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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski.

Sablefish (SS-303) (AGSS-303)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Golf - Yankee

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 June 1943, at Cramp Shipbuilding Corp., Philadelphia, PA.; Launched, 4 June 1944; Commissioned USS Sablefish (SS-303), 18 December 1945; Converted to a snorkel submarine during the first half of 1951; Redesignated Miscellaneous Submarine (AGSS-303), 30 June 1969; Decommissioned, 1 November 1969, at Sub Base New London, CT.; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 29 July 1971, to Union Mineral and Alloys Corp., New York City, NY. for $ 90.274.00 & scrapped in Kearny, NJ.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves (of blessed memory)

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 94,400 gal., four Elliot Motor Co., main motors with 2,740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Sablefish751kSpectators watch as the Sablefish (SS-303) is launched from Cramps Shipyard.Photo courtesy of
Sablefish230kPierside photo of the Sablefish (SS-303) taken in 1946. Following a shakedown cruise from New London, Conn., to Balboa, Canal Zone, the new submarine conducted type training in the Panama area until mid-May 1946. She then returned to her home port, New London, and spent the remainder of the year supporting ASW exercises off the east coast, participating in fleet exercises off Bermuda, and making a three week cruise off Greenland. Photo courtesy of LT Mitchell, Redfin (SS-272). Photo submitted by John Hummel, USN (Retired). Text courtesy of DANFS.
Sablefish93kPierside photo of LT Mitchell next to the Sablefish (SS-303) taken in 1946. Photo courtesy of LT Mitchell. Photo submitted by John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sablefish68kInspection aboard the Sablefish (SS-303) as the Diablo (SS-479) comes alongside, April 1946.Photo courtesy of R. Storm Cilley.
Sablefish50kSablefish (SS-303) in need of a paint job, April 1946.Photo courtesy of R. Storm Cilley.
Sablefish173kThe Sablefish (SS-303) in her original configuration, circa late 1940's. Photo courtesy of Richard Garrison via
Sablefish41kA 1950's Casein painting by the artist Richard A. Genders entitled "Sablefish (SS-303) and Cables." Painting # 62/88-190-BJ, courtesy of the USNHC.
Sablefish112kSablefish (SS-303) bow view off Phila Navy Yard, 8t June 1951. USN photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sablefish114kSablefish (SS-303) post 1951 photo, port side view with a look at the "bubble" on the lower part of her conning tower.USN photo courtesy of
Sablefish11k Commemorative postal cover featuring an inset of the Sablefish (SS-303), May 1952. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Sablefish1.10kCDR Roderick K. Maclean (right) is shown as he is presented a Submarine Division 82 command pennant by LCDR Robert D. Steele [Commanding Officer, Sablefish (SS-303) during the division's change-of-command on 3 August 1956 at New London, CT.Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Sablefish932k LCDR. Howard Edwin Blum, skipper of the submarine Sablefish (SS-303), welcomes his immediate family, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Blum (stepmother), aboard the sub on 10 November 1958. LCDR. Blum was the commanding officer from 20 June 1958 to July 1960. Official photograph of the U.S. Navy courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Sablefish512kSablefish (SS-303) circa May 1959, port side view underway. USN photo # USN 1041849, courtesy of via Scott Koen &
Sablefish54kIn June 1959, she was one of the Navy's representatives at the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and she operated in the Great Lakes until mid-August. Sablefish (SS-303) is pictured here at New London CT., in October, 1959. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Sablefish280kSablefish (SS-303) in a January 1961 photo taken while on a second cruise up the St. Lawrence river to the Great Lakes. USN photo courtesy of
Sablefish964kSablefish (SS-303), 1960's off New London.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Photo added 01/03/17.
Sablefish242kSeven photo Welcome Aboard the Sablefish (SS-303) PDF. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
PDF added 01/03/17.
Sablefish77kSablefish (SS-303), a Fleet Snorkel modernization of a Balao class submarine. She retains her original angular hull shape, but her larger sail is like that fitted to some Guppy conversions. Streamlining, with removal of deck guns, was designed to give these submarines better underwater performance. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sablefish94kSablefish (SS-303) 17 May 1961.USN photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sablefish48kSablefish (SS-303) post 1961 photo, port side view underway with a more streamlined sail. USN photo courtesy of
Sablefish45kSablefish (SS-303) at Naval Submarine Base New London Groton, Connecticut.Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Halfbeak49k From left to right, Sea Robin (SS-407), Tusk (SS-426), Sea Owl (SS-405), Sablefish (SS-303), Halfbeak (SS-352), Blenny (SS-324) & Becuna (SS-319) at New London CT., in 1968 during change of command.Courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).

View the Sablefish (SS-303 ) DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway .
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial FoundationFleet Reserve Association
Additional Resources and Sites of Interest
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
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