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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left contributed by John Hummel. Other patches contributed by Mike Smolinski.

Redfin (SS-272) (SSR-272) (AGSS-272)

Radio Call Sign: November - Whiskey - Golf - Charlie

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 3 September 1942, at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI.; Launched, 4 April 1943; Commissioned USS Redfin (SS-272), 31 August 1943; Decommissioned, 1 November 1946, at New London, CT.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, New London Group; Reclassified a Radar Picket Submarine on 2 January 1951; Towed in April 1951 to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA. for conversion to a Radar Picket Submarine; Recommissioned, USS Redfin (SSR-272), 9 January 1953; In April 1959 she entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and received an inertial guidance system. Redfin became a laboratory and training ship for the testing of inertial guidance systems used in Polaris submarines. She preceded the first ballistic missile submarine George Washington (SSBN-598) as flagship of Submarine Squadron 14. She was reclassified SS-272 on 15 August 1959; After searching for the lost Thresher (SS-593) in April 1963, she was Reclassified Auxiliary Research Submarine, (AGSS-272), 28 June 1963; Decommissioned, 15 May 1967, and placed in service as a Naval Reserve Training Vessel at Baltimore, MD.; Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1970; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 31 March 1971, to North American Smelting Co., Wilmington, DE. Redfin received 6 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, 116,000 gal., four General Electric main motors, 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin propellers.
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Redfin262k Montage of commemorative post marks on the occasion of the Redfin's (SS-272) keel laying, launching & commissioning at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin40kRedfin (SS-272) starboard side view just prior to being side launched on the building ways at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 4 April 1943.Photo by Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
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.
Sponsor243k Submarine Redfin (SS-272), Hull #320, Sponsor, Mrs. B. B. Wygant, and Captain Wygant on the launching platform on 4 April 1943. 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, # 2001-1-1887, can be ordered (without the watermark) from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
Redfin353kCapt. Benyaurd Bourne Wygant and Mrs. Katharine (Heffenger) Wygant pose for a photo on Redfin (SS-272) shortly before launching at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 4 April 1943.Photo courtesy of ussredfin.com.
Redfin38kRedfin (SS-272) bow view prior to being side launched on the building ways at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 4 April 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).
Redfin47kRedfin (SS-272) starting to enter the water at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 4 April 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).
Redfin51kThe launching timbers are begining to feel Redfin's (SS-272) weight as she starts entering the water of the Manitowoc River at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 4 April 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
Redfin265kRedfin (SS-272) underway during her sea trials on Lake Michigan shortly after launching at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., 4 April 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).
Redfin238kStarboard side view of the Redfin (SS-272), probably during shakedown trials, April 1943 on Lake Michigan. USN Photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Redfin133kRedfin (SS-272) as she looked during WW II.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin318kOfficers & gentelmen of the Redfin (SS-272).Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Redfin55kRedfin (SS-272) plankowners pose at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co, Manitowoc, WI., circa April 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).
Harry Berns485kPhoto of Harry Berns, Official photographer of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.
The photo of the Golet (SS-361) encased in snow appears on the wall above him on the upper right.
His obituary appears here.
Photo courtesy of Susan Menk, Archives Assistant, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Dee Anna Grimsrud,Reference Archivist, Wisconsin Historical Society, Steve Khail, CBC, Director of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. & William Young.
Blackfish800kAdmiral James Fife presenting submarine combat pins to the crew of the Blackfish (SS-221) on 23 December 1943 at Milne Bay.
The boat to starboard is the Redfin (SS-272). The non-drilled out roundover should have been my first clue, along with the non-covered wagon bridge. The photo was apparently taken at Milne Bay, not Brisbane. That's where Blackfish ended that patrol, and that's where Redfin called on her way eventually to Fremantle; her routing orders were changed from Brisbane to Milne Bay partway across the Pacific from the Canal Zone. The smallish off-center bridge strongly suggests a Manitowac boat, and Redfin seems to fit the bill. Other details, like the square cut vertical trailing edge of the lookout platform, the tripod 20mm base, and the four incher forward deck gun also match.
