George P.E., PMP, DM
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This is written as my memoirs as the skipper of the USS Tautog, SS-199 while playing Silent Victory. It's not written as a formal USN report, because I haven't studied enough history for that (and it'd probably be boring).

[For my background and the first patrol, please go here:
The First Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog]



Here are pictures of the Pearl Harbor Submarine Base circa 1992. The one on the right was taken from the top floor outside my barracks room and shows the floating dry dock in the upper right. The boat in the upper left looks like a Sturgeon-class at the 'leper pier', or the one furthest away from Squadron HQ. With my third skipper, and the last for the sub, the Tautog was at that leper pier a lot. The dive tower and most or all of the buildings in the view were there during WWII.



I mentioned in my first patrol post why you should never anger anyone on a submarine. There's an odd sort of balance of power. These examples were true on my sub, the SSN-639, and I'm sure many of them were just as true on the SS-199. However, war actions tend to cause sailors to drop pettiness and pull together.

Cooks: They prepare your food, need I say more? There was an offgoing cook on the 639 as I arrived. For his last breakfast, he greased the grill with soap for the eggs of people he didn't like. Those people had a horrible day of running to the head, and by then the cook was gone. The cooks also did the laundry for the officers, and I refuse to detail what I know happened with that on these public forums.

Yeomen: They keep your records, including for qualifications and pay. I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

Corpsman: The doc keeps track of your shot records. I don't know about in 1942, but afterwards if the Doc lost your shot records then you had to get them all over again. That's not pleasant at all.

Radiomen: These guys were the sole contact to the outside world. They're the only guys on the boat who periodically heard news and collected the 'familygrams', or messages from loved ones. You wanted them to remember that you had a familygram, give you the paper with the actual message, and not spread potentially embarrassing messages or rumors about you. Because there's a total lack of any input or external entertainment on a sub, radiomen had unbelievable power for kicking the rumor mill into high gear. If they didn't like you, they could tell you false news, wait for you to spread it, then have everyone laugh at you for believing something so stupid. Or they could lie to you about how your football team did in the playoffs/Super Bowl.

Electricians: I don't think this was true in 1942, but on the 639 (and other 637s and later classes), if you annoyed the Electrical Safety Petty Officer then your cords on any of your personal electrical or electronic devices could be deemed unsafe and cut.

If you don't have your dolphins, or Submarine Warfare breast insignia, then you better not anger or even annoy those who do. They can make your life a living hell; more on that in a later post.



I started my second patrol as skipper of the U.S.S. Tautog (SS-199) in April of 1942 out of Pearl Harbor. All damage from the first patrol was repaired and the crew rested after some much-deserved R&R. Sadly, the Mk 14s we took on weren't any more improved than the ones on the last patrol. I was deployed to patrol the shipping lanes of the China Sea and sink as many enemy ships as possible. Our transit to the north China Sea from Hawaii was uneventful.

As we passed Jeju, Korea around 1330 hours, we spotted a 5,100 ton Japanese tanker, the Tarakan Maru. There was no escort in sight, so we stayed surfaced and closed to use our 3" deck gun. As we closed and the unescorted tanker turned to run, the first couple-dozen 3" rounds missed. The large rounds began to strike the tanker aft, and smoke began to rise from the rear superstructure.

The deck gun had a round jam. As the gunners mates cleared the jam, the wounded tanker continued to run. Concerned about Japanese destroyers and aircraft, we watched the horizon and skies. We saw no evidence of either.

The gun started reporting again. The tanker had increased the distance, and the first shells fell short. They then began to strike the rear again with loud thuds but little visible damage. Suddenly, the Tarakan veered starboard as if its steerage and/or rudder were struck, causing more shots to miss.

We saw a ship approach from the southwest. We swung the bow and gun around in case of engagement from a Japanese destroyer, but it was another Japanese supply ship. It must have spotted us, because she turned about. I ordered to continue the pursuit of the bigger and damaged Tarakan.

Our store of 3" ammunition was approaching depletion with less than two dozen rounds left. I ordered to continue shelling while saving the torpedoes for engagements with escorted ships. The 3" rounds were thudding solidly into the Japanese tanker, and with only three shots left the Tarakan Maru erupted in a ball of fire and smoke and headed for the deep. Well, as deep as you could get in the East China Sea.

