USS Redfish (SS-395)

USS Redfish (SS-395)

USS "Redfish" (SS/AGSS-395), a "Balao"-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the redfish, a variety of salmon also called blueback, sawqui, red salmon, and nerka. Her keel was laid down on 9 September 1943 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard of Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 27 January 1944 sponsored by Miss Ruth Roper, and commissioned on 12 April 1944 with Commander Louis D. McGregor in command.

"Redfish" arrived at Pearl Harbor on 27 June 1944. Departing 23 July, she sank the 5,953-ton Japanese cargo ship "Batopaha Maru" on 25 August, the 7,311 ton tanker "Ogura Maru Number Two" on 16 September, and the 8,506 ton transport "Mizuho Maru" on 21 September, all off Formosa, before arriving at Midway Island on 2 October. Departing Midway on 25 October and Saipan on 3 November, she sank the 2,345 ton Japanese transport "Hozan Maru" during the night of 22 November23 November. Departing Saipan on 1 December, she combined with USS|Sea Devil|SS-400|3 the night of 8 December9 December to heavily damage the Japanese aircraft carrier "Junyō", putting that enemy ship out of action for the remainder of the war.

"Redfish" sank the newly built 18,500 ton Japanese aircraft carrier "Unryū", bound for Mindoro, on 19 December. After diving to 232 feet (71 m), she rose to the surface and raced to escape Japanese pursuit. Arriving at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for repairs on 17 February 1945, she returned to Pearl Harbor 23 July, and remained there until the end of the war.

After duty at Guam from September 1945 to January 1946, she arrived at San Diego, California, on 30 January. Departing on 3 March 1947, she voyaged to Guam and Japan before returning 21 June. After operations off the West Coast and Hawaii, she sailed toward Korea on 2 February 1951, and operated out of Yokosuka, Japan, until 24 June, in support of United Nations forces. Returning to San Diego on 3 July, she operated off the West Coast.

In the spring of 1954, fitted with a "dummy" rear fin, "Redfish" played the part of Jules Verne's "Nautilus" in the Walt Disney film "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". In September 1957, with deck and armament modifications, she played the part of the submarine USS|Nerka in the motion picture "Run Silent, Run Deep". She capped her film career by making several appearances in the popular black-and-white television series “Silent Service”.

Reclassified AGSS on 1 July 1960, she was underway from San Diego, California, on western Pacific deployment from 26 March to 26 September. From then into 1968, she made annual training cruises to the western Pacific. Decommissioned on 27 June 1968 at San Diego, she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 30 June, and sunk as a target.

"Redfish" received two battle stars for World War II service.



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