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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Runner (SS-275)


Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 8 December 1941, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 30 May 1942; Commissioned USS Runner (SS-275), 30 July 1942; Sunk on 3rd patrol by a mine, June-July 1943, between Japan and Midway Island, all hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, 30 October 1943. Runner received one battle star for World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,410 t.; Length 311' 8"; Beam 27' 4"; 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 Fairbanks Morse main generator diesel engines, HP 5400, Fuel Capacity, 94,400 gals., four General Electric main motors, HP 2740, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin propellers.
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Runner1.30kBow view of Runner (SS-275) from the North catwalk, 3 January 1942, Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME. US National Archives photo # 19lcm 33 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Editors Note: None of the photos from NARA would have seen the light of day here if it were not for the effort of Sean Hert. to scan and send them to me. He and Tracy White have done this innumerable times and I owe them a heart felt debt of perpetual thanks for being my legs from over 6,000 miles away.
Thanks also to Tom Kermen for volunteering time and talent in retouching the photos.
Runner864kStern view of Runner (SS-275) from the South catwalk, 3 January 1942.
When this photo was taken, Portsmouth had four building ways in place, but they were not arranged in sequence! If you were to look into the big building shed from the water the ways were numbered 2, 4, 3, and 1. Therefore, the boat seen in these photos under construction on Runner's (SS-275) port side on 03 January 1942 was the Kingfish (SS-234), on Way #3.
The Shad (SS-235) is on Way # 2.
Here is where it gets interesting. Sometime between the date of this photo and 20 March 1942 (about 3 1/2 months later) the workers at Portsmouth rearranged the scaffolding between these two ways and inserted a fifth way (#1A)! The keel of Scorpion (SS-278) was laid there on 20 March while Runner was still under construction. By that date the way that Kingfish vacated (#3) now had Scamp (SS-277) on it.
US National Archives photo # 19lcm 34 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & Darryl L. Baker.
Runner198kRunner (SS-275) going down the ways, 30 May 1942 at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.US National Archives photo # 80G-11853 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner24kCommemorative launch tag on the occasion of Runner's (SS-275) launching from the Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard on 30 May 1942. Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Runner856kCommissioning of the Runner (SS-275), Capt. G.C. Criner, U.S.N. reading commissioning orders, 30 July 1942. US National Archives photo # 19lcm 777 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner868kCommissioning of the Runner (SS-275), LT. COMDR F.W. Fenno U.S.N., reading orders of taking of command, 30 July 1942. US National Archives photo # 19lcm 779 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner315kCommissioning of the Runner (SS-275): Left to right, LT. COMDR F.W. Fenno U.S.N., Lieutenant Joseph Hunt Bourland,U.S.N., Lieutenant Jud Francis Yoho, Jr., U.S.N., Lieutenant Richard Harold Seligman, U.S.N.R.,30 July 1942.
All except LT. COMDR F.W. Fenno would be K.I.A. with the loss of the boat in a little less than a year.
US National Archives photo # 19lcm 780 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner689kCommissioning of the Runner (SS-275), raising and salute to colors, 30 July 1942. US National Archives photo # 19lcm 778 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner574kBroadside view, 16 October 1942.
This is a good shot of the Runner (SS-275).
It is a very good representation of a variation on the first major revision to the conning tower fairwater. This is a Mod 2A. The bulwark around the cigarette deck has been cut down, and the plating around the periscope shears has been removed. The Mod 2 retained the plating on the shears. Notice in this photo that the deck gun is turned toward the photographer and is raised to its full elevation, nominally for use against aircraft. However, the boats rarely received the properly fused ammunition for anti-aircraft fire so in practice it was hardly ever fired in this configuration.
This is the same photo, but it is been through the censor's desk: (the radar antenna that was the fore most mast is missing,…you can even see the white out where it use to be) Robert Morgan writes: The SJ radar is there, but the scopes seem to not be in both versions. Were they not mounted yet? Or, did both scopes let into the control room, meaning that they were there but deep within their housings? Also, were the derricks fore and aft (torpedo recovery derricks, yes?) part of the boat's equipment or were they shipyard property and just installed locally as needed? That's what has me interested. If the derricks were there, it stands to reason that they were practicing torpedo firings and then recovering their practice shots, but without periscopes?
US National Archives photo # 19lcm 1087 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR), with input from John Hummel & Robert Morgan.
Runner807k Heading out for sea trials 16 October 1942, the Runner (SS-275), will soon make her first war patrol. This Portsmouth built boat had the anchor mounted on the port side and a high bridge as built. This would soon be cut down. Her "SJ" radar is mounted in front of her number one scope. Text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, Fleet Subs of WW II by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
US National Archives photo # 19lcm 1084 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner684kStern view of Runner (SS-275), 16 October 1942. US National Archives photo # 19lcm 1085 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner783kTurn of the stern view of Runner (SS-275), 16 October 1942. US National Archives photo # 19lcm 1088 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner276kStarboard broadside view of the Runner (SS-275), photographed during her shakedown period while off the Portsmouth Navy Yard on 16 October 1942.High resolution US National Archives photo # 19lcm 1086 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Runner158kCommemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Runner (SS-275).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Photo added 04/12/13.
Runner83kGoogle Earth satellite photo of the Northern Honshu area of Japan, Runner's (SS-275) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Runner and her crew.
View courtesy of Google Earth.
Runner18kJoseph Hunt Bourland, Lieutenant Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Runner (SS-275) at the time of her loss. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
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.
U.S. Navy photo # N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
Runner908kLong last look in many ways.
Officers and crew of the Runner (SS-275) pose for an official crew photo on the boat's commissioning day on 30 July 1942: Left to right, LT. COMDR F.W. Fenno U.S.N., Lieutenant Joseph Hunt Bourland,U.S.N., unidentified crew members, last two officers on right are Lieutenant Richard Harold Seligman, U.S.N.R., & Lieutenant Jud Francis Yoho, Jr., U.S.N. In a little less than a year almost all would be K.I.A. with the disappearance of the boat on her 3rd patrol off Japan.
Runner was declared overdue and presumed lost in July 1943.

In Memorium:
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..."
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Drawing courtesy of Ben Kennedy.
US National Archives photo # 19lcm 781 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.

View the Runner (SS-275)
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
On Eternal Patrol
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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