USS Boarfish (SS-327)
USS Boarfish (SS-327), a Balao-class
Balao class submarine
The Balao class was a successful design of United States Navy submarine used during World War II, and with 122 units built, the largest class of submarines in the United States Navy. An improvement on the earlier Gato class, the boats had slight internal differences...

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

, was a ship of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 named for the boarfish
Boarfish is the common name of two unrelated groups of fishes:*All fish of the family Caproidae are called boarfish.*Some fish of the family Pentacerotidae are called boarfish....

, a fish having a projecting hog-like snout.

Boarfish (SS-327) was laid down on 12 August 1943; launched
Ship naming and launching
The ceremonies involved in naming and launching naval ships are based in traditions thousands of years old.-Methods of launch:There are three principal methods of conveying a new ship from building site to water, only two of which are called "launching." The oldest, most familiar, and most widely...

 on 21 May 1944 by Electric Boat
Electric boat
While a significant majority of water vessels are powered by diesel engines, with sail power and gasoline engines also remaining popular, boats powered by electricity have been used for over 120 years. Electric boats were very popular from the 1880s until the 1920s, when the internal combustion...

 Co., Groton, Conn., sponsored by Miss Barbara Walsh, daughter of Senator Arthur Walsh of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

; and commissioned
Ship commissioning
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military...

 on 23 September 1944, Commander Royce L. Gross in command.

World War II

Following shakedown
Shakedown (testing)
A shakedown is a period of testing or a trial journey undergone by a ship, aircraft or other craft and its crew before being declared operational. Statistically, a proportion of the components will fail after a relatively short period of use, and those that survive this period can be expected to...

 training off the coast of New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, the submarine departed New London, Conn.
Naval Submarine Base New London
Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy's primary submarine base, the "Home of the Submarine Force", and "the Submarine Capital of the World".-History:...

 on 29 October 1944 for Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

. After a week of intensive training in Panamanian waters, Boarfish transited the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 on 21 November and set out for Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

 where she arrived on 2 December. Another three weeks of training in Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 followed, and then Boarfish stood out of Pearl Harbor on 24 December bound for the western Pacific. She refueled and took on provisions at Saipan
Saipan is the largest island of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , a chain of 15 tropical islands belonging to the Marianas archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean with a total area of . The 2000 census population was 62,392...

 before embarking upon her first war patrol on 5 January 1945.

Boarfish sailed to the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 to patrol the coast of French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

. Early on 21 January, the submarine's radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 picked up a small convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

 of five or six small ships. Boarfish closed the convoy three times in three hours, firing 16 torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

es, all of which apparently passed under the targets. She broke off the attack at daybreak and did not regain contact. On 31 January, the boat made another radar contact on two cargo ships under escort. During Boarfish’s initial approach, an escort sighted the submarine and chased her away. The boat then fired her torpedoes at periscope depth and scored hits on both ships. When Boarfish submerged to avoid the escorts, she left Enki Maru (6,968 tons) sinking and Taietsu Maru (6,890 tons) burning fiercely and beached nearby. Even while avoiding depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

s, Boarfish tried to close the beach to finish the job. She abandoned the attempt after 36 hours because fire had so ravaged the cargo ship that she seemed unsalvageable. Taietsu Maru was destroyed completely by American planes of the 14th Air Force
Fourteenth Air Force
The Fourteenth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Space Command . It is headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California....

 later that same day, and Boarfish received partial credit for the sinking. The submarine ended her first patrol on 15 February when she pulled into Fremantle
Fremantle, Western Australia
Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, for refit alongside submarine tender
Submarine tender
A submarine tender is a type of ship that supplies and supports submarines.Submarines are small compared to most oceangoing vessels, and generally do not have the ability to carry large amounts of food, fuel, torpedoes, and other supplies, nor to carry a full array of maintenance equipment and...


The submarine's second patrol began on 11 March 1945 when she departed Fremantle for a second tour of duty in the South China Sea. Although she encountered and attacked two small convoys, their alert escorts foiled both attacks. Boarfish successfully carried out two reconnaissance missions along the east coast of French Indochina before ending her patrol in Subic Bay
Subic Bay
Subic Bay is a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay. Its shores were formerly the site of a major United States Navy facility named U.S...

 on 21 April.

After refit alongside , Boarfish left Subic Bay on 16 May for the Java Sea
Java Sea
The Java Sea is a large shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It was formed as sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age. The Java Sea lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south; Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east...

. Her first action came when she sighted a small two-masted junk
Junk (ship)
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages...

 on 27 May. A boarding party searched the junk for arms, contraband, and Japanese, but found nothing, and the junk was allowed to proceed. Two days later, a small convoy of three ships accompanied by two escorts crossed Boarfish’s path. She launched four torpedoes at the lead ship before losing firing position. Her crew heard an explosion; but, when the officer at the conn peered through her periscope
A periscope is an instrument for observation from a concealed position. In its simplest form it consists of a tube with mirrors at each end set parallel to each other at a 45-degree angle....

