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|21k||Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of the keel laying of the Kingfish (SS-234), 29 August 1941, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH.||Courtesy of Jack Treutle.|
|22k||Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of the keel laying of the Kingfish (SS-234), 29 August 1941, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH.||Courtesy of Jack Treutle.|
|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
|1.30k||Bow view of Runner (SS-275) from the North catwalk, 3 January 1942, Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.||US National Archives photo # 19lcm 33 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Editors Note: None of the photos from NARA would have seen the light of day here if it were not for the effort of Sean Hert to scan and send them to me. He and Tracy White have done this innumerable times and I owe them a heart felt debt of perpetual thanks for being my legs from over 6,000 miles away.
|864k||Stern view of Runner (SS-275) from the South catwalk, 3 January 1942.|
When this photo was taken, Portsmouth had four building ways in place, but they were not arranged in sequence! If you were to look into the big building shed from the water the ways were numbered 2, 4, 3, and 1. Therefore, the boat seen in these photos under construction on Runner's (SS-275) port side on 03 January 1942 was the Kingfish (SS-234), on Way #3.
The Shad (SS-235) is on Way # 2.
Here is where it gets interesting. Sometime between the date of this photo and 20 March 1942 (about 3 1/2 months later) the workers at Portsmouth rearranged the scaffolding between these two ways and inserted a fifth way (#1A)! The keel of Scorpion (SS-278) was laid there on 20 March while Runner was still under construction. By that date the way that Kingfish vacated (#3) now had Scamp (SS-277) on it.
|US National Archives photo # 19lcm 34 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & Darryl L. Baker.
|363k||Another Monster of the Deep.
Into the water with hardly a splash goes the huge new U.S. Navy submarine Kingfish (SS-234), during launching ceremonies on 2 March 1942, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The underwater raider is one of the scores of the ocean-going variety fast submarine being added to the U.S. Fleet.
|USN photo # Lot-9425-16, courtesy of the Library of Congress, from the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, courtesy of flickr.com.|
|216k||The crew of the Kingfish (SS-234) salute the National Ensign as she slides down the launching ways at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH; at 12:40 PM on 2 March 1942.||USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.|
|280k||The crew of the Kingfish (SS-234) line the rails as she slides down the launching ways at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH; at 12:40 PM on 2 March 1942.||USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.|
|57k||Broadside view of Kingfish (SS-234), 1942.||USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com|
|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.|
|18k||Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of Kingfish's (SS-234) first day in commission, 20 May 1942.||Courtesy of Jack Treutle.|
|1.49k||Kingfish (SS-234) was underway for her third war patrol 16 February.
On 19 March 1943: Off N Keelung, Formosa. At 0805 (H), alerted by a codebreaker's "Ultra" signal, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Vernon L. Lowrance's (USNA '30), Kingfish sights a zig-zagging unescorted transport making 15 knots. At 0837, Kingfish fires a spread of four torpedoes at 1,800 yards range and gets two hits, one aft of the bridge and the other in the stern. Takatiho Maru takes on a list to starboard and begins sinking by the stern. Nevertheless, her gunners fire one salvo at Kingfish. Uniformed Japanese troops wearing backpacks begin scrambling down the ship's port side. Kingfish's crew observes about 200 survivors in the water, two life boats and four rafts. At 0846, Takatiho Maru sinks at 25-50N, 122-30E. 844 troops, passengers and crew are KIA.
|Photo courtesy of Ogiyoshisan from "Illustrated history talk fleet flag of the Rising Sun" by Goro Yamataka via Robert Hurst.|
|423k||On 23 March 1943, while on her third war patrol, Kingfish (SS-234) underwent a severe depth charge attack north of Formosa. A total of over forty depth charges were dropped in the vicinity of Kingfish during the 71/2-hour period she was under attack. Serious damage was caused by the final pattern of six charges, two of which detonated close over the after portion of the ship while the boat was running at 300 foot depth, forcing her to the bottom in 350 feet of water. |
In spite of sustaining considerable permanent pressure hull deformation in various areas and widespread interior damage, no vital systems or machinery were put out of commission and watertight integrity remained substantially intact. Six hours after the termination of the attack, and without undue difficulty, Kingfish was able to surface and clear the area at full power on all main engines.
