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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Plaice (SS-390)
Keel Laying - Active Service

Radio Call Sign: November - Juliet - Whiskey - Oscar

To Additional Pages

WW II Patrols
Decommissioning & Brazilian Service


Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 28 June 1943, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 15 November 1943; Commissioned USS Plaice (SS-390), 12 February 1944; Decommissioned late 1947, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet; Reactivated 18 May 1963 in preparation for transfer to Brazil, under the Military Assistance Program, 7 September 1963; Commissioned in the Brazilian Navy as Bahia (S-12); Sold to Brazil in 1972; Struck from the Naval Register, 1 April 1973; Final Disposition; Original plan was to make the sub a Museum, but it was sold for scrapping in 1978 because The Brazilian Museum of Naval Technology had financial problems and had to cancel the program. Plaice received six battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert & Valdo Novaes.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced 1,526 t., Submerged 2,391 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 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, four 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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Plaice 22k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Plaice's (SS-390) launching on 15 November 1943 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Plaice 20k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Plaice's (SS-390) commissioning on 12 February 1944. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Plaice 95k Pre-christening photo of the sponsor & maid of honor, Eleanor Fazzi & her cousin, Elda Petrucci who would christen the Plaice (SS-390) on 15 November 1943 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Lea Emby explains how her mother was chosen to christen the Plaice.

"My mother was chosen to christen a submarine because her brother was killed on the Yorktown (CV-5) in the Battle of the Coral Sea. His name was Victor A. Fazzi, Fireman 2nd Class, USNR. He had enlisted in the navy long before the start of the war, and he had been assigned to the Yorktown before it was sent to the Pacific.
When my mother's brother (Victor) was killed, he was buried at sea, and the navy did not return his personal effects, although they said they would. This was due to the fact that the Yorktown was patched up quickly and sent back into action - into the Battle of Midway, where, of course, it sank.
Anyway, all of this was too much for my grandmother (my mother's mother). Victor had been her oldest son, and her favorite. When he died and nothing was returned, she just couldn't go on. She died about 4 weeks later, she was only 49.
So . . . my mother lost her brother and her mother within a month, and she was left to keep house and take care of her father and raise her younger brother and sister. My mom had two younger siblings - so my mother was 23; her brother 15; and her sister only 8 when all of this happened. Of course, she did this without complaining, that's what their generation did. When my parents got married, my father had to move in with them, my mother would leave her family.
My grandfather was friendly with a Rhode Island superior court judge, very politically influential, and this judge contacted RI Senator Theodore Francis Green (who was a former RI governor). At the time, Senator Green was on some military subcommittee in Congress, and Judge DePasquale arranged to have Eleanor christen a submarine as his offering of condolence to my grandfather. So that's how my mother, an ordinary Italian girl and a child of immigrants from Providence Rhode Island, got to sponsor a US submarine!!!
Only in America."
USN photo courtesy of her daughter, Lea Emby.
Plaice 47k Pre-christening photo of the sponsor, Eleanor Fazzi who would christen the Plaice (SS-390) on 15 November 1943 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. USN photo courtesy of her daughter, Lea Emby.
Plaice 66k The Plaice (SS-390) is christened by Eleanor Fazzi on 15 November 1943 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. USN photo courtesy of her daughter, Lea Emby.
Plaice 19k Commemorative medallion on the occasion of the launching of the Plaice (SS-390), 15 November 1943 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Courtesy of James A. Munroe in remembrance of his father Raymond L. Munroe Sr. who worked at the yard during WW II and the Korean wars as a chauffeur.
Plaice 95k The Plaice (SS-390) is waterborne at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME. following her launching on 15 November 1943. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Plaice 82k Crew at Midway after Plaice's (SS-390) first war patrol, July 1944. Courtesy of Ray Barber.
Plaice 72k Crew at Guam after Plaice's (SS-390) third patrol, 1944 Xmas day. Courtesy of Ray Barber.
Plaice 45k Crew at Midway after Plaice's (SS-390) fifth patrol, 26 April 1945. Courtesy of Ray Barber.
Plaice 20k Plaice's (SS-390) Battle flag with Disney Logo first stage in production. Courtesy of Ray Barber.
Plaice 60k Plaice's (SS-390) Battle flag with Disney Logo. Courtesy of Ray Barber.
Plaice 1.6k Plaice's (SS-390) Battle flag with Disney Logo after her 5th patrol. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Plaice 28k By late 1944, many submarines had limited radar detection installations called radar countermeasures (RCM), although they never included jammers. Plaice's (SS-390) antenna blocked out here appears to be an AS-44, which detected microwave (S-band) signals at 1000-3500 MHz serving an APR-5AX or SPR-2. Both antennas were omnidirectional, and both could be connected to a pulse analyzer (SPA-1), from which the signal's pulse repetition rate and pulse width could be read. If the radar was a known type, this figure could identify it. Photo courtesy of Ray Barber, partial text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Unknown Photos 1.18k The table below lists the location of submarines at Mare Island on 20 September 1945. This information was pulled from microfiche copies of the hand written shipyard journals. Iím surprised that both the clipping and my table show 21 subs at the yard on the date in question. The photo is looking north and berth 3 is at the top of the photo and then the berths run down or south.
Berth 3 - Springer (SS-414) & Spadefish (SS-411)
Berth 4 - Guavina (SS-362) & Barbero (SS-317)
Berth 5 - Hammerhead (SS-364), Tinosa (SS-283), Mapiro (SS-376) & Moray (SS-300)
Berth 6 - Bream (SS-243), Seahorse (SS-304), Batfish (SS-310) & Aspro (SS-309)
Berth 7 - Pomfret (SS-391), Parche (SS-384) & Sunfish (SS-281)
Berth 8 - Queenfish (SS-393)
Berth 9 - Lionfish (SS-298) & Plaice (SS-390)
Dry Dock 1 - Bashaw (SS-241) & Mingo (SS-261)
Berth 12 - Guitarro (SS-363).
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 05/18/14.
Plaice 263k Plaice (SS-390), off Diamond Head, circa 1946-47. Courtesy of Ray Barber.
Plaice 129k Plaice (SS-390), circa post WW II.
Courtesy LCDR Calvin Raymond USN Ret.
Parche1.0mParche (SS-384) with YF-312 and S-30 (SS-135) outboard at Mare Island between 19 and 23 October 1945. The submarine to the left of Parche's sail is either Plaice (SS-390), Tinosa (SS-283) or Queenfish (SS-393). The Nereus (AS-17) is just visible left of the Parche's periscope shears.USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Plaice 164k Broadside view of Plaice (SS-390) off Mare Island on 24 February 1947. She was in overhaul at Mare Island on 3 December 1946 to 6 March 1947. USN photo # 415-47, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Plaice 148k Amidships looking aft plan view of Plaice (SS-390) at Mare Island on 27 February 1947. USN photo # 430-47, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.

View the Plaice (SS-390)
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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