I went aboard Sea Poacher in March 1945 in Midway. We made the last two war patrols, The third and fourth for the SS406.
My first patrol was to the North Pacific as they had issued us cold weather gear. As we proceeded north toward the Kuril Island area we sank a Jap trawler. A Jap sub chaser began to come after us and we had to get to deeper water and rig for silent running. They dropped several depth charges around and near the spot they thought we were. We felt the concussions but sustained no damage.
Later, we sent two fishing boats to the bottom in a surface attack. During this attack out twenty milimeter gun blew up and injured three crew members who were manning the five inch gun. Two were seriously wounded and the third had a gash on his arm. We kidded him about receiving the Purple Heart for someting a band-aid would cover. The two more seriously injured crew members lived through the ordeal. Due to that we had to cut our patrol short and return to Midway.
After R&R and repairs we got underway on my second patrol. We stopped at Guam and Saipan and then headed north to the east coast of Honshu and Hokkaido. We sank many trawlers, one of which turned out to be a man-o-war as when it was hit she blew sky high. We also sank several mines and shelled two radio stations. While running between "Big Rocks" close to shore we could see chickens flying and trains running on tracks. We talked about a shore party but the captain said "no". Our radar picked up a plane coming in our direction so we had to dive and get into deep water.
We continued our patrol with a stop in Midway to pick up some Jap prisoners and went to Pearl Harbor for R&R and an overhaul. While in Pearl, the war ended.
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