Seahorse I SS-304 - History

Seahorse I SS-304 - History

Seahorse I

(SS-304: dp. 1,526 (surf.), 2,424 (subm.), 1. 311'10";
b. 27'4"; dr. 15'2"; s. 20.25 k. (surf.), 8.76 k.
(subm.); cpl. 80, a. 1 5", 1 40mm., 10 21" tt., cl. Balao)

The first Seahorse (SS-304) was laid down on 1 August 1942 by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo Calif.; launched on 9 January 1943- sponsored by Mrs. Chester C. Smith, and commissioned on 31 March 1943 Comdr. Donald MeGregor in command.

Following shakedown along the California coast Seahorse sailed to Pearl Harbor and, on 3 August 1!i43, got underway for her maiden war patrol, eonducted off the Palau Islands. On the morning of 29 August, while the submarine was gaining attack position on an enemy convoy, she was detected by Escorting destroyers and suffered minor damage from a depth charge attack. Seahorse scored three torpedo hits on a transport on 6 September, and then went deep to evade a depth charge attack that caused severe leaks and put her number four torpedo tube out of commission. A week later, she expended eight torpedoes in an unsuccessful attempt to sink a large tanker. The submarine terminated her first patrol at Midway on 27 September.

Following refit, Seahorse sailed on 20 October for her second war patrol. Between 29 and 31 October, the submarine sank three enemy trawlers in surface actions and then commenced a two-day attack on a 17ship Japanese convoy. Early on the morning of 2 November, following an attack on the convoy by another United States submarine, Senhorse evaded three escort ships and fired three torpedoes into two freighters. Four hours later, she again attacked, sending three torpedoes toward a tanker and another spread at a third freighter. Flames burst from each target as two Japanese destroyers turned toward Seahorse but too late to catch the rapidly departing submarine. Sunk in this action were the 7,089-ton cargo ship Chihaga Maru, and the 5,859-ton cargo ship, Ume Maru. Seahorse later closed again on the convoy but was driven down by depth charges and departed the vicinity.

On 22 November, Seahorse skillfully maneuvered past three enemy escorts, fired four torpedoes from periscope depth, and sank the cargo ship, Daishu Maru. On 26 November, the submarine eontaeted another enemy convoy and began to close the range. Determined to mount an attack before the targets entered the mined Tsushima Strait, the submarine fired four torpedoes at long range quickly sinking a cargo ship; and then, dodging enemy escorts, let go four stern shots at a second target. The results seemed disappointing until a sudden blast sent flames and debris mushrooming high into the air, completely destroying the 7,309-ton tanker, San Roman Maru.

Seahorse expended the last of her torpedoes on the night of 30 November and 1 December. After maneuvering for several hours, the submarine was finally able to fire her stern tubes at an enemy convoy. However one torpedo exploded just after it left the tube, and the entire convoy opened fire on the vicinity of the submarine. With so many explosions around her, it was impossible for Seahorse to determine whether any torpedoes had hit. Low on fuel and out of torpedoes the submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on 12 December from a successful second patrol, with five ships and three trawlers sunk.

Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor on 6 January 1944 for her third war patrol. On 16 January, while en route to the Palaus, she evaded four escorts and destroyed the 784-ton cargo ship, Nikho Maru, with three torpedo hits. She spent 21 January tracking two enemy cargo ships in company with three escorts. In the late evening, she pressed home four consecutive attacks to sink the 3,025-ton cargo ship, Yasukuni Maru, and the 3,156-ton passenger-carSro ship, Ikoma Maru.

On the evening of 28 January, Seahorse began an 80-hour chase of an enemy convoy off the Palaus. After being continually harassed by escorts and aircraft throughout the next day, Seahorse fired three torpedoes at the cargo ship, Toko Maru. After the sinking, the submarine lost contact with the convoy for several hours, but again had it in sight at dawn on the 31st.

Early on the morning of 1 February, Seahoree fired four torpedoes for no hits followed by two more, again without result. With the crew exhausted from the extended chase, the submarine fired her final two torpedoes and headed for deeper water. After evading the escorts, she surfaced in time to see the results of her latest attack as the cargo ship, Toei Maru, slipped beneath the waves. Seahorse terminated her third patrol at Pearl Harbor on 16 February

Seahorse's fourth war patrol was conducted in the Marianas. She departed Pearl Harbor on 16 March and intercepted a large enemy convoy on 8 April. After nightfall, the submarine fired four torpedoes at overlapping targets, sinking the converted seaplane tender, Aratama Maru. Shortly thereafter, her second spread of torpedoes sank the cargo ship, Kizugawa Maru. Although a counterattack by escorting destroyers drove the submarine from the vicinity, she quickly regained contact and continued the chase into the following day, sinking the cargo ship, Bisaku Maru.

Seahorse took up lifeguard station for the carrier airstrikes on Saipan that commenced on 12 April and, while west of Saipan on 20 April, sighted and sank the Japanese submarine, RO-45. In the same vicinity a week later, Seahorse sank the 5,244-ton cargo ship, Akigawa Maru. The submarine departed her lifeguard station on 3 May to refuel at Milne Bay, New Guinea, and arrived at Brisbane, Australia, on 11 May.

Seahorse put to sea for her fifth war patrol on 11 June 1944, patrolling between Formosa and Luson. On the morning of 27 June, she sank the tanker, Medan Maru, and damaged two other enemy vessels, and, on 3 July, sank the cargo ship, Nitto Maru, and the passenger-cargo ship, Gyogu Maru. The following day, the submarine expended the last of her torpedoes sinking the cargo ship, Kyodo Maru No. 28, and returned to Pearl Harbor on 19 July.

Seahorse spent the first part of her sixth war patrol supporting the capture of the Palaus and then headed for the Luzon Strait. Despite intensive efforts, the submarine could locate only one worthwhile target, Coast Defense Vessel No. 21, a frigate of 800 tons, which she sank. Five days later, Seahorse took up lifeguard station for the carrier airstrikes on northern Luzon and then returned to Midway on 18 October.

Upon completion of an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, Seahorse put to sea on 9 March 1945 for her seventh war patrol. Following patrol in the Tsushima Strait, she sank a small junk with gunfire on 8 April. On the 18th an attack by two patrol boats left the submarine's interior a shambles of broken glass, smashed instruments, and spilled hydraulic oil. Seahorse made hasty repairs and headed for Apra Harbor, Guam, and then to Pearl Harbor for overhaul.

Seahorse put to sea for her eighth and final war patrol on 12 July. When hostilities ceased on 15 August, the submarine was on station 40 miles southeast of Hachijo Shima. Following her return to Midway, Seahorse sailed for Mare Island where she was decommissioned on 2 March 1946. She was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet and remained inactive for the remainder of her career. She was reclassified an auxiliary submarine (AGSS) on a November 1962, struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1967, and sold on 14 December 1968 to Zidell Explorations Inc., Portland, Oregon, for scrap~ing.

Seahorse (SS-304) received nine battle stars for World War II service.


