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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Sabalo (SS-302)

Radio Call Sign: November - Xray - Yankee - Oscar

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 June 1943, at Cramp Shipbuilding Corp., Philadelphia, PA.; Launched, 4 June 1944; Commissioned USS Sabalo (SS-302), 19 June 1945; Decommissioned, 7 August 1946, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Portsmouth, NH; Recommissioned, 1 June 1951, at Sub Base New London, CT.; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1971; Final Disposition, sunk as a target in SubSinkEx Project "Thurber" off San Diego, CA. on 21 February 1973.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves (of blessed memory)

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 engines, 5,400hp, Fuel Capacity 94,400 gal., four Elliot Motor Co., main motors with 2,740 shp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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NR A Comforting Oman
This is Charles Malden Oman, commanding officer of the American hospital ship Comfort (AH-3) which the government planned to send across the Atlantic without convoy to test Germany's respect for the Red Cross emblem. The plan may he abandoned, since the Germans recently sank a Canadian hospital ship.
The Sabalo (SS-302) was sponsored by Mrs. Heloise Graham Oman, his wife.
Image and text provided by Arkansas State Archives.
Photo from Newport Daily Independent. (Newport, Ark.) 1901-1929, 07 August 1918, Image 4 via
Sabalo 170k Crowds gather to watch the Sabalo (SS-302) prepare to slide down the ways on 4 June 1944. Photo by Philadelphia Inquirer courtesy of
Sabalo 468k "Undersea warship honors detective".
"The Sabalo (SS-302), sponsored by Mrs. Charles M. Oman, wife of the commanding officer, Admiral Charles Malden Oman of the U.S. Convalescent Hospital for Officers, Harriman, N.Y., slips down the ways at Cramp's Shipyard, the first of two submarines launched yesterday and dedicated to the memory of Detective George H. Muhs and paid for with $16,500,000 in War Bonds sold by Philadelphia policemen, 4 June 1944.
Insert photo courtesy of
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Insert photo & text courtesy of the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs @
Sabalo 100k Sabalo (SS-302), proceeding down the Delaware River in Philadelphia sometime shortly after being launched at Cramp Shipbuilding Corp., Philadelphia, PA., 4 June 1944.
Technology has enhanced it to look like this as well.
Courtesy of John Hummel & Scott Koen &
Sabalo496k"Navy Day in Chester", 27 October 1945.
"Members of the Philadelphia Police Department and officials of the City of Chester joined yesterday to inspect the submarine Sabalo (SS-302) constructed from War Bond funds collected by the Philadelphia force. The guests are shown on the superstructure of the underseas craft."
Photo courtesy of the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs @
Sabalo 74k Bernard Ouellet, EN, on Sabalo (SS-302) at the time, relates that this plaque is a one of a kind which was created by him using a patch he had custom made in Yokosuka during the Korean War Cruise (1953). When visiting the Sub Museum in Pearl Harbor some time ago, he noticed that there was no plaque with the ship's emblem in their collection. Upon return to his home, he mounted the patch and sent it to the museum. Text info courtesy of Jeff Owens.
USN photo courtesy of
Sabalo 63k Sabalo (SS-302), in the 1950s, after her "Fleet Snorkel" modernization. Sabalo has a new streamlined sail, but retains her original hull form. Her periscope and radar mast are extended; the two-shaded mottle finish on the periscope fairing was prescribed in 1953 for periscopes and snorkels. USN photo from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, courtesy of Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
Sabalo 88k The Carp (SS-338) is pictured here in 1956 being painted (reason for hull number not being visible). The Sabalo (SS-302) to left in photo & Diodon (SS-349) is to the right. Courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sabalo 508k The separate mast was installed for ECM purposes. The antenna itself was the round part at the top of the mast and does show some similarity to the mystery fixed mast top. However, the patrol reports from 1956 & 57 mention only the BLR-1 ECM gear which used two antennas. At that time one was mounted on the top of the snorkel mast and one was fixed on top of the sail per mention in the patrol reports of '56 & '57. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens, Larry Douglas, Howard Venezia, & Vic Peters for input.
Stickleback 700k The Sabalo (SS-302) comes to the aid of the Stickleback (SS-415) after being rammed by Silverstein (DE-534) off Honolulu, HI, 30 May 1958. Courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Stickleback 170k View from the Sabalo (SS-302) of the Stickleback (SS-415) after being rammed by Silverstein (DE-534) off Honolulu, HI, 30 May 1958. Courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Carp200kStern view of four boats tied up in Pearl Harbor about 1959. Inboard to outboard are the Sabalo (SS-302), Carp (SS-338), Sterlet (SS-392) & Greenfish (SS-351). Photo courtesy of Ron Phillipi.
Carp227kInverse of the above photo shows a partial bow view of Sabalo (SS-302),Carp (SS-338), Sterlet (SS-392) & Greenfish (SS-351). Photo courtesy of Ron Phillipi.
Sabalo 607k Sabalo (SS-302) cuts a wide swath through the Pacific on 29 September 1959. Text i.d. courtesy of Scott Koen &
USN photo # 628626 courtesy of
Sabalo 50k Port side view of the Sabalo (SS-302) passing the Chilean 4 Masted Barque Esmeralda off Diamond Head, HI., circa 1960. Text courtesy of Paul Harrington, Revere, Mass. & Eduardo Rivera, Valparaiso, Chile.
USN photo courtesy of
Sabalo 354k Port side view of the Sabalo (SS-302) underway on 1 May 1962. Text i.d. courtesy of of Scott Koen &
USN photo # USN 1059173 courtesy of
Sabalo295kSabalo (SS-302) in Vancouver June 1963 as seen from the McDermut (DD-677).
The bridge is the Burnside Bridge and the boats are tied up at Portland Waterfront Park for the Portland Rose Festival
Text i.d. via Jeff Owens.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Archer via Fred Willshaw.
Sabalo 1.16k Welcome Aboard PDF of the Sabalo (SS-302), circa 1968. PDF courtesy of Scott Koen &
Sabalo 1.20k Change of Command Ceremony PDF of the Sabalo (SS-302), 15 June 1968.
Note: The pages in the PDF are from two different Change of Command.
This is the sequence of CO's involved:
March 1966 - 15 June 1968 Barke, Arthur R., Lcdr-Cdr
15 June 1968 - 16 June 1969 Wood, John P., Cdr
16 June 1969 - 1970 Andrade, Allan L., Lcdr
The caption for this web page only indicates 1968.
Courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory) & John Perry Wood USNA '53.
Text i.d. via Jeff Owens.
Sabalo 105k Sabalo (SS-302), 1967-69 off the coast of San Diego. Photo courtesy of George M. Arnold. Photo i.d. & text info courtesy of Jeff Owens.
Sabalo 303k The crew of the Sabalo (SS-302) in dress whites for an important occasion in San Diego, probably C. of C. in 69, but could have been the earlier one while I was on board, or possibly only a Captain's inspection. The Tender on the left is either the Sperry (AS-12) or Nereus (AS-17). The Rock (SS-274) or Raton (SS-270) is in the distance. Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hummel & Jeff Owens.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &

View the Sabalo (SS-302)
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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