July 1945

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USS Pilotfish

The log of the U.S.S Batfish does not say when LCI 222 was dismissed from escort duties but it was not unusual for our ship to accompany these subs for several days at a time.  We had run patrols to Iwo Jima and beyond so we may have stayed with her as the Batfish continued to head North toward Japan.  Of course the closer we got to imperial waters, the more danger there was that we might be attacked.  Here is what the log says happened next.


On 11 July we made numerous friendly plane contacts throughout the day.  At 09:45 we passed a friendly submarine over the horizon – either U.S.S. LAPON or U.S.S. WHALE.  At 12:00 noon our location was Latitude 17° 58′ North Longitude 143° 00′ east.  At 23:30 we exchanged IFF and visual recognition signals with a friendly plane.


On 12 July at 12:00 noon our position was at latitude 21° 36′ North and  longitude 139° 43′ east.  At 12:52 we sighted the U.S.S. PILOTFISH; exchanged recognition signals and chit-chat. Several friendly planes were sighted throughout the day.


On 13 July 01:15 we passed the submarine U.S.S. RONQUIL headed south, and exchanged recognition via SJ. At 02:45 Many B-29’s passed over us headed north. We spotted several other friendly planes throughout the day. At 03:15 we passed U.S.S. SEA DEVIL headed south and exchanged recognition via SJ.  At 12:00 noon our position was about 125 miles Northwest of Iwo Jima at a Latitude of 25° 52′ North and a Longitude of 139° 32′ East.  At 12:50 we passed a friendly submarine headed south, probably the U.S.S. TRUTTA.  At 16:40 we passed the U.S.S. CASE headed south and exchanged recognition signals. (The Case was a destroyer. About a month before on June 7th, the Case recovered 2nd Lt. W.J. Wajtaszek A.A.F. of the 21st Fighter Group, 46th Fighter Squadron. He was transferred to the Army Medical Facility at Iwo Jima.)


On 14 July we sighted numerous friendly planes throughout the day. At 12:00 our position was about 280 miles South of Japan at a latitude of 30° 55′ North and a longitude of 139° 28′ East.  At 21:00 APR recognition signal 157 mc. Everyone knew that it was a Jap sub.  We swung ship and struck out on 225° True.  At 21:43 we decided we were headed in reverse direction so came to 045° True. Then at 23:37 we swung the ship and located radar on the island of Aoga-Shima.  This island is approximately 150 miles South of the coast of Japan.   At 23:46 we received CSP 141029 and set course for area nine.


The Batfish had a long and honored tour of duty and she and her crew served our nation proudly throughout World War II.  Today the U.S.S. Batfish is a war memorial on display in Muskogee, Oklahoma.


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