World War II Database


ww2dbase USS Seahorse was commissioned into service in Mar 1943. After shakedown and training cruises, she departed the west coast of the United States for Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, from where she would embark on her first war patrol in Aug 1943. She would make a total of eight war patrols, most of which saw her sinking Japanese vessels ranking from small sail boats to large cargo ships on 20 Apr 1944, she encountered a warship, Japanese submarine RO-45, and promptly destroyed her as well. She ended the war while on lifeguard station 40 miles southeast of Hachijo Jima of Izu Islands south of Japan, about 250 kilometers south of Tokyo, Japan. She was decommissioned from service at Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, United States in Mar 1946 and was placed in reserve until she was removed from the US Navy Register in Mar 1967. She was sold for scrap in the following year.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Apr 2013

Submarine Seahorse (SS-304) Interactive Map

Seahorse Operational Timeline

1 Jul 1942 The keel of submarine Seahorse was laid down at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States.
9 Jan 1943 Submarine Seahorse was launched at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States, sponsored by the wife of Chester C. Smith.
31 Mar 1943 USS Seahorse was commissioned into service with Commander Donald McGregor in command.
3 Aug 1943 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol.
29 Aug 1943 USS Seahorse attempted to attack a Japanese convoy in the Pacific Ocean, but was counterattacked prior to the launching of torpedoes. She suffered minor damage from depth charges.
6 Sep 1943 USS Seahorse sank a Japanese transport in the Palau Islands, hitting her with three of four torpedoes fired. The subsequent depth charge counterattack caused severe leaks.
14 Sep 1943 USS Seahorse attacked a Japanese tanker in the Palau Islands all eight torpedoes missed.
27 Sep 1943 USS Seahorse arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her first war patrol.
20 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse departed Midway Atoll for her second war patrol.
29 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan.
30 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan.
31 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan.
2 Nov 1943 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ships Chihaya Maru and Ume Maru south of Japan nine torpedoes were expended during this attack, seven of which hit.
22 Nov 1943 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Daishu Maru south of Japan, hitting her with two of four torpedoes fired.
26 Nov 1943 USS Seahorse sank Japanese tanker San Ramon Maru south of Japan, hitting her with two of three torpedoes fired.
1 Dec 1943 USS Seahorse damaged a Japanese transport south of Japan, hitting her with two of four torpedoes fired. She ran out of torpedoes and set sail for Hawaii Islands.
12 Dec 1943 USS Seahorse arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her second war patrol.
6 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her third war patrol.
16 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Nikko Maru off the Mariana Islands, hitting her with three of four torpedoes fired.
21 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Yasukuni Maru and passenger-cargo ship Ikoma Maru in the Pacific Ocean, expending nine torpedoes, five of which scored hits.
28 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse began an 80-hour chase of a Japanese convoy off the Palau Islands.
30 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Toko Maru south of Japan, which she had been chasing for many hours, hitting her with all three of three torpedoes fired.
31 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Toei Maru south of Japan, which she had been chasing for many hours, hitting her with two of eight torpedoes fired.
16 Feb 1944 USS Seahorse arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her third war patrol.
16 Mar 1944 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her fourth war patrol.
8 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse detected a Japanese convoy off the Mariana Islands. After dark, attacked the convoy and sank cargo ship Kizugawa Maru, hitting her with four of eight torpedoes fired. After evading depth charges, she attacked again, sinking cargo ship Bisaku Maru, hitting her with two of six torpedoes fired.
12 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse assumed lifeguard station duty for US aircraft attacking Saipan, Mariana Islands.
20 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese submarine RO-45 west of Saipan, Mariana Islands, hitting her with three of four torpedoes fired.
27 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Akigawa Maru west of Saipan, Mariana Islands.
3 May 1944 USS Seahorse was relieved from lifeguard station duty in the Mariana Islands and set sail for Milne Bay, Australian Papua.
11 May 1944 USS Seahorse arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her fourth war patrol.
11 Jun 1944 USS Seahorse departed Brisbane, Australia for her fifth war patrol.
27 Jun 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese tanker Medan Maru and damage two other ships off Taiwan, hitting them with five of six torpedoes fired.
3 Jul 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Nitta Maru and passenger-cargo ship Gyoyu Maru off Taiwan, hitting her with four of five torpedoes fired.
4 Jul 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Kyodo Maru No. 28 off Taiwan, hitting her with five of her last six torpedoes.
19 Jul 1944 USS Seahorse sank arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her fifth war patrol.
6 Oct 1944 USS Seahorse claimed the sinking of a Japanese destroyer off Taiwan with one torpedo hit of six torpedoes fired.
18 Oct 1944 USS Seahorse arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her sixth war patrol.
9 Mar 1945 USS Seahorse departed for her seventh war patrol.
8 Apr 1945 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with gunfire off Japan.
18 Apr 1945 USS Seahorse was damaged by two Japanese patrol vessels off Japan she fired one torpedo in return, but it missed. She set sail for Guam, Mariana Islands for repairs.
12 Jul 1945 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her eighth war patrol.
2 Mar 1946 USS Seahorse was decommissioned from service at Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, United States.
6 Nov 1962 USS Seahorse was reclassified an auxiliary submarine and was given the new hull number AGSS-304.
1 Mar 1967 Submarine Seahorse was struck from the US Naval Register.
4 Dec 1968 Submarine Seahorse was sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc. of Portland, Oregon, United States for scrapping.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Jeff says:
12 Feb 2013 03:43:03 PM

I found a large orange buoy at a salvage yard that had a plaque on it that said, The other end of the cable attatched to this buoy is secured to a sunken submarine, USS Sea Horse (space between Sea and Horse is there) Do not pull on this cable with a force greater than 5,000 pounds. There is the same information in another language under that. Anyone have any information on which boat that could have been hooked to? I was told it was possibly from Italy. Thank you.

2. Anonymous says:
8 Dec 2015 07:19:52 AM

You found a Rescue Buoy from the USS Seahorse, SSN-669. Submarine was decommissioned and scrapped in the 1990's. You might find a few of her old crew interested in that plaque. Piece of Serious Memorabilia for us.

3. V. Penprase says:
24 Jul 2017 06:08:50 AM

My father was an electrician on the Seahorse, he told us stories about wartime, but never told " secret orders" he was sworn to. I wish he could have seen this site! He passed away in 2008. All oh his kids and grandkids have a seahorse tatted somewhere on our bodies in honor of dad. He was a proud and honorable American until the day he died. Thank you for this site!

4. Anonymous says:
15 May 2018 07:15:34 PM

Isn't it about time to reveal the circumstances accurately. Please GOD, it is time for the truth. The records need to be released if they are not already. The truth will set us free, lies and deception will continue to entangle us in the web of destruction.

5. Leo Berger-Greer says:
4 Oct 2018 10:37:10 AM

My Great Uncle, Harry Holt Greer,
was the captain. We have his box of lead Japanese warship models and the original film reel of the movie about him, which you can find on youtube.

6. Anonymous says:
15 Nov 2018 05:40:04 PM

Does anyone remember Charles Paul Wilcox he was a chief on the Seahorse

7. Anonymous says:
10 Jul 2019 07:11:42 PM

Hi I'm trying to help a friend out his name is Alan van he was the Torpedoes mate on the USS seahorse and World War II just trying to find the crew roster for him

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.


