Allied Warships

S-39 (SS-144)

Submarine of the S-1 class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS-1 
Pennant144 
Built byUnion Iron Works (San Francisco, California, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down14 Jan 1919 
Launched2 Jul 1919 
Commissioned14 Sep 1923 
Lost16 Aug 1942 
History

USS S-39 (Lt. Francis Elwood Brown, USN) was grounded on submerged rocks off Rossel Island, Coral Sea on 14 August 1942. On 16 August the crew was rescued by the Australian minsweeper HMAS Katoomba and taken to Townsville. S-39 was abandonded.

 

Commands listed for USS S-39 (144)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Earle Clifford Hawk, USN17 Jul 1937Jan 1940
2Lt. James Wiggins Coe, USNJan 194027 Mar 1942
3Lt. Francis Elwood Brown, USN27 Mar 194215 Aug 1942

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 S-39 include:


7 Dec 1941
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) was already on patrol off southern Luzon. She was ordered to shift her patrol area to the San Bernardino Strait.

21 Dec 1941
USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) ended her 1st war patrol at Manila Bay.

1 Jan 1942
On or around this date, USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) departed from Manila Bay for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol her way south and end the patrol at Surabaya, Java, Netherlands East Indies.

24 Jan 1942
USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) ended her 2nd war patrol at Surabaya.

15 Feb 1942
USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) departed from Surabaya for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea and Java Sea.

4 Mar 1942
USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fleet tanker Erimo (6500 GRT) south of Billiton Island in position 04°19'S, 108°25'E.

18 Mar 1942
USS S-39 (Lt. J.W. Coe) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle, Australia. Later she proceeded to Brisbane.

10 May 1942
USS S-39 (Lt. F.E. Brown) departed from Brisbane for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Solomons.

6 Jun 1942
On or around this date USS S-39 (Lt. F.E. Brown) ended her 4th war patrol at Brisbane.

8 Aug 1942

Combined convoy A 2 / B 2.

This convoy departed Caloundra on 8 August 1942.

It was made up of the following transports; Aldinga (Australian, 3078 GRT, built 1921), Balikpapan (Dutch, 1279 GRT, built 1938), Bontekoe (Dutch, 4668 GRT, built 1923), Fiona (Australian, 2198 GRT, built 1933), James Cook (Australian, 2142 GRT, built 1921), John G. Whittier (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Macumba (Australian, 2526 GRT, built 1919), Oliver Hazard Perry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Van Heemskerk (Dutch, 2996 GRT, built 1909) and Zebulon Pike (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On departure from Caloundra around 0300K/8, the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Stuart (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)).

HMAS Stuart and HMAS Goulburn parted company around 2200K/9, in the Capricorn Channel.

On 10 August the transport James Cook parted company with the convoy and entered Bowen.

The convoy then proceeded unescorted until 1710K/11 when near Townsville the destroyer HMAS Arunta (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and minesweeper HMAS Katoomba (Cdr. A.P. Cousin, RANR(S)) joined.

Three of the transports of the combined convoy parted company near Townsville and entered that port on the 11th, these were the Aldinga, Macumba and Oliver Hazard Perry. The Fiona also parted company with the convoy to proceed to Lucinda Point.

Around 1700K/13, the mineweeper HMAS Warrnambool (T/Lt. E.J. Barron, RANR(S)) joined the convoy coming from Port Moresby.

Around 1830K/13, Convoy B 2 split off bound for Port Moresby. This convoy was made up of the John G. Whittier and the Zebulon Pike escorted by HMAS Warrnambool. Convoy B 2 arrived at Port Moresby around 1400K/14.

Convoy A 2, made up of the transports Balikpapan, Bontekoe and Van Heemskerk meanwhile continued on towards Fall River (Milne Bay) still escorted by HMAS Arunta and HMAS Katoomba.

Around 1250K/14, HMAS Katoomba parted company to proceed to the assistance of the submarine S-39 (Lt. F.E. Brown, USN) which had grounded on a reef near Rossel Island.

Convoy A 2, escorted by HMAS Arunta arrived at Fall River, Milne Bay around 0920K/15.

10 Aug 1942
USS S-39 (Lt. F.E. Brown) departed from Brisbane for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Solomons.

Media links


The Last Patrol

Holmes, Harry


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


amazon.co.uk
(£ 56.95)

Return to the Allied Warships section



As an Amazon Associate uboat.net earns a commission from qualifying purchases.