Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Memoriam - USS Amberjack (SS-219) - Lost 16 February 1943

Japanese reports record three engagements believed to have destroyed US submarines just about the time Grampus (SS-207) and USS Amberjack (SS-219) disappeared. Any of these attacks could have sunk either boat, so it is uncertain as to the exact dates of the losses of the two submarines. Amberjack's last radio transmission was sent 14 February 1943.

An attack by a Japanese torpedo boat and a sub-chaser on 16 February is considered the most likely end of Amberjack. Whatever submarine they depth charged that day had already been attacked by an escorting patrol plane. Oil and "parts of the hull" came to the surface. The next day, however, a US submarine was spotted; on 19 February one was believed to have been sunk; and yet another sighting was recorded on 24 February. It is possible that the attack of 19 February is what actually finished Amberjack off; or, all of these sightings could have been made on Grampus.

Amberjack was lost during her third war patrol, with 73 men, and is credited with sinking three ships and damaging two more.


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