USS Razorback (SS-394)- Post War Service (1946-1952)
After the formal surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, Razorback returned to America, arriving in San Diego on 20 September 1945. By the end of the year, she was back at sea, arriving in Pearl Harbor on 05 January 1946 for a general overhaul which lasted until 22 April. The following modifications were performed during this overhaul:
- Installed a Mk IV TDC (Torpedo Data Computer)
- Installed a Mk II TBT (Target Bearing Transmitter)
- Installed a MK 7, Mod 1 DRT (Dead Reckoning Tracer) in the Control Room
- Installed an SV air search radar
- Installed an AN/SPR-1 Radar Receiver
- Installed an SCR-624-A VHF Radio
- Installed a JT Sonar
- Installation of a NGA Fathometer
- Installation of a fixed dome on the QB sonar spherical sound dome
- Installation of two 5"/25 caliber Mark 40 wet type guns
- Installation of two 40mm mounts
- Installation of associated gun and ammunition storage
- Installed permanent propeller and stern plane guards
- Modified the general alarm system
- Modified the diving alarm system
- Modified the submarine control announcing system
- Modified the heat exchanger in the fresh water distiller
First "Simulated War Patrol"
After the overhaul, Razorback remained at the Submarine Base in Pearl Harbor through the rest of April. Razorback and her crew also underwent eight days of training, including two days of target approaches, but no torpedoes were fired (probably a reflection of postwar budget realities). She then departed Pearl Harbor on 13 May 1946 for what was called a "Simulated War Patrol".
During this patrol, Razorback took photographs of Johnson Island and made an extensive photographic and periscope reconnaissance of Nauru Island. She also took soundings around Nauru Island, in order to update navigational charts (which were based on a 1921 Australian survey). Her patrol ended on 02 June 1946 in Guam.
Read Razorback's Patrol Report for her First "Simulated War Patrol" here. (9MB Adobe PDF file)
On 23 June 1947, Razorback entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for an overhaul. The following major alterations were performed:
- Installation of a WFA-1 Sonar
- Installation of an SS Radar
- Installation of a Mk18 Mod 1 Auxiliary Gyroscope
- Rearrangement of both the Conning Tower and the Control Room
- Rearrangement of 5" ammunition stowage space (reflecting the postwar shift away from submarine guns and, therefore a reduced allowance of ammunition)
Second "Simulated War Patrol"
Following the overhaul, Razorback departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor, HI, arriving on 05 November. After having other work done, Razorback and her crew underwent two weeks of pre-patrol training, firing four practice torpedoes and holding three gunnery exercises. On 28 November 1947, she departed Pearl Harbor on a wide ranging cruise, traveling to:
- Canton Island
- Sydney, Australia
- Tsingtao, China
The stop at Canton Island was an unscheduled stop. On 02 December, MoMM2 (Motor Machinist's Mate Second Class) E.B. Zeller, Jr complained of severe abdominal pain. The Duty Corpsman, Pharmacist's Mate Second Class L.C. Jones diagnosed a case of appendicitis. COMSUBPAC was contacted, and Razorback requested that a plane and doctor be sent to rendezvous at Canton Island. COMSUBPAC agreed, and a plane brought a Dr. Vogel to Canton Island. After examining MoMM2 Zeller, Dr. Vogel had the petty officer transported back to Pearl Harbor.
Razorback arrived at Sydney Harbor on 15 December. The boat was open to visitors from 1300 to 1600 each day, and "a capacity crowd was present each day, despite the fact that it rained almost continually." (Just proves that Razorback has always been a crowd pleaser. Upon her departure, the patrol report also noted that, "All hands considered Sydney an excellent liberty port."
Razorback departed Sydney on 19 December. On Christmas Eve, the Razorback Choir, under the direction of "Mastro" LT A.W. Gillis, entertained the crew with Christmas Carols over the 1MC. A photo reconnaissance of Yap Island was attempted, but the sky was too overcast to permit taking pictures, so Razorback headed for Okinawa, arriving on 05 January 1948. Four days of ASW exercises were held, with Razorback playing the roll of hunted, a part she would play over and over again for many years.
After the exercises, there was a short time ashore, during which a softball game between the officers and crew was held. Crew defeated the Officer's team 9-8, and Razorback headed for Tsingtao, China that afternoon.
