Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Submarine Transport Mission

This Day in History

August 27, 1944

World War II submarines were a vital part of the overall goal for the United States Navy.  Making up less than 2 percent of the Navy, they still effectively sank over 30 percent of the Japanese Navy.  Their missions were strategic.  

Graph courtesy of

Submarines were instrumental in disrupting the Japanese supply chain, but they were also instrumental in delivering supplies to their allies.  USS Stingray (SS-186) played a part in the guerrilla operations that took place on August 27, 1944.  She took fifteen Filipino personnel and six tons of supplies on the island of Luzon in advance of military personnel landings.  This way only one of dozens of "special transport" missions that would help assist the United States in the war effort.

Photograph courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center.
USS Razorback (SS-394) also helped in these missions.  Razorback was launched on January 27, 1944, and was sent on her first patrol on August 25, 1944.  As a member of an offensive group in support of many of these landings on the Philippines, she would stay east of Luzon until mid-September.  While on patrol defending the special transport missions, she would earn one of her many war victories when she sank an 820-ton destroyer.

Submarines during World War II were an effective tool to help assist the Navy.  They would strangle the Japanese economy by effectively sinking over five million tons of supplies.  Though they were a great asset, this came with a heavy cost.  52 submarines were sunk, resulting in 3,506 men dying during World War II.  Their legacies are incorporated in many museums and memorials we see today.  Patrons of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum can visit one of these memorials on location.  USS Snook Memorial is on display to the public to commemorate the submarines that are still on patrol.

Bless those who serve beneath the deep,
Through lonely hours their vigil keep.
May peace their mission ever be,
Protect each one we ask of thee.
Bless those at home who wait and pray,
For their return by night or day.
--Submarine verse of the Navy Hymn

Memorial on site at the Museum.
Author: Nicolette Lloyd


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