Radio Operations Aboard Submarines

By Robert E. Straub - KC2AIO <>

Author's Information

     At the age of seventeen I enlisted into the Regular U. S. Navy in the fall of 1942 and was sent to the Sampson Naval Station in New York State for my basic training. (Boot Camp).

     After completing my Basic Training I remained at Sampson and attended Radioman School for fourteen weeks. I graduated second in my class and was granted a Petty Officer rating of Radioman 3rd Class.

     I had volunteered for Submarine Duty while attending the radio school and upon completion of that school I was transferred to New London and entered the Basic Submarine School which consisted of both class room study and sea duty. This course lasted eight weeks.

     The next school I attended at New London was the Advanced Radio School and the course was for four weeks. This course was followed by a four week course in Sonar which covered both active and passive sonars.

     I then went overseas to the Southwest Pacific where my first radio watch standing was done aboard a submarine tender in Milne Bay, New Guinea. The command I worked under was the Commander of Task Force 72. (Submarines). After a few months at New Guinea, the command transferred to the submarine base at Brisbane, Australia.

     It was while at Brisbane that I was assigned aboard the USS GUAVINA SS362. She had completed War Patrols #1 and #2 and both patrols were successful, meaning she sank enemy ships. I was aboard GUAVINA for War Patrols #3, #4, #5 and #6 which too were all successful patrols. After Patrol #3 I received my Submarine Combat Pin. I was awarded a gold star for my pin for each patrol of the remaining patrols. During patrol #4 I completed my requirements for submarine qualification and was authorized to wear the submarine dolphins. It was also at this time that I was promoted in rating to Radioman 2nd Class. After the sixth patrol, GUAVINA was ordered to return to the States for a major over haul in May 1945.

     When the overhaul was completed, GUAVINA departed from San Francisco in early August and arrived in Pearl Harbor the same day that the announcement came that the hostilities with Japan had ceased.

     The submarine conducted daily operations out of Pearl Harbor for a few weeks and then in September 1945 departed for United States carrying many POWs, most of them submarine POWs who were being held in Japan. The submarine was ordered to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard (near San Francisco) where she was finally de-commissioned. I remained with her until my honorable discharge in August 1946.

     Early in 1951 I was recalled to active duty and was assigned aboard the submarine USS AMBERJACK SS522 operating out of Key West , FL. The AMBERJACK was a guppy/snorkel type submarine. Shortly after being assigned to the submarine, I was awarded an advancement in rating to Radioman 1st Class as the result of a fleet wide competitive examination.

     I was released from active duty and returned to civilian life late in September 1952.

Robert E. Straub - KC2AIO <>

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