|Builder:||Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine|
|Laid down:||30 October 1943|
|Launched:||21 February 1944|
|Commissioned:||16 May 1944|
|Decommissioned:||2 December 1968|
|Struck:||2 December 1968|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 18 May 1973|
|Class and type:||Balaoclass diesel-electric submarine|
|Length:||311 ft 6 in (94.95 m)|
|Beam:||27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)|
|Draft:||16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum|
|Range:||11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
|Test depth:||400 ft (120 m)|
|Complement:||10 officers, 70–71 enlisted|
USS Sea Cat (SS/AGSS-399), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for a shortened form of sea catfish, a marine fish of little food value found off the southeastern coast of the United States commissioned on the 16th of May 1944, with Commander Rob Roy McGregor in command. During World War II Sea Cat operated within the Pacific theatre, conducting four war patrols in wolf packs accounting for up to 17400 tons in the form of three cargo ships and an enemy vessel (17000 tons unconfirmed by wartime Japanese records). Sea Cat earned three battle stars for her World War II service.
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 United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the third-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force and the United States Army.
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.
After two and one-half years of exercises out of Balboa, her home port was changed to Key West in June 1949. In the autumn, it was decided to have a number of experimental changes made to the ship during her forthcoming overhaul, and she was redesignated AGSS-399 on 30 September. On 7 November, she arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where the work was done. The modifications and repairs were completed on 11 March 1950, and the submarine returned, via New London, to Key West. She operated from that base until she got under way on 9 January 1952 for Philadelphia and another overhaul. After her arrival on 15 January, she was converted to a Fleet Snorkel submarine and redesignated SS-399. She operated in Floridas waters and the Caribbean until she was decommissioned on 2 December 1968 and struck from the Navy list on the same day. She was sold for scrapping, 18 May 1973.
Key West is an island and city in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent. The city lies at the southernmost end of U.S. Route 1, the longest north-south road in the United States. Key West is the southernmost city in the contiguous United States and the westernmost island connected by highway in the Florida Keys. The island is about 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, with a total land mass of 4.2 square miles (11 km2). Duval Street, its main street, is 1.1 miles (1.8 km) in length in its 14-block-long crossing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Straits of Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. Key West is about 95 miles (153 km) north of Cuba at their closest points.
The Navy Yard, formerly known as the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Philadelphia Naval Business Center, was an important naval shipyard of the United States for almost two centuries. It is now a large mixed-use campus that employs nearly 15,000 people across a mix of industries, and includes cutting edge cell therapy production facilities, global fashion companies, and a commercial shipyard.
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.
Sea Cat was laid down on 30 October 1943 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine; launched on 21 February 1944, sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Cochrane; and commissioned on 16 May 1944, Commander Rob Roy McGregor in command.
Kittery is a town in York County, Maine, United States. Home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey's Island, Kittery includes Badger's Island, the seaside district of Kittery Point, and part of the Isles of Shoals. The town is a tourist destination known for its many outlet stores.
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries old naval tradition.
After shakedown and trials off the New England coast, the new submarine departed New London, Conn., on 28 August and proceeded via the Panama Canal to Hawaii. Following training in Hawaiian waters, Sea Cat departed Pearl Harbor on 28 October and headed, via Midway and Saipan, for the South China Sea where she operated in a wolf pack which also included Pampanito (SS-383), Pipefish (SS-388), and Searaven (SS-196).
New England is a region composed of six states in the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The largest metropolitan area, with nearly a third of New England's population, is Greater Boston, which also includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy's primary East Coast submarine base, also known as the "Home of the Submarine Force". It is located in Groton, Connecticut, directly across the Thames River from its namesake city of New London.
The Panama Canal is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 34 m wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, post-Panamax ships, capable of handling more cargo.
During the war patrol, Sea Cat fired torpedoes at two Japanese merchantmen which, together, displaced about 15,000 tons. Her commanding officer thought that they had both been sunk, but a postwar study of Japanese records did not confirm either sinking. After 61 days at sea, including 37 days in her patrol area, Sea Cat arrived at Guam for refit.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the westernmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands. The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.
The submarine got underway again on 1 February 1945 for her second war patrol which she conducted in the East China Sea in a wolf pack which included Segundo (SS-398) and Razorback (SS-394). During operations off the coast of Kyūshū, she damaged a 300-ton cargo ship by gunfire and attacked a 2,000-ton ship with torpedoes. Although she reported sinking the latter, Japanese records do not seem to support the claim. Sea Cat completed the patrol upon arriving at Midway on 24 March.
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. The East China Sea is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of roughly 1,249,000 square kilometres (482,000 sq mi). To the east lies the Japanese island of Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands, to the south, lies the South China Sea, and to the west by the Asian continent. The sea connects with the Sea of Japan through the Korea Strait and opens to the north into the Yellow Sea. The states which border the sea include Japan, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China.
USS Segundo (SS-398) was a Balao-class submarine, of the United States Navy named for the segundo, a cavalla fish of Caribbean waters.
USS Razorback (SS-394), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named after the razorback, a species of whale found in the far southern reaches of the Pacific Ocean. It is arguably the longest-serving combat front-line submarine still existing in the world, having been commissioned by two different countries for 56 years of active duty. In 2004, the state of Arkansas adopted the submarine and is now a museum ship at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.
