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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Manta (SS-299) (AGSS-299)

Radio Call Sign: November - Xray - Sierra - Golf

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 15 January 1943, at Cramp Shipbuilding Corp., Philadelphia, PA.; Launched, 7 November 1943; Transferred to Boston Naval Shipyard then Portsmouth Naval Shipyard after launching; Commissioned USS Manta (SS-299), 18 December 1944; Decommissioned, 10 June 1946; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet; Recommissioned, 2 August 1949, as Miscellaneous Research Submarine (AGSS-299), 1 September 1949; Decommissioned, 6 December 1955, at Sub Base New London, CT.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet: Assigned to Naval Reserve training, 3rd Naval District in Groton, CT from 4-1-60 to 30 June 1967; Struck from the Naval Register, 30 June 1967; Final Disposition, sunk as an aircraft target off Norfolk, VA., 16 July 1969.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 6"; 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 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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Manta 109k Portside view of the Manta (SS-299) approaching the wharf, probably at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 10 September, 1945 at the conclusion of her second and last war patrol.
USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Manta 161k Manta's (SS-299) crew lines the deck as her crew secures the lines to the wharf.
USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Manta 158k Manta's (SS-299) crew lines the deck as her crew secures the lines to the wharf and her crew makes ready to come ashore.
USN photo courtesy of subvetsofwwii.org.
Manta 32k Menhaden (SS-377) inboard & Manta (SS-299) on Navy Day at Kahului, Maui Hawaii on 27 October 45.
Photo courtesy of Lori Mansfield, wife of John Mansfield, Jr., RM2(SS), Menhaden, 1963-65 & Darryl L. Baker. Pamphlet courtesy of Judy Conrad, Ishpeming, Michigan / infomagic.net.
Manta 18k Program cover for the Menhaden (SS-377) & Manta (SS-299) on Navy Day at Kahului, Maui Hawaii on 27 October 45.
Pamphlet courtesy of Judy Conrad, Ishpeming, Michigan / infomagic.net.
Manta 42k Manta (SS-299) fact sheet for Navy Day at Kahului, Maui Hawaii on 27 October 45.
Pamphlet courtesy of Judy Conrad, Ishpeming, Michigan / infomagic.net.
Manta 50k Menhaden (SS-377) fact sheet for Navy Day at Kahului, Maui Hawaii on 27 October 45.
Pamphlet courtesy of Judy Conrad, Ishpeming, Michigan / infomagic.net.
Manta 38k Submarine fact sheet for Navy Day at Kahului, Maui Hawaii on 27 October 45.
Pamphlet courtesy of Judy Conrad, Ishpeming, Michigan / infomagic.net.
Manta 52k Submarine fact sheet for Navy Day at Kahului, Maui Hawaii on 27 October 45.
Pamphlet courtesy of Judy Conrad, Ishpeming, Michigan / infomagic.net.
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:
Sandlance (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 Baker
Mare Island Reserve Fleet 173k Submarines aft of unidentifed submarine in foregroud at Mare Island Reserve Fleet on 28 September 1950 are:
Left to right: Dragonet (SS-293), Menhaden (SS-377), Mapiro (SS-376), Seahorse (SS-304), Sand Lance (SS-381), Batfish (SS-310), Capitaine (SS-336), Pipefish (SS-388) and Manta (SS-299).
U.S. Navy photo # 6988-9-50, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Manta 46k Manta (AGSS-299) at Key West, FL.
US Navy Photo.
Manta 509k I would place the date on this and the following photo somewhere between 1949 and 1955. If you look closely at the stern, you can just see the extra hull plating around the single hull section of the aft torpedo room. This was done during her conversion to a target submarine when she was recommissioned in 1949. The extra plating (which was also placed around the single hull sections of the forward torpedo room) was added to prevent ASW torpedoes with dummy warheads from penetrating her pressure hull if she was struck.
The land in the background looks vaguely tropical to me and I always assumed it was Key West, Manta's (AGSS-299) homeport until 1953. If it is indeed New London, then the photo was taken between 1953 and 1955 when she was decommissioned.
US Navy photo courtesy of David Buell. Text courtesy of David Johnston, (USNR). Photo added 06/28/09.
Manta 118k Manta (AGSS-299) at Key West, FL., 14 December 1953 as she steamed out of Key West for the last time in route to overhaul in Charleston. Previous to this, she had been outfitted as a mobile underwater torpedo target. She had been fitted with additional hull blisters over the single hull ends at the forward and after torpedo rooms to help prevent the dummy torpedoes from penetrating the pressure hull.
In addition, both rooms had been filled with balsa wood to minimize the effects of flooding in case the hull was punctured. The forward engine room was emptied to compensate for the additional weight, with the crew turning it into an improvised recreation room. The overhaul in Charleston saw the removal of the wood and the partial restoration of her warfighting abilities, but she retained her AGSS classification.
US Navy Photo from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, courtesy of Joe Radigan, MACM USN, Ret.

View the Manta (SS-299 )
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

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