World War II Database


ww2dbase USS Seahorse was commissioned into service in Mar 1943. After shakedown and training cruises, she departed the west coast of the United States for Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, from where she would embark on her first war patrol in Aug 1943. She would make a total of eight war patrols, most of which saw her sinking Japanese vessels ranking from small sail boats to large cargo ships on 20 Apr 1944, she encountered a warship, Japanese submarine RO-45, and promptly destroyed her as well. She ended the war while on lifeguard station 40 miles southeast of Hachijo Jima of Izu Islands south of Japan, about 250 kilometers south of Tokyo, Japan. She was decommissioned from service at Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, United States in Mar 1946 and was placed in reserve until she was removed from the US Navy Register in Mar 1967. She was sold for scrap in the following year.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Apr 2013

Submarine Seahorse (SS-304) Interactive Map

Seahorse Operational Timeline

1 Jul 1942 The keel of submarine Seahorse was laid down at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States.
9 Jan 1943 Submarine Seahorse was launched at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California, United States, sponsored by the wife of Chester C. Smith.
31 Mar 1943 USS Seahorse was commissioned into service with Commander Donald McGregor in command.
3 Aug 1943 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her first war patrol.
29 Aug 1943 USS Seahorse attempted to attack a Japanese convoy in the Pacific Ocean, but was counterattacked prior to the launching of torpedoes. She suffered minor damage from depth charges.
6 Sep 1943 USS Seahorse sank a Japanese transport in the Palau Islands, hitting her with three of four torpedoes fired. The subsequent depth charge counterattack caused severe leaks.
14 Sep 1943 USS Seahorse attacked a Japanese tanker in the Palau Islands all eight torpedoes missed.
27 Sep 1943 USS Seahorse arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her first war patrol.
20 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse departed Midway Atoll for her second war patrol.
29 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan.
30 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan.
31 Oct 1943 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun south of Japan.
2 Nov 1943 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ships Chihaya Maru and Ume Maru south of Japan nine torpedoes were expended during this attack, seven of which hit.
22 Nov 1943 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Daishu Maru south of Japan, hitting her with two of four torpedoes fired.
26 Nov 1943 USS Seahorse sank Japanese tanker San Ramon Maru south of Japan, hitting her with two of three torpedoes fired.
1 Dec 1943 USS Seahorse damaged a Japanese transport south of Japan, hitting her with two of four torpedoes fired. She ran out of torpedoes and set sail for Hawaii Islands.
12 Dec 1943 USS Seahorse arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her second war patrol.
6 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her third war patrol.
16 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Nikko Maru off the Mariana Islands, hitting her with three of four torpedoes fired.
21 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Yasukuni Maru and passenger-cargo ship Ikoma Maru in the Pacific Ocean, expending nine torpedoes, five of which scored hits.
28 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse began an 80-hour chase of a Japanese convoy off the Palau Islands.
30 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Toko Maru south of Japan, which she had been chasing for many hours, hitting her with all three of three torpedoes fired.
31 Jan 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Toei Maru south of Japan, which she had been chasing for many hours, hitting her with two of eight torpedoes fired.
16 Feb 1944 USS Seahorse arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her third war patrol.
16 Mar 1944 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her fourth war patrol.
8 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse detected a Japanese convoy off the Mariana Islands. After dark, attacked the convoy and sank cargo ship Kizugawa Maru, hitting her with four of eight torpedoes fired. After evading depth charges, she attacked again, sinking cargo ship Bisaku Maru, hitting her with two of six torpedoes fired.
12 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse assumed lifeguard station duty for US aircraft attacking Saipan, Mariana Islands.
20 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese submarine RO-45 west of Saipan, Mariana Islands, hitting her with three of four torpedoes fired.
27 Apr 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Akigawa Maru west of Saipan, Mariana Islands.
3 May 1944 USS Seahorse was relieved from lifeguard station duty in the Mariana Islands and set sail for Milne Bay, Australian Papua.
11 May 1944 USS Seahorse arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her fourth war patrol.
11 Jun 1944 USS Seahorse departed Brisbane, Australia for her fifth war patrol.
27 Jun 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese tanker Medan Maru and damage two other ships off Taiwan, hitting them with five of six torpedoes fired.
3 Jul 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Nitta Maru and passenger-cargo ship Gyoyu Maru off Taiwan, hitting her with four of five torpedoes fired.
4 Jul 1944 USS Seahorse sank Japanese cargo ship Kyodo Maru No. 28 off Taiwan, hitting her with five of her last six torpedoes.
19 Jul 1944 USS Seahorse sank arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her fifth war patrol.
6 Oct 1944 USS Seahorse claimed the sinking of a Japanese destroyer off Taiwan with one torpedo hit of six torpedoes fired.
18 Oct 1944 USS Seahorse arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her sixth war patrol.
9 Mar 1945 USS Seahorse departed for her seventh war patrol.
8 Apr 1945 USS Seahorse sank a small Japanese vessel with gunfire off Japan.
18 Apr 1945 USS Seahorse was damaged by two Japanese patrol vessels off Japan she fired one torpedo in return, but it missed. She set sail for Guam, Mariana Islands for repairs.
12 Jul 1945 USS Seahorse departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her eighth war patrol.
2 Mar 1946 USS Seahorse was decommissioned from service at Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, United States.
6 Nov 1962 USS Seahorse was reclassified an auxiliary submarine and was given the new hull number AGSS-304.
1 Mar 1967 Submarine Seahorse was struck from the US Naval Register.
4 Dec 1968 Submarine Seahorse was sold to Zidell Explorations, Inc. of Portland, Oregon, United States for scrapping.

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Because of their body shape, seahorses are rather inept swimmers and can easily die of exhaustion when caught in storm-roiled seas. They propel themselves by using a small fin on their back that flutters up to 35 times per second. Even smaller pectoral fins located near the back of the head are used for steering.

They anchor themselves with their prehensile tails to sea grasses and corals, using their elongated snouts to suck in plankton and small crustaceans that drift by. Voracious eaters, they graze continually and can consume 3,000 or more brine shrimp per day.


USS Segundo History

The USS Segundo(SS-398) was laid down on 14 October 1943 by the Portsmouth, NewHampshire Navy Yard. Like all submarines at that time the Segundo was named after a fish. The Segundo was launched on 5 February 1944 sponsored by Mrs. John L. Sullivan and commissioned on 9 May 1944 Commanding Officer LCDR. J. D. Fulp, Jr. .
Click here to view list of SEGUNDO commanding officers

Segundo Launch February 5, 1944

SS-398 Specifications
Displacement:
– Surfaced: 1,525 t.
– Submerged: 2,415 t.
Length: 311𔄂″
Beam: 27𔃽″
Draft: 15𔃽″
Speed:
– Surfaced: 20 k.
– Submerged: 8.75 k.
Complement: 81
Armament: 1 5″ 1 40mm 1 20mm
10 21″ torpedo tubes
Class: BALAO

SEGUNDO completed fitting out and contract trials then moved to New London, Conn., on 15 June and began training. The submarine stood out of New London on 26 June for the Panama Canal Zone en route to the Pacific war zone. She departed Balboa on 9 July and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 25 July. The next several weeks were spent in training exercises and weapons firing. The ship was combat loaded on 19 and 20 August and, the next day, sailed on her first war patrol.

SEGUNDO, together with submarines SEAHORSE (SS-304), and WHALE (SS-239) formed a wolf pack. They refueled at Saipan on 3 September and departed the next day for their patrol area in the Philippines near Surigao Strait. No worthwhile targets were found, and SEGUNDO ended her patrol at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 21 October without having fired a shot.

The second patrol, from 16 November 1944 to 5 January 1945, was more profitable. SEGUNDO, and sister ships TREPANG (SS-412), and RAZORBACK (SS-394) were cruising between Luzon Strait and the South China Sea. On the evening of 6 December, a convoy of seven escorted merchant ships was sighted. The three submarines made night attacks which sank all of the merchantmen.

SEGUNDO refitted at Guam from submarine tender APOLLO (AS-25) and was in the East China Sea with RAZORBACK and SEACAT (SS-399) on 1 February. Three torpedo attacks were made on unescorted ships near the Korean coast in shallow water. The first attack was on 6 March against a small ship but all torpedoes missed. The next was made four days later against a medium-sized ship. Four torpedoes were fired at 1,000 yards but they also missed. The third attack was a night surface one against a cargo ship on 11 March. Two torpedoes of the spread hit. The first blew the stern off and the second hit amidships, sinking cargo ship SHORI MARU in two minutes. The submarine ended her patrol at Pearl Harbor on 26 March and remained there for a month before putting to sea again.

SEGUNDO was assigned to a lifeguard station until 16 May when she departed for her assigned area in the East China Sea. On the 29th, she sank seven two-masted schooners of approximately 100 tons each with shellfire. Two days later, she sank a large four-masted full-rigged ship of approximately 1,250 tons with two torpedoes. She sank another on 3 June with her deck gun. On the 9th, two patrol ships were also sunk by her deck gun. On the night of 11 June, the FUKUI MARU was torpedoed and sunk. The submarine then sailed to Midway for upkeep.

SEGUNDO began her fifth and final war patrol on 10 August in the Sea of Okhotsk. Ordered to proceed to Tokyo Bay on the 24th, the ship was proceeding south when she picked up a Japanese submarine by radar on the 29th. The enemy boat was ordered to halt by international signal. This was done and, after several trips between the two submarines by their respective representatives, the Japanese agreed to accept a prize crew aboard and to proceed to Tokyo with SEGUNDO. The two ships entered Sagami Wan on 31 August and, at 0500, the American flag was raised aboard the I-401.

The SEGUNDO was in Tokyo Bay for V-J Day. SEGUNDO stood out of Tokyo Bay on 3 September 1945 en route to the west coast via Pearl Harbor. She was assigned to Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 3 in San Diego and began operations from there. The submarine made a three-month cruise to Australia and China in 1946 and a four-month cruise to China in 1948. The outbreak of war in Korea found SEGUNDO in the Far East. She supported United Nations Forces in Korea from July to September 1950 before returning to San Diego in late November.

In 1951, SEGUNDO was modernized at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard and equipped with a snorkel. She returned to her home port and resumed operations until 15 August 1952 when she again joined the 7th Fleet off Korea. That deployment period ended on 16 February 1953.

For the next 16 years, SEGUNDO operated out of her home port and along the west coast. From 1953 through 1969, she was deployed to the western Pacific every year except 1961 and 1963.

On May 12, 1965, LCDR R.L. Chasse relieved CDR Rex E.Maire and continued providing services during local operations in the Southern California area. After a period in Hunters Point to replace the battery in 1965, SEGUNDO provided Sub Services to ASW Task group consisting of USS Hornet and several Destroyers while enroute to Northwest Pacific. After a visit in Port Angles, Washington, SEGUNDO continued to provide Sub services to the ASW Task Group while enroute to San Diego. After a brief trip to Hunters Point for repairs, SEGUNDO returned to San Diego and conducted local operations which included a quick work up for a Westpac trip in June, 1966.

During the 1966 Westpac trip, SEGUNDO continued to provide Sub services to Seventh Fleet Units and made port calls at Yokosuka, Keelung, Taiwan, Okinawa, Subic Bay and Bangkok, Thailand. While en route to Bangkok, SEGUNDO conducted transit operations with US and British Submarines. After returning to Subic Bay, SEGUNDO proceeded to the Gulf of Tonkin to provide Sub services to Destroyers operating in that area. After a period of conducting Special Operations, SEGUNDO visited Hong Kong and returned to Yokosuka. During SEGUNDO’s return to San Diego, via the North Pacific, she simulated a Russian Submarine while being tracked by various ASW forces.

After SEGUNDO’s return in December 1966, she entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard for a regular overhaul which finished several days early. Upon completion of this overhaul, SEGUNDO commenced another workup for another Westpac deployment.

In May 1967, LCDR D.A. Fudge relieved CDR R.L. Chasse. In May 1969 LCDR A.C. Cajaka relieved CDR D.A. Fudge.

In July 1970, a Survey Board found SEGUNDO unfit for further Naval service. The submarine was struck from the Navy list on 8 August 1970 and sunk as a target by the USS SALMON(SS 573).

MEDALS AND AWARDS. U.S.S. SEGUNDO(SS 398)
Submarine Combat Insignia with 4 stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 5 stars (or 1 silver star)
American Campaign Medal
Victory Medal (World War II)
Navy Occupation Service Medal. (Asia clasp)
China Service Medal (Extended) (1945-1957)
National Defense Service Medal with 1 star
Korean Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 3 stars
United Nations Service Medal
Philippine Liberation Medal
1948 – Awarded the Submarine Squadron THREE Efficiency Pennant
1965 – Awarded the Battle Efficiency Award, Submarine Squadron THREE

8 Responses to USS Segundo History

Why is no history of LCDR D.A.Fudge deployment on the Segundo mentioned? Also nothing of the 1967 Wes_Pac cruise. Also no mention of our involvement with USS Pueblo Our orders to try and rescue the crew of the Pueblo are not mentioned. Our submarine being outfitted with top secret surveillance equipment. No mentioned of all the top secret personal that was deployed with us to operate said equipment. Certainly not fair to our Captain David Fudge, and the crew who served so proudly with him.

The reason there is no information on the Pueblo mission is that no one has submitted anything on it. My understanding is that the mission was classified. If the record of that mission has been declassified, and crew members who were on that mission want to submit there recollections, I can include them in the website.

I served on the Segundo during pueblo crisis! I suffer from chronic PTSD. I don’t know how to prove this to the VA Won’t go into what is wrong with me in detail Would be helpful for any tips you may provide Thanks. Mike. Reynoldd. @oink”

Thank you sir. Commander Fudge was my Father in Law, I knew he was a man of few words and of much pride. Your comments of Commander Fudge and the men who served under him on the Segundo don’t suprise me.
You all have my true graditude for what you have done for our Country. God Bless you all and this fine Country !

I just stumbled on this web page. I served on Segundo when Commander Fudge was CO. Missing in the reports is Segundo during its 1968-69 deployment was infused with top secret “spooks” for ECM and comm work for several patrols to penetrate and photo op Cambodia’s harbor. Photo to catch illegal munitions shipping and it was found in transit. I helped the Ops Officer develop the film. Even more of a bonus the ECM crowds found one reason American bombers were being lost over Cambodia that being a finding that a US radar ship system had been smuggled into Cambodia. The findings input to the Nixon Administration lead, in part, to the bombings of Cambodia.
Sad the Sub never received a Naval Unit Citation or some other recognition….
Ed C

and all the while from 1968 on, the russians were reading all our top secret communications after they acquired the kw-7 encriptor off the pueblo. continued to read them till 1986 when john walker’s exwife turned him in. that’s how the russians located and sank the scorpion. stupidity! on a different note, the f-m engines on the segundo were superb. i learned a lot. jpayne, en2-ss

I served on the Segundo from 1966-1970, worked aft torpedo room. I wasn’t knowledgeable

of where we where, But I do know I served with the Finest “SECOND TO NONE”

I sereved on Segundo from 1966-1969, I have no complaints with Captain or crew. We did our job no matter where we were deployed.
Patrick T Stevenson UT1/SS ret
I cross rated into the SEABEES.


How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

I found this at an antique store. Asking $175 with original gas can and motor runs they say. I want this not actually use but to have as a collectors item. I really like the old outboards but I admit, I know nothing about them. I just appreciate where we have come from in the boating world and I'd like to have an old antique outboard as a collector's piece.

All i have is a photo and I'm guessing it's a 1950's model from what I've seen online.

Any ideas for what a running 5.5hp Seahorse is worth?

HighTrim

Supreme Mariner

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

If it is running, and they throw in the tank and stand grab it. Antique Stores expect you to haggle, so throw a number at them and see what happens.

I would probably want to see it run though, you have no idea how many times I have been told a motor is in running condition, then you get there and they say it WAS running 20 years ago. There is a big difference. If they cannot show you it running, it is a parts motor as far as Im concerned. Which isnt that bad, I actually only buy non running motors, as I like to restore them myself.

Colbyt

Master Chief Petty Officer

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

+1 on what he said. A tank that holds pressure and has the motor connecter is probably worth 50-75.

Paul Kimberley

Recruit

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

HighTrim

Supreme Mariner

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

Sorry Paul but you are misinformed about the ignition on the 50s OMCS. The coils are actually extremely easy to get, they are Universal Coils, available almost anywhere, even here on iboats.

Once you get into the older antiques, I agree, coils become an issue, but not with this CD

Nwcove

Admiral

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

id also be quick to mention to the dealer that the motor is far from antique, that may get a few $ off the price.

HighTrim

Supreme Mariner

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

Here is an example of the coils

1946Zephyr

Vice Admiral

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

That is a 1955 CD-12 I would classify this as antique, since it is almost 60 years old. LOL Not to worry though. The consumable components will be available for years. Coils and water pumps were the same ones used on the 6's up till the late 70's As far as other parts go, there are still bunches of these motors still out there, so finding a parts motor won't be hard. I own three of these motors myself and have paid anywhere from $35 to $100 each for them. A couple of them needed some tune up work to get running but all three run now. I would check the compression and the oil in the lower unit. The lower unit will likely have water intrusion, but sometimes a guy gets lucky. Seal kits are about $22 so no biggie. It's a good weekend project on a winter day.

Lindy46

Captain

Re: How much is an old Johnson Seahorse worth?

Looks like a CD-12 - a 1955 model. That would be a real good price for a demonstrated running motor. I have a CD-12 I just went totally through, replaced coils, points, condensers, wires, rebuilt the carb, new gas lines, replaced the water pump impeller and seals in the lower unit. Mine runs like a champ and with the tank, I wouldn't sell it for anywhere near that price, as that is about what I have in the motor and parts, not including all my labor. If I were buying a display motor with no intention of running it, I wouldn't pay more than $100 with tank (parts motor). That motor has little valuable as a collectible, as they made lots of them. It will probably not go up in value much over time. They are great old motors though, if you plan on fixing it up to use. Fairly bullet-proof, and if you refurb them as I have done with mine, they will probably be good for another 50 years.


USS Seahorse SS-304 US Navy Gato Class Submarine Display Model Signed












USS Seahorse SS-304 US Navy GAto Class Submarine Display Model Signed 1/150 scale. The USS Seahorse was commissioned on March 31, 1943 and saw extensive service during WWII. She helped provide vital inteligence that helped the US surprise the Yamato battle group in 1944 virtually ending the threat of Japanese NAval Aviation in WWII. Driven by a relentless persistance and the innate ability to seek out the enemy Commander Slade Cutter and crews sank 19 Japanese ships during his four war patrols aboard the USS Seahorse. He became only the second submariner to achieve such a record and was awarded the Navy Cross four times for his extraordinary heroism. The USS Seahorse was the recipient of Nine Battle Stars. Presented in 1/150 scale size is the famous USS Seahorse that has been signed by Commander Cutter. The brass siganture plate bears Commander Cutter’s signature and is affixed onto the left front corner of the mahogany wood display base that supports the USS Seahorse. The signature plate gives a brief history abotu the sub and Commander Cutter. Another name plate is attached on the lower front center of the base. This is very detailed submarine with quality and detail second to none. Every detail possible has been reproduced in 1/150 scale. We are proud to offer this very limited edition USS Seahorse submarine model as she and her crew are a testimant to the actions and sacrifice of the “Greatest Generation”. We salute and support ALL of our service members in the US Military and wish to extend a heartfelt “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE” to all members. Display base measures: 26 3/8″ long x 4 3/8″ wide. The Seahorse measures 24 3/4 long and is approx. Check out my other items. Be sure to add me to your favorites list. Do NOT throw out the packaging or contents. Note: some items can’t be combined due to weight and size. Of receipt so we can rectify the issue. We respond to any question(s) as soon as possible. If a brand new item is found to a factory flaw or defect please notify us immediately. The item “USS Seahorse SS-304 US Navy Gato Class Submarine Display Model Signed” is in sale since Wednesday, August 12, 2015. This item is in the category “CollectiblesTransportationBoats & ShipsMilitaryModels”. The seller is “turbinemongoose” and is located in White Haven, Pennsylvania. This item can be shipped to United States.