Razorback rendezvoused with USS Charles P. Cecil (DD 835) in the area of Chalin Tao Island (about 30 miles southeast of Tsingtao) on 13 January and conducted a series of ASW exercises with her. The next day, a series of exercises with USS Begor were cancelled due to the poor weather. Exercises on the 15 were also cut short. The Patrol Report noted that, "...the weather in general very unpleasant."
Razorback moored at Tsingtao, China from 16-18 January, then conducted a series of exercises, including ASW exercises as well as attack exercises, almost every day for the next month. Razorback also had the opportunity to fire five exercise torpedoes, all of which were recovered and returned to Razorback for re-use. The only interruption was when a case of measles was diagnosed. The infected man was isolated in the forward torpedo room until he could be transferred to the hospital ship USS Repose (AH 16) the next day. Razorback finally left Tsingtao on 15 February for Midway and then Pearl Harbor, arriving on February 28 after steaming 16,985 miles since her departure.
Read Razorback's Patrol Report for her Second "Simulated War Patrol" here. (20MB Adobe PDF file)
Third "Simulated War Patrol"
On 19 July 1949, Razorback departed Pearl Harbor on 19 July 1949 for her Third "Simulated War Patrol". Upon arriving at Guam, Razorback provided ASW target services for both US Navy aircraft and surface ships. Two practice torpedoes were fired at USS Hewell (AKL 14) and both torpedoes were hits. Her stay in Guam was cut short so that Razorback could travel to Yokosuka, Japan to provide ASW target services for the destroyers of DESRON Five as well as for various air units.
For the next month, Razorback conducted exercises daily during the week, with short weekend stays in Yokosuka for liberty. On 19 August, Razorback made a successful approach and simulated attack on USS Manchester (CL 83), even though she was protected by eight destroyers and a Sunderland seaplane. At the end of August, Razorback shifted to Subic Bay, Philippines, to provide ASW target services for the vessels of DESDIV 32. Razorback also conducted ASW training with British units in the Yokosuka area.
According to the Patrol Report, "DESDIV 32 had gone through considerable ASW training and was ready for advanced work." Despite this, just after her arrival, Razorback was able to slip past four DESDIV 32 destroyers, make an approach on USS St. Paul (CA 73), and simulate launching 10 torpedoes at the cruiser! After nearly a month in the Philippines, Razorback left for a scheduled four day stop in Hong Kong for liberty and recreation.
Unfortunately, the visit had to be cut short due to the approach of Typhoon Omelia, and Razorback departed for Pearl Harbor on 06 October. After a short stop at Midway, Razorback arrived back at Pearl Harbor on 21 October having steamed 16,440 miles.
During this patrol, the Razorback basketball team ran up a string of seven consecutive victories over various opponents in the Western Pacific, mostly against teams from destroyers. (Apparently, the basketball court was taken out during the GUPPY conversion.)
Read Razorback's Patrol Report for her Third "Simulated War Patrol" here. (15MB Adobe PDF File)
Read a copy of the Menu for the 1949 Christmas Party, including a complete list of all officers and crew
Fourth Simulated War Patrol
1951 Found Razorback on the East Coast, operating out of Norfolk, VA. On 30 April 1951, she departed Norfolk and began operating in an operating area in the Atlantic known as "Convex II". For the first several days, Razorback found many merchant ships, and was the target of frequent searches by aircraft, but managed to evade all her potential aerial hunters.
Finally, on the 6th, Razorback located two destroyers, but was unable to press the attack. A P2V Neptune scored first on the 7th after surprising Razorback on the surface and conducting a successful simulated attack. It turned out that the aircraft was not attacking Razorback's periscope, but a fisherman's float marker. Nevertheless, Razorback reported herself "Out of Action" in accordance with the exercise rules. Just before returning to duty, Razorback was attacked a second time by a P2V Neptune and put out of action again.
Razorback turned the tables on the 11th. She penetrated the destroyer screen around USS Palau (CVE 122) and simulated firing six torpedoes. She was able to avoid the hunting destroyers for two hours, but was finally located and successfully attacked by USS Johnson (DD 821). She then spent the remainder of the exercise unsuccessfuly searching for another group to attack, but while successfully avoiding attack by any other aircraft.