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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Halibut (SS-232)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Kilo - Victor

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 15 May 1941, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, Launched, 3 December 1941; Commissioned USS Halibut (SS-232), 10 April 1942; Damaged by depth charge attack and decommissioned 18 July 1945, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH; Struck from the Naval Register in 8 May 1946; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 10 January 1947, to Quaker Shipyard and Machinery Company, Camden, NJ. Halibut was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and earned 7 battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,410 t.; Length 311' 10"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 2"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 officers, 54 enlished; 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 Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, 5400 hp, Fuel Capacity, 94,400 gals., four Elliot Motor Co., electric motors, 2740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Halibut 43kCommemorative postal cover marking the keel laying of the Halibut (SS-232), 15 May 1941. Courtesy of Richard Leonhardt.
Herring 850k Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., U.S. submarine Herring (SS-233) bow view in building ways #115 from forward catwalk, 6 October 1941.
The Kingfish (SS-234) would be under construction on the right hand ways, with the Halibut (SS-232) on the left hand ways.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
USN photo # 537-41 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert, Webmaster & Editor ModelWarships.com
Photo added 03/13/11.
Halibut 145kHer crew lining the deck, the Halibut (SS-232), slides down the launching ways at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 11:10 AM on 3 December 1941.USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Halibut 166kStarboard side view of the Halibut (SS-232) sliding down the launching ways at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 11:10 AM on 3 December 1941.USN photo courtesy of Kevin G. Galliher GSCM (SW), USN, Ret.
Halibut 31k The Halibut (SS-232) is waterborne on the Piscataqua River at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 3 December 1941.USN photo courtesy of USNI.
Halibut 23kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Halibut's (SS-232) launching, 3 December 1941. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Halibut 39kCommemorative postal cover & photo inset issued on the occasion of the Halibut's (SS-232) launching, 3 December 1941. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Halibut 24kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Halibut's (SS-232) launching, 3 December 1941. Photo 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 commanding 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 posthumously 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.
Halibut 21kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Halibut's (SS-232) commissioning, 10 April 1942.Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Halibut 280k Broadside view of the Halibut (SS-232), 20 May 1942 entering N.Y. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, New Hampshire.USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Halibut 129k Halibut (SS-232), entering Pearl Harbor, circa 1944.USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Halibut 18kStarboard side view of the Halibut (SS-232), circa 1942-45. USN photo courtesy of subnet.com.
Halibut 95k Halibut's (SS-232) WWII battle flag. Courtesy of
US Sub Vets of World War II
Halibut95kOn 14 November 1944 during Halibut's (SS-232) 10th war patrol, she attacked a convoy in Luzon Strait. She was immediately attacked in turn by planes apparently using magnetic airborne detectors. A short but effective depth charge attack directed by the aircraft left Halibut severely damaged but still under control. Her crew made temporary repairs and she steamed into Saipan 19 November. The gallant submarine received the Navy Unit Commendation for her performance on this patrol.
Halibut arrived San Francisco via Pearl Harbor 12 December 1944. Later she sailed 16 February 1945 for Portsmouth, N.H., where it was found that her damage was too extensive to justify repair. Later she sailed 16 February 1945 for Portsmouth, N.H., where it was found that her damage was too extensive to justify repair. She decommissioned 18 July 1945 and was sold for scrap 10 January 1947 to Quaker Shipyard and Machinery Company of Camden, N.J.
This photo was probably taken during Halibut's long transit back to New London from Pearl Harbor.
US Navy photo courtesy of USNI. Text courtesy of DANFS. Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston. (USNR)
post WW 2 476k Bow view of submarines post WW II at New London, Conn.
From inboard to outboard are six boats, four identified by hull numbers: Drum (SS-228), Halibut (SS-232), Haddo (SS-255) and Paddle (SS-263). Outboard of her are two numberless boats.
All the boats are decommissioned: none are flying colors or union jack. Date is after 16 February 1946 when Drum was decommissioned and before Halibut was sold for scrap on 10 January 1947. Halibut had suffered major damage by the Japanese and was considered beyond economical repair. She is the only one of the group not freshly painted, and has been stripped of deck guns and other gear, probably in preparation for sale.
The outboard boat has a small pennant flying from her jack-staff. The boats in commission popped up with numbers right away soon after VJ Day, so the outboard boats may just be getting painted up in Haze Grey in preparation for mothballing, with the numbers to follow. These two boats are older EB-built boats.
The inboard of the two numberless boats is likely the Gabilan (SS-252). It has a very distinct cut-down of the fairwater. The only similar picture I could find is the Gabilan (look at the last pic from the bottom of the Gabilan page). Same bridge cut down low like most other Gatos but the sides of the wagon train were not cut out so it is solid, not open like most other Gatos that were cut down that low. Also location of SJ and SD radar antennas is the same as the latest pic of Gabilan . Also venturi looks the same. Gabilan was decommissioned in 1946 and laid up at New London which would match the timing and location.
US Navy photo & text courtesy of David Buell. Photo i.d. & text courtesy of John Hart.
post WW 2 380k Stern view of submarines post WW II at New London, Conn.
From inboard to outboard is the reverse of the above.
US Navy photo & text courtesy of David Buell. Photo i.d. & text courtesy of John Hart.

View the Halibut (232)
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
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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