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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Sargo (SS-188)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Kilo - Sierra

Sargo Class Submarine: Laid down, 12 May 1937, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 6 June 1938; Commissioned, USS Sargo (SS-188), 7 February 1939; Decommissioned, 22 June 1946, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 19 July 1946; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 19 May 1947, to Learner Co., of California. Sargo was awarded eight battle stars for her service in World War II and received the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,450 t., Submerged: 2,350 t.; Length 310' ; Beam 27' 1"; Draft 13' 8"; Speed, Surfaced 20 kts, Submerged 7.75 kts; Max Operating Depth, 250'; Complement 5 Officers 50 Enlisted; Armament, eight 21" torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 caliber machine guns, two .30 caliber machine guns; Propulsion, diesel-electric, four Hoover, Owens, Rentschler Co. diesel engines, (replaced in 1943-1944 with four General Motors 278A diesel engines), 5,500 hp, Fuel Capacity, 90,000 gals. four General Electric Co. electric motors, 2,740 hp, Battery Cells 252, twin propellers.
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Sargo 16k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the Sargo's (SS-188) keel laying, 12 May 1937, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Sargo 69k Sargo (SS-188) underway at 18.8 knots while running trials off Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1 November 1938.
USNHC photo # NH 19-N-19793 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Sargo 98k Sargo (SS-188) off Provincetown, Massachusetts, during her trials, 1 November 1938.
USNHC photo # NH 19-N-19830 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Sargo 96k Sargo (SS-188) off Provincetown, Massachusetts, during her trials, 1 November 1938.
USNHC photo # NH 19-N-19831 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Sargo 133k Sargo (SS-188) probably photographed shortly after commissioning, circa 1939.
USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Sargo 51k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the shakedown cruise of the Sargo (SS-188), 6 April 1939.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Navy Day 21k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the submarines
Sargo (SS-188),
Saury (SS-189),
Spearfish (SS-190),
Sculpin (SS-191),
Squalus (SS-192) &
Swordfish (SS-193) honoring Navy Day, 27 October 1939.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
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.
US Navy photo # NH 68481, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of US Naval Institute, James C Fahey Collection.
Sargo 1.00k Condition of Sargo's (SS-188) bottom prior to a paint job at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, July 1941.
US Navy photo # MI-1647-41 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 08/17/12.
Sargo 51k Bow on view of the Sargo (SS-188), underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 21 April 1943.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102756 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Sargo 168k Broadside view of Sargo (SS-188) off Mare Island Navy Yard on 21 April 1943.
Official Mare Island photo # 2943-43, from the Vallejo Naval & Historic Museum & submitted by Darryl L. Baker.
Sargo 51k Sargo (SS-188) seen from astern while underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 21 April 1943.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102757 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Sargo 92k Sargo (SS-188) at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 April 1943. Covered lighter YF-387 is alongside. White outlines mark recent alterations to Sargo. Note barrage balloons in the distance.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102758 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Sargo 121k Stern view of the Sargo (SS-188) at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 28 April 1943. Covered lighter YF-387 and a diving tender are alongside. White outlines mark recent alterations to Sargo.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102759 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Skate 132k The National Ensign raised aboard the Skate (SS-305) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 15 Apr 1943. The Seahorse (SS-304) is the submarine to the left and Sargo (SS-188) is the submarine between the barges forward of Skate.
U.S. Navy photo 2651-4-43,courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Sargo 74k Sargo (SS-188) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 24 August 1944. Note lookouts in the upper superstructure.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102761 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Sargo 82k Sargo (SS-188) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 24 August 1944.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102760 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Sargo 72k Sargo (SS-188) seen from astern while off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 24 August 1944.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102762 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Sargo 136k Plan view of the Sargo (SS-188) amidships, looking aft, while she was at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 24 August 1944. Barge YC-312 is alongside, and YC-293 and YF-509 are in the right distance. White outlines mark recent alterations to Sargo.
Official U.S. Navy photo # NH 102763 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Mare Island Causeway 461k 6 Dec 45 photo appeared in the 14 Dec 45 issue of the Mare Island newspaper lists the following subs present at the dockyard:
Unknown, Dragonet (SS-293), Guavina (SS-362), Sunfish (SS-281), Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), Saury (SS-189).
First two ships in second row appear to be: Bashaw (SS-241) and Mingo (SS-261).
The Tiru (SS-416) is on the building ways on the left above the subs and surrounding by staging and cranes.
It is interesting to note that the boats have started the mothballing process, as evidenced by the preservative cocoons around the deck guns.
U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker. Partial text courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet 900k Inactivated submarines at Mare Island on 3 January 1946.
Front row left to right: Sand Lance (SS-381), next two could be Sealion (SS-315) and Seahorse (SS-304), Searaven (SS-196), Pampanito (SS-383), Gurnard (SS-254), Mingo (SS-261), Guitarro (SS-363), Bashaw (SS-241).
Back row left to right: Unknown, Tunny (SS-282), next three could be Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), and Saury (SS-189), Macabi (SS-375), Sunfish (SS-281), Guavina (SS-362), Lionfish (SS-298),Piranha (SS-389).
The Scabbardfish (SS-397) is docked in ARD-11 on the other side of the causeway.

The mixture of boats from the Salmon/Sargo, Gato, and Balao classes illustrate the clear differences in the conning tower fairwaters and the periscope shears that can be used to identify boats. The high bridges with the uncovered support frames (the "covered wagon" look) of the Gatos and Salmon/Sargo's contrast with the low and sleek look of the Balao's. The fatter, more robust periscope shears of the Balao's are markedly different from the thinner shears with more supporting structure of the Gatos and Salmon/Sargo's.
The differences in the pattern of the superstructure limber holes can also be used for identification purposes. The single row of large semi-circular holes indentify Electric Boat or Manitowoc boats. A dual row of smaller rectangular holes mark the government built boats. Also note that the EB/Manitowoc boats have the deck mounted, T-shaped JP sonar head on the starboard side of the forward deck, while the government boats have it on the port side.
EB/Manitowoc boats had the anchor on the starboard side, the government boats on the port side. A close look will show that some of the boats have had the anchor removed and the hawsepipe plated over as part of the mothball process.
Most of the boats have the late war radar outfit of the SJ surface search (small dish) and SV air search (large dish). The Balao's and some of the Gatos have the SS dish mounted on a separate large mast aft of the periscopes. The older Salmon/Sargo's and Gatos have a much smaller mast. Searaven appears to have had her radars already removed.
Searaven is actually sporting a late war SJ surface search antennae mounted to starboard of the periscopes. This is a rare installation. Most often it was mounted forward (early war) or aft (late war) of the 'scopes shears. Her air search set is a late war SD antennae mounted on a stub mast directly aft of the 'scopes. Searaven never received the much more capable SV air search set. Having been assigned to training duties after November, 1944 it was probably felt that the SV set was not necessary.
One strange thing: almost all of the boats appear to have the outer doors of the forward torpedo tubes open. Even though the boats have an interlock system that prevents the breech and outer doors from being opened at the same time, this is an unusual thing to do and a potential source of catastrophic flooding.
U.S. Navy photo # 17-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Text courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
Who Am I?289kInactivated submarines at Mare Island in early 1946.
Front row left to right: Sand Lance (SS-381), next two could be Sealion (SS-315) and Seahorse (SS-304), Searaven (SS-196), Pampanito (SS-383), Gurnard (SS-254), Mingo (SS-261), Guitarro (SS-363), Bashaw (SS-241).
Back row left to right: Unknown, Tunny (SS-282), next three could be Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), and Saury (SS-189), Macabi (SS-375), Sunfish (SS-281), Guavina (SS-362), Lionfish (SS-298),Piranha (SS-389).
The Scabbardfish (SS-397) is docked in ARD-11 on the other side of the causeway.
Tiru (SS-416) is on the ways in upper left hand side of photo. Two ferry boats (to the right of Tiru's ways) are YHB-2 / [ex-Post of Stockton] and YHB-21 / [ex-Tamalpais].
Photo i.d. courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Sargo182kAllen Bullock, a former crew member of Sargo (SS-188) views the Sargo (SSN-583) on the building ways at Mare Island on 8 Oct 1957.
US Navy photo # NY9 36929-10-57, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.

View the Sargo (SS-188)
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
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