Cyrus Churchill Cole, USN

Born  19 Aug 1913Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Died  7 Dec 1967(54)

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6 Aug 1935 Ens.
6 Aug 1938 Lt. (j.g.)
1 Aug 1941 Lt.
1 May 1943 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Mar 1944 T/Cdr.
1 Oct 1953 Capt.


Feb/Mar 44 Navy Cross (1)

Warship Commands listed for Cyrus Churchill Cole, USN

USS Balao (285)T/Lt.Cdr.Submarine25 Nov 194318 Apr 1944
USS Spearfish (190)T/Cdr.Submarine30 May 1944Feb 1945

Career information

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Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Balao (285)

8 Dec 1943
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed from Milne Bay for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol south of Truk. Upon departing exercises were carried out with USS Coucal. During part of the passage to Tulagi Coucal remained in company for exercises. Coucal and Balao parted company at 1700/10 (zone -11).

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

12 Dec 1943
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi for fuel. She was escorted in and out by USS Sheldrake.

27 Dec 1943 (position 4.10, 150.20)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) attacked a Japanese task force of 2 heavy cruisers escorted by two destroyers about 200 nautical miles south-south-west of Truk in position 04°10'N, 150°20'E. Six torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained.

The heavy cruisers were Kumano and Suzuya (all links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -11)
1540 hours - In position 04°10'N, 150°29'E heard peculiar noises. Came to periscope depth to have a look.

1601 hours - Sighted what was first thought to be a pair of trawlers or patrol vessels just over the horizon. Went to battle stations. They soon turned out to be two Mogami-class heavy cruisers escorted by two Asashio-class destroyers. Their speed was above 20 knots and they were zig-zagging. Both destroyers were on either bow of the leading cruisers about 3000 yards ahead of them. Started attack.

1616 hours - In position 04°10'N, 150°20'E fired four stern tubes. No hits were obtained. Went deep on firing.

1621 hours - Heard three end of run torpedo explosions.

1725 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

1 Jan 1944 (position 4.32, 147.23)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese troop transport Kiyosumi Maru (6991 GRT, built 1934) south of Truk, Caroline Islands in position 04°32'N, 147°23'E.

Kiyosumi Maru was escorted by the Japanese destroyer Yukaze and the Japanese minesweeper W 22 (all links are offsite links). The damaged ship was towed to Truk.

(All times are zone -11)

1 January 1944
0840 hours - In position 02°34'N, 146°47'E sighted smoke on horizon. Started maneuvering to get ahead on an estimated southeasterly course and found, to our surprise, that the target was heading north.

1150 hours - Weather began closing in, with frequent rain squalls. Kept SJ radar manned to ensure he didn't zig towards us when going through the rain.

1215 hours - The target came towards out of a rain squall. Dived.

1232 hours - Rain squall cleared, sighted the target through the periscope. Went to battle stations and started approach. Range was about 10000 yards. The targets base course was about 060°. An escort was ahead of the target and what looked like a small merchant vessel was astern.

1412 hours - It became evident that we could not close. Secured from battle stations.

1453 hours - Surfaced and continued trailing the convoy.

1853 hours - The sun was dropping behind clouds in our quarter. Went to full speed ahead and commenced an end around.

2018 hours - Went to battle stations.

2332 hours - Started attack.

2345 hours - In position 04°32'N, 147°23'E started firing a full bow salvo of six torpedoes. Three hits were seen before Balao dived. The closest escort was very near.

2350 hours - Depth charging started.

2 January 1944
0230 hours - The 9th and last depth charge was dropped. Some had been close and some minor damage was sustained by Balao.

7 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed her patrol area for Tulagi.

11 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) made a short stop at Tulagi for fuel. She was escorted in and out by USS SC-1268.

15 Jan 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Brisbane.

At Brisbane she was refitted by the Submarine Repair Unit. Refit was completed on 29 January 1944. Training was carried out between 1-3 February 1944.

6 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed from Brisbane for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol north of New Guinea.

Before proceeding to her patrol area Balao was to proceed to Tulagi for fuel. During this passage exercises were carried out until 0030/08 with USS Conyngham and HMAS Bendigo.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Balao during this patrol see the map below.

11 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) fuelled at Tulagi before proceeding on patrol. She was escorted in and out by USS Constant

23 Feb 1944 (position -0.07, 135.42)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Nikki Maru (5857 GRT, built 1918) about 35 nautical miles north of Biak, New Guinea in position 00°07'S, 135°42'E.

The above mentioned Nikki Maru was in convoy together with Moji Maru (3831 GRT, built 1922). They were escorted by the Japanese minelayer Wakataka (offsite link).

(All times are zone -11)
22 February 1944
2005 hours - In position 00°15'S, 136°18'E sighted smoke bearing 080°. Shortly thereafter sighted the hull of a ship to the left of the smoke. Opened the range and close the range again after dark. Commenced tracking and tried to get into position to attack.

2300 hours - Had the enemy's speed and course. The convoy was made up of an escort and two merchant vessels.

2350 hours - Went to battle stations and started attack.

23 February 1944
0013 hours - In position 00°07'S, 135°42'E fired six torpedoes at the last ship of the convoy from 3100 yards.

0015 hours - Obtained three hits on the target.

0018 hours - Heard three end of run explosions. Balao meanwhile cleared the area on the surface. In the early evening Balao was back in the area of the attack and picked up one Japanese survivor.

26 Feb 1944
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) was depth charged while trying to attack an enemy convoy north of New Guinea. The attack had to be broken off.

