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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


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

Herring (SS-233)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Xray - Victor

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 14 July 1941, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, Launched, 15 January 1942; Commissioned USS Herring (SS-233), 4 May 1942; Lost to enemy action 1 June 1944, two kilometers south of Point Tagan on Matsuwa Island in the Kuriles; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown); Herring received five battle stars for her service in World War II.

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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Herring16kCommemorative postal cover marking issued on the occasion of the keel laying of the Herring (SS-233), 14 July 1941, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,N.H.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Herring 850k Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., U.S. submarine Herring (SS-233) stern view in building ways #115 from after 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.
Herring 568k Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., U.S. submarine Herring (SS-233) bow view in building ways #115 from foreward catwalk, 6 October 1941. USN photo # 536-41 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 707k Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., U.S. submarine Herring (SS-233) bow view from building ways #115 from north catwalk, 3 January 1942. USN photo # 37-42 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 707k Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., U.S. submarine Herring (SS-233) stern view from building ways #115 from south catwalk, 3 January 1942. USN photo # 38-42 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Corvina 727k Family connection:
The Herring (SS-233) was sponsored by Mrs. Ray Spear, wife of Rear Admiral Ray Spear, Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. His daughter, Mrs. R.S. Rooney, and son in law, Lt. Com. R. S. Rooney pose with Mrs. R. W. Christie, here at the launching of the Corvina (SS-226) 9 May 1943. The Corvina and all her crew would be K.I.A. on 16 November 1943 after being torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-176 south of Truk.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # 80-G-70669, from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring570kHerring (SS-233), sliding down the ways at her launching at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 10:20 AM, 15 January 1942. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Herring 291k Herring (SS-233) possibly fitting out with New London in the background, maybe before being commissioned in May 1942. Note her deck gun is on the stern. USN photo from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 442k Two submarines in drydock.
The Herring (SS-233) was the 1st submarine to be launched by the Portsmouth yard after the U.S. declared war.
Note that the Herring's conning tower adorned with a spectator stand during commissioning ceremonies.
The notation on the bottom of the photo says that Captain G.C. Kriner USN, reading orders of commissioning at 11: 45, on 4 May 1942. He appears in the insert photo doing the same on the Steelhead (SS-280).
The Kingfish (SS-234), I believe, is outboard of the Herring and would be commissioned on 20 May.
USN photo courtesy of Charles R Hinman.
Photo added 07/03/16.
Herring 393k A commissioned warship, Herring (SS-233) bow on view, vessel in diving trim, bow planes rigged in. USN photo from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Rosneath, Scotland78kTwo of the 6 subs of from Sub Squadron 50:
Barb (SS-220),
Blackfish (SS-221)
Herring (SS-233),
Shad (SS-235),
Gunnel (SS-253), and
Gurnard (SS-254) tied up at Rosneath, Scotland, circa 7 December 1942.
The sub tender Beaver (AS-5) is in the background.
USN photo courtesy of jmlavelle.com.
Rosneath, Scotland
98k A 1943 Watercolor by the artist Dwight Clark Shepler entitled "Jerry Hunters, Rosneath, Scotland", portrays the stern view of the sub tender Beaver (AS-5) and 3 of the 6 subs of Sub Squadron 50:
Barb (SS-220),
Blackfish (SS-221),
Herring (SS-233),
Shad (SS-235),
Gunnel (SS-253), and
Gurnard (SS-254).
Painting #87 / 88-199-CK.
Courtesy of the USNHC.
Herring 263k Broadside view of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 12 October 1943.
Note her deck gun has been moved to the bow.
USN photo # 271-43-S4, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 310k Broadside view of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 12 October 1943. USN photo # 270-43-S4, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 392k Port broadside view of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 12 October 1943. USN photo # 268-43-S4, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 296k Bow view of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 12 October 1943. USN photo # 269-43-S4, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 360k Stern view of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 12 October 1943. USN photo # 272-43-S4, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 521k Amidships view of the Herring (SS-233) looking to port, at Hunters Point, 20 October 1943. USN photo # 545-43-S8, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 570k Plan view aft of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 23 October 1943.
Note the Covered Lighters (Self-propelled)YF-600 & YF-601 to the starboard side of the Herring.
USN photo # 468-43-S8, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 438k Plan view of the Herring (SS-233) at Hunters Point, 23 October 1943. USN photo # 441-43-S4, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Herring 44k Herring (SS-233) departed New London, Connecticut, for the rich hunting grounds of the Pacific on 9 August 1943. After intensive training at Pearl Harbor, she sailed 15 November 1943 on her sixth war patrol to join the ranks of the American submarines systematically decimating Japanese shipping and destroying the Japanese economy. She scored two kills, the 3,948 ton Hakozaki Maru on 14 December, and the 6,072 ton Nagoya Maru to celebrate New Year's Day 1944. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of photoship.co.uk via Tommy Trampp.
SS 155 73k Drawing of a Type C Escort vessel similar to the Ishigaki, which was sunk by the Herring (SS-233) a day before she was herself lost. Type C Escort by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships." Photo courtesy of combinedfleet.com.
Herring101k6" costal defence gun at Rabaul, similar to the type that sank the Herring (SS-233).
Courtesy of destroyerhistory.org by D.W. McComb.
Herring75kKurlie Archapeligo, featuring North, Central & Southern Island groups.Matsuwa Island, where the Herring (SS-233) was lost, is in the middle of the Central group.Photo courtesy of artedi.fish.washington.edu. & wikimedia.org.
Herring 190k Zoom photo showing Tagan point airfield on Matsuwa Island. Photo courtesy of Boris Ilchenko & north pacific skies.
Photo added 07/03/16.
Herring 873k 5 photo PDF history & loss of the Herring (SS-233). PDF photos courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 07/03/16.
Herring55kDepth chart of the surrounding waters off Matsuwa Island, where the Herring (SS-233) was lost. She was reported sunk in over 330 feet of water.Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org & artedi.fish.washington.edu.
Link courtesy of Thunder Below! The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II, by Eugene B. Fluckey
Herring178kMatsuwa Island, where the Herring (SS-233) was lost.Photo courtesy of Earth sciences and image analysis laboratory, NASA, Johnson Space Center / oceandots.com.& abovetopsecret.com
Herring454kA fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev Volcano (Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on 12 June 2009. Sarychev Peak is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain, and it is located on the northwestern end of Matua Island. Prior to 12 June the last explosive eruption occurred in 1989, with eruptions in 1986, 1976, 1954, and 1946 also producing lava flows. Ash from the multi-day eruption has been detected 2,407 kilometers east-southeast and 926 kilometers west-northwest of the volcano, and commercial airline flights are being diverted away from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake.

