USS Stingray (SS-186)

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USS Stingray (SS-186).jpg
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Builder: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine [1]
Laid down: 1 October 1936 [1]
Launched: 6 October 1937 [1]
Commissioned: 15 March 1938 [1]
Decommissioned: 17 October 1945 [1]
Struck: 1 November 1945, then reinstated 28 November 1945, then struck again 3 July 1946 [1]
Fate: Sold for scrap, 6 January 1947 [1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Salmon-class composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric submarine [2]
  • 1,435 long tons (1,458  t) standard, surfaced [3]
  • 2,198 long tons (2,233 t) submerged [3]
Length: 308 ft 0 in (93.88 m) [3]
Beam: 26 ft 1 14 in (7.957 m) [3]
Draft: 15 ft 8 in (4.78 m) [3]
  • 21 knots (39 km/h) surfaced [3]
  • 9 knots (17 km/h) submerged [3]
Range: 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) [3]
Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged [3]
Test depth: 250 ft (76 m) [3]
Complement: 5 officers, 54 enlisted [3]

USS Stingray (SS-186), a Salmon-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named the stingray. Her keel was laid down in the Portsmouth Navy Yard on 1 October 1936. She was launched on 6 October 1937 sponsored by Mrs. Olive G. McLean, widow of Rear Admiral Ridley McLean, who had had a distinguished career in the submarine service, and was commissioned on 15 March 1938 with Lieutenant L. N. Blair in command.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Stingray suborder of fishes

Stingrays are a group of sea rays, which are cartilaginous fish related to sharks. Many species are endangered. They are classified in the suborder Myliobatoidei of the order Myliobatiformes and consist of eight families: Hexatrygonidae, Plesiobatidae, Urolophidae (stingarees), Urotrygonidae, Dasyatidae, Potamotrygonidae, Gymnuridae, and Myliobatidae.

Ridley McLean United States admiral

Rear Admiral Ridley McLean, USN was a two-star Admiral in the United States Navy. He was a Naval Academy graduate, the original author of the Navy's Bluejacket's Manual, and Judge Advocate General (JAG). He was a battleship commander in World War I, a pioneer in naval use of shortwave communication, a submarine force and a Battleship division commander.


Pre-World War II Service

Following shakedown off New England and in the Caribbean Sea, Stingray entered Portsmouth Navy Yard for alterations and upon completion on 14 January 1939, departed for a cruise in Caribbean waters. After briefly stopping at New London, Connecticut, on 20 April the submarine transited the Panama Canal and arrived at San Diego, California, on 11 May for a rigorous schedule of training and maneuvers as a unit of Submarine Squadron 6. She put to sea on 1 April 1940 for fleet exercises in the Hawaiian area, followed by overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard at Vallejo, California. Upon completion, Stingray returned to the Hawaiian area, where she remained until joining the Asiatic Fleet at Cavite, Philippine Islands, on 23 October 1941.

New England Region of the United States

New England is a geographical and cultural region composed of six states of the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and north, respectively. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston with nearly a third of the entire region's population, which also includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.

Caribbean Sea A sea of the Atlantic Ocean bounded by North, Central, and South America

The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by the north coast of South America.

New London, Connecticut City in New London, Connecticut

New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States, located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut. It was one of the world's three busiest whaling ports for several decades beginning in the early 19th century, along with Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture. The city subsequently became home to other shipping and manufacturing industries, but it has gradually lost most of its industrial heart.

First and Second War Patrols

Stingray was at Manila on 7 December during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and immediately put to sea on her first war patrol. Patrolling in Lingayen Gulf, the submarine witnessed the Japanese invasion of Lingayen, but due to material deficiencies in the submarine, she was unable to attack. She terminated her first war patrol at Manila on 24 December.

