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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Silversides (SS-236) (AGSS-236)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Holel - Zulu

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 4 November 1940, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Launched, 26 August 1941; Commissioned USS Silversides (SS-236), 15 December 1941; Decommissioned, 17 April 1946; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; Placed in service, 15 October 1947 as a Naval Reserve training ship at Chicago, IL; Redesignated Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-236), 6 November 1962; Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register 30 June 1969; Final Disposition, donated to South Chicago Chamber of Commerce for preservation as a memorial at Muskegon, MI., opened 24 May 1973. Silversides received twelve battle stars for World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,410 t.; Length 311' 10"; Beam 27' 4"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 Officers 54 Enlisted; Maximum 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 dual purpose deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel- electric, four Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, HP 5400 , fuel capacity 116,000 gal., four General Electric Co. electric motors, HP 2740, two 126 cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Silversides & Gudgeon 221k Silversides (SS-236) & Gudgeon (SS-211), on the building ways at Mare Island, Cal. January 2, 1941. Silversides illustrates double hulled construction. The inner circular section is the pressure hull, the framing, which surrounds it, supports a thin streamlined outer hull. Such a configuration leaves the interior of the pressure hull unencumbered by framing and allows for a streamlined outer hull whose shape is not determined by the need to resist water pressure.
USN photo courtesy of William Cracknell, from his book "Profile Warship # 34".Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Trigger & Silversides 677k Bow view showing the progress of the Silversides (SS-236) & the Trigger (SS-237) under construction at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., 1 July 1941.
USN photo # 1381-41, courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 26 March 1945. Photo added 03/27/06.
Silversides 155k Mrs. J. J. Hogan christensen the Silversides (SS-236) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 August 1941. Pictured from left to right are: Mrs. W. L. Friedell; Capt. Crisp, Yard Manager; Mrs J. J. Hogan (Sponsor); LCDR Walter E. Anderson (Aide to Yard Commandant); RADM Wilhelm L. Friedell (Yard Commandant); and Dr. J. J. Hogan.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 266k Stern view of the Silversides (SS-236) ready for launch at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 August 1941.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 235k The Silversides (SS-236) is half way down the ways during her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 August 1941. The Trigger (SS-237) can be seen on the building ways on the right.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 53k A news clipping of the Silversides (SS-236) at the end of ways during her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 August 1941.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 145k The Silversides (SS-236) is waterborne after launching at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 August 1941.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 96k Commandant's Order No. 19-41 for the launching of Silversides (SS-236) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 August 1941.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 71k The detailed launch schedule for the Silversides (SS-236).
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 73k Postal cover marking the launching of the Silversides (SS-236) on 26 August 1941 at Mare Island Navy Yard.
Contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 96k A photo of noted guests at launching of the Silversides (SS-236) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 28 August 1941. from left to right: Major John Stewart of Vallejo; Capt A. D. Denny (Captatin of the Yard); Dr. J. J. Hogan; Mrs. Hugo W. Osterhaus; RADM (ret) Hugo W. Osterhaus (Commander Patrol Force); Mrs. W. L. Friedell; Mrs. A. D. Denny; Mrs. J. J. Hogan (Sponsor); Mrs. John Stewart, RADM Wilhelm L. Friedell (Yard Commandant); and LCDR Walter E. Andrews (Aide to Commandant).
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 160k Silversides (SS-236) nearing completion, October 1941. Note that the diving planes are rigged out and the top two port torpedo tubes are visible.
Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II", by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Silversides 40k Photo of CDR Creed C. Burlingame, USN, Silversides (SS-236) first commanding officer at Mare Island at the commissioning ceremony at Mare Island, 15 December 1941.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker. Text info courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 63k Silversides (SS-236) in her original configuration just after commissioning.
Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II", by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Silversides 172k The Silversides (SS-236) off Mare Island taken on 2 February 1942, shortly after she was commissioned.
U.S. Navy photo # 579-42, contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 105k Boardside view of Silversides (SS-236) on or about 2 February 1942 as she was on sea trials.
US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org. Text courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 92k While far out at sea on the night of Christmas Eve 1942, during her fouth patrol, the Silversides (SS-236) pharmacist's mate, Thomas Moore, performed a successful emergency appendectomy on Seaman George Platter. The event was recorded by Lt. Robert K.R. Worthington, who was entrusted with the submarine's only camera, a Kodak Medalist.
Of the three appendectomies performed at sea on board U.S. submarines during World War II, the Silversides was the only one to be photographed.
The shirtless sailor in the background of the top photo is Bob Detmers, the one on the right is Albert Stegall. The appendectomy was performed at a depth of 150 feet and took about four hours but was successful. George Platter was standing watches again six days later and lived to a ripe old age.
"Note: Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Freeland Daubin, fearing that some of his submariners might come down with appendicitis at sea, had proposed that all men in Squadron Four have their appendises removed. At the time, the idea seemed absurd. Considering the large number of appendicitis attacks that occured during the war, however, some with near fatal consequences, the idea, in retrospect, had merit."
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Skip Riser. Partial text courtesy of DANFS, Fred Tannenbaum, and Silent Victory, The US Submarine War Against Japan by Clay Blair. Pg. 292.
Silversides 50k Shortly after midnight 24 October 1943, during her seventh war patrol, the Silversides (SS-236) attacked a multi-ship convoy, scoring hits on three ships. The tanker, later identified as the Tennan Maru, sank immediately. The freighters Kazan Maru and Johore Maru were severely damage. The Kazan Maru (pictured here) had her bow blown off and sank that afternoon. Silversides crewmembers recovered a life ring and 20-millimeter gun from the ship that was given to the U.S. Naval Submarine School at New London, Conn.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Skip Riser. Text courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 66k The Johore Maru is shown listing and burning on the afternoon of 24 October. The Silversides (SS-236) is circling her and trying to finish her off with fire from her deck guns. That caused additional fires but did not sink the maru. Wanting to chase the rest of the convoy, the Silversides pulled several hundred yards away and fired a single torpedo that broke the back of the Johore Maru and hastened her sinking.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Skip Riser. Text courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 66k The Johore Maru sinking following a final torpedo shot by the Silversides (SS-236) in the early evening of 24 October.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Skip Riser. Text courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 64k Silversides (SS-236), 3'/50 cal gun in action against a Japanese picket boat, 14 October, 1942.
USN photo courtesy of William Cracknell, from his book "Profile Warship # 34".
Silversides 129k Boardside view of Silversides (SS-236) off Mare Island during her overhaul. She was under repair at Mare Island form 19 Jun to 4 September 1944.
U.S. Navy photo 5539-44, contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 98k Silversides (SS-236) off Mare Island during her overhaul. On the left looking aft, the T shaped object on the main deck is a sonar head. She was under repair at Mare Island form 19 Jun to 4 September 1944.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 176k Aft plan view of the Silversides (SS-236) at Mare Island on 21 August 1944.
U.S. Navy photo 5333-44, contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 159k Stern view of the Silversides (SS-236) off Mare Island on 21 August 1944.
U.S. Navy photo 5336-44, contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Silversides 178k Broadside view of the Silversides (SS-236) off Mare Island on 21 August 1944.
U.S. Navy photo # 5338-44, contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Who Am I?440k Text accompanying this photo read "Enlisted men repair and check instruments aboard a submarine just returned to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. May 1945." It might possibly be the Finback (SS-230), Halibut (SS-232), Kingfish (SS-234), Silversides (SS-236) and / or Whale (SS-239). DANFS places all of them at Pearl Harbor sometime during May 1945.
Note: It may also be that none of these subs is the above mentioned, or the date is wrong (probably the date). To the best of my knowledge, all boat's numbers were painted out during WW II.
USN photo NARA # HD-SN-99-02504 by Lt. Comdr. Horace Bristol, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Silversides 71k The crew of the Silversides (SS-236) line the boat on the Hudson River on 27 October 1945 during Navy Day celebrations.
US Navy photo by Ted Stone, text courtesy of DANFS.
Silversides 40k Postcard photo of the Silversides (SS-236) during her Naval Reserve duty behind Chicago's Naval Armory during the 1950s.
Contributed by Joe Radigan. Text i.d.courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 94k Silversides (SS-236) is getting a coat of paint from volunteers in the mid-1970s.
US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org. Text i.d. courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 62k Silversides (SS-236), tied up to a pier in Chicago, Illinois, in 1980.
Photo by Dan Hecker. Contributed by Jack Treutle. Text i.d. courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum.
Silversides 72k Silversides (SS-236), a national landmark and a museum, is seen at "full dress ship" in Muskegon, MI. for the US Navy's Submarine Centennial, 3 June 2000. Photo by Lt. Scott McIlnay.
US Navy photo # 000603-N-8321M-002, US Navy Chinfo Photo Gallery web site.
Silversides 43k Silversides (SS-236),conning tower tally of all the ship's sinkings during WW II.
Contributed by Wallace Correll.
Silversides 64k Silversides (SS-236), 4" main deck gun.
Contributed by Wallace Correll.
Silversides 42k Silversides (SS-236),starboard view of the conning tower and secondary armament.
Contributed by Wallace Correll.
Silversides 50k Silversides (SS-236), 4" main deck gun.
Contributed by Wallace Correll.

View the Silverside (236)
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
National Historic Landmark - USS Silversides (SS-236)
Historic Ships Visitiors Guide - USS Silversides (SS-236)
Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
HISTORIC SUBMARINE DOCUMENTARY AND TRAINING FILMS
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