Seahorse I SS-304 - History

USS Seahorse SS-304
Record of Submerged Runs
The original Sub's logbook for its Famous Second War Patrol
October 12, 1943 - January 6 1943
This is the ORIGINAL 'Record of Submerged Runs' for the USS Seahorse SS-304
Truly a piece of history this logbok is for the Seahorse's second war patrol Commanded by Slade D. Cutter

$3500
SOLD
9" by 5" by 3/4" Hardcover
see a larger scan here
This logbook is literally filled with daily entries from front cover to rear cover.
The USS Seahorse (SS-304) was one of the top ranked submarines in the Pacific during World War II. She completed eight impressive war patrols under four different skippers, two of whom earned the coveted Navy Cross. Her most successful CO was Commander Slade D. Cutter of Chicago, Illinois. As Captain of the Seahorse, Cutter destroyed 19 enemy ships, placing him second in the overall score for submarine commanders of WWII. In 1945, at wars end, Seahorse ranked sixth in the number of ships destroyed and twelfth in tonnage sunk. The book Maru Killer by Dave Bouslog makes exclusive use of the submarine's war patrol reports as well as extensive interviews and correspondence with her surviving officers and enlisted men.
The USS Seahorse sank over 20 Japanese ships and even another Japanese Submarine
The Seahorse was one of the most "fightin'est" Submarines of World War II
and her second war patrol was probably her most succesful.
See a complete history of the USS Seahorse here

Summary of the Second War Patrol
From the book Maru Killer page 113
Total patrol days: 53
Total days spent in patrol areas: 26
Miles steamed: 11,873
Gallons of fuel used: 115,000
Number of torpedo attacks made: 7
Number of torpedos fired: 24
Number of ships sank: 6
Tonnage of ships sunk: 30,031
Number of ships damaged: 2 (includes Destroyer)
Tonnage of ships damaged: 6,800
Three fishing trawlers were sunk by SS-304 gun attack

USS Seahorse sailed on 20 October for her second war patrol. She sank three enemy trawlers in surface actions and then, along with the USS Trigger commenced a two day attack on a 17 ship Japanese convoy. Seahorse evaded three escort ships and fired three torpedos at two freighters. Four hours later she again attacked, sending three more torpedos at a tanker and another spread at a third freighter. Flames burst from each target as Japanese destroyers turned towards Seahorse but they were too late to catch her. Seahorse expended the last of her torpedos on 30 November. After manuevering for several hours she was finally able to fire her stern tubes at the enemy convoy. However, one torpedo exploded close aboard and the convoy opened fire on the vicinity of Seahorse. With so many explosions around her, it was impossible for her to determine whether any torpedos had hit. Low on fuel and out of torpedos, she returned to Pearl Harbor.

Noteable events involving Seahorse's Second War Patrol include:
3 Aug, 1943
USS Seahorse (Cdr. D. McGregor) left Pearl Harbor for her first war patrol. She was to patrol off the Palau Islands.
6 Sep, 1943
USS Seahorse (Cdr. D. McGregor) is damaged by depth charges while on her first war patrol off the Palau Islands in position 07.31N, 134.21E. She was attacking a convoy, but dispite some damage she remains on patrol.
27 Sep, 1943
USS Seahorse (Cdr. D. McGregor) ends her first, unsuccesful, war patrol at Midway.
20 Oct, 1943
After a refit USS Seahorse (Lt.Cdr. S.D. Cutter) left base for her 2nd war patrol. She was to patrol off Honshu in Japanese home waters.
2 Nov, 1943
While operating south of Honshu USS Seahorse (Lt.Cdr. S.D. Cutter) had a very succesful day. She torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Chihaya Maru (7089 BRT) in position 29.31N, 134.50E, the transport ship Yawata Maru (1852 BRT) in position 28.30N, 135.35E and finally the transport ship Ume Maru (5859 BRT) in position 28.40N, 135.35E.
22 Nov, 1943
USS Seahorse (Lt.Cdr. S.D. Cutter) torpedoed and sank the Japanese transport ship Daishu Maru (3322 BRT) in the East China Sea in position 33.41N, 128.35E.
27 Nov, 1943
USS Seahorse (Lt.Cdr. S.D. Cutter) torpedoed and sinks the Japanese tanker San Ramon Maru (7309 BRT) in the East China Sea in position 33.36N, 128.57E.
11 Dec, 1943
USS Seahorse (Lt.Cdr. S.D. Cutter) ended a succesful second war patrol and is enroute to Pearl Harbor.
6 Jan, 1944
USS Seahorse (Lt.Cdr. S.D. Cutter) left Pearl Harbor for her 3th war patrol. She was to patrol off the Palau Islands.

The logbook contains the signatures of five different Officers on board

The original USS Seahorse logbook also comes with
Maru Killer by Dave Bouslog
and
Slade Cutter Submarine Warrior by Carl LaVO

Both of the above books go into great deal concerning the second war patrol of the USS Seahorse
and history really does come alive when you cross reference the logbook with the two books.


The Definitive History of the Seahorse Society - Part 1

This is page includes some introductory comments, and information about the earliest attempts to organise a cross-dressing club in Australia, and the start of the Seahorse Society of Australia.

Introduction

Information for this article has been drawn from researching many sources, including from several articles in back copies of Polare, the Gender Centre's magazine, published between 1993 and 2008, and written by Seahorse members (usually the current President). It also incorporates information from early members, in particular, Di Ward, who had kept documents and magazine articles from as far back as 1975, when she first joined Seahorse. In addition, the observations of a psychiatrist, Dr. Neil Buhrich in his 1976 academic article about Seahorse are also included.

In April 2013, information was received from the founding President, Rosemary abou the early years of Seahorse.

In my role as Membership Secretary, I have had access to a large amount of membership records, applications and other correspondence dating back to the 1980's. In December 2014, I found an article by Pauline Worner, one of the founders, in a Feminique issue No.15 (1977).

This article follows the history of Seahorse from some years before its formation in 1971, through its rapid development as a well-known national organisation, until 1980, when it split into various independent state organisations. The article then follows the history of Seahorse NSW from 1980 to the present day, including looking at how Seahorse currently functions.

Somewhat surprisingly, the details of Seahorse's earliest history in the 1970's have been extremely well documented, much better than the middle years of the 1980's and 1990's.

The Dark Ages: before Seahorse existed

Seahorse's early beginnings date back to about 1967. It was an immensely difficult task given the highly closeted times, when NSW Police could arrest you for just going out in public dressed as a woman. The Vice Squad of the NSW Police, in its quest to eradicate homosexuality from Australia, had the power to check the underwear of a cross-dresser out in public. If you claimed to be going to a fancy dress party in drag, this was acceptable as long as you were wearing men's underwear. If you were wearing women's underwear, you could be charged with an offence, such as disturbing the peace or soliticing. This is laughable by today's standards.

A past member of Seahorse told me about being arrested in the 1960's because she used the women's toilets while dressed as a woman. She said it was a humiliating experience, being arrested and having to face court. The problem that transvestites faced was that the public at large assumed the only reason any man would dress as a woman was to attract a man for sexual reasons, i.e. a homosexual act, which was illegal at that time. Tasmania was reported to have had a somewhat bizarre law, which was that it was illegal for a man to dress as a woman in public at night, but it was legal in the day time. This was confirmed in a letter from a Tasmanian member in a letter dated 1992.

It was around the late 1960's, there was a landmark case, that I recall reading in a newspaper, where a cross-dresser was brought before a senior magistrate's court simply because he was wearing a skirt in public. The magistrate ruled that no law had been broken. As a result, NSW Police's Vice Squad soon stopped arresting public transvestites, as a convictions were now unlikely to succeed. It was a time of major social change, where morality and criminality began to become separate issues.