This report is based on the information contained in the references and on an informal interview with the then Commanding Officer. The photographs were furnished by the U.S. Navy Yard, Mare Island. The Plate was prepared by the Bureau from data contained in the enclosures to reference (b).
|Photo & text courtesy of ibiblio.org.|
|405k||View of Kingfish (SS-234) showing depressions in port side shell plating from frames 103-108 near lubricating oil tanks. Damage was caused by depth charge explosions on 24 March 1943 off Formosa, with the starboard side of the boat similarly damaged.||Source: Navy Department Library, War Damage/Loss Report No.58, Kingfish (SS-234).|
|364k||Damage to starboard QB sonar projector on the Kingfish (SS-234). Both the port and starboard projectors were extended when the boat was forced to the bottom by depth charge explosions on 24 March 1943 off Formosa.||Source: Navy Department Library, War Damage/Loss Report No.58, Kingfish (SS-234).|
|99k||Broadside view of the Kingfish (SS-234) off Mare Island Navy Yard on 5 June 1943. She was in overhaul at the yard from 2 April until 16 June 1943.||USN / Mare Island photo # 4213-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|1.30k||Kingfish (SS-234) heading down the Mare Island channel on 5 June 1943. Note barrage balloon above the stern of the submarine.||USN / Mare Island # photo 4212-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|268k||Port quarter view of Kingfish (SS-234), 7 June 1943.
The ship with the large bridge is Alchiba (AKA 6) in dry dock #3. The pilot house and funnel to the left belong to Calistoga YFB-21, which is berth outside dry dock #3.
The Mare Island Planning & Estimating Division's battle damage report for Kingfish due to her depth charging in March 1943.
|USN / Mare Island # photo 4236-43, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo & text i.d. & PDF courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
|138k||Wearing overall black paint, the Kingfish (SS-234), is seen here in this 7 June 1943 photo at Mare Island CA., for a refit. At this time, the standard practice was to paint the boats in this measure.||Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.|
|272k||Plan view aft of Kingfish (SS-234) off Mare Island on 3 September 1944. The barge YC-293 is to her starboard side.||USN / Mare Island photo # 5868-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|270k||Amidship plan view looking aft of Kingfish (SS-234) off Mare Island on 3 September 1944. The barge YC-293 is to her port side.||USN / Mare Island photo # 5669-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|1.10k||Plan view of the Kingfish (SS-234) at Mare Island, 3 September 1944.||US National Archives photo # 19lcm 5870 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.|
|607k||Broadside view of the Kingfish (SS-234) at Mare Island, 8 September 1944.||US National Archives photo # 19lcm 5644 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.|
|195k||Broadside view of Kingfish (SS-234) off Mare Island on 8 September 1944. She was in overhaul from 28 June until 13 September 1944.||USN / Mare Island photo # 5645-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|189k||Bow on view of Kingfish (SS-234) in the Mare Island channel on 8 September 1944.||USN / Mare Island photo # 5643-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|246k||Stern view of Kingfish (SS-234) off Mare Island on 8 September 1944. She was in overhaul from 28 June until 13 September 1944.||USN / Mare Island photo # 5647-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.|
|646k||That style of bow limber hole pattern was only used on a number of Portsmouth/Mare Island-planned Gatos, SS-228-239 and SS-275-280. Since this appears to be a relatively late war photo, we can eliminate the war losses. We can eliminate Halibut (SS-232) due to her departure from combat due to damages, and the few photos of her show her in Measure 9 when retired. Flying Fish (SS-229) and Steelhead (SS-280) had the neo-Balao style fairwater installed, so we can eliminate them. That leaves us with Drum (SS-228), Finback (SS-230), Kingfish (SS-234), Haddock (SS-231), Shad (SS-235), Silversides (SS-236), Whale (SS-239), and Sawfish (SS-276). The mystery boat carries a five incher forward, a 20mm on her forward position, a softly curved or V-shaped venturi, what looks like an SJ support bracket on the front of her shears, and a square DF loop on her starboard sheers. We can therefore likely eliminate Drum, Finback, Silversides, Haddock,Whale, and Sawfish; the arenít many images of these boats apart from Drum, but what there is suggests it isnít one of them in 1945 (I wish there were more photos to say with 100% certainty, though). I eliminated Sawfish from the photo of the reserve fleet which seems to show a deck gun aft, but please feel to double check that I ID'd the correct boat from that reserve fleet aerial photo on her Navsource page. That leaves us with Kingfish and Shad as the likely candidates, neither of whom has a well-documented photographic record, lucky us!
