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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

V-2 (SF-5)
Bass (SS-164)


Radio Call Sign: November - India - Charlie - Romeo,

Barracuda Class Submarine: Laid down, 20 October 1921, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 27 December 1924; Commissioned USS V-2 (SF-5), 26 September 1925; Renamed Bass, 9 March 1931; Reclassified (SS-164), 1 July 1931; Decommissioned, 9 June 1937, at Philadelphia, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Recommissioned, 5 September 1940, at Portsmouth, NH; Decommissioned, 3 March 1945, at Submarine Base, New London, CT.; Struck from the Naval Register, 10 March 1945; Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 12 March 1945, southeast of Block Island in 155' of water.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 2,000 t., Submerged: 2620 t.; Length 341' 6" ; Beam 27' 7"; Draft 14' 7"; Speed, surfaced 21 kts, Submerged 8 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement, 6 officers, 50 enlisted; Armament, six 21" torpedo tubes, four forward, two aft, 12 torpedoes; one 5"/51 deck gun; Propulsion, Busch-Sulzer Diesel Engine Co., diesel engines, hp 4100; Fuel Capacity, 90,935 gal., Elliot Motor Co., electric motors, hp 2400, Battery Cells 120, twin propellers.
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Winter & Pond 68k The sponsor of V-2 (SS-164), Mrs. Douglas E. Dismukes, wife of Captain Dismukes, sit next to each other on 27 December 1924 on the V-2's launching day. Image cropped from # NH 56927 Mount Vernon, submitted by Bill Gonyo.
SS 164 299k Photo probably taken during trials in 1925. Caption reads V-2 "Full Speed Run". US Navy photo courtesy of Angie Mattke.
R-24 134k PDF entitled "How the Diesel engine came to America."
On 09/26/25 they were installed on the V-2.
Photo courtesy of subvetpaul.com.
SS 164 80k Portside view of the V-2 (SS-164) underway, circa 1920's. Note small boat after the conning tower. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 164 294k History of the V-2 (SS-164). Text & photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS 164 357k V-2 (SS-164) in Charlestown Navy Yard, 1927. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 164 274k V-2 (SS-164) in Charlestown Navy Yard, 1927. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 164 183k Starboard side view of the V-2 (SS-164) probably transiting the Panama canal, circa late 1920's. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 164 195k Portside view of the V-2 (SS-164) probably transiting the Panama canal, circa late 1920's. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 157 & 164 77k Fleet submarines had to be far larger than their predecessors to reach higher speeds & to run greater distances. V-2 (SS-164) lies alongside S-46 (SS-157) at the sub base in Coco Solo in the Canal Zone, circa mid 1920's. In the background is the minesweeper Swan (AM-34). Note the big telescopic masts fore & aft, intended to raise the submarine's radio antennas and thus to increase her radio range. Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 164 61k V-2 (SS-164) at Gonaives, Haiti, waiting for an Admiral's inspection, March 1927.
US Navy photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
SS 163-64 & 65 154k Battleship Maryland (BB-46);
Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6);
two unknown S-boats; and
two V-1 class submarines, possibly
Barracuda (SS-163),
Bass (SS-164) and or
Bonita (SS-165) in port in May 1927.
Note the tremendous difference in size between the S-boats and V-1 class submarines.
Photo # NH 46418 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
SS 163, 164 &  165 113k V-1 class submarines alongside Argonne (AS-10), at San Diego, California, 10 December 1927. The submarines are (from left to right):
Bass (SS-164);
Barracuda (SS-163) and
Bonita (SS-165).
Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1969. US Navy photo # NH 69094, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 163, 164 &  165 129k Argonne (AS-10) in Panama waters, 1927-1928, while en route to join the Battle Fleet. The submarines alongside her are (from outboard to inboard): The submarines are (from left to right):
Bass (SS-164);
Barracuda (SS-163) and
Bonita (SS-165).
US Navy photo # NH 61683, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Argonaut 202k Crew of a Barracuda class (SS-163/5) gather on deck for a group picture at Pearl Harbor prior to 1928. The Barracudas had their 5"/51 cal guns replaced in 1928 with smaller 3"/50's. She still has the larger 5"/51 cal gun. The crew is seated on the forward gun deck and the gun itself is raised to its max elevation to give the crew the room to gather. To the right of the boat is the submarine Narwhal (SS-167). Text courtesy of David Johnston (USNR). Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Decrevel, John Hart, Ric Hedman & David Johnston (USNR). Photo courtesy of Doug Sheley via flickr.com.
Argonaut65k Gunnery exercises with a Barracuda class (SS-163/5) submarine.
This photo was originally thought to be the Argonaut (SS-166). However, the configuration of the port and starboard running lights and the tall posts on the deck just aft of the fairwater rule this out. These are Kingposts used for hoisting the small boats out of their housing on the after deck. These kingposts were not present on the Argonaut. This is a Barracudas class boat and was taken prior to 1928. The Barracudas had their 5"/51 cal guns replaced in 1928 with smaller 3"/50's. She still has the larger 5"/51 cal gun.
Text courtesy of David Johnston (USNR). Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Decrevel, John Hart, Ric Hedman, John Hummel & David Johnston (USNR).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 62906, from the collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
SS 164 225k Starboard side view of the V-2 (SS-164) on 2 January 1929 at anchor, probably on the West Coast. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
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);
<I>S-44 (SS-155); and
S-42 (SS-153);
US Navy photo # NH 53437, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 164 129k Starboard broadside photo of the Bass (SS-164) sometime between 1931 plus and 1937.
US Navy photo courtesy of John L. Ross.
SS 164 459k The Bass (SS-164) is seen in dry dock one at Mare Island between 19 September and 31 October 1933. The yard's 150 ton floating crane is on the far left. The target raft 124 (the long narrow vessel with workers on top), YF-201 and 200 are in dock with the Bass on the left. The bow on the right is the San Francisco (CA-38) being outfitted at yard. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 164 141k The Bass (SS-164) when she was assigned to Rotating Reserve Submarine Division 15, is seen in dry dock one at Mare Island between 19 September and 31 October 1933. The bow on the right is the San Francisco (CA-38) being outfitted at yard.
Bass shows her bulbous forefoot (carrying her bow torpedo tubes) and her clipper stern & flared deck. As in many surface ships, the bulbous bow was intended to reduce wave-making resistance & thus to improve the submarine's surface speed; the unusual bow was expected to make the deck drier.
U.S. Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org web site. Partial text from DANFS & partial text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 164 & 165 139k Bass (SS-164), outboard and Bonita (SS-165) at San Francisco, California, circa the early 1930s. US Navy photo # NH 56516, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of J.A. Casoly.
SS 164 & 165 89k Bass (SS-164), outboard and Bonita (SS-165) with civilian visitors on board, at San Francisco, California, May 1932. Note that Bass has a 3"/50 deck gun, while Bonita carries a 5"/51. Also note the retractable embarkation ladder built into Bass's hull amidships. Photographed by Lauzin. US Navy photo # NH 91778, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 164 & 165 111k Bass (SS-164), outboard and Bonita (SS-165) with civilian visitors on board, at San Francisco, California, May 1932. Photographed by Lauzin. US Navy photo # NH 91782, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 164 175k Broadside view of the Bass (SS-164) at Pearl Harbor, 11 February 1932. USN photo.
Winter & Pond 83k Tender and submarines at dock in Juneau, Alaska, July, 1934. At far left, tender Holland (AS-3), submarines (l to r) Bass (SS-164), Bonita (SS-165), Barracuda (SS-163), Nautilus (SS-168) and Narwhal (SS-167). The mill of the Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company is in the background. Photo by Winter & Pond courtesy of the Alaska State Library. Submitted by Joe Radigan.
SS-170,169,163,164,165,168 & 167 86k Holland (AS-3) with seven submarines alongside, in San Diego harbor, California, 24 December 1934. The submarines are (from left to right):
Cachalot (SS-170) ;
Dolphin (SS-169) ;
Barracuda (SS-163) ;
Bass (SS-164);
Bonita (SS-165);
Nautilus (SS-168); and
Narwahl (SS-167).
Photo courtesy of the USNHC, NH # 80-G-63334, Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Argonaut417k Holland (AS-3) with seven submarines alongside, in San Diego harbor, California, possibly around 24 December 1934. The submarines are (from left to right):
Cachalot (SS-170);
Dolphin (SS-169);
Barracuda(SS-163);
Bass (SS-164);
Bonita (SS-165);
Nautilus (SS-168); and
Narwahl (SS-167)
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 09/22/13.