This detailed astronaut photograph is exciting to volcanologists because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption. The main column is one of a series of plumes that rose above Matua Island on 12 June. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance. The eruption cleared a circle in the cloud deck. The clearing may result from the shockwave from the eruption or from sinking air around the eruption plume: as the plume rises, air flows down around the sides like water flowing off the back of a surfacing dolphin. As air sinks, it tends to warm and expand; clouds in the air evaporate.
Photo # ISS020-E-09048 & text courtesy of earthobservatory.nasa.gov.
Herring286kMemorial Plaque information: The Alabama Chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II has erected this plaque to honor the memory of shipmates serving in the U.S. Navy Submarine Herring (SS-233) lost will all hands on 1 June 1944 while the boat was attacking a Japanese convoy off Matsuwa Island, Kuriles.Photo courtesy of postimage.org.
Herring44kCommemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Herring (SS-233).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Herring79kDavid Zabriskie, Jr., Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Herring (SS-233) at the time of her loss.
He is seen here when he was a Midshipman.
USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
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.
Herring59k Plaque overlooking site of Herring's (SS-233) loss at Point Tagan, Matsuwa Island, Kuriles.

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./"
Photo courtesy of Evgeniy Vereschaga via On Eternal Patrol

View the Herring (233)
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
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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