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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

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Pilotfish (SS-386)

Radio Call Sign: November - Juliet - Whiskey - Golf

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 15 May 1943, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, on Seavey Island in Kittery, Maine. Launched, 30 August 1943; Commissioned USS Pilotfish (SS-386), 16 December 1943; sank at Bikini 25 July 1946; Decommissioned, 29 August 1946; Struck from the Naval Register, 25 February 1947; Final Disposition, Raised and sunk as a target, 16 October 1948 off Eniwetok." see "Operation Crossroads", Jonathan M. Weisgall.
Pilotfish received five battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

As built to the specifications: Displacement, Surfaced 1,526 t., Submerged 2,391 t.; Length 311' 8"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Submerged Endurance, 48 hours at 2 kts; 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 single 40mm gun mount, one single 20mm gun mount, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear, Fairbanks Morse diesel engines, 5,400 HP, Fuel Capacity, 116,000 gal., four Elliot Motor Co. electric main motors with 2,740 shp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Bang & Piolotfish 523k Off with a Bang (SS-385) & a Pilotfish (SS-386) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 30 August 1943. National Archives Identifier: 12562923
Photo courtesy of
Pilotfish 790k Bedecked with bunting and signal flags on her bow, Pilotfish (SS-386) is pictured here prior to launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 30 August 1943. USN photo courtesy of
Bang & Pilotfish 143k Governor Robert O. Blood and Rear Admiral T. Withers, U.S.N. at launching of Bang (SS-385) & Pilotfish (SS-386) at U.S. Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. 30 August 1943. National Archives Identifier: 12562932
Photo courtesy of
Pilotfish 57k Commemorative launching tag of the Pilotfish (SS-386) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 30 August 1943. Photo courtesy of Ron Toth, Jr. via Tom Kermen.
Pilotfish 274k Starboard view of the Pilotfish (SS-386) undergoing training and shakedown in the Portsmouth area, circa late 1943, early 1944. NARA (National ARchives and Records Administration) photo # 80-G-269706, courtesy of
 Pilotfish 882k Rear Admiral Thomas Withers, U.S.N. reading citation and presentation of award of silver star medal to Lt. William H. McClaskey, U.S.N.R. at commissioning of Pilotfish (SS-386) at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 16 December 1943 National Archives Identifier: 12563172
Photo courtesy of
Pilotfish 18k Commemorative post mark from Pilotfish's (SS-386) first day in commission, 16 December 1943. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Bang 83k Proteus (AS-19) at Midway Naval Base between 14 and 28 May 1944. The submarines alongside are (from left to right): Bang (SS-385); Pintado (SS-387); and Pilotfish (SS-386). USNHC photograph, NH # 93498
Richard Boyer Laning
442k Richard Boyer Laning was the last CO of the Pilotfish (SS-386), from 6.1946 to her Operation Cross Road sinking in 1948.
He appears here during his Academy days, circa 1940.
Partial text via Wolfgang Hechler.
USN photo courtesy of
Archerfish 95k Proteus (AS-19) with submarines of Submarine Squadron 20 alongside in Tokyo Bay, on VJ-Day, 2 September 1945. Names of the submarines present, their commanding officers and the commanding officers of SubRon20 and Proteus (AS-19) are printed at the bottom of the image: Archerfish (SS-311), Cavalla (SS-244), Gato (SS-212), Haddo (SS-255), Muskallunge (SS-262), Pilotfish (SS-386), Razorback (SS-394), Runner (SS-476), Segundo (SS-398), Sea Cat (SS-399), and Tigrone (SS-419). Courtesy of Captain Joseph F. Enright, USN(Retired), 1979. USN photo # NH 95019, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Pilotfish 52k Pilotfish (SS-386) underway with crewmen at quarters, September 1945. Probably taken upon her arrival at San Francisco, California, on 21 September. USNHC photo # 66443.
Pilotfish 700k Pilotfish (SS-386) & Loggerhead (SS-374) with crewmen at quarters, September 1945. Probably taken upon her arrival at San Francisco, California, on 21 September. Photograph courtesy of Angelo L. Lombardi via his daughter Mariann.
Bang 569k Three page PDF history of the Pilotfish (SS-386). PDF courtesy of Scott Koen &
Pilotfish 119k Pilotfish (SS-386) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 6 March 1946. Photograph # 19-N-114578 from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Pilotfish 43k Commemorative post mark from issued on the Pilotfish (SS-386) at Operation Crossroads Nuclear Nuclear Test Baker. Photo courtesy of Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). Special Philatelic and General Use Covers to commemorate the Operation Crossroads Nuclear Nuclear Test Abel.
Operation Crossroads 186k The array of target ships in Bikini lagoon for the Baker shot of Operation Crossroads. Half of the target ships were outside the area of this map. The ten red X's mark the ten ships that sank. The table (left) contains the key to ship numbers. The black circle, with a radius of 1,000 yards (914 m) from the point of detonation, outlines the area of serious ship damage. The blue circle, 330 yards (302 m) radius, marks the rim of the shallow underwater crater created by the blast, as well as the outer circumference of the hollow water column which enveloped Arkansas (BB-33). The submarines were submerged: Pilotfish (SS-386), ship #8, to a keel depth of 56 feet (17 m), Apogon (SS-308), ship #2, to a keel depth of 100 feet (30 m), and Skipjack (SS-184), ship #41, to 150 feet (46 m). National Park Service photo, Jerry Livingston and Larry Nordby - Delgado, James P., et al., The Archeology of the Atomic Bomb, National Park Service, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1991, Baker map on p 17,., via
Pilotfish 30k Diver rising from the wreck of the Pilotfish (SS-386). Photo courtesy of
Pilotfish 654k 5 photo PDF of the wreck of the Pilotfish (SS-386). Photo courtesy of

View the Pilotfish (SS-386)
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
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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