Serial 08   Care of Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California,
3 January 1945,
Report of Fifth War Patrol

From: The Commander Submarine Squadron EIGHTEEN.
To: The Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET
Via: (1) The Commander Submarines, SEVENTH FLEET.
(2) The Commander SEVENTH FLEET.
Subject: U.S.S. FLASHER (SS249) - Report of Fifth War Patrol.

  1. The fifth war patrol of the Flasher was conducted in the SOUTH CHINA SEA, in areas west of LUZON and adjacent to the FRENCH INDO-CHINA Coast. Flasher participated in two wolf packs, one with Hawkbill and Becuna, the other composed of Hoe, Becuna, Dace and Paddle.

  2. This patrol was of 49 days duration, 34 of which were spent in the assigned areas. It is significant that only one full day was spent submerged. This resulted in excellent area coverage and presented the advantage of Flasher being in the right place at the right time for the subsequent attacks which took place.

  3. Attack No. 1. Acting on a contact report received from Hawkbill on 4 December the Flasher was able to develop the first attack upon a DD which was part of a convoy composed of an AO, a net tender and several smaller escorts. Four torpedoes were fired at the DD from a range of 1650 yards on approximately 90° track angles to obtain two hits in the vicinity of the engine room spaces.

    Attack No. 2. Immediately after disposing of the DD the Flasher then brought the stern rubes to bear and two torpedoes were fired at the AO from 1900 yards on about 65° track angles both of which hit and caused it to catch fire. At this time the escorts took charge and Flasher was subjected to a very thorough depth charging.

    Attack No. 3. Upon regaining periscope depth FlasherFlasher was given a very thorough working over which she successfully rode out and evaded.

    Attack No. 4. Undaunted by counterattacks Flasher surfaced in the late afternoon and observed the AO to be still burning and in an awash condition. At dark the submarine closed in for the fill and fired one torpedo from 600 yards on 90° track angle to dispose of this menace to navigation which had withstood the attacks previously described.

    Attack No. 5. On the morning of 21 December Flasher contacted a convoy of five AO's escorted by one DD and three patrol craft which she chased and tracked until the early morning of 22 December. Taking advantage of the lackadaisical tactics of the DD escort the Flasher attacked from the surface the two leading AO's of the column with three torpedoes each from the bow tubes at a range of 2200 yards on 115° t rack angles. Two hits were obtained on each ship which set them afire and caused them to blow up.

    Attack No. 6. This was the second phase of the preceeding attack when Flasher came about rapidly and fired four torpedoes from the stern tubes at the third AO of the column from 1900 yards range on 130° track angles to obtain two hits. After burning for some time it too blew up and disappeared. The engagement was broken off after a short period of evasion with the DD which apparently never sighted the submarine.

  4. With the exception of number three main engine the material condition was very good. She will be given a normal refit by U.S.S. Euryale and Submarine Division 182 Relief Crew.

  5. Cleanliness of the ship upon return from patrol was exceptional. The morale of the crew is very high.

  6. The Squadron Commander extends his heartiest congratulations to the Commanding Officer, officers and crew upon the results of this highly effective patrol and for adding to the already illustrious record of the Flasher. Since there was so much incendiary activity on the part of the enemy, it might be called the "Flaming Action" patrol.


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey