Allied Warships

Angler (SS-240)

Submarine of the Gato class

USS Angler during launch on 4 July 1943.

NavyThe US Navy
Built byElectric Boat Co. (Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A.) 
Ordered9 Sep 1940 
Laid down9 Nov 1942 
Launched4 Jul 1943 
Commissioned1 Oct 1943 
End service1 Apr 1967 

Decommissioned 12 February 1946.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Recommissioned 2 April 1951.
Decommissioned in October 1952 for conversion to a Hunter-Killer Submarine.
Redesignated SSK-240 in February 1953.
Recommissioned 10 September 1953.
Redesignated SS-240 in 1960.
Redesignated as Auxiliary Submarine AGSS-240 in 1963.
Decommissioned 1 April 1967.
Assigned to Naval Reserve Training at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Stricken 15 December 1971.
Sold 1 February 1974 to be broken up for scrap.


Commands listed for USS Angler (240)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1T/Lt.Cdr. Robert Irving Olsen, USN1 Oct 19439 Jun 1944
2T/Cdr. Franklin Grant Hess, USN9 Jun 19449 Nov 1944
3Lt.Cdr. Howard Bissell, Jr., USNR5 Dec 19449 Aug 1945

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Notable events involving Angler include:

19 Oct 1943
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen, USN) departed New London, Connecticut and arrived at Newport, Rhode Island for her torpedo trials.

22 Oct 1943
Having completed her torpedo trials, USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen, USN), departed Newport, Rhode Island and arrived at New London, Connecticut.

21 Nov 1943
USS Angler arrived at Key West, Florida.

21 Nov 1943
USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

22 Nov 1943
USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

23 Nov 1943
USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

24 Nov 1943
USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

25 Nov 1943
USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

26 Nov 1943
USS Angler conducted exercises off Key West.

27 Nov 1943
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. Robert I. Olsen) departed from Key West for Pearl Harbor.

1 Dec 1943
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen, USN) arrived at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone from Key West, Florida.

10 Jan 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Mariana Islands area.

27 Jan 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) sank a Japanese sampan with gunfire north of the Mariana Islands in position 23°58'N, 145°50'E.

29 Jan 1944
At about 0200 hrs, USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) attacked a Japanese convoy between Japan and the Mariana islands, claiming the sinking of an 8500-ton oiler and damage to a 5000-ton oiler as well as to a 4000-ton freighter in position 27°03'N, 142°27'E.
While original post-war assessments credited Angler with sinking the auxiliary net tender Shuko Maru (889 GRT), it is now known that Shuko maru was in Wakasa Bay on 23 July 1945 and could thus not have been sunk here. No confirmation of any hits has been found in Japanese records for this attack.

4 Feb 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) ended her 1st war patrol at Midway.

15 Feb 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) departed from Midway for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China and Sulu Sea.

20 Mar 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) evacuates 58 people, including women and children, from the west coast of Panay, Philippines.

9 Apr 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) ended her 2nd war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

3 May 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) departed from Fremantle for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Java and South China Sea.

6 May 1944

Operation Transom.

Carrier raid against Surabaya by the Eastern Fleet.

On 6 May 1944 the Eastern Fleet put to sea from Trincomalee or Colombo in two task forces;
Task Force 65, which was made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet), HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN), Richelieu (Capt. G.M.J. Merveilleux du Vignaux), the light cruisers HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.D. Read, CB, RN), HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNethN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, DSC, RN), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN, with Commodore S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN, on board), HMAS Nepal (Lt.Cdr. J. Plunkett-Cole, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC, RAN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN).

Task Force 66, which was made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet) (went to Task Force 65 the next day), the aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), USS Saratoga (T/Commodore J.H. Cassady, USN), light cruisers HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMNZS Gambia (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), USS Cummings (T/Cdr. P.D. Williams, USN), USS Dunlap (T/Cdr. C. Iverson, USN) and USS Fanning (T/Cdr. J.C. Bentley, USN).

On 10 May 1944, the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the destroyers were fuelled at sea by the capital ships and the cruisers. During fuelling from HMS Valiant the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen sustained some minor damage (fractured hull plate on her port side) but the crew of the Van Galen was able to effect emergency repairs.