The treaty cruiser in the background is either Chester (CA-27) or Louisville (CA-28). Both had nearly identical bridge structures once refitted, with Louisville receiving herís earlier than Chester, but neither carried it and painted out of dazzle until Bay Area yard time in March-April of 1945, so weíre likely looking at a date from March onwards when either Kingfish or Shad were in port with one or both of the cruisers, and probably later than that. Given the weatherbeaten look of the boat, this photo was likely not taken at Mare Island or Hunters Point, but somewhere nearer the combat zone. The censors were also hard at work eliminating the cruiserís radars so its still wartime and any little differences in the control tops that might tell the tale arenít there any longer, although the configuration of the bridge and how the tripod legs pass near the little tubs makes me think its more likely Chester, 60-40. Itís a shame the photo is so grainy.
| USN photo courtesy of Larry Futrell via Gary Priolo.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Robert Morgan.
Photo added 05/17/18.
|1.00k||According to the caption on the photo crewmen aboard the Bream (SS-243) at Pearl Harbor & this ...crewmen touching up the rusted areas on the Bream ... has the temporary # 24
Robert Baker writes: This boat is more than likely the Kingfish (SS-234). When I zoom in on the photos of Kingfish on her page and look at the sides of her conning tower especially the area underneath her after AA mount, the little details look identical, including the number of perforations in that little side plate. Kingfish forward AA deck was somewhat square shaped. Although hard to tell, 24's sort of looks that way, too. It's admittedly difficult to tell for sure from the new photo, but it gives me that impression. DANFS shows that she was at Pearl until 17 June, so assuming the date on the photo is correct that would match up.
The identity of these boats is always a challenge for those poeople who would like to i.d. them (which is what we try to do here). According to Dave Johnson (who has been quite proficent in this area)
The infamous BuAer strikes again. This boat is without a doubt NOT the Bream. Bream was a EB built Gato. The boat with the 11 on the fairwater is a 2/1-1 configured Government built Balao or Tench. I agree with the date of the photo, but the photographer screwed up the ID. I have seen this many times with BuAer photos. That is what you get when you let a bunch of airdales take photos of submarines! ?? Take any ID by BuAer with a grain of salt until it can be verified. Notice the greyhound logo above the 11. This might help in identifying her. Remember that the two digit numbers seen on Pearl Harbor based boats were temporary in nature, used to visually identify the boats to harbor control and to friendly forces while the boat was conducting pre-patrol local workups. They were often reused and thus are of little help in identifying the boat.
|Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Robert Baker & Dave Johnson.
Photographs # 80-G-325171, 325180 & 325183 by Photographer's Mate First Class L. Strawger, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
|97k||Kingfish (SS-234), port side view, at East Boston in 1961 awaiting scrapping.||© Richard Leonhardt.|
|88k||Kingfish (SS-234), starboard side view, at Boston in 1961 awaiting scrapping.||© Richard Leonhardt.|
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