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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Perch (SS-176)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Kilo- Kilo


Perch Class Submarine: Laid down, 25 February 1935, at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.; Launched, 9 March 1936; Commissioned, USS Perch (SS-176), 19 November 1936; Final Disposition, scuttled 3 March 1942, between Java and Borneo on second patrol after depth charging by Japanese destroyer attacks; Struck from the Naval Register, 24 June 1942. Perch earned one battle star for World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,330 t., Submerged: 1,997 t.; Length 300' 7" ; Beam 21' 5"; Draft 13' 10"; Maximum Depth 250'; Speed, Surfaced 19.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 5 Officers, 45 Enlisted; Armament, six 21" torpedo tubes, 18 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal machine guns, four .30 cal machine guns; Propulsion, diesel-electric, Winton diesel engines, HP 4300, fuel capacity, 92,801 gal., GE electric motors, HP 2366, battery cells 240, twin propellers.
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SizeImage DescriptionSource
Perch 30k The Perch Perca fluviatilis. Courtesy of freshwater-fishing-guide.com.
Perch1.20kPerch (SS-176), off Groton, Connecticut, at the time of her completion, circa Fall 1936. Photographed by her builder, the Electric Boat Company.
US National Archives photo # 80g 1039061, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo added 03/21/12.
Perch34kPerch (SS-176), probably taken during her sea trials, circa Fall 1936.Hyperwar US Navy in WWII.
Perch84kCommemorative postal cover marking the Perch's (SS-176) commissioning on 19 November 1936. Courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Perch52kPerch (SS-176), silhouetted by the Sun, circa 1936-1937. USN photo # NH 42898, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Perch64kPerch (SS-176), in a harbor, circa 1936-1937. USN photo # NH 42897, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Perch238kPerch (SS-176), 16 June 1937, at Portsmouth N.H.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Perch29kCommemorative postal cover marking Labor Day (early ?) on Perch (SS-176) 6 September 1937. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Navy Day 193721kCommemorative postal cover marking the boats of the P-class (SS-176/81) first Navy Day, 27 October 1937;
Perch (SS-176), Pickerel (SS-177), Permit (SS-178), Plunger (SS-179), Pollack (SS-180) & Pompano (SS-181).
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Navy Day 193763kOil on canvas painting by the artist Jim Christley entitled "Off To War".
Although mismanaged and crippled with defective torpedoes, the boats such as this one of the Perch-class (SS-176/81) headed out to do battle with the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Photo & text courtesy of subart.net.
SS-172 129kHandwritten on the back reads: "This is the series of "P" Boats built in '38-'39; Pike (SS-173), Porpoise (SS-172), Permit (SS-178), Shark (SS-174) ,& Tarpon (SS-175). Picture was taken in San Diego - The Pike & Porpoise are the only ones afloat today."
From left to right: Shark, Permit, Perch, Porpoise, Tarpon & Pike. "This Picture has been Officially released by the Navy Department."
USN photo courtesy of m.flickr.com via Bill Gonyo.
Perch 192k Perch (SS-176), circa 1938 while conducting a survey of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.1985.131.012, courtesy of Mike Green.
Dutch Harbor 870k Perch (SS-176) and sister Plunger (SS-179) anchored in 1938, as seen from the deck of an unidentified warship. The vessels were pictured during the survey of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1985.131.010 courtesy of Mike Green.
Fleet Problem XX 43k Commemorative postal cover marking Snapper (SS-185), Stingray (SS-186), Skipjack (SS-184), Plunger (SS-179), Cachalot (SS-170), Salmon (SS-182), Perch (SS-176) & Pollack (SS-180) participating in Fleet Problem XX, 28 January 1939.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Perch86kThis Tobacco card of the Perch (SS-176) was issued by "John Player and Son's" in the U.K. in 1939 and came from a series entitled "Modern Naval Craft". Photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
AS 3 59k Panoramic photograph of Holland (AS-3) moored at Buoy 19, San Diego, CA, 1940, with eleven submarines alongside. Submarines are (from left to right):
Salmon (SS-182);
Seal (SS-183);
Stingray (SS-186);
Perch (SS-176);
Pollack (SS-180);
Cachalot (SS-170);
Cuttlefish (SS-171);
Skipjack (SS-184);
Sturgeon (SS-187);
Snapper (SS-185)

and Sargo (SS-188).
SS-182 through SS-187 were members of Submarine Division 15, commanded by R.W. Christie. Richmond (CL-9), flagship of the Commander Submarine Force, Pacific, is in the right distance.
USN photo # NH 68481, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of US Naval Institute, James C Fahey Collection.
Perch97kSix U.S. Navy submarines nested together, circa 1939-1941. Probably seen from Canopus (AS-9) in Manila Bay, Philippines. The inboard submarine is not identified. The others are (from left to right):
Pike (SS-173);
Tarpon (SS-175);
Porpoise (SS-172);
Perch (SS-176); and
Permit (SS-178).
USN photo # NH 99672, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Collection of Jack L. Wheat, who served in Canopus.
Perch58k Color drawing of the Fubuki class Japanese destroyers Ushio and Sazanami which caused severe damage to the Perch (SS-176). Her crew later scuttled her to avoid boat's capture. Courtesy of combinedfleet.com.
Perch41kIn memory of the Perch (SS-176). Courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Perch191kGoogle Earth satellite photo of Surabaya and the Island of Java, where the Perch (SS-176) was at the time of her loss. View courtesy of Google Earth.
Perch22kDavid Albert Hurt, Sr., Captain of the Perch (SS-176), at the time of her loss. Courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
Perch40kView of the forward capstan of the Perch (SS-176), photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006 and his dive team of Vidar Skoglie, Dieter Kops, Mike Gadd, Craig Challen.
The Perch was discovered and photographed in November 2006. A few photos can be seen on this page. For more pictures and a press release, please go to On Eternal Patrol
Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch40kView aft from the bow of the Perch (SS-176), photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch32k RDF-Antenna of the Perch (SS-176), photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman,Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch56k Perch's (SS-176) plaque photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch42k Perch's (SS-176) Q-Gun-port photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch27k Perch's (SS-176) Periscope-shears photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch32k Aft-deck of the Perch (SS-176), photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Perch32k Stern of the Perch (SS-176), photographed by Kevin Denlay, December 2006. Courtesy of Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Tolling the Boats 117k Joyce DaSilva, the wife of Jesse DaSilva of the Tang (SS-306), one of the nine survivors of the boat, tosses a flower into a reflecting pool to honor the memory of one of the 52 submarines lost during World War II at the National Submarine Memorial-West on board Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif. On this Veterans Day, the Submarine Veterans of World War II transferred ownership of the memorial to the U.S. Navy.

The following text is from The Coming Fury by Bruce Catton., pg. 478.
"Major Sullivan Ballou of Rhode Island was killed in the battle, and just before it he had wrote to his wife, Sarah, to tell her that he believed he was going to be killed and to express a tremulous faith that could see a gleam of light in the dark:
"But O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and float unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you in the gladdest days and in the gloomiest nights, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your chest it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait, for we shall meet again!"
Text i.d. courtesy of Marlynn Starring. Photo i.d. courtesy of Chuck Senior, Vice Commander, Los Angeles-Pasadena Base, USSVI.
USN photo # N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
Perch141k"Abandon Ship!" Perch (SS-176) in extremis. Mortally injured by depth charges, her hull maimed and leaking, her engines crippled, periscopes blinded, torpedo tubes paralyzed and deck gun frozen, she is trapped by approaching enemy. Her captain orders the crew over-side and gives the word to scuttle. Perch is lost.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 20th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, 1982, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S. submariners who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."
Drawing by Lt. Cmdr. Fred Freemen, courtesy of Theodore Roscoe, from his book "U.S. Submarine Operations of WW II",, published by USNI.

View the Perch (SS-176)
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
On Eternal Patrol
ComSubForPac - USS PERCH (SS-176) 3 March 1942, Six Men Died as Japanese POW's
Section IVUSS PERCH (SS-176), Loss in Action, Java Sea, 3 March 1942
PigBoats.COM TM, A Historic Look at Submarines.

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