On 15 May 1944, task forces 65 and 66 were fuelled at Exmouth Gulf, Australia by Task Force 67 which was made up of of six Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers; Eaglesdale (8032 GRT, built 1942), Echodale (8150 GRT, built 1941), Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942), Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937), Pearleaf (5911 GRT, built 1917), Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917) and supplyship (used as distilling ship) Bacchus (3154 GRT, built 1936). This force had already left Trincomalee on 30 April and was escorted by the heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN), HMS Suffolk (A/Capt. W.F.H.C. Rutherford, RN). They had also been escorted near Ceylon by a local escort for A/S purposes, this local escort had been made up of the destroyers HMS Rotherham, HrMs Van Galen and the frigate HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RD, RNR). The local escort returned to Ceylon on 5 May 1944. The two cruisers mentioned above now joined Task Force 66. Later this day Task Forces 65 and 66 went to sea again for the actual attack on Surabaya. On leaving Exmouth Gulf the fleet was spotted by the merchant vessel Aroona. This ship was now instructed to put into Exmouth Gulf and was held there by HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdale, OBE, RAN) for 24 hours and to impress on the master and crew of this vessel the necessity of not disclosing any information concerning the Fleet on the arrival of their ship at Fremantle (their next port of call).

In the early morning hours of the 17th the carriers launched 45 dive bombers and 40 fighters for an attack on the harbour and oil installations (Wonokromo oil refeniry) of Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (USS Saratoga: 12 Avengers (1 had to return with engine trouble shortly after being launched), 18 Dauntless, 24 Hellcats; HMS Illustrious: 18 Avengers (2 of which force landed in the sea shortly after being launched), 16 Corsairs). On the ground they destroyed 12 enemy aircraft (20 were claimed). The damage to the harbour and shipping were over estimated (10 ships were thought to have been hit) as in fact only the small transport ship Shinrei Maru (987 GRT, built 1918) was sunk and patrol vessel P 36, auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-107 and CHa-108, tanker Yosei Maru (2594 GRT, built 1928, former Dutch Josefina) and cargo ships Choka Maru (???? GRT, built ????) and Tencho Maru (2716 GRT, built 1919) were damaged.

On the 18th the US ships were released. The other ships then proceeded to Exmouth Gulf where they arrived to fuel the next day before starting on the return trip to Ceylon less destroyer HMAS Quiberon which was to refit in Australia and was sent to Fremantle.

On 23 May 1944, the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the destroyers were fuelled at sea by the capital ships and the cruisers.

The ships of Task Force 65 and 66 arrived back at Colombo or Trincomalee on the 26 or 27th.

On 1 June 1944, Task Force 67 arrived at Trincomalee from Exmouth Gulf having been escorted by HMS London and HMS Suffolk until 1700FG/31. On arrival at Trincomalee Task Force 67 had an A/S escort made up of the destroyers HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN), HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and corvette HMS Burnet (Lt. D.S. Charles, RNR). These ships had joined at 2300FG/28 (HMAS Nizam, HMS Roebuck and HMS Burnet) and 0630FG/30 (HMAS Quickmatch and HMS Raider).

During this operation several US Submarine guarded the passages to the Indian Ocean to spot a possible Japanese counter attack. The submarines deployed for this purpose were the following; In the Sunda Strait from 12 to 23 May 1944; USS Angler (T/Cdr. R. I. Olsen, USN) and USS Gunnel (T/Cdr. J.S. McCain, Jr., USN).
South of Lombok Strait from 13 to 20 May 1944; USS Cabrilla (T/Cdr. W.C. Thompson, Jr., USN) and also the USS Bluefish (T/Cdr. C.M. Henderson, USN) from 13 May until the night of the 16th.
South of Bali Strait from 17 to 20 May; USS Bluefish.
North of Bali Strait; USS Puffer (Cdr. F.G. Selby, USN) during the night of 16/17 May.

The following US Submarines were deployed in the Surabaya area for air/sea rescue duties; USS Puffer in the Madura Strait about 40 miles to the east of Surabaya.
USS Rasher (Cdr. W.R. Laughton, USN) in the Java Sea about 40 miles to the north of Surabaya. (1)

20 May 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) torpedoed and sank a Japanese transport east of Malaya, in position 05°57'N, 105°12'E. There is controversy over the target's identity: she was likely the transport Otori maru, 2105 tgr, ex Panamanian Boyac?, as reported by the Japanese owners, but IJN sources place the loss of the vessel on the same day at 05°57'N, 127°11'E, placing her 40 nautical miles south-east of Cabo San Augustin, Davao Gulf, Mindanao island, which would not correspond to any US sub's claim.
It appears there is some confusion in the Japanese records and this writer believes the correct identification of the attacker is USS Angler.

