Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive



Patch on left courtesy of usssubvetsofwwii.org, on right by Y.M.Umar, CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.

Caiman (SS-323)
U.S. Service

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Charlie - Charlie

To Additional Pages

Decommissioning & Transfer
Turkish Service


Balao Class Submarine: Originally named Blanquillo (name changed on 24 September 1942); Laid down, 24 June 1943 at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT; Launched, 30 March 1944; Commissioned USS Caiman (SS-323), on 17 July 1944. Entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA on 23 April 1951 for conversion to GUPPY (snorkel) configuration.
Upon completion of upgrade in February 1952, Caiman departed for duties in the Western Pacific in support of United Nations forces in the Korean Conflict.
Caiman (sold) decommissioned and transferred to Turkey on 30 June 1972. (Friedman, Bauer)to the Republic of Turkey and was Commissioned in the Turkish Navy as TGC Dumlupinar (S-339) in ceremonies conducted at the U. S. Support Facility, Ballast Point in San Diego.
Dumlupinar was the 3rd Turkish submarine to bear the name of the last battle of the Turkish War of Independence (1919 - 1922). The ex-Blower (SS-325), also named Dumlupinar, was lost with 81 Turkish submariners in the treacherous Dardanelles on 4 April 1953.
(Note: the Dumlupinar also suffered a collision with the Soviet freighter Szik Vovilov just 28 nautical miles from where the ex-Blower was lost, however the crew managed to ground her before another tragic sinking and loss of life.) The Dumlupinar was salvaged and repaired and served in the Turkish Navy for 11 years before her Decommissioning as TGC Dumlupinar (S-339) on 6 February 1983. She was renamed Ceryan Botu (Y-1247) and served as a charging boat at Gölcük Navy Yard until she was scrapped on 15 September 1986.
Researched by Yves Hubert, CTRC Donald J. Wagner, USN (Ret.) & Sait Kucuk, CPOS (Ret), Turkish Navy for NavSource.

