USS REDFIN (SS-272)

5th War Patrol 

On October 19, 1944 the Officers and Crew returned to REDFIN, after 2 weeks at Rest Camp, and relieved the Relief Crew of USS EURYALE (AS-22). 

The period of October 19th and 26th was devoted to training and completion of loading.  REDFIN was sound tested and had the propellers changed twice.  No practice torpedoes were fired. 

On October 20th at 1830 hours LTjg George L. REINHARDT was appointed to the rank of LT as of October 01, 1944 and Ens. Harold P. HAYES was appointed to the rank of LTjg as of September 01, 1944. 

October 26th at quarters at 1100, Edward John MAY was declared AWOL and all his records and belongings were transferred to CSD-182. 

October 26, 1944 at 1307 hours REDFIN got underway for the 5th War Patrol with orders to proceed, via EXMOUTH GULF, to Area A-6 (central SOUTH CHINA SEA north of DANGEROUS GROUND).  Once there she would operate in a Wolf Pack with USS BARBERO (SS-317) and USS HADDO (SS-255).  BARBERO departed FREMANTLE with REDFIN. 

On October 29th REDFIN moored to the Fuel Barge in EXMOUTH GULF at 0753 and BARBERO moored alongside REDFIN.  After REDFIN received 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel, she departed EXMOUTH GULF at 1709 hours, after BARBERO. 

BARBERO was about 15 miles ahead of REDFIN and as she transited LOMBOK STRAIT on November 1st a Japanese shore battery fired 30 rounds of 6 or 8 rounds at BARBERO.  After waiting about 1 hour REDFIN entered LOMBOK STRAIT at 0400.  REDFIN submerged at 0518 after seeing a small Patrol Boat.  At 0615 REDFIN found that she had been pushed south of LOMBOK STRAIT by a 9-knot southerly current.  At 1850 REDFIN surfaced 10 miles south of LOMBOK STRAIT and started passage through again.  At 2323 a large Bomber flew past on the port side about 500 yards.  Submerged and received 2 depth charges.  Surfaced at 2355 and continued at 14 knots. 

On November 3rd at 2341 REDFIN cleared MAKASSAR STRAIT and then SIBUTU PASSAGE on the 4th at 1850 continuing to WEST CUYO PASSAGE.  After clearing CUYO WEST PASSAGE at 0322 on the 6th REDFIN reached Area A-6 at 0500 on November 7th

On November 8th at 1555 the Quartermaster sighted 2 Tankers at 25,000 yards as REDFIN was submerging, REDFIN surfaced and commenced tracking for a surface attack.  At 1932 started the attack and fired 6 torpedoes at 2019 at the 1st Large Tanker, turned right and fired 4 stern tubes at the 2nd Tanker.  All the torpedoes of the first salvo missed.  The second salvo of Mark 18s missed also.  Started a reload at 2035 and started in for a second attack at 2129.  At 2151 commenced firing 6 torpedoes at the Large Tanker and turned away as the Escort was closing and firing their gun at REDFIN. Observed and heard 2 hits as the Escorts shots were falling off the port side about 100 yards away.  At 2215 observed the Tanker, NICHINAN MARU No.2, to sink at 1400N 11648E.  REDFIN started a run on the second Tanker but BARBERO had already made an attack and at 2350, REDFIN observed and heard a tremendous explosion on the 2nd Tanker.

On November 9th at 1746 BARBERO departed the area and USS HADDO (SS-255) was now in the area. 

On November 11th at 2050 stopped close aboard HADDO and held a conversation about the area.  Parted company and headed north west of CABRA ISLAND LIGHT. 

November 12th at 0241 sighted a Hospital Ship but didnt go in close because she had all the right markings. At 0734 submerged and the Quartermaster sighted smoke through the periscope at bearing 070-T before diving. Surfaced and sighted a 2nd convoy at 355T range 20,000 yards, consisting of 1large AK, 2 medium AKs, 1 Destroyer and 2 Subchasers.  At 1035 started an end around run.  Tried to contact HADDO because REDFIN had only 8 torpedoes.  At 1755 started closing, made radar contact and closed to 12,000 yards. At 2042 commenced firing the last 4 Mark-23s torpedoes in the bow tubes at the large AK, turned right and fired 3 Mark-18 torpedoes down the throat at the Escort.  While firing at the Escort, heard and observed 1 hit on the AK, ASOGAWA MARU at 1245N 11814E.  Observed the Escort turn right at full speed to evade the torpedoes and saw 2 more Escorts with searchlights in the area of the sinking AK.  REDFIN departed the area. 

On November 13th at 1654 received instructions to proceed to MIOS WOENDI, (BIAK).  Entered WEST CUYO PASSAGE at 2115. On November 14th at 2326 entered SIBUTU PASSAGE, then SIAOE PASSAGE on November 15th at 2311.  For the next 2 days REDFIN made numerous contacts with friendly aircraft.  REDFIN arrived at MIOS WOENDI at 0915 on November 18, 1944.  She fueled at a small Tanker then moored to USS ORION (AS-18). 

Ltjg. Rene TAYLOR talked a skipper of a PT Boat into taking him and some of the Crew to one of the cave areas on BIAK. 

The period of November 19th and 20th was spent receiving torpedoes and making minor repairs.  The 21st was spent on training. 

REDFIN departed MIOS WOENDI on November 22nd at 0700 enroute Area A-4 to conduct search with BARBERO and HADDO. 

On November 25th at 1838 entered SIBUTU PASSAGE.  On 26th at 0051 cleared PEARL BANK.  On the 27th at 1959 exchanged recognition signals with BARBERO and proceeded to Area A-4 and A-5 south of LAT: 13N.  On 28th exchanged calls with HADDO. 

On December 16th at 0230 REDFIN hit a very large log.  The impact was so loud that it woke almost all of the crew.  The log missed the stern planes and propellers. 

On December 18th at 0935 sunk a floating mine with 20mm and 30 cal. gunfire. 

On December 20th at 0600 REDFIN received instructions to depart the area and proceed to PEARL HARBOR via SAIPAN. 

On December 29th at 1426 REDFIN moored alongside USS FULTON (AS-11) at TANAPAG HARBOR, SAIPAN.  Received fuel and unloaded torpedoes and made minor repairs. 

REDFIN departed SAIPAN on December 30, 1944 at 1447 enroute PEARL HARBOR, T.H.