SS-214_Grouper -2

USS Grouper  SS-214


The USS Grouper launched the Attack on the Lisbon Maru.

`The "Lisbon Maru" was armed and carried Japanese troops as well as Prisoners of War. She bore no sign that she was a P.O.W. Ship. The American submarine was fully justified in sinking her, there has never been any criticism of the Americans for their action, only regret.


Gato Class Submarine:

  • Displacement: 1526 tons surfaced, 2424 tons submerged
  • Length: 311'
  • Beam: 27'3"
  • Draft: 16'10"
  • Speed: 20 knots surfaced, 9 knots submerged
  • Armament: 1 3"/50 or 1 4"/50 or 1 5"/50, 6 bow and 4 stern torpedo tubes, 24 21" torpedoes (loaded tubes plus reloads: 10 forward, 4 aft)
  • Complement: 80
  • Diesel engines, surfaced/electric motors, submerged
  • Built at Groton and commissioned 1942
  • Keel laid by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT 28 December 1940;
  • Launched 27 October1941; Sponsored by Mrs. Albert T. Church;
  • Commissioned 12 February1942; Lcdr. Claren E. Duke in command;
  • Decommissioned and striken 2 December 1968;


Attack on the Lisbon Maru

by the Americans

On the night of 30th September 1942, the U.S.S. "Grouper" (SS 214) of the 81st division of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force, was engaged in its second War Patrol in an area to the South of Shanghai. It was a bright moonlight night, and about 04:00 "Grouper" sighted about nine Sampans and a 7000 ton freighter, the "Lisbon Maru". Her Commanding decided that it was too bright for a surface attack, so he paced the target in order to determine her speed and course. "Grouper" then took up station ahead of the  "Lisbon Maru" waiting for daylight. During the course of this action "Grouper" passed within 4000 yards of two fishing vessels which were well lit.  At daylight, the "Lisbon Maru" altered course about 500. The "Grouper" was suprised, and so dived to start her under water attack. At 07:04 "Grouper" fired three torpedos at 3200 yards, her closest working range. None of which hit. The "Lisbon Maru" stayed on course, "Grouper" fired a fourth, and two minutes ten seconds later heard a loud explosion. "Grouper" came up to periscope depth and saw that the "Lisbon Maru" had veered about 500 to starboard and stopped. "Grouper" then lined up abeam to starboard of the "Maru" for a bow shot. "Grouper's Commander recorded "Target meanwhile hoisted flag resembling 'Baker', and was firing at us with what sounded like small-calibre gun. Sharp explosions all round us".

By Cyril Ramsey


Picture supplied by Geoff Coxon


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