USS Scamp (SS-277) - Seventh War Patrol

Seventh War Patrol

Scamp spent her seventh war patrol searching the shipping lanes between New Guinea, Palau, and Mindanao in the Philippines. She exited Milne Bay on 3 March 1944 and, after uneventful patrolling, put in at Langemak Bay, from 29 March to 31 March, for repairs to her torpedo data computer. Following her resumption of patrol, she battle surfaced on 4 April and set fire to a 200 ton trawler, but broke off the action when her deck gun failed.

Three days later, south of Davao Gulf, she encountered six cruisers escorted by destroyers and planes. She dived and the destroyers passed overhead without noticing her presence a scant 10 feet (3.0 m) below the surface. She returned to the surface at 1405 but was forced down by a plane. A little later, she tried to surface again but was attacked by a diving float plane. As she crash dived to escape the enemy plane, an aerial bomb exploded. All hands were knocked off their feet by the explosion and all power was lost. Scamp began to take an up angle and started to settle rapidly. At just below 300 feet (91 m), she began to hang on, then started up. The diving officer reported that the hydraulic controller had been jarred to "off" in the attack and that the hydraulic plant started closing all the main vents as fire started filling the maneuvering and after torpedo rooms with a thick, toxic smoke.

Fortunately, the sub caught at 5 feet (1.5 m), the decision having been made to surface and slug it out with the deck gun if she could not be held below 5 feet (1.5 m). Scamp started down again, "see sawed" three times, and started down a third time before power was regained. Soon the submarine was making two thirds speed on each shaft and had levelled off at 15 feet (4.6 m). She released oil and air bubbles to appear to have sunk and then headed for the Admiralty Islands. At 21:03, she surfaced and, with a 17 degree list, made for Seeadler Harbor, Manus, where she arrived on 16 April 1944.

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