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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch at left contributed by Mike Smolinski, patches in center from USS Ronquil Web Site, on right by Francisco Javier Santos Vazquez

Ronquil (SS-396)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Oscar - Delta

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 9 September 1