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.
Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
Caiman 137k The Caiman (SS-323) was spawned here. Construction is probably late summer 1943. Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of life.time.com
Caiman 31k Commemorative postal cover marking the launching of the Caiman (SS-323), at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT., 30 March 1944. USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Caiman 130k Caiman (SS-323), sliding down the launching ways at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT., 30 March 1944. US Navy photo courtesy of Electric Boat.
Caiman 894k Photo of the invitation for the Caiman's (SS-323) commissioning party. The contributor's father, Jewell W. Webb, CEM, was a plankholder on the Caiman. He is the last person on the right in the first row. His significant other, Dorothy Webb, is seated in the far right in the second row. USN photo courtesy of William J. Webb.
Caiman 66k J. B. Azer who was commanding officer of the Caiman (SS-323) at the time of her commissioning. USN photo courtesy of William J. Webb.
Caiman 534k Caiman (SS-323) during the 40's post war period. USN photo courtesy of flickr.com via Stephen Gower.
Caiman 1.76k Caiman (SS-323) circa early 1950's. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Caiman 29k March 1950 in Hawaii. Bergall (SS-320) is outboard of the Caiman (SS-323). In the background is the Valley Forge (CVA-45). Text courtesy of John Hummel. Photo courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 50k The after torpedo room and two torpedoes of the Caiman (SS-323) in 1950. My first bunk assignment was in the rack mounted right above the copper warhead of the torpedo. You can understand why we actually preferred to sleep in the barracks when we had the opportunity. The yellow "exercise shot" had a water-filled tank in place of the warhead. After being shot and running its course, when the propulsion ran down the water was blown out of the tank by air pressure and the torpedo would bob in the water like a buoy to be recovered by the retrievers and re-used. Being a newbie I was assigned a battle station on the torpedo re-loading crew. Under the direction of a torpedoman petty officer we would winch the torpedoes into the tubes before firing. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 87k Caiman (SS-323), March 1950 at Hilo, Hawaii. In the background is a bulk sugar loading facility. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 100k Caiman (SS-323) starboard quarter view, March 1950 off Hawaii. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 273k President Truman Inspects Pearl Harbor on 13 October 1950: The Caiman (SS-323) is dockside. AP Wirephoto courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 12/04/13.
Caiman 211k Bow on view of Caiman (SS-323) departing Mare Island on 25 September 1951. USN Photo # 10521-9-51, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Caiman 290k Stern view of Caiman (SS-323) departing Mare Island on 25 September 1951. USN Photo # 10525-9-51, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Caiman 291k Amidships looking forward plan view of Caiman (SS-323) at Mare Island on 25 September 1951. She was under conversion at the yard from 2 April to 10 October 1951. The Charr (SS-328) & Baya (SS-318) are in front of the Caiman undergoing their conversions to GUPPY. USN Photo # 10531-9-51, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Caiman 64k The AC power distribution panel and gyro control panel in control room of the Caiman (SS-323). Circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 40k After battery sleeping quarters, bunks "up" in the Caiman (SS-323). Circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 69k The new snorkel control panel at the dive station of the Caiman (SS-323). The snorkel head had an electric sensor that would shut the valve if seawater washed over it. The engines would keep running and suck the air out of the boat, circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 60k Caiman (SS-323) with upgraded dive control station with new indicators. The former bubbles were replaced with more sensitive dial indicators, circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 64k One addition to the engine rooms in the Caiman (SS-323) was an air diverter to blow any sea water coming down the snorkel to over and behind the engines. Also, when we were snorkeling in Arctic waters the icy air was partially warmed by the engines before being blown through the boat. Circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 40k The Captain's chair at the wardroom table. Nobody but nobody sat in that chair except the Captain of the Caiman (SS-323), circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 81k The high-pressure air distribution manifold of the Caiman (SS-323) looking forward. Circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 81k The high and low-pressure distribution manifold of the Caiman (SS-323) looking aft. Circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 74k The mess hall of the Caiman (SS-323) with galley passthrough. Important reading material, circa 1951-52. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
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 / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 63k The Caiman (SS-323) & Blackfin (SS-322) moored outboard of the ASR in Yokosuka, Japan, 1952. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 66k Caiman (SS-323) circa 1953. Courtesy of John Hummel.
Caiman 24k Caiman (SS-323), underway, fall of 1953, prior to conducting a "covert" cruise to track the Soviet merchant fleet sailing through the Bering Strait between Alaska and the Siberian peninsula to supply the North Korean war effort. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com.
Caiman 41k Caiman (SS-323), prior to going to the Dry Dock (ARD) for 10,000 mile overhaul. The white stuff is saltwater corrosion of aluminum, fall 1953. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 62k Caiman (SS-323), in the Dry Dock (ARD) for scrapping and repainting. The ASR in the background, fall 1953. Courtesy of Grant Riddle submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 62k Caiman (SS-323), stern view in the Dry Dock (ARD) for scrapping and repainting. The screws were removed and taken to the shop for repair. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Caiman 87k The Caiman (SS-323) underway, circa post 1953. USN photo courtesy of USNI.
Caiman 44k Caiman (SS-323) is shown on 31 July 1958 after a San Francisco overhaul. The large dome enclosed BQR-3, a modernized JT, permitting it to fuction at higher underwater speeds. The smaller dome housed a single-ping searchlight sonar, BQS-3, a successor to the wartime WFA. US Navy Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Since 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman & James L. Christley. Naval Institute Press.
Who Am I?153kSubs alongside of the Sperry (AS-12), circa 1964 - 68. There are three Guppies, one AGSS, and Skipjack class 585's. The Caiman (SS-323) looks like the boat overhanging the end of the pier. Caiman was a Guppy 1A and had the sail, bow and aft messenger bouy on the port side as shown. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ray ? Text courtesy of David Johnston, (USNR).
Caiman 323k The Caiman (SS-323) is seen in Mare Island's dry dock #4 in February 1967 while in overhaul at the yard. She was in overhaul at the yard from 14 December 1966 to 29 May 1967 and in dry dock from 20 December 1966 to 21 March 1967. Floating workshop/ berthing barge YRS-2 and 150-ton floating crane YSD-33 are seen in the background. USN Photo # 10521-9-51, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Caiman 26k Commemorative postal cover marking the Caiman's (SS-323) building history. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Caiman 100k The Caiman (SS-323), drawn by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Photo courtesy of Navy Yard Associates.
Caiman 57k The Caiman's (SS-323) plaque drawn by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Photo courtesy of Navy Yard Associates.

View the Caiman (SS-323)
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
USS Caiman (SS323)
Guppy Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Submarine Index
This page is created by Gary Priolo, and maintained by Michael Mohl
©1996 - 2014, NavSource History All rights reserved.