SS 164 1.30k Starboard side view of the V-2 (SS-164), underway, 23 August 1935. Note the unusual raised deck section around and abaft the bridge fairwater. Partial text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
USN photo # 80-G-463342 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
SS 164 69k Commemorative postal cover marking Bass's (SS-164) 10th anniversary commissioning, 26 September 1935.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Navy Day 78k Commemorative postal cover marking:
Bass (SS-164);
Dolphin (SS-169);
Porpoise (SS-172);
Argonaut (SS-169);
Nautilus (SS-168);
Cuttlefish (SS-171)
Barracuda (SS-163);
Narwahl (SS-167)
Bonita (SS-165); &
Cachalot (SS-170)
on Navy Day, 27 October 1935.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS-170,163,164,165,168 & 167 94k Holland (AS-3) in San Diego harbor, California, circa 1935. Submarines alongside are (from outboard to inboard):
Cachalot (SS-170);
Barracuda(SS-163);
Bass (SS-164);
Bonita (SS-165);
Nautilus (SS-168); and
Narwahl (SS-167).
Closest ship in the nest of destroyers at far right is Yarnall (DD-143).
Photo courtesy of the USNHC, NH # 82789. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
SS 164 69k Commemorative postal cover marking Thanksgiving Day on the Bass (SS-164), 26 November 1936.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 163 69k Commemorative postal cover marking Valentine's Day, 14 February 1937, issued from the Barracuda (SS-163) and commemorating all the boats in her class:
Bass (SS-164);
Barracuda and
Bonita (SS-165).
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 164 32k Commemorative postal cover marking Bass's (SS-164) recommissioning, 5 September 1940, at Portsmouth, NH. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 164 20k Commemorative postal cover & photo inset marking first day postal service on Bass's (SS-164) recommissioning, 1 October 1940, at Portsmouth, NH. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 164 175k On 17 August 1942 while at sea, a fire broke out in the Bass's (SS-164) after battery room and quickly spread to the after torpedo room and starboard main motor, resulting in the death of 26 enlisted men by asphyxiation. This is a commemorative photo honoring their memory. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
SS 164 50k Bass (SS-164) is shown here, newly converted to a cargo submarine, off the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 30 March 1943. Conversion was relatively simple because she had a pair of battery-charging engines in addition to the main engines that drove her propellers directly.
The battery chargers could drive her electrically (by being connected to her motors), with the main engines disconnected. Thus the main engines could be easily removed to leave space for cargo.
Similar flexibility made it relatively easy to remove one or two engines from a much later generation of diesel-electric Gato-class or Balao-class submarines after WW II. Foreign navies, whose submarines were generally directly driven by their diesels, enjoyed no such flexibility.
Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 164 1.10k Bass (SS-164) remained in the Canal Zone until October 1942 when she departed for Philadelphia, arriving on the 19th. After undergoing repairs at Philadelphia Navy Yard Bass proceeded to New London, Conn., where she conducted secret experiments off Block Island in December 1943.
She is seen here underway on 16 November 1943.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
US National Archives photo # 80G-450242, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
SS 164 31k Bass (SS-164) is shown as built (top) and as stripped for sinking (bottom) after having served unsuccessfully as a cargo submarine. The big compartments fore & aft of the control room (below the conning tower) were the forward & after engine rooms, respectively; the former accommodated the battery-charging engine.
Compartments abaft the main engine room were, forward to aft:the maneuvering room above the motor room, crew's quarters above the aft battery, crew's mess, the after torpedo room & the steering gear room.
Additional crewmen were accommodated in the small upper deck compartment above the forward engine room. Forward of it were officer's quarters above the forward battery & then the forward torpedo room.
As in the earlier submarines, the conning tower was a vertical cylinder. Conversion to a cargo carrier entailed removal of the main engines, so that the after engine room could be used for cargo. The forward & after torpedo rooms were used also for cargo storage.
Drawing by Jim Christley, text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
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. May 29, 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. U.S. Navy photo # N-1159B-052 by Journalist 1st Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of navy.news.mil.

View the V-2 / Bass (SS-164)
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
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
PigBoats.COM TM, A Historic Look at Submarines.
oneternalpatrol.com
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