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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-45 (SS-156)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Papa - Romeo

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 - World War II Victory Medal

S-42 Class Submarine: Laid down, 29 December 1920, at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 26 June 1923; Commissioned, USS S-45 (SS-156), 31 March 1925; Decommissioned, 30 October 1945, at San Francisco, CA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 13 November 1945; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in December 1946, to Salco Iron and Metal Co., San Francisco, CA.
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 156 58k S-45 (SS-156) underway, circa 1920s. USN photo # NH 1373, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 156 87k S-45 (SS-156) underway in harbor, circa 1920s. Note the auxiliary ships moored in the background. USN photo # NH 42187, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
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 by Jim Christley. Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 156 126k S-45 (SS-156) at rest at Groton, CT. in 24 March 1925. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
SS 156 61k S-45 (SS-156) making 10.5 knots while running trials off Groton, CT., 24 March 1925. USN photo # NH 42186, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 156 96k View of S-45 (SS-156) conning spaces, showing one periscope in the raised position and the other retracted. Taken at Groton, CT. in May 1925. Photo courtesy of Edward Page, 1979. USN photo # NH 89733, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 156 174k Secretary of the Navy Curtis Dwight Wilbur inspecting S-45 (SS-156) at Wash. Navy Yard, 6/12/25. Digital ID: # npcc 13820. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division via Bill Gonyo.
SS 156 180k Secretary of the Navy Curtis Dwight Wilbur set's his sights in the seat on S-45 (SS-156) at Wash. Navy Yard, 6/12/25. Digital ID: # npcc 13824. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division via Bill Gonyo.
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.
Photo added 01/25/17.
SS 157 67k S-45 (SS-156) leaving Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, en route to Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA. in April 1927. S-44 (SS-155) is in the foreground. Destroyer in the distance is Moody (DD-277). USN photo # NH 42189, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 156 141k S-45 (SS-156) leaving Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, en route to Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA. in April 1927. S-44 (SS-155) is in the foreground and the destroyer Moody (DD-277) is in the distance. USN photo # NH 63418, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
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.
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 Dave Johnston, USNR.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
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 156 161k Designed during WW I, the S-boats (SS-105/146-153/162) survived to fight into WW II. S-45 (SS-156) is shown after a San Francisco on 17 October 1943. The new pole mast at the after end of the bridge fairwater carries an SD air warning radar (the smaller radar forward is SJ, for surface search).
The bridge structure was redesigned to provide a platform forward for a 20-mm anti-aircraft gun (not visible here). Other S-boats had a gun platform added abaft their fairwaters.
Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 156 127k As refitted at San Francisco, S-45 (SS-156) shows bridge detail in this 17 October 1943 photo. New features circled here include: left to right: a new after superstructure section; a new open bridge, with venturi ( to form a windbreak by reflecting air upwards) on its further side; a 20-mm machine cannon mount (without guns) and an ammunition scuttle for the 4in/50" gun.
The "danger sign" is a reminder that batteries released explosive gasses when they were being charged, in this case from shore power. The circled stub mast aft supports a new flat-top radio antenna, replacing the old loop.
The entire second group of E.B. ("Holland")S-boats were modernized this way.
Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 156 219k Forward plan view of S-45 (SS-156) at San Francisco on 17 October 1943. Mare Island Photo # 7178-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 156 127k Stern view of S-45 (SS-156) in San Francisco Bay on 21 October 1943. Mare Island Photo # 7208-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 156 139k Bow view of S-45 (SS-156) off San Francisco on 21 October 1943. The suspension portion of the Oakland Bay Bridge is seen in the background. Mare Island Photo # 7210-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 156 174k Port view of S-45 (SS-156) in San Francisco Bay on 21 October 1943. Navy photo # 7209-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.

View the S-45 (SS-156)
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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