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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-32 (SS-137)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - November - Zulu

S-18 Class Submarine: Laid down, 12 April 1918, at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.; Launched, 11 January 1919; Commissioned, USS S-32 (SS-137), 15 June 1922; Decommissioned 25 September 1922 for engine alterations; Recommissioned 21 February 1923; Decommissioned on 7 December 1939 and berthed at League Island; Recommissioned on 18 September 1940; Decommissioned, 19 October 1945, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 1 November 1945; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping on 19 April 1946 to the Learner Co., Oakland, CA.S-32 was awarded five battle stars for her services in World War II.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

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.; Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
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SS 135 - 46 113k The S-boat was the culmination of E.B. single-hull design for the U.S. Navy. This is a typical unit of the S-30-41 (SS-135-46) group, as completed. Ballast trunks are indicated. Lines below the hull show the location of the fuel tanks forward & aft (the foremost two tanks of the after group are the lubricating oil tank & sump tank). Arrows indicate the two Fessenden oscillators under the boat's keel, fore & aft. Arrows in the bridge structure indicate the three periscopes (one in the conning tower, soon removed) the telescoping radio mast & the radio tube leading down into the radio room.
In the control room the wheels controlling the planes were on the port side: the three levers for the Kingston valves were on the opposite side, abaft the chart table. The radio room, (below the radio tube, into which the antenna leads ran) was set into the after port side of the control room.
Abaft the main motors were auxiliaries: the low pressure main ballast pump on the center-line, the high pressure main ballast pump on the starboard shaft, the motor for the Fessenden oscillator on the port shaft.
Drawing & Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 137-39 113k The small submarines were conceived as successors to WW I-built R & S-boat. Four first-generation Holland S-boats are shown, three of them identifiable, two with their radio masts raised: S-34 (SS-139), S-32 (SS-137) & S-33(SS-138). US Navy photo. Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS  137 110k S-32 (SS-137), tied up at Groton, CT, 2 October 1922. US Navy photo # 19-N-8917, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
SS  137 128k S-32 (SS-137) inboard with S-35 (SS-140) outboard at Groton, CT, 9 January 1923. US Navy photo # 19-N-10268, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
SS  137 71k This photo and the next 11 to follow, were probably taken circa 1923 in Groton, Conn. The S-32 (SS-137) is on blocks (on what is probably a marine railway), probably were all taken on the same occasion, maybe the same day. The boat probably was hauled up on the railway to correct some problems discovered shortly after commissioning, during the shakedown period.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of Phil Lucy.
SS  137 58k A crewman looks to be entering a hatch near the forward section of the S-32's (SS-137) 4"/50 deck gun.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 77k This is a head on bow view, with outer doors of lower tubes open.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 81k S-32's (SS-137) 4 bow torpedo tubes are facing the camera, and one of them is closed. This view shows the commissioning pennant flying from the top of the retractable navigating/radio mast.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of Phil Lucy.
SS  137 62k S-32's (SS-137) 4 bow torpedo tubes are facing the camera and all are open.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 104k The S-32's (SS-137) rudder and after diving planes and starboard screw (#1) are visible, but the opening is some kind of maintenance access, are shown in this photo, probably taken circa 1923. The discontinuity to the right of the photo is where part of the skeg (?) has been removed. An escape hatch from the motor room was later installed in this area and the skeg (?) mostly removed. The question mark is because I think I remember that fairwater structure called something else.
US Navy photo & text courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of Phil Lucy.
SS  137 69k The crew of the S-32 (SS-137) pose by her rudder and twin screws in this photo, probably taken circa 1923.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 144k In case you ever wondered how many people can comfortably stand on the after diving planes of a S-boat, the answer is about 8, as is seen here on the S-32 (SS-137), probably taken circa 1923.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 173k Partial view of the conning tower and deck gun of the S-32 (SS-137), probably taken circa 1923.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 101k The stern section of the S-32 (SS-137) is shown in this photo, probably taken circa 1923. This view shows the extent of the missing structure clearly.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of Phil Lucy.
SS  137 134k Lower torpedo tube is open in this starboard bow view of the S-32 (SS-137), probably taken circa 1923.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 147k The stern section of the S-32 (SS-137) is shown in this photo, probably taken circa 1923.
US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 370k The S-32 (SS-137) underway off Tsingtao, China in July 1928. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS  137 123k S-32 (SS-137) tied up to wharf, circa late 20's. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 01/08/14.
S-30-35 122k Beaver (AS-5) at Olongapo, Philippines, with six submarines alongside, in March 1929. The submarines are (from front to rear):
S-32 (SS-137),
S-35 (SS-140),
S-30 (SS-135),
S-33 (SS-138),
S-31 (SS-136), &
S-34 (SS-139).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 59967.
S-30-35 128k Submarines at Olongapo Naval Station, Philippines. Crewmen posing with a 4"/50 deck gun on board a "S-Type" submarine, March 1929, with another 4"/50 in the foreground. These submarines are probably S-30 (SS-135) and S-31 (SS-136).
Behind them are (from front to rear):
S-35 (SS-140),
S-33 (SS-138);
S-32 (SS-137);
and S-34 (SS-139).
Photographed from Beaver (AS-5). In the background is Pittsburgh (CA-4), in the Dewey drydock.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51830.
SS  137 210k S-32 (SS-137) approaching the entrance to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa May 1932. US Navy photo # 19-N-17208, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
S-31, 33 & 32 262k Stern view of the S-31 (SS-136), S-33 (SS 138), and S-32 (SS-137) (just visible) at Pearl Harbor circa mid 1930's. On the far left of the photo, on the other side of the pier, the bow of the Argonaut (SS-166) is just visible. The after superstructure skeg has already been cut away as part of a safety and maintenance program initiated after the S-4 (SS-109) disaster. Text courtesy of Dave Johnston. US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 131, 137, 158 & 166450kSubmarines S-47 (SS-158), S-32 (SS-137), S-26 (SS-131) & Argonaut (SS-166) in Honolulu Harbor in 1936. Notice Aloha Tower in the background.
Notice that all the S-boats have the post S-4 (SS-109) accident messenger buoy modifications to their stern, and how deeply in the water the stern light sits, making visibility of this light problematic in anything but glass calm seas.
Partial text & i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR). Photo by Edward Cwalinski, submitted by Barry Litchfield.
Submarine Divison 9 20k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the decommissioning of Submarine Divison 9 on 7 December 1937. The subs appearing are:
S-30 (SS-135)
S-31 (SS-136)
S-32 (SS-137)
S-33 (SS-138)
S-34 (SS-139)
& S-35 (SS-140).
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Submarine Division 52 292k From left to right: S-30 (SS-135), S-32 (SS-137) & S-33 (SS-138) at the Panama Canal Zone, where they operated from December 1940 until April 1941. US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of DANFS.
SS  137 156k "The Aleutian Front. Ice on the conning tower-but such "sugar boats" as S-32 (SS-137) pictured here at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in 1942, made these Arctic waters hot for the enemy invader. S-boats patrols were daredevil in this maelstrom area. Surfacing in high seas to charge batteries, S-32 three times rolled 65 degrees. Sailors, these men!"
Text and photo courtesy of Theodore Roscoe, from his book "U.S. Submarine Operations of WW II", published by USNI.
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  137 421k Oil/alkyd on canvas by the artist John Meeks entitled "North to Alaska..! In this (rather gloomy) painting the S-32 (SS-137) is seen slipping into the bleak port after a successful patrol. On her periscope is lashed the traditional broom, indicating a "clean sweep" - she has sunk all targets attacked. Photo & text courtesy of subart.net.
SS  137 658k The band & crowd turns out to greet the S-32 (SS-137) as she comes back from a successful patrol. Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON Groton, CT. via Ric Hedmen.
SS  137 939k The cold chill can't stop the somewhat warm faces of the S-32's (SS-137) crew as they earned their paychecks. Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON Groton, CT. via Ric Hedmen.
SS  137 819k The S-32 (SS-137) with two exultant crewmen standing on the ice-caked deck as she enters Dutch Harbor, Alaska, after a 1943 war patrol.Note the broomstick lashed to the forward periscope indicating that the boat claimed a clean sweep - the sinking of all enemy ships attacked - and the Japanese flags on her flanks. Text from War Under The Pacific,, by K.Wheeler, and submitted courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON Groton, CT. via Ric Hedmen.
SS  137 202k S-32 (SS-137) with the steep cliffs of Seward, Alaska behind her, circa July 1942 - June 1943. US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier.
SS  137 220k Stern view of the S-32 (SS-137) making her way through the fjords of Seward, Alaska, circa July 1942 - June 1943. US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of DANFS.
SS  137 66k The S-32 (SS-137) off of San Diego on 31 January 1944. USN photo courtesy of USNI.

View the S-32 (SS-137)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

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