Vernon Clark Turner, USN

Born  16 Sep 1911Texas, USA
Died  28 Jun 1999(87)


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Ranks

1 Jun 1936 Lt.(j.g.)
1 Jul 1940 Lt.
1 Oct 1942 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Jan 1944 T/Cdr.

Decorations

Warship Commands listed for Vernon Clark Turner, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS Billfish (286)T/Cdr.Submarine8 Jan 194414 Feb 1945

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS Billfish (286)


10 Jan 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) made a deep diving test off Fremantle.

11 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Fremantle.

13 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
From 13 to 15 January 1944, USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), conducted exercises off Fremantle together with USS Isabel (Lt. K.F. Landis, USNR).

16 Jan 1944
On 16 and 17 January 1944, USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), conducted exercises off Fremantle together with USS Chanticleer (Cdr. R.E. Hawes, USN).

19 Jan 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) departed from Fremantle for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

Before Billfish proceeded on patrol exercises were carried out with USS Isabel (Lt. K.F. Landis, USNR).

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Billfish during this patrol see the map below.

22 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) made a short stop at Exmouth Gulf to topp off with fuel before proceeding towards her patrol area.

25 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During the night of 25/26 January 1944, USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), made the northbound passage of Lombok Strait on the surface.

1 Feb 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) attacked and damaged two sea trucks with gunfire, west of Tawi Tawi Island.

(All times are zone H, -8)
2248 hours - In position 04°58'N, 119°36'E sighted two small ships at a range of 7000 yards. At first they were thought to be patrol boats.

2310 hours - It was now noticed that the targets were sea trucks of about 500 ton each. Manned battle stations - gun action. The targets were on course 260°(T), speed 8 knots.

2330 hours - Closed the range to 1800 yards. Opened fire with the 4" gun and 20mm. Both sea trucks were hit several times before the 4" gun malfunctioned.

0030 hours - The gun was still not functioning and could not be repaired on short notice so the action was ended and both sea trucks were left in a damaged condition.

12 Feb 1944
In the afternoon, while on patrol off the coast of Indo-China, USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), tried to attack a Japanese convoy that was sighted in position 12°37'N, 109°33'E. The attack had to be broken off when Billfish was detected and depth charged by the escorts.

13 Feb 1944
In the early morning hours, USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), while still on patrol off the coast of Indo-China, is detected in position 14°07'N, 109°22'E by a Japanese warship which is thought to be a minesweeper. She is hunted and depth charged throughout the day. The last depth charge was dropped at 1738 hours. Billfish surfaced at 1940 hours.

17 Mar 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) made a stop at Darwin, Australia. After unloading all her torpedoes and taking on board fuel she departed for Fremantle later the same day.

24 Mar 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle.

11 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted a deep diving trial off Fremantle followed by diving exercises.

13 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted a sound test off Fremantle.

14 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Fremantle.

15 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Fremantle.

16 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Fremantle.

18 Apr 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) departed from Fremantle for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Marianas. Before proceeding on patrol exercises were carried out off Fremantle.

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Billfish during this patrol see the map below.

25 Apr 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) arrived at Darwin where she fuelled to capacity.

27 Apr 1944
After repairs to her SD radar (air search radar), USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), departed Darwin for her patrol area.

21 May 1944 (position 13.39, 140.45)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) attacked a convoy west-southwest of the Marianas in position 13°39'N, 140°45'E and torpedoed and damaged the Japanese naval cargo ship Bokuyo Maru (2726 GRT, built 1942). The claimed sinking of a second vessel, estimated at 8500 GRT is unconfirmed, but note that Bokuyo Maru was estimated at 8600 GRT!.

Bokuyo Maru was in convoy together with the transports Asaka Maru (7399 GRT, built 1937), Jinzan Maru (5215 GRT, built 1919) and Tenryugawa Maru (3883 GRT, built 1941) escorted by frigate Kaibokan 12, naval auxiliary Shoho Maru, auxiliary minesweeper Fumi Maru No.2 (309 GRT, built 1939) and auxiliary subchaser Uruppu Maru (225 GRT, built 1926).

