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Silent Service - The USN Submarine Forces

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The Loss of the USS BONEFISH - The 1988 Fire at Sea

 

On 24 April 1988 Bonefish was submerged, during an exercise with guided-missile frigate USS Carr, about 160 mi (260 km) off the Atlantic coast of Florida, when seawater began leaking onto cables and electric buses in a battery-supply cableway. Arcing then caused an explosion, which flashed into a fire within minutes, with the temperature in the battery space reaching 1,200° Fahrenheit. The heat was so intense that it melted the soles of the shoes of the crewmembers in the space above.
Bonefish surfaced, and the captain ordered the crew to abandon ship. The crews of a whaleboat from Carr and helicopters from both Carr and the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy rescued 89 men. Petty Officer Third Class Larry B. Grossman, a Navy Spec Ops Aviation Rescue Swimmer (AIRR) and Navy Diver from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Seven (HS-7), with total disregard for his own safety, jumped from an H-3 helicopter into the ocean and spent more than three hours rescuing stricken Sailors. The first survivor, in a panic, knocked off Grossman's mask and Grossman gave up his own life preserver to calm the Sailor down. Petty Officer Grossman swam over a thousand yards in the choppy waters and received credit for having saved 19 lives. Grossman's eyes were nearly swollen shut from the fuel and saltwater and he also received chemical burns on his body from the diesel fuel spilled from the submarine in the ocean. He remained overnight in the medical ward on the carrier for his injuries. Grossman later received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal from the President for his extraordinary heroism. (The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest noncombat decoration awarded for heroism within the US Department of the Navy, ranking immediately above the Bronze Star Medal in the order of precedence for the awards and decorations of the US armed forces).
The frigate USS McCloy, serving as headquarters of the rescue operation, pulled alongside Bonefish to remove the bodies. Afterward USS Hoist (ARS-40), a salvage-and-rescue ship, towed Bonefish to Charleston, South Carolina. Three crewmembers – Lieutenant Ray Everts, Radioman First Class (RM1) (SS) Bob Bordelon, and Yeoman Third Class (YN3) (SS) Marshal Lindgren – died due to the fire.
Naval authorities deemed the damage to Bonefish to be too extensive to warrant repair and thus decided to decommission and scrap her in 1989

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USS TIRANTE (SS-420) Tench class in service 1944 to 1973, converted to Guppy II-A in 1952 for Cold War service in the Med. Assigned to Key West as test bed submarine. Two battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for her World War II service. Underway photo circa 1953

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Lt. Comdr. George L. Street III. Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, Tirante (SS-420). Place and date: Harbor of Quelpart Island, off the coast of Korea, 14 April 1945. Entered service at. Virginia. Born: 27 July 1913, Richmond, Va. Other Navy awards: Navy Cross, Silver Star with 1 Gold Star.
Citation.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the Tirante during the first war patrol of that vessel against enemy Japanese surface forces in the harbor of Quelpart Island, off the coast of Korea, on 14 April 1945. With the crew at surface battle stations, Comdr. (then Lt. Comdr.) Street approached the hostile anchorage from the south within 1,200 yards of the coast to complete a reconnoitering circuit of the island. Leaving the 10-fathom curve far behind he penetrated the mined and shoal-obstructed waters of the restricted harbor despite numerous patrolling vessels and in defiance of 5 shore-based radar stations and menacing aircraft. Prepared to fight it out on the surface if attacked, Comdr. Street went into action, sending 2 torpedoes with deadly accuracy into a large Japanese ammunition ship and exploding the target in a mountainous and blinding glare of white flames. With the Tirante instantly spotted by the enemy as she stood out plainly in the flare of light, he ordered the torpedo data computer set up while retiring and fired his last 2 torpedoes to disintegrate in quick succession the leading frigate and a similar flanking vessel. Clearing the gutted harbor at emergency full speed ahead, he slipped undetected along the shoreline, diving deep as a pursuing patrol dropped a pattern of depth charges at the point of submergence. His illustrious record of combat achievement during the first war patrol of the Tirante characterizes Comdr. Street as a daring and skilled leader and reflects the highest credit upon himself, his valiant command, and the U.S. Naval Service.

 

Officers of the Tirante (SS-420) pose on deck, circa 1945. CDR. Street is second on the right on the bottom row.

 

Tirante (SS-420) returning from her second war patrol off Guam on 19 July 1945. Photo is signed by Lt. Comdr. George L. Street III.

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A very large USS Grayback patch 8 inches by 10.5 inches from between 1958 and 1964 when she carried the SSG designation.

