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USS CROAKER (SS-246) - a Gato-class submarine

In Commission 1944 to 1946

SS-246 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SS-246 Shellback Initiation Add a SS-246 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
APR1943-Keel Date: 1 APR 1943
at General Dynamics Electric Boat Groton CT
DEC1943-Launch Date: 19 DEC 1943
APR1944-Commissioned: 21 APR 1944
APR1968-Decommissioned: 2 APR 1968

SS-246 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

Range: 11 000 Nautical Miles

Final Disposition: Made into Museum ship at Groton Connecticut on 27 June 1976


Croaker (SS-246) was launched 19 December 1942 by Electric Boat Co. Groton Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. W. H. P. Blandy; and commissioned 21 April 1944 Commander J. E. Lee in command.

Croaker arrived at Pearl Harbor from New London 26 June 1944 and on 19 July put to sea on her first war patrol sailing to the East China and Yellow Seas. In a series of brilliantly successful attacks which won her the Navy Unit Commendation she sank the cruiser Nagara on 7 August and two freighters one on 14 August and one on 17 August. During this patrol she served as lifeguard during air strikes on the Bonins. She refitted at Midway between 31 August and 23 September when she sailed in a wolfpack for the same area on her second war patrol. Again successful she sank a freighter on 9 October and another on 23 October. She shadowed a convoy on 24 October and sank one freighter and damaged another with her last torpedo. Tubes empty she returned to Midway to fuel and pushed on to Pearl Harbor arriving for refit 10 November.

Croaker 's third war patrol in the Luzon Straits and South China Sea from 13 December 1944 to 12 February 1945 found her making no contacts with enemy shipping but providing essential lifeguard service during strikes on Luzon preparatory to the invasion landings in Lingayen Gulf. She refitted at Fremantle Australia and on 12 March sailed for a patrol off the coast of Indo-China twice interrupted by the need to return to Australia for repairs. She refitted at Subic Bay P.I. between 22 April and 15 May then sailed for her fifth war patrol in the Java Sea. On 30 May she attacked a convoy of three small oilers guarded by an escort with unconfirmed results and 5 June returned to Fremantle. Her sixth and final war patrol between 1 July and 13 August found her assigned to lifeguard duties in the South China Sea and off Hong Kong as the final series of air attacks on Japan were carried out.

Returning to Subic Bay Croaker sailed for Saipan and continued on to Galveston Tex. and New London where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 15 May 1946. Recommissioned 7 May 1951 she served as schoolship out of New London until 18 March 1953 when she was again decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for conversion to a hunter-killer submarine. She was reclassified SSK-246 on 9 April 1953 and was recommissioned 11 December 1953. Returning to active duty in February 1954 she operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean visiting ports in England while taking part in NATO exercises in 1957 and 1958. Special submarine exercises took her to England once more in February 1960 after which she resumed local operations out of New London. In September 1960 Croaker departed on a cruise which saw her sailing through the Mediterranean and Suez Canal to call at various Near Eastern ports and Karachi Pakistan. She returned to New London in mid-December retracing her outward track.

Along with the Navy Unit Commendation Croaker received three battle stars for those of her war patrols designated as "successful " the first second and fifth of her six. She is credited with having sunk 19 710 tons of shipping.

[Note: The above USS CROAKER (SS-246) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS CROAKER (SS-246) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]