USS Narwhal (SS167) Report of First War Patrol

(Editors Note: There seems to have been some confusion as to war patrol numbering. Some paragraphing has been added to improve readability. I am not much of a typist so if you find typos PLEASE let me know, I truely want to correct them.
[H. Kholer])


Period from February 2, 1942 to March 28, 1942
Area ____

Feb 2 Left Base. Made Quick dive for trim, training and test while in company of escort. Went to 250 feet. All tight except minor leaks. Made three section dives during night of Feb 2-3 for training.
Feb 3 Commenced zigzagging at daylight. Decision to zigzag was based upon fact that daylight position was within possible distance of two reported enemy submarine contacts, and course laid directly along Yokuska - Honolulu great circle course.

1115 William Xray sighted patrol plane dead ahead range about 7,000 yards, coming directly toward us. Dived immediately and fired recognition signal. Plane was still coming toward us as periscope went under. Went to 150 feet and changed course. Remained at deep submergence for twenty minutes then came to periscope depth. Plane was not in sight so surfaced and continued on course. This plane was plainly recognized to be friendly but the plane gave no indication of recognizing us as friendly. It is recommended that a plane recognizing a submarine as friendly indicate that fact by turning away and making a specified light signal in order not to force submarine to dive.

1700 William Xray had passed beyond position circles of enemy submarines and discontinued zigzagging. Wind increased to force 3 from southwest and swells built up from west during day to condition 5.

Feb 4 During early morning wind shifted to northwest. Bucking heavy head swells all day. Made trim and training dive. Sent despatch to CTF-7 reporting time of arrival at Midway would be delayed until daylight on the 7th. Ship had been slowed by head winds and seas and counter set, so that it was evident that we would not make Midway entrance before dark on the 6th.
Feb 5 Wind and seas abated to force 2 and condition 3. Made trim and training dive.

Made training dive, exercised at battle stations, submerged, then held battle surface firing two round from each gun for training and test. The guns worked properly except for a primer failure on the first salvo of gun one.

Later in the day made another section training dive.

During darkness swung ship for compass deviation for two conditions - running on both mains and running on both mains and charging on one generator engine.



Feb 6 Made quick dive for trim and training. Head winds and seas increased somewhat during day.
Feb 7 0635 Yoke sighted Midway Island. Approached from southward zigzagging at high speed.

0756 Yoke in coming alongside dock at Midway, when "All Engines Back Full" was ordered, the man on the annuciators became confused and rang up "Ahead Full". Engines were ordered stopped at once but too late to correct the results of the error. The ship grounded gently on the sand bottom at the head of the dock.

0824 Yoke backed off the sand with the assistance of the station tugs and moored to the pier. A diver examined the bottom and reported no dents or damage other than scraping off the paint.

Topped off with 25,032 gallons of fuel by ship's figures, 34,692 gallons according to Midway figures.

During stay alongside Midway pier the ship surged heavily against the pier badly denting the superstructure plating and bending framing, due to ships underwater body riding under the too short pier framing allowing the superstructure to bear against the pier. Tank tops were endangered also by coming up under the pier structure as the ship surged. Fortunately they were not damaged.

1527 Yoke departed Midway. The Commandant furnished an air escort. Recommend that this be made standard practice for submarines entering and departing to reduce vulnerability to submarine attack.

1619 Yoke dived and continued submerged until dark.

Feb 8 Made decision to make run to wake submerged during day. This decision was based upon the following considerations:
  1. Sightings by the enemy on the Midway - Wake line heading for Wake would almost certainly nullify chances of success in the Wake area.
  2. To provide needed training for diving officers and planesmen before getting in close waters.
  3. To give the battery some much needed cycling before getting into enemy waters.
  4. Average speed that can be maintained by running 1/3 on both motors during the day submergence and 2/3 on both main engines at night is not greatly less than can be maintained by running continously on the surface at speed imposed by time fuel limitations. Fuel logistics are still a problem not definately solved. Fuel consumption thus far has exceeded all predictions, but the ship has encountered an average 1.5 knots adverse set continuously.

0613 Yoke Ran to 100 feet coming up for periscope observations every twenty minutes.

1823 Yoke surfaced.

2400 Changed time to minus 12 and date to Feb 10.



Feb 10-13 Uneventful
Feb 14 0930 Love entered area ___ submerged. Surfaced that night about fifteen miles north of Wake. Had planned to make landfall this day but previous night's run had been slower than expected. Rain made it impossible to get a evening star fix. Thus we were confronted with the problem of attempting to arrive in position to dive within landfall distance of a blacked out atoll at dawn. Patrolled areas northeast of Wake. The night continued squally and overcast. Star fixes were taken with both bubble octant and regular sextant as conditions made it posssible. The postions obtained were erratic. The early morning of the 15th was overcast and we dived in a position thought to be approximately twelve miles northeast of the island.
Feb 15 Dived at dawn, position uncertain and set course to make periscope landfall on Wake.

