From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Blackfish is any one of several small, toothed whales.

(SS-221: dp. 1526; l. 311'9"; dr. 17'; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 60; a. 1 3", 10 21" TT.; cl. Gato)

Blackfish (SS-221) was launched 18 April 1942 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. Henry deF. Mel, wife of Captain Mel; commissioned 22 July 1942, Commander R. W. Johnson in command.

Blackfish was assigned to Submarine Squadron 50, United States Naval Forces in Europe, and on 15 October departed Montauk Point, N. Y., on her first war patrol. Between October 1942 and July 1943 Blackfish completed five war patrols in waters extending from Dakar, West Africa, to the north of Iceland. She is credited with having sunk German Patrol Boat No. 408 off the north coast of Spain 19 February 1943.

She returned to the United States in July 1943 and after refitting proceeded to the Southwest Pacific. From 19 October 1943 to 14 August 1945 she completed seven war patrols in an area including the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Yellow Sea. Blackfish sank one Japanese cargo vessel of 2087 tons during her Pacific patrols.

She completed her 12th and last war patrol on 14 August 1945. While no targets worthy of torpedo fire were encountered during this patrol, on 5 August she rescued six Army fliers and on 8 August effectively bombarded shore installations on Kusakaki Shima.

She departed Guam 27 August 1945 for the east coast of the United States. After visiting New York and Camden, N. J., she proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., where she was placed in an inactive status. On 11 May 1946 Blackfish was placed out of commission in reserve and on 5 May 1949 she reported to the Naval Reserve Training Center, St. Petersburg, Fla., to be used in reserve training. She returned to New London 2 February 1954.

Blackfish received eight battle stars for her World War II service.