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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left courtesy of Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.) Other patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Raton (SS-270) (SSR-270) (AGSS-270)

Radio Call Sign: November - Whiskey - Delta - Foxtrot

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 29 May 1942, at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI.; Launched, 24 January 1943; Commissioned USS Raton (SS-270), 13 July 1943; Decommissioned, 11 March 1949, at New London, CT.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, New London Group; Towed to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA. for conversion to a Radar Picket Submarine; Redesignated (SSR-270), 18 July 1952; Recommissioned, USS Raton (SSR-270), 21 September 1953; Reclassified Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS-270), 1 July 1960; Decommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA., and struck from the Naval Register, 28 June 1969; The stripped hull was designated as a target ship for Pacific Fleet gunnery exercise; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to American Ship Dismantlers Corp., Portland, OR. for 37,128.00 on 12 October 1973. Removed 15 December 1973. Raton received 6 battle stars for World War II service. Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.) & 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, 116,000 gal., four General Electric main motors, 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin propellers.

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Raton104kThe first of the sections of the Raton (SS-270) on blocks. Section "H" which was in the middle and was first erected so that they could build in both directions from it.
Editors Note: There are over 200 images submitted on these pages covering the following submarines that were constructed at the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI,: SS-265 through SS-274, and SS-361 through SS-380.
None of them would have seen the light of day if it were not for the efforts of former Curator, Asst. Director, Bill Thiesen of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum Larry Bohn, Caitlin Clyne, Rolf Johnson & Susan Menk who sent them to NavSource for publication.
A special debt of gratitude is owed to them and the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, home of the Cobia (SS-245) for allowing these photographs to be seen by the lovers of naval history worldwide.
Raton17kCommemorative post card on the occasion of the Raton's (SS-270) launching, 24 January, 1943.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Sponsor248k Submarine Raton (SS-270), Hull #318, on launching day, 24 January 1943. Mrs Charles C. West, sponsor of the Raton on the launching platform. Note the circled x scrawled on the bow indicating where the bottle of champagne should be aimed during the launching. It was difficult to break the bottle on the smooth curved plate. By the time that the Rock (SS-274) was launched on 20 June 1943, a special angle iron plate was tack welded in place with a sharp edge showing, which made breaking the bottle much easier. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Susan Menk, Archives Assistant, Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
This photo, # 2001-1-1837, can be ordered (without the watermark) from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
Photo added 02/03/14.
Raton101k Boat's builder, Charles Cameron West, President of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company and Mrs. West, sponsor of the Raton (SS-270), at launching, 24 January, 1943.Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Raton56kRaton (SS-270), about to be launched at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 24 January 1943. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Manitowoc55k Watercolor print by the artist Tom Denton of the side launching of a Manitowoc built boat. Courtesy of submarineart.com
Raton19kRaton (SS-270), surfacing from the depths of Lake Michigan during her sea trials, January 1943. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Raton77kRaton (SS-270), surfacing from the depths of Lake Michigan during her sea trials, 1 July 1943. USNHC Photo # 68814, courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Raton132k The Raton (SS-270) probably underway during trials in Lake Michigan, 1 July 1943. USN Photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Raton48k In order to deliver the subs to New Orleans, the equipment above the conning tower had to be removed and secured on deck to enable the sub to pass under a bridge in the Chicago River. The sub was then mounted on a floating drydock to get it through the shallow areas in the Mississippi River. A book has been published on the trials and tribulations of the moves and is available at the museum. In this photo the Raton (SS-270) has had the upper works removed prior to drydocking. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Raton47k Moving the subs was not an easy task. Here the Raton (SS-270) prepares for the journey down the Mississippi River on her way to the war in the Pacific by entering a floating dry-dock. 1943. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Raton150kRaton (SS-270), in a floating drydock that will be towed to New Orleans. The subs draft was too deep for the Mississippi River, 1943. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Raton42kRaton (SS-270) emblem. Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum home of the Cobia (SS-245).
Raton102kForward mounted 40mm gun onboard the Raton (SS-270), following an overhaul at Mare Island, March 1945. The small hatch to the left of the gun on the deck was for ammunition passing. USN Archives Photo # 80-G-80436, courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Raton461kRaton's (SS-270) James W. Davis and another officer standing at attention on the deck of the submarine.Image from the papers of RADM James W. Davis, Jr @ East Carolina University courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Raton731kRaton (SS-270) on the water with sailors standing on the deck and docked ships in the background. Image from the papers of RADM James W. Davis, Jr @ East Carolina University courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Raton411kTwo sailors holding up the boat's battleflag during World War II. Image from the papers of RADM James W. Davis, Jr @ East Carolina University courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Tambor 201k Forward plan view of Tambor (SS-198) at Mare Island on 24 February 1945. Shipyard records indicate that Ray (SS-271) and Greenling (SS-213) were berthed immediately aft of Tambor and behind these two boats were Cero (SS-225) and Raton (SS-270). US Navy Photo # 1398-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Sand Lance245k Bow on view of Sand Lance (SS-381) off Mare Island on 26 February 1945.
In the background is a stern view of either Snapper (SS-185), Cero (SS-225), & Raton (SS-270). All were out in the bay that day.
USN photo # 1445-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Raton173k Raton (SSR-270) off Mare Island on 9 March 1945. USN Photo # 1715-45 courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Raton215kBow on view of Raton (SS-270) off Mare Island on 9 March 1945. She was in overhaul at the yard from 13 December 1944 to 13 March 1945. U.S. Navy Photo # 1711-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Raton253k Stern view of Raton (SS-270) departing Mare Island on 9 March 1945. The Mare Island Light House is in the background. U.S. Navy Photo # 1716-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Raton310k Forward plan view of Raton (SS-270) at Mare Island on 12 March 1945. The stern of the Ray (SS-271) is in the background. U.S. Navy Photo # 1791-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Raton270kAft plan view of Raton (SS-270) at Mare Island on 12 March 1945. The bow of the Muskallunge (SS-262) is just visible in the background.U.S. Navy Photo # 1793-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Raton185kRaton (SS-270) & Gato (SS-212) 1946, in New York. Courtesy of John Hummel
Raton41k Raton's (SS-270) WWII battleflag. USN Photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Raton1.90kMiddle fifties view of the Raton (SS-270). Photo scanned by Ryan Crierie, via flickr, courtesy of Stephen Gower.
Raton221k Raton (SSR-270) as a Radar Picket submarine, with a slightly different configuration, circa 1953-60. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Raton157kStern view of the Raton (SSR-270) as an SSR. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Raton459kBow view of the Raton (SSR-270) as an SSR. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Raton41kStarboard side view of the Raton (SS-270) underway, possibly of Hawaii, circa 1950's. Courtesy of John Hummel.
Raton1.80k15 September 1955 found the Raton (SS-270) in the middle a 6-month deployment to WestPac. She returned to San Diego on 6 November 1955.Photo # 80-G-681529 scanned by Ryan Crierie, via flickr, courtesy of Stephen Gower.
Raton1.80kRaton's (SS-270) radar reviewed.Photo # 80-G-681530 scanned by Ryan Crierie, via flickr, courtesy of Stephen Gower.
Raton574kAfter overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, from 7 July to 24 November 1958, and underway training, the submarine deployed to the 7th Fleet from early March 1959 to mid-November, participating in operations with SEATO and the Japanese Maritime Defense Force.
The Raton (SS-270) is shown underway, possibly off Guam on 9 November 1959.
US Navy photo courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
Raton360kLocal fleet and type operations filled 1965 and early 1966 when Raton (AGSS-270) once more followed the setting sun in mid-April for another tour of duty with the 7th Fleet. While deployed, Raton exercised with SEATO naval units in Exercise "Sea Imp." On 17 October 1966 Raton returned to San Diego.
Raton's forward torpedo room is pictured here in 1966.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
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 stand at Mare Island on 28 June 1969.Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Pampanito and Grayback 145k Bow view of the Pampanito (SS-383) approximately 1970 at Mare Island. The boat to the left of the Pampanito is the Grayback (APSS-574). The boat to the right of the Pampanito is most likely Raton (SSR-270). Otherships identifiable in the background are the Canberra (CA-70), Litchfield County (LST-901), and Sedgwick County (LST-1123). Grayback had just finished conversion to APSS and the rest of the ships were mothballed. Text info courtesy of Dave Johnston.
USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.

View the Raton (SS/SSR/AGSS-270)
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
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
Manitowoc Built Submarines

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