This is a nice group that belonged to Edward Goessel from Beloit, WI. He entered active duty on 11/3/1942. Following boot camp he went on to complete Radioman and Submariner school by September 1943. He was briefly assigned to the SS-87, which was an old coastal and harbor defense submarine based out of Key West, Florida. Goessel and a number of other SS-87 submariners were then resigned to the newly commissioned SS-242, USS Bluegill, on November 11,1943. Goessel would serve on 5 of her 6 war patrols. Luckily, Goessel recorded a very detailed report on the day by day, and frequently, hour by hour detail of the Bluegills patrols.
After her commission the Bluegill sailed for the south pacific. She commenced her first war patrol out of Milne Bay, New Guinea on April 1,1944. They sunk 1 Yubari class cruiser and 2 freighters while surviving 69 depth charges and 2 aerial bombs. Her second successful patrol started on July 6, 1944 resulted in the sinking of 2 AKs, 1 Chidori type TB, and a sailing coaster. The Bluegill endured 68 depth charges on this run. The third patrol would prove to be the most successful and trying for the Bluegill's crew.
She sailed out of Fremantle, Australia on September 18, 1944. On October 12th she sighted 3 heavily loaded Japanese sea trucks. Not wanting to waste their fish on easy prey the Bluegill surfaced. The sea trucks took evasive maneuvers are turned to fight. Goessel and other men of the Bluegill went topside to man the deckside guns. the 20mm gun quickly jammed while the boys manning the 4 inch gun opened fire. Goessel states that the three sea horses opened up with 50 caliber machine guns. F.H Gold had a bullet pierce his helmet lacerating the top of his head. Goessel was grazed, lacerating his left elbow, with T.H. Cerreto and H.W. Harmon receiving shrapnel wounds. They decided to retreat and fight another day, as Goessel states "The whole three of them not worth one US sailor being wounded". Goessel also says "We could have blasted all three if them out of the water in short order, but we probably would have lost several good American lives doing it. All hands from the Skipper down are mad as hell".
The third war patrol would be their most successful, sinking 1 destroyer, 1Smc, 3 AKs, 1 AP and damaging 1 AK and 2 SMCs (sea trucks). The Bluegill survived 98 depth charges. Goessel sat out the fourth patrol but participated in the 5th and 6th patrols. He married in 1945 and returned to Beloit after the war. he passed away in 2008.