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USS CUTLASS (SS-478) Tench class in service 1945 to 1973

 

Japanese made Ace Novelty

 

USS CUTLASS (SS-478) Tench class in service 1945 to 1973, still in service with the Taiwanese Navy. In January 2017, Taiwan announced that it would receive a retrofit to extend its service life until 2026, making it the longest-serving submarine in history. The submarine is still operational and reportedly capable of combat

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USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) Gato class submarine in service 1941 to 1954. Twelve war patrols WWII. Of Flying Fish's twelve war patrols, all save the 11th were designated as "successful". She is credited with having sunk a total of 58,306 tons of enemy shipping. She received 12 battle stars for World War II service. Veterans Patch

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USS SEA FOX (SS-402) Balao class in service 1944 to 1970. 4 war patrols WWII, Korea, Vietnam service

 

Photo: A closeup of the Sea Fox's (SS-402) sail showing her battle record (3 ships sunk, 11 aviators rescued) and the fox riding a torpedo.

Photo: Rescued USAAF Crew join the Sea Fox (SS-402)

photos from Navsource.com

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USS SEADRAGON (SSN-584) "From The Depths I Rule" - Last of the four Skate class nuclear submarines, in service 1959 to 1984. In twenty-four years of active service, Seadragon steamed over 200,000 miles, dove and surfaced 1800 times, made thirteen deployments to the Western Pacific, and conducted four under ice operations. Seadragon was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

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USS RATON (AGSS-270) The 'Raidin Raton', Gato class in service 1943 to 1969 (SS/SSR/AGSS-270) Eight war patrols, six battle stars WWII

 

Redesignated as Auxiliary research submarine (AGSS-270), 1960–1968
In early 1960 Raton was engaged in local operations, including evaluation of new sonar concepts, and training of UDT personnel in covert reconnaissance. On 1 July 1960, Raton was redesignated an auxiliary submarine AGSS-270.
In Mare Island Naval Shipyard from January to April 1961 for a major overhaul, Raton sailed west for her fourth 7th Fleet deployment 3 July 1961, returning to San Diego 19 December. The year 1962 was occupied in fleet training operations off the west coast of the United States, providing services for air, surface, and submarine forces.
On April 9, 1962, it was reported that a kite had snagged on the submarine. This incident was referenced in the Peanuts strip of May 19, 1962 wherein it is implied that the kite had belonged to the long-suffering Charlie Brown whose problems with flying kites was a standard running gag of the strip.
Her fifth post-World War II WestPac deployment, from January to June 1963, included participation in two major ASW exercises with U.S. and SEATO forces. Following an overhaul period from November 1963 to early March 1964, Raton deployed again from 6 July to 23 December to the Far East, where she operated with naval forces of Thailand, the Philippines, and the Republic of China, under the Military Assistance Program.
Local fleet and type operations filled 1965 and early 1966 when Raton once more followed the setting sun in mid-April for another tour of duty with the 7th Fleet. While deployed, Raton exercised with SEATO naval units in Exercise "Sea Imp". On 17 October 1966 AGSS-270 returned to San Diego.
1967 was spent in local operations, reserve training, and semiannual overhaul. On 20 May and 21 May 1968, Raton served as a test ship to determine that a small fleet tug could rescue men from a sunken submarine resting on the ocean floor. Raton commenced her final WestPac deployment 15 July 1968, arriving Yokohama 7 August. During her deployment AGSS-270 provided training services to 7th Fleet and SEATO units. The veteran submarine returned to San Diego 20 December 1968. She was decommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard and stricken from the Navy List 28 June 1969. The stripped hull was designated as a target ship for Pacific Fleet gunnery exercise. She was sold for scrapping 10 December 1973.

 

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On 9/8/2016 at 11:05 AM, Bearmon said:

USS Ronquil SS 396

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USS RONQUIL (SS-396) Balao class in service 1944 to 1971.  5 war patrols WWII.  Ronquil earned six battle stars for World War II service and two for Vietnam service.

 

RONQUIL also played the part of the fictional USS Tigerfish (SSN-509) in the motion picture Ice Station Zebra.

 

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USS CHIVO (SS-341) Balao class in service 1945 to 1971.  After WWII she was assigned to SUBRON 4 and 12 at the Fleet Sonar School, Key West where she served in a specialized status in her role as an "opposition force" (i.e. Soviet) submarine during ASW training exercises.

 

The Red Goatfish, Chivo's 3rd Patch - EX SCIENTIA VIS E PROFUNDO FUMEN translates as "Out of Knowledge, Power; Out of the Depths, Lightening"

 

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