Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Memoriam - USS Argonaut (SS-166) - Sunk 10 January, 1943

USS Argonaut (SS-166) was sunk by Japanese forces on 10 January, 1943, after intercepting a Japanese convoy southeast of New Britain. An American pilot witnessed the attack from a U.S. Army plane and reported that Argonaut's torpedoes severely damaged a Japanese destroyer.

After withstanding an intense depth charge attack, Argonaut was forced to surface, apparently at a very steep up-angle. Her bow was shelled by the remaining destroyers in the convoy, and no further radio contact was made with her. Japanese records indicate that she was destroyed in this engagement by depth charging and subsequent gun fire.

Argonaut served three war patrols during WWII. During her second patrol, she coordinated with USS Nautilus to transport US Marines to Makin Island for an attack against enemy shore installations, and then to return the marines to Pearl Harbor, an operation which proved highly successful.

Just over four months after this accomplishment, Argonaut went down with all 105 hands.

Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center


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