0633 Love sighted sampan in position about 17 miles northeast of Wake on southerly course. Later this sampan or one like it was seen at the i(?) shore mooring off south coast of Wake.

0852 Love sighted water tank on Wake island distance about 10 miles to Westward. Had it not been for the highwater tank we would have missed the landfall. Proceeded immediately to reconnoiter. Reconnoitered the Southern section of the northeast coast and the entire length of the south coast about 4000 yards offshore. Took periscope photographs only one of which turned out with any distinguishable objects.

Wake appears to be just as the marines left it. Water tanks, fuel tanks and buildings are standing apparently undamaged. Contractor's digging and construction equipment is standing apparently in exact spots where left when work was discontinued in the area between marine camp and boat landing and on the southeastern end of Wilkes Island.

There are no signs of activity or life on the Island except at the boat landing area where there were two small vessels tied up at the offshore mooring where our ships formerly tied up. One of these appeared to be a small tug and the other a utility sampan. Both had foremasts with lookout platforms. It is believed probable these boats assist ships to moorings when they call and then may act as patrol boats off the mooring area while ships are present. They did not engage in any patrol activities while under our observation. The dredge is standing idle in the lagoon. There were no signs of any construction activity or any activity along the beaches.

Surfaced after dark about 8000 yards southwest of boat landing area. Withdrew to the southwestward to charge batteries. The returned to eastward to patrol area south of wake at what was estimated about ten miles off.



Feb 16 Dove in position believed to be about nine miles south of island and turned toward island with view of being within easy visual distance at daylight. At first look island was dead ahead about 3000 yards. That was too close for comfort. We had not gotten the set during the night that we ahd experienced during the day. It emphasized the very serious problem of navigating around darkened atolls and the need for extreme caution.

Reconnoitered the south coast, the lagoon area and the north coast past the contractor's camp. Again took photographs through periscope which were 100% failure. These pictures were taken from about 4000 yards offshore. The seaplane hanger was seen to have been gutted by fire. No repairs had been made nor were in progress. No men could be seen on the beaches. Tanks and buildings have not been camouflaged and stand out brilliantly in their white and aluminum paint. They should make conspicuous targets on a moonlight night.

1500 Love sighted two planes about 4000 yards about 4000 feet. They appeared to be Type 93 LIBX biplanes and to be conducting training exercizes over the island. Did not have time to take a long look as one of the planes turned toward us and we went deep. Came up an hour later and no planes were in sight. These planes were the only evidence of aviation activity seen. No other planes were sighted although the lagoon and flying field areas were closely watched for planes taking off on or flying in from patrols.

There were no indications that air, surface, or submerged patrols were being maintained.

Whatever the Japanese intentions may be regarding development projects, it is certain that they are not yet pressing forward with above ground construction or lagoon development projects. No work on defenses along the beaches was observed. Except for the two planes and two small boats the whole place looked deserted.

Decision was made to leave the area tonight. In view of the lack of contacts and the air of inactivity which gave no promise of any, it seemed no useful purpose would be served by remaining longer.

Upon surfacing departed for area ___ distant 1880 the whole length of the route to which lies within 500 miles of enemy air bases.

2310 Love reported departure and Wake observations to CTF-7. No interference with transmission.

Feb 17 Decision was made to dive during part of this day when air search due to our DF'd transmission of last night was probable.

1700 Love Surfaced 160 miles from Wake and proceeded on surface. This seemed safe in view of our knowledge that long range air patrols were not being flown out of Wake and the improbability that search by small planes would be continued at this distance later than this hour.



Feb 18 At daylight ship was about 300 miles from Wake and 500 miles from Marcus. Decided to run on the surface. Day uneventful.
Feb 19 At Daylight ship was about 240 miles from Marcus. Ran submerged during day. Wind and seas built up from the NW during day. Ship bucking head winds and seas during night.
Feb 20 Uneventful. Head winds and seas.
Feb 21 Uneventful. No planes, ships or sampans were sighted during passage through MArcus Island area. Head winds and seas slowed ship to 8.2 knots during night when making turns for 11.
Feb 22 At Dawn we were 190 miles from Marcus and 500 miles from Chichi Jima. Decided to run this day on surface. Winds and seas abated. Day uneventful.
Feb 23 Upon surfacing in evening rough seas had built up from southwest and ship bucked through them during night averaging only 6.7 knots for the night's run.
Feb 24 During early evening weather changed from moderate to stormy getting progressively worse.
Feb 25 0230 King slowed to one engine speed to reduce pounding into heavy seas. By now the wind has reached the force of a moderate gale with intermittent rain storms and lightning. In the driving spray and rain the lookout's binoculars were useless and it was difficult to keep any kind of lookout facing the wind.

