
aircraft at an altitude of only 800 feet. Within seven minutes, Toro's crew
brought the aviator on board.
transferred the rescued British fliers to Gabilan (SS-252) on 1 August. On
the 5th, while patrolling her lifeguard area for planes returning from bomber raids on the Japanese islands, Toro
sighted dense black smoke on the horizon and, receiving reports of a downed pilot in the area, put on all
possible speed to investigate the source of the smoke. Less than 20 minutes later, she picked up an Army aviator
afloat in his lifeboat impressively marked by a smoke display. Minutes later, a second Army aviator
jumped from his plane nearby, and again Toro had a flier on board within seven
minutes of the time his parachute opened.
mid-month, Japan capitulated. After destroying a number of mines south of Honshu, the submarine
departed the area on the 17th and proceeded via Guam to Midway where she
arrived on 27 August.
4 September, she departed Midway and proceeded via Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal to east coast
ports. She arrived at Philadelphia on 31 October to prepare for inactivation.
In January 1946, ATR-67 towed
the submarine to New London, where, on 7 February
1946, Toro was decommissioned and placed in reserve.
Toro was recommissioned on 13 May 1947, and she reported for duty to
Submarine Squadron 2, Atlantic Fleet, on the 28th. She conducted hunter/killer
made a simulated war patrol in the Arctic Sea, and joined fleet tactical exercises in the
Mediterranean. On 28 January 1950, she joined Submarine Development Group 2; and her
operations helped to refine submarine tactics, weapons, and equipment. She worked in the Atlantic and
Caribbean until July 1952, when she reported to Submarine Squadron 2 at New London and assumed new duties
training submariners. During the next 10 years, she combined these activities
training and services to ships and aircraft engaged in antisubmarine warfare exercises. She also participated in Operation
"Springboard" and made one Mediterranean cruise. She was
redesignated auxiliary submarine (AGSS) in July 1962 and, on 22 November 1962, as her Navy career drew to its close, she
made her 11,000th dive while
operating in Long Island Sound.
In February 1963, she was ordered to berth with the Philadelphia Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, for demilitarization and non-industrial stripping; on 11
March 1963 she was decommissioned;
and on 1 April 1963 her name was struck from the Navy list. She was slated to be sunk in an attempt to locate Thresher
(SSN-593) (q.v.), but the
plan was abandoned, and Toro was later sold and scrapped.
Toro received two battle stars for World War II.
[Note: The above USS TORO (SS-422) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS TORO (SS-422), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]