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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

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Cisco (SS-290)

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 29 October 1942, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 24 December 1942; Commissioned USS Cisco (SS-290), 10 May 1943; Sunk on 1st patrol in September 1943 by bombs and depth charges, all hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown).

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,414 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10kts; Submerged Endurance, 48 hours at 2kts; Operating Depth Limit, 400 ft; Complement 6 Officers 60 Enlisted; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun, one 40mm gun, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four General Motors main generator diesel engines, 5,400 hp, Fuel Capacity 94,400 gal., four General Electric main motors with 2,740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Cisco 1.1m Stern view of the Cisco (SS-290) underway during her sea trials off the New England coast, 19 June 1943. USN photo # 675-43, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert, Webmaster & Editor
Photo added 03/13/11.
Cisco 75k Cisco (SS-290), underway during her sea trials off the New England coast, 19 June 1943. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of
Cisco 38k Cisco (SS-290), underway during her sea trials off the New England coast, 19 June 1943. U.S. Navy photo.
Cisco 26k Cisco (SS-290) underway during her sea trials off the New England coast, 19 June 1943. U.S. Navy photo.
Cisco 38k The gunboat Karatsu [ex-U.S. river gunboat Luzon (PR-7)] which helped to sink the Cisco (SS-290). U.S. Naval Institute photo,Dudley Knox Library
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey Ca., Yangtze River Patrol Memorial Exhibit.
Cisco 26k Photo of the Gunboat IJN Hozu, similiar to the Karatsu [ex-U.S. river gunboat Luzon (PR-7)] which helped to sink the Cisco (SS-290). Photo by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships" courtesy of
Cisco 128k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Cisco (SS-290).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via
Cisco 29k Map area showing the general area in the Sulu Sea off the island of Panay, P.I., where the Cisco (SS-290) was lost. Photo courtesy of
Cisco 272k Google Earth satellite photo of the Sulu Sea west of Mindanao, Philippine Islands where the Cisco's (SS-290) last approximate positions was based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the boat's crew.
View courtesy of Google Earth.
Cisco 14k James Wiggins Coe, Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Cisco (SS-290) at the time of her loss. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of
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
Cisco 301k Port side view of the Cisco (SS-290), underway, during her sea trials off the New England coast, June 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 / He brought me forth also into a large place: / he delivered me because he delighted in me./"
Photo submitted by Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, &
On Eternal Patrol

View the Cisco (SS-290)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
On Eternal Patrol
ComSubForPac Report of loss of USS CISCO (SS 290) September 28, 1943 - 76 Men Lost
Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet USS CISCO (SS 290) September 28 1943 - 76 Men Lost
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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