Allied Warships

Atule (SS-403)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Atule as completed.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant403 
Built byPortsmouth Navy Yard (Kittery, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered8 Jun 1942 
Laid down25 Nov 1943 
Launched6 Mar 1944 
Commissioned21 Jun 1944 
End service6 Apr 1970 
History

Decommissioned 8 September 1947.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Recommissioned 8 March 1951.
Decommissioned 6 April 1970.
Stricken 15 August 1973.
Transferred to Peru in July 1974 being renamed Pacocha (S 48).

 

Commands listed for USS Atule (403)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. John Howard Maurer, USN21 Jun 19448 Sep 1947

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Atule include:


The history of USS Atule as compiled on this page is extracted from her patrol reports.

This page was last updated in September 2016.

23 Jul 1944
Having completed work-up and trials in the Portsmouth area, USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN), arrived at Newport, Rhode Island for torpedo trials.

26 Jul 1944
With her torpedo trials completed, USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN), arrived at New London, Connecticut to continue her training programme.

3 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) is put on the slipway at New London.

4 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) is put back in the water.

6 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed New London for Key West, Florida.

13 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Key West, Florida where she joined the Fleet Sound School.

14 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

15 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

16 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

19 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

21 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

22 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

23 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

24 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

25 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

26 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

28 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) conducted exercises off Key West.

29 Aug 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Key West for the Panama Canal Zone.

2 Sep 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived in the Panama Canal Zone.

5 Sep 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed the Panama Canal Zone for Pearl Harbour.

22 Sep 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour.

9 Oct 1944
With her final training and some modifications to the submarine completed, USS Atule, (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN), departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Philippines.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Atule during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

21 Oct 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Saipan for voyage repairs, fuel and provisions. She was escorted in by USS PGM-9.

22 Oct 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Saipan for her patrol area. She was escorted in out USS PGM-9.

1 Nov 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Asama Maru (16975 GRT, built 1929) in Luzon Strait, in position 20°09'N, 117°38'E.

Asama Maru was escorted by the Japanese torpedo boat Sagi and the minesweepers W-17 and W-18 (all offsite links).

(All times are zone -9)
0305 hours - In position 19°59'N, 117°25'E obtained radar contact bearing 225°, range 26000 yards. Started tracking.

0325 hours - Obtained radar contact on escort vessel.

0331 hours - Obtained radar contact on a second escort vessel.

0359 hours - Started attack, during the approach a third escort was sighted.

0432 hours - In position 20°09'N, 117°38'E commenced firing six torpedoes from 1850 yards. The target was a large passenger liner. Two torpedoes were seen to broach and then disappear.

0434 hours - A terrific explosion threw material three times the height of the targets masts. Range to one of the escorts was only 1200 yards. Decided to dive. When clearing the bridge a second torpedo hit the target. Atule dived to 450 feet.

0440 hours - 9 depth charges were dropped but they were not close.

0445 hours - Heard very loud and crackling breaking up noises on the bearing of the target.

0740 hours - Lost contact with the escorts.

20 Nov 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese minesweeper W-38 (648 tons, built 1944, offsite link) south-west of Formosa in position 21°21'N, 119°45'E.

(All times are zone -9)
0339 hours - In position 21°11'N, 119°44'E obtained radar contact bearing 115°, range 11750 yards. Started closing and commenced tracking.

0351 hours - All ahead flank. Battle stations.

0357 hours - Tracking indicated that the target was zig-zagging, course between 340° and 050°, base course 015°, speed 10 knots.

0508 hours - In position 21°21'N, 119°45'E fired four stern torpedoes from a range of 2540 yards.

0510 hours - The third torpedo hit the target forward of the stack with a terrific explosion. As the smoke cleared the target was visible with her bow settling fast. 2,5 minutes after being hit her stern rose in the air and she slid under.

0512 hours - Depth charges exploded. Closed the area but saw no survivors.

0603 hours - Cleared the area to the westward.

