USS Rasher (SS-269) - Vietnam War Service

Vietnam War Service

Rasher was reclassified as an auxiliary submarine, AGSS-269, on 1 July 1960, with conversion being accomplished at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Involved in maintaining fleet readiness until mid-August 1962 when she deployed to WestPac, Rasher continued to exhibit her usual high standards of performance. She returned to San Diego on 15 February 1963, and was overhauled that summer.

During the next year, AGSS-269 was engaged in strike exercises involving other American and Canadian ships. Her next deployment, beginning on 3 August 1964, involved support of 7th Fleet operations off Vietnam, as well as ASW exercises with SEATO allies.

After returning to San Diego on 5 February 1965, she had ASW and amphibious training. Her next WestPac deployment, from 3 January to 17 July 1966, included amphibious and ASW training support for Republic of Korea, Nationalist Chinese, and Thai units, as well as operations with the 7th Fleet off Vietnam.

Rasher spent the remainder of her commissioned career providing training services off the coast of California to UDT and ASW units. She was decommissioned 27 May 1967, and later was reclassified "unclassified miscellaneous submarine" IXSS-269, was towed to Portland, Oreg., where she served as a training submarine for Naval reservists until struck from the Navy List, 20 December 1971.

Rasher was credited with sinking 99,901 tons of Japanese shipping, the second highest total for US submarines in World War II. However, a Japanese destroyer credited as sunk by sister ship USS Flasher (SS-249) is given a name that never existed and may have been a case of mistaken identity. If the tonnage credited for this ship is removed from the record of Flasher, then "Rasher" becomes the highest scoring US submarine for tonnage. (Tambor has the highest total in credited sunk hulls.) She was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding performance in combat during World War II patrols 1, 3, 4, and 5. She received seven battle stars in World War II service, and two battle stars for service off Vietnam.

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