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USS Guardfish (SS-217)


US Navy Submarine USS Guardfish (SS-217) operated out of the Brisbane Submarine Base during WW2. USS Guardfish left Pearl Harbor on 2 January 1943 to patrol off the Truk area. She sunk a Japanese patrol vessel, a 1,300 ton cargo ship and the Japanese destroyer Hakaze on 23 January 1943. She moved south and attacked a large convoy near Simpson Harbor, Rabaul. The Japanese defences were so fierce that USS Guardfish was forced to leave the area. USS Guardfish arrived at Capricorn Wharf in Brisbane on 15 February 1943 ending her 3rd war patrol. 

USS Guardfish left Brisbane on 9 March 1943 for her 4th War Patrol in the Bismarck Sea, Solomon Islands and New Guinea area. She returned to Brisbane on 30 April 1943, after a very quiet patrol with no recoded kills.

USS Guardfish's 5th War Patrol found her returning to the same area. She left Brisbane on 2 May 1943. She sank the 201 ton Japanese freighter, Suzuya Maru and damaged another freighter. USS Guardfish together witt US Navy Subchaser SC 761, was instrumental in rescuing a large number of Australian and New Zealand Coast Watchers from Bougainville in July 1943. She returned to Capricorn Wharf in Brisbane on 2 August 1943 for a long needed refit.

USS Guardfish left Brisbane for her 6th war patrol on 24 August 1943. Her first assignment was to land a reconnoitring patrol onto Bougainville. She went on to sink the 5,460 ton Kasha Maru on 8 October 1943. For 2 days she acted as a rescue ship during the Allied air strikes on Rabaul. USS Guardfish picked up another reconnoitring party from Tulagi on 19 October 1943 and landed them on Bougainville on 28 October 1943 two days before the Americans landed at Bougainville. USS Guardfish returned to Capricorn Wharf on 3 November 1943. 

USS Guardfish began her 7th war patrol on 27 December 1943. She patrolled the shipping lanes between Truk and Guadalcanal. On 14 January 1944, USS Guardfish sank the 10,024 ton Kenyo Maru . Then on 1 February 1944 she sunk the Japanese destroyer Umikaze near Truk. USS Guardfish then acted as a rescue ship near Truk before heading for Pearl Harbor. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 18 February 1944 and then 9 days later she proceeded to San Francisco for repairs.


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This page first produced 10 April 2004

This page last updated 19 January 2020