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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left courtesy of Cully Middleton & submitted by Gary Carlson, others by Mike Smolinski

Bream (SS-243) (SSK-243) (AGSS-243)

Radio Call Sign: November - Bravo - Alpha - Xray

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 February 1943, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 17 October 1943; Commissioned USS Bream (SS-243), 24 January 1944; Decommissioned, 31 January 1946, at San Francisco, CA.; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet; Recommissioned, 5 June 1951; Decommissioned, 10 September 1952, for conversion to a Hunter-Killer Submarine; Recommissioned, USS Bream (SSK-243), 20 June 1953; Redesignated (SS-243) on 15 August 1959; Reclassified Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-243), 15 April 1964; Decommissioned, 28 June 1969, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.; Struck from the Naval Register and sunk as a target, 7 November 1969 by Sculpin (SSN 590). Bream was awarded four battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 Officers 54 Enlisted; 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 General Motors main generator engines, 5,400HP, Fuel Capacity, 97,140 gal., four General Electric main motors, 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Bream 22k Bream Abramis brama. Courtesy of freshwater-fishing-guide.com.
Bream 131k Forward escape hatch for the Bream (SS-243) is inscribed on the open hatch in front of the lady worker with the acetylene torch. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.
Bream 172k Stepping back a few feet to view the work scene on the Bream (SS-243) under construction during the summer of 1943. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.
Bream 76k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the launching of the Bream (SS-243) at Electric Boat on 17 October 1943. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bream 21k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the launching of the Bream (SS-243) at Electric Boat on 17 October 1943. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Bream & Shark 90k Postal cover marking the launching of the Shark (SS-314) from the South Yard of Electric Boat Company and the launching of the Bream (SS-243) at Electric Boat's Victory Yard on 17 October 1943. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bream 17k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the commissioning of the Bream (SS-243) at Electric Boat on 24 January 1944. Courtesy of Ken Zirkle.
Bream 87k Bream (SS-243) probably entering Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa 1944-45. The fairwater is open, and her battle flag and pennants are streaming from her shears. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Bream 34k Bream (SS-243) returning to base with periscopes raised and battle flags flying, June 1945. US Navy photo from "U.S. Warships of World War Two", courtesy of Mike Green.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet137kReserve fleet at Mare Island, circa January 1946. There are 52 submarines and 4 Sub Tenders in this photo. This photo is a Berthing list identifying the ships in the picture. Photo commemorating 50 years, U. S. Submarine Veterans of WW II 1996 calendar, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet453kPhoto of the Reserve fleet at Mare Island, circa January 1946. There are 52 submarines and 4 Sub Tenders in this photo.
From back to front and left to right, first group of 12 boats:
Sandlance (SS-381)
Tunny (SS-282)
Aspro (SS-309)
Lionfish (SS-298)
Guvania (SS-362)
Sunfish (SS-281)
Macabi (SS-375)
Gurnard (SS-254)
Pampanito (SS-383)
Mingo (SS-261)
Guitarro (SS-363)
Bashaw (SS-241)
From back to front and left to right, second group of 12 boats:
Sealion (SS-315)
Hammerhead (SS-364)
Bream (SS-243)
Seahorse (SS-304)
Tinosa (SS-283)
Pintado (SS-387)
Mapiro (SS-376)
Pipefish (SS-388)
Moray (SS-300)
Batfish (SS-310)
Hackleback (SS-295)
Bluegill (SS-242)
From back to front and left to right, third group of 12 boats:
Hawkbill (SS-366)
Menhaden (SS-377)
Perch (SS-313)
Loggerhead (SS-374)
Barbero (SS-317)
Baya (SS-318)
Hardhead (SS-365)
Spadefish (SS-411)
Springer (SS-414)
Devilfish (SS-292)
Kraken (SS-370)
Dragonet (SS-293)
From back to front and left to right, fourth group of 12 boats:
Lamprey (SS-372)
Piranha (SS-389)
Manta (SS-299)
Pargo (SS-264)
Rancador (SS-301)
Archerfish (SS-311)
Mero (SS-378)
Sawfish (SS-276)
Spot (SS-413)
Lizardfish (SS-373)
Jallao (SS-368)
Icefish (SS-367)
From back to front and left to right, last group of 4 boats:
Steelhead (SS-280)
Puffer (SS-268)
Stickleback (SS-415)
Trepang (SS-412)
From back to front, Submarine Tenders group of 4 ships:
Pelias (AS-14)
Aegir (AS-23)
Euryale (AS-22)
Griffin (AS-13).
Photo commemorating 50 years, U. S. Submarine Veterans of WW II 1996 calendar, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bream & Shark 125k News clipping from the Vallejo News Chronicle of 1 February 1946 covering the decommissioning of the Bream (SS-243) at Mare Island on 31 January 1946. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bream 162k Capt. W. A. Lent, Commander of Pacific Reserve Fleet Mare Island, renders a salute during the re-commissioning ceremonies of Bream (SS-243) at Mare Island on 5 June 1951. LCDR R. F. Reilly (not shown) assumed command of the submarine. US Navy photo # 9476-6-51, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bream & friends 111k Bashaw (SSK-241), with Bream (SSK-243),Segundo (SS-398), Razorback (SS-394), and Menhaden (SS-377), in San Diego Harbor, circa 1953. Courtesy of Phil Gulick, former 1st Amphib Recon Company member aboard the Perch (SS-313).
Bream120k Broadside & starboard quarter view of the Bream (SSK-243) in 1/192 scale, solid cast resin, circa 1956-59.Model & photo courtesy of Mel Douyette & coldwarsubmarines.com
Bream 115k Bream (SS-243) is seen here on 1 January 1962 off the coast of Hawaii. The fairwater has been streamlined and all guns removed. Also, she has been fitted with an enlarged sonar dome on her bow. USN Archives photo # USN-1039531 courtesy of All Hands magazine by the Naval Historical Center, April 2002, pg. 47 & submitted by Bill Gonyo. Text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Bream 246k Port side view of the Bream (SS-243), circa 60's. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Bream 1.10k Bream (SS-243) underway, circa 60's. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 06/05/13.
Bream 385k Color photo of Bream (SS-243) underway in the Pacific in the late 1960's. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Photo added 06/05/13.
Bream 69k Bream (SS-243), underway with her deck slightly awash, circa 60's. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Bream 58k Bream (SS-243), underway off Point Loma (San Diego) California, date unknown. Her bow houses an AN/BQR-4A sonar array. Two bow tubes have been removed and the boats were modified to reduce self-generated noises. They were not GUPPY variants, despite their appearance. USN photo and text from The American Submarine by Norman Polmar, courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Bream & Menhaden 156k Starboard view of the Bream (SS-243), with the Menhaden (SS-377) outboard, as they appeared from the cigarette deck of the Archerfish (AGSS-311) in Pearl Harbor in late August 1963. Photo courtesy of Fred Firks and submitted by Ken Henry.
Bream & Shark 80k News clipping form Mare Island's newspaper of 2 July 1965 covering the change of command of the Bream (SS-243). Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Who Am I?360kBallast Point: It is circa 1968. Identifiable are the submarine tenders Sperry (AS-12) moored next to Nereus (AS-17), with the 2nd boat outboard of her is the Bream (SS-243). In the left foreground is the Menhaden (SS-377). All of the submarines in the photo have had some type of "Guppy" conversion.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri. Text i.d. courtesy of Sait Kucuk.
Menhaden1.10kBream (AGSS-243), Tunny (AGS-282) and Charr (AGSS-328), during the decommissioning ceremony at Mare Island on 28 June 1969.Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Menhaden212kRaton (AGSS-270) and Bluegill (AGSS-242) during the decommissioning ceremony at Mare Island on 28 June 1969. Bream (AGSS-243), Tunny (AGS-282) and Charr (AGSS-328) are forward of Raton and Bluegill. Chara (AE-31) is in the background.Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Menhaden1.20kCommanding officers of the five decommissioned submarines on the speakers stant at Mare Island on 28 June 1969.Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.

View the Bream (SS / SSK / AGSS-243)
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 Bream
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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