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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Trigger (SS-237)

Radio Call Sign: November - Charlie - Charlie - Foxtrot

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is left to right
Presidential Unit Citation (3) - American Campaign Mdeal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (11)

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 1 February 1941, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Launched, 22 October 1941; Commissioned USS Trigger (SS-237), 30 January 1942; Lost to enemy action 28 March 1945, sunk by Japanese in East China Sea, all hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, 11 July 1945. Trigger was awarded 3 Presidential Unit Citations and received 11 battle stars for her service in World War II.

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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Trigger 463k Keel laying of the Trigger (SS-237), 1 February 1941, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
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), 28 March 1945.
Silversides 235k The Silversides (SS-236) is half way down the ways during her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard on 26 Aug 1941. The Trigger (SS-237) can be seen on the building ways on the right.
U.S. Navy photo contributed by Darryl Baker.
Trigger 175k The Trigger (SS-237) is ready to be launched at Mare Island Navy Yard on 22 Oct 1941.
US Navy / Mare Island Navy Yard photo 2790-41, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Trigger & Sunfish 551k The Trigger (SS-237) slides down the launching ways on 22 October 1941, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
The Sunfish (SS-281) is under construction to her port side and would be launched 2 May 1942. The ship under construction to Sunfish's port side is the Submarine Tender Sperry (AS-12), she would be launched on 17 December 1941.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo i.d. courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum & Darryl L. Baker.
Trigger 266k The Trigger (SS-237) all ablaze with bunting following her launching, 22 October 1941, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 182k Postal cover marking the launching of the Trigger (SS-237) on 22 Oct 1941 at Mare Island.
Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Trigger 28k Commemorative postal cover on the occassion of Trigger's (SS-237) commissioning at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., 31 January 1942.
USN photo # 1381-41, courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 28k First day postal service aboard the Trigger (SS-237), 2 Feb 1942.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Trigger 170k Article written by Capt. Ned Beach which appeared in the U.S. Naval Proceedings, Sept 2002 in the Publisher's Page, detailing his early experiences aboard the Trigger (SS-237).
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 179k PDF Article written by Capt. Ned Beach entitled "Culpable Negligence", A submarine commander tells how we almost lost the Pacific War.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 72k Trigger (SS-237) underway of Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., 6 April 1942.
US Navy photo (Mare Island Navy Yard photo 1748-42 Bow View), courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Trigger 260k Battle Flag of the Trigger (SS-237) 1942 - CO Roy Benson on left, Ned Beach on right.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 42k Original bridge design for early fleet-type boats is shown in this 6 April 1942 view of Trigger (SS-237) underway of Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA. Original 3"/50 deck gun proved too light for surface targets.
Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Trigger 233k Destroyer Okikaze sinking 2-43 viewed through Trigger's (SS-237) periscope.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 378k Trigger's (SS-237) crew poses for a group photo April 1943 at Pearl Harbor.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 328k The Trigger (SS-237) crew with battle flag....includes Benson and Beach (first 2 officers pictured on the left). Circa Dec. 1943.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 64k The Trigger's (SS-237) CO, Lt. Comm. Roy S. Benson, receives a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross at a ceremony honoring his and Trigger's exploits after she arrived at Pearl Harbor on 8 December 1943 following her seventh war patrol.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Trigger 215k The Trigger's (SS-237) CO, Lt. Comm. Roy S. Benson, receives a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross at a ceremony honoring his and Trigger's exploits after she arrived at Pearl Harbor on 8 December 1943 following her seventh war patrol. Among the ships damaged or sunk included the aircraft carrier Hiyo which limped into Tokyo Bay and was out of action for almost a year.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Trigger 154k PDF article written by Capt. Ned Beach which appeared in the U.S. Naval Proceedings, April 1957 entitled "Unlucky in June, Hiyo meets Trigger (SS-237)."
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 170k Article written by Capt. Ned Beach which appeared in the U.S. Naval Proceedings, Sept 2002 in the Publisher's Page.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 108k Page 1 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 128k Page 2 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 144k Page 3 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 181k Page 4 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 408k Page 5 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 143k Page 6 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 119k Page 7 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 258k Page 8 of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 365k Last of 9 pages of the Trigger (SS-237) Sea Classics series detailing the boat's history, by Charles H. Bogart.
Courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945. Photo added 03/30/06.
Trigger 134k This close up of the bridge of the Trigger (SS-237), was taken in August 1944 during refit at Mare Island. Details of the compass repeater target bearing transmitter and alarm switches are seen behind the protective venturi shield. The hatch leading to the conning tower is at right on the deck. The pole in the center of the photo is the mast for the "SJ" antenna. This shot was taken from the port lookout platform.
USN photo #19-N-83827. Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Trigger 120k This close up of the fairwater looking aft along the starboard side of the Trigger (SS-237), was taken in August 1944 during refit at Mare Island. The black circles show new items installed during this refit which include "SJ" radar, venturi shield, 4"/50cal.deckgun and searchlight.
USN photo #19-N-83829. Photo and text courtesy of . The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II", by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Trigger 55k Trigger (SS-237) probably at Mare Island after her refit, August 1944.
US Navy photo from DANFS Joe Radigan, MACM, USN Ret.
Trigger 63k Bows on view of the Trigger (SS-237), date and location unknown.
Courtesy of "Silent Victory", by Clay Blair JR.
Trigger 159k Trigger (SS-237) record of ship's kills during her 12 war patrols.
Courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org webpage.
Trigger 95k A fleet boat returning from patrol displays a major drawback of pre-WW II U.S. submarines design: light anti-aircraft guns had to be taken out and set up before they could be used. A water-cooled 0.50, the standard prewar weapon, is shown on deck forward of the bridge.
This boat may be Trigger (SS-237), whose commanding officer originated the practice (very visible here) of drilling holes at the turn of the deck to let out the air in the superstructure more quickly so as to speed diving.
Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Trigger 195k The officers of the Trigger (SS-237) pose for a photo taken onboard in May 1944, possibly at San Francisco. Those identifiable are LT Edward (Ned) Beach Jr. (standing on the far left), the man in the cap to the right of Ned Beach is Trigger's then CO, the famous Robert E. "Dusty" Dornin, and I think LCDR F. J. Harlfinger is to his right.
USN Photo # 3177-44, courtesy of Darryl Baker. Partial text courtesy of Pete Donatucci.
Trigger 458k Roy S. Benson (CO) scrapbook (officers in Hawaii, bearded officers) with other Trigger (SS-237) mementoes.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Coast Defense Vessel No. 17 213k Coast Defense Vessel No. 17, at Yokohama, 13 April, 1944, representative of two of the class of ships which sank the Trigger (SS-237), Coast Defense Vessel No. 33 and Coast Defense Vessel No. 59, according to Submarines Lost Through Enemy Action.
Photo from A. J. Watts, "Japanese Warships of World War II", courtesy of Aryeh Weterhorn.
Coast Defense Vessel No. 17 117k Awaji, a type B escort, at Osaka, January, 1944, representative of - the Mikura, which sank the Trigger (SS-237). according to Submarines Lost Through Enemy Action.
Photo from A. J. Watts, "Japanese Warships of World War II", courtesy of Aryeh Weterhorn.
Trigger 347k Trigger (SS-237) returns to Guam, 17 November 1944.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 635k I.R. Lloyd drawing of the Trigger (SS-237) being engaged by a Japanese warship, place and date unknown.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 14k Map showing the general area where the Trigger (SS-237) was at the time of her loss.
Photo courtesy of sailwx.info.
Trigger 152k In memory of the Trigger (SS-237)
Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Trigger 19k David Rickart Connole, Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Trigger (SS-237) at the time of her loss.
USN photo courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
Trigger 315k Legendary WWII submarine commander, retired Capt. Edward L. "Ned" Beach, Jr., died Dec. 1 2002 at his Washington, D.C. home. In addition to his superb naval career, he was an accomplished author and wrote, among many other works, the globally acclaimed piece of literature, "Run Silent, Run Deep" in 1955. The novel was made into a popular movie starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. In an interview with All Hands Magazine, a U.S. Navy internal information periodical, he didn't like the movie because it wasn't true to the Navy that I saw and tried to describe." Beach is survived by his wife Ingrid, three children, and four grandchildren.
U.S. Navy photo N-0000B-001 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute / news.navy.mil.
Tolling the Boats 117k The wife of a World War II U.S. submarine veteran, 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 Bullen of Illinois was killed in the battle, and just before it he had written 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!"
U.S. Navy photo N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
Trigger 48k Trigger (SS-237) men at Guam, February 1945. In a little over a month, the boat and crew would be M.I.A.

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./"
US Navy photo, courtesy of Theodore Roscoe, from his book "U.S. Submarine Operations of WW II", published by USNI.
Trigger 423k Article on the Posthumous Award for David Connole to his wife Vida and son Rick on Trigger's (SS-237) exploits at Nansei Shoto 11 March 1945. Article appeared in the Salisbury Advertiser, 8 August 1946.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.
Trigger 245k Vice Admiral Aubery Fitch presents a Posthumous Award for David Connole to his wife Vida and son Rick on Trigger's (SS-237) exploits at Nansei Shoto 11 March 1945.
USN photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole, K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), 28 March 1945.

View the Trigger (237)
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
USS Trigger SS 237
On Eternal Patrol
Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet USS Trigger (SS 237) March 26 1945 - 89 Men Lost
Full Fathom Five, U.S. Submarine War Against Japan

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