War Shot


Enemy engagement commenced on 1 March at which time Sea Robin made contact with one AK and an escort standing out of Surabaya minefield. Shortly after dark, at 2016, a night surface radar attack was made, in which four MK 18-2 torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes. Sea Robin turned right to bring the stern tubes to bear. During the turn one hit from the salvo was obtained. At 2021, three MK 14-3A torpedoes were fire from the stern tubes. The target was seen to explode and sink in three minutes after being hit. The stern tube salvo never had time to reach the target. The escort hastily left the area.

A six-ship convoy consisting of one large AP/AK, two AKs, and three escorts, were attacked east of Bawaen Island at 0128, on 5 March. The large AP/AK was singled out for a submerged ST radar attack. Three MK 18’s were fired each striking the target, which was seen to burst into flames and sink almost immediately.

At 0452, 5 March, another submerged ST radar attack was made on one of the two remaining AK that were part of the convoy encountered earlier in the night. Sea Robin, aided by favorable zigzagging of the enemy targets, was able to maneuver between both targets and fire both bow and stern salvos. Three Mk 18-2 were fired from the forward tubes and one hit was obtained, which capsized and sunk immediately at a range of 300 yards.

Three minutes later a 3-shot stern tube salvo was fired at the second AK. Frantic zigzagging by the enemy allowed it to escape being hit.

Eight minutes later, with the bow tubes ready, three more MK 18-2 torpedoes were fired at a range of 900 yards. This time, however one hit was obtained. The target was seen to break into two separate pieces and sunk rapidly.

At 1105 on 23 March, Sea Robin received a radio call from a Mustang pilot that was experiencing engine trouble. With IFF gear engaged, Sea Robin headed in the direction of the troubled pilot. The pilot, stating that his windshield was covered with oil, pointed his aircraft in the direction of Sea Robin. Eventually, the pilot spotted her and bailed out of the crippled aircraft. Circling Catalina PBYs provided air cover as Sea Robin plucked the lightly injured pilot aboard. The pilot was First Lieutenant Wilfred Niles Joyal, USA, SN # 0692152, 341st Fighter squadron of the 348th fighter group.

On 30 March a six-ship destroyer task force was contacted. At 0243, the Sea Robin maneuvered for a submerged ST Radar attack, and again found herself in an ideal firing position, directly between two TERUTSUKI DDs. The targets zigged 90 degrees immediately after the torpedoes were fired, resulting in misses. Sea Robin went to 220 feet and rigged for depth charge attack.

Three hours later, after surfacing and pursuing the destroyer task force, Sea Robin fired six Mk14-3 torpedoes from the bow tubes at a range of 8000 yards. Unfortunately, all these torpedoes missed, with one running erratically and one broaching.

Sea Robin engaged the enemy with her 5"25 deck gun on 8 April, when she encountered a sea truck. Submerged observation of the target revealed the presence of machine guns on board. Sea Robin countered this threat by remaining at a safe distance and sunk the target 30 minutes later.

Later on the same day, Sea Robin engaged a 700-ton trawler and sank it with her deck guns.

On 10 April Sea Robin received order to proceed to Pearl Harbor for refit. Sea Robin refueled and took on supplies at Saipan on 17 April and departed for Pearl Harbor on the 18th. While passing enemy held Wake Island, Sea Robin expended her remaining 5" ammunition in the early morning of 23 April. Sea Robin rendezvoused with USS Silversides and proceeded to Pearl Harbor escorted by PC 603, arriving 29 April.

Sea Robin’s second war patrol lasted for 66 days and she steamed a total of 18,198 miles. The Submarine Combat Insignia was authorized for Sea Robin’s second patrol and she was given credit for inflicting the following damage on the enemy:

1 - AK (SEITAI MARU) 3405 tons

1 - AP/AK (SABURA MARU) 7167 tons

1 – Small AK 2500 tons

1 – Small AK 2000 tons

1 - Seatruck 150 tons

1 – Trawler 700 tons

In addition to the pilot rescued by Sea Robin, she also returned with 16 POWs that were captured during three of her engagement.