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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

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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.

As built to the 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 484k 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 with President Lyndon Baines Johnson, 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,, &
Image courtesy of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration.
Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON, Groton, CT.
NR Helen Brogan Draws Depts For Sponsorships Of Subs
Miss Helen J. Brogan, outstanding woman employee of the Electric Boat Company in the purchase of war bonds, draws the names of departments which will ballot for sponsorship privileges for the submarines Flounder (SS-251) and Shark (SS-314). From among the names of 17 departments and groups of departments, Miss Brogan drew the Outsiide Electricians to ballot for the Flounder sponsorship, and the Pinters to choose the person to be or to name the sponsor for the Shark. Holding the shipyard hard hat is Mrs. Edwin B. Wheeler, wife of Shipbuilding Manager Wheeler, who was sponsor of the submarine Darter (SS-227). The drawing was a part of pre-electiion ceremonies.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from The Sub. (Groton, Conn.) 193?-1946, 17 June 1943, Image 9, via
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.
314 & 243
NR Twin Submarines Named Shark and Bream
The twin submarines Shark (SS-314) and Bream (SS-243) were christened at the Electric Boat company, Groton, Conn., in the first double launching in the history of the company. They were sponsored by Mrs. Albert Thomas, wife of Congressman Thomas of Texas, and Mrs. W. G. Chapple, wife of Commander Chapple, navy submarine officer.
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo from The Frontier. (O'Neill City, Holt County, Neb.) 1880-1965, 04 November 1943, Image 7, via
Shark 4.31k 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 USN photo # 80-G-88704, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Shark 4.31k The launching of the Shark (SS-174) from the South Yard of Electric Boat Company. Five page PDF file showing the history of USN vessels named Shark. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Shark 464k Cdr. Blakely cuts the cake at Shark's (SS-314) commissioning party, February 1944 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT.
Polly's Inn burned down (total loss) during the night of 5 March, 1947. See the attached newspaper article (Front page, bottom right under FLASHES!).
Courtesy of
Polly's Inn insert courtesy of Joshua Blodgett.
Shark 456k 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
Shark 433k 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
Shark 332k Officers and Chiefs of the Shark (SS-314) at the commissioning party, February 1944 at Polly's Inn off West Norwich Road, Montville, CT. Courtesy of
408k Partial Shark (SS-314) crew. Photo courtesy of page no longer exists
242k On 4 June, Shark (SS-314) began tracking another heavily escorted convoy, and, in maneuvering for attack encountered a patrolling destroyer dead ahead. Upon failing in a maneuver for a "down-the-throat" shot, the submarine passed down the port side of the enemy at 180 yards and fired four torpedoes toward a heavily laden cargo ship. She was rewarded with four solid hits that sent Katsukawa Maru quickly to the bottom. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of
96k After escaping from the aroused escort ships, Shark surfaced and continued the chase. She caught up with the convoy on the afternoon of 5 June; and, after nightfall, let go a spread of six torpedoes which sank the 3,080-ton freighter, Tamahime Maru, and the 7,006-ton passenger-cargo ship, Takoka Maru,(pictured above) Shark again evaded the escort ships; then surfaced near midnight, but was unable to catch up with the convoy. Text provided by
Photo from
Tinosa 146k Before Shark's (SS-314) last patrol, her crew was affected by the following:
After refitting, Tinosa (SS-283) departed the Marshalls on 7 June 1944, bound for the East China Sea. On 18 June, she resorted to unusual tactics in attacking a three-masted 400-ton fishing sampan which had withstood her gunfire. Tinosa closed the enemy vessel, doused her with fuel oil, and set her ablaze by tossing flaming, oil-soaked rags on her deck. Shortly after dawn on 2 July, Japanese planes and patrol vessels forced Tinosa to go deep near Nagasaki and kept her down until dusk. The following day, the submarine sank two passenger-cargo ships in an attack on a convoy, adding Konsan Maru and Kamo Maru to her list of kills. Following this patrol, Tinosa reported to Hunters Point, Calif., on 7 August, for a much needed overhaul.
For those who have or have not read Clay Blair's Silent Victory, pgs. 789/90 that deal with the testing of the FM sonar, you can find it here.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of via Tommy Trampp.
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 20°46'N, Longitude 118°18' E, the 6886 ton Japanese freighter Arisan Maru (shown here during her launching) was sunk. The Arisan Maru carried no markings or flag to indicate that it was carrying Allied prisoners (1800 to be exact). 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 (approximatley 1792 US servicemen), 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
Image courtesy of
Shark 123k Edward Noe Blakely, Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Shark (SS-314) at the time of her loss. USN photo courtesy of
218k Shark's (SS-314) Commander, Edward N. Blakely, in profile aboard his last boat with Lieutenant Jesse Andrew Davis, Jr. (also) holding the boat's pennant. Photo courtesy of page no longer exists
Navy Cross
130k Navy Cross

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Edward Noe Blakely (NSN: 0-73372), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Shark (SS-314), on the FIRST War Patrol of that submarine, during the period 16 May 1944 to 17 June 1944, in enemy controlled waters west of the Mariana Islands, his first as Commanding Officer. With daring and aggressive determination in the face of unusually strong and alert enemy escorts, which included both air and surface craft, Commander Blakely skillfully executed three well-planned and brilliantly executed torpedo attacks which resulted in the sinking of our enemy ships for a total of 32,200 tons and damaging of one 5,600 ton freighter. Skillful evasive action enabled him to escape enemy counter-measures and avoid damage to his ship. Through his experience and sound judgment Commander Blakely brought his ship safely back to port. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to his officers and men and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from The Sub. (Groton, Conn.) 193?-1946, 17 June 1943, Image 9, via
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
Shark 259k Google Earth satellite photo where Shark (SS-314) is assumed to have been lost.View courtesy of Google Earth.
Shark 32k Japanese destroyer Harukaze, credited with sinking the Shark (SS-314), according to Submarines Lost Through Enemy Action Photo courtesy of Aryeh Wetterhorn via
Escolar (SS-294) and Shark (SS-314) Are Now Presumed to Be Lost With Crews

—Two of the United States Navy's newer submarines, the Escolar and Shark are reported overdue and presumed lost, with their crews of approximately 65 officers and men each. These 1,525-ton submersibles were commissioned last year. Both were under command of their first skippers when reported lost. Commander Edward Blakely of West Los Angeles was in command of the Shark and the Escolar's skipper was Commander William Millican of Coronado, Calif. These newest losses raised to 39 the number of U. S. submarines reported lost from all causes since the start of the war.
Image and text provided by Alaska State Library Historical Collections.
Photo from The Daily Alaska Empire. [volume] (Juneau, Alaska) 1926-1964, 01 March 1945, Image 8, via
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
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.
USN photo # N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of
Shark 201k Cdr. Blakely & his XO, John Dott Harper, Jr. holding up Shark's (SS-314) 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 .

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
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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