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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-42 (SS-153)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Papa - November

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with Sea Clasp)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal

S-42 Class Submarine: Laid down, 16 December 1920, at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 30 April 1923; Commissioned, USS S-42 (SS-153), 20 November 1924; Decommissioned, 25 October 1945, at San Francisco, CA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 13 November 1945; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping 23 November 1946. S-42 earned one battle star during World War II.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 903 t., Submerged: 1126 t..; Length 225' 3"; Beam 20' 8"; Draft 13' 1"; Speed, surfaced 14.5 kts, submerged 11 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 4 Officers, 34 Enlisted; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel electric engines, New London Ship and Engine Co., diesel engines, 1,200 hp, Fuel Capacity, 46,363 gal.; Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, 1,200 hp, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
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SS 153
2.54k The S-42 (SS-153) is launched by Sponsor Mrs. Henry A. Hutchins, Jr., (Barbara Kerley), wife of Lieutenant H. A. Hutchins, C. C., U. S. Navy, Assistant to the Superintending Constructor at the works. Courtesy of Ships of the United States Navy and Their Sponsors, 19131923, pg 208.
Compiled by Anne Martin Hall & Edith Wallace Benham. COPYRIGHT, 1925 BY THE SOCIETY OF SPONSORS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY
<SS 153 91k S-42 (SS-153), a Quincy built S-boat, was the first of E.B.'s second production series (S-42-47). These boats could be recognized by the prominent gun access trunks at the forward ends of their conning tower fairwaters (the S-18 (SS-123) had much smaller ammunition scuttles there).
Other modifications, such as revised ballast arrangements, were more subtle. The dashed line indicates the way the skeg was cut away for the submarine safety improvement program: the boats of this series were modified during the early 1930's. All were modernized during WW II.
Drawing by Jim Christley. Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 153 270k Typical of the last E.B.'s S-boats S-42-47 (SS-153-58) is shown as in 1924-25 (the date of final changes to the original plans is illegible). These boats were part of a second, redesigned series. They were lengthened enough to accomodate both the new 4in/50 gun & the gun access hatch shown (arrowed) forward of the conning tower fairwater (it is the main visual difference between these and earlier E.B. units) Drawing & Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
S-18, 22, & 42 89k From left to right: S-18 (SS-123), S-22 (SS-127), S-42 (SS-153) & tied up along the dock at Groton, CT., 2 January 1924. USN photo # 19-N-10279, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
SS 153 398k S-42 (SS-153) had a shower head installed in the port side aft of the conning tower. This photo was taken in 1926 off shore of Pearl Harbor. Private Collection of Ric Hedman.
US Fleet Problem Number VI 1.72k Control Force Employment Schedule, 4 January to 1 March 1926. US Fleet Problem Number VI. Photo courtesy of Steve Ireland.
SS 153 559k S-42 (SS-153) in the Panama Canal Zone, 30 November 1926. Official USN photo # 80-G-457039 now in the collections of the National Archives, courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, via
SS 153 117k S-42 (SS-153) at San Diego, CA., during the 1920s or 1930s. S-44 (SS-155) is in the background. USN photo # NH 42154, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
<SS 153 354k S-42 (SS-153) in port during the 1920s or 1930s. Note Langley (CV-1) in the background. USN photo thanks to Jim Kurrasch @ Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center.
SS 153 100k Submarines at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, 1926
These boats are:
S-44 (SS-155);
V-3 (SF-6)
, later Bonita (SS-165); and
S-42 (SS-153).
USN photo # NH 80598, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Photo courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Lieutenant O.E. Wightman.
SS 153
2.54k 19th Submarine Division at San Diego, California, 28 July 1928, with officers and crewmen paraded on deck. Panoramic photograph, taken by O.A. Tunnell, 521 A St., San Diego. The first three submarines are (from inboard): S-46 (SS-157); S-42 (SS-153) and S-47 (SS-158). The 4th & 6th boats on the right are (in no order) S-43 (SS-154) & S-44 (SS-155). The fifth boat is S-45 (SS-156), with the E emblazoned on her conning tower.
My grandad Julius "Fred" Hatchett is on the closest sub, the S-46. He's at the far right of the middle group of sailors.
Courtesy of Julius "Fred" Hatchett via his grandson Steve Hatchett.
SS 153
989k Circa 1930 photo showing the Submarine Rescue Ship Mallard (ASR-4), S-42 (SS-153) and S-44 (SS-155) pier side. Photo courtesy of via James Bass
Holland 86k Holland (AS-3) moored off San Diego, California, circa 1930.
Submarines alongside, to starboard, are (from inboard): S-25 (SS-130); S-28 (SS-133); S-24 (SS-129); S-27 (SS-132); S-26 (SS-131); and S-48 (SS-159) or S-46 (SS-157). Submarines moored to Holland's port side are (from inboard): V-3 (SF-6), later Bonita (SS-165); V-2 (SF-5), later Bass (SS-164); S-45 (SS-156); S-43 (SS-154); S-44 (SS-155); and S-42 (SS-153).
USN photo # NH 63094, now in the collections of the US National Archives.
Holland 102k Holland (AS-3) moored at San Diego, CA., circa 1930. Submarines alongside, apparently holding inspection, are (from inboard):
V-3 (SF-6), later Bonita (SS-165);
V-2 (SF-5)
, later Bass (SS-164);
S-45 (SS-156);
S-43 (SS-154);
S-44 (SS-155)
; and
S-42 (SS-153).
USN photo # NH 53437, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 153 398k Port side view of the S-42 (SS-153) entering Pearl Harbor, circa 1930. USN photo by Tai Sing Loo courtesy of
SS 153 398k From left to right:
S-47 (SS-158), S-42 (SS-153), S-43 (SS-154) & Barracuda (SS-163);
at the sub base in Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, probably circa early 1936.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
813k A few of the crew of S-42 (SS-153) in San Diego, 28 November 1931. Photo courtesy of David Wright.
S-boats 327k Submarine Division 11 is shown moored together here in this photograph, probably taken in 1936 at the Submarine Base in Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone. Shown are the S-46 (SS-157), S-43 (SS-154), S-47 (SS-158), S-42 (SS-153), S-44 (SS-155), and S-45 (SS-156). Photo i.d. & text courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired)
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
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 153 441k On 10 May 1942, Okinoshima departed Rabaul as part of Operation RY, the invasion of Nauru and Ocean Island. On 12 May 1942, off New Ireland, she was hit by two or three torpedoes by American submarine S-42 (SS-153). Okinoshima was taken under tow by escorting destroyer Mochizuki, but capsized in St. George's Channel, in the Bismarck Sea at position 0506'S 15348'E. Most of the crew survived. Okinoshima was removed from the navy list on 25 May 1942. Photo courtesy of Photo by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships"via Tommy Trampp.
SS 153 121k S-42 (SS-153) crew members posed on the submarine's foredeck, while she was at Norfolk, VA., 18 June 1943. Note anti-submarine net in the left background. NARA photo # 80-G-73340, a USN photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
SS 153 885k Sailors loading torpedos on unknown S-boat before leaving for patrol duty in Japanese waters.
On 2 September 1943, S-42 (SS-153) departed Dutch Harbor for the Kurils and her only North Pacific war patrol. Stopping en route at Attu, the forty-day patrol was spent primarily in the Paramushiro-Onekotan area. She returned to Dutch Harbor on 12 October.
The following 13 photo PDF shows photos of her Artic tour.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Source: LIFE Magazine Archives - Dmitri Kessel Photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.

View the S-42 (SS-153)
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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