On 3 April 2012, RADM William J. Holland, USN (Ret.), Vice President of the Naval Historical Foundation, presented a digital copy of hundreds of World War II Submarine War Patrol Reports to the Navy Department Library on behalf of retired EMC(SS) John Clear, USN. Accepting the donation was RDML Jay DeLoach, USN (Ret.), Director of Naval History. Over the past few years, thousands of pages of these reports, stored on approximately 250 microfilm rolls, were painstakingly digitized by Chief Clear and his team to create this comprehensive electronic archive.
Chief Clear had placed copies of this 5 DVD set in a number of Navy museums and repositories. With Admiral Holland’s help, a set of the DVD’s was acquired for the Navy Department Library, so that Washington, D.C. area researchers would have a convenient location at which to review these compelling reports.
To give you a taste of what is contained in these reports here is one submitted by USS Capitaine (SS 336), which you can download here:
The report on the sub’s 1945 war patrol in the Pacific features a number of interesting actions towards the end of June 1945. There are several accounts of surface engagements, including one where Capitaine “closed and sank target with 5 inch. Identified as an SCS-1 subchaser.” The report contains a wide variety of information, from ship contacts, fire control and torpedo data, to health and habitability summaries. Below you’ll find a particularly interesting page of the report, from 30 June 1945.
The patrol reports are also available online through the Historic Naval Ships Association, for those who prefer to download the files. Please be aware that many of the files are lengthy, and contain hundreds of pages.
Thomas E. Badham