(All times are zone I, -9)
0310 hours - In position 13°09'N, 140°07'E obtained SJ radar contact bearing 320°(T), range 20000 yards. Commenced tracking.

0320 hours - Manned battle stations and put all four engines on propulsion. By this time the SJ radar had picked up three separate pips.

0355 hours - The plot indicated a base course of 35°(T). Range was now 13000 yards. Secured from battle stations as it looked like it would take quite some time to perform an end around for a daylight submerged attack.

0503 hours - Three ships in sight through high periscope.

0539 hours - Course of the convoy now 090°(T).

0551 hours - Lost sight of the target.

0610 hours - Picked up the convoy again through high periscope.

0641 hours - Lost sight of the target. Believed the convoy had changed back to her original course.

0734 hours - The target was still not sighted, changed course to intercept.

0741 hours - The convoy was seen coming out of the haze. Range was about 18000 yards.

0743 hours - Manned battle stations and commenced attack.

0827 hours - The convoy was seen to be made up of four transports. The base course of the convoy was now about 100°(T).

0840 hours - The tops of four escorts were now also in sight.

0922 hours - In position 13°39'N, 140°45'E fired a three torpedo spread at the second ship from the left from 2800 yards. One hit was heard.

0923 hours - Fired another three torpedo spread at the third ship from the left from 2800 yards. Three hits were heard.

0925 hours - Start to go deep and rigged for depth charging.

0938 hours - Fifteen depth charges were dropped, they were not close.

0948 hours - Three depth charges, rather close.

0950 hours - Heard breaking up noises.

0955 hours - Six depth charges, not close.

1200 hours - More depth charges, about thirty.

1300 hours - Heard pinging in various directios.

1353 hours - Returned to periscope depth.

1407 hours - Pinging was getting louder on a constant bearing.

1412 hours - Went deep again.

1530 hours - Pinging was getting weaker.

1600 hours - Returned to periscope depth. All clear.

1851 hours - Surfaced.

22 May 1944 (position 12.57, 139.58)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) attacked a large Japanese submarine west of Guam with three torpedoes (four were intended). No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone I, -9)
0625 hours - Sound heard screws bearing 000° relative. Nothing sighted through the persicope.

0636 hours - Sound reported screws bearing 340° relative. Sighted a submarine at an estimated range of 4000 yards, angle on the bow zero. Estimated course of the enemy was 140 degrees. Started attack to bring the stern tubes to bear.

0640 hours - Manned battle station.

0643 hours - The target zigged to his right showing 30 degrees port angle on the bow. It was now seen to be a Japanese submarine with flag painted on the conning tower. She had two guns.

0650 hours - Unable to attack due to a problem with the TDC (Torpedo Data Computer).

0655 hours - The submarine made a zig away. I-43 was seen to be painted on the conning tower but this submarine was already lost well before this date so this must be incorrect.

0717 hours - Secured from battle stations.

0745 hours - Surfaced and started an end around run on four engines.

1402 hours - Submerged on the target's calculated track.

1437 hours - Sighted the target at an estimated range of 14000 yards.

1440 hours - Manned battle stations.

1501 hours - Range now 3300 yards.

1511 hours - In position 12°57'N, 139°58'E fired four torpedoes. All missed but one torpedo had failed to leave her tube.

1521 hours - Three end of run detonations.

1523 hours - The enemy submarine submerged.

13 Jun 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

1 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted a deep dive test and diving exercises off Pearl Harbour.

3 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour.

4 Jul 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Le Hardy (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Holtz, USNR), USS Charles R. Greer (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Denton, USNR), USS Lyman (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Wilson, USNR), USS Greenling (Cdr. J.D. Gerwick, USN) and USS Sailfish (Cdr. R.E.M. Ward, USN).

