USS Grampus V  

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Grampus V SS-207

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Grampus V

( SS-207: dp. 1,475 t.; 1. 307'2"; b. 27'3"; dr. 13'3";
s. 20 k .; a. 10 tt., 1 3"; cpl. 59; cl. Tambor)

The fifth Grampus (SS-207), built by the Electric Boat Co. of Groton, Conn., was launched 23 December 1940; Sponsored by Mrs. Clark H. Woodward; and commissioned 23 May 1941 at New London Lt. Comdr. Edward S. Hutchinson in command.

After shakedown in Long Island Sound, Grampus sailed to the Caribbean with Grayback on 8 September to conduct a modified war patrol, returning to New London 28 September. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor found Grampus undergoing post-shakedown overhaul at Portsmouth, N.H., but soon reads for war on 22 December, she sailed for the Pacific, reaching Pearl Harbor on 1 February 1942 via the Panama Canal and Mare Island.

On her first war patrol (8 February-4 April 1942) Grampus sank an 8,636-ton tanker, the only kill of her short career' and reconnoitered Kwajalein and Wotje atolls, later the scene of bloody but successful landings. Grampus's second and third patrols were marred by a heavy number of antisubmarine patrol craft off Truk and poor visibility as heavy rains haunted her path along the Luzon and Mindoro coasts. Both patrols terminated at Fremantle, Australia.

Taking aboard four coast watchers, the courageous men who were stationed on Japanese-held islands to radio back vital information on shipping, military buildup, and weather, Grampus sailed on 2 October 1942 for her fourth war patrol. Despite the presence of Japanese destroyers, she landed the coast watchers on Vellu Lavella and Choiseul Islands while conducting her patrol. This patrol, during the height of the Guadalcanal campaign. took Grampus into waters teeming with Japanese men of-war. She sighted a total of four enemy cruisers and 79 destroyers in five different convoys. Although she conducted a series of aggressive attacks on the Japanese ships, receiving 104 depth charges for her work, Grampus was not credited with sinking any ships. She returned to Australia 23 November.

Grampus fifth war patrol (14 December 1942-19 January 1943) took her across access lanes frequented by Japanese submarines and other ships. Air and water patrol of this area was extremely heavy and although she conducted several daring attacks on the 41 contacts she sighted, Grampus again was denied a kill.

In company with Grayback, Grampus departed Brisbane on 11 February 1943 for her sixth war patrol from which she failed to return, the manner of her loss still remains a mystery today. Japanese seaplanes reported sinking a submarine on 18 February in Grampus patrol area, but Grayback reported seeing Grampus in that same area on 4 March. On 5 March two Japanese destroyers, themselves lost 2 days later, conducted an attack in Blackett Strait, where a heavy oil slick was sighted the following day, Indicating Grampus may have been lost there in a night attack or gun battle against the DD's. When repeated attempts failed to contact Grampus, the valiant submarine was reluctantly declared missing and presumed lost with all hands. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 21 June 1943.

Grampus, received three battle stars for World War II service. Her first, fourth, and fifth war patrols were designated successful.

 

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