Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Albacore (SS-218)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Echo - Romeo

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Presidential Unit Citation
Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 21 April 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 17 February 1942; Commissioned USS Albacore (SS-218), 1 June 1942; Final Disposition, sunk on 11th patrol by mines off the eastern coast of southern Hokkaido's Kameda Peninsula, in 260 meters of water while running submerged, just outside the 100-fathom curve near Esan Zaki [aka, Esan Misaki],7 November 1944, in position 41.49N, 141.11E. All hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, 30 March 1945. Albacore won four Presidential Unit Citations and nine battle stars for her service during World War II.
Wreck confirmed by USNH on 16 February 2023 with special thanks from Stephen Katona.

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.
Click On Image
For Full Size
Size Image Description Source
By
Albacore 419k Core of Albacore's (SS-218) keel laying, 21 April 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 150k Commemorative postal cover marking the Albacore's (SS-218) keel laying, 21 April 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.
Note the Albacore's name is spelled without an "e".
Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Albacore 313k Bow looking aft on the Albacore (SS-218), 30 September 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 402k Stern looking forward on the Albacore (SS-218), 30 September 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 448k Aft looking forward on the Albacore (SS-218), 30 December 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 446k Bow looking aft on the Albacore (SS-218), 30 December 1941, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
218
0821888
NR New "Tin Fish" For Uncle Sam
Wearing her launching dress of red, while and blue bunting, the new submarine Albacore (SS-218), above, slides down the ways of the Electric Boat Groton. Conn., to become part of America's fast-growing two-ocean navy.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT
Photo from The Waterbury Democrat. [volume] (Waterbury, Conn.) 1917-1946, 20 February 1942, Image 3, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Albacore 419k Albacore (SS-218) ready for launch on 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 342k Sponsor's party for the launch of the Albacore (SS-218).
From left to right: Captain Elwin F. Cutts, Mrs Elwin F. Cutts, Mrs. Riles, Mrs. R.A.Moore, 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.
Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 304k Sponsor's party for the launch of the Albacore (SS-218).
From left to right: Captain Elwin F. Cutts & Mrs Elwin F. Cutts, 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.
Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 320k Mrs Elwin F. Cutts, Sponsor for the launch of the Albacore (SS-218), 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 347k Sparks fly at the christening of the Albacore (SS-218), 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 936k The Albacore (SS-218) slides down the ways on 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Photo by Bettmann, courtesy of gettyimages.com.
Albacore 188k Albacore (SS-218) being towed to dock, immediately following her launching on 17 February 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Albacore 179k Albacore (SS-218) in Measure 9 camouflage (dull black) off Groton, 9 May 1942. Note the large conning tower and periscope shears . Official USN photo # NH 57776, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center via Robert Hurst.
Albacore 561k Albacore (SS-218) bow view at rest off Groton, CT., 9 May 1942. USN photo courtesy of csp.navy.mil.
Albacore494kAlbacore (SS-218), stern view at rest, 9 May 1942. US National Archives photo # 19LCM bs30503, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Albacore 29k Commemorative postal cover marking the Albacore's (SS-218) commissioning, 1 June 1942. Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Albacore 29k Commemorative postal cover & photo inset taken during Albacore's (SS-218) sea trials & issued during her commissioning on 1 June 1942. Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Brisbane 452k Photo caption reads:
A fleet submarine, probably Grouper (SS-214), returning to Brisbane on 29 May 1943, is welcomed by a band, fresh food and mail.
A little more indirect evidence about Boat #1 being Grouper is in her patrol report endorsements. In a letter dated 31 May 1943, there is a reference to the just arrived Grouper having her bridge cut down in that refit. If the 4-7 June date is correct, then it would mean that Boat #1/Grouper was photographed in mid cut down. It looks like Fulton (AS-11) got to Grouper just a day or two before Albacore (SS-218). She still has the high bridge forward and shows the starboard small boat locker bulge.
