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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch on left courtesy of, other patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Croaker (SS-246) (SSK-246) (AGSS-246) (IXSS-246)

Radio Call Sign: November - Foxtrot - Alpha - Golf

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3) - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 1 April 1943, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 19 December 1943; Commissioned USS Croaker (SS-246), 21 April 1944; Decommissioned, 15 June 1946, at New London, CT.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, New London; Recommissioned, 7 May 1951; Decommissioned, 18 March 1953, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH, for conversion to a Hunter-Killer Submarine; Recommissioned, USS Croaker (SSK-246), 11 December 1953; Reclassified (SS-246) on 15 August 1959; Reclassified Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-246) on 1 May 1967; Decommissioned, 2 April 1968; Struck from the Naval Register, 20 December 1971; Final Disposition, Reclassified Miscellaneous Unclassified Submarine (IXSS-246) in 30 June 1971, serving as a museum ship at Buffalo NY. Croaker was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, and received three battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,1526 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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SizeImage DescriptionSource
Croaker109k The Croaker (SS-246) was spawned here. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of Life.
Croaker17kCommemorative postal cover marking the Croaker's (SS-246) commissioning, 21 April 1944.Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Croaker466kCroaker (SS-246) was sponsored by Mrs. W. H. P. Blandy.Electric Boat photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton CT.
Croaker225k Croaker (SS-246) slides down the ways on 19 December 1943. USN photo courtesy of USNI & Tom Kermen.
Rusty Oldies294k1. R-15 (SS-92) is present.
2. S-14 (SS-119) is present.
3. There is a third Government design S-boat at the top of the photo, one that has a stern torpedo tube. The boat is riding a little high, and the tube can just be seen, right at the waterline.
4. The fleet boat is a EB design Mod 3 Gato.
Here is what can be reasonably inferred from the facts:
1. The photo was taken during WWII.
2. The photo was probably taken in New London. R-15 and S-14 operated exclusively in the Atlantic during the war, as did all of the Government design S-boats.
3. Assuming New London for a location, R-15 and S-14 were both there starting in April 1944.
4. Using April 1944 for a rough date, that narrows the choices of fleet boats considerably. It would have to be a late construction EB Gato. Only Cavalla (SS-244), Cobia (SS-245), and Croaker (SS-246), all built at the Victory Yard downstream would have been present in April 44. Croaker was actually the last Gato built by EB. All the other EB ways were already cranking out Balaos at this time. In fact, the first three EB Balaos had already been commissioned by this date.
5.S-48 (SS-159) was one of the eight Government design S-boats with a stern torpedo tube. Of the eight, only S-11 (SS-116) to 13 (SS-118), and S-48 were still in existence, the others had all been scrapped prior to the war. S-11, 12, and 13 operated exclusively in the Caribbean at this time.
So, to sum up: the photo was taken approximately April 1944 in New London, the fleet boat could be Cavalla, Cobia, or Croaker (and I would lean heavily to Croaker), and the S-boat at the top is probably S-48.
Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired) , Ric Hedman, John Hummel & Robert Morgan.
Text courtesy of David Johnston.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Croaker504kThe light cruiser HIJMS Nagara appears here leaving Kure, Japan, circa 1938.
Nagara is seen here at anchor in an oil painting by Ueda Kiachiro.
Croaker (SS-246) arrived at Pearl Harbor from New London 26 June 1944, and on 19 July put to sea on her first war patrol, sailing to the East China and Yellow Seas. In a series of brilliantly successful attacks which won her the Navy Unit Commendation, she sank the light cruiser Nagara on 7 August.....
A periscope view of the light cruiser Nagara as she goes down by the stern appears above after being torpedoed on 7 August 1944, by Croaker, off Amakusa Islands, 35 m S of Nagasaki (32 degrees 09' N, 129 degrees 53' E).
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Insert photo courtesy of "Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945" by Hansgeorg Jentschura, Dieter Jung and Peter Mickl. Translated by Antony Preston and J. D. Brown. Arms and Armour Press, & & United States Submarine Operations in World War II, by Theodore Roscoe, via Robert Hurst.
Croaker867kPort side view of the Croaker (SS-246), underway, circa 1944-45.USN photo courtesy of
Escolar 375k Millican's Marauders was composed of Escolar (SS-294), Croaker (SS-246) & Perch (SS-313). They set out together to conduct a coordinated patrol, on September 23rd. Croaker's & Perch's log for the dates 15 to 19 October appear here.
19 October 1944: Off Sasebo. At 1600, escort CD-34 detects an unknown submarine 45 degrees to starboard at 3280 yards (3000 m). CD-38 attacks and drops about 30 depth charges. A friendly aircraft collaborates with the kaibokan. The kill is confirmed by a heavy-oil slick and many interior ship fittings found floating on the sea. CD-38's crew paints a submarine "kill" mark on side wall of the bridge.
Drawing by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships" & text courtesy of
PDF & translation courtesy of Kiyotaka Asano via Yutaka Iwasaki, Bruce Abele & Brad Pearson.
Photo & PDF via Kiyotaka Asano & Yutaka Iwasaki.
Fremantle 365k This plaque was unveiled 20 March 1995 by His Excellency Major General P.M. Jeffery OA MC, Governor of Western Australia to commemorate the sacrifices made by Allied submarines that operated out of Fremantle, Western Australia during WW II. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Croaker879kProbable postwar photo of Croaker (SS-246) carrying a Bofors, a later war 5" 25 aft, and flying a homeward bound pennant. Photo i.d. courtesy of Robert Morgan.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Archerfish 279k Line up of decommissioned subs at Groton, CT., circa 1947. From left to right:Archerfish (SS-311), Flasher (SS-249), Cobia (SS-245), Croaker (SS-246), Drum (SS-228) & what looks like the Cavalla (SS-244). USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory). Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Croaker113k Broadside & starboard quarter view of the Croaker (SSK-246) in 1/192 scale, solid cast resin.Model & photo courtesy of Mel Douyette &
Croaker251kPort side view of the Croaker (SSK-246), underway, circa mid 50's.USN photo courtesy of
Croaker448kCroaker (SSK-246) in Valletta Harbour, Malta, circa 1956.Photo by A. & J. Pavia & text from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1956-57 submitted by Robert Hurst.<
Croaker77kCroaker (SSK-246), underway, circa mid 1950's, place unknown.Courtesy of George M. Arnold.
Croaker118kCroaker (SSK-246), stern view taken off the coast of Block Island from the stern of the yacht DeDe II while participating in NATO exercises, August 1957.Photo by Helen Wilkins, courtesy of Ron Wilkins, USCG 1966-1970.
Croaker106kCroaker (SSK-246), bow view taken off the coast of Block Island from the stern of the yacht DeDe II while participating in NATO exercises, August 1957.Photo by Helen Wilkins, courtesy of Ron Wilkins, USCG 1966-1970.
858kLCDR Howard Newell (Lou) Larcombe Jr., commanded the Croaker (SSK-246) from 23.06.1961 26.06.1962.
F.Y.I., fellow Academy of 47 classmate & roommate James Earl Carter (otherwise known as the 39th President of the United States) chief claim to fame was that he roomed together with (Lou) Larcombe.
Text info courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler.
Photo courtesy of Daniel L. Bailey Jr.
Requin 528k Moored boat off New London at the time of the Thresher's (SSN-593) sinking. From right to left: Bream (SS-243), Hardhead (SS-365), Croaker (SSK-246) & Conger (SS-477). After this, the resolution becomes too fuzzy. Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired)
Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match via Getty Images, courtesy of
Angler 120k Angler (SSK-240) & Croaker (SSK-246) pier side in New London. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Croaker2.50k37 page PDF of the History & Welcome Aboard Croaker (SSK-246). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Croaker64kCroaker (SSK-246), on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY, 14 September 2002.Photo & copy Dick Leonhardt.
Croaker55kCroaker (SSK-246), on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY, 14 September 2002. Wreath was laid by the US Submarine Veterans WWII.Photo & copy Dick Leonhardt.
Croaker67kCroaker (SSK-246), on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY, 14 September 2002. After Torpedo RoomPhoto & copy Dick Leonhardt.
Croaker132kCroaker (SSK-246), on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY, 14 September 2002. Forward Torpedo RoomPhoto & copy Dick Leonhardt.
Croaker107kCroaker (SSK-246), on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY, 14 September 2002. Crews MessPhoto & copy Dick Leonhardt.
Croaker222kCroaker (SSK-246), forward, starboard view, in its new berth at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park in Buffalo, NY. Location is new as of this past year when it was moved twice, most recently this past summer. This will be its permanent berth. She sits with The Sulliavns (DD-537) aft, and the Little Rock (CL-92) / (CLG-4) to port, 18 September 2003.Courtesy of Bruce McCausland.
Croaker941k Croaker (SS-246) on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Croaker236kCroaker (SSK-246), topside, looking forward.Courtesy of Bruce McCausland.
Croaker194kCroaker (SSK-246), viewed port aft from the Little Rock (CL-92) / (CLG-4).Courtesy of Bruce McCausland.
Croaker1.40kCroaker (SSK-246), on display as a museum ship at Buffalo, NY, April 2012.Photo courtesy of David Johnston. (USNR).
Croaker588kDave Johnston meets Croaker's (SSK-246) mess.Photo courtesy of David Johnston. (USNR).

View the Croaker (SS-246 / SSK-246)
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
Historic Naval Ships Guide - USS Croaker (SS-246 later SSK-246)
Buffalo Naval Park - USS Croaker (SS-246, Later SSK-246)
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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