[Ed. Note: USS NAUTILUS (SS-169) was a V-c/ass submarine built at Mare Island during the inte!War period and not a fleet boat ofthe GATO design. She displaced 2, 730 tons standard and was powered by New York Navy Yard Bureau-MAN diesel.
This second war patrol was a special mission for which this submarine was paired up with USS ARGONAUT (SS-166) — which was the V 4, the U.S. Navy’s first submarine minelayer. It was patterned on the German U-boat minelayers of World War
I These two submarines delivered Colonel Evans Carlson’s Marine Raiders to Makin Island. After the Marines completed their mission to reconnoiter the island, to destroy its most important facilities, and to divert Japanese forces from Guadalcana~ the submarines recovered the raiders and returned to Pearl Harbor. This report provides an interesting look at submarine involvement in amphibious operations and the close logistical and gunfire support provided by NAUTILUS and ARGONAUT for the Marine effort on the island.]
USS NAUTILUS — Report of Second War Patrol Period from August 8, 1942 to August 25, 1942 Area Makin Island. Operation Order No. 71-42
The TBX voice transmitter and the RAS-1 receiver with pre-selector were used aboard ship to communicate with the marines ashore. The marines bad portable radios of type BC-611-A. Great difficulty was experienced in talking to the marines because of the low signal strength of their BC-611-A sets and because the marine sets were separated from the ship by a half mile of dense foliage and woods plus two miles of water.
No enemy interference was experienced. However, gunnery spots from shore spotters were frequently not received because of high background noise caused by increase of sensitivity of the shipboard RAS-1. Sensitivity was increased in an attempt to receive the very weak signal from the marines ashore. NPM on 4115 Kcs was also heard when sensitivity was increased.
Sound Conditions and Density Layers
Sound conditions were poor close to Makin Island, probably due mostly to a strong current and heavy surf. Surf was heard at 3,000 yards while approaching the island several times.
Surface communication by QC with ARGONAUT was very poor. Signals faded entirely out much of the time. The ship rolled moderately, and neither submarine made sufficient speed for its propellers to be heard. Consequently the operator was unable to keep the projector trained on the other ship.
There was no difficulty communicating submerged at 11,000 yards. This range was determined by Relay Echo Ranging.
At the area of meeting of the north equatorial and the counter-equatorial currents (about 6° N) the ship was running submerged and gained about 1,000 pounds in weight. The change of water temperature experienced (1°, 840f’ to 85° F) accounts for only 1472 lbs. The balance must have been the result of a decrease in density of the sea water in the counter-equatorial current.