25 Nov 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) attacked Japanese convoy MATA-34. At 0125 hours, firing at overlapping targets, torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Manju Maru (7266 GRT, built 1925) and the escorting patrol boat Patrol boat No.38 (935 tons, built 1922) south-east Sabtang Island, Luzon in position 20°12'N, 121°51'E. Of the passengers in Manju maru, over 700 were killed in the sinking.

These ships were part of Japanese convoy MATA-34 consisting only of the above mentioned transport Manju Maru. She was escorted by the above mentioned Patrol boat no.38 as well as Patrol boat No.102 and submarine chaser Ch-33. They were en-route from Manila, Philippines to Takao, Formosa (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -9)
24 November 1944
2334 hours - In position 19°58'N, 121°41'E. got a radar contact bearing 145°, range 24450 yards. Started approach and began tracking.

Tracked the target on a steady course of 030°, speed 11 knots. Four targets were on the radar screen, three of them were the escorts.

25 November 1944
0050 hours - Battle stations torpedo.

0106 hours - Turned towards the target, range was 8000 yards.

0113 hours - The near escort was identified as a destroyer waited with firing the torpedoes until this destroyer overlapped with the transport.

0117 hours - In position 20°12'N, 121°51'E fired 6 torpedoes. Range to the escort was 1700 yards, to the transport 2800 yards.

0119/0122 hours - Obtained two hits on the destroyer and two on the transport. The destroyer exploded with a blast that shook Atule like a terrier shaking a rat. All that was left of her was oil burning on the water. The transport was dead in the water. Atule meanwhile started to clear the area.

0132 hours - The transport disappeared from the radar screen, range at that moment was 11000 yards.

0140 hours - Circled back to investigate, closed to 4500 yards but the transport was defenately gone. Cleared the area yet again.

27 Nov 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) claims the destruction of a Japanese transport ship anchored between Dequey and Ibuhos Islands, Philippines.

(All times are zone -9)
0225 hours - In position 20°20'N, 121°48'E. sighted an object between Dequey and Ibuhos Islands. Closed to investigate. Went to battle stations.

0245 hours - Identified the object as a ship at anchor. Closed the range to 2000 yards. The ship was identified as a transport of about 5000-7000 tons.

0359 hours - Fired four bow torpedoes. All hit. His port side was almost entirely blown away. The shi burned like a torch with frequent violent oil and ammunition explosions. Atule then started to clear the area.

28 Nov 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed her patrol area for Saipan.

2 Dec 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS PC-1126.

3 Dec 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Saipan for Majuro. She was escorted out by USS PC-1126.

11 Dec 1944
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Majuro. She was escorted in by USS SC-1364.

At Majuro she was refitted by Submarine Division 142 and USS Bushnell. Atule was also drydocked.

Training was undertaken during 28 December 1944 to 3 January 1945.

6 Jan 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed from Majuro for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Yellow Sea.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Atule during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

14 Jan 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS PC-1126.

15 Jan 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Saipan for her patrol area. She was escorted out by USS PC-1126.

24 Jan 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Daiman Maru No.1 (6888 GRT, built 1944) in the Yellow Sea in position 36°47'N, 123°59'E.

(All times are zone -9)
1500 hours - In position 36°47'N, 123°59'E sighted a merchant ship bearing 070°, range 21000 yards. Commenced tracking. Determined targets base course to be 264°, speed 8 knots.

1529 hours - At a range of 16000 yards dived to periscope depth and commenced submerged approach.

1658 hours - Fired four stern torpedoes from 720 yards. Watched two torpedoes hit the target. The target was a engines aft freighted and looked brand new (which was correct, she was on her maiden voyage). The crew started to abandon ship. Meanwhile took periscope pictures. The ship broke in half and the after part soon sank. Atule then surfaced to finish off the remainder of the target with gunfire but was fired upon by the enemy. Atule then fired a bow torpedo but the torpedo broached and missed. Atule then cleared the area and it was decided to return at night and then attack with the gun.

