USS Cavalla

Pacific Missions in World War II

Third Patrol

Cavalla prowling the PacificAfter a rather uneventful second patrol the Cavalla commenced her third patrol on November 14 after a month's layover in Freemantle. This was a successful voyage. Kossler took up station off Singapore with the American submarines Baya and Hoe. On the night of November 25, 1944 Cavalla ambushed two Japanese destroyers and made a daring surface attack. Her torpedoes found their mark and the destroyer Shimotsuki, 2300 tons, exploded and sank. The companion destroyer began depth charging while elusive Cavalla made good her exit on the surface.

A week later, on Dec. 2, Kossler picked up a task force on radar. It was centered around a large ship--possibly a battleship--escorted by three wary destroyers. "The contact had to be Haruna. She left Lingga on 29 November with DesDiv 7's Kasumi and DesDiv 21's Hatsushimo, bound for Saesbo via Mako where she joined up with carrier Junyo on 4 December for the final leg to Japan." Kossler made an end around and submerged to attack the battleship, but just as he was ready to fire, an escort came right down his track, forcing him to go deep to avoid being rammed. On the way down Kossler launched six torpedoes at the capital ship anyway. All missed or were avoided.

Later in the patrol, on January 6, 1945, she executed a perfect night surface attack on an enemy convoy. Setting up on the two targets presenting the best profiles, Kossler fired four torpedoes for two hits. The two freighters (converted net tenders) Kanko Maru and Shunsen Maru, 1000 tons each, headed for the seabed as the convoy scattered.

Cavalla's victory flagAlthough her continued presence in the Pacific Theater would serve as insurance for American flyers and a deterrent against renewed Japanese merchant shipping activity, Cavalla had bagged her limit in the war. During her war service Cavalla logged 90,000 miles, made 570 dives, sustained a healthy share of depth chargings and air attacks, and sank 34,180 tons of enemy shipping, including the 30,000 ton carrier Shokaku.

Begin the Other Patrols.

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Analysis of Cavalla's Dec 2 target: Bob Hackett