This Day in Boat History

29 November 1944 – Roaming Tokyo Bay on Life guard services for B-29 crews that might be forced to ditch, the USS Archerfish (SS 311) sighted what it thought was a tanker leaving the Bay. In fact, it proved to be the IJN Shina no. Originally planned as a battleship, third in the Yamato class, the IJN realized the dominant weapon in the Pacific was the aircraft carrier and halted construction of Shinano in 1942. As the inventory of Japanese aircraft carriers continued to dwindle during the war the decision was made to complete the ship as an aircraft carrier. On 28 November it departed Tokyo Bay to Kure Naval Base for fitting out just as Archerfish spotted the undermanned and unfinished ship. Archerfish CO Commander Joseph F. Enright ordered six torpedoes readied for launch with a depth set at 10 feet. Of the six four struck the Shinano which sunk seven hours later. The Archerfish did not learn of its success until after the conclusion of the war. The Archerfish received the Presidential Unit Citation and Enright was awarded the Navy Cross.

© Gregg Smith

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