Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division • Washington

USS Burrfish (SS-312)

The burrfish is a swellfish of the Atlantic coast.

(SS-312: dp. 1520, l. 311'8", b. 27'3", dr. 16'10", s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 66; a. 1 5", 10 21" tt.; cl. Balao)


Burrfish (SS-312) was launched 18 June 1043 by Portsmouth Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. Jane Elizabeth Davis, daughter of the Senator from Pennsylvania; and commissioned 14 September 1943, Commander W.B. Perkins in command.

Burrfish's war operations extended from 2 February 1 to 13 May 1945 during which period she completed six war patrols, sinking one 5,894-ton Japanese tanker. Her operating area extended from the Western Caroline islands to Formosa and the waters south of Japan. Burrfish also participated with Ronquil (SS-396) in the destruction of a 200-ton patrol vessel. During her third war patrol the ship accomplished several special missions, conducting reconnaissance of the beaches of Palau and Yap where landings were planned.

Burrfish arrived at Pearl Harbor from her last war patrol 18 May 1945. On 16 May she was ordered to return to the, United States for major overhaul and arrived at Portsmouth Navy Yard 19 June. On 12 October 1945 she reported to New London, Conn., for inactivation and was placed out of commission in reserve 10 October 1946.

On 2 November 1948 Burrfish was recommissioned and assigned to Portsmouth Navy Shipyard for conversion to a radar picket submarine. Her designation was changed to SSR-812 on 27 January l949 and her conversion was completed in November 1949.

Burrfish returned to duty with the active fleet 7 February 1950 and was assigned to Submarine Squadron 6 at Norfolk. Between February 1950 and June 1956 she completed three tours with the 6h Fleet in the Mediterranean; participated in several mayor type and inter-type exercises; anti operated along the eastern seaboard as a radar picket ship.

On 5 June 1956 Burrfish sailed from Norfolk to New London where she reported for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve 17 December 1956.

Burrfish received five battle stars for her World War II service.


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation