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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


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Dorado (SS-248)


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Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 27 August 1942, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 23 May 1943; Commissioned USS Dorado (SS-248), 28 August 1943; Final Dispostion, lost at sea while in transit from New London, CT. to the Panama Canal; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown).

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.

NOTE:
Dr. Campbell's published book USS DORADO (SS-248) On Eternal Patrol 6" X 9" Tradebook format. 612 pages, includes more than 200 pages in 12 Appendices. ISBN number: 978-1-257-95155-0.
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Dorado 346k The keel of the Dorado (SS-248) being laid, 27 August 1942, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.
This part of the keel is the steel beam between the outer hull and the pressure hull. It also likely separated a tank, for example it could separate the port and starboard portion of a main ballast tank or variable ballast tank.
It appears the man is operating a pneumatic rivet gun. I would says he is driving the symbolic first rivet for the keel laying. Interesting that this is being done prior to the keel being landed on the keel blocks. Then there is the welding ground clamp below the man's right hand and a welder with hood standing by. It could be that the first rivet was driven followed by the first weld.
Text courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Electric Boat photo in the NARA (National Archives & Records Administration) files, courtesy of Patrick Donnelly, DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Signs of the times 315k Signs of the times: Logo's for the following boats are emblazoned on the building wall to the right: Dace (SS-247), Dorado (SS-248), Flasher (SS-249), Flier (SS-250), Flounder (SS-251) & Gabilan (SS-252). Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Dorado 200k First day cover for keel laying of the Dorado (SS-248). Her keel was laid in the Victory Yard of the Electric Boat Company on 27 August 1942. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Dorado 486k Dorado (SS-248) was sponsored by Mrs. E. G. Allen. Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist,Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton CT.
Dorado 75k The caption reads: "The commander of the lost submarine Dorado (SS-248) and his family at the launching of the craft last May at Groton, Conn. From left: EARLE V. SCHNEIDER, the commander's son; CHIEF RADIOMAN EARLE G. SCHNEIDER, his father; EARLE C. SCHNEIDER, the sub commander; and MRS. SCHNEIDER, his mother.' at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 23 May 1943. Photo i.d. courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com.
USN photo courtesy of ibiblio.org.
Dorado 563k On the occasion of Dorado's (SS-248) launching, 23 May 1943, Lt. Comdr. Earle C. Schneider, her prospective commanding officer, stands with (L-R) his wife of six years, Stella, his father Chief Radioman Earle V. Schneider, his 5-year old son Earle V., and his mother Mary Louise. Lt. Comdr. Schneider, cited for his "excellent judgment and cool courage under fire," held the Silver Star awarded for his performance of duty as assistant approach officer in the submarine Trigger (SS-237)) on three war patrols.
Dorado was Schneider's first command.
Photo & text courtesy of Electric Boat Company Photograph in Ships Names and Sponsors Collection, Naval History & Heritage Command.
Dorado 77k Launching of the Dorado (SS-248) at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 23 May 1943. Electric Boat Co. / USNHC photo # 79755.
Dorado 108k Closeup view of Dorado's (SS-248) midships area, taken while she was fitting out at the Electric Boat Company shipyard, Groton, Connecticut, in August 1943. Note women workers in the foreground, and the ship's bell at left. Official USN photo USNHC # 80-G-468485 by Lieutenant Commander Charles Fenno Jacobs, USNR., now in the collections of the National Archives.
Dorado 187k A view of the Dorado (SS-248) at a fitting-out pier where technicians install interior equipment.
Note the ship's bell.
Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Photo i.d. verified courtesy of Ric Hedman & John Hart.
Dorado 137k Stepping off the dock and down the gang plank to the deck of the Dorado (SS-248), this rivet-less Rosie gets her day's work assignment from her boss and proceeds to the forward / aft engine room area. Note her companion from the gangway walk three photos down (with the checkered shirt and red hair-cover) past the sailors is sitting in the background. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Dorado 145k Over the shoulder of her supervisor is another submarine in the background fitting out. It is possible that this boat is the Dace (SS-247). She was launched 25 April 1943 & commissioned, 23 July 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.com
Dorado 140k Right hand on the wrench.Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Dorado 136k Our two ladies on their way to paint a submarine pass by a group of sailors undoubtedly admiring their taste in clothing. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Dorado 119k Two lady employees of E.B. paint the forward hatch of the submarine 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.com
Dorado 103k The finished product.Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Dorado 116k Putting the finishing touches on piping. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Dorado 202k Officers and crew of the Dorado (SS-248) at their commissioning party taken 13 August 1943 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT. Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 323k Officers and crew of the Dorado (SS-248) with their wives and girl friends at their commissioning party. The photo was taken 13 August 1943 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT.
Dorado's (CO), LCDR Earle (Penrod) C. Schneider, former (XO) of the Trigger (SS-237), and son of a Chief Torpedo-man, is the first officer in the first row, on the right hand side, sixth person in, sitting with his wife's arm around him; his (XO), LCDR George A. Wagner & his wife, are the eighth & ninth in the third row (last row sitting, next to the guy wearing glasses to his right). LCDR D. Glass, Jr., is I believe, six people to the left of LCDR Schneider.
Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 38k Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT, where the Dorado (SS-248) and other crews celebrated before heading off to war. The building has since burned down. Photo courtesy of Patrick Donnelly, DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 24k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Dorado's (SS-248) commissioning, 28 August 1943. Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 50k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Dorado's (SS-248) commissioning, 28 August 1943. Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 166k Bow view of the Dorado (SS-248) on sea trials off the New England coast, August 1943. Electric Boat photo in the NARA (National Archives & Records Administration) files, courtesy of Patrick Donnelly, DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 147k Stern view of the Dorado (SS-248) on sea trials off the New England coast, August 1943. Electric Boat photo in the NARA (National Archives & Records Administration) files, courtesy of Patrick Donnelly, DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 61k LCDR. Earle Caffrey Schneider, Commander of the Dorado (SS-248) at the time of her loss. USN photo via Bill Gonyo.
Dorado 568k Gato class submarine Dorado (SS-248) was lost at night. Painting courtesy of Ben Kennedy.
Dorado 122k "Fire away! Buy extra bonds," by Georges Schreiber, Oil on board, 1944.
The first Series E U.S. Savings Bond was purchased by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 1 May 1941. During WWII war bonds were a source of monetary income for the United States government. Americans were urged to buy war bonds and war savings stamps. Purchasing bonds was considered not only patriotic, but also an investment in victory. While the initial goal of selling war bonds was to finance the war, it had the positive side-effect of raising morale on the home-front.
By the end of the war 85 million Americans had invested in war bonds. The 5th war loan campaign began on 12 June 1944 with a goal of $16 billion. When this campaign ended on 8 July 1944, $20.6 billion worth of bonds had been sold.
In the upper left corner of this poster is a reference to the Dorado (SS-248).
Text and photo courtesy of the Illinois State Library, library.uiuc.edu.,
Poster published by the United States Government Printing Office, United States Treasury Department War Finance Division, entitled "Fire Away" by Georges Schreiber, Oil on board, 1944.
Dorado 181k U.S. Navy Martin PBM-3S Mariner patrol bomber, circa 1944. Photo courtesy of flugzeuginfo.net.
Dorado 17k 50th anniversary commemorative Dorado (SS-248) envelope. Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 123k U.S. Sub Vets Memorial to the Dorado (SS-248) at Wichita, Kansas. Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 96k Memorial to the Dorado (SS-248) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com
Dorado 77k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Dorado (SS-248).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Dorado 65k Google Earth satellite photo of the site and surrounding islands of Dorado's (SS-248) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Dorado and her crew.View courtesy of Google Earth.
Tolling the Boats 117k Joyce DaSilva, the wife of Jesse DaSilva of the Tang (SS-306), one of the nine survivors of the boat, 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 Ballou of Rhode Island was killed in the battle, and just before it he had wrote 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!"
Text i.d. courtesy of Marlynn Starring. Photo i.d. courtesy of Chuck Senior, Vice Commander, Los Angeles-Pasadena Base, USSVI.
USN photo # N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
Tolling the Boats 304k Memorial to Dorado (SS-248) crew.

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./"
Courtesy of Robert Miller's Albums : National Sub Memorial - West / epson.com.
Abbott Collection of Submarine Paintings of the Dorado
Dorado 1.00k Thomas Hart Benton & Georges Schreiber, 1943 collaborated in producing the Abbott Collection of Submarine Paintings, a project largely executed aboard the American submarine Dorado (SS-248), that was later lost in action with all hands.
The officer between the two artists is LCDR. Earle Caffrey Schneider, Commander of the Dorado at the time of her loss.
She appears here somewhere off the coast of New England.
Photo courtesy of aaa.si.edu.
Dorado 50k Thomas Hart Benton & Georges Schreiber, 1943 collaborated in producing the Abbott Collection of Submarine Paintings, a project largely executed aboard the American submarine Dorado (SS-248), that was later lost in action with all hands. The following drawings are from their collection, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
"Sleek and cigar-shaped like the submarine itself, marine torpedoes are loaded aboard the undersea warship in dock. The greatest care must be exercised in this operation-- not only because of the danger, which is comparatively slight, but because a slip might injure one of the immensely valuable "tin fish".
Photo entitled "Loading Tin Fish", by Georges Schreiber #9, Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JB. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 64k Dorado (SS-248), firing on a derelict cargo ship for target practice during its shakedown cruise, summer 1943. Following its commissioning in the fall of that year, Dorado , sailed for the Canal Zone, but never arrived. Air searches discovered oil slicks and widely scattered debris, but no specific identification was made. A German submarine was known to be operating in the area, but the actual fate of Dorado is unknown. Photo entitled "Score Another for the Subs" by Thomas Hart Benton, #22 Oil on board, 1943. # 88-159-BN, Gift of Abbott Laboratories.
Dorado 65k There is no surcease in the vigilance aboard a submarine. Vulnerable to depth charges and bombs, eternally a "lone wolf" on a mission, the Dorado (SS-248) must be ready to crash-dive at an instant's notice. The skipper and executive of "old 204" augment the regular lookouts on the conning tower between submerging. Photo entitled "Conning Tower" by Georges Schreiber, #19 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JL. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 73k Relieving the tension of hours below surface, crewmen on board Dorado (SS-248) play a round of cards while a shipmate kibitzes from his bunk. While pondering his cards, each player also listens for the call to battle stations. In the foreground, the bulbous warheads of twin torpedoes seem to peer balefully in quest of targets. Photo entitled "All Hands Below" by Georges Schreiber, #2 Watercolor, 1943. #88-159-IU. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 39k The lowly mule still pulls guns and supply wagons, the foot-soldier still fights hand-to-hand with the foe...and the mess cook must still peel potatoes by hand. Some U.S. Navy ships have automatic peelers, but Dorado (SS-248) doesn't, but don't mention it to this man! Photo entitled "War Isn't All Mechanized" by Thomas Hart Benton, #11 Pen and ink on paper, circa 1944. # 88-159-BC. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 51k Sweater-clad U.S. Navy submarine men blend into the gloomy background of their ship, Dorado (SS-248), illuminated in eerie fashion by a light in the overhead, as they go about their duties far below the surface while on a patrol mission. An officer keeps his eyes glued to the periscope as he scans the horizon for the outline of an enemy ship. Photo entitled "Up Periscope" by Thomas Hart Benton, #24, Oil on canvas, circa 1944. # 88-159-BP. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 51k A smudge of smoke on the horizon reveals the presence of an enemy ship, pray for the Dorado's (SS-248) hungry torpedoes. Only her periscope shows as the sub races below surface to get within target range of her next victim. Photo entitled "Sighting the Target" by Georges Schreiber, #16 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JI. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 89k Men and machinery jam the tiny conning tower of Dorado (SS-248), tense yet cool as they await a report from the officer, Earle (Penrod) C. Schneider, LCDR (CO) peering through the periscope. Navigators pore over their charts at the left, beside them a "talker" awaits a command, while at the right a crewman climbs up the ladder from the control room below. Photo entitled "Up Periscope" by Georges Schreiber, #1 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-IT. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 67k Specialists of the Silent Service -- the submarine fleet of the U.S. Navy-- eye their gauges and instruments with calculating care as Dorado (SS-248) slides through the dark water eighty feet below the surface. Heart of the undersea vessel, the control room contains the giant wheels which operate the diving planes. Here also is the "Christmas Tree", where green or red lights, constantly gleaming and blinking, reveal whether valves and hatches are safely rigged for diving. At the right a "talker" inputs vital information to other parts of the ship, while at the left a crewman goes up the ladder to the conning tower, located just above the control room. Photo entitled "Eighty Feet Below" by Georges Schreiber, #18 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JK,Gift of Abbott Laboratories, courtesy of DR. Douglas Campbell & ussdorado.com via emory.edu.
Dorado 87k The crucial moment has arrived-- the vital occasion for which the Dorado (SS-248) was built and the men were trained -- the firing of torpedoes at an enemy ship. In the confinement of the machinery-laden warship the tension is almost a physical presence as all watch the marksmen ready their deadly bolt. Photo entitled "Stand By to Fire" by Georges Schreiber #17 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JJ. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 33k Up from the depth, like a primordial monster, the Dorado (SS-248) rises to charge her batteries, and "air out" under the protective blanket of the night. Often a submarine spends the whole day on the bottom when enemy ships or planes are about. Photo entitled "Surface" by Georges Schreiber #15 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JH. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 42k Crewmen of Dorado (SS-248) race up ladders to get aloft through the open hatchway of the conning tower, exhilarated by their eagerness to get a breath of fresh air after hours of confinement below. Photo entitled "Up the Hatch" by Thomas Hart Benton, #25, Oil on press board, circa, 1944. # 88-159-BQ. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 63k Final act in a drama at sea. The skipper of Dorado (SS-248), LCDR Earle (Penrod) C. Schneider, and one of his lookouts watch eagerly through their glasses as the victim of their torpedoes up-ends and plunges toward the bottom... one less ship for the enemy to throw against the Allies. The flame of the fire lights a pathway for the sub as she races toward the sinking ship in the hope of picking up prisoners. Photo entitled "The Kill" by Georges Schreiber, #14, Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JG. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 61k Choosing to fight on the surface rather than crash-dive, Dorado (SS-248) relies on her three-inch gun rather than costlier torpedoes. While lookouts eye the skies for signs of enemy planes, the gun crew speedily prepares to open fire on the foe. High seas-- a constant peril on the narrow, slippery deck of a sub-- add their menace to the scene. Photo entitled "Clear for Action" by Georges Schreiber, #20 Watercolor, 1943. #88-159-JM. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 76k Completely relaxed in exhaustion, crewmen of Dorado (SS-248) do "bunk duty" above a deadly but quiescent torpedo. A shipmate whiles away his off-duty interlude by reading. Photo entitled "Slumber Deep" by Thomas Hart Benton, #19 Watercolor on paper, circa 1944. # 88-159-BK. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 67k Excited gestures add emphasis to a crewman's comments on some news contained in a letter received from home. His shipmates peruse the letter while a fourth crewman does "bunk duty" on board Dorado (SS-248). Photo entitled "News from Home" by Georges Schreiber, #13 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JF. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 43k Eyes almost closed in concentration as he reads a periodical spread open on his leg, a crewman munches on a sandwich and sips a cup of the ubiquitous Navy "jamoke"--coffee aboard Dorado (SS-248). Photo entitled "Coffee and Chow" by Thomas Hart Benton #18 Pen and ink on paper, circa 1944. # 88-159-BJ. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
Dorado 50k "Going Home", that phrase sounds sweeter to a submarine man than the men of perhaps any other branch of the Navy. Fine-drawn and weary from weeks of patrolling enemy waters, with death often just around the corner, the submarine man and his ship both need rest and "overhauling" when their mission is concluded. A dark, pencil-like shadow under lowering skies, the Dorado (SS-248) skims along on the surface while the night hides her from enemy eyes. Photo entitled "Going Home" by Georges Schreiber #21 Watercolor, 1943. # 88-159-JN. Gift of Abbott Laboratories,
The Search
Dorado 304k Google Earth satellite photo of the site and surrounding islands of Dorado's (SS-248) last known position (based on reports from the flight crew of the plane that bombed her, thinking she was a U-Boat) was 15 18'N, 073 13'W.(More or less near the letter a of the Caribbean Sea on the map)
After the war the U-boat logs were turned over to the Allies and translated into English. The U-boat that was attacked by the same aircrew was the aircrew's second attack but the U-Boat's first. The U-boat log says that they saw a bright light on the horizon at exactly the same time that the PBM dropped a flare after bombing another sub - Dorado. Now, where Dorado sank is another problem as there were no oil slicks or debris found at the location. The oil slick they thought they found turned out to be "oleous in nature" - rotting vegetation (seaweed) as discussed in the Court of Inquiry. But her datum is right in the middle of the Caribbean, having passed through Mona Passage and was supposed to be on a course of 243 degrees taking her directly to the Panama Canal.
View courtesy of Google Earth. Text courtesy of Douglas E. Campbell, Ph.D. President & CEO Syneca Research Group, Inc. & ussdorado.com.
Tolling the Boats 304k A view of the Dorado (SS-248) at a fitting-out pier where technicians install interior equipment.
Note the ship's bell.
PDF on the Summer 2007 expedition on the search for the Dorado (SS-248).
Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of Life.
PDF courtesy of Dr. Douglas Camp.

View the Dorado (SS-248)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable to this Vessel
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
On Eternal Patrol

ComSubPac Report of loss of USS DORADO (SS 248) October 12, 1943 - 77 Men Lost
In Search of the U.S.S. Dorado (SS-248)
U.S.S. Dorado (SS-248)
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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