The convoy attacked was made up of Kibi Maru (2961 GRT, built 1943), Narita Maru (1915 GRT, built 1942), Taiei Maru (2934 GRT, built 1912) and Daigen Maru No.3 (5255 GRT, built 1908). They were escorted by the Japanese submarine chaser Ch-35 and the Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-3 and CHa-63.

(All times are zone -11)
1653 hours - In position 00°32'S, 139°05'E sighted smoke bearing 273°. Commenced maneuvering for an attack position.

1925 hours - Dived and commenced approach. Chose the largest Maru as the target.

2028 hours - One of the escorts must have spotted Balao as she dropped two depth charges and turned towards. Went deep and rigged for a depth charge attack. At this time sound reported torpedoes running it now appeared that the escort did not drop depth charges after all but that it were two torpedoes hitting a target. This was USS Gato at work.

2032 to 2115 hours - A total of 17 depth charges were dropped keeping Balao down.

2356 hours - Surfaced.

29 Feb 1944 (position 0.06, 132.53)
USS Balao (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Akiura Maru (6803 GRT, built 1938) and troop transport Shoho Maru (2723 GRT, built 1941) about 90 nautical miles north-west of Manokwari, New Guinea in position 00°06'N, 132°53'E.

For the moment the composition of this convoy is not known to us.

(All times are zone -11)
28 February 1944
1218 hours - In position 00°42'N, 131°57'E sighted smoke on the horizon. Distance was about 40 nautical miles. Commenced closing.

1318 hours - Submerged to continue the approach. Went to battle stations.

The convoy however changed course and Balao was unable to attack. She had to remain submerged for most of the afternoon as there was air cover of the convoy.

1720 hours - Surfaced.

1800 hours - The aircraft made off to the South, set off in pursuit of the convoy.

2108 hours - Obtained radar contact on two ships of the convoy. Commenced tracking.

29 February 1944
0005 hours - Went to battle stations. Continued to get into attack position.

0056 hours - Started attack.

0109 hours - In position 00°06'N, 132°53'E fired six bow torpedoes at the target we had selected from a range of 3100 yards. An Akiura Maru class vessel (correctly identified). The third torpedo hooked sharply to the left and then circled to the right.

0110 hours - Two torpedo hits were seen and heard.

0111 hours - Fired four stern torpedoes at two ships which were overlapping from a range of 2700 yards (closest ship).

0112 hours - Heard and saw a very loud exlosion on the initial target.

0113 hours - Obtained three more torpedo hits. One of the ships targeted was hit once, the other twice.

0114 hours - Another loud explosion on the initial target. Her radar 'pip' then faded out.

0015 hours - Heard two more heavy explosions. The radar 'pip' on one of the targets of the stern tubes then faded out. The 'pips' of the escort and other merchant vessel remained on the radar screen.

3 Mar 1944 (position -0.35, 137.05)
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) attacked an escorted transport ship about 80 nautical miles north-east of Biak in position 00°35'S, 137°05'E. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -11)
0023 hours - In position 00°17'S, 136°55'E sighted a ship heading across moon slick. Closed to radar range and commenced tracking.

0235 hours - Went to battle stations and commenced closing to pick up the escort on the radar. On closing it became clear that the target was smaller then first thought. None the less he was over 2500 tons and was worth attacking.

0317 hours - In position 00°35'S, 137°05'E fired four bow torpedoes from 3100 yards and turned away at flank speed to clear the area. No hits were obtained. Four end of run explosions were heard.

4 Mar 1944 (position 2.00, 137.48)
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) attacked a Japanese convoy north of New Guinea. Two hits were obtained on one of the transports of the convoy but the torpedoes failed to explode.

(All times are zone -11)
0916 hours - In position 01°00N, 138°30'E sighted smoke on the horizon. Closed to investigate. The smoke proved to be coming from 2 transports on a north-westerly course, speed 9 knots. Commenced tracking from ahead.

1243 hours - Ran into a weather front. Steadied on the convoy's base course hoping to find the convoy again when the weather cleared.

1558 hours - Weather cleared and there was the convoy.

1802 hours - Dived for the attack.

1957 hours - In position 02°00'N, 137°48'E fired four torpedoes from the stern tubes at the leading transport from a range of 2400 yards. Balao stayed up to watch the results and the escorts.

1959 hours - Saw two high columns of water alongside the target. The torpedoes hit but failed to explode and the target turned away soon afterwards.

2004 hours - Both escorts were seen coming towards. Went deep.

2005 hours - The first of 16 depth charges. None were close enough to cause damage.

2246 hours - Surfaced and cleared the area.

5 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed her patrol area for Langemak Bak.

7 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) arrived at Langemak Bak where she toon on board fuel and provisions from USS Coucal. Balao was escorted in by USS PC-1134.

8 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) departed Langemak Bak for Pearl Harbour. She was escorted out by USS PC-1134.

13 Mar 1944 (position 14.45, 155.25)
At 1130 hours (zone -11), in position 14°45'N 155°25'E, USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN), was detected and depth charged by a Japanese 'Betty' aircraft. No damage was sustained.

19 Mar 1944
USS Balao (Cdr. C.C. Cole, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

At Pearl Harbour she was refitted by Submarine Division 122 Relief crew and the USS Griffin. Refit was completed on 12 April 1944. Training was carried out during 14 to 22 April.

Submarine USS Spearfish (190)

12 Nov 1944
With her overhaul completed USS Spearfish (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole) leaves Pearl Harbor for her 12th and last war patrol.

11 Jan 1945 (position 23.47, 139.49)
USS Spearfish (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole) sank a Japanese sampan with gunfire off the Bonin Islands in position 23°47'N, 139°49'E.

24 Jan 1945
USS Spearfish (Lt.Cdr. C.C. Cole) ended her 12th and final war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She is assigned to training duties.

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