At daybreak ship dived in mountainous seas due to which it was impossible to make customery half hourly periscope observations. By nightfall sea conditions had moderated to heavy swells with little wind.

1930 Inter in Latitude 25-0' N Longitude 141-55'E a blinker signal light was sighted about 1200 yards on the port beam. Two bright distinct flashes were made on this light in our direction. The hull of the ship from which the flashes were made could not be seen. It was moonlight with the moon obscured by the cloud but the visibility was good. It was judged that the vessal making the flashes must be either a submarine trimmed down or a small patrol boat. Hard right rudder was given to throw the stern toward the spot where the light was flashed and a crash dive was made to 120 feet to insure being below torpedo depth. No torpedos were heard by sound and after ship had squared away at 120 feet and slowed, no screws could be heard. Later screws noises were picked up and analyzed as the screw of a small boat which was maintaining a steady true bearing. Course was changed gradually to throw him to stern,



. all except essential machinery was stopped, ship was run on one motor stopping intermitently as long as depth could be maintained. Gradually the true bearing of the screw noises drew to westward and became faint. At this point the ship was surface (at 2050 Inter) and retired at high speed gradually circling back to westward in a long sweep to southward. Nothing more was seen nor heard of the other vessel. It is believed that the boat encountered was probably a patrol sampan. From the position of this encounter it appears that the Japanese may be patrolling the passes between the eastern chain of islands with small patrol sampans.

The most unpleasant feature of the encounter was the knowledge that the other fellow was sitting there seeing us while we could not pick up his hull even after he had disclosed his presence by flashing his light.

Feb 26 1845 Inter Received CTF-7 despatch informing that enemy carrier had left Palau for Yokosuka on the 24th. Narwhal was about 60 miles east of the great circle track from Yap to Yokosuka. For most probable cruising speed, around 18 knots, it appeared that carrier would cross our track during daylight of the 27th. Decision was made to spend the day of the 27th patroling the area where the great circle course from Palau crossed NARWHAL's track. Speed was adjusted to dive at this intersection at dawn. The night's travel would thus cover points of probable intersection at speed higher than 18 knots and deviations from the great circle course to eastward.
Feb 27 Patroled area of intersection at periscope depth on West-East courses. No contacts. It had been planned to spend the night patrolling the area until 0400 Inter to cover the times the carrier departure as late as 1600 on 24th at speed down to 15 knots. However, upon surfacing the sky was completely overcast as it had been in the morning so that last fix was 24 hours old and we had no definate knowledge of our position in relation to the intersection. Decision was made to proceed to the westward slowly for two hours and then continue westward at normal night cruisiing speed.

2340 Inter sighted vessel on port beam on northerly course range about 6000-8000 yards. Turned to place ship ahead and dived to make periscope depth attack because of moonlight. Vessel picked up at 3000 yards through the periscope and recognized to be a tanker of about 7000 tons.

Feb 28 0008 Inter, attack #1, Latitude 28-55'N Longitude 138-15'E, fired two torpedos on estimated .90 track at estimated range of 1000 yards, target speed estimated 8 knots. Two heavy explosions and a sharp crack were heard. Ship was seen to settle and take heavy list and considered to be in sinking condition. Blued lights were seen at waters edge near bow and stern and thought to be boats being lowered.



. When well clear surfaced and continued to westward.

Approach and firing had tyo be conducted by eye estimate alone because conning tower had to be kept completely black in order to see through the periscope and no lights could be turned on for torpedo control purposes. A trial hood arrangement is being made to shield periscope from light.

Mar 1 0600 Inter arrived northeast sector area --. Commenced patrol in assigned area.

A logistic estimate at this time gives the following results:
a. Distance run Midway to area- 2874 miles
b. Fuel used Midway to area- 48,062 gallons
c. Fuel rate for trip 48062 / 2874- 16.7 gals/mile
d. Allow 2500 gallons for Wake patrol 45562 / 2874- 15.9 gals/mile
e. Fuel required for trip home 3770 x 15.9- 59,943 gallons
f. 10% emergency reserve- 13,000 gallons
g. Minimum fuel on board on departure area- 72,943 gallons
h. Fuel on board arrival area- 84,888 gallons
i. Fuel available for use in area- 11,945 gallons
j. Estimated time for return trip- 10 days
k. Depart NE corner area -- early morning- 10 March
l. Time on station- 9 days and nights
m. Fuel rate on station 11945 / 9- 1,327 gallons per day


  1. Fuel available limits patrol speed to one engine propulsion at night.
  2. Running on one engine at night limits westerly advance in area to the region of Nansei Shoto.

Decision was made to patrol on westerly course directly to North and West of Amami O Shima where prospects of encountering targets seem brightest.

