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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch by Mike Smolinski

Swordfish (SS-193)

Radio Call Sign: November - Uniform - Delta - Golf

Sargo Class Submarine: Laid down, 27 October 1937, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Launched, 1 April 1939; Commissioned, USS Swordfish (SS-193), 22 July 1939; Final Disposition, sunk on 13th patrol off Okinawa in January 1945, victim of unknown causes, all hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown). Swordfish earned eight battle stars for World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,400 t., Submerged: 2,350 t.; Length 310' 6" ; Beam 27' 1"; Draft 13' 8"; Speed, Surfaced 20 kts, Submerged 7.75 kts; Complement 5 Officers, 50 Enlisted; Maximum Depth Limit, 250'; Armament, eight 21" torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal machine guns, two .30 cal machine guns; Propulsion, diesel-electric engines, GE diesel engines, HP 5500, Fuel Capacity, 190,000 gals., GE motors, HP 2740, 252 battery cells. twin screws.
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Swordfish 70k Commemorative postal cover marking the keel laying of Swordfish (SS-193), 27 October 1937. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Swordfish 53k The Program of Special Events to mark Navy Day, 27 October 1937, at Mare Island which included the laying of the keel of the submarine Swordfish (SS-193). USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 238k Photo caption reads: Keel laying ceremonies. After remarks by Adm. C. J. Kempff, Mr. John T. Morrey (left - white arrow) & Mr. Henry J. Mitchell proceed to weld first section of keel of Swordfish (SS-193). Both men are in white coveralls. Mr. Morrey was Master Shipfitter and Mr. Mitchell was Master Outside Machine Shop, 27 October 1937.
The big black thing sitting over the center of the keel plate is a welder's shed. With the crowd assembled, the weld would be done inside the enclosure which has smoked (shaded) glass around so the crowd could see the weld being made without the danger of eye damage. One couldn't ensure all present would avert their eyes from the welding arc.
Text i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman & Jim Christley.
USN photo # 1324-37, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 73k Commemorative postal cover marking the keel laying of Swordfish (SS-193), 27 October 1937, launching 1 April 1939 and first day of postal service in commission, 25 July 1939. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Swordfish 1.60k Swordfish (SS-193), ready for launching, at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 1 April 1939. This is the earliest known color Official Navy Photograph that can be precisely dated. Text courtesy of photograph # 80-G-K-13791 via Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 283k The Swordfish (SS-193) is seen going down the ways at Mare Island Navy Yard on 1 April 1939. USN photo # 426-39, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 240k Swordfish (SS-193) at the end of the ways at her launching ceremony 1 April 1939, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 869k Broadside view afloat, Swordfish (SS-193), 1 April 1939. USN photo # MI 442-39, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 844k Swordfish (SS-193), afloat immediately after launching, off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 1 April 1939. Note the tug assisting from alongside her port bow.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 131k Postal cover marking the launching of the Swordfish (SS-193) at Mare Island on 1 April 1939. Post mark from Pollack (SS-180). Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 70k Commemorative postal cover marking the commissioning of the Swordfish (SS-193), 22 July 1939. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Swordfish 175k The official party aboard Swordfish's (SS-193) commissioning ceremony at Mare Island on 22 July 1939. From left to right are: Radm D. W. Bagley, Commandant Mare Island; unidentified woman; Lt Chester C. Smith, Commanding Officer; Miss Louise Shaw Hepburn, Sponsor; Miss Betty Lou Kaffman, Maid of Honor; unidentifed officer, and Capt. J. L. Kauffman, Captain of the Yard. USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 88k Clipping from the 22 July 1994 issue of Mare Island's newspaper the Grapevine showing the commissioning ceremony of the Swordfish (SS-193) at Mare Island on 22 July 1939. Brant (AM-24) is in the background). USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 64k Commemorative postal cover marking the first deep dive of Swordfish (SS-193), 29 September 1939. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Swordfish 287k Bow view of the Swordfish (SS-193) after her first deep dive, 29 September 1939. USN photo # MI-1500-39 2, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 479k Deep Submergence Certificate” received by my father, Jewell W. Webb in September, 1939 as a crew member of the Swordfish (SS-193). USN photo courtesy of William J. Webb.
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.
Swordfish 15k Commemorative postal cover marking the Swordfish's (SS-193) shakedown cruise and ports of call, 23 December 1939. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Swordfish 566k Swordfish (SS-193) underway, circa December 1939. USN photo # 19-N-20867, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 18k Commemorative postal cover marking the Swordfish's (SS-193) shakedown cruise to Portland Oregon, 7 January 1940. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Grunion62kU.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Groton, Connecticut:
Members of the 4th Command Class at the Submarine Base, February 1942.
Those present are, bottom row left to right:
Lieutenant Commander Mannert L. Abele; first command would be the Grunion (SS-216). He would be K.I.A. while commmanding the Grunion, 30 July 1942.
Lieutenant Commander Thomas B. Klakring; first command would be the Guardfish (SS-217),
Commander Karl G. Hensel, Officer in Charge;
Lieutenant Commander George W. Patterson, Jr., Senior Assistant; and
Lieutenant Commander Jesse L. Hull; first command would be the Finback (SS-230).
Top row, left to right:
Lieutenant Commander Howard W. Gilmore; first command would be the Growler (SS-215). He was postumously awarded the Medal of Honor after he was K.I.A. on the bridge of the Growler, 7 February 1943.
Lieutenant Commander Philip H. Ross; first command would be the Halibut (SS-232),
Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. Taylor; first command would be the Haddock (SS-231),
Lieutenant Commander Albert C. Burrows; first command would be the Swordfish (SS-193) and
Lieutenant Commander Leonard S. Mewhinney; first command would be the Saury (SS-189).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-88577, now in the collections of the National Archives. Courtesy of the USNHC.
Swordfish 573k Swordfish (SS-193), entering Pearl Harbor prior to WW II.USN photo by Tai Sing Loo, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 113k Bow on photo of Swordfish (SS-193) off Mare Island on 13 June 1943. USN photo # 4352-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Swordfish 78k Swordfish (SS-193), underway off San Francisco, California, 13 June 1943. Photographed by the Mare Island Navy Yard, California. Photograph # 19-N-51811, from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Swordfish 95k Swordfish (SS-193), off San Francisco, California, 13 June 1943. Photographed by the Mare Island Navy Yard, California.Photograph # NH 98514, from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Swordfish 242k Swordfish (SS-193), in San Francisco Bay on 13 June 1943. USN photo # 4359-43, from the collections of the Vallejo Naval & Historic Museum & submitted by Darryl L. Baker.Photographed by the Mare Island Navy Yard, California.
Swordfish 117k Swordfish (SS-193), at San Francisco, California, 13 June 1943, at the conclusion of an overhaul. Photographed by the Mare Island Navy Yard, California. Circles mark recent alterations, including a 3"/50 deck gun, platform and mounting for a 20mm gun, radio direction finder loop, signal lamp, radar antenna, and spreaders for a radio antenna. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, # NH 98515, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Swordfish 574k Swordfish (SS-193) at San Francisco, California, 13 June 1943, at the conclusion of an overhaul. Photographed by the Mare Island Navy Yard, California. Circles mark recent alterations, among them a mounting for a 20mm gun, and spreaders for radio antennas. Note that the submarine's hull number is outlined on the side of her conning tower. Text courtesy of USNHC photo # NH 98516.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 672k The Swordfish's (SS-193) crew pose with the boat's battleflag of 20 sinkings, with more to come. USN photo # MI-4356-43, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Swordfish 244k The Swordfish's (SS-193) crew pose with the boat's battleflag of 27 sinkings, 1944. USN photo # MI-4356-43, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Coastal Defense Vessel No. 8 161k Coastal Defenses Vessel No. 8,(indicative of the class of Coastal Defenses Vessel,) No. 4, which may have sunk the Swordfish (SS-193), according to Submarines Lost Through Enemy Action. Photo courtesy of A. J. Watts, "Japanese Warships of World War II", submitted by Aryeh Wetterhorn.
Swordfish 21k Map showing the general area where the Swordfish (SS-193) was believed to be at the time of her loss, near Yaku Island off Kyushu. Photo courtesy of sailwx.info.
Southern  Kyushu71kGoogle Earth satellite photo of the Southern Kyushu area of Japan, where Swordfish (SS-193) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Swordfish and her crew.View courtesy of Google Earth.
Swordfish 74k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Swordfish (SS-193).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Swordfish 10k Keats Edmund Montross, Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Swordfish (SS-193) at the time of her loss. USN photo courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
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 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.
Swordfish 142k Memorial to Swordfish (SS-193) at St. Paul, Minnesota, January 1967. It features a torpedo and has plaques on either side, one in memory of Swordfish crewmen lost with their submarine off Okinawa in January 1945. The other plaque memorializes the fifty-one other U.S. Navy submarines lost during World War II. The memorial was financed and built by the City Council, Minnesota Building Tradesmen and the Minnesota Viking Squadron of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II.

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 / He brought me forth also into a large place: / he delivered me because he delighted in me./"
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, # NH 42077, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

View the Swordfish (SS-193)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
On Eternal Patrol
PigBoats.COM TM - A Historic Look at Submarines
ComSubForPac USS SWORDFISH (SS 193) January 12, 1945 - 89 Men Lost
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
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