Enter our Founder, Rosemary

Rosemary, a member of the Beaumont Society in the United Kingdom, had just immigrated to Australia in 1967 and was persuaded to begin the new club by Fiona Cummings (who later became known as Catherine Cumming). Fiona as she was a fellow member of "Full Personality Expression" (FPE), Virginia Prince's transvestite society and the only Australian member. Virginia had founded the first transvestite club in the Western World, initially in Los Angeles, in the early 1950's. In those days, transvestism was considered by society either as perverse or as pornographic. Because of that repressive era, no reputable newspaper in Australia would dare run such an advertisement to promote such a club.

Fiona introduced Rosemary to Pauline, a decorated ex-member of the RAAF, who also was a member of a close support squadron in Korea which had three known transvestite pilots in its ranks. However, soon after Rosemary arrived in Australia and much to her disappointment, Fiona left Australia to work in America.

Pauline was eventually able to contact Joan Kempthorne from New Zealand via a mail order company run by Jack Fischer. Joan knew another cross-dresser, Carole, a ship's officer from the United Kingdom. Pauline and Joan commenced a lively correspondence.

The other official Australian organisation which tried to suppress homosexuals and transvestites at that time was The Australian Post Office, who took it upon themselves to censor what they considered pornographic mail. Rosemary recounted how the Post Office delighted in causing embarrassment, which they did by refusing to deliver anything which could be classified as pornographic and requiring the addressee to go to their sorting office in person. When you arrived they would ask you if you knew what was in the parcel and, in Rosemary's case, she said "Yes. transvestite literature, which is not pornographic", they sheepishly handed it over.

Pauline, Rosemary and Joan began corresponding and finally were able to meet in 1968. Virginia Prince came to Australia and met up with Rosemary and Pauline as a result of this visit she suggested strongly to Rosemary that she should form a club in Australia.

Over dinner Rosemary and Joan decided to take the first step, to run a newspaper advertisement in the Daily Telegraph that was as explicit as possible, in more or less these words:

The first Seahorse Meeting

p>It was agreed that they should hold a meeting one evening soon where everyone could and should dress as we did not at that time know much about each other and this was simple way for each and everyone to show their credentials.

The official inaugural meeting of the club is reported to have taken place in Sydney in May 1971 with four members attending in a vacant flat at Bellevue Hill in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. Pauline said she knew an estate agent in Bondi who looked after furnished properties and she would see if she could let us use a house for one night at a low or nil rent. Pauline lived up to her word and they all assembled at the house. Only one potential member withdrew at the last moment because as she said her only interest was in ladies underwear and even though Rosemary offered to lend her a dress it was too much for her to dress in company.

The rest of the attendees changed and Pauline went to heat up the frozen TV dinners she had brought only to find that the gas had been turned off. She offered to go out in the street in her female finery and turn it on, which she unsuccessfully attempted to do, encouraged by Julie with shouts of encouragement, such as: "So, you're a bloody engineer. well, get it fixed!" The inaugural dinner ended up consisting of chips, peanuts and Cheezpops.

The evening was a great success and many Polaroid photos were taken. An article in Feminique, the later Seahorse magazine, in 1984, reported that the first meeting was in June 1971 and that six members attended.

Below are some old photos of those who may have attended the inaugural meeting. They may not have been taken on that night, but at other early meetings. They are photocopies of Polaroid photos and are therefore of poor quality. They are, however, the oldest known, existing photographs of Seahorse members.


Rosemary
Click here for a larger photo


Jill
Click here for a larger photo


Name unknown
Click here for a larger photo


Name unknown (possibly Trina)
Click here for a larger photo


Group photo.
Click here for a larger photo

Subsequent Meetings

The next few meetings were held at Rosemary's home in St Ives. Rosemary's wife, Jenny, typed and duplicated the first newsletters. After this Jill, who was at that time still single, offered the use of her home which was situated up the Northern Beaches at Mona Vale and many meetings were held there. At that stage the membership was reported to be 21.

A constitution was drafted during this time and the first committee elected, with Rosemary as Foundation President until 1973.

The early meetings were held in the members' homes and restaurants with private function rooms. Members' homes were usually chosen for their seclusion.

In February 1972, wives and girlfriends of members were allowed to attend club meetings. Later, children and parents were also accepted at meetings.

An article in the Forum Magazine (The Australian Journal of Interpersonal Relations Editor: Bettina Arndt) written in 1974, features a visit to a Seahorse Meeting, held at Trina's home. The article, entitled "A Night Out With The Boys", is quite detailed, factual and non-judgemental.


The Definitive History of the Seahorse Society - Part 6

This page includes details of major changes that occurred to Seahorse in the late 1970's and through the 1980's.

The Breakup of Seahorse

It was difficult to maintain such dizzy heights and the doldrums were beginning to set in. By 1979, a schism began to develop between the club's State Branches, probably caused by distance and personality clashes. The various states set up their own independent clubs. Some states, such as Western Australia and South Australia, dropped the name "Seahorse" altogether and adopted their own chosen names, such as "Chameleons" and "Carousel" respectively. The eastern states, NSW, Queensland and Victoria maintained the name "Seahorse". Seahorse Victoria had become a separate entity by mid-1975.

The rest of this article is almost entirely devoted to the Seahorse Society of NSW.

In September 1979, the first official meeting of Seahorse New South Wales was held in Marrickville. By the end of 1980, the original organisers had departed and the National Seahorse Society had disintegrated, leaving independent clubs in each state. The New South Wales club continued its outings to restaurants, theatres, shopping and discos but now more irregularly, and with Trina's departure in 1981, it was mostly quiet for several years.

No exact record exists of who were the Seahorse Presidents between 1979 and 1983.

Seahorse in the 1980's - The Difficult Years

In the early years of Seahorse, trans-sexuals were not accepted as members. By the early 1980's, the term "heterosexual transvestite" was still being widely used within the club, although it was noted that there were at least three members who had undergone, or were undergoing, hormone therapy and/or gender reassignment surgery.

Each new leader did a great job, but all the other members tended to stand around and watch until that person disappeared, burnt out from exhaustion. At the end of 1983, when Secretary Helen disappeared, New South Wales Seahorse had reportedly dropped to a mere four members. Caroline Joyce started an enthusiastic recovery in 1984-85 publishing Feminique 25, in which it was reported that the membership stood at 122. A similar event happened again when Caroline Joyce suddenly disappeared early in 1985 with all the members' details, and allegedly a large amount of cash, just after members had paid their membership subscriptions. The loss of members' details, as well as the funds, was a disaster for the club. See below for details.

Luckily, Dorothy Sellwood (President 1984-1987), Kim Seabourne (President 1987) and Joyce were on hand to keep the club together and through networking they were able to reassemble a list of many of the previous members. After that, the load was spread more evenly and records duplicated, so if it should happen again, the club would at least still have a list of its own members.

Detailed research into the existing membership applications, which date back to 1985, reveals that a new numbering system of members began around that time and whatever previous system that had been in place prior to that had to be abandoned.

By the late 1980's, it was becoming apparent that it was inappropriate for the club to maintain a strict limitation on membership by excluding trans-sexuals. As in all associations, the need to change the underlying philosophy had to be member-driven, and it took a couple of years of reasoning, plus a talk from a solicitor attached to the Redfern Legal Service, before Seahorse could adapt and make changes.

At some point in the 1980's, a splinter group broke off from Seahorse and called themselves the Flamingo Society, claiming that Seahorse was too conservative and did not meet the needs of younger cross-dressers who wanted to get out in public a lot more. It appears that the Flamingo Club ceased to function in 1992. A review of applications to Seahorse in the 1990's found that quite a few were from ex-Flamingo members joining or returning to Seahorse. A letter has been discovered that indicates the Flamingo and Seahorse clubs amalgamated in 1992 as the Seahorse Society Inc.

Of interest, I joined the Flamingo Club in 1989, but never attended any meetings as I was still very closeted back then.

The member who nearly destroyed Seahorse

It is unclear when she first joined Seahorse, but the remaining records show that Caroline Joyce became NSW Seahorse Secretary in 1984. She also was the editor of the final edition of the Feminique Magazine in 1984. Caroline promised 4 more editions in 1985. Her role of Secretary meant that she looked after Membership records and this may have included the Treasurer's role as well.

I was told and also had read that when Caroline suddenly disappeared in 1984, she had taken with her all the membership records, which contained names (femme and real), addresses, phone numbers, membership numbers, etc. Several older members have confirmed that Caroline took off with the Society's funds as well. Most members would have just paid their yearly membership fees at the last meeting that Caroline attended, so there would have been a large amount cash to be banked the following week. It is unclear if Caroline was unemployed at the time of the larceny and in need of money. The Police were obviously not informed.

So who was Caroline Joyce? We know that she wrote several autobiographical articles in the final Feminique magazine, which she edited in 1984. These may give us some insight about her life. She said she was born in 1934. I will start by reviewing these articles.

The first of these, entitled "I was only 14", recounted Caroline being taken to England in 1948 by her mother to see a specialist for help, because she wanted to become a girl. It seems that she was already living as one, but presumably wanted hormones and/or surgery to become a more complete girl. Incidentally, the famous Australian Vietnam era song "I was only 19" by Redgum, that was released in 1983 and may have influenced the title of the article.

However, the visit to the doctor turned into a disaster. After a brief and tactless examination, she was admitted "for tests" to a children's ward. However, the nurses then tried to cut off her hair, as some sort of coercive therapy to rid her of this gender problem. However, she fought them tooth and nail, but some of her hair was removed. She soon made a dramatic escape from the hospital and the Police returned her to her mother. Her distressed mother bought Caroline her first bra, a new dress and pair of shoes to make up for the painful experience.

The second article, is set in Sydney as a 17 year old, living and working as a woman. It is an account of her becoming ill while going to work one day and ending up in Sydney Hospital with appendicitis. She told the doctor that she was actually a male. Unlike her previous hospital experience in London in 1948, she was treated very well and in a respectful manner. The appendix must have ruptured before surgery and she was quite sick for several days and took months to recover.

During her recovery time, she saw doctors for help about changing her into a woman, but always received the same answer: "You should go home and live as a man".

The third article, said to be written by Caroline's wife, Rita, is also quite dramatic in many ways. It is quite a long article covering their complex relationship.

At the age of 17, Rita met Caroline, then aged 20, in 1954, when they both worked in the same department store in Sydney. Caroline was living and working full-time as a woman, and Rita did not know Caroline had been born a male. They became very close friends, and remained so even after the shock of Caroline eventually telling Rita of her birth gender. Six months later they married, with Caroline dressed in a male suit, but with female shoes and underwear. After the wedding, Caroline discarded the suit and they went on their honeymoon. On their honeymoon, they got kicked out of a motel in Taree because the owner said "We didn't want your kind here!" (I gained the impression that the owner thought they were lesbians.)

For the next three years, they had "a wonderful life", until children came along and "Caroline had to go back into the closet". Caroline could not get a job as a man because she had no work experience or references as a male. "After years of real hell", Caroline left their home and began to live as a woman again and eventually obtained a job as a manageress of a Ladies Department.

Rita and Caroline divorced in 1960, after Caroline started female hormones. Nine years later, Caroline was severely beaten up by a male friend, knocked unconscious and sustained 17 fractured bones. There followed a long recovery period with multiple surgeries. However, this event brought them back together again. In 1973, Rita and Caroline married each-other again. Caroline now worked as a male, but lived as a woman the rest of the time. This was the situation in 1984. Rita said that she "hated John", but "loved Caroline".

After first reading her articles, I had some doubts about the truthfulness of her stories. They sounded just a bit too dramatic and I suspect that her life story may be largely fabricated, or at the least, rather exaggerated.

So what happened to Caroline? She appeared to be strongly committed to Seahorse. Why did she disappear so suddenly? Was it just for Seahorse's funds, as some members have told me? Why did Rita not contact Seahorse if Caroline was seriously ill or had died suddenly? Sadly, my research cannot supply all the answers to these questions, but it looks like a case of old-fashioned larceny.

An unusual and sad story

In my research of old membership records, I came across a rather unexpected and poignant story.

Bernadette (#011), a member of mature years, joined Seahorse in May 1985 and very soon became an active member, serving as Honorary Secretary from October 1985 until May 1988. Her typed correspondence that we have on record was polite, well-written, pleasant and supportive towards joining members.

In May 1988, it appears that she resigned from the position of Honorary Secretary for reasons never stated, but apparently there was pressure from the majority of the committee for her to do so. However, at least one other member spoke out and voiced an opinion that the Committee had mishandled the whole situation, but also apologised for the use of the words "Mafia" and "Gestapo" in her initial letter of criticism of the situation (no copy of that letter exists).

Bernadette, initially distressed, stayed on as an ordinary member and there are records of cordial letters from Bernadette to the President.

12 months later, in May 1989, the committee took the extraordinary step of suspending her membership, citing her poor "standard of dress, manners, and personal hygiene", and that members were saying that they were reluctant to attend meetings or bring along guests "who would be confronted by her." (sic) I believe affronted is what was meant. This description of her has been confirmed by older Seahorse members. She was advised that she could not attend meetings until she could convince the Committee that she had improved. The letter was signed by five committee members. Records show that she resumed attending meetings in August the same year, presumably with the Committee's approval.

A letter from Bernadette, dated February 1990, includes her account of attending the Gay Mardi Gras, dressed as a woman and receiving a compliment from a gay man who thought she was a real woman. This man also thought that Seahorse no longer existed, a belief that Bernadette corrected.

Between February 1990 and May 1992, records show that she was a financial member and was attending meetings fairly regularly. In June 1992, she wrote to Seahorse, with shaky handwriting, saying that she was in Balmain Hospital and "was very sick". It sounds like she might have been terminally ill and in palliative care. There is no further reference to her in the records after that.

Some photos from the 1980's or 1990's:

Exact dates or years of these photos are unknown, except the ASHOG presentation photo which was probably taken in 1995.


Rhonda
Click here for a larger photo


Stephanie
Click here for a larger photo


Joyce accepting an award for Seahorse at ASHOG
Click here for a larger photo


Joyce taking the bus
Click here for a larger photo


Joyce shopping
Click here for a larger photo


Watch the video: VARIETY OF SEAHORSES