|Builders:||Electric Boat Company, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Mare Island Naval Shipyard|
|Type:||Composite direct-drive and diesel-electric (first 6) or full diesel-electric (last 4) submarine|
|Length:||310 ft 6 in (94.64 m)|
|Beam:||26 ft 10 in (8.18 m)|
|Draft:||16 ft 7½ in – 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)|
|Range:||11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
|Endurance:||48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged|
|Test depth:||250 ft (76 m)|
|Complement:||5 officers, 54 enlisted|
The Sargo-class submarines were among the first US submarines to be sent into action after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, starting war patrols the day after the attack, having been deployed to the Philippines in late 1941. Similar to the previous Salmonclass, they were built between 1937 and 1939. With a top speed of 21 knots, a range of 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) (allowing patrols in Japanese home waters), and a reliable propulsion plant, along with the Salmons they were an important step in the development of a true fleet submarine. In some references, the Salmons and Sargos are called the "New S Class", 1st and 2nd Groups.
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
The Sargo-class submarine USS Swordfish (SS-193) had the distinction of being the first US Navy submarine to sink a Japanese ship in World War II.
USS Swordfish (SS-193), a Sargo-class submarine, was the first submarine of the United States Navy named for the swordfish, a large fish with a long, swordlike beak and a high dorsal fin. She was the first American submarine to sink a Japanese ship during World War II.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
In most features the Sargos were a repeat of the Salmons, except for the return to full diesel-electric drive for the last four boats and the adoption of the improved Sargo battery design. The first six Sargos were driven by a composite direct-drive and diesel-electric plant (two engines in each mode) in the same manner as the Salmons. In this arrangement, two main engines in the forward engine room drove generators. In the after engine room, two side-by-side engines were clutched to reduction gears which sat forward of the engines, with vibration-isolating hydraulic clutches. Two high-speed electric motors, driven by the generating engines or batteries, were also connected to each reduction gear.The Bureau of Steam Engineering (BuEng) and the General Board desired a full diesel-electric plant, but there were some dissenting opinions, notably Admiral Thomas C. Hart, the only experienced submariner on the General Board, who pointed out that a full diesel-electric system could be disabled by flooding. Technical problems went against the use of two large direct-drive diesels in place of the four-engine composite plant. No engine of suitable power to reach the desired 21-knot speed existed in the US, and the current vibration-isolating hydraulic clutches were not capable of transmitting enough power. It was also not practical to gear two engines to each shaft. So a full diesel-electric plant was adopted for the last four Sargos, and remained standard for all subsequent conventionally-powered US submarines.
In electricity generation, a generator is a device that converts motive power into electrical power for use in an external circuit. Sources of mechanical energy include steam turbines, gas turbines, water turbines, internal combustion engines and even hand cranks. The first electromagnetic generator, the Faraday disk, was invented in 1831 by British scientist Michael Faraday. Generators provide nearly all of the power for electric power grids.
A gear or cogwheel is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or in the case of a cogwheel, inserted teeth, which mesh with another toothed part to transmit torque. Geared devices can change the speed, torque, and direction of a power source. Gears almost always produce a change in torque, creating a mechanical advantage, through their gear ratio, and thus may be considered a simple machine. The teeth on the two meshing gears all have the same shape. Two or more meshing gears, working in a sequence, are called a gear train or a transmission. A gear can mesh with a linear toothed part, called a rack, producing translation instead of rotation.
An electric motor is an electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most electric motors operate through the interaction between the motor's magnetic field and electric current in a wire winding to generate force in the form of rotation of a shaft. Electric motors can be powered by direct current (DC) sources, such as from batteries, motor vehicles or rectifiers, or by alternating current (AC) sources, such as a power grid, inverters or electrical generators. An electric generator is mechanically identical to an electric motor, but operates in the reverse direction, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Four of the class (Sargo, Saury, Spearfish, and Seadragon) were equipped with the troublesome Hooven-Owens-Rentschler (HOR) double-acting diesels. An attempt to produce more power from a smaller engine than other contemporary designs, the double-acting system proved unreliable in service. During World War II, all had their engines replaced with GM Cleveland Diesel 16-278A engines, probably during their overhauls in early 1943.
The firm of Hooven, Owens, Rentschler, and Company manufactured steam and diesel engines in Hamilton, Ohio. Because the firm was frequently known by its initials, H.O.R., the Hooven is sometimes incorrectly rendered as Hoover, and the Owens may be mistaken for Owen.
General Motors Company, commonly referred to as General Motors (GM), is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts, and sells financial services, with global headquarters in Detroit's Renaissance Center. It was originally founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908 as a holding company. The company is the largest American automobile manufacturer, and one of the world's largest. As of 2018, General Motors is ranked #10 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
BuEng had designed a new lead-acid battery to resist battle damage, known as the Sargo battery because it was first installed on Sargo and was based on a suggestion by her commissioning commanding officer, Lieutenant E. E. Yeomans.Instead of a single hard rubber case, it had two concentric hard rubber cases with a layer of soft rubber between them. This was to prevent sulfuric acid leakage in the event one case cracked during depth-charging. This remained the standard battery design until replaced with Sargo II and GUPPY batteries in submarines upgraded under the Greater Underwater Propulsion Power Program after World War II. Each battery's capacity was slightly increased by installing 126 cells instead of 120; this also raised the nominal voltage from 250 volts to 270 volts, which has been standard in US usage ever since, including the backup batteries of nuclear submarines.
USS Sargo (SS-188), the lead ship of her class of submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sargo.
The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer, commanding general (CG), is the officer in command of a military unit. The commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as they see fit, within the bounds of military law. In this respect, commanding officers have significant responsibilities, duties, and powers.
Sulfuric acid (alternative spelling sulphuric acid), also known as vitriol, is a mineral acid composed of the elements sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen, with molecular formula H2SO4. It is a colorless, odorless, and syrupy liquid that is soluble in water and is synthesized in reactions that are highly exothermic.
The original Mark 21 3-inch (76 mm)/50 caliber deck gun proved to be too light in service. It lacked sufficient punch to finish off crippled or small targets quickly enough to suit the crews. It was replaced by the Mark 9 4-inch (102 mm)/50 caliber gun in 1943-44, in most cases removed from an S-boat being transferred to training duty.
The 3″/50 caliber gun in United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 50 calibers long. Different guns of this caliber were used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard from 1890 through the 1990s on a variety of combatant and transport ship classes.
A deck gun is a type of naval artillery mounted on the deck of a submarine. Most submarine deck guns were open; however, a few larger submarines placed these guns in a turret.
The 4"/50 caliber gun was the standard low-angle, quick-firing gun for United States, first appearing on the monitor Arkansas and then used on "Flush Deck" destroyers through World War I and the 1920s. It was also the standard deck gun on S-class submarines, and was used to rearm numerous submarines built with 3-inch (76 mm) guns early in World War II. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 4-inch (102 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 50 calibers long.
|Name||Hull number||Builder||Laid Down||Launched||Commissioned||Fate|
|Sargo||SS-188||Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut||12 May 1937||6 June 1938||7 February 1939||Sold for scrap 19 May 1947 to Learner Company of Oakland, California|
|Saury||SS-189||Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut||28 June 1937||20 August 1938||3 April 1939||Sold for scrap 19 May 1947 to Learner Company of Oakland, California|
|Spearfish||SS-190||Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut||9 September 1937||29 October 1938||12 July 1939||Sold for scrap 19 May 1947 to Learner Company of Oakland, California|
|Sculpin||SS-191||Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine||7 September 1937||27 July 1938||16 January 1939||Damaged by depth charges and gunfire from the Japanese destroyer Yamagumo 19 November 1943; scuttled|
|Squalus||SS-192||Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine||18 October 1937||14 September 1938||1 March 1939||Sank on trials 23 May 1939. Raised and recommissioned as Sailfish 15 May 1940|
|Swordfish||SS-193||Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California||27 October 1937||4 January 1939||22 July 1939||Depth charged by Japanese anti-submarine vessels 12 January 1945|
|Seadragon||SS-194||Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut||18 April 1938||21 April 1939||23 October 1939||Sold for scrap 2 July 1948 to Luria Brothers and Company of Philadelphia|
|Sealion||SS-195||Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut||20 June 1938||25 May 1939||27 November 1939||Bombed by Japanese aircraft at Cavite Navy Yard 10 December 1941; scuttled 25 December 1941|
|Searaven||SS-196||Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine||9 August 1938||21 June 1939||2 October 1939||Target in Operation Crossroads atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll 1946, later expended as target 11 September 1948|
|Seawolf||SS-197||Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine||27 September 1938||15 August 1939||1 December 1939||Sunk by "friendly fire" from the escort USS Richard M. Rowell 3 October 1944|
From commissioning until late 1941 the first six Sargos were based first at San Diego, later at Pearl Harbor. The last four were sent to the Philippines shortly after commissioning. In October 1941, the remaining Sargos and most other newer available submarines were transferred to the Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines as part of a belated effort to reinforce U.S. and Allied forces in Southeast Asia. The Japanese occupation of southern Indo-China and the August 1941 American-British-Dutch retaliatory oil embargo had raised international tensions.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the submarines of the Asiatic Fleet were the primary striking force available to Admiral Thomas C. Hart, the fleet's commander. He was assigned sixteen Salmons or Sargos; the entirety of both classes. Canopus and USS Pigeon, was able to leave port with emergency repairs and went on to fight for most of the war.Seven Porpoise-class and six S-boats rounded out the force. The Japanese did not bomb the Philippines until 10 December 1941, so almost all of the submarines were able to get underway before an attack. Sealion and Seadragon were the unlucky exceptions. In overhaul at the Cavite Navy Yard, Sealion was damaged beyond repair and was scuttled on 25 December. Seadragon, assisted by USS
The Sargo class was very active during the war, sinking 73 ships, including a Japanese submarine. Four were lost, including one to "friendly fire".
Sailfish of this class sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Chūyō, which was carrying 21 survivors from the submarine Sculpin; only one of these prisoners survived the sinking. Sculpin had been one of the ships assisting in the rescue of 33 men when Squalus sank during a test dive in 1939; Squalus was refloated and recommissioned as USS Sailfish.
In early 1945 the surviving boats of this class were transferred to training roles for the remainder of the war, eventually being scrapped in 1947-48. Searaven was used in the Bikini Atoll atomic weapon tests in 1946. There was negligible damage so she was later expended as a target in 1948. Sailfish was also due to become a target in the same atomic weapon tests but she was scrapped instead in 1948.
USS Dolphin (SF-10/SC-3/SS-169), a submarine and one of the "V-boats", was the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for that aquatic mammal. She also bore the name V-7 and the classifications SF-10 and SC-3 prior to her commissioning. She was launched on 6 March 1932 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. E.D. Toland, and commissioned on 1 June 1932 with Lieutenant John B. Griggs, Jr. in command.
USS Barracuda (SF-4/SS-163), lead ship of her class and first of the "V-boats," was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the barracuda. Her keel was laid down at Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched as V-1 (SF-4) on 17 July 1924, sponsored by Mrs. Cornelia Wolcott Snyder, wife of Captain Snyder, and commissioned on 1 October 1924 with Lieutenant Commander S. Picking in command. V-1 and her sisters V-2 (Bass) and V-3 (Bonita) were the only class of the nine "V-boats" designed to meet the fleet submarine requirement of 21 knots (39 km/h) surface speed for operating with contemporary battleships.
USS Sealion (SS-195), a Sargo-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sea lion, any of several large, eared seals native to the Pacific.
USS Cochino (SS-345), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the cochino, a triggerfish found in the Atlantic. Her keel was laid down by Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on April 20, 1945 sponsored by Mrs. M.E. Serat, and commissioned on August 25, 1945 with Commander W.A. Stevenson in command.
The Greater Underwater Propulsion Power Program (GUPPY) was initiated by the United States Navy after World War II to improve the submerged speed, maneuverability, and endurance of its submarines.
The Balao class was a successful design of United States Navy submarine used during World War II, and with 120 units completed, the largest class of submarines in the United States Navy. An improvement on the earlier Gato class, the boats had slight internal differences. The most significant improvement was the use of thicker, higher yield strength steel in the pressure hull skins and frames, which increased their test depth to 400 feet (120 m). Tang actually achieved a depth of 612 ft (187 m) during a test dive, and exceeded that test depth when taking on water in the forward torpedo room while evading a destroyer.
USS Bonita (SF-6/SS-165), a Barracuda-class submarine and one of the "V-boats," was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bonito. Her keel was laid down by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 9 June 1925 as V-3 (SF-6), sponsored by Mrs. L.R. DeSteiguer, wife of Rear Admiral DeSteiguer, and commissioned on 22 May 1926, Lieutenant Commander Charles A. Lockwood, Jr. in command. Like her sisters, Bonita was designed to meet the fleet submarine requirement of 21 knots (39 km/h) surface speed for operating with contemporary battleships.
Tench-class submarines were a type of submarine built for the United States Navy (USN) between 1944 and 1951. They were an improvement over the Gato and Balao classes, only about 35 to 40 tons larger, but more strongly built and with a slightly improved internal layout. One of the ballast tanks was converted to carry fuel, increasing range from 11,000 nautical miles to 16,000 nautical miles. This improvement was also made on some boats of the previous two classes. Further improvements were made beginning with SS-435, which are sometimes referred to as the Corsair class. Initial plans called for 80 to be built, but 51 were cancelled in 1944 and 1945 when it became apparent that they would not be needed to defeat Japan. The remaining 29 were commissioned between October 1944 (Tench) and February 1951 (Grenadier). The last submarine of the Tench class, as well as the last submarine which served during World War II, in service with the U.S. Navy was USS Tigrone (AGSS-419) which was decommissioned on 27 June 1975.
USS Bass (SF-5/SS-164), a Barracuda-class submarine and one of the "V-boats", was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bass. Her keel was laid at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched as V-2 (SF-5) on 27 December 1924 sponsored by Mrs. Douglas E. Dismukes, wife of Captain Dismukes, and commissioned on 26 September 1925, Lieutenant Commander G.A. Rood in command. Like her sisters, Bass was designed to meet the fleet submarine requirement of 21 knots (39 km/h) surface speed for operating with contemporary battleships.
USS Cachalot (SC-4/SS-170), the lead ship of her class and one of the "V-boats", was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sperm whale. Her keel was laid down by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 19 October 1933 as V-8 (SC-4) sponsored by Miss K. D. Kempff, and commissioned on 1 December 1933 with Lieutenant Commander Merril Comstock in command. Cachalot was the first submarine to have the Torpedo Data Computer, Arma Corporation's Mark 1, installed.
USS Cuttlefish (SC-5/SS-171), a Cachalot-class submarine and one of the "V-boats," was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the cuttlefish. Her keel was laid down by Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 21 November 1933 sponsored by Mrs. B. S. Bullard, and commissioned on 8 June 1934, Lieutenant Commander Charles W. "Gin" Styer in command. Cuttlefish was the first submarine built entirely at Electric Boat's facility in Groton, Connecticut; construction of previous Electric Boat designs had been subcontracted to other shipyards, notably Fore River Shipbuilding of Quincy, Massachusetts. Four Peruvian R-class submarines had previously been finished in Groton, using material from cancelled S-boats salvaged from Fore River.
The Tambor-class submarine was a United States Navy submarine design, used primarily during World War II. It was the USN's first fully successful fleet submarine, and began the war close to the fighting. Six of the class were in Hawaiian waters or the Central Pacific on 7 December 1941, with Tautog at Pearl Harbor during the attack. They went on to see hard service; seven of the twelve boats in the class were sunk before the survivors were withdrawn from front-line service in early 1945; this was the highest percentage lost of any US submarine class. Tautog was credited with sinking 26 ships, the largest number of ships sunk by a US submarine in World War II. The Tambors retained the top speed of 21 knots (39 km/h) and range of 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) of the preceding Sargo class, and improvements included six bow torpedo tubes, a more reliable full diesel-electric propulsion plant, and improved combat efficiency with key personnel and equipment relocated to the conning tower. In some references, the Tambors are called the "T Class", and SS-206 through SS-211 are sometimes called the "Gar class".
A fleet submarine is a submarine with the speed, range, and endurance to operate as part of a navy's Battle Fleet. Examples of fleet submarines are the British K class and the American Gato class. Within the modern Royal Navy, the term is used for the British nuclear powered attack submarines. In the United States Navy, the term came to be used primarily for the long-range submarines that served in World War II.
The AA-1 class was a class of three experimental submarines of the United States Navy, built toward the end of World War I, between 1916 and 1919, intended to produce a high-speed fleet submarine. The design was not a success and none of the submarines saw active service. However, the lessons learned were applied to the design of the later V-boats. The class was later renamed as the T class.
The United States Navy Salmon-class submarines were an important developmental step in the design of the "fleet submarine" concept during the 1930s. An incremental improvement over the previous Porpoise class, they were the first US submarine class to achieve 21 knots with a reliable propulsion plant, allowing them to operate with the Standard-type battleships of the surface fleet. Also, their 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) unrefueled range would allow them to operate in Japanese home waters. These rugged and dependable boats provided yeoman service during World War II, along with their immediate successors, the similar Sargo class. In some references, the Salmons and Sargos are called the "New S Class", 1st and 2nd Groups.
The Porpoise class were submarines built for the United States Navy in the late 1930s, and incorporated a number of modern features that would make them the basis for subsequent Salmon, Sargo, Tambor, Gato, Balao, and Tench classes. Based on the Cachalots, enlarged to incorporate additional main diesels and generators, the Portsmouth boats were all riveted while the other boats were welded. In some references, the Porpoises are called the "P" class.
The Mackerel-class submarines were a pair of experimental prototype submarines built just prior to World War II and launched in 1940 and 1941. The two submarines were similar in size and capability to the S-class submarines built at the end of World War I, and had been ordered to test the feasibility of using mass production techniques to build small submarines. Until at least 1940 it was thought that mass production of fleet submarines would be impractical, and in any case small submarines could provide area defense for submarine bases. Once it became apparent that there would be sufficient production of the more capable Gato-class submarines, interest in the design waned and no additional small submarines were ordered. Submarine production standardized during the war on the Gato class and its successors, the Balao and Tench-class submarines. In some references, the Mackerels are called the "M class".
The Cachalot-class submarines were a pair of medium-sized submarines of the United States Navy built under the tonnage limits of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. They were originally named V-8 and V-9, and so were known as "V-boats" even though they were unrelated to the other seven submarines constructed between World War I and World War II. An extensive study was conducted to determine the optimum submarine size under the treaty restrictions, factoring in total force, endurance, and percentage of the force that could be maintained on station far from a base, as in a Pacific war scenario. Joseph W. Paige of the Navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair (BuC&R) developed the basic design, but the builder, Electric Boat, was responsible for detailed arrangement; this was fairly bold, since EB had not built any new submarines since finishing four obsolescent boats for Peru. The previous V-boats were all built in naval shipyards. Cuttlefish was the first submarine built at EB's facility in Groton, Connecticut; construction of previous Electric Boat designs had been subcontracted to other shipyards, notably Fore River Shipbuilding of Quincy, Massachusetts.
The Sailfish-class submarines of the United States Navy, launched in 1955-56, were the first to be built expressly for radar picket service and, at the time, were the largest conventionally powered submarines in the United States Navy. Only USS Argonaut (SM-1) and the Narwhal-class submarines from the 1920s were larger. The Sailfishes were initially equipped with large BPS-2 and BPS-3 radars in and aft of the sail. They were designed for a high surface speed; however, their speed achieved was not significantly faster than converted World War II radar picket submarines. Commissioned in 1956, they served in the radar picket role until early 1961, when the submarine radar picket mission ended fleetwide. Airborne radar had superseded it with the deployment of the Grumman WF-2 Tracer. Modernized under the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization II program 1964-66, both submarines served until decommissioning in the late 1970s.
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