2055 hours - Closed the target and opened fire from 6000 yards but the gun malfuntioned due to ice. Dived at a range of 5000 yards. A torpedo was fired from 1000 yards and hit the target but it still did not sink immediately. When Atule cleared the area the targets bow was completely submerged.

27 Feb 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS LCI(L)-1063.

28 Feb 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Saipan for Midway. She was escorted in by USS YMS 292.

7 Mar 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Midway.

At Midway she was refitted by Submarine Division 322 and USS Pelias. Atule was also drydocked.

Training was undertaken during 24 March to 28 March 1945.

2 Apr 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed from Midway for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol south of Honshu, Japan and to perform lifeguard duties as well.

For the daily positions of USS Atule during this patrol see the map below.

11 Apr 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Guam. She was escorted in by USS Dempsey.

12 Apr 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Guam for her patrol area. She was escorted out by USS SC-1070.

5 May 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) picked up a Japanese naval observer from a crashed Japanese aircraft.

17 May 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed her patrol area for Pearl Harbour.

25 May 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Midway.

26 May 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed Midway for Pearl Harbour.

30 May 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

At Pearl Harbour she was refitted by Submarine Division 181 and the USS Euryale. Atule was also drydocked.

Training was undertaken during 23 June to 30 June 1945.

3 Jul 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol east of Honshu and Hokkaido and to perform lifeguard duties. She was escorted out by USS SC-1165.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Atule during this patrol see the map below.

15 Jul 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) arrived at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS SC-1046.

17 Jul 1945
With her voyage repairs completed, USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN), departed Saipan for her patrol area. She was escorted out by USS LCI(L)-1264.

13 Aug 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese frigate Kaibokan 6 (740 tons, built 1944) and torpedoed and damaged the Japanese frigate Kaibokan 16 (740 tons, built 1944) east of Hokkaido, Japan in position 42°12'N, 142°14'E (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -9)
12 August 1945
2315 hours - Obtained radar contact on what was thought to be two frigates seen this morning. They were cruising at 10 knots along the 100 fathom curve.

2350 hours - Battle stations torpedo.

13 August 1945
0008 hours - Commenced an end around from starboard bow to port quarter.

0043 hours - Readied all six bow tubes and two tubes aft and started in from 3650 yards. Was endeavouring to fire three torpedoes at each targetm, but the set-up was poor and pulled clear from 2700 yards and shut the outer torpedo doors. Opened out and ahead for another try.

0111 hours - Started our second try from 4500 yards. Had settled for a shot with four fish at the near target instead of a greedy shot at both. Lt.Cdr. J.B. Dudley, USN (PCO = Prospective Commanding Officer) then reported a nice overlap and suggested six torpedoes.

0115 hours - In position 42°12'N, 142°14'E fired six torpedoes from 2400 to 1850 yards. The targets were clearly visible. They were indeed our frigates from last morning.

0117 hours - A torpedo hit. The rear ship was hit. An orange flame, ammunition display and flying debris was sighted.

0120 hours - Two more torpedo hits on the nearer ship. These were followed by a terrific blast of her depth charges exploding.

0123 hours - The second target opened up with gunfire. Turned away to keep clear.

0129 hours - Gunfire ceased.

0130 hours - Commenced torpedo reload.

16 Aug 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) is ordered to return to Pearl Harbour via Midway.

21 Aug 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) made a short call at Midway before proceeding to Pearl Harbour.

25 Aug 1945
USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

Atule departed Pearl Harbour on 30 August 1945 to proceed to New London, Connecticut via the Panama Canal.

13 Nov 1946
German U-boat U-977 was interned at Mar del Plata, Argentina on 17 August 1945 after a 66-day submerged trip from Norway. The U-boat was handed over to the USA in Boston on 13 November 1945. She was torpedoed off Massachusetts on 13 November 1946 during torpedo trials by USS Atule (Cdr. J.H. Maurer, USN).

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


amazon.com
($ 59.71)

amazon.co.uk
(£ 56.95)

amazon.de
(EUR 61.99)

Return to the Allied Warships section