The Golet Goes to the Deep

Posted by Rebekah
Jun 17 2010

While Flier was attacking her convoy and having her stuffing pounded out of her, over two thousand miles away, another submarine saw her final day.

USS Golet was a Maitowoc boat and was built alongside the Redfin and  Robalo.  She launched just before Redfin and  Robalo were commissioned and shipped down the Mississippi.

On the day of her launch, she wore an unusual sign:  “This Fighting Ship sponsored and made possible by war bond purchases of the people of Shreveport.”   I know of no other ship or submarine that bore a sign like that during their launch.  I wonder if the people of Shreveport had a celebration of her when she passed through the city on her way to the Gulf.

This is the Shreveport sign Golet wore just before her launch

She arrived at Pearl Harbor for final training then left on 18 March 1944 for her first patrol near the Kurile Islands, the island chain connecting northern Japan with the Kamchatka penninsula of Russia. (Herring was sunk in this chain a few days prior).  It was foul weather there, and between the rain, the fog and ice, she never really had a chance to get many targets.  During the entire patrol she only saw one thing that was worth of a torpedo, but it never got close enough to Golet.

The Golet during her trials on Lake Michigan the fall of 1943

She returned to Midway Island where her Commanding Officer, Philip Ross, was replaced with James S. Clark.  She was sent to patrol near the northeastern shore of Honshu on 28 May 1944.  She was never heard from again.

On 26 July, 1944, she was considered “Overdue and Presumed Lost”, though her men were listed as MIA, not KIA, as was normal for this time.

Following the war, Japanese records revealed that on June 14, 1944, a Japanese ship attacked a suspected submarine in Golet’s patrol area, and the attack resulted in debris of cork, rafts and a large pool of oil.  This was considered proof of Golet’s demise.

Perhaps owing to her unusual town sponsor, the state of Louisiana was given the Golet as their memorial submarine.  Her memorial stood on a  military base until its recent closing, and the memorial’s re-dedication has been postponed until a suitible site has been secured.

The Memorial Site for USS Golet and her crew

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