Richard Henry Crane, USN

Born  31 Mar 1908
Died  3 Jan 1977(68)


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Ranks

4 Jun 1934 Lt. (j.g.)
1 Jul 1939 Lt.
15 Jun 1942 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Nov 1942 T/Cdr.

Decorations

Warship Commands listed for Richard Henry Crane, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS S-21 (126)Lt.SubmarineApr 194214 Sep 1942
USS Balao (285)T/Cdr.Submarine4 Feb 194325 Nov 1943
USS Sablefish (303)T/Cdr.Submarine18 Dec 1945Feb 1946

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Balao (285)


7 Apr 1943
With her final outfitting completed USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) started her training programme in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area.

29 Apr 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Newport, Rhode Island from Portsmouth, New Hampshire for her torpedo trials.

2 May 1943
Having completed her torpedo trials, USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN), arrived at New London, Connecticut from Newport, Rhode Island for further shakedown.

21 May 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed New London, Connecticut for the Portsmouth Navy Yard for repairs.

1 Jun 1943
With her repairs completed, USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN), departed the Portsmouth Navy Yard for the Panama Canal Zone.

9 Jun 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone.

12 Jun 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) transited the Panama Canal.

14 Jun 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Brisbane, Australia.

10 Jul 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Brisbane, Australia. Voyage repairs were undertaken by USS Fulton.

25 Jul 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol between Truk and the Bismarck Archipelago.

For the daily positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

29 Jul 1943
Near the Jomard Channel, Louisiades Islands, USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN), fuelled from USS Coucal before proceeding to her patrol area.

10 Aug 1943 (position 5.06, 151.38)
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) spotted three Japanese vessels about 150 nautical miles south of Truk. While trying to approach Balao was detected and depth charged by one of these vessels. Balao sustained no damage.

(All times are zone -10)
0610 hours - Changed course to 020° to investigate either a dark cloud or smoke on the horizon.

0613 hours - Definitely determined smoke over the horizon bearing 020°.

0634 hours - Smoke now bearinging 030°. Decided to close until the tops of the ships could be seen. Position was 05°06'N, 151°38'E.

0651 hours - Could see the tops of three vessels through the periscope. Range was about 15 nautical miles.

0710 hours - Range had now decreased. Dived to continue the approach.

0731 hours - The range appeared to be opening so surfaced at 0740 hours.

0810 hours - The smallest vessel was seen coming towards. Looked like we had been sighted. Dived.

0815 hours - This smallest vessel was much closer than at first thought. Range was about 12000 yards.

0818 hours - Broke off the attack and changed course.

0845 hours - Depth charging started. Until 1120 hours a total of 13 depth charges was dropped but none had been close and Balao was not damaged.

1410 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. Remained dived for the remainder of the afternoon.

9 Sep 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi to fuel before proceeding to Brisbane. She was escorted in and out of Tulagi by HMNZS Kiwi (Lt.Cdr. G. Bridson, DSO, DSC, RNZNVR).

13 Sep 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Brisbane.

Enemy ships had been sighted several times but Balao had been unable to fire torpedoes as she was not in a favourable position or the enemy zigged away at the last moment.

At Brisbane she was refitted by Submarine Division 82 and the USS Fulton. Balao was also drydocked.

4 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol between Palau and the Bismarck Archipelago.

During 5 and 8 October (while on passage to Tulagi) training was undertaken together with USS Coucal, USS Growler and USS Silversides.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

10 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Tulagi for voyage repairs and to refuel.

11 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) departed Tulagi for her patrol area.

17 Oct 1943 (position 0.36, 141.33)
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy north of New Guinea with six torpedoes. No hits were obtained. Balao was depth charged following the attack and sustained some damage but was able to continue her patrol.

The convoy attacked was Japanese convoy SO-406 enroute from Palau to Rabaul. This convoy was made up of Asuka Maru (7523 GRT, built 1924), Ryuosan Maru (2456 GRT, built 1940), Taga Maru (2868 GRT, built 1939), Fukko Maru (3834 GRT, built 1924), Tairin Maru (1915 GRT, built 1941) and Hokkai Maru (2278 GRT, built 1940). The convoy was escorted by the Japanese submarine chasers Ch 17 and Ch 40 (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -11)
0957 hours - Sighted smoke over the horizon bearing 006°. Distance 20 to 30 nautical miles. Closed to investigate.

1004 hours - Commenced tracking. Used high speed to obtain a position ahead and on track.

1358 hours - Submerged and went to battle stations. Continued to close. Still only smoke in sight.

1429 hours - In position 00°36'N, 141°33'E sighted masts of one ship bearing 290°, range about 16000 yards. Smoke columns indicated at least four ships. Later one escort was seen on the starboard beam and another was heard pinging on the port beam but this one was not sighted. Started attack.