Manila Capital / Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949. Manila, alongside Mexico and Madrid are considered the world's original set of Global Cities due to Manila's commercial networks being the first to traverse the Pacific Ocean, thus connecting Spanish Asia with the Spanish Americas, marking the first time in world history when an uninterrupted chain of trade routes circled the planet. Manila has been damaged by and rebuilt from wars more times than the famed city of Troy and it is also the second most natural disaster afflicted capital city in the world next to Tokyo yet it is simultaneously among the most populous and most wealthy cities in Southeast Asia.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

The attack on Pearl Harbor, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.

Lingayen Gulf extension of the South China Sea on Luzon in the Philippines

The Lingayen Gulf is a large gulf on northwestern Luzon in the Philippines, stretching 56 km (35 mi). It is framed by the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union and sits between the Zambales Mountains and the Cordillera Central. The Agno River drains into Lingayen Gulf.

Following repairs, Stingray got underway on her second war patrol on 30 December. While in Sama Bay on 10 January 1942, she torpedoed and sank her initial victim of the war, the transport Harbin Maru. The submarine then patrolled in Davao Gulf through 8 February without any contacts and put into Surabaja, Java, on 12 February. As the Japanese closed upon that Dutch base, she quickly got underway for Fremantle, Western Australia, arriving on 3 March.

Sanya Prefecture-level city in Hainan, Peoples Republic of China

Sanya is the southernmost city on Hainan Island, and one of the four prefecture-level cities of Hainan Province, in Southeast China.

Torpedo self-propelled underwater weapon

A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.

Davao Gulf bay

Davao Gulf is a gulf situated in the southeastern portion of Mindanao in the Philippines. It has an area of 308,000 hectares. Davao Gulf cuts into the island of Mindanao from Philippine Sea. It is surrounded by all five provinces in the Davao Region. The largest island in the gulf is Samal Island. Davao City, on the gulf's west coast, is the largest and busiest port on the gulf. The Bagobo, a tribe known in Davao, are living in the Davao Gulf. With the thrust of Davao City towards Information Technology and IT-Enabled Services (ITES), Davao City and the Davao Gulf area have also earned the moniker Silicon Gulf.

Third and Fourth War Patrols

Stingray departed Fremantle on 16 March for her third war patrol, conducted in the Celebes Sea and Java Sea. The only worthwhile target encountered during this patrol was a Japanese destroyer cruising just off Makassar City Celebes. Although the submarine fired three torpedoes at the enemy, all were misses. Stingray returned to Fremantle on 2 May.

Celebes Sea A marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean between the Sulu Archipelago, Mindanao Island, the Sangihe Islands, Sulawesi and Kalimantan

The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi's Minahassa Peninsula, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia. It extends 420 miles (675 km) north-south by 520 mi (840 km) east-west and has a total surface area of 110,000 square miles (280,000 km2), to a maximum depth of 20,300 feet (6,200 m). The sea opens southwest through the Makassar Strait into the Java Sea.

Java Sea A marginal sea located between Java and Kalimantan, in Indonesia

The Java Sea is an extensive shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south, Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east. Karimata Strait to its northwest links it to the South China Sea.

Destroyer Type of warship

In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.

For her fourth war patrol, Stingray got underway on 27 May and headed for Davao Gulf, and then on to Guam. On the afternoon of 28 June, the submarine sighted two ships with escort, and quickly began to close the range. She fired four torpedoes at the first ship, and the resultant explosion quickly sank the converted gunboat Saikyo Maru. The submarine continued patrol in the vicinity of Guam until 15 July, when she returned to Pearl Harbor for overhaul. During that overhaul, she was fitted with two external torpedo tubes, just below deck level forward.

Guam Island territory of the United States of America

Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the easternmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands. The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia and Philippines and Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.

Torpedo tube Device for launching torpedoes

A torpedo tube is a cylinder shaped device for launching torpedoes.

Fifth through Seventh War Patrols

Although Stingray’s fifth war patrol, in the vicinity of the Solomon Islands, and sixth war patrol, conducted in the Marshall Islands, were unproductive, during the seventh, the submarine torpedoed and sank the cargo ship Tamon Maru.

