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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch on left contributed by Mike Smolinski, patch on right contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

S-27 (SS-132)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - November - Romeo

S-1 Class Submarine (Holland-type): Laid down, 11 April 1919, at the Fore River Plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 18 October 1922; Commissioned, USS S-27 (SS-132), 22 January 1924, at Groton, CT.; Grounded, 19 June 1942, on rocks off St. Makarius Point, Amchitka Island, Alaska, guns destroyed and ship abandoned, 25 June 1942; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown).

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 854 t., Submerged: 1,062 t.; Length 219' 3" ; Beam 20' 8"; Draft 15' 11"(mean); Depth Limit 200'; Speed, Surfaced 14.5 kts, Submerged 11 kts; Complement, 4 Officers, 34 Enlisted; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel-electric, New London Ship & Engine diesel engines, HP 1200, Fuel Capacity, 41,192 gals.; Ridgeway Dynamo & Electric Co., electric motors, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
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SS 132, SS 134 & SS 157 145k Inboard alongside pier are the S-27 (SS-132), S-46 (SS-157) and S-29 (SS-134) at the Groton CT, Navy Yard, 2 January 1924. USN photo # 19-N-10280, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
Savannah 105k Savannah (AS-8) with five submarines alongside, during the 1920s. S-24 (SS-129) is the inboard submarine on Savannah's port side. Those moored to her starboard side are (from inboard to outboard): S-27 (SS-132), S-20 (SS-125) and S-28 (SS-133). USN photo # NH 72921 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, photo donated to the US Naval Historical Center by LT. Gustave Freret, USN (Retired), 1970.
Savannah 114k Savannah (AS-8) at Portland, OR., during the 1920s. Submarines alongside are (from left to right): S-27 (SS-132), S-29 (SS-134) and S-25 (SS-130). Photo by Peck.
USN photo # NH 71012 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Photo donated to the US Naval Historical Center by LT. Gustave Freret, USN (Retired), 1970.
SS 132 80k Savannah (AS-8) with three S-boats alongside, December 1924. The outboard submarine is S-27 (SS-132). Savannah tended Submarine Division Eleven, which consisted of S-24 / 29. Bushnell (AS-2) is in the left background. Official USN photo USNHC # 44073, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SS 132 142k S-27 (SS-132), underway, entering Pearl Harbor, possibly circa Spring 1925. USN photo by Tai Sing Loo.
Photo courtesy of
SS 132 143k Portside view of the S-27 (SS-132), entering Pearl Harbor circa 1925. USN photo by Tai Sing Loo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 138 900k I included the original Mare Island Public Works photo (above) which show waterfront paving work at the yard on 25 June 1925 and a cropped view of the S class submarine on the far left of the photo.
"Prison labor" means that the prisoners from Mare Island Naval Brig were doing the work, another story of the yard not often told.
Shipyard journals of the period indicate that the submarine in the foreground is S-33 (SS-138) and she was in overhaul at the yard from 1 September 1924 until 3 October 1925. You will note the temporary access patch over her engine room. The six boats in the background are S-24 (SS-129), S-25 (SS-130), S-26 (SS-131), S-27 (SS-132), & S-28 (SS-133) & S-29 (SS-134), all arrived at the yard on 24 June 1925 along with Savannah (AS-8). It appears the photo was taken from the stern of the Savannah.
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
S-9 731k All the boats in the image are S-boats.
On the left is the S-9 (SS-114). The next is probably S-24 (SS-129). All of the rest are 20 series boats. The boat in the background IS NOT the S-2 (SS-106). It is a 20 series like the others. The last digit in the boat's name is obscured by the torpedo davit on the boat in the middle.
As for a location, the pier in the background looks like some images I have seen of San Pedro, California. Although the fact that this came from the New York Daily News Archive seems to indicate the Brooklyn Navy Yard or some location in the city.
I can't see the stern of any of the boats. This helps in dating the photo. It appears that the aft skeg of the S-24 is still in place and there are no post S-4 (SS-109) safety modifications so this would indicate that the photo was taken in the mid to late 1920's, but this is only a rough guess.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR)
Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images, courtesy of
SS 132 469k 2 photo PDF showing the S-27 (SS-132) surfacing & resurfacing and underway while conducting training and trials in Puget Sound on 2 July 1926. The submarine and other warships paid a visit to Tacoma, Washington in early July 1926. The 219-foot long submarine, skippered by Lt. Carlye Craig, carried a crew of 4 officers and 39 men. Source: Tacoma Public Library, Chapin Bowen Collection, G71.1-041 & BGN-659 via Mike Green.
PDF added 06/08/18.
SS 132 129k The crew of the S-27 (SS-132) is proficent in gunnery, as is evidenced by the e on her gun. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
SS 132 1.70k Crew photo of the S-27 (SS-132) sometime between 1 February 1931 and 10 April 1931 at Mare Island.
The contributor's father, (Oscar A. Schultz), is fifth from the left in the second row. On 10 February 1931 he and the rest of the crew got gas mask training. He wore a size 2.
Photo courtesy of Jim Schultz.
SS 132 15k Lieutenant Hugh William Hadley commanded the S-27 (SS-132) from 1933 to 1934. Commander Hadley was Killed in Action 15 September 1942 while in command of Transport Division 12. His ships came under fire from three Japanese destroyers off of Lunga Point. Hopelessly outgunned, his flagship ex- (DD-79) Little (APD-4) and ex-(DD-82) Gregory (APD-5) were sunk by IJS Yudachi. Commander Hadley was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his outstanding service in the bitter Solomon's Campaign. The destroyer Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) was named in his honor. Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
SS 132 34k S-27 (SS-132), 1936, place unknown. USN photo courtesy of George Herold.
SS 132 727k Undated port bow view of S-27 (SS-132) underway at an unidentified location. Source: US Naval History Heritage and Command, Photo No. NH 108429 via Mike Green.
SS 132 644k In late November 1941, S-27 (SS-132) proceeded to Mare Island, where she was undergoing overhaul when the United States entered World War II.
She is seen here diving off the coast of Mare Island.
Text i.d. via Ric Hedman.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of LT Howard G Havens collection at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
S-23 73k An 1942 oil painting on board, by the artist William F. Draper entitled "Sub and Yippy Tie Up."
In a quiet inlet of the Bering Sea in 1942, a YP boat gets a coat of paint and an S-boat ties up for fuel and provisions. The short Alaskan day is ending and lights may be seen in the barracks until total darkness requires a blackout.
The S-boats that served in the Aleutians theater were:
S-18 (SS-123),
S-23 (SS-128),
S-27 (SS-132),
S-28 (SS-133),
S-30 (SS-135),
S-31 (SS-136),
S-32 (SS-137),
S-33 (SS-138),
S-34 (SS-139),
S-35 (SS-140),
S-36 (SS-141),
S-40 (SS-145),
S-41 (SS-146),
S-42 (SS-153),
S-44 (SS-155),
S-45 (SS-156),
S-46 (SS-157), &
S-47 (SS-158).
Sub and Yippy Tie Up by William F. Draper.
Painting #13 / 88-189-N. Courtesy of the USNHC.
SS 132 40k Google Earth satellite photo of St. Makarius Point, Amchitka Island, Alaska. This is where the S-27 (SS-132) was lost. View courtesy of Google Earth.
SS 132 40k Commemorative photo remembering the S-27 (SS-132).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via
SS 132 60k Memorial marker honoring the S-27 (SS-132) from the Idaho submarine veterans of WW II. Photo courtesy of Larry Backus & submitted by Fred Willshaw.
Tolling The Boats 669k Active duty and veteran submariners stand together at the 29th annual "Tolling The Boats" Memorial Service held at the World War II National Submarine Memorial-West, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif. 29 May 2006. The ceremony honored members of the Silent Service who gave their lives during World War II and the Cold War for their country and the cause of freedom. USN photo # N-1159B-052 by Journalist 1st Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of

View the S-27 (SS-132)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
ComSubPac Report of loss of USS S-27 (SS 132) June 19, 1942 - No Men Lost
PigBoats.COM TM A Historic Look at Submarines

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