US National Archives photo # 80-G-394429 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo i.d. & Redfin (SS-272) i.d. text courtesy of Robert Morgan.
Redfin209kRedfin (SS-272) underway, circa 1943-44.Contributed by John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Redfin1.10kCompleting her fourth war patrol 7 January 1945, she proceeded to Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, where she received special mine detection gear. Underway from Pearl Harbor 30 May to 10 July, and later from 30 July to 5 September she made mine surveys first off Honshu and Hokkaido, and later off Kyushu, Japan.
She is shown here during her 1945 visit.
Among the crew members who reported aboard was LT John Russell Bond, who served on the Redfin (SS-272) from 07/22/45 - 11/26/45. He recently passed away at the age of 94 on July 29th, 2012.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com & J. Scott Bond.
Redfin242k Amidsips looking aft plan view of Redfin (SS-272) at Mare Island on 10 April 1945. She was in overhaul at the yard from 16 January to 12 April 1945. U.S. Navy Photo # 2560-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Redfin370kBroadside view of the Redfin (SS-272) off Mare Island on 12 April 1945.U.S. Navy Photo # 2681-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Redfin224k Bow on view of Redfin (SS-272) off Mare Island on 10 April 1945 U.S. Navy Photo # 2683-45, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Redfin39kA painted Redfin (SS-272) at Pearl Harbor with some unknown company; the colorful art would have to come off before they went out to sea again, circa 1945.Photo courtesy of George Alan Stephens, submitted by Michael Stephens.
Redfin42kA painted Redfin (SS-272) at Pearl Harbor with some unknown company; circa 1945. Ship's patch and score card seem to indicate that it is towards the end of the war.Photo courtesy of George Alan Stephens, submitted by Michael Stephens.
Redfin63k Redfin's (SS-272) logo and scorecard painted on her bridge at Pearl Harbor, circa 1945.
Photo courtesy of George Alan Stephens, submitted by Michael Stephens.
Redfin34k Redfin's (SS-272) logo, circa 1945.Photo courtesy of George Alan Stephens, submitted by Michael Stephens.
Redfin121k Redfin's (SS-272) battle flag & logo, circa 1945.Photo courtesy of George Alan Stephens, submitted by Michael Stephens.
Redfin30kRedfin (SS-272), off Mare Island during a refit where she received special mine detection gear, circa January 1945. Text from DANFS,US Navy photo courtesy of Hyperwar US Navy in WW II.
Redfin121kRedfin (SS-272) off Mare Island Naval Base, 12 April 1945 with cut down bridge. The forward 20mm gun has been replaced with a 40mm.US Navy photo contributed by John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Redfin92kWWII battleflag of the Redfin (SS-272). USN Photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Redfin92k "Naval engineers and shipyard workers at the PNS met the problem of installing a large amount of new electronic equipment in a submarine with typical Yankee ingenuity.
Instead of jamming the gear into the subs Ray (SS-271) & Redfin (SS-272), already snugly packed, like all subs-they cut the subs in two and inserted a prefabricated section.
The round the sub cut was made with acetylene burners. It was done just a little forward of amidships. The inserted section was 30 feet long, making the sub's length 342 feet.
Four other Fleet-type subs are scheduled for the same operation. The six boats will be "an entirely new type of underseas weapon"-all that can be disclosed at the present".
Cut in two, Redfin has her bow section pulled forward on greased rails to allow for the installation of a new 30-foot section.
Submitted by Stan Svec from the October 1951 issue of All Hands Magazine.
Redfin94k Redfin (SSR-272) in Drydock at the Phila. Naval Yard, 1951, cut in two & waiting for the Navigational Information Center to be placed between control and forward battery.
Note the battleship South Dakota (BB-57) in the background.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired. Photo I.d. courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Redfin25kRedfin's (SS-272) control Room.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin28k Conning tower, (helm) of the Redfin (SS-272). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin33kRedfin's (SS-272) forward torpedo room. (Note small Japanese flags on ventelation line, flags were painted by Jim Gradless TM1(SS). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin38k Forward torpedo room of the Redfin (SS-272). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin29kRedfin's (SS-272) radio room.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin25kAfter battery (mess hall) of the Redfin (SS-272). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin383kRedfin (SS-272) chow hall (after battery, 1953).Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin284kYoung skipper of Redfin (SS-272) (1953).Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin141kRedfin's (SS-272) chiefs,(1953).Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin215kInspection time for the crew of the Redfin (SS-272) (1953).Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin139kRedfin (SS-272) with the Grampus (SS-523) and other subs alongside Orion (AS-18) was taken between 1953-55. The "Nodding idiot" on Redfin was converted to the electronic version in 1956. The other 3 boats are from outboard in Migraine II Requin (SS-481) and Migraine I Burrfish (SS-312) and Tigrone (SS-419). The order of the last 2 might be reversed. Text contributed by Larry Derouin. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin113kRedfin (SSR-272) with large radar in SSR guise. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin151k Redfin (SSR-272) underway, circa 1953-57. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Picuda 176k Redfin (SSR-272), Tench (SS-417), Picuda (SS-382) at San Juan, P. R., 14 March 1954. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Ray56kRay (SS-271) & Redfin (SS-272), 1957 at Lorient France.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin119k At Marseille, France for 1958, Christmas. The Tirante (SS-420) and the Redfin (SS-272) are pictured from outboard to inboard. Submitted by Laurent LaMarche.
Redfin53k Redfin (SS-272) underway, 14 January 1959 at Genoa Italy.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin57k Redfin (SS-272) underway circa late 1950's, early 1960's.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin295kDate of this photo is between 1960 and 1963. The port and starboard whip antenna's are the clue…Also Redfin (SS-272) has her bridge wings that she didn't have in 1959. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Thresher57kNavy ships circle in the vicinity of the site of Thresher's (SSN-593) sinking, 15 April 1963, five days after her loss. Ships are (left to right): Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618); Sunbird (ASR-15); Warrington (DD-843), group flagship; and Redfin (SS-272). Photographed by PHCS Parker.Official U.S. Navy Photograph # NH 97555, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Redfin83kRedfin (SS-272) underway VA., capes op area 1963. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin139kRedfin (SS-272) in 1963. Photograped by the Enterprise (CVN-65) and submitted by John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin268k MK-14 Torpedo fired by the James Madison (SSBN-627), being recovered by the crew of the Redfin (SS-272), August 1964.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
James Madison75k Photo from the deck of the Redfin (SS-272) in the VA. CAPES OP area off Virginia, August 1964. The James Madison (SSBN-627) crosses Redfin's (SS-272) bow. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Redfin144k August 1964 photo of the Redfin (SS-272) with the TBT close up, and Ralph Nelson Whistler on left (Redfin's CO 1964/65). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin49kRedfin (AGSS-272) in Drydock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA 1965. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin76k Port side view of the Redfin (SSR-272) underway in 1965. The head under the bubble is the Engineering officer. The thing on the bow is the insides of the MK 48 torpedo...we were running test to see how wave motion effected the fish. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin, Runner, Requin & Argonaut44kRedfin (SS-272) inboard of Runner (SS-476), Requin (SS-481) and Argonaut (SS-475) with other subs of SubRon 6, circa mid-late 1960's, at Norfolk pier #22 D&S. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin & Sealion393kRedfin (SS-272) & Sealion (APSS-315) in Saint Thomas, V.I. in 1966.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Shark, Triton, Redfin & Requin 127k Shark (SSN-591), in port at San Juan, PR., 1965. Triton (SSN-586) on left, you just see her topside. Redfin, (SS-272) and Requin (SS-481) are outboard of her. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin145kRedfin's (SS-272) bell and clapper.Photo courtesy of Jack March via John Hummel.

View the Redfin (SS/SSR/AGSS-272)
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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