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Old 10-11-2021, 11:57 AM   #1
Navy Seal
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Florida USA
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Default Real History of USS Seal SS-183

Always like to know the real history of the current boat am on patrol with. Some may know this story, others may not. Share a bit of real history about your current boat.

USS Seal SS0183 (Salmon Class) departed Fremantle, Australia for her fifth war patrol on 24 October 1942, assigned to patrol the Palau Islands. On 16 November 1942, she made SJ radar contact with a convoy of five merchants and one AK and submerged for attack.

Seal targeted the leader of the near column as the formation zigzagged toward the submarine. Less than a minute after firing, Seal collided with, or was rammed by, another enemy ship. The periscope went black with severe vibration, while the boat rose to a depth of 55 feet, stalling, hanging there for a minute, before finally starting down to ordered depth of 250 feet, where Seal was depth charges for several hours.

Breaking up noises were heard while submerged and four hours later Seal surfaced to find debris (Quantities of uncooked rice and beans, not what is found on submarines, were found between the wooden deck pieces of the cigarette deck, on the bridge, and caught in the bathythermograph. )

Seal was heavily damaged with No. 2 (higher) periscope had been bent horizontally, and the housing on the No.1 (lower) periscope had been sprung, preventing its operation. The radar antenna had been broken off the radio mast. The periscope shears now wore "a good sample of Japanese bottom paint." Seal was ordered to Pearl Harbor and then sent stateside for repairs and refit, not returning to patrol until Spring 1943.

Later, captured Japanese records confirmed the sinking of the 3,500-ton Boston Maru by an American submarine on that date in that location. Whether that ship was Seal's target or the colliding ship is not known. However, it is possible that the enemy vessels hull was punctured by the submarine's periscope shears and let to her sinking.

(Current campaign in SH 4 am off Palau Islands on Seal's 6th War Patrol. Date is 8 November 1942. I added a convoy to campaign to represent the one Seal engaged on 16 November, it arrives in historic time and and location in which Seal made this attack and collision occurred. Will see if can locate it)

Below is an excerpt for the actual patrol report regarding the incident, for full report got to HNSA War Patrol Reports website at link also below. Pages 290-292 of part 1.

Last edited by Bubblehead1980; 10-11-2021 at 12:01 PM. Reason: incorrect title
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