Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In Memoriam - USS Robalo (SS-273) - Lost 26 July 1944

USS Robalo (SS-273) was a Gato-class submarine built by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Commissioned on 28 September, 1943, she was assigned to the Pacific Theater.

On her third war patrol, Robalo was assigned to patrol the South China Sea. She made a contact report on 02 July, 1944, but was not heard from again. She was reported overdue and was presumed lost.

After the war, it was learned that Robalo had struck a Japanese mine in the Palawan Strait on 26 July. Only four men, an officer and three enlisted men survived and were able to swim ashore. Unfortunately, they were captured by the Japanese, and after spending time in a prison camp, were loaded aboard a Japanese destroyer in August, 1944 for transport back to the Japanese home islands to work in a prison work camp. However, both of the destroyers that departed the Philippines that month were sunk.

Photograph courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC.


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