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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Archerfish (SS-311) (AGSS-311)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Uniform - Golf

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Presidential Unit Citation
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the UNITED STATES SHIP ARCHERFISH for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
"For extraordinary heroism in action during the Fifth War Patrol against enemy Japanese combatant units in restricted waters of the Pacific. Relentless in tracking an alert and powerful hostile force which constituted a potential threat to our vital operations in the Philippine area, the Archerfish (SS-311) culminated a dogged six and one-half-hour pursuit by closing her high speed target, daringly penetrated the strong destroyer escort screen, and struck fiercely at a large Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano with all six of her torpedoes finding their mark to sink this extremely vital enemy ship. Subjected to devastating air and surface anti-submarine measures, the Archerfish skillfully evaded her attackers by deep submergence and returned to port in safety. Handled with superb seamanship, she responded gallantly to the fighting determination of the officers and men and dealt a fatal blow to one of the enemy's major Fleet units despite the most merciless Japanese opposition and rendered valiant service toward the ultimate destruction of a crafty and fanatic enemy." For the President, James Forrestal Secretary of the Navy. Submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 22 January 1943, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 28 May 1943; Commissioned USS Archerfish (SS-311), 4 September 1943; Decommissioned, 12 June 1946, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Mare Island; Recommissioned 7 March 1952; Decommissioned, 21 October 1955, at New London, CT.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, New London; Recommissioned 1 August 1957; Reclassified Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-311), in early 1960; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 1 May 1968; Final Disposition, sunk as a target by Snook (SSN-592), off the coast of California, 19 October 1968. Archerfish received seven battle stars and one Presidential Unit Citation for her World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 10"; 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, diesels-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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Archerfish 59k Toxotes jaculatrix, the Archerfish.
Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org.
Archerfish 21k The Archerfish (SS-311) slides down the launching ways at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., 28 May 1943. US Navy photo courtesy of ussarcherfish.com.
Flasher 1.10k This photo and the inset were originally thought to be Flasher (SS-249) underway off the Atlantic coast following her commissioning on 25 September 1943.
It is a Government design 2/1/1 configured Balao class boat. If we assume the date on the photo is correct, we can use this to narrow down the list of boats. I think the date is consistent with the features in the photo, i.e. the crew topside are wearing heavy coats, which corresponds to a late fall New England location.
So, using these parameters I can narrow the list down to Archerfish (SS-311), Burrfish (SS-312), Sand Lance (SS-381), Picuda (SS-382), Pampanito (SS-383), and Parche (SS-384). There isn't much more to go on in the photos. I think what happened is that Flasher was also running trials on this date and the photographer got his boats mixed up. Electric Boat was still building Gatos when Portsmouth was already pushing out Balaos. EB had a much larger contract for a greater number of Gatos than did Portsmouth and therefore took longer to complete her production run. For a period of time it would have been common to see brand new Gatos and brand new Balaos sitting next to each other at the piers in New London.
US National Archives photo # 80-G-450241 & 80-G-450235, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of David Johnston (USNR).
Archerfish 71k Captain Joseph F. Enright was born in Minot, North Dakota, on 18 September 1910. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933, he joined the submarine force in 1936. Over the next six years, he served in S-35 (SS-140) and S-22 (SS-127), including duty as Executive Officer of the latter. In 1942 and 1943, Lieutenant Commander Enright commanded O-10 (SS-71) and Dace (SS-247).
Following several months service at the Midway Islands submarine base, in September 1944 he took command of Archerfish (SS-311). On 29 November 1944, his submarine sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano, an action for which Commander Enright was awarded the Navy Cross. The ship was presented the Presidential Unit Citation.
Following World War II, Enright had a variety of shore and seagoing duties and was promoted to Captain in 1952. His later commands included Submarine Division 31 in 1949-50, Fulton (AS-11) in 1953-54, Submarine Squadron 8 in 1954-55 and Boston (CAG-1) in 1959-60. Captain Enright retired on 1 July 1963. He died on 07/20/00.
US Navy photo # NH 90520 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center & submitted by Bill Gonyo. Text courtesy of USNHC.
Archerfish 631k An aerial view of the Imperial Japanese Naval Base at Yokosuka Arsenal, taken by a long-range photo-recon F-13 (B-29) Superfortess flying from Saipan/Tinian, on 1 November 1944. At top right can be seen the partially completed aircraft carrier HIJMS Shinano, undergoing sea trials in Tokyo Bay, five weeks after launching and eight days prior to commissioning. There are also three early-1900s pre-dreadnought battleships in this photo.
This image was scanned from "Looking Down At War: Axis Warships As Seen On Photos From Allied Intelligence Files" by Colonel Roy M. Stanley 11, USAF (Ret.) Published by Pen and Sword Books Ltd., ISBN 978 184884 471 1.
A maximum enlargement of Shinano as shown. In this image her elevators are shown down but no aircraft are carried. This image was scanned from "Looking Down At War: Axis Warships As Seen On Photos From Allied Intelligence Files" by Colonel Roy M. Stanley 11, USAF (Ret.) Published by Pen and Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 978 184884 471 1.
The aircraft carrier Shinano undergoing sea trials in Tokyo Bay. This image was taken by an unknown civilian photographer aboard a harbour tug on 11 November 1944.
Image from Shizuo Fukui Collection. This image was scanned from "Aircraft Carriers of the World, 1914 to the Present: An Illustrated Encyclopedia" by Roger Chesneau. Published by Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-636-X
All photos courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Photos added 04/09/14.
Archerfish 1.71k Two 7 page PDF's on the sinking of the aircraft carrier Shinano by the Archerfish (SS-311) on 28 November 1944. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Archerfish 120k Archerfish (SS-311), underway 30 May 1945, probably in the San Francisco Bay area. US National Archives photo # 80-G-326328, a US Navy photo, courtesy of the US Naval Historical Center.
Archerfish 109k Archerfish (SS-311), underway 30 May 1945, probably in the San Francisco Bay area. US National Archives photo # 80-G-326329, a US Navy photo, courtesy of the US Naval Historical Center.
Archerfish 93k Archerfish (SS-311), off Hunter's Point Naval Drydocks, San Francisco, California, 5 June 1945. US Navy photo # NH 96816, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Archerfish 114k Archerfish (SS-311), leaving Hunter's Point Naval Drydocks, San Francisco, California, 5 June 1945, after her last wartime overhaul. Installed are two 5" / 25 cal deck guns,a 40mm single gun mounted on her forward gun deck and a 20mm gun on the after deck. The 20mm gun (less base) was stored in pressure proof lockers adjacent to the base mount. Her number 2 periscope is in full raised position. Also raised is the "SD" radar antenna mast. By the arrangement of the limber holes along the lower portion of the superstructure, this boat was built with the Portsmouth plans. The plans between Portsmouth & Electric Boat are slightly different. USN Archive photo # 19-N-87174. Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Archerfish 83k Ship's crew pose on board, while she was alongside Proteus (AS-19) in Tokyo Bay, 1 September 1945. Men in the front row are holding Archerfish's (SS-311) battle flag, which features her insignia in its center. The insignia is also painted on the large circular plaque held up below the superstructure railing in the background. US Navy photo # NH 95017, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of Captain Joseph F. Enright, USN(Retired), 1979.
Archerfish 45k Archerfish's (SS-311) battle flag. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Archerfish 95k Proteus (AS-19) with submarines of Submarine Squadron 20 alongside in Tokyo Bay, on VJ-Day, 2 September 1945. Names of the submarines present, their commanding officers and the commanding officers of SubRon20 and Proteus (AS-19) are printed at the bottom of the image:
Archerfish (SS-311),
Cavalla (SS-244),
Gato (SS-212),
Haddo (SS-255),
Muskallunge (SS-262),
Pilotfish (SS-386),
Razorback (SS-394),
Runner (SS-476),
Segundo (SS-398),
Sea Cat (SS-399),
and Tigrone (SS-419).
US Navy photo # NH 95019, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of Captain Joseph F. Enright, USN(Retired), 1979.
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
Archerfish 271k Newspaper clipping of the decommissioning of Archerfish (SS-311) at Mare Island on 12 June 1946. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Archerfish 279k Line up of decommissioned subs at Groton, CT., circa 1947. From left to right:Archerfish (SS-311), Flasher (SS-249), Cobia (SS-245), Croaker (SS-246), Drum (SS-228) & what looks like the Cavalla (SS-244). U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Jack Treutle. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Archerfish 203k Photo of forward portion of sail and antenna arrangement of Archerfish (SS-311) at Mare Island on 25 March 1952. USN photo # 12448-3-52, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Archerfish 170k Photo of port side of sail and antenna arrangement of Archerfish (SS-311) at Mare Island on 25 March 1952.USN photo # 12450-3-52, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Archerfish 117k Photo of antenna arrangement aboard from aft of gun mount Archerfish (SS-311) at Mare Island on 25 March 1952. She was being activated at the yard from 7 March to 29 May 1952. USN photo # 12452-3-52, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Archerfish 81k 28 May 1952 finds the Archerfish (SS-311) off Mare Island, CA. Source: NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files.
U.S. Navy photo # NY9-13252-5-52 courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.@ Researcher @ Large.
Archerfish 89k Port side view of the Archerfish (SS-311) off Mare Island, CA., 28 May 1952. Source: NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files.
U.S. Navy photo # NY9-13250-5-52 courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.@ Researcher @ Large.
Grenadier 215k Sail away, 1950's version: Three different types appear in this photo:
Archerfish (SS-311), Grenadier (SS-525) & Chopper (SS-342) in Key West, Fla, during the 1950's.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Balao278kBow view of the Balao (SS-285) together with the Archerfish (SS-311) for the movie "Operation Petticoat" in 1959 while the boat was in Key West, Fla. Photos courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Archerfish 2.35k Fourteen page Welcome Aboard & History of the Archerfish (SS-311), circa 1960. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Archerfish 34k Commemorative post mark honoring Archerfish (SS-311), 26 January 1961 at Willemstad, Curacao in Netherlands Antilles Oceanographic Survey "Operation Sea Scan". U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Archerfish 180k Archerfish (AGSS-311), operating off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 12 March 1961. She was then participating in "Operation Sea Scan", a scientific undertaking to investigate oceanographic and weather conditions. U.S. Navy photo by PH2 C.L. Roberson, courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org. Text from photo # NH 96815, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
Archerfish 181k Archerfish (AGSS-311), operating off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 12 March 1961.
U.S. Navy photo by PH2 C.L. Roberson, courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org
Archerfish 525k Archerfish (SS-311), 20 September 1962. U.S. Navy photo # NPC 1062558 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Archerfish 86k Archerfish (AGSS-311) in the foreground with Kawishiwi (AO-146) in the background, at Naval Station Subic Bay, PI, January 1965. Allen R Vaughan QM2(SS) Archerfish (SS-AGSS-311) crew member.
Archerfish 86k Archerfish (SS-311), port side view, circa 1957 to 1968. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Archerfish 61k Archerfish (SS-311), starboard side view, circa 1957 to 1968. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Archerfish 540k Archerfish (SS-311) meets Japan, 1966. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Archerfish 1.70k Change of Command Ceremony PDF of the Archerfish (SS-311), 1 May 1968. Courtesy of Ron Reeves HTC (ret.) & John Perry Wood USNA '53.
Archerfish 41k On 17 October 1968 off San Diego, the ex-Archerfish (SS-311) meets her end as the Snook (SSN-592) fired 3 torpedoes; This photo shows the second torpedo, a MK37-2 that struck near her stern doing little damage.
U.S. Navy & text photo courtesy of ussarcherfish.com.
Archerfish 36k On 17 October 1968 off San Diego, the ex-Archerfish (SS-311) meets her end as the Snook (SSN-592) fired a MK 14-5 torpedo that hits her amidships, sinking the target in 52 seconds.
U.S. Navy & text photo courtesy of ussarcherfish.com.

View the Archerfish (SS/AGSS-311)
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
USS Archerfish SS/AGSS-311
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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