, he saw a charging escort instead of a sinking ship. The submarine dived, intending to put 215 feet (65.5 m) of the 240 feet (73.2 m) charted at that location between her and the escort. At 216 feet (65.8 m), the submarine grounded, knocking off her sound gear and making enough noise to betray her position easily. Eight depth charges followed as Boarfish tried to free herself. Despite damage to her port propeller
A propeller is a type of fan that transmits power by converting rotational motion into thrust. A pressure difference is produced between the forward and rear surfaces of the airfoil-shaped blade, and a fluid is accelerated behind the blade. Propeller dynamics can be modeled by both Bernoulli's...

, the submarine backed off the seamount
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface , and thus is not an island. These are typically formed from extinct volcanoes, that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from a seafloor of depth. They are defined by oceanographers as...

 and eased up to 180 feet (54.9 m) to escape. The damage sustained in the grounding was severe enough to force an early return to Fremantle, where she arrived on 8 June.

After repair and refit alongside , she departed on 5 July for her fourth war patrol. Operating in a coordinated attack group Boarfish, , and covered the Java Sea off Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 and the north coast of Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east...

. They made no surface contacts but encountered a number of enemy planes, one of which depth-bombed Boarfish on 8 July. On the 29th, Boarfish performed lifeguard duties during an Allied air strike on Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, and she remained off the Malay
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

 coast patrolling until 6 August, when she set course for Subic Bay. The submarine pulled alongside for refit on 10 August and was there when the Japanese capitulation was announced.

1945 – 1948

Boarfish sailed from Subic Bay on 30 August in company with Howard W. Gilmore and 17 submarines. She parted company with them on 5 September and put into Apra Harbor
Apra Harbor
Apra Harbor is a deep-water port on the western side of Guam in the Mariana Islands. The harbor is formed by Orote Peninsula in the south and Cabras Island in the north. To the south, the harbor narrows and then widens again to form an inner harbor. The southern end of the harbor is the location...

, Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, where she remained until 17 November training in postwar maneuvers and drills. She got underway on 17 November and set course via Pearl Harbor for San Diego, Calif.
Naval Station San Diego
Naval Base San Diego is the largest base of the United States Navy on the west coast of the United States, in San Diego, California. Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 54 ships and over 120 tenant commands. The base is composed of 13 piers stretched...

 where she arrived early in February 1946.

Boarfish operated out of San Diego in local training exercises until 9 September, when she got underway for a tour in the western Pacific. After a brief stopover in Pearl Harbor, the submarine got underway on 1 October for a tour that included visits to Midway Island
Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll is a atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, about one-third of the way between Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tokyo, Japan. Unique among the Hawaiian islands, Midway observes UTC-11 , eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time and one hour...

; Marcus Island; Okinawa; Tsingtao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

; and Guam. She began her return cruise to San Diego on 11 November and, upon her arrival, resumed local operations.

Boarfish remained in the San Diego area until 15 November 1947 except for one cruise to Pearl Harbor in February 1947 and another to Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 between July and November. Commensing 30 July 1947 Boarfish was the flagship of the first exploration under the Polar Ice Cap in the Bering Strait
Bering Strait
The Bering Strait , known to natives as Imakpik, is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, the easternmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point of the North American continent, with latitude of about 65°40'N,...

, this mission designated as Task Group 17.3 under the command of R. Adm. Allan Rockwell McCann
Allan Rockwell McCann
Vice Admiral Allan Rockwell McCann, was a United States Navy officer who served in World War I and World War II.-Education to World War I:...

 for the purpose of testing the under-ice use of Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

, developed by Waldo K. Lyon
Waldo K. Lyon
Waldo Kampmeier Lyon was the founder and chief research scientist for the U.S. Navy of the Arctic Submarine Laboratory at the Naval Electronics Laboratory.He retired in 1996 after 55 years of government service...

 who was also aboard. On 15 November, the submarine entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
The Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean. It is located 25 miles northeast of San Francisco in Vallejo, California. The Napa River goes through the Mare Island Strait and separates the peninsula shipyard from the main portion of the...

 for overhaul before transfer to the Turkish Navy
Turkish Navy
The Turkish Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces.- Ottoman fleet after Mudros :Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, on November 3, 1918, the fleet commander of the Ottoman Navy, Liva Amiral Arif Pasha, ordered all flags to be...

. She left Mare Island on 21 February 1948 and steamed via San Diego, Panama, New London, Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, and Port Argostoli, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, to Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. On 23 May, Boarfish was decommissioned
Ship decommissioning
To decommission a ship is to terminate her career in service in the armed forces of her nation. A somber occasion, it has little of the elaborate ceremony of ship commissioning, but carries significant tradition....

 and immediately recommissioned in the Turkish Navy as TCG Sakarya (S 332), the second submarine named in honor of the 1921 Battle of Sakarya
Battle of Sakarya
The Battle of Sakarya , also known as the Battle of the Sangarios , was an important engagement in the Greco-Turkish War and Turkish War of Independence....


Boarfish was struck from the Naval Register on 20 May 1948, and transferred (sold) to Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 under terms of the Security Assistance Program, 23 August 1948. She was returned to US custody for scrapping, 1 January 1974.

Boarfish received one battle star for her service in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


External links

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