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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Grampus (SS-207)


Gar Class Submarine: Laid down, 14 February 1940, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 23 December 1940; Commissioned, USS Grampus (SS-207), 23 May 1941; Sunk by Japanese destroyers in Blackett Strait, 5 March 1943; Struck from the Naval Register, 21 June 1943. Grampus received three 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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Grampus17kCommemorative postal cover marking the Grampus's (SS-207) keel laying at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.,14 February 1940.Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Grampus523kRear Admiral Clark H. Woodward, USN, Chief of Industrial Incentive Division, Navy Department, praised the fortitude of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan for keeping their chins up in the loss of their five sons, as he presented five posthumously-awarded Purple Hearts Medals at a ceremony in Washington. Their five Navy sons went down with Juneau (CL-52). Rear Admiral Woodward commended the parents for inspiration to workers resulting from their visit to more than 200 manufacturing plants and shipyards, 24 January 1944.
Both Grampus (SS-207) & Grampus (SS-523) were sponsored by his wife. (Someone please find a photo of her!)
USN photo # 80-G-44491 courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy via flickr.com.
Photo added 11/20/16.
Grampus746kCivillian dockworkers ride the Grampus (SS-207) as she is being launched on 23 December 1940.Electric Boat Co. photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum via Ric Hedman.
Grampus29kCommemorative postal cover marking the launching of the Grampus (SS-207) at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 23 December 1940.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Grampus21kCommemorative postal cover marking the launching of the Grampus (SS-207) at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 23 December 1940.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
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.
Grampus42kThe Grampus (SS-207), probably off Groton, CT., during her trials, 26 March 1941.Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Grampus596kElectric Boat Co. photo of Grampus (SS-207), stern at rest off Groton, CT., during her trials, 26 March 1941.US National Archives photo # 19LCM bs23817, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Grampus575kElectric Boat Co. photo of Grampus (SS-207), bow at rest off Groton, CT., during her trials, 26 March 1941.US National Archives photo bs23818, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Grampus170kElectric Boat Co. photo of a broadside view of Grampus (SS-207) at rest off Groton, CT., during her trials, 26 March 1941.US National Archives photo # (19-N-23816),courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
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.
Grampus19kCommemorative postal cover & photo inset marking the commissioning of the Grampus (SS-207), 23 May 1941.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Grampus29kCommemorative postal cover marking the Grampus's (SS-207) first day in commission, 23 May 1941.Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Grampus22kCommemorative postal cover marking the commissioning of the Grampus (SS-207), 23 May 1941.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Navy Day20kCommemorative 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.
Grampus115kOff New Britain on 18 February 1943; Lt.Cdr John R. Craig's Grampus (SS-207) torpedoes and lightly damages Aircraft Transport Keiyo Maru at 04-55S, 152-26E. Text courtesy of combinedfleet.com.
Photo courtesy of Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships".
Grampus99kCommemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Grampus (SS-207).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Grampus83k John Rich Craig, Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Grampus (SS-207) at the time of her loss. Photo courtesy of Henry C. Lehtola, Historian, John R. Craig (DD-885) Reunion Association via oneternalpatrol.com.
Asashio class62kDrawing of the Japanese Asashio class destroyer Minegumo, which, along with the destroyer Murasame, sank the Grampus (SS-207).Courtesy of combinedfleet.com.
Shiratsuyu class62kDrawing of the Japanese Shiratsuyu class destroyer Murasame which, along with the destroyer Minegumo, sank the Grampus (SS-207). Courtesy of combinedfleet.com.
Grampus52kGoogle Earth satellite photo of the site and surrounding islands of Grampus (SS-207) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Grampus and her crew.View courtesy of Google Earth.
Grampus138kMoon over Blackett Strait, where the Grampus (SS-207) was lost.
The boat was lost on the 28th & last night of a solar month, indicating a nearly black night.
Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/klrhodesgrouper.
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.
Grampus80k On the night of 17 May 1942, while conducting a surface patrol off Truk during her second war patrol, Grampus (SS-207) was detected by a Japanese patrol vessel and forced to make a quick dive. While passing 30 foot depth, one shell, believed to have bee a 3-inch or 4.7-inch common projectile, struck the starboard bulwark of the cigarette deck and detonated approximately three feet beyond its point of impact about two feet above the cigarette deck over the main engine air induction trunk. While no damage of a serious or military nature was caused, and Grampus experienced no difficulty in subsequently evading the enemy, the action has bee included in this report to illustrate the shrapnel effect of medium caliber projectiles and the obvious vulnerability of submarines to such attacks. While other U.S. submarines have been more heavily damaged by gunfire attack, this experience of Grampus was chosen since it is the only such action in which photographs of the damage were available to the Bureau.
Seen here is the fragmentation damage, port bulwark, forward end of cigarette deck.

The damage report, reference (b), submitted by the Commanding Officer while the ship was undergoing repairs by Otus (Ex-AS20) at Freemantle, W.A., is clear and comprehensive, and is therefore reproduced below in lieu of the usual narrative.


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..."
Photos & text courtesy of ibiblio.org.

View the Grampus (SS-207)
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
On Eternal Patrol
PigBoats.COM TM, A Historic Look at Submarines
ComSubForPac US Pacific Fleet - USS Grampus (SS 207) March 5, 1943 - 71 Men Lost


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