After surface weather became progressively worse with high winds and seas from the SE. Took seas down both main induction and conning tower hatch.

Mar 2 Rough, rainy and lightning. During night sea shifted from SSW to NW.
Mar 3 0230 Inter a heavy sulphurous smell was borne down wind from NW. Ship's position by DR was then Latitude 28-50'N Longitude 131-40'E. This is 115 miles southeast of Suwanose Shima which is described as an active volocano in the Asiatic Pilot. Some uneasiness was felt for the ship's position since due to continouously overcast weather no fix has been obtained since 0410 Inter on 1 March. Course was changed to southwest to insure keeping in our area.



. 0300 Inter the QC equipment failed. Radio personnel effected repairs and had set back in commission at about 2100 Inter.

0800 Inter it was 52 hours since last fix due to continously heavy overcast weather and ship has been dependent solely on DR since fathometer is out of commission. Positionis doubtful as past sets have been variable.

After surfacing a star fix was obtained, the first in 63 hours. The ship was 30 miles northeast of its DR position. It was fortunate indeed to have a clear night tonight to make run past the northern end of Amami O Shima.

Mar 4 Dived in position 27 miles north of Amami and proceeded westward submerged to patrol area about midway between Amami and Tokay Gunto.

0910 Inter sighted Arusehi Juna and Takara Jima.

0945 Inter sighted ??koate Shima. The above islands rise high above water and make excellent navigational land marks.

0950 Inter sighted smoke and masts of steamer in position Latitude 29-05''N, Longitude 129-34'E, course 200T. Commenced approach. Upon reducing range steamer was seen to be small coal burning coastal steamer estimated 1500 tons. Speed was estimated by plot to be ?.5 knots. Decided not disclose presence the first day in this area by attacking such a small target. Broke off approach at 5000 yards. Steamer was obviously headed for Naze Ko.

All navigational lights on Amami O Shima were blacked out and no lights could be seen on shore.

2316 Inter sighted steamer, range about 8000 yards, estimated course 020. We were about 20 on his port bow. Moonlight with overcast sky gave good visibility. Dived for periscope attack. Ran in on 90 track. Target picked up through periscope at about 5000 yards and recognized to be a freighter of about 5000 tons.

2340 Inter attack #2, Latitude 28-37'N longitude 129-10'E, fired longitudinal spread of four torpedos. Two explosions heard 35 seconds after firing. Ship settled immediately by the bow.

2354 Inter ship was observed to sink through periscope.

2356 Inter surfaced and cleared area to westward.

Mar 5 0012 Inter sighted Yokoate Shima to westward. Decision was made to continue to westward and patrol area westward of Yokoate Shima in eastern edge of Kuroshio (Japan Current) to look for north bound traffic.

0530 dived in latitude 28-45'N longitude 128-10'E and commenced submerged patrol. This position will be the high water mark of our advance into the East China Sea due to fuel limitations.

Day uneventful. No ships sighted.



. After surfacing proceeded to patrol area between Tori Shima and Tokuna Shima during night. This area covered the same routes as the steamer we sank last night was travelling about 60 miles to the southward.

2348 Inter sighted what appeared to be two destroyers patrolling in latitude 27-58'N, longitude 128-25'E. Cleared to southwestward and southward and continued to patrol to eastward. At the time of sighting the two destroyers were close together. While in sight they parted company one going to westward and the other to eastward. No further contact was made with either of them. Their shapes were too indistinct to determine their type. I

Mar 6 0327 Inter sighted lights on the beach of Tokuna Shima. This island was not blacked out.

0518 dived in position latitude 27-41'N, longitude 128-37'E. Since there seemed to be streams of traffic to westward of the islands, decision was made to run submerged through passage between Tokuna Shima and Okinosrabu Shima and patrol routes to eastward of the islands. The passage was made uneventfully. No ships nor fishing sampans were sighted. The sea was calm and periscope observation was efficient. The absence of fishing sampans in this whole area has been surprising.

While running between the islands the sound equipment picked up an odd assortment of noises. These noises varied between grunts, squeels, clacking noises and noises that resembled propeller beats. Some of the noises may have eminated from the telegraph cable that runs between the islands on the eastern side of the passage but the noises were no more marked there than on the western side.

patroled to eastward of islands during rest of day and night with no sucess.

Mar 7 Dived in position latitude 25-57'N, longitude 129-55'E to patrol routes east of Kikai Shima.

1006 Inter sighted Kikai Jima.

1402 Inter changed course to 090T starting to turn eastward. The area around Amami O Shima has turned out to be not very fruitful hunting grounds. Shipping traffic in any quantity is obviously not being routed along this island area.