5 Jul 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted coordinated attack exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Greenling (Cdr. J.D. Gerwick, USN) and USS Sailfish (Cdr. R.E.M. Ward, USN).

6 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour.

9 Jul 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Luzon Strait.

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Billfish during this patrol see the map below.

13 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) arrived at Midway.

14 Jul 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) departed Midway for her patrol area.

7 Aug 1944 (position 19.52, 121.36)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) attacked a small (and escorted) Japanese transport ship in Luzon Strait with four torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone I, -9)
1317 hours - In position 19°52'N, 121°36'E sighted smoke on the horizon bearing 180°(T).

1350 hours - Sighted masts of one ship.

1400 hours - Sent out a contact report to USS Greenling and USS Sailfish.

1407 hours - Manned battle stations and commenced approach. Shortly afterwards there were two ships in sight, the first ship was a freighter of 2500 ton, the other one was smaller, most likely an escort. The freighter was not loaded. Torpedoes were set to run at six feet.

1556 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 2000 yards. All missed as the sea was glassy smooth he was able to see the torpedo tracks and to avoid them.

1604 hours - The escort had turned towards an was running down the torpedo tracks.

1614 hours - One depth charge was dropped.

1619 hours - Another depth charge or aircraft bomb was dropped.

1620 hours - Went deep and rigged for silent running.

1630 - 1634 hours - Eight distant explosion, probably depth charges.

1800 hours - Went to periscope depth. All clear.

1944 hours - Surfaced.

4 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) arrived at Saipan.

5 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Having taken on board fuel, USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN), departed Saipan for Majuro.

13 Sep 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) ended her 5th war patrol at Majuro. At Mujoro she was refitted by the USS Bushnell.

29 Sep 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted a deep submergence test and independent ship exercises off Majuro.

1 Oct 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Majuro together with USS Crouter (Lt. C.F. Braught, USNR), USS Lovering (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Bayley, USNR) and USS Florikan (Lt. D. Hima, USN).

2 Oct 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Majuro together with USS Crouter (Lt. C.F. Braught, USNR), USS Lovering (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Bayley, USNR) and USS Florikan (Lt. D. Hima, USN).

3 Oct 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) conducted exercises off Majuro together with USS Crouter (Lt. C.F. Braught, USNR), USS Lovering (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Bayley, USNR) and USS Florikan (Lt. D. Hima, USN).

6 Oct 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) departed from Majuro for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Bonin and Ryukyu Islands. She was escorted out by USS Crouter (Lt. C.F. Braught, USNR).

For daily and attack positions (though incomplete) for USS Billfish during this patrol see the map below.

17 Oct 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) is ordered to patrol off the Nansei Shoto.

4 Nov 1944 (position 28.21, 128.09)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) attacked a small and escorted Japanese freighter with four torpedoes in the East China Sea. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone I, -9)
4 November 1944
2047 hours - In position 28°20'N, 128°15'E obtained SJ radar contact at a range of 15000 yards.

2050 hours - Commenced tracking.

2125 hours - The target is zigzagging on a base course of 230°(T) at a speed of 7 knots.

2130 hours - Crossed the targets bow to get in a more favourable attack position.

2154 hours - In position 28°21'N, 128°09'E fired four torpedoes from 2000 yards. No hits were obtained. The target was a small freighter of about 2000 ton and was escorted by two patrol vessels.

2200 hours - The target and escorts changed course. The escorts dropped three or four depth charges.

2210 hours - Commenced reload forward and started an end around run.

5 November 1944
0109 hours - Submerged 10000 yards ahead of the target.

0210 hours - When the range was down to 3000 yards the target turned away leaving USS Billfish with no possibility for another attack.

7 Nov 1944 (position 29.34, 127.56)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) attacked a convoy on radar, firing a total of seven torpedoes and claiming two hits for damage on a 4000 ton freighter, one more hit on a second 4000 tonner and another on a third 4000 ton ship. None of these is confirmed.

(All times are zone i, -9)
7 November 1944
0633 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 167°(T).

0715 hours - In position 28°28'N, 128°56'E sighted masts of about six ships. Changed course to intercept.

0844 hours - The convoy had zigged to the right. There were five ships and four escorts.

0936 hours - We had fallen astern of the convoy. Enemy base course was 315°(T), speed 7.5 knots.

1210 hours - Lost sight of the smoke.

1251 hours - Surfaced. Closed the convoy on three engines.

1312 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 302°(T).

1353 hours - Submerged due to a radar contact on an aircraft.

1439 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 306°(T).

1552 hours - Surfaced.

1645 hours - The convoy was now in sight. Submerged.

1818 hours - Surfaced and went after the convoy on three engines, charging on the other.

1930 hours - SJ radar contact bearing 336°(T), range 12000 yards. Started an end around on the port side of the convoy.

2007 hours - Lost contact bearing 034°(T) a a range of 15200 yards.

2020 hours - Changed course to 020°(T). Estimated that the convoy had changed course from 315°(T) to 035°(T) around 2000 hours.

2100 hours - Changed course to 050°(T).

2115 hours - Regained radar contact bearing 115°(T), range 11400 yards.

2130 hours - Manned battle stations.

2206 hours - Commenced attack. Went in on all four engines.

2217 hours - In position 29°34'N, 127°56'E fired four bow torpedoes from 1500 yards at the first group of three ships. Two torpedoes were seen to hit on two different ships.

2230 hours - Fired four stern torpedoes at the largest ship in the second group. Two were seen to hit the target.

2231 hours - Commenced reloading the tubes.

2245 hours - Reloading completed.

2250 hours - Noticed a single ship on the radar. Decided that it was a cripple and changed course to intercept to finish it off.

2314 hours - Tracking the target on a base course of 345°(T), speed 6.5 knots. Visibility was only 2000 yards due to heavy rain.

2316 hours - Range now 2000 yards, the target was sighted making heavy smoke.

2318 hours - In position 29°38'N, 127°47'E fired four bow torpedoes from 1200 yards. All passed ahead of the target.

2324 hours - The target dropped three or four depth charges.

2340 to 2400 hours - The target is zig-zagging radically. It seems impossible to get on his track.

8 November 1944
0029 hours - Now 4000 yards ahead of the target, stopped an lay to with the engines secured waiting for the target to come to us and then attack with a stern shot.

0043 hours - Went underway again.

0118 hours - In position 29°30'N, 127°31'E fired three bow torpedoes from 1000 yards. One torpedo was a circular runner and was last seen on the starboard beam, the others most likely ran under the target.

0119 hours - All ahead flank, swining left. Passed ahead of the target at a range of 500 yards.

0121 hours - The target opened fire with machine guns.

0123 hours - The target dropped three or four depth charges.

0210 hours - Changed course to search for the remainder of the convoy but in the end did not find it.

13 Nov 1944 (position 29.30, 130.02)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) sank a Japanese sampan with gunfire off the Ryukyu Islands in position 29°30'N, 130°02'E.

(All times are zone I,-9)
1545 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 148°(T).

1608 hours - In position 29°30'N, 129°55'E sighted a mast.

1637 hours - A diesel driven sampan could be made out. Manned battle stations for battle surface.

1646 hours - Surfaced but hold fire until the range had decreased.

1650 hours - Range now 1000 yards. Opened fire with 20mm and .50 cal machine guns.

1700 hours - Opened fire with the 4" deck gun.

1725 hours - The target was seen to sink, 43 rounds of 4" had been expended for 13 hits. Secured from battle stations. No survivors were seen.

23 Nov 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) made a short stop at Midway for fuel before proceeding to Pearl Harbour.

27 Nov 1944
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) ended her 6th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She is now sent to San Francisco for a major overhaul.

1 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) departed Pearl Harbour for San Francisco, California.

9 Dec 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Billfish (Cdr. V.C. Turner, USN) arrived at San Francisco, California for a refit at the Bethlehem Steel Company.


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