On 27 April, the submarine sailed for the Yellow Sea where she and six other submarines preyed upon Japanese shipping. Sea Cat accounted for 400 tons of enemy vessels by gunfire, and she picked up two survivors of the sunken enemy ships for questioning before returning to Pearl Harbor on 25 June.
She headed toward the Kuril Islands on 6 August for her fourth war patrol; but, upon arrival in her patrol area, learned that hostilities had ceased. She was ordered to proceed to the Japanese home islands and was in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender ceremony on 2 September. Sea Cat earned three battle stars for her World War II service.
She then sailed for the Marianas and reached Guam on 7 September. Following a brief stay at Apra Harbor, the submarine headed home. Following operations in the San Diego area into the spring of 1946, the ship proceeded to San Francisco Bay and arrived at Mare Island on 15 April 1946 for overhaul.
Yard work completed on 26 July, Sea Cat sailed back to San Diego, whence she departed on 12 August for her first simulated war patrol. On this cruise she visited Hawaii; Canton Island; Swains, Samoa, and Atafu Island; Tsingtao, and Shanghai.
Then, transferred to the Atlantic Fleet, the submarine arrived at Balboa, Canal Zone, on 12 January 1947. After two and one-half years of exercises out of Balboa, her home port was changed to Key West in June 1949. In the autumn, it was decided to have a number of experimental changes made to the ship during her forthcoming overhaul, and she was redesignated AGSS-399 on 30 September. On 7 November, she arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where the work was done. The modifications and repairs were completed on 11 March 1950, and the submarine returned, via New London, to Key West. She operated from that base until she got under way on 9 January 1952 for Philadelphia and another overhaul. After her arrival on 15 January, she was converted to a Fleet Snorkel submarine and redesignated SS-399.
Overhaul and conversion completed. Sea Cat departed Philadelphia on 26 June 1952 and returned to Key West. She operated from that base for the remainder of her career, spending most of her time in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and in waters off the southern coast of the United States. In July 1966, she interrupted her customary routine by crossing the Atlantic for a four-month deployment with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.
Upon returning to Key West on 30 October, the submarine resumed her former routine and operated in Florida waters and the Caribbean until she was decommissioned on 2 December 1968 and struck from the Navy list on the same day. She was sold for scrapping, 18 May 1973.
USS Runner (SS/AGSS-476), a Tench-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the runner, an amberfish inhabiting subtropical waters. Her keel was laid down on 10 July 1944 by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard of Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 17 October 1944 sponsored by Mrs. R.H. Bass, the wife of the prospective commanding officer, and commissioned on 6 February 1945 with Commander R.H. Bass in command.
USS Tang (SS/AGSS-563), the lead ship of her class was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tang.
USS Picuda (SS-382), a Balao-class submarine, was originally named Obispo, making her the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the obispo, a spotted sting ray.
USS Tigrone (SS/SSR/AGSS-419), a Tench-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tigrone, a tiger shark found in tropical waters. Her keel was laid down on 8 May 1944 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 20 July 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Mary B. Grisham, wife of Captain Charles F. Grisham, USN, Superintendent of the Portsmouth, N.H., Navy Yard, and commissioned on 25 October 1944 with Commander Hiram Cassedy in command.
USS Bashaw (SS/SSK/AGSS-241), a Gato-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bashaw.
USS Raton (SS/SSR/AGSS-270), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the raton, a polynemoid fish inhabiting semitropical waters off the Pacific coast of America.
USS Redfin (SS/SSR/AGSS-272), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the redfin, any of several North American fishes with reddish fins.
USS Rock (SS/SSR/AGSS-274), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy to be named for the rock, a striped bass found in the Chesapeake Bay region and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.
USS Cabrilla (SS/AGSS-288), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the cabrilla, an edible fish inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea and waters off the coast of California.
USS Manta (SS/ESS/AGSS-299), a Balao-class submarine, was the first submarine and second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the manta.
USS Becuna (SS/AGSS-319), a Balao-class submarine, is a former ship of the United States Navy named for the becuna, a pike-like fish of Europe. She was designated a National Historic Landmark for her service in World War II, for which she earned four battle stars. She presently serves as a museum ship at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
USS Besugo (SS/AGSS-321), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the besugo.
USS Carp (SS/AGSS/IXSS-338), a Balao-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the carp.
USS Guavina (SS/SSO/AGSS/AOSS-362), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the guavina, a fish which may reach a length of 2 feet (0.6 m) indigenous to the West Indies and the Atlantic coasts of Central America and Mexico.
USS Sea Poacher (SS/AGSS-406), a Balao-class submarine, was a vessel of the United States Navy named for the sea poacher, a slender, mailed fish of the North Atlantic.
USS Sea Owl (SS/AGSS-405), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the sea owl, a lumpfish of the North Atlantic.
USS Sea Robin (SS-407), a Balao-class submarine, was a vessel of the United States Navy named for the sea robin. This is a spiny-finned fish with red or brown coloring on its body and fins. The first three rays of its pectoral fin separate from the others and are used in walking on the sea bottom.
USS Piper (SS/AGSS-409), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named after the piper.
USS Pomfret (SS-391), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the pomfret, a fish of the seabream family which is a powerful and speedy swimmer, capable of operating at great depths.
USS Queenfish (SS/AGSS-393), a Balao-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the queenfish, a small food fish found off the Pacific coast of North America.