Mar 8 Uneventful. Patrolling area slowly to eastward.
Mar 9

0251 Inter moderate sea. Moonlight with moon covered by heavy overcast. Good visability except in direction of squall areas in various places around horizon. A black squall area was located to northward and northwestward. Our course 062T. At this moment two destroyers were sighted emerging from the squall area to the northward bearing two points forward of our port beam and we were about 10 on the starboard bow of the nearest detroyer whose range was estimated to be about 5000 yards. Attempt was made to evade on surface by swinging



. to right but destroyers were approaching so rapidly that it was necessary to dive at once to escape detection. Crash dive was made. Rudder had to be taken off in order to get under. As a result ship was running toward area directly ahead of enemy destroyers. Ship was rigged for depth charge attack. As ship was trimmed heavy it dropped below periscope depth and it was necessary to run at high speed and pump out the main drain while getting a trim. It seemed certain we would be heard. Upon getting trim ship was brought back to periscope depth so that periscope could be used in evasive tactics and counter attack. Upon raising periscope one destroyer was sighted immediately about 3000 yards range and were slightly on his port bow. The other destroyer could not be seen but it was believed that we were in between them. The one in sight passed quickly across our stern at a range of about 900 yards and apparently not detected our presence. The other destroyer still could not be seen. While sweeping for her a carrier loomed into periscope vision out of the squally background to westward at range estimated between 3000 -4000 yards. The carriers relative bearing was 192 and she was crossing astern. Her estimated speed was 15 knots based upon the previous estimate of the destroyer's speed, estimated track angle was 90 although it was impossible to estimate the angle on the bow with any degree of accuracy. Hard left rudder was given to swing ship to give necessary firing angle lead for straight shot. Ship would not swing fast enough so torpedos in the stern tubes were angled 30-40 respectively.

0316 Inter attack #3 latitude 28-43'N longitude 133-00'E, fired two after torpedos at enemy carrier. No explosions heard results believed negative. It is believed the torpedoes missed astern as a turn count obtained later by sound and based on cruiser RPM data gave a speed of 17 knots while we used the 15 knot estimate.It was a rapid fire estimate set up imposed by time and circumstances. At the time the destroyers were sighted the carrier was hidden in the rain squall astern of them. The second destroyer was never sighted after diving. Upon reconstructing the situation afterward it is believed that, while NARWHAL was diving and below periscope depth, the enemy made a sharp zig to the right and that the destroyer (starboard screen) which had been nearest before diving ran past to the westward out of sight in the black background in that quarter. The destroyer which was originally farthest to eastward (port screen) was apparently the one that crossed our stern. That fateful zig combined with poor visability from the direction of approach which hid the carrier initially imposed upon us the poor attack position we occupied at the moment of sighting the carrier.

Relative to the carrier, the port screen was about 2000 yards to eastward and at least 4000 yard ahead and patrolling her station. She carried a blued stern light mounted about half way up on her main mast.

The destroyer that passed close was either an Amagiri or Shinonomo class.



. The carrier was thought to be a Soryu because of its island.

The destroyers were not echo ranging. Evidently their listening equipment is not very sensitive at the speed they were traveling for we made plenty of unavoidable noise within 5000 yards with high speed running and pumping during diving and trimming.

The enemy gave no evidence of knowing that torpedos had been fired at the carrier and no counter measures were taken. It is possible that the torpedos did not reach the carriers track. Range estimates through periscope at night are unreliable.

0355 Inter surfaced. Sent our contact report 081948 to CTF-7 on 4235 kilocycles. Called three times without getting an answer. Then broadcast the report twice by TE method. 082013 sent contact report to Darwin on 8470 kilocycles. Called once without an answer and then sent report twice by TE method.

Mar 10 0900 Inter aqrrived at departure point from area __ and started homeward. An estimate of fuel, time, and distance for homeward trip follows:
a. Distance to Pearl- 3770 miles
b. Distance first leg (submerged day surface night)- 1205 miles
c. Distance second leg all surface- 1205 miles
d. Time first leg at 120 miles day- 10 days
e. Time second leg at 264 miles day (2/3 both engines)- 10 days
f. Time available to reach destination on schedule- 20 days
g. Fuel on board on departure- 73,853 gallons
h. Reserve- 13,000 gallons
i. Available less reserve- 60,853 gallons
j. Fuel rate allowable 60853 / 3770- 16.1 gal/mile

Conclusion: The fuel rate available is sufficient to permit patrolliing to eastward at slow speeds duriing first leg and to make up time by higher speed running during second leg. Time on first leg may be reduced by some day surface running withing 500 miles of enemy air bases if it appears wise.

Decision: To continue to patrol to eastward at slow speed on first leg in order to remain in area of enemy traffic routes to southward for a longer period of time and to meet scheduled return date by higher speed running during second leg.

Mar 11-15 Uneventful. Patrolled slowly to the eastward across steamer routes and through the southern island chain. Nothing was sighted. By the night of the 15th the steamer routes to the eastern Mandates had been crossed. Speeded up to return to Pearl at maximum reliable speed within fuel limitations.