It looks like they cut down the after cigarette deck and the shears, but not the forward bridge so they were clearly doing this in little stages. The boat she's approaching is probably Albacore based upon the drilled casing roundover. Guardfish (SS-217) departed on the 25th, so Albacore is the likely suspect.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Robert Morgan.
Photo courtesy of Robert Morgan courtesy of US Subs Down Under, 1942-1945 by David Jones & Peter Nunan.
Brisbane 640k Photo caption reads:
Submarines refitting alongside Fulton (AS-11) in the Brisbane River. A torpedo is being loaded onto one, and bridge modifications to reduce silhouette are in progress on another.
Boat #1: Grouper (SS-214),
Boat #2: Peto (SS-265),
Boat #3: Scamp (SS-277),
Boat #4: Albacore (SS-218),
Boat #5: Drum (SS-228), 4-7 June, 1943.

EB plan 2053-29, and BuShips plan 388778. Its a general outboard arrangement for SS-214-221 and SS-253-254. It shows very plainly that boats from SS-214 onwards only had the one small boat locker. Grouper only had the one small boat locker offset to port, but she carried the bulge to starboard as if she had one there too, only she didn't! The plan very clearly shows the bulge to starboard for Grouper, but then states, "DECKLINE FOR SS-214 ONLY."
Grouper being modified with her bridge being cut down after her May 29 return from patrol with a high fairwater as in the US Subs Down Under photo, which would explain the whitish look to her bridge face; it was probably primer or wet paint. The bulge to starboard that I originally thought indicated either Gato (SS-212) or Greenling (SS-213) is there, but there just isn't any locker beneath it! Why EB built Grouper like this is anyone's guess. Perhaps when the change order came, construction on Grouper was already too far ahead to stop and re-contour the deck casing? EB wasn't known for deviating from the plans lightly, so perhaps this was the best the Navy could get out of them? They then went to the single locker and no starboard bulge of any kind starting with Growler (SS-215). This might explain why the Manitowoc boats had the single locker, too, since their contract was to build copies of Growler herself, portholes in the bridge face notwithstanding.
EB initially resisted pressure from the Navy to alter the plans, citing concerns about delays in production if they did. What they were really worried about was making a profit, each little change cost more and ate into their profit margin. This attitude was somewhat understandable, as EB is a civilian company and they existed to make a profit for their shareholders. However, EB's intransigence got so bad that the Bureau of Ships had to threaten the company with making them build the boats to the Government plans supplied by Portsmouth, wiping out their design capability, which would have put them in a very bad spot commercially after the war. EB backed off when they realized how serious the Bureau was. They took on a whole new attitude and their resistance to change quickly evaporated. What you are seeing with Grouper is an outgrowth of this situation. As part of an attempt to eliminate what the Bureau thought was "frivolous" peacetime equipment on the boats, an order was issued on 10 May 1942 to eliminate the motorboat. This was the official order that legitimized a practice that was already going on in the fleet. Many of the submarines beached the motorboat(s) between patrols as it became clear that they were just not needed anymore. Grouper was probably built with the original capacity of having two boats, as was the original intent for the Gato class. But she may have only gotten one boat when she was finished.
Albacore's patrol report backs up her being Boat #4. It reads, in part, "Major items accomplished during refit - alteration of bridge superstructure for mounting additional 20 mm gun." This was for her refit between 27 May and 10 June, 1943, so the dates connect up nicely with the photo.
Either way, the dates look solid, and the activity in the photo looks like a June, 1943, photo. Peto would depart on patrol on June 13th, so the boxes on her foredeck are probably supplies being loaded up.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Robert Morgan & David Johnston.
Photo courtesy of Robert Morgan courtesy of US Subs Down Under, 1942-1945 by David Jones & Peter Nunan.
Brisbane 391k The boats shown are all Gato's.
Boat #1: Grouper (SS-214),
Boat #2: Peto (SS-265),
Boat #3: Scamp (SS-277),
Boat #4: Albacore (SS-218),
Boat #5: Drum (SS-228), 4-7 June, 1943.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of David Johnston.
Photo courtesy of Gerhard Mueller-Debus via Gary Priolo.
Guardfish763kOn 16 June 1943, Albacore (SS-218), was underway for her fifth patrol and waters surrounding the Bismarck and Solomon Islands. During this patrol, she sighted three separate convoys and attacked two. Albacore, claimed to have damaged a transport on 19 July but the submarine failed to sink any vessels. Albacore arrived back at Brisbane and began a refit alongside Fulton (AS-11). Text courtesy of DANFS.
US National Archives photo # 80-G-394382 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Guardfish1.40kCitation from Admiral Carpender aboard the Guardfish receiving their submarine combat insignia on 18 August 1943.
The boats in the background are: Peto (SS-265) in the middle. Interesting that she still has the high bridge forward. She would depart on 9/1/43, so unless the tender did a quick cut down, she would have departed on patrol in September still with a high bridge. Even if they did cut it down before she departed, its interesting that she still had it as late as August. I had no idea they were splotching the periscopes that early, a great detail for modelers. Scamp (SS-277) to the right. Assuming the August 18 date is correct, that would match up. Scamp departed on patrol on September 2nd, so she would have been there. If the boat to her port is a high bridged type (hard to tell, but from the sailor peeking out of the dead light, maybe), then she would be Peto, who was likely the only high bridge type there, and probably the very last one. She would depart on September 2nd.
Others in port at that time included Albacore (SS-218), Stingray (SS-186), Grouper (SS-214) and likely Gato (SS-212). All departed Brisbane between August 23rd and September 6th.
Grouper is to the left in the background moored with the Fulton (AS-11). The boat to her starboard whose extreme stern is probably Tuna (SS-203). She had left for patrol before the awards ceremony date, but a friendly fire incident with an RAAF bird forced her back into Brisbane for repairs, so she had reentered port and didn't leave again until August 21st, 1943. She had the aft torpedo tube shutters as-built like the other Tambors, and like the mystery boat. It's hard to see and faint but the mystery boat appears to have the degaussing circuit on her stern. So did Tuna (http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/0820306.jpg), and at that precise place and time, too.
Majority text i.d. courtesy of Robert Morgan, with input from David Johnston (USN, retired) & John Hummel, USN (Retired).
US National Archives photo # 80-G-394390 & 80-G-394401 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Albacore 104k LT JG Charlie Traynor on watch aboard Albacore (SS-218) Thanksgiving, 1943. He would be K.I.A. with the rest of the crew in less than one year. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 423k On 1 January 1944, Sazanami was reassigned to the IJN 5th Fleet. On 12 January, Sazanami departed Rabaul to join a tanker convoy en route from Palau to Truk. She was torpedoed by Albacore (SS-218), sinking 300 nautical miles (560 km) southeast of Yap. Of her crew, 153 died; 89 survivors were rescued by her sister ship Akebono.
Sazanami appears here on 15 April 1940.
Photo & text courtesy of wikipedia.com via Tommy Trampp.
Albacore 215k Bow on view of Albacore (SS-218) off Mare Island on 28 April 1944. She was in overhaul at the yard from 2 March to 5 May 1944. USN photo # 2582-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker. Photo fix courtesy of Jim Kelling.
Albacore 173k Stern view of Albacore (SS-218) off Mare Island on 28 April 1944. She was in overhaul at the yard from 2 March to 5 May 1944. USN photo # 2586-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Albacore 197k Broadside view of Albacore (SS-218) off Mare Island on 28 April 1944. Note the oil tank farm on the hills surrounding the bay. USN photo # 2584-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mare Island 135k Albacore (SS-218) at Mare Island during her last overhaul.
In the photo taken on the aft deck, port side looking forward the first object circled on the right is the 4"/50 caliber Mk 9 gun. Previous photos show this gun in the forward position, and during this overhaul it was probably moved to the aft position. Moving it aft would shorten the ammo passing train by allowing the ammo to be handed up the after battery hatch, which was near the gun and almost directly over the ammo magazine below the crew's mess. The oval to the left of the gun highlights how the deck was expanded outward to give the gun crew extra deck space while operating the gun. The small circles to the left and right of the gun highlight a change to the lifeline stanchions. I am not entirely sure what they are showing because the photo is not distinct enough, but I believe these are hinges that allow the stanchions to be folded down during a gun action. This would have been desirable because it would allow the gun to depress to its lowest angle and it eliminated interference with the gun grew while they were working, while still providing some level of safety. On the aft end of the conning tower fairwater a circle shows the newly installed "gun tub", a watertight container that held ready service ammunition for the 4" gun. This allowed the gun crew immediate access to ammunition for the first several rounds while the ammo passing train was set up below.
The next circle forward is a smaller one. The photo is not distinct enough to tell exactly what this is, but it is likely that the object is a watertight cable junction box for either communication antennas or for sound-powered phones for use by the gun crews and the topside watches while in port. Above this is an oval that highlights the changes to the fairwater itself. With this mod the Albacore is in the Mod 4 configuration. This was a later war configuration for the Gato class boats that was the last attempt to lower the boat's visual silhouette. The height of the bridge was lowered and the steel plating on the upper edge of the fairwater was removed, revealing the structural beams inside. These are what was euphemistically referred to as the "covered wagon ribs". The remainder of the circles show features that are more apparent in the other photo.
Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired).
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
Mare Island 207k Albacore (SS-218) at Mare Island during her last overhaul.
In the photo taken from the forward deck port side looking aft, on the far left is another newly installed gun tub. This was put there because the main gun was intended to be able to be routinely swapped between the forward position and the aft. If the gun was sited forward, this gun tub would be used to store the ready service ammo for the 4" incher. With this gun sited aft this tub was likely used to store drum magazines for the 20 mm Mk 2 or 4 weapon. With this gun sited on the forward fairwater gun deck this tub made a good spot to store the ammo for it. At the very bottom of the photo are more small circles highlighting the stanchion hinges. The large circle/oval above shows the changes made to the fairwater to convert the boat to the Mod 4 configuration, prominently showing the lowered bridge and the exposed structural ribs. A door has been installed in the bridge fairwater to give the 20 mm gun crew quick access to the gun. There is an ammo passing scuttle newly installed in the lower left and lower right of the bridge fairwater, used to facilitate the passing of 4" shells should the main gun be installed in the forward position. At the very top of the periscope shears is an oval that indicates that a change was made, but the photo is not distinct enough to tell for sure what it is. However, I can reasonably speculate that it is most likely a stub antenna for the APR series of radar detection equipment.
Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired).
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
218"</a
0821844
26k Other features of note in both photos are the round holes drilled into the upper edges of the superstructure. This was done to allow the superstructure to vent air faster upon diving. Not many boats had this feature and it should aid in identifying the Albacore if better quality video can be obtained. Also note that in the Mod 4 configuration the SJ surface search radar mast is located forward of the periscopes with the mast penetrating the bridge area. The T-shaped SD air search radar is on its own mast aft of the periscopes. There is also the loop style LF radio antenna between the periscopes. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired).
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
Albacore 125k Albacore (SS-218) off Mare Island during her last overhaul, May 1944. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Albacore 63k Portside view of Albacore (SS-218) off Mare Island during her last overhaul, May 1944.
The contributors father, Clem O'Brien, served on the Albacore for 8 patrols, the 3rd through the 10th.
USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 88k Albacore (SS-218) Crew Party during Mare Island overhaul, May 1944. In less than six months most of the men pictured here would be K.I.A. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien. Photo fix courtesy of Jim Kelling.
Albacore 43k On 19 June, 31,000-ton carrier Taiho, the newest and largest floating air base in the Japanese fleet sank carrying down 1,650 officers and men after being torpedoed by the Albacore (SS-218). Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 297k After this action Albacore (SS-218) was assigned lifeguard duty for planes striking Yap and Ulithi. On 2 July, Albacore shifted over to intercept traffic between Yap and the Palaus. The submarine spotted a wooden inter-island steamer loaded with Japanese civilians. Blanchard decided to stage a surface gun attack. After insuring the ship was afire, Albacore dived to avoid an airplane. The submarine surfaced soon thereafter and picked up five survivors which were then transferred off the boat. Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 104k Securing gun after bombardment of Fais Island. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 85k Local geography from the mid Pacific while the crew of the Albacore (SS-218) were on R & R at Myrna Island late July early August 1944. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 205k Albacore (SS-218) at Seedler Harbor in July 1944 after a refit alongside Euryale(AS-22), the submarine began her 10th patrol on 8 August. Her assignment was the Bungo Suido-Kii Suido area, and, during this period, Albacore was credited with sinking two Japanese vessels, a cargo ship and a submarine chaser. The patrol ended at Pearl Harbor on 25 September. Text courtesy of DANFS. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Photo fix courtesy of Jim Kelling.
Albacore 59k Clem O'Brien on the cigarette deck of the Albacore (SS-218), 1944. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 350k Captain James William Blanchard and others stand watch onboard the Albacore (SS-218) during the boat's 9th & 10th patrols. USN photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
218"</a
0821858
274k Japanese armed trawler seen through the periscope of Albacore (SS-218) during her tenth war patrol. Photo received 17 November 1944, 11 days after her loss. Photo courtesy of history.navy.mil via Robert Hurst.
Albacore 48k Former crew members of the Albacore (SS-218) who transferred off the boat prior to her loss on 7 November 1944. USN photo courtesy of Clem O'Brien & submitted by Sean O'Brien.
Albacore 248k Former crew members of the Albacore (SS-218), Doug White & Clem O'Brien appear at an award dinner following the boat's patrol. USN photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
218"</a
0821808
262k Location of the wreck of the Albacore (SS-218). Photo courtesy of academist-cf.com
Albacore 93k Google Earth satellite photo off the eastern coast of southern Hokkaido's Kameda Peninsula, in 260 meters of water while running submerged, just outside the 100-fathom curve near Esan Zaki [aka, Esan Misaki],7 November 1944, in position 41.49N, 141.11E. Albacore's (SS-218) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Albacore and her crew.Photo & text submitted by Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, &
On Eternal Patrol
Partial text i.d. also courtesy of Chief Sparky.
Albacore 33k Hugh Raynor Rimmer, Lieutenant Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Albacore (SS-218) at the time of her loss. USN photo courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
Albacore 62k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Albacore (SS-218).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via loreenamckennitt.com
Albacore 497k Mr. Princivalle donates an Albacore (SS-218) life ring on 30 March 1966 to Mrs. Theda Bassett, who served as the librarian for the Submarine Force Library and Museum from 1955 - 1964 while it was at Electric Boat, and who continued in that role from 1964 - 1970 after the Museum was transferred to the Navy and relocated on the Submarine Base. She also served as Assistant Director from 1969-70. USN photo & text i.d. courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
Photo enhancement courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore 31k Commemorative postal cover marking the 60th year of the Albacore's (SS-218) sinking, 7 December 2004. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
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.
Albacore 3.20m Construction & finalization of the Albacore (SS-218) Memorial in Beaverton Oregon, thanks to the Oregon Loggers Chapter of Submarine Vets and the American Legion Post in Beaverton.
Eleven photo PDF on the last WW II submarine memorial built in the U.S.
Photos courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Albacore Wreck
218"</a
0821843
460k Albacore Wreck Confirmed
A screenshot of the nhk.or.jp wreck site of the Albacore (SS-218), which was lost at sea 7 November 1944.
