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.

History for the SS-212, U.S.S. Gato

Launched:Builder:Sponsor:Commissioned:First Captain:Stricken/Lost:
8/21/41Electric BoatMrs.R.E. Ingersoll12/31/41CDR William G. MyersScrapped 1960
Patrols
No:Captain:From:Date:Duration:Score (WT):JANACReturn:
1William G. MyersPearl Harbor4/42510/00/0Pearl Harbor
2William G. MyersPearl Harbor7/42501/9,3000/0Pearl Harbor
3Robert J. FoleyPearl Harbor11/42480/00/0Brisbane
4Robert J. FoleyBrisbane1/43444/27,6003-½/11,500Brisbane
5Robert J. FoleyBrisbane3/43720/00/0Pearl Harbor
6Robert J. FoleyPearl Harbor9/43500/00/0Brisbane
7Robert J. FoleyBrisbane11/43543/21,1002/8,544Brisbane
8Robert J. FoleyBrisbane2/44603/17,3002/6,070Pearl Harbor
9Richard M. FarrellPearl Harbor4/44480/00/0Pearl Harbor
10Richard M. FarrellPearl Harbor7/44490/00/0Pearl Harbor
11Richard M. FarrellPearl Harbor1/45452/4,7002/3,125Pearl Harbor
12Richard HoldenPearl Harbor4/45520/00/0Pearl Harbor
13Richard HoldenPearl Harbor7/45611/8000/0Pearl Harbor

 

Recommended Reading & Watching:

 

USS Gato Memorabilia: