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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-37 (SS-142)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Papa - Golf

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Yangtze Service Medal - China Service Medal - American Defense Service Medal (with Sea Clasp)
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal - Philippine Defense Medal


S-18 Class Submarine (Holland-type): Laid down, 12 December 1918, at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.; Launched, 20 June 1919; Commissioned, USS S-37 (SS-142), 16 July 1923; Decommissioned, 6 February 1945; Struck from the Naval Register, 20 February 1945; Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 4 April 1946, off Imperial Beach. DANFS said only she was sunk as a target for aerial bombing off the southern California coast the following Spring. Un addendum from Bauer's "Register of Ships of the US Navy" said she was sunk on 20 February off Imperial Beach but S-38 is also said to have been bombed the same say off the same coast. Friedman said she was sunk on 4 April 1946. S-37 earned five battle stars for her World War II service.
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.; General Electric Co., electric motors, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
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S-37 151k Composite photo marking the launching of S-37 (SS-142), at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Ltd., Union Plant, Potrero Wks. on 20 June 1919. The ship's sponsor Miss. Mildred Bulger is shown on the left. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
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 ancillaries: the low pressure main ballast pump on the centerline, 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.
S-37 121k S-37 (SS-142) crew members bringing bodies up through the submarine's after hatch, following an explosion on board that killed three sailors and injured five others on the night of 10 October 1923. At the time of the accident S-37 was moored alongside Beaver (AS-5) at Los Angeles, CA. USN photo # NH 69128, Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, CA., 1969.
S-37 201k Commemorative photo honoring the memory of the crew of the S-37 (SS-142), 10 October 1923. Photo courtesy of Raymond Fritz. ET1(SS).
S-37 218k S-37 (SS-142), exercising as part of Submarine Division 17 at Apra Harbor, Guam M.I. on 29 October 1924. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Canopus & Friends 85k Canopus (AS-9) in Apra Harbor, Guam, with Submarine Division 17 alongside, 29 October 1924. Submarine Division 17's members were:
S-36 (SS-141),
S-37 (SS-142);
S-38(SS-143);
S-39 (SS-144);
S-40 (SS-145) and
S-41 (SS-146).
USN photo # NH 55048, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Canopus 76k Canopus (AS-9), in Apra Harbor, Guam, 29 October 1924, with all six members of Submarine Division 17 alongside.
The division consisted of:
S-36 (SS-141);
S-37 (SS-142),
S-38 (SS-143),
S-39 (SS-144),
S-40 (SS-145) and
S-41 (SS-146).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 104940.
Murphy 118k Vice Admiral Vincent Raphael Murphy was the commanding officer of the submarine O-11 (SS-72) from 1929 to 1932. He also served aboard the submarines S-37 (SS-142) from 1924 to 1927; S-11 (SS-116) from 1929 to 1932 and the Texas (BB-35) from 1935 to 1937. The picture was taken when he was the commanding officer of the battleship Alabama (BB-60) in 1944. Photo from the War Diary USS Alabama 1942 - 1944 courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
SS 141 95k The boats of Submarine Division Seventeen (SubDiv 17), US Asiatic Fleet, moored alongside Canopus (AS-9) at Tsingtao, China, circa 1930. Identifiable submarines present include S-36 (SS-141), S-39 (SS-144), S-37 (SS-142) and S-41 (SS-146). Note sailors relaxing on deck, Chinese men on board the submarines, and 4"/50 deck guns. USN photo # NH 59968, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 141 88k The boats of SubDiv 17, Asiatic Fleet, moored alongside Canopus (AS-9) at Tsingtao, China, circa 1930. Identifiable submarines present include S-39 (SS-144), S-37 (SS-142) and S-41 (SS-146). The boat closest to the camera is probably S-36 (SS-141). Note SubDiv 17 insignia painted on conning towers. USN photo # NH 51832, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 141 196k S-36 (SS-141) at anchor, moored alongside Canopus (AS-9), probably at Tsingtao, China, circa 1930 with the rest of the boats of Submarine Division Seventeen (SubDiv 17). The other S-boats are probably S-37 (SS-142), S-38 (SS-143), S-39 (SS-144). Note all the washing hung out to dry on the signal lines. Courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Canopus 64k Canopus (AS-9), with the Asiatic Fleet's Submarine Squadron Five alongside, during the 1930s. The submarines present include (from left to right): S-37 (SS-142); S-40 (SS-145); S-36 (SS-141); S-38 (SS-143); S-41 (SS-146); S-39 (SS-144). US National Archives photo # 80-G-1014615, a USN photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
S-37 78k Canopus (AS-9) at Tsingtao, China, circa 1933-1934, with "S-Boats " of Submarine Squadron Five alongside. Outboard submarine is S-37 (SS-142). USN photo # NH 80140, Courtesy G.K. Bishop, USAF, 1974., from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
S-37 68k Boats of SubRon 5 at Olongapo, Philippine Islands, circa 1933-1934.Submarines present are S-37 (SS-142), S-38 (SS-143), S-39 (SS-144) and S-40 (SS-145). USN photo # NH 80142, Courtesy G.K. Bishop, USAF, 1974, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
S-37 414k S-37 (SS-142), probably circa 1930's. USN photo courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
S-37 95k Circa 1930's S-37 (SS-142) photo. USN photo courtesy of Ken Lusk.
S-37 45k In April 1942, S-37 (SS-142) continued on to Brisbane where she joined Task Force 42 and, after an extensive overhaul, departed for her fifth war patrol. Clearing Moreton Bay on 22 June, she was in the Bismarcks by the end of the month, and, after patrolling in St. George Channel, she moved toward New Hanover. On 7 July, she shifted back to the New Britain coast to patrol in the Lambert Point area. There, on the afternoon of the eighth, she sighted a Japanese merchantman escorted by a submarine chaser. Closing the target, she fired three torpedoes at 1405. Three explosions followed, sinking the 2,776-ton Tenzan Maru. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of wrecksite.eu.
S-37 65k One of the S-37's (SS-142) torpedo doors underwater. Photo courtesy of cawreckdivers.org.
S-37 73k S-37 (SS-142) makes the news: Navy Times, 30 September 1959 & Chr. Science Monitor 16 June 1965 Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Fremantle 365k This plaque was unveiled 20 March 1995 by His Excellency Major General P.M. Jeffery OA MC, Govenor of Western Australia to commemeorate the sacrifices made by Allied submarined that operated out of Fremantle, Western Australia during WW II. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 02/06/16.

View the S-37 (SS-142)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
PigBoats.COM TM A Historic Look at Submarines

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