From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Billfish is any fish, such as gar or spearfish, with bill-shaped jaws.

(SS-286: dp. 1526; l. 311'8"; b. 27'3"; dr. 16'10"; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 66; a. 1 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Balao)

Billfish (SS-286) was launched 12 November 1942 by Portsmouth Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. Lewis. Parks wife of Lieutenant Commander Parks; and commissioned 20 April 1943, Lieutenant Commander F. C. Lucas, Jr., in command.

Between 12 August 1943 and 27 August 1945 Billfish made eight war patrols out of Pearl Harbor. During these patrols she sank three freighters totaling 4074 tons and five smaller craft. Part of her seventh and eighth patrols were spent on plane guard duty off Japan.

Billfish arrived at Pearl Harbor 27 August 1945 from her last war patrol and was ordered to the Atlantic. She arrived at New Orleans, La., 19 September and spent the next nine months in maneuvers and training. Following inactivation at Portsmouth Navy Yard (June-October 1946) she was towed to New London. Conn., by ATR-64 and went out of commission in reserve there 1 November 1946.

Billfish received seven battle stars for her World War II service.