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Museums and Memorials

 

 

USS Blueback (SS 581) Memorial and Museum

On December 17, 1944, USS Spot (SS 413) began her first war patrol along the China coast under the command of Cmdr. William Post Jr. In her first combat action, she sunk two enemy trawlers in a gun attack on January 7, 1945. Between January 11 and 14, she sunk five enemy merchant vessels in three surface engagements. On January 19, Spot sunk a freighter with one torpedo hit and, later, a tanker with two torpedo hits.

The next day she attacked a trawler with her dwindling 20mm ammunition. Cmdr. Post nosed Spot against the trawler and sent over a boarding party. The trawler suddenly began to sink. All men made it back aboard along with the sole Japanese survivor.

Spot’s second war patrol was again off the China coast. On March 17, after torpedoing a cargo ship, radar detected a convoy, so she gave chase. One torpedo struck a merchant ship before Spot had to vacate the area. One escort later found Spot on the surface and pursued. Cmdr. Post fled on the surface and engaged the overtaking escort, a minesweeper, in a running gun battle while awaiting word from COMSUBPAC of having received an important radio transmission and hoping to find deeper water. With the escort close astern and having taken a severe beating from Spot’s 5” and 40mm guns, Spot finally received word from COMSUBPAC. She dived in 180 feet of water and evaded the minesweeper.

On April 25, Spot’s crew noticed a cluster of buildings and radio towers behind a lighthouse on Kokuzan Island. Spot opened fire with her 5” deck gun. The attack ignited an oil storage building, brought down one of the radio towers, and left several buildings ablaze.

Spot’s third war patrol was comparatively uneventful, sinking two junks and taking aboard two prisoners.

As reflected on her flag, Spot destroyed 16 merchant vessels, damaged a combatant, and shelled the radio
station on Kokuzan. Not on her flag are the four battle stars the boat received for her WWII service.