21 May 1944
Almost the entire crew of USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) fell ill, possibly due to contaminated drinking water. She was ordered to return to Fremantle at once.

29 May 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. R.I. Olsen) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle.

16 Jun 1944
HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN), HMAS Dubbo (Lt.Cdr. W.J.C. Webb, RANR) and HMAS Horsham (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.H. Newby, RANR(S)) conducted exercises off Fremantle with the submarines USS Angler (T/Cdr. F.G. Hess, USN), USS Flasher (T/Cdr. R.T. Whitaker, USN) and USS Crevalle (T/Cdr. F.D. Walker, Jr., USN). (2)

21 Jun 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. Franklin Grant Hess) departed from Fremantle for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

24 Jun 1944
While berthing alongside a barge at Exmouth Gulf to F.G. Hess) hit an uncharted "obstacle". Due to the damage sustained Angler was forced to return to Fremantle to make repairs.

29 Jun 1944
With her repairs completed USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. F.G. Hess) once again departed from Fremantle.

26 Jul 1944
The US submarines USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. Franklin Grant Hess), USS Flasher (Cmdr Reuben Thornton Whitaker) and USS Crevalle (Lt.Cdr. Francis David Walker, jr.), attack a convoy in the South China Sea, east of Luzon. Based on the firing sequences of the 3 subs, it is believed Angler scored a torpedo hit on the seaplane carrier Kiyokawa Maru (6863 GRT, offsite link), in position 18°30'N, 117°57'E. The ship made port with moderate damage. The matter is conjectural, since there is no possible way of determining actual hits obtained.

23 Aug 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. F.G. Hess) ended her 4th war patrol at Fremantle.

18 Sep 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. F.G. Hess) departed from Fremantle for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Sulu Sea.

14 Oct 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. F.G. Hess) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Nanrei Maru (2407 GRT) in the Sulu Sea south of Tablas Strait in position 11°53'N, 121°39'E.

9 Nov 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. F.G. Hess) ended her 5th war patrol at Fremantle.

4 Dec 1944
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. Howard Bissell, Jr.) departed from Fremantle for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Java Sea.

6 Feb 1945
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. H. Bissell, Jr.) ended her 6th war patrol at Saipan.

24 Feb 1945
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. H. Bissell, Jr.) arrived at the Bethlehem Steel Co. Yard at San Francisco for an overhaul.

3 Jun 1945
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. H. Bissell, Jr., USNR) and USS Moray (T/Cdr. F.L. Barrows, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour with USS Burden R. Hastings (Lt. J.W. Stivers, USNR), USS Loeser (Lt.Cdr. J. Proctor, USNR). In the evening USS Allen (Lt. J.A. Rowe, USN) also joined for a few hours.

They remained out for exercises during the night of 3/4 June. In the morning of the 4th, USS Loeser was detached while USS Florikan (T/Lt. D. Hima, USN) and USS Howard (Lt.Cdr. F.W. Diehl, USNR) joined. In the afternoon USS Pruitt (Lt. D.B. Harby, USNR) also joined.

12 Jun 1945
With her overhaul completed USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. H. Bissell, Jr.) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol east of Honshu, Japan.

27 Jun 1945
Around 1500K/27, USS Cero (T/Lt.Cdr. R. Berthrong, USN), USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. H. Bissell, Jr., USNR), USS Lapon (T/Lt.Cdr. D.G. Baer, USN), USS Moray (T/Cdr. F.L. Barrows, USN), USS Carp (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Hunnicutt, USNR) and USS Sea Poacher (T/Lt.Cdr. C.F. Leigh, USN) all departed Saipan for patrol. They were escorted until 2020K/27 by USS Presley (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Paret, USNR).

All boats proceeded independently to their assigned lifeguard stations in the early afternoon of 1 July 1945.

9 Aug 1945
USS Angler (Lt.Cdr. H. Bissell, Jr.) ended her 7th war patrol at Midway.

21 Jul 1961
Angler was damaged in a minor collision with freighter Export Adventurer during manoeuvres with a destroyer, 15 nautical miles south of Block Island, RI.

Media links

U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret

U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman
(£ 56.95)


  1. Files and (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4767 (British National Archives, Kew, London)
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Adelaide for June 1944

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