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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


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

Gato (SS-212)
Construction - Service

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Charlie - Whiskey

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Presidential Unit Citation

To Additional Pages

Line Drawing of the Gato Class


Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 October 1940, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 21 August 1941; Commissioned USS Gato (SS-212), 31 December 1941; Decommissioned, 16 March 1946, at New York Naval Shipyard; Placed in service as a Naval Reserve Training vessel at New York and later Baltimore.; Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 1 March 1960; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 25 July 1960, to Northern Metals Co., Philadelphia, PA. Gato received the Presidential Unit Citation and 13 battle stars for service in World War II.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 Officers 54 Enlisted; Operating Depth, 300 ft; Submerged Endurance, 48 hrs at 2 kts; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel electric reduction gear with four General Motors main generator engines, HP 5400, Fuel Capacity, 97,140 gals., four General Electric main motors, HP 2740, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin propellers.
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Gato 27k Commemorative postal cover marking the keel laying of the Gato (SS-212), 5 October 1940, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gato 715k Gato (SS-212) slides down the ways on 21 August 1941.
What looks to be the prefabricated parts of another submarine appear on the right of the ways.
USN photo courtesy of usni photo gallery.
Gato 26k Gato (SS-212), dockside, probably at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., right after her launching on 21 August 1941. Courtesy of gato.com
Gato 25k Commemorative postal cover marking Gato's (SS-212) launching, 21 August 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gato 51k Bow view of the Gato (SS-212) looking aft, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 31 December 1941 immediately after commissioning. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Gato 20k Commemorative postal cover marking first day postal service aboard the Gato (SS-212), 31 December 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gato 20k Commemorative postal cover marking Gato's (SS-212) commissioning, 31 December 1941. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Gato 197k Pen and ink drawing of what appears to be a Gato class (SS-212 / 284) early in WWII in dry dock #1 at Mare Island. Notes indicate that it was painted by Sckirken. The Gato (SS-212) was the first boat of her class to be overhauled at Mare Island, 11 - 28 March 1942. USN photo # 254-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gato 20k The Gato (SS-212) possibly after her first overhaul at Mare Island, 11 - 28 March 1942. USN photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Gato 34k Gato (SS-212) in September 1942 wearing Ms 9 overall black camouflage. Photo and text courtesy of "The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Gato 179k During a submerged radar attack approach 4 April 1943, between Tanga and Lihir Islands, Gato (SS-212) was shaken so violently by three exploding depth charges that she returned to Brisbane for temporary repairs 11 to 20 April...She was routed onward to the Mare Island Shipyard for overhaul & repair.
Stern view of the Gato departing Mare Island on 6 August 1943.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # 5733-43 & PDF courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gato 93k Broadside view of the Gato (SS-212) off Mare Island on 6 August 1943. She was in overhaul at the shipyard from 14 June until 15 August 1943. USN photo # 5735-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gato 521k Starboard forward quarter view of Gato (SS-212) off Mare Island on 6 August 1943. USN photo # 5736-43, courtesy of flickr.com via Stephen Gower.
Gato 12k Gato (SS-212) class submarine in Ms9 coloring, 1943. Photo copyrighted courtesy of Abram Joslin.
Gato 77k Line drawing of the Gato (SS-212) September 1943. Photo and text courtesy of "The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Gato 164k Gato (SS-212) departed Milne Bay 2 February 1944 to conduct her eighth war patrol in the Bismarck-New Guinea-Truk area. She sank a trawler off Truk 15 February, transport Daigen Maru # 3 the 26th, and cargo ship Okinoyama Maru # 3 on 12 March. Two other trawlers were destroyed by her gunfire before she returned to Pear Harbor 1 April 1944.
She is seen here in a drawing by the artist I. R. "Ike" Lloyd, of Vallejo, CA., possibly in a rendering of her actions on her 8th patrol.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of yolopapers.blogspot.com.
Gato 258k Gato (SS-212) appears here in a photo dated 3 February 1944, to conduct her eighth war patrol in the Bismarck-New Guinea-Truk area.Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # 80-G-394456 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Gato 46k Shown on 23 November 1944, Gato (SS-212) was typical of submarines in mid-war. Her open bridge was cut to a minimum. Numerous extra limber holes were cut into her superstructure for faster diving. Patterns varied from boat to boat. The bridge fairwater accommodates a 20-mm gun forward & a single 40-mm aft. The deck gun is a 4 in/50 taken from an S-boat. Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Gato 222k Stern plan view of Gato (SS-212) at Mare Island on 23 November 1944. She was in overhaul at the shipyard from 10 September until 6 Dec 1944. The barge tied up to her port side is YF-513. USN photo # 7158-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gato 186k Bow on view of Gato (SS-212) at Mare Island on 29 November 1944. USN photo # 7262-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gato 215k Stern view of Gato (SS-212) at Mare Island on 29 November 1944. USN photo # 7267-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Gato 86k Modifications made on 29 November 1944 at Mare Island for Gato (SS-212)include installation of a new freestanding mast for her SD radar and relocation of her SJ to a new mast supported by her periscope shears. In some boats the new SJ mast was mounted forward of the periscope shears.
The three girders supporting the shears are the only remnants of the prewar enclosed bridge: their height indicates how far the fairwater has been cut down. Note also the ammunition-passing scuttle let into the deck abaft the bridge fairwater.
Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Gato 158k This close up of the starboard side of the bridge superstructure of the Gato (SS-212)
shows the arrangement of the guns, periscope and other deck gear. This photo was taken during the boat's overhaul at Mare Island Shipyard, 29 November 1944. The circles indicate new items added during the overhaul. The boat mounts a 4" gun forward and a 20mm gun aft. On the gun deck forward is another 20mm gun and a 40mm gun aft. Note the camouflage counter shading under the deck extension and the inside of the bridge area. The telephone mounted to a board hanging on the railing was a temporary import connection.
USN Archives photo # 19-N-75565.
Photo and text courtesy of "The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Gato 127k This top view of the 4"/50 cal deck gun mounted on board the Gato (SS-212)
during her 29 November 1944 overhaul. Note the deck hatches for the stowage of the small boats carried below the main deck. To the left of the gun at the tip of the barrel is the forward marker buoy. The forward escape trunk top hatch is open. To the right of the marker buoy is the access to the escape trunk size door.
USN Archives photo # 19-N-75563. Photo and text courtesy of "The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Gato 86k Gato (SS-212), off Mare Island Navy Yard, 29 November 1944. US Navy photo # 7266-44, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
Archerfish 95k Proteus (AS-19) with submarines of Submarine Squadron 20 alongside in Tokyo Bay, on VJ-Day, 2 September 1945. Names of the submarines present, their commanding officers and the commanding officers of SubRon20 and Proteus are printed at the bottom of the image:
Archerfish (SS-311),
Cavalla (SS-244),
Gato (SS-212),
Haddo (SS-255),
Muskallunge (SS-262),
Pilotfish (SS-386),
Razorback (SS-394),
Runner (SS-476),
Segundo (SS-398),
Sea Cat (SS-399) and
Tigrone (SS-419).
US Navy photo # NH 95019, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of Captain Joseph F. Enright, USN(Retired), 1979.
Raton185kRaton (SS-270) & Gato (SS-212) 1946, in New York. Courtesy of John Hummel.
Gato987kSix photo PDF of the Gato (SS-212). Photos courtesy of Mel Douyette @ coldwarsubmarines.com

View the Gato (212)
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
USS Gato SS(N) 615 - USS Gato SS 212
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
Historic Submarine Documentary & Training Films
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