1530 hours - Fired six torpedoes from a range of 2400 yards. The closest escort was only 1200 yards away. Just after firing the convoy zigged towards us so all torpedoes missed. They were all heard to explode at the end of their run.

1542 hours - Four depth charges exploded very close as Balao was passing 400 feet. Balao had lost trim and ended up at 490 feet but then leveled off at 400 feet. She had sustained some damage from the depth charges.

1805 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

1947 hours - Surfaced. Inspected the boat carefully and commenced repairs.

Balao chased the enemy convoy until the 19th but was unable to attack again.

23 Oct 1943 (position 0.34, 147.40)
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy north-north-east of Manus Island. It is thought one ship was sunk and two were damaged. This has not been confirmed by Japanese records. A second attack was spoiled when Balao was spotted and shelled by one of the escorts.

The convoy attacked was Japanese convoy O-006 enroute from Rabaul to Moji, via Palau. It was made up of tanker Tennan Maru (5407 GRT, built 1943) and transports Johore Maru (6187 GRT, built 1932), Kazan Maru (1893 GRT, built 1936), Hozukawa Maru (328 GRT, built 1898, not sure if this is the correct ship), Bunzan Maru (1999 GRT, built 1942) and Kosei Maru (2205 GRT, built 1924, not sure if this is the correct Kosei Maru as several ships had the same name). They were escorted by the Japanese submarine chasers Ch-22 and Ch-24 (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -11)
22 October 1943
1907 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 127°. Changed course to close.

1928 hours - Commenced tracking.

2335 hours - Reversed course, going in for the attack. Position was 00°34'N, 147°40'E.

23 October 1943
0002 hours - Sighted a small escort on our starboard bow, on an opposite course. Passed him abeam at a range of 2400 yards according to our SJ radar. The convoy was seen to be zig-zagging.

0017 hours - Fired six bow torpedoes from 2000 yards then swung left for stern shots.

0018 hours - Fired four stern tubes at the same targets from 2500 yards.

It is believed a total of six torpedoes were heard to explode.

0020 hours - Changed course and went to all ahead full.

0025 hours - Bow tubes reloaded.

0037 hours - Stern tubes reloaded except for tube no.7 which was defective after having fired the torpedo inside it.

0037 - 0122 hours - Tried to get into a position for another attack. The convoy was a mess now. It is thought one of the targets had sunk as she had been observed with a 30 degree down angle with her stern in the air and she was not shighted afterwards. One ship was seen with a heavy list and another one lay low in the water. Both were smoking furiously.

0127 hours - Commenced second attack. Picked out the largest ship which had not been the target of the first attack.

0132 hours - One of the escorts came up from astern and opened fire from our port quarter. Went ahead emergency and changed course to put him astern (this was CH-22). Broke off the attack.

0135 hours - The escort was now closing the range to 2400 yards by radar. The merchant ship we wanted to attack now also opened fire and one shell whistled of the bridge. Dived to 450 feet and rigged for depth charges.

0140 hours - Received three small depth charges but they were not very close. The escort never gained contact.

Surfaced. Commenced battery charge and set course to overtake the convoy.

28 Oct 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) arrived at Tulagi for fuel, 4 torpedoes and repairs. She departed to return to her patrol area later on the same day.

3 Nov 1943 (position 5.09, 153.06)
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy west-south-west of Satawan Atoll. Six torpedoes were fired for a possible hit.

(All times are zone -11)
1140 hours - Sighted smoke on horizon bearing 160°. Turned towards.

1427 hours - So far unable to close much but the convoy now made a change of course towards us. Position was 05°09'N, 153°06'E.

1446 hours - Started tracking. Enemy course 330°, speed 8.5 knots. The convoy was seen to be made up of two merchant ships of about 6000-7000 tons. A small escort was on the convoy's port bow at a range of about 3000 yards from the leading merchant ship. Selected the closest ship as the target of our attack.

1521 hours - Fired six torpedoes from 2100 yards.

1523 hours - Heard one explosion. Did not see the torpedo hit but a column of water was seen to shoot up just off the bow of the target. Both ships turned towards. The escort was still ahead of the formation. No pinging was heard.

1524 hours - Went deep and changed course to get off the torpedo tracks.

1525 hours - Depth charging started. About 10 were dropped in 15 minutes. Balao was at 400-435 feet and the escort did not gain contact.

1825 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

14 Nov 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi before proceeding to Milne Bay, New Guinea.

16 Nov 1943
USS Balao (Cdr. R.H. Crane, USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Milne Bay, New Guinea.

At Milne Bay she was refitted by Submarine Division 82 and the USS Fulton. Refit was completed on 1 December 1943. Training was carried out in Milne Bay on 2, 4 and 5 December 1943.


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