From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Bluegill is a sunfish of the Mississippi basin and Great Lakes.

(SS-242: dp. 1526; l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 17'; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 60; a. 1 4", 10 21" TT.; cl. Gato)

Bluegill (SS-242) was launched 8 August 1943 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. W. Sterling Cole, wife of Congressman Cole of New York; commissioned 11 November 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. L. Barr, Jr., in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Bluegill's war operations cover the period between 1 April 1944 and 21 June 1945 during which time she completed six war patrols in an area extending from New Guinea to Formosa and through the South China and Java Seas. Bluegill sank ten Japanese vessels, totaling 46,212 tons, including the light cruiser Yubari, 27 April 1944 in 0520' N., 13216' E., and a submarine chaser.

During January 1945 Bluegill made reconnaissances in support of American reoccupation of the Philippines. On 28 May she conducted a reconnaissance and bombardment of Pratas Island. Twelve men were landed and discovered that the island had recently been evacuated by the Japanese naval garrison. In a fitting ceremony on 29 May Bluegill raised the American flag on Pratas Island and proclaimed it to be "Bluegill Island."

Bluegill arrived at Pearl Harbor 21 June 1945 from her last war patrol. She continued to serve with the Pacific Fleet until 1 March 1946 when she was placed out of commission in reserve at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Bluegill was recommissioned 3 May 1951 and reported to the Pacific Fleet for training duty. On 7 July 1952 she was placed out of commission in reserve and underwent conversion to a "killer" submarine. Conversion completed, she was reclassified SSK-242 and recommissioned 2 May 1953.

On 2 November 1953 Bluegill was deployed to the Western Pacific where she participated in training exercises and operations with various United Nations forces. She returned to San Diego 15 May 1954 and took part in intensive anti-submarine exercises with other fleet units in the area. On 1 July 1955 Bluegill's home port was changed to Pearl Harbor and since that time she has conducted two cruises in the Far East and local operations in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

Bluegill received the Navy Unit Commendation for her first war patrol during which she sank three Japanese vessels, including the light cruiser Yubari. In addition, she was awarded four battle stars for World War II service.