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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Shark (SS-314)

Radio Call Sign: November - Zulu - Foxtrot - Oscar

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 28 January 1943, at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.; Launched, 17 October 1943; Commissioned USS Shark (SS-314), 14 February 1944; Sunk on 3rd patrol by depth charge off Southern Taiwan, 24 October 1944, all hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown). Shark received one battle star for her World War II service.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,242 t.; Length 311' 9"; 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, 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, one 20mm gun, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four main generator engines, General Motors diesel engines, HP 5400, Fuel Capacity 118,000, four General Electric motors, HP 2,740, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Shark 152k One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Shark (SS-314) was sponsored on 17 October 1943 by Mrs. Albert Thomas, wife of Honorable Albert Thomas, United States Congressman from the Eighth District of Texas; he was a Democratic Congressman from Houston, Texas for 29 years and was responsible for bringing the Johnson Space Center to Houston.
Lera Millard Thomas is pictured here 34 years after her christening of the Shark when she succeeded her husband as the Representative in Congress representing the Eighth District of Texas from 1966 to 1967.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS, history.house.gov, & en.wikipedia.org.
Image courtesy of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration.
Photo added 09/02/13.
Bream & Shark 90k Postal cover marking the launching of the Shark (SS-314) from the South Yard of Electric Boat Company and the launching of the Bream (SS-243) at Electric Boat's Victory Yard on 17 October 1943. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Shark 177k Shark (SS-314) slides down the ways at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT., 17 October 1943.
Taken by an Electric Boat Company photographer.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # 80-G-88704, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Shark 94k Cdr. Blakely cuts the cake at Shark's (SS-314) commissioning party, February 1944 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT. Courtesy of 99main.com.
Shark 98k Wives and crew members of the Shark (SS-314). Cdr. Blakely is second on the left, first row, February 1944 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT. Courtesy of 99main.com.
Shark 90k Officers and crew members of the Shark (SS-314) at the commissioning party, February 1944 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT. Courtesy of 99main.com.
Shark 60k Officers of the Shark (SS-314) at the commissioning party, February 1944 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT. Courtesy of 99main.com.
Shark 152k On 5 June 1944 at 1645, Blakely torpedoes and sinks Takaoka Maru carrying about 3,500 reinforcments to the defenders of Saipan, at 18-40N, 140-35E. 25 crewmen and 115 soldiers are KIA. Immediately afterwards, Blakely torpedoes and sinks Tamahime Maru in the same position, 52 crewmen are KIA. Text courtesy of combinedfleet.com.
Image courtesy of austrailian war memorial wikimedia.org.
Photo added 09/02/13.
Shark 123k Edward Noe Blakely, Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Shark (SS-314) at the time of her loss. USN photo courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
Shark 245k After making radar contact, the Shark (SS-314) was in pursuit of a single freighter. Approximately 5:00 pm 24 October 1944 in the Bashi Straits, South China Sea Latitude 2046'N, Longitude 11818' E, the 6886 ton Japanese freighter Arisan Maru was sunk. The Arisan Maru carried no markings or flag to indicate that it was carrying Allied prisoners. The Americans had no way of recognizing the Arisan Maru was a prison ship. The torpedo launched from the Shark, hit aft of midships causing the Arisan Maru to split in two. Naval records indicate that the Shark, was lost with all 87 hands in the same battle after having torpedoed the Arisan Maru. "Regardless of the final count, the sinking of the Arisan Maru still represents the greatest loss of American life in a single military sinking." excerpt: The Arisan Maru Tragedy. Text courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.
Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.
Photo added 09/02/13.
Shark 123k General area map of Bashi Channel, where the Shark (SS-314) was sunk in waters over several thousand feet. "Map of Southeast Asia," by Bartholemew & Son Ltd, Edinburgh, courtesy of taipeipeacepeople.com.
Shark 259k Google Earth satellite photo of the site and surrounding islands of Shark's (SS-314) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Shark and her crew.
View courtesy of Google Earth.
Shark 32k Japanese destroyer Harukaze, credited with sinking the Shark (SS-314). Photo courtesy of Aryeh Wetterhorn via spruso.com.
Shark 50k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Shark (SS-314).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Tolling the Boats 117k Joyce DaSilva, the wife of Jesse DaSilva of the Tang (SS-306), one of the nine survivors of the boat, tosses a flower into a reflecting pool to honor the memory of one of the 52 submarines lost during World War II at the National Submarine Memorial-West on board Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif. On this Veterans Day, the Submarine Veterans of World War II transferred ownership of the memorial to the U.S. Navy.

The following text is from The Coming Fury by Bruce Catton., pg. 478.
"Major Sullivan Ballou of Rhode Island was killed in the battle, and just before it he had wrote to his wife, Sarah, to tell her that he believed he was going to be killed and to express a tremulous faith that could see a gleam of light in the dark:
"But O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and float unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you in the gladdest days and in the gloomiest nights, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your chest it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait, for we shall meet again!"
Text i.d. courtesy of Marlynn Starring. Photo i.d. courtesy of Chuck Senior, Vice Commander, Los Angeles-Pasadena Base, USSVI.
U.S. Navy photo # N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
Shark 30k Shark (SS-314) crewmen holding up ship's pennant.

In Memorium:
In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 20th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, 1982, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S. submariners who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay / He brought me forth also into a large place: / he delivered me because he delighted in me./"
Courtesy of csp.navy.mil .

View the Shark (SS-314)
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

oneternalpatrol.com
ComSubPac Report on the loss of USS SHARK (SS 314) October 24, 1944 - 87 Men Lost
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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