Saturday, August 06, 2011

In Memoriam - USS Bullhead (SS-332) Sunk - 06 August, 1945

USS Bullhead (SS-332), a Balao class submarine built at Groton, CT, was probably lost on this day in 1945.

She had been ordered to patrol in a "wolf pack" with two other submarines. Bullhead left Fremantle, Australia on 31 July, and on 06 August, reported she had passed through the Lomok Strait.

She was never seen or heard from again.

Japanese records show many anti-submarine attacks in the area during this time just before the war ended (the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima this same day). However, there were also at least six other allied submarines in the vicinity, all of whom survived Japanese efforts to sink them.

One report from a Japanese Army aircraft claimed two direct hits with depth charges on a submarine, resulting in a great amount of gushing oil and air bubbles in the water. The position given for the attack is very near the Lombok Strait, so it is possible that the nearby mountain peaks on the island of Bali blocked Bullhead's radar, preventing her from spotting the approaching plane.

Bullhead was the last U.S. submarine sunk during World War II.

Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC.


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