Mar 16 At daylight we were 365 mile from Chici Jima and 420 miles from Marcus. Ran on surface. Day uneventful. No planes sighted.
Mar 17 We were 270 miles from Marcus. Ran submerged from 0700-1600 King, the hours during which planes scouting to the 300 mile circle would likely to make contact. Day uneventful. Fuel was exhausted from No. 5 group fuel ballest tanks. Tanks were washed out and placed in service as ballast tanks. No planes or patrols were sighted in Marcus Island area.
Mar 18 Circulating water leak developed around grommet under No. 9 cylinder head starboard main engine. High seas on beam made it necessary to dive in order to lift clinder head with safety to renew grommets. At daylight dived and at 1445 surfaced when engine repairs were completed.
Mar 19-23 Uneventful. Ran on surface. Made trim and training dives on 20th and 22nd. Calm seas and pleasent cruising.
Mar 24 0653 Yoke officer-of-the-deck made quick dive upon sighting unidentified plane dead ahead at high altitude.

0725 Yoke surfaced prepared to send contact report to Midway. Upon surfacing discovered that the supposed plane was in fact the planet Venus which has been mistaken when seen through rifts in the clouds for a silvery colored plane. Contact report had not been sent before mistake was discovered. Fuel was exhausted from No. 3 and 4 fuel ballest tanks. Fuel recovery from entire fuel ballest group was an even 90%, the figure counted upon in logistic estimates. No losses from leaks.

Mar 25 0609 Yoke sighted two PBY patrol planes, latitude 25-00'N longitude 171-56'W on course 290T. One plane approached from a little to the north of the sun. The other plane was observed to cross over to directly into the sun's path and approached from directly in the sun. The ship dived fired emergency signal and went to deep submergence came back to periscope depth. Planes had passed out of sight.

0648 Yoke surfaced and proceeded on course.

Mar 26 0953 Xray latitude 23-36'N longitude 167-43'W sighted by PBY patrol plane about four miles to southeastward on westerly course. Plane evidently recognized us as friendly as he continued on his course without approaching. Ship fired recognition signal, hoisted colors and continued on surface.



Mar 27 0740 Xray latitude 22-07'N longitude 163-35'W sighted PBY patrol plane slightly on starboard bow at about four miles on westerly course. Plane crossed over to port then approached from port bow and circled the ship. Ship fired the regognition signal, hoisted colors and continued on course. Plane circled ship twice made aldis light signal which was unreadable. Ship rigged searchlight and sent "This is U.S.S. NARWHAL". It is doubtful if plane was able to read this message as the ship was rolliing and pitching making it difficult to keep the light trained on. After circliing ship twice plane proceeded to westward.

1218 Xray sighted submarine on surface bearing 011 relative. Later recognized as GAR on parallel course with NARWHAL overtaking. Recognition signal was exchanged when within visual distance.

2125 Xray sighted Kaula to northward.

Mar 28 0540 William Xray sighted 1200 ton destroyer on horizon one point off starboard bow. Exchanged recognition signals. Destroyer was USS Elliot who reported for duty as excort vessel at 0545 William Xray. Formed column with GAR, stationed Elliot about 2000 yards ahead with orders to patrol her station and proceed to Pearl Harbor zigzagging. Planes and surface patrols sighted enroute recognized us as friendly by virtue of our escort and did not molest us.




    Pearl Harbor to Midway - Head winds and seas all the way. Squally rain storms.

    Midway to Wake - Southwest winds force 3 for first three days practically calm for next two days and the gentle NE trade wind in Wake area with smooth seas.

    Wake to Eastern Islands (Chichi Jima) - Good weather most of the way. One storm night with rain. Head winds and seas about 75% of the way.

    Southern Islands and Area __ - Sky heavily overcast almost constantly with rain and drizzle about 50% of the time. Rain storms were accompanied by lightning and heat lightning type at times.

    Amami O Shima Area - Sky overcast almost constantly, rain and thunderstorms, wind varied between calm and strong breezes and seas followed ??nd conditions. Changes of wind directions and velocities occured frequently with the wind shifting direction rapidly, these changes were usually accompanied by a falling barometer. Hunting conditions at night were ideal when it was not raining. The bright moon in an overcast sky gave visability conditions decidedly favorable to the hunting submarine. During the day rough seas about 60% of the time made periscope observations inefficient.

    Area __ to Marcus Island Area -- Average weather conditions. Sky heavily overcast each night with some rain squallsbut no steady rain storms. Sea conditions moderate with large swells.

    Marcus Island Area to Lisienski - Unusually calm seas gentle to moderate breezes. Weather clear except for rain squalls.

    Lisianski to Pearl - Continious strong trade winds from NE by E with rough sea and high waves from same direction.

  2. TIDAL INFORMATION (If Abnormal):

    Pearl Harbor to Midway: Pilot chart shows favorable set for first part of trip. Set was actually adverse all the way, average 1.5 knots.


    Lights on Kauai and Midway blacked out.

    Wake completely blacked out. The only two reliable navigational land marks on Wake are the teo high water tanks. Tangents are too low to be reliable for periscope bearings when submerged. One of these tanks is shown on enclosure (B) of Comsubpac serial 217 of February 1, 1942. The other one is located on the northwest tip of Wake Island in approximate position latitude 19-18'-26"N longitude 166-36'-07"W.

    Navigational lights on Amami O Shima was blacked out on night of 4-5 March.




    12 Miles NE of WakeSoutherly6 ktsSampan with foremast with crow's nest. No lookout was stationed in the crow's nest.
    Lat 29-00N
    Long 141-55E
    ?Apparently a small patrol boat - only blinking light could be seen.
    Lat 28-55N
    Long 138-15E
    010T8 ktsTanker estimated about 7000 tons. Compares with KIYO MARU silhouette in book "Recognition of Japanese Merchantmen" except had higher bow.
    Lat 29-05N
    Long 129-34E
    200T9.5Small coal burniing coastal steamer. Estimated 1500 tons. High masts close together with high stack amidships. High forecastle and high poop which gave impression of having been pushed together. Painted gray.
    Lat 28-37N
    Long 129-10E
    020T12 ktsFreighter estimated about 5000 tons. Bridge and stack amidships, Forecastle and poop decks style that of Rokko Maru, photograph No. 92 in book "Recognition of Japanese Merchantmen" but believed to be longer.
    Lat 27-58N
    Long 128-25E
    6 ktsTwo DD apparently patrolling. Type not distinguished.
    Lat 26-43N
    Long 133-00E
    170T17 ktsOne enemy CV resembling SORYU class. 2 enemy DD either AMAGIRI0 or SHINONOME class


Editors note: Pages 16 and 17 are missing from my copy of this document. These pages would have covered:


-16- & -17-



    25 February at 1930 Inter in Lat 29-00N Long 141-55E made contact with what is believed to have been small A/S patrol. Contact described in Narrative.

    5 March at 2348 Inter sighted two patrolling destroyers in Lat 27-58N Long 128-25E. This was about 24 hours after the enemy freighter was sunk in a position about 55 miles to the northward. It is thought probable that these destroyers were patrolling this area as a result of the sinking the previous night in an attempt to locate the responsible submarine.

    No other A/S measures were encountered in the Amami Area. Not a single plane was sighted and no fishing or patrolling sampans were seen.


    1. Enroute to Midway heavy seas carried away after torpedo loading skid and washed it overboard. Lumber was obtained at Midway to construct a makeshift support which it is hoped will suffice in transferring torpedos from deck tubes to after-room.

    2. After three days submerged running cells No. 28 in the forward battery and No. 78 in the after battery were well below battery average in spacific gravity and were jumped out. Both these cells have a history of low capacity and their renewal at next yard overhaul has been requested.

    3. 22 February - While on surface hydraulic line connecting A-end of steering speed gear to pressure regulator carried away. Oil sprayed out all over the after torpedo room and flooded the stern plane motor. Since all three systems of steering require pressure in this line, the ship was without steering power and had to be steered by using changes of speed on the engines. The line was renewed in 1 hour 27 minutes and steering restored. The stern plane motor was placed back in commission by thoroughly washing out the oil and drying.

    4. 23 February - 4th stage port MEAC cooler sprang a leak and had to be renewed. Work was still in progress when ship surfaced and only one engine was in commission until 2105 King when repairs were completed by replacing defective tube nest with spare.




    1. Trouble has been experienced with leaky main engine exhaust valves. This trouble has been controlled by stopping each morning before diving and working the valves several times to knock off the carbon.

    2. Air leaks in the main ballast tanks have been troublesome. It is necessary to vent the tanks once each watch. This is a dangerous procedure in close waters. The situation was improved by closing the individual group blow valves as well as the master. The air is apparently leaking through the blow valves in spite of the fact that they were carefully ground in during pre-patrol overhaul. It indicates that these valves should be renewed next yard overhaul.

    3. 3 March - The QC sound equipment failed. Cause was finally found to be open primary of audio output transformer. No spare was on board, but this transformer was replaced with one of ssame type from red-light amplifier circuit and set was thus placed in commission except for red-light echo ranging.

    4. 3 March - The fathometer, NM10, would not function when started up to check position after long period without sights. Failure believed due to accumulation of moisture over long period of idleness. Will be baked out each day with lamp bank.

    5. 5 March - Oil leaks into 3A and 3B showed up. These tanks had run dry and been washed out and placed in use as normal ballast tanks on 25 February. Samples were taken off tops of tanks each day thereafter during dive. On this date pure oil was obtained. Leaks into these tanks had developed overnight. They are believed to be from either the normal forward group or more likely through the low pressure blow line checks from No. 4A and B fuel ballast. It is thought the jar of torpedo explosions during last night's attack may have started the leaks. Tanks 3A and #B have been cut back as fuel ballast tanks in order to prevent l;oss of oil through them.

    6. 6 March - During this night the superstructure side plating just forward of the expansion joint was torn loose from the hull by the heavy seas at its after end and bangs and buckles with considerable noise. On the first calm night attempt will be made to secure this plate to reduce noise.

    7. 17 March - Superstructure plating and framing carried away at bottom for an area of about six frames on port side of forward gun sponson. This area was battered and weakened initially by surging of ship against the dock at Midway. The loose plating and framing rattles and bangs and threatens damage to the pipe lines behind it. We have no facilities for cutting it away or securing it.




    1. 18 March - Starboard main dengine developed circulating water leak around #9 cylinder head. Due to rolling of ship it was necessary to dive to lift cylinder head. Upon lifting head found rubber grommet around circulatiing water nipple to head had failed. Renewed all grommets (8) and replaced head. Repaires required 9 hours 6 minutes. A similar failure occured on previous patrol. These failures indicate the necessity for renewal of all these grommets.

    2. Trouble with the steering gear jamming on hard left or right has been experienced. The steering system is not properly centered and has a tendency to creep on in the direction of movement after steering wheel has been stopped. The wheel then locks and cannot be moved necessitating a shift to emergency steering to break it loose. It is believed this condition can be remidied upon return to base with yard assistance by proper adjustment of the operating mechanism.

    3. 25 March - Low pressure blow line, port side , to forward group carried away. Check valves apparently leaked also as ship settled by bow and took port list making it necessary to close forward group floods on power.


    Last consecutive serial sent was NARWHAL's number 5. Last consecutive serial received was Comtaskfor 7 number 7.

    Reception on task force frequency was excellent until 22 February when frequency was shifted from 4155 to 4235 kcs. The task Force commander was then no longer heard although primary shore stations on this frequency were heard continously.

    Reception of NPM low frequency Fox schedule waas excellent on way out east of long 146-20E when it began fading out. On way home reception again became good and remained good east of long 137-40E. West of these longitudes it was always possible to copy NPM on a high frequency so that schedules were not missed.

    NARWHAL was unable to raise the Task Force Commander on 4235 kcs. or its second harmonic on three occasions when calling from within 1000 miles of Pearl. On the first occasion the call was made duriing daylight and when no answer was received transmission was deferred until night. That night the Task Force Commander was again called without success. After hearing us calling, the Commander Base Force came up and offered to take our message for relay which was done.

    On the next occasion when only about five hundred miles from Pearl we again could not raise the Task Force Commander and finally called and relayed the message through NPM.

    Because of the tactical importance which will attach to direct communication between the Task Force Commander


  1. RADIO RECEPTION (cont):

    and the task units in conduct of operations with the fleet, it is recommended that effort be made to improve and employ direct communication at all times when within range.


    Sound conditions were in general good. There were several reports of hearing propellers which proved to be false. The source of the noises could not be determined. They were usually mushy crackling noises.

    The temperature gradients were not marked and usually did not change more than one degree between periscope depth and 130 feet. In general the water was slightly warmer at deep depth.

    No density layers were encountered.


    Health of the crew during period of patrol has been excellent. One enlisted man was admitted to the sick list with tonsillitis, acute; four sick days. There were eight men treated for this condition during the first week of patrol, none after that time. These men, for the most part, apparently had contracted their condition prior to departure.

    Attendance at sick call classified as to complaint during the period 2 February to 26 March was as follows:

    ComplaintNo. of CasesTreatments
    Tonsillitis, acute842
    Catarrahal Fever, acute49
    Burn, chemical, eye12
    Burn, hand11
    Abcess, tooth12
    Gastritis, acute12
    Conjunctivitus, acute11
    Dermatitis, body14
    Injuries, minor2026




    The crew received their second injection of tetanus toxoid and there were 12 cowpox vaccinations given during this period.

    Sanitary conditions on board have been satisfactory.

    Habitability has been excellent. Temperature, humidity, and venilation have been satisfactory at all times.


    Fuel14,000 Gals
    Provisions (Days)34
    Personnel (Days)10


    Fuel. Logistic estimates on which the conduct of the patrol were based are given on pages 7, 8, and 12 of the narrative, paragraph 1 above.

    It is recommended that the ship be reballasted as necessary to permit carrying fuel in main ballast tanks NO. 2E and 2F. These tanks are designed and piped for use as fuel ballast tanks.