The wreck is in very bad shape, broken into three pieces and fouled with fishing nets. There was a lot of suspended sediment in the water and a lot of marine life meandering about. Visibility was approximately 10 feet. Only the center section was imaged by the Japanese team. I hope they can go back and take a look at the bow and stern sections. Perhaps with that we can get a better understanding of the sinking dynamics. Without a doubt she hit a mine, but how the hull broke apart is still a mystery. Water depth is approximately 750 feet, so it is likely that there is implosion damage as well. The bridge was smashed downward and to port. Very little of it could be seen. When researching information for the reports, the team considered Pickerel (SS-177), Pompano (SS-181), Runner (SS-275), & Golet (SS-361), all suspected to have been lost in the same general vicinity, off the coast of northeastern Honshu and southeastern Hokkaido, in or near the Shiriyasaki Sea. We were able to eliminate all of them from contention. Either their last known configuration did not match the wreckage, or the dates of their loss did not match. We even looked at British, Dutch, and Soviet submarines just to be sure. Everything pointed to Albacore. Amongst wreckage retrieved by the Japanese immediately after the mine explosion was clothing with the initials of one of the crewman, along with a foul weather jacket with the stencil "ALB-5". All of this pointed to the Albacore. We are 100% confident in the identification. The other four boats listed should be in the same general area of Albacore. We are working with the Japanese team to see if they could perhaps look for one of them as well. No progress in that area yet, but we remain hopeful.
Indications of documented modifications made to Albacore prior to her final patrol such as the presence of an SJ Radar dish and mast, a row of vent holes along the top of the superstructure, and the absence of steel plates along the upper edge of the fairwater allowed Naval History and Heritage Command to confirm the wreck site finding as the Albacore.

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./"
Text description courtesy of David Johnston.
The screenshot was captured from video courtesy of Tamaki Ura from the University of Tokyo. (Abigayle Lutz/Naval History and Heritage Command) via stripes.com courtesy of Matt Robins.
218"</a
0821845
4.34k Port side of conning tower/bridge fairwater showing vertical support beams and lookout platforms. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821846
197k Forward 20 mm gun mount on the forward fairwater gun deck. Gun mount is turned to port and the remnants of the gun are pointed upwards. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821847
226k Edge of forward fairwater gun deck. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821848
216k Forward engine room hatch. It is slightly open, most likely from the forces of sinking or impact with the bottom. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821849
216k Different view of the forward engine room hatch. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821850
159k Circular low frequency (LF) radio antenna between the periscope tubes, highlighted in yellow. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821851
658k Twisted remnants of the ladder leading from the aft fairwater gun deck to the port side lookout platforms.. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821852
1.28k Safety life-line stanchion on aft deck near engine room hatch. The hatch is barely visible in the background. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821853
1.47k Port side aft end of the conning tower/bridge fairwater, showing railing around the lookout platform and twisted remains of a ladder just below it. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821854
1.17k Main deck aft of conning tower fairwater. Rectangular object on the right is a salvage air valve connection. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821855
1.38k Back side of the SJ radar dish on the forward edge of the bridge. The radar mast is bent forward at an angle of approximately 40 degrees. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821856
1.41k Starboard side aft end of the bridge/conning tower fairwater, showing railing around the lookout platforms and the SD radar mast just forward of the rails. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.
218"</a
0821857
1.19k Upper edge of the port side of superstructure, with pre-drilled round air vent holes highlighted in red. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamaki Ura of the Society La Plongee for Deep Sea Engineering, via David Johnston.

View the Albacore (SS-218)
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
ComSubPac Report of loss of USS Albacore (SS 218) November 7, 1944 - 85 Men Lost
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Submarine Index
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster
This page is created by Gary Priolo and maintained by Michael Mohl
All Pages 1996 - 2023, NavSource History All rights reserved.