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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Gar (SS-206)

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Foxtrot - Lima

Gar Class Submarine: Laid down, 27 December 1939, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 7 November 1940; Commissioned, USS Gar (SS-206), 14 April 1941; Decommissioned, 11 December 1945 at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; Modified at Portsmouth Navy Yard, for duty as a Naval Reserve Training vessel in September-October 1948; Assigned to the 4th Naval District at Cleveland, O., 28 November 1948; Struck from the Naval Register, 29 May 1959; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 18 November 1959 to Acme Scrap Iron and Metal Co. Gar received eleven battle stars for World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,475 t., Submerged: 2,370 t.; Length 307' 2"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 13' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 5 Officers, 54 Enlisted; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 dual purpose deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel-electric, four General Motors Co., diesel engines, 5.400 hp, Fuel Capacity, 96,365 gals., four General Electric Co., electric motors, 2,740 hp, Battery cells 252, twin propellers.
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Gar121kGar's (SS-206) Builders plaque.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar123kLaying of the keel of the Gar (SS-206) at 10:00 AM, 27 December 1939, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar134k Gar (SS-206) topside bow view looking aft, 1 April 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar272kTopside stern view of the Gar (SS-206) looking forward, 1 April 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar247k Gar (SS-206) topside view looking aft, 27 June 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar172kGar (SS-206) topside aft view looking forward, 28 September 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar236kGar (SS-206) topside bow looking aft, 28 September 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar130kStern view of a fully grown Gar (SS-206) weighing 1,475 tons sits in her cradle, 7 November 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar256kYard workers hang bunting from the sides of the Gar (SS-206) on her launching day, 7 November 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar122kFore poppets are visible on the hull of the Gar (SS-206), 7 November 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar220kGar (SS-206) slides down the ways on 7 November 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar17k Commemorative postal cover marking Gar's (SS-206) launching at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 7 November 1940.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gar82kTugs nudge the Gar (SS-206) to the fitting out dock on 7 November 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar124kPort quarter view looking forward showing the Gar (SS-206) & Grampus (SS-207) fitting out on 3 January 1941. The Grampus was launched on 23 December 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar553kBow view of the Gar (SS-206) looking aft at Electric boat, 3 January 1941. The Marlin (SS-205) is across the pier.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Photo added 05/08/16.
Gar214kBow view of the Gar (SS-206), at rest, 17 March 1941 at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Gar149kStarboard quarter view looking forward showing the Gar (SS-206) & Grampus (SS-207) fitting out on 30 March 1941.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Gar31k Commemorative postal cover & photo marking Gar's (SS-206) commissioning, 14 April 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gar99k Commemorative postal cover marking Gar's (SS-206) commissioning, 14 April 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gar138k Commemorative postal cover marking Gar's (SS-206) commissioning with Lt. D. McGregor in command, 14 April 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gar38kCommemorative postal cover marking first day postal service on the Gar (SS-206), 14 April 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Navy Day20k Commemorative postal cover marking Navy Day, 27 October 1941 and the following submarines commissioned since the previous year:
Trout (SS-202),
Tuna (SS-203),
Mackerel (SS-204),
Marlin (SS-205),
Gar (SS-206),
Grampus (SS-207),
Grayback (SS-208),
Grayling (SS-209),
Grenadier (SS-210) &
Gudgeon(SS-211).
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gar45k Photographed off Mare Island on 22 November 1943 after a refit, Gar (SS-206) shows her new 5 in/51 gun on its over sized sponson.Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Gar49kGar (SS-206), portside view underway off Mare Island, October - November 1943. USN photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Gar153k Stern view of the Gar (SS-206), berthed at Mare Island on 20 November 1943.USN photo # 7685-43, courtesy of Darryl Baker
Gar129k Bow view of the Gar (SS-206), berthed at Mare Island on 20 November 1943.USN photo # 7686-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gar95k Broadside view of the Gar (SS-206) off Mare Island on 22 November 1943. She was in overhaul at the yard from 23 Sept to 22 November 1943.USN photo # 7641-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gar96k Bow on view of the Gar (SS-206) departing Mare Island on 22 November 1943.USN photo # 7643-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gar99k Stern view of the Gar (SS-206) departing Mare Island on 22 November 1943.USN photo # 7844-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Fremantle365kThis plaque was unveiled 20 March 1995 by His Excellency Major General P.M. Jeffery OA MC, Govenor of Western Australia to commemeorate the sacrifices made by Allied submarined that operated out of Fremantle, Western Australia during WW II.Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Gar317kAfter overhaul in the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Gar (SS-206) put to sea 2 April 1945 to serve the remainder of the war as a target trainer for antisubmarine ships at Saipan and Guam, Marianas Islands. She departed Apra Harbor, Guam, 7 August 1945, proceeding via Hawaii, San Francisco, and the Panama Canal to Portsmouth, N.H., where she arrived 20 October.
She is seen here on 19 August 1945.
US National Archives photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Gar108kGarbo's pups being held by CMoM James Ellis.
Garbo was the perfect submarine mascot. A mongrel puppy so small she could be concealed in a sailor's white hat, she came aboard the Gar (SS-206) in Hawaii about the time of the boat's tenth war patrol. She and the crew took an immediate liking to each other, and she remained on board for the rest of the Gar's fifteen war patrols. The puppy made her home in the forward torpedo room. Whenever the sub got under way, Garbo stationed herself all the way forward on the bullnose and barked.
Once each patrol she toured the Gar from stem to stern; as she arrived in each compartment, the crew there would come to attention. "She owned the boat and knew it," recalled Motor Machinist Mate Second Class Jim Bunn.
Garbo earned the combat submarine insignia that she wore on her collar, along with a star for each successful patrol she made on the Gar. Under the heaviest depth charge attacks, when the gauges were leaking, light bulbs breaking, and fires breaking out, Garbo remained as playful as ever. Bunn said, "She should have gotten a medal for keeping our spirits and morale up when we needed it most." Anyone was welcome to pet her, but only the skipper, Lt. Cmdr. George Lautrup, Jr., and the cook, Red Balthorp, could pick her up. The skipper would put her on his shoulder and carry her up the ladder to the bridge at night for fresh air.
One night while the Gar was running on the surface during a war patrol in the Palau Islands, Garbo stepped off the cigarette deck and vanished into the darkness. The C.O. Immediately began a dog overboard search. With the boat making frantic circles in enemy waters, a lookout finally spotted the mascot below the bridge, safe on the main deck.
Between patrols, Garbo stayed with the crew at their hotel in Pearl Harbor. She joined in the ship's parties, and like some of her two-legged shipmates, she didn't know her limit. After lapping up too much beer, she tended to blunder into furniture.
Garbo gave birth to two pups while the sub was en route to Ulithi; the father belonged to the Tambor (SS-198). The Gar's crew traded the pups to other submarines for cases of beer. At the end of the war, when the Gar returned to the States, Chief Motor Machinist Mate Jim Ellis took Garbo home with him.
Victory and the end of the war meant the breaking up of most submarine crews. Garbo, Skeeter, Betty, and other dogs went home with crew members. Porches, lawns, and the occasional cat replaced steel hulls, tile decks, and depth charges. Gabby, mascot of the Gabilan, proudly represented all submarine sea dogs when he marched with his crew in a welcome-home victory parade in Mobile, Alabama, in October 1945.
Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Pooch text courtesy of the article Sea Dogs by William Galvani in americanheritage.com.
Gar1.10kThe Gar's (SS-206) battle flag is held by Roscoe L. Wells TM1C (left) and Bernard J. Manning TM2C (right) at Mare Island in August 1945.USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gar1.60kLeft to right: CDR Marshal H. Austin, Submarine Administration Pacific Fleet is welcoming LCDR Philip F. Eckert (Commanding Officer) of the Gar (SS-206) and LTjg William W. Wingate (Executive Officer) to Mare Island in August 1945.USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.

View the Gar (SS-206)
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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