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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Mingo (SS-261)
Keel Laying - WW II Service

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Echo - Mike

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Post WW II


Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 21 March 1942, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 30 November 1942; Commissioned USS Mingo (SS-261), 12 February 1943; Decommissioned, 1 January 1947, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet;Recommissioned on 5 December 1951 but decommissioned again on 4 December 1953; Laid up. Recommissioned, 20 May 1955; Decommissioned, 15 August 1955; Transferred, on loan, under the Military Assistance Program, to Japan, renamed Kuroshio (SS-501); Decommissioned by Japanese Navy, 31 March 1966; Struck from the US Naval Register,on 20 February 1971; Sold to Japan this date; Final Disposition, sunk as a target in 1973. Mingo received 5 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 Hoover, Owens, Rentschler Co. main generator diesel engines, 5,400HP, Fuel Capacity, 97,140 gal., four Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co. main motors, 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Mingo 16k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of the keel laying of the Mingo (SS-261) at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 21 March 1942. USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Mingo 57k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of Mingo's (SS-261) launching at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 30 November 1942. USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Lockwood 155k Lt. Commander Ralph Huntington Lockwood returned from the Pacific reporting to the Submarine Base, New London, where he had brief instruction as a prospective submarine commanding officer and after fitting out Mingo (SS-261) assumed command at its commissioning on 12 February 1943. Under his command, Mingo made war patrols in the Caroline Islands, Ponape, Palau and Marianas areas. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and a gold star in lieu of a second Bronze Star for commanding Mingo during this period. Image from the San Diego Navy Historical Association courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Mingo 17k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of Mingo's (SS-261) commissioning, 12 February 1943. USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Mingo 29k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of Mingo's (SS-261) first day in commission, 12 February 1943. USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Barb 709k Bow on view of Lake (DE-301) and Lyman (DE-302) berthed at a fitting out dock at the Mare Island Navy Yard prior to commissioning on 10 January 1944. Aft of them are Crowley (DE-303) and Rall (DE-304). Immediately aft of Rall and Crowley are submarines Mingo (SS-261) and Barb (SS-220). The tender in the background is Howard W. Gilmore (AS-16) at her fitting out berth with YD-33 along side. U.S. Navy photo #19-N-86023 from the National Archives and Records Administration, courtesy of   Chris Wright & Ed Zajkowski.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 72k Stern view of the Mingo (SS-261) while undergoing testing at Mare Island, CA., 3 February 1944. USN photo # 776-44 courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Mingo 81k Bow view of the Mingo (SS-261) while undergoing testing at Mare Island, CA., 3 February 1944.
USN photo # 770-44 courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Mingo 225k By now, the length of the fairwater was reduced and by 1944 this was the basic shape of the fairwater. This view of the Mingo (SS-261),which is painted in overall black, was taken on 2 February 1944 during refit at Mare Island. Tripod legs have replaced the cast bases of the 20mm guns and the 4"/50 cal deck gun has been installed. The paint looks glossy but this is due to the rain.
Forward of the Mingo are two Mk5 type LCT. The inboard vessel is LCT 151. I can't identify the other LCT for sure but it is likely to be LCT 152, since Mare Island launched these vessels in pairs.
US Navy Photo # 759-44 by Darryl Baker, text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Mingo 159k The after portion of the Mingo (SS-261) during the 2 February 1944 refit. The after torpedo loading hatch is open with some access hatches in the main deck. Details can be seen of the after escape hatch and marker buoy. This EB designed boat has a full length wood deck. US Navy photo # 760-44 by Darryl Baker, text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Mingo 77k Broadside view of the Mingo (SS-261) off Mare Island on 3 February 1944. She was in overhaul at the yard from 29 November 1943 until 3 February 1944. US Navy photo # 778-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 175k Stern view of Mingo (SS-261) departing Mare Island on 20 July 1945. US Navy photo # 5378-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 220k Bow on view of Mingo (SS-261) departing Mare Island on 20 July 1945 with the Nereus (AS-17) to the left. Mingo was in overhaul at the yard from 4 May to 9 August 1945. US Navy photo # 5382-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 69k The lighter tone of the Measure 10 Grey System for submarines is evident in this photo of the Mingo (SS-261), underway, July 1945 off San Francisco. USN photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Mingo 172k This close up view of the Mingo (SS-261) shows the newly added "SV" antenna to replace the "SD" and the latest mod of the "SJ" radar. Also added in this July 1945 overhaul are the two 40mm guns added to the gun decks and the 5"25 gun aft. A twin 20mm gun is installed on the forward gun base. The gun itself is installed in the pressure proof ready lockers mounted in the bridge superstructure.USN Archives photo # 19-N-87825 courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press. Text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Mingo 89k Most fleet-type boats finished the war outfitted similar to this 25 July 1945 shot of Mingo (SS-261), mounting a 5"/25 aft, 40mm on the bridge platforms and in many boats a 20mm was placed over the main gun foundation forward. Text courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by of Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
US Navy photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Unknown Photos 1.18k The table below lists the location of submarines at Mare Island on 20 September 1945. This information was pulled from microfiche copies of the hand written shipyard journals. Iím surprised that both the clipping and my table show 21 subs at the yard on the date in question. The photo is looking north and berth 3 is at the top of the photo and then the berths run down or south.
Berth 3 - Springer (SS-414) & Spadefish (SS-411)
Berth 4 - Guavina (SS-362) & Barbero (SS-317)
Berth 5 - Hammerhead (SS-364), Tinosa (SS-283), Mapiro (SS-376) & Moray (SS-300)
Berth 6 - Bream (SS-243), Seahorse (SS-304), Batfish (SS-310) & Aspro (SS-309)
Berth 7 - Pomfret (SS-391), Parche (SS-384) & Sunfish (SS-281)
Berth 8 - Queenfish (SS-393)
Berth 9 - Lionfish (SS-298) & Plaice (SS-390)
Dry Dock 1 - Bashaw (SS-241) & Mingo (SS-261)
Berth 12 - Guitarro (SS-363).
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Mare Island Causeway 461k 6 December 45 photo appeared in the 14 December 45 issue of the Mare Island newspaper lists the following subs present at the dockyard:
Unknown, Dragonet (SS-293), Guavina (SS-362), Sunfish (SS-281), Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), Saury (SS-189).
First two ships in second row appear to be: Bashaw (SS-241) and Mingo (SS-261).
The Tiru (SS-416) is on the building ways on the left above the subs and surrounding by staging and cranes.
It is interesting to note that the boats have started the mothballing process, as evidenced by the preservative cocoons around the deck guns.
U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker. Partial text courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
Tiru 308k Bow view of the Tiru (SS-416) under construction at Mare Island on 3 January 1946. Submarines in the background are decommisioned or will soon be: from front to rear are Bashaw (SS-241), Pampanito (SS-383), Mingo (SS-261), Gurnard (SS-254), Macabi (SS-375), Tunny (SS-282), Guavina (SS-362) and Sand Lance (SS-381). USN photo # 18-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
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. Whether coincidental or on purpose, the number of boats in the photo is the same as that which were lost in WW II.
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.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet 900k Inactivated submarines at Mare Island on 3 January 1946.
Front row left to right: Sand Lance (SS-381), next two could be Sealion (SS-315) and Seahorse (SS-304), Searaven (SS-196), Pampanito (SS-383), Gurnard (SS-254), Mingo (SS-261), Guitarro (SS-363), Bashaw (SS-241).
Back row left to right: Unknown, Tunny (SS-282), next three could be Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), and Saury (SS-189), Macabi (SS-375), Sunfish (SS-281), Guavina (SS-362), Lionfish (SS-298),Piranha (SS-389).
The Scabbardfish (SS-397) is docked in ARD-11 on the other side of the causeway.

The mixture of boats from the Salmon/Sargo, Gato, and Balao classes illustrate the clear differences in the conning tower fairwaters and the periscope shears that can be used to identify boats. The high bridges with the uncovered support frames (the "covered wagon" look) of the Gato's and Salmon/Sargo's contrast with the low and sleek look of the Balao's. The fatter, more robust periscope shears of the Balao's are markedly different from the thinner shears with more supporting structure of the Gato's and Salmon/Sargo's.
The differences in the pattern of the superstructure limber holes can also be used for identification purposes. The single row of large semi-circular holes indentify Electric Boat or Manitowoc boats. A dual row of smaller rectangular holes mark the government built boats. Also note that the EB/Manitowoc boats have the deck mounted, T-shaped JP sonar head on the starboard side of the forward deck, while the government boats have it on the port side.
EB/Manitowoc boats had the anchor on the starboard side, the government boats on the port side. A close look will show that some of the boats have had the anchor removed and the hawsepipe plated over as part of the mothball process.
Most of the boats have the late war radar outfit of the SJ surface search (small dish) and SV air search (large dish). The Balao's and some of the Gato's have the SS dish mounted on a separate large mast aft of the periscopes. The older Salmon/Sargo's and Gato's have a much smaller mast. Searaven appears to have had her radars already removed.
Searaven is actually sporting a late war SJ surface search antennae mounted to starboard of the periscopes. This is a rare installation. Most often it was mounted forward (early war) or aft (late war) of the 'scopes shears. Her air search set is a late war SD antennae mounted on a stub mast directly aft of the 'scopes. Searaven never received the much more capable SV air search set. Having been assigned to training duties after November, 1944 it was probably felt that the SV set was not necessary.
One strange thing: almost all of the boats appear to have the outer doors of the forward torpedo tubes open. Even though the boats have an interlock system that prevents the breech and outer doors from being opened at the same time, this is an unusual thing to do and a potential source of catastrophic flooding.
U.S. Navy photo # 17-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Text courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
Mingo 122k LCDR F. E. Fry reads his orders during the re-commissioning of Mingo (SS-261) at Mare Island on 5 December 1951.
US Navy photo # 11226-12-51, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 118k TMC(SS) E. R. Chimm (COB) receives the jack while LT. W. V. Bennett (Commanding Officer) receives the ensign from EN1(SS) Parker Leach during the decommissioning of Mingo (SS-261) at Mare Island on 4 December 1953. Capt. Arnold Schade, COMSUBGROUP ONE, presided at the ceremony.
US Navy photo # 19480-12-53, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 171k Bow on view of Mingo (SS-261) departing Mare Island on 6 July 1955.
US Navy photo # 25891-7-55, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mingo 109k Broadside view of Mingo (SS-261) off Mare Island on 6 July 1955. She was in overhaul at the yard from 20 April to 18 July 1955.
US Navy photo # 25892-7-55, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Kuroshio (SS-501)
Mingo 505k How the Mingo (SS-261) became the Kuroshio. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
Mingo 89k The former Mingo (SS-261), is seen here as the Japanese Kuroshio in 1956. Notice that she still has her American i.d. number. Photo courtesy of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force via Jane's Fighting Ships, 1956-57 courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Mingo 129k The former Mingo (SS-261), is seen here as the Japanese Kuroshio (SS-501). This boat was turned over to the Japanese in 1957 to serve in the self-defense forces. She rests at buoy at U.S. Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan. Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Mingo 980k The Japanese Kuroshio late in her career. Photo courtesy of Chris Howel.

View the Mingo (SS-261)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

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Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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