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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left courtesy of Bill Hughes, second from left courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org. Other patches courtesy of Mike Smolinski.

Sterlet (SS-392)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Quebec - Lima

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 14 July 1943, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, on Seavey Island in Kittery, Maine. Launched, 27 October 1943; Commissioned USS Sterlet (SS-392), 5 February 1944; Decommissioned 18 September 1948, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Recommissioned, 26 August 1950; Converted to a Fleet Snorkel Submarine in 1952; Decommissioned, 30 September 1968; Struck from the Naval Register, 1 October 1968; Final Disposition, sunk as a target by Sargo (SSN-583), 31 January 1969. Sterlet received four battle stars for World War II service.

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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Plumley
0839222
NR Charles A. Plumley, president of Norwich University, the military college of Vermont, says that wars are unpreventable and urges preparedness. It is his contention that nations will quarrel despite leagues and conferences because they are just as greedy as some humans. He calls attention to the conditions of Europe to show the thin crust which peace walks on.
The Sterlet (SS-392) was laid down on 14 July 1943 at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard & launched on 27 October 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Plumley.
Image and text provided by Indiana State Library.
Photo from the The Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram. [volume] (Richmond, Ind.) 1907-1939, 05 May 1922, SUPPLEMENT, Image 10, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Piranha 902k Rear Admiral T. Withers, Senator Ralph Brewster, Senator Charles Tobey, ex-Governor Alvan Fuller, Congressman Charles Plumley, and Senator Frances Maloney, at the triple launch of the Pomfret (SS-391), the Sterlet (SS-392), and the Piranha (SS-389), 27 October 1943. National Archives Identifier: 12562959
Photo courtesy of catalog.archives.gov
Sterlet 129k Commemorative launch tag on the occasion of Sterlet's (SS-392) launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, 27 October 1943.Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Sterlet 21k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of Sterlet's (SS-392) commissioning at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, 4 March 1944. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Sterlet 286k The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Orme Campbell Robbins, Commander, U.S. Navy, for gallantry and intrepidity and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Sterlet (SS-392), on the SECOND War Patrol of that submarine during the period 18 September 1944 to 30 November 1944, in enemy controlled waters of the Pacific War Area. Through his experience and sound judgment Commander Robbins brought his ship safely back to port. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to his officers and men and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Sterlet 21k Sterlet (SS-392), in port, circa 1944-45. USN photo courtesy of subnet.com.
Sterlet 49k Sterlet (SS-392) with unidentified friends in port, circa 1944-45. Photo by Bob Fedor, courtesy of John Prylzba, MMC(SS)(Retired) / dbfer.com.
Sterlet 93k Photo of the re-commissioning ceremonies of the Sterlet (SS-392), at Mare Island on 26 August 1950. Lt. Comdr. George W. Kittredge in command. USN photo # 6796-8-50, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Sterlet 84k Photo of the change of command of Sterlet (SS-392) at Mare Island on 1 December 1953. I'm unable to identify the officers. USN photo # 19473-12-53, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Sterlet 50k Sterlet (SS-392) & unknown moored outboard of the ASR in Yokosuka harbor, Japan, 1954. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Sterlet 91k Sterlet (SS-392), Yokosuka harbor, Japan, 1954. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Sterlet 589k Port side view of the Sterlet (SS-392) on 19 May 1955 off Hawaii. USN photo # USN 667747 courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Sterlet 46k Sterlet (SS-392), in Kaohsiung , Formosa, tied up alongside the dock and the Ronquil (SS-396) moored outboard, 1956. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com
Sterlet 39k Crew in dress whites aboard the Sterlet (SS-392) at dockside, circa post mid 1950's. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Sterlet 44k Sterlet (SS-392) entering Pearl Harbor, circa post mid 1950's. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Sterlet 63k Cutout of the Sterlet (SS-392), in her final configuration. Courtesy of John Przybyla, ETC(SS) / dbfer.net.
Sterlet 58k A still from a 16mm movie clip shows the Sterlet (SS-392), possibly off Hawaii, circa post mid 1950's. USN photo courtesy of periscopefilm.com.
Greenfish 118k Three different bow views of fleet boats.
Greenfish (SS-351) is the outboard boat in the photo.
The boat with the sonar dome on the bow is the Fleet Snorkel boat Sterlet (SS-392). In 1955, she was fitted with a BQR-4A sonar similar to the SSK conversions, but she retained all six forward torpedo tubes (unlike the SSK conversions, which lost the upper two), was not silenced to the extent that the SSK's were, and retained all four engines. Sea Owl (SS-405) and Piper (SS-408) received similar installations. These three boats were never re-designated as SSK. They can be easily distinguished from the SSK conversions because the sonar dome was raised above the deck level. The SSK's dome was flush with the main deck. This is why they lost the upper two torpedo tubes.
Carp (SS-338) is the next boat inboard.
Photo courtesy of Ron Phillipi.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston.
Williams
0839223
371k CDR John G. Williams, Jr. commanded Sterlet (SS-392) from 25 June 1960 to 27 July 1961. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Submarine Base Pearl Harbor564kSubmarine are from left to right: Halibut (SSGN-587), Pickerel (SS-524), Perch (LPSS-313), Unidentified, Sterlet (SS-392) at Submarine Base Pearl Harbor on 12 April 1967. USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hummel & David Johnston
Carp200kStern view of four boats tied up in Pearl Harbor about 1959. Inboard to outboard are the Sabalo (SS-302), Carp (SS-338), Sterlet (SS-392) & Greenfish (SS-351). Photo courtesy of Ron Phillipi.
Carp227kInverse of the above photo shows a partial bow view of Sabalo (SS-302),Carp (SS-338), Sterlet (SS-392) & Greenfish (SS-351). Photo courtesy of Ron Phillipi.
Sterlet 246k Sterlet (SS-392) is a shell of her former self in dry dock, 1966. USN photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Sterlet 192k Stern & propeller guards on the Sterlet (SS-392) in dry dock, 1966. USN photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Sterlet 124k Sterlet's (SS-392) crew pose topside waiting to disembark from her final patrol in September 1968. USN photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Sterlet 52k Sterlet (SS-392), underway outside Pearl Harbor just prior to being decommissioned, 30 September 1968. Courtesy of John Przybyla, ETC(SS) dbfer.net.
Submitted by Gary "Cowboy" McLaughlin, former crewmember, early 60's.
Sterlet 22k First of three photos of the Sterlet (SS-392), sinking by the stern after being hit as a target by Sargo (SSN-583), 31 January 1969. Courtesy of John Przybyla, ETC(SS)/ dbfer.net.
Sterlet 21k Second of three photos of the Sterlet (SS-392), sinking after being hit as a target by Sargo (SSN-583), 31 January 1969. Courtesy of John Przybyla, ETC(SS)/ dbfer.net.
Sterlet 21k Final of three photos of the Sterlet (SS-392), after being hit as a target by Sargo (SSN-583), 31 January 1969. Courtesy of John Przybyla, ETC(SS)/ dbfer.net.

View the Sterlet (SS-392)
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
Diesel Boats Forever
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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