American submarines proved to be a devastatingly effective fighting force during World War II. Although they made up less than two percent of the U.S. Navy, they sent more than thirty percent of the Japanese Navy and sixty percent of the nation’s merchant marine to the bottom. It is safe to say that these accomplishments were a critical part of the path to victory.
But not every day aboard a sub was chock full of drama. On 26 October 1944, the Navy commissioned USS BRILL (SS-330), which would go on to complete three war patrols and earn one battle star for her service. What follows is a transcription of page four of her first war-patrol report:
16 February, 1945
0740 Submerged for aircraft. SD contact, 11 miles, closing.
0829 SD radar contact, 16 miles.
1200 Position Lat. 21-06N. Long. 116-50E.
17 February, 1945
1200 Position Lat. 19-43N. Long. 112-37E.
Sent BRILL serial one reporting to ComTaskForce 71 for duty.
18 February, 1945
1200 Position Lat. 18-08N. Long. 112-05E.
No fix since 15 February. Set course for coast of Hainan.
19 February, 1945
0021 Made radar contact on Hainan Island coast, bearing 338 degrees true, 26.5 miles.
1200 Position Lat. 18-44N. Long 110-44E.
Received Serial 98 ordering BRILL to patrol area C-1.