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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Blackfin (SS-322)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Alpha - Yankee

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (3) - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Vietnam Service Medal

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 10 June 1943, at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.; Launched, 12 March 1944; Commissioned USS Blackfin (SS-322), 4 July 1944; Decommissioned, 19 November 1948, for Guppy conversion at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.; Recommissioned, 15 May 1951; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 15 September 1972; Final Disposition, sunk as a target off Monterey, CA in "Project 'Thurber" on 13 May 1973. Blackfin was used in the movie "Move Over Darling" w/Doris Day & James Garner. Blackfin received three battle stars for her World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves (of blessed memory)

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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SizeImage DescriptionSource
Blackfin130kThunnus atlanticus.Photo "Blackfin tuna, Duane Raver Jr".,courtesy of
Blackfin21kCommemorative postal cover marking the keel laying of the Blackfin (SS-322), 10 June 1943, at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Blackfin282kBlackfin (SS-322) was launched 12 March 1944 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn., sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Lockwood, wife of Rear Admiral Lockwood; and commissioned 4 July 1944, Lieutenant Commander G. H. Laird, Jr., in command.
The launching party is seated on the platform for the launching of the Scamp (SSN-588) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 8 October 1960. The first row on notables are from left to right: Mrs. C. A. Lockwood; Vadm C. A. Lockwood, USN (Retired); Mrs. T. S. Sutherland (Matron of Honor) She is the widow of the Executive Officer of the Scamp (SS-277). Next is Mrs. J. C. Hollingsworth(Sponsor). She is the widow of the Commanding Officer of the Scamp which was reported lost on 16 November 1944.
USN photo # NY9 49175-10-60, contributed by Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin696kBlackfin (SS-322) down the ways, 12 March 1944 at Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn. Photo # 80-G-45460 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Blackfin30kCommemorative postal cover marking the Blackfin's (SS-322) launching on 12 March 1944, at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Blackfin11kCommemorative medallion on the occasion of the commissioning of the Blackfin (SS-322), 4 July 1944, at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.Photo courtesy of David W. Flight.
Blackfin159kOfficers and crew salute the national ensign on the bridge of the Blackfin (SS-322) at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT. during her commissioning ceremony on 4 July 1944.USN photo courtesy of
Blackfin34kBlackfin (SS-322), underway, 4 August 1944.USN photo images from U.S. Warships of World War Two", contributed by Mike Green.
Blackfin55kStarboard view of the Blackfin (SS-322), 1944.USN photo courtesy of
Blackfin66k Blackfin's (SS-322) battle-flag. USN photo courtesy of
Blackfin232k Bow on view of Blackfin (SS-322) departing Mare Island on 28 June 1946. USN photo # 2216-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin242k Broadside view of Blackfin (SS-322) off Mare Island on 28 June 1946. She was in overhaul at the yard from 17 March to 28 June 1946. USN photo # 2218-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin228k Stern view of Blackfin (SS-322) departing Mare Island on 28 June 1946. USN photo # 2220-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin58kBroadside view of the Blackfin (SS-322), underway, off Mare Island, CA., 28 June 1946.USN Archives photo # 19-N-95957, courtesy of
Blackfin95kDecommissioning ceremonies aboard Blackfin (SS-322) at Mare Island on 19 November 1948. Included here is a PDF of 1951 Commissioning Plan. USN photo # 2371-11-48, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Esler291kCapt. Clifford M. Esler, Jr. as Commander, Submarine Group San Francisco Bay (August 1968 - June 1970).
Dates of submarine command - as best I can determine.
Bluegill (SS-242) - Takes command at Mare Island on 3 May 1951 and relieved when sub was decommissioned on 7 July 1952.
USN photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin115k Blackfin (SS-322), entering Pearl Harbor and about to tie up, circa post mid 1952.USN photo courtesy of
Caiman 54k The Caiman (SS-323) was moored outboard of a fleet-type boat (unidentified) and inboard of the Blackfin (SS-322) in Yokosuka, Japan, 1952. The floating crane had come alongside to load torpedoes into the Blackfin. Courtesy of Grant Riddle /
Caiman 63k The Caiman (SS-323) & Blackfin (SS-322) moored outboard of the ASR in Yokosuka, Japan, 1952. Courtesy of Grant Riddle /
SS-322, 563,565 & 567 328k Tang (SS-563), Wahoo (SS-565),Gudgeon (SS-567) & Blackfin (SS-322) at the sub base, Pearl Harbor. Circa 1958. Looks like a Change of Command for SubRon 7 is taking place. Photo courtesy of Dan Craw ETC/SS Ret. Tang SS563, 1968-71.
Text i.d. courtesy of Ken Wiltshire.
Blackfin106kBlackfin (SS-322), underway off the Oahu coast just outside of Pearl Harbor. The occasion was the shake down after a major overhaul where the sail was replaced with a "step" sail. With that kind of sail the lookouts and OOD stood their surface watches in the lower part of the sail. There was a Plexiglas bubble that could be raised to offer some protection (but not much) from high waves. Circa late 1965 or early 1966. Text courtesy of Jerry Nicholas EN2(SS)(Retired).
USN photo courtesy George M. Arnold.
Blackfin277kCDR John G. Fletcher, USN, CO of Blackfin (SS-322).
Photo is dated 29 December 1967.
USN photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin282kBlackfin (SS-322) at dock, circa 29 August 1969.Photo # CVA 447-3601 courtesy of Walter E. Frost via courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Blackfin150k 1969 - 25th Anniversary patch of the Blackfin (SS-322).
Included here is a PDF of 1969 Officer's roster..
USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Blackfin526kCirca 1950 five page PDF Welcome Aboard the Blackfin (SS-322). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Blackfin50kStarboard view of the Blackfin (SS-322), underway after Guppy conversion, 18 January 1962.USN photo NPC 1059546 1-18-62 courtesy of
Bluegill 1.80 Sub base Pearl Harbor, 1962. From L to R: Bream (SS-243),Bluegill (SS-242), Bashaw (SS-241), Medregal (SS-480) & Blackfin (SS-322) with Coucal (ASR-8), alongside.
Tunny (AGS-282) and Barbero (SS-317) are possibly the two nearest foreground boats.
Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hummel & Robert Morgan.
Photo courtesy of Rick Connole, son of Commander David R. Connole,K.I.A. while commanding the Trigger (SS-237), lost with the entire crew of 89 on 28 March 1945.
Blackfin1.16kBlackfin (SS-322) on 16 August 1963.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Blackfin414kAfter Caiman's (SS-323) decommissioning ceremony as seen from the shore on 30 July 1972:
Harder (SS-568),
Blackfin (SS-322),
Trigger (SS-564) &
Sperry (AS-12).
Blackfin's time clock was ticking, 45 days the boat would be decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register on 15 September 1972.
Photo courtesy of Sait Kucuk, CPOS (Retired),Turkish Navy.
Blackfin492kAfter Caiman's (SS-323) decommissioning ceremony, from left to right:
Trigger (SS-564),
Blackfin (SS-322), &
Harder (SS-568).
Photo courtesy of Sait Kucuk, CPOS (Retired),Turkish Navy.
Blackfin5.76k65 page PDF of the Blackfin's (SS-322) history.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Fremantle 365k This plaque was unveiled 20 March 1995 by His Excellency Major General P.M. Jeffery OA MC, Governor of Western Australia to commemorate the sacrifices made by Allied submarines that operated out of Fremantle, Western Australia during WW II. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).

View the Blackfin (SS-322)
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
Guppy Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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