This silent home movies date from WWII and the immediate post-WWII era, and show the Gato submarines USS Croaker and USS Tunny operating off Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and in the Pacific. The USS Sterlet, SS-392 is also seen around the 1:30 mark in a GUPPY conversion configuration. Footage includes at 2:00, Croaker returning from combat patrol and tying up dockside at Pearl Harbor, with full crew on deck. At the 3:15 mark forward is a segment that appears to show transfer of crew from one submarine to another. It's been suggested that this is a prisoner-of-war swap at sea, and the people involved appear to be civilians, but we've been unable do document precisely what's shown.
The USS Tunny (SS/SSG/APSS/LPSS-282) was a Gato-class submarine which saw service in World War II and in the Vietnam War. Tunny received nine battle stars and two Presidential Unit Citations for her World War II service and five battle stars for her operations during the Vietnam War
USS Croaker (SS/SSK/AGSS/IXSS-246), a Gato-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the croaker, any of various fishes which make throbbing or drumming noises. Croaker arrived at Pearl Harbor from New London on 26 June 1944, and on 19 July put to sea on her first war patrol, sailing to the East China and Yellow Seas. In a series of brilliantly successful attacks which won her the Navy Unit Commendation, she sank the cruiser Nagara on 7 August, and two freighters, one on 14 August and one on 17 August. During this patrol, she served as lifeguard during air strikes on the Bonin Islands. She refitted at Midway Atoll from 31 August to 23 September, when she sailed in a coordinated attack group for the same area on her second war patrol. Again successful, she sank a freighter on 9 October, and another on 23 October. She shadowed a convoy on 24 October, and sank one freighter and damaged another with her last torpedo. Tubes empty, she returned to Midway to fuel, and pushed on to Pearl Harbor, arriving for refit on 10 November.
Croaker 's third war patrol, in the Luzon Straits and South China Sea from 13 December 1944 to 12 February 1945, found her making no contacts with enemy shipping, but providing essential lifeguard service during strikes on Luzon preparatory to the invasion landings in Lingayen Gulf. She refitted at Fremantle, Australia, and on 12 March sailed for a patrol off the coast of Indo-China twice interrupted by the need to return to Australia for repairs. She refitted at Subic Bay, Philippines from 22 April to 15 May, then sailed for her fifth war patrol, in the Java Sea. On 30 May, she attacked a convoy of three small oilers guarded by an escort, with unconfirmed results, and on 5 June returned to Fremantle. Her final war patrol — from 1 July to 13 August — found her assigned to lifeguard duties in the South China Sea and off Hong Kong as the final series of air attacks on Japan were carried out.
Returning to Subic Bay, Croaker sailed for Saipan and continued on to Galveston, Tex., and New London, where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 15 May 1946 in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
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