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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch at left contributed by Mike Smolinski, middle by Patrick Householder, Decal on right by

Chopper (SS-342) (AGSS-342) (IXSS-242)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Delta - Oscar

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 2 March 1944, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 4 February 1945; Commissioned USS Chopper (SS-342), 25 May 1945; Reclassified Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-342) in 1969; Decommissioned, 27 August 1969; Reclassified Miscellaneous Submarine (IXSS-342) in 1971; Struck from the Naval Register, 10 October 1971; Assigned as salvage and rescue hulk at ServRon 8, 1971 to 1976; Final Disposition, sunk off Florida coast in 2400 fathoms on July 21 1976 while being rigged as an underwater target.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves (of blessed memory)

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 General Motors main generator engines, 5,400hp, Fuel Capacity 118,000, four General Electric main motors, 2,740hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Chopper 19k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of the keel laying of the Chopper (SS-342), 2 March 1944, at Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Chopper 347k Chopper (SS-342) starts down the ways on 4 February 1945. Photo # 80-G-48211 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo added 10/31/16.
Chopper 18k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of the Chopper's (SS-342) launching on 4 February 1945. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Chopper 660k Portside view of the Chopper (SS-342),underway, circa 1945. USN photo courtesy of
Chopper 53k Chopper (SS-342), WW II patch. Photo courtesy of Patrick Householder.
Chopper 978k Port side view of Chopper (SS-342) entering port in February 1947. Note the six Mk 51 rockets launcher on the bow of the submarine. Text i.d. courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Photo # 18X1-2-47 from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Chopper 659k Aerial view of Chopper (SS-342) in February 1947. Photo # 18X2-2-47 from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Pomodon 224k Forward plan view of Pomodon (SS-486) during her Guppy conversion at Mare Island on 16 May 1947. Chivo (SS-341) and Chopper (SS-342) are aft of Pomodon. USN Photo # 988-47, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Chopper 1.06k Nine page History & Welcome Aboard PDF of the Chopper (SS-342). Photos courtesy of Scott Koen &
Chopper 1.99k From a side photo perspective, Chopper (SS-342) was the right boat to be on. Photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Chopper 1.02k Portside view of the Chopper (SS-342),underway, circa post 1951 modernization at Electric Boat Co. USN photo courtesy of
 Subron 12 49k Chopper (SS-342) departed Key West 7 January 1952 for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean until 20 May. Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
3 boats 349k Barb (SS-220), Chivo (SS-341) and Chopper (SS-342) in 1954 outboard Bushnell (AS-15) in Key West, FA. Photo courtesy of via John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Chopper 47k The Chopper (SS-342) during 1958 off Key West Fla. The two gents on top the snorkel exhaust are going to be a bit wet if they stay where they are. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
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.
Chopper 509k The Chopper (SS-342) and Lockheed P-3 Orion overhead in undated anti-sub warfare exercise possibly on 20 June 1960. Photo from The World Encyclopedia of Submarines by John Parker courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Insert photo US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2011.113.331, courtesy of Mike Green.
Darter712kChopper (SS-342) and Darter (SS-576) exercise together with other elements of the fleet in the Atlantic on 20 June 1960.USN photo # 701727 courtesy of Scott Koen &
Chopper 538k President JFK and Chopper (SS-342) meet, 26 November 1962. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired via
Chopper 249k Change of command at Subron 12 Key West Fla. in the 1960's aboard the Bushnell (AS-15). Barracuda (SST-3) upper right. Other boats there are Sea Cat (SS-399), Picuda (SS-382), Atule (SS-403), Sea Fox (SS-402), Threadfin (SS-410) & Chopper (SS-342). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Chopper 72k Chopper (SS-342), at Key West, FL., 1966. © Richard Leonhardt.
Chopper 200k The Chopper (SS-342) decommissioned after her deep jack flying, no topside watch...decommissioned Fletcher destroyers behind her. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Chopper 27k The Chopper (SS-342), decomissioned after deep dive, at destroyer and submarine piers Norfolk Va. Kittywake (ASR-13) in background, date unknown. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Chopper 288k Service Weapons Test 76-1 (Ex-Chopper Sinkex).
The Chopper (SS-342) was rigged from bridge pontoons at 300 ft. Merchant ships ignored the Notice to Mariners about the explosive ordnance testing. Chopper stayed at 300 ft for several hours, while we waited on Spadefish (SSN-668) for the merchants to clear the area. Suddenly the pontoons disappeared and we heard the sounds of Chopper breaking up. The sinkex was conducted ~ 200 miles off the North Carolina coast.
Photo courtesy of Bill Wilson.

View the Chopper (SS-342)
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
Inside The Absolutely Wild Ride Of The USS Chopper
USS Chopper (SS-342) Association
Guppy Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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