Eighth and Ninth War Patrols

For her eighth war patrol, Stingray got underway from Pearl Harbor on 12 June 1943, and set course for the Caroline Islands. Her only contact during this patrol was a high-speed northbound convoy that she was unable to close on. The submarine returned to Brisbane, Australia, from a disappointing patrol on 31 July.

On 23 August, Stingray departed Brisbane for her ninth war patrol, conducted en route to Pearl Harbor. After being slightly damaged by four bombs mistakenly dropped by a friendly plane, the submarine was forced to surface and repair the damage. She then patrolled in the Admiralty Islands without making a single contact and terminated her ninth patrol at Pearl Harbor on 10 October, continuing on to Mare Island Navy Yard for shipyard overhaul.

Tenth War Patrol

Following return to Pearl Harbor, Stingray got underway on 10 March 1944 for her tenth war patrol conducted in the Mariana Islands. On 30 March, she slipped past three escorts to gain attack position on two cargo ships, and fired four torpedoes at the lead ship. One torpedo hit amidships and stopped the enemy dead in the water. Stingray then fired four more torpedoes at the damaged cargo ship that quickly sent Ikushima Maru to the bottom.

On the afternoon of 8 April, while patrolling north of the Marianas, Stingray bounced off a large submerged object at a depth of 52 feet (16 m), lifting the submarine three or four feet (1 to 1.2 m). Inasmuch as the submarine was in the middle of the ocean, with her charts showing over 2,000 fathoms (12,000 ft; 3,700 m) of water, the first thoughts of the commanding officer concerned what new type of antisubmarine measure the enemy was using. Stingray then took precautionary soundings and found no bottom at 2,000 fathoms. Unable to determine what she had collided with, the submarine continued patrol.

During the early morning darkness of 13 April, Stingray’s lookouts sighted the approach of a broaching torpedo. She made a sharp turn to port as the torpedo passed 100 feet (30 m) ahead. Two seconds later, a second torpedo just missed as it ran down her starboard side. She searched the area for her attacker without success and returned to Pearl Harbor on 22 April.

Eleventh through Sixteenth War Patrols and Fate

Stingray spent her eleventh war patrol on lifeguard station for air strikes on Guam. On 11 June the submarine rescued a downed Navy aviator and the following day pulled two more airmen from the water. On 13 June, Stingray received word that a Navy airman was down approximately 500 yards (460 m) offshore. With shells exploding on either side of the submarine, she made four submerged approaches until the pilot was finally able to grab one of the submarine's periscopes and was towed safely clear of the island and taken on board. On 18 June, Stingray experienced a fire in her superstructure near the conning tower hatch. After extinguishing the fire several times only to have it flare up again, the trouble was finally located, and the submarine continued patrol. She returned to Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 10 July.

For her twelfth war patrol, Stingray carried out a special mission, landing fifteen Filipino officers and men and six tons of supplies on the northeastern coast of Luzon. On the way back to Port Darwin, Australia, on 18 August, she picked up four Japanese sailors from a cruiser sunk earlier in the day by the submarine Hardhead (SS-365). Stingray reached Port Darwin on 7 September.

Stingray was underway again three days later for her thirteenth war patrol, spent on a special mission to look over possible landing beaches at Marjoe Island. She returned to Port Darwin on 19 September.

Stingray carried out two special missions in the Philippine Islands during her fourteenth and fifteenth war patrols; and, on 11 January 1945, she put to sea on her sixteenth and final war patrol. Four special missions in the Celebes area were carried out during this patrol. Landing parties were put ashore on Nipanipa Peninsula, Celebes; Kagean Island; Pare Pare Bay, Celebes; and another at Nipanipa Peninsula. She returned to Fremantle, Western Australia, on 23 February and then headed back to the United States arriving at New London, Connecticut, on 29 April. She operated there until decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 October 1945. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 July 1946 and sold for scrap the following year.

Stingray (SS-186) received twelve battle stars for World War II service. She holds the record for most war patrols—16—of any American submarine.

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 269. ISBN   0-313-26202-0.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  4. U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 202–204