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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch on left contributed by Harold F.(Carl) Carlson & submitted by Gary Carlson, others by Mike Smolinski

Devilfish (SS-292) (AGSS-292)

Radio Call Sign: November - Xray - Foxtrot - Victor

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 31 March 1942, at Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, PA.; Launched, 30 May 1943; Commissioned USS Devilfish (SS-292), 1 September 1944; Decommissioned, 30 September 1946, at San Francisco, CA.; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet; Reclassified Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS-292); Struck from the Naval Register, 1 March 1967; Final Disposition, sunk as a target by Wahoo (SS-565) off San Francisco, CA., 14 August 1968. Devilfish received three battle stars for World War II service.

As built to the specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 8"; 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 5"/25 deck gun, one 40mm gun, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four Fairbanks-Morse main generator diesel engines, 5,400 hp, Fuel Capacity 116,000 gal., four Elliot Motor Co., main motors with 2,740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company facilities, 15 March 1943. Cruisers visible in this photo:

Far right - Miami (CL-89) - Furthest along; aft turrets and catapults in place.
Left of Miami is Astoria (CL-90) - she is about a month behind Miami.
Left of Astoria, in the large shipway, is Oklahoma City (CL-91) - a significant portion of hull has been built.
Left of Oklahoma City is Little Rock (CL-92) - Keel was just been laid on 6 March, which is visible under crane structure.

The coaling dock next to the cruisers site is known as grafitti pier" today.

Note that there are also 2 ATF's: Seneca (ATF-91) and Nauset (ATF-89) fitting out on the right side near the graving dock being built which was never used when finished in 1945. It was fully functional, and used in the 50's when Keystone Ship Repair leased the property. Fast forward to 2014 when the last piece of the shipyard was demolished. The 'L' shaped building, across Girard Avenue which was the foundry & Machine Shop was the end.

Note the 8 submarines in various stages of construction to the left of the Little Rock (4 per shipway). They are most likely from bottom right to left & bottom to top:
Dragonet (SS-293) bottom right, row 1,
Escolar (SS-294), bottom left row 2,
Devilfish (SS-292) top right, row 1,
Hackleback (SS-295) top left, row 2,
Lancetfish (SS-296) bottom left, row 3.
Ling (SS-297) bottom left, row 4,
Lionfish (SS-298) top left, row 3,
Manta (SS-299) top left, row 4.

The shipyard's submarine construction program was not especially successful. Poor management hindered the delivery of the boats. The first delivery was made two years after keel laying, and fitting out was then done by Portsmouth Navy Yard. The best construction time for a submarine was 644 days.

Cramp's submarine construction story was not a happy one for the Navy. Even though they got an early start on their Balaos, they had a lot of difficulty in hiring skilled workers and managers as most of the good ones already had jobs. Quality and timeliness suffered as a result. Cramp used the Government design plans, but used a completely different part numbering and inventory system, making coordination with Portsmouth, Boston, and Mare Island virtually impossible. The Government was forced to step in to straighten the mess out, with some of the boats ultimately being finished by other yards.

Text courtesy of Tom Bateman, David Johnston (USN, retired) , Ron Reeves (of blessed memory), & Tracy White.
USN photo # 80-G-38403 via Tom Bateman courtesy of Tracy White @Researcher @ Large.
Double500kInverse of the above. USN photo # 80-G-38404 via Tom Bateman courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
Devilfish547kDevilfish (SS-292) soon to part the ways on 30 May 1943. Photo courtesy of the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs @
Double532kTwo More Subs to Sink the Axis.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Two more undersea fighters went out to beat Axis U-Boats at their own deadly game when the Devilfish (SS-292), (left) and the Hackleback (SS-295), slid down the ways at Cramp Shipyards today, 30 May 1943. The Devilfish was christened by Mrs. Frank W. Fenno of Williamsport, wife of a Navy Cross winner. Mrs. William L. Wright of Corpus Christi, Texas, whose husband was decorated for the sinking of three Jap warships and five Merchantmen, sponsored the Hackleback.
Official USN photo from ACME, New York Bureau dated 5/30/43, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Devilfish151kDevilfish (SS-292), portside view, probably in Philadelphia, PA., during her shakedown period 1943-44. Courtesy of
Devilfish1.30kDevilfish (SS-292) on 29 September 1944, four weeks after commissioning.US National Archives photo # 80G-453402, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Devilfish680kDevilfish (SS-292), coming into port past an AP/AK, circa 1945.USN photo courtesy of
Devilfish220kCrew of the Devilfish (SS-292) circa 1944-45. USN photo courtesy of
Devilfish79kDevilfish (SS-292) Battleflag circa 1944-45.USN photo, courtesy of
Midway197kThe submarine tender Griffin (AS-13), at Midway with three of her charges between 26 August and 1 September 1945 The three boats are not identified, but boats at Midway at that time included Piranha (SS-389), Lionfish (SS-298), Moray (SS-300), Devilfish (SS-292),and Hackleback (SS-295).
The outboard boat is an EB boat, but none of the above boats are EB boats, all Cramp or Portsmouth-built, so they are unidentified for now.
USN photo from the collection of Benton E. Buell, CWO 4, USN, courtesy of David Buell.
Devilfish152kDevilfish (SS-292), starboard view at anchor, possibly before joining the Reserve fleet at Mare Island, circa January 1946.USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
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:
Sand Lance (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.
325k 1 June 1955 photo of LCDR T. M. Ustick while at Mare Island with the San Francisco Bay Submarine Group. He is listed as the commanding officer of Devilfish (SS-292) from June to July 1946 in a CINCPACFLT listing of commands under its control at that time. Partial text courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler.
Photo from files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Devilfish531k3 photo PDF history of the Devilfish (SS-292). USN photos courtesy of Scott Koen &
Devilfish258kDevilfish (SS-292), being sunk as a target by Wahoo (SS-565) at San Francisco, CA., 14 August 1968. USN photo, courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.

View the Devilfish (SS-292)
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
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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