Today’s “Pic of the Day” features the USS Devilfish being used for target practice by the USS Wahoo on the 14th of August, 1968, off the coast of San Francisco, California.

Devilfish file photo
Here, we see the Devilfish as she appears on the 29th of September, 1944, only four weeks after she was commissioned.  Photo from the Department of the Navy


A Brief History of the USS Devilfish

She was born in the bustling shipyards of Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, her silhouette first appearing on 30 May 1943. Proudly sponsored by Mrs. Frank W. Fenno Jr., this maritime marvel took her oath of the sea on 1 September 1944.

Journey Through Time

The early days saw Devilfish strengthening the backbone of the Fleet Sonar School at Key West until early November 1944. Soon after, the shores of Pearl Harbor welcomed her on 2 December. As 1944’s calendar ran out, the submarine embarked on her initial war journey, taking a brief pause at Saipan for refueling in January 1945.

Coursing through the treacherous currents off Shikoku, the waters of Kii Suido and Bungo Suido became her playground. Here, she played guardian to Army pilots laying siege to Japanese lands. After a brief restoration halt at Guam, Devilfish commenced her second war patrol by mid-March.

However, the seas were unpredictable. On 20 March, a kamikaze pilot set its sights on her. A catastrophic collision ensued as the Devilfish submerged, causing extensive damage. But that was not to be the end. After mending her wounds at Saipan and Pearl Harbor, she was back on predator duty by late May.

By July, the submarine found herself near Guam, gearing up for her fourth patrol, this time guarding the 3rd Fleet’s onslaught on Japan. In a display of raw power, she unleashed her fury on Tori Shima in August. And with the end of wartime hostilities, she set course for Midway and, subsequently, San Francisco.

The Sunset Years

Post-war, the USS Devilfish enjoyed a peaceful lull. In 1946, she shifted gears to a reserve status and was tucked away in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Time, however, led to her redesignation as AGSS-292, and by 1967, she was removed from the Naval Vessel Register.