The USS Gato (SS-212) was a class of attack ships named after the Gato catshark, which is a shark found off of the west coast of Mexico.  She was a diesel-electric submarine, powered by 4 – V16 diesel engines supplied by General Motors.  As was common at the time for diesel-electric submarines, the naval ship had to occasionally surface to recharge its batteries and take on oxygen.  The Gato could officially dive to depths of 300 feet as the hull technology wasn’t to the point to safely dive further.

She launched August 21, 1941 and commissioned in February 1943 as the lead ship of the large Gato class of submarine in the United States Navy.  During WW2, there were a total of 77 Gato-class subs and Balao-class submarines that were used heavily.

The Gato-class subs were significantly improved over the T-class with the addition of forwarding torpedo tubes and improved endurance, which was critical while traveling across the Pacific Ocean.     The range of the SS-212 was approximately 11,000 nautical miles while on the surface which allowed it to stay on patrol for 70-80 days.

Her first wartime patrol began in April 1942, leaving from Pearl Harbor to the Marshall Islands.  June 1943 where the Gato was involved in Battle of Midway, along with patrols around Truk and the Solomon Islands. In the Solomons, Gato supported coast watchers and intelligence services, making several landings to deliver supplies and personnel.

The Gato recorded sinking five enemy ships, awarded with 13 Battle Stars during and received the Presidential Unit of Citation.

July 25, 1960, the SS-212 was sold for scrap.

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Launched: Builder: Sponsor: Commissioned: First Captain: Stricken/Lost:
8/21/41 Electric Boat Mrs.R.E. Ingersoll 12/31/41 CDR William G. Myers Scrapped 1960
Patrols
No: Captain: From: Date: Duration: Score (WT): JANAC Return:
1 William G. Myers Pearl Harbor 4/42 51 0/0 0/0 Pearl Harbor
2 William G. Myers Pearl Harbor 7/42 50 1/9,300 0/0 Pearl Harbor
3 Robert J. Foley Pearl Harbor 11/42 48 0/0 0/0 Brisbane
4 Robert J. Foley Brisbane 1/43 44 4/27,600 3-½/11,500 Brisbane
5 Robert J. Foley Brisbane 3/43 72 0/0 0/0 Pearl Harbor
6 Robert J. Foley Pearl Harbor 9/43 50 0/0 0/0 Brisbane
7 Robert J. Foley Brisbane 11/43 54 3/21,100 2/8,544 Brisbane
8 Robert J. Foley Brisbane 2/44 60 3/17,300 2/6,070 Pearl Harbor
9 Richard M. Farrell Pearl Harbor 4/44 48 0/0 0/0 Pearl Harbor
10 Richard M. Farrell Pearl Harbor 7/44 49 0/0 0/0 Pearl Harbor
11 Richard M. Farrell Pearl Harbor 1/45 45 2/4,700 2/3,125 Pearl Harbor
12 Richard Holden Pearl Harbor 4/45 52 0/0 0/0 Pearl Harbor
13 Richard Holden Pearl Harbor 7/45 61 1/800 0/0 Pearl Harbor

 

Recommended Reading & Watching:

 

USS Gato Memorabilia: