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USS Swordfish (SS 581)


Skate began her first war patrol in September 1943 performing lifeguard duties near Wake. She was strafed by enemy aircraft, under shore bombardment, and dive bombed, but rescued six downed pilots. These are indicated in the bottom left of her flag.
The second and third war patrols took Skate to Truk, where she damaged an aircraft carrier and sank a cargo ship. In a hasty torpedo attack, Skate badly damaged the battle- ship Yamato. Skate’s crew later spotted a light cruiser with two escorts, and she sank the cruiser, Agano.
During Skate’s fourth war patrol, in the Bonin Islands, she damaged one cargo ship and surfaced for a gun attack on a sampan. The gun attack is represented at the bottom center of the flag. Skate’s crew took aboard three Japanese survivors and treated two of them for injuries.
The fifth war patrol saw Skate patrolling near the Kuril Islands. She intercepted a convoy of two cargo ships and three escorting destroyers. Her crew sank one destroyer and damaged the larger cargo ship. She later sank a small freighter, taking aboard two survivors.
On her sixth war patrol, Skate sank a cargo ship near the Ryukyu Islands and, on her seventh, headed for the Sea of Japan. She spotted a submarine returning to port and sank I-121 with two torpedoes. Skate’s crew discovered several cargo ships hiding in a cove. Skate entered the cove and fired all six bow tubes, hitting three ships and sinking one. After turning to leave, she fired three stern tubes, damaging or sinking two more ships. She later sank another cargo ship, taking aboard three survivors for a total of eight POWs, two more than indicated on her flag.
Not represented on Skate’s flag are the eight battle stars for her WWII service.