The sinking of the Tarakan Maru was an auspicious beginning to the patrol. She was 5,100 tons, and we took no damage. I was effectively out of 3" deck gun ammunition, but I still had my full complement of torpedoes.

I turned to port for a southwest heading towards Shanghai. Four nights later just after 0030, we spotted the lights of three Japanese ships. I climbed down the sail's ladder to the conn and ordered periscope depth. As we approached, we could make out two small Japanese freighters being escorted by a Minekaze class destroyer. Their sizes and marking helped us to identify them as the 3,000 ton Unyo Maru and the 2,800 Kashimasan Maru.

I spent several hours maneuvering around to place the escort on the far side of the freighters. I ordered all six forward torpedo tubes readied to fire. When in range, I fanned the Mk 14s in Tubes 1, 2, and 3 at the Unyo. Before they were halfway to their target, I sent the fish from Tubes 4, 5, and 6 to the Kashimasan streaming steam bubbles in the dark waters of their wake.

One of the three torpedoes sent at the Unyo hit with a loud explosion, and she began to go down. A minute later, the Kashimasan met the same fate as two Mk 14s took her. The escort then came into view around the burning, sinking freighters. She searched for us in vain in the moonless night as we made a clean escape. Our total for this patrol was now three vessels for 10,900 tons.

We spent a week patrolling the islands outside of Hangzhou Bay. It should have been target rich, but we saw nothing but ancient Chinese Junk and similarly harmless boats. We continued south.

As we passed southeast through the Ryukyu Islands at night, we spotted the lights of a single decent-sized ship. As we were out of 3" ammunition, I ordered us to periscope depth and approached her port bow. After returning to Pearl and scrutinizing the photos, she was positively identified as the 2,800 ton Japanese freighter Hiyama Maru.

As we reached close range, I fired Tubes 1, 2, and 4. The first Mk 14 went under and past without detonating, and the second actually struck amidships without blowing. I could see the sailors scurry around after it hit. The third torpedo, however, hit and exploded making the freighter list heavily to port and slowly sink. Our totals were now four Japanese support vessels for 13,700 tons.

We continued southeast for two more days before spotting yet another unescorted Japanese freighter. The Japanese must feel secure in the East China Sea, or they don't have enough escorts available. This one was the tiny 900-ton Shingetsu Maru, so maybe she wasn't important enough to warrant an escort.

I approached the little freighter then turned to bring the aft tubes to bear. I fired Tubes 7 and 8. Both were aimed true, and both failed to detonate. What a waste of American tax payer dollars these Mk 14s are. I'm really thankful this wasn't a fair fight with a destroyer or air support approaching.

I emptied Tubes 9 and 10 at the Shingetsu. Again, both bubble trails were headed straight amidships of the little freighter and neither detonated. The starboard fish from Tube 9 blew up a good fifty feet before it even reached the target. Amazingly, the second one hit the Shingetsu with a dull thud and could be seen sticking out of her hull bobbing in and out of the water line. I guess that could sink her if their bilge pumps were faulty and we waited a week or two.

Not wanting to wait to reload the aft tubes and risk having Japanese help arrive, I brought around the bow and fired Tubes 1 and 2. The Shingetsu took evasive maneuvers such that the first one missed. But, the port torpedo hit the engine compartment, found the fuel, and ripped the small ship apart in a beautiful fireball. It only took five Mk 14s aimed at the 900-ton ship to destroy it.

After that, it was time to head back to Pearl and Waikiki. We spent two weeks transiting back without seeing any viable targets. It was a good patrol; we sank five Japanese ships for 14,600 tons with no significant damage to the Tautog and no serious injuries to my crew. Make that a great patrol.

During our month-long refit, the Tautog was awarded her second Battle Star, and we all received our first star on our Submarine Combat Patrol insignia. For sinking five ships on this patrol, I was awarded the Navy Cross.



The Terrible T now had a record of eight ships and 31,600 tons. The Japanese should take notice, because we're hunting them again real soon.




Edit 1: Corrected my oversight of not having Radiomen on the list. There are others, too.

Edit 2: Fixed the Pliyama typo to the correct, intended Hiyama.


Edit 3: For my stories on the life of nubs on subs and my third Silent Victory patrol, please go here:
The Third Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
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James Moore
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog

Only thing missing from your report is the butt-chewing for expending 5 fish on a 900 ton vessel..

Missing from your list of crewmen not to piss off are the radiomen. They are your only source of news underway, and also the deliverer of familygrams. That was one of the perks of that rate, everyone was nice to you (usually).
The cook could definitely be infamous. One chief cook we had never deviated from the recipe cards, in other words no TLC was ever lavished on the menu items.
The worst thing he made was salmon patties. They tasted horrible, and were hard as rocks. When the other cooks would pass platters of these through the serving window, they would actually wear a plastic face shield, because some of the crew would throw the salmon patties at them.
We even had a cartoon wanted poster of the chief cook on the passageway bulletin board "wanted for serving salmon patties, and other crimes against humanity".
The other "dish" he was infamous for was shrimp curry. This was freezer burnt shrimp in a disgusting green sauce. It was truly horrific. The CO loved it though; it was his favorite meal.
We used to peek through the wardroom door window when it was served. All the other officers would be gathered around the wardroom table with dejected looks on their faces, waiting for the captain to sit down.
None of them could refuse the shrimp curry, or incur the Old Man's displeasure.
Once he finished and left the table though, the other officers would all throw away the curry. We always took extra large helpings of the shrimp curry in order to throw it away. Otherwise we would see it again at midrats.. gulp


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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
James,

I agree that leaving out RM was an oversight, so I corrected it.

What, no RO/SRO stories? Which was your boat(s)?

My last CO was a Navy brat and grew up in PI. He loved crazy spicy stuff, so the cooks put that crap all over our pizzas. Asking them to leave it off at least half a pizza only got more peppers on the pizza.
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
GeorgeMo wrote:
James,

I agree that leaving out RM was an oversight, so I corrected it.

What, no RO/SRO stories? Which was your boat(s)?

My last CO was a Navy brat and grew up in PI. He loved crazy spicy stuff, so the cooks put that crap all over our pizzas. Asking them to leave it off at least half a pizza only got more peppers on the pizza.


My first boat was the USS Phoenix (SSN 702). Like yours she is just a memory now, having become razor blades a few years ago.
Speaking of pizza, that was another item the cook could not get right. Whenever pizza night came around, two of the nuke machinist mates would come forward and make all the pizzas. Yep, great cook we had.
I don't really have any RO stories. I was a forward puke, so once I was done qualifying, I avoided the engine room like the plague.
Something to do with all those high pressure steam lines, and if there was a major steam leak, they would seal the engine room hatch, and everyone back there was toast (literally).
If I remember correctly, the little steel box the RO and SRO sat in was steam proof for about 5 minutes (long enough to shut down the reactor before everyone died). There never were any major steam leaks, but I did't want to tempt Murphy..

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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
capn_tucker wrote:

I don't really have any RO stories. I was a forward puke, so once I was done qualifying, I avoided the engine room like the plague.
Something to do with all those high pressure steam lines, and if there was a major steam leak, they would seal the engine room hatch, and everyone back there was toast (literally).
If I remember correctly, the little steel box the RO and SRO sat in was steam proof for about 5 minutes (long enough to shut down the reactor before everyone died). There never were any major steam leaks, but I did't want to tempt Murphy..



Sorry, I didn't mean to insult you My first two barracks roommates were forward ETs, so I hung out with those guys a lot. The electronic warfare / radar guy was one of the most miserable guys on our boat - for opposite reasons from me. I saw only 1 movie the entire 4 years, because I was always on watch or dealing with our 2' long PM card stack, mostly working on motor generators, the battery, or electrostatic precipitators. My EWS friend was bored out of his mind having seen all the movies multiple times and read every book he could find. I wish I'd had some of the great tabletop games available today back then and time to play them. They all just played bones.
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
GeorgeMo wrote:
capn_tucker wrote:

I don't really have any RO stories. I was a forward puke, so once I was done qualifying, I avoided the engine room like the plague.
Something to do with all those high pressure steam lines, and if there was a major steam leak, they would seal the engine room hatch, and everyone back there was toast (literally).
If I remember correctly, the little steel box the RO and SRO sat in was steam proof for about 5 minutes (long enough to shut down the reactor before everyone died). There never were any major steam leaks, but I did't want to tempt Murphy..



Sorry, I didn't mean to insult you My first two barracks roommates were forward ETs, so I hung out with those guys a lot. The electronic warfare / radar guy was one of the most miserable guys on our boat - for opposite reasons from me. I saw only 1 movie the entire 4 years, because I was always on watch or dealing with our 2' long PM card stack, mostly working on motor generators, the battery, or electrostatic precipitators. My EWS friend was bored out of his mind having seen all the movies multiple times and read every book he could find. I wish I'd had some of the great tabletop games available today back then and time to play them. They all just played bones.


Oh no prob, I just consider the source I was an RM for most of my career. The last couple of years I was in they force-converted all submarine RMs to ETs. I was pissed! I liked my radioman sparks just fine. We used to make fun of the ETs. We called them extra testicles, or extraterrestrials. Then suddenly we were ETs too. The worst thing was while we were radiomen, we had a rating exam tailored to us. The ET exam had no radio questions. I remember getting questions about radar systems on destroyers. I was like: "you've got to be kidding me".
Well, the answer is C.
Until I qualified the boat I wasn't allowed to do anything except study. Once I was qualified though, I brought my Commodore SX-64 on board. It only had a 5" monitor, but I could play all my C64 games on it. The best thing was it looked just like an O-scope. I put it in one of the empty equipment racks in the radio room, and it looked like it belonged there.
Other guys didn't play dice, they all played spades. Endless, nothing but spades.
After watch I would set up my SX-64 in the Corpsman's space and play. The other guys were consumed with envy. I'd let them play from time to time. One guy liked it so much I sold it to him when I transferred off the boat..


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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
Note: I don't consider this discussion in any way hijacking this thread, because it's about submarines and submariners. Hopefully non-submariner readers will enjoy the insight.

NOTE: Submariners is pronounced submarine-ers NOT sub-mariners. We're as good as or better mariners than the skimmer guys

capn_tucker wrote:

Oh no prob, I just consider the source I was an RM for most of my career. The last couple of years I was in they force-converted all submarine RMs to ETs. I was pissed! I liked my radioman sparks just fine. We used to make fun of the ETs. We called them extra testicles, or extraterrestrials. Then suddenly we were ETs too. The worst thing was while we were radiomen, we had a rating exam tailored to us. The ET exam had no radio questions. I remember getting questions about radar systems on destroyers. I was like: "you've got to be kidding me".
Well, the answer is C.
Until I qualified the boat I wasn't allowed to do anything except study. Once I was qualified though, I brought my Commodore SX-64 on board. It only had a 5" monitor, but I could play all my C64 games on it. The best thing was it looked just like an O-scope. I put it in one of the empty equipment racks in the radio room, and it looked like it belonged there.
Other guys didn't play dice, they all played spades. Endless, nothing but spades.
After watch I would set up my SX-64 in the Corpsman's space and play. The other guys were consumed with envy. I'd let them play from time to time. One guy liked it so much I sold it to him when I transferred off the boat..


RM and ET rate symbols both looked better than our electrician one.



The legends say that when the rate communities were asked what they wanted, the EMs said a globe which is what EMs call a light bulb. The people making the symbol obviously didn't know that and made a basketball for us to wear. Honestly though, that's probably better than a light bulb.

The only game we had was a laptop with a yellow monochrome screen and the original Civilization on it. There was a LOT of fighting over that. As the Electrical Safety Petty Officer, I got my turn so that I could ensure it was safe and I didn't have to cut the power cord off.
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
I like the background info from your own sub experience that you put into your AARs. It's interesting to read about some of the more unknown-to-us-laymen details of submarine life. Keep it up!
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Re: The Second Patrol of the SS-199, U.S.S. Tautog
LeroyJS wrote:
I like the background info from your own sub experience that you put into your AARs. It's interesting to read about some of the more unknown-to-us-laymen details of submarine life. Keep it up!


I just filed my third patrol AAR. My eyes are defocused and crossing, but I wanted to get it in. It has some more submariners' experience notes in it. Now for the horribly long wait for it to get through GeekMod. If anyone wants to see it (and hopefully faster), please head over and give it an honest rating in GeekMod.
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In my opinion, you guys put time on real subs, while the rest of us play board games about them, so I think you've earned the right to talk about it here.
And, like the previous poster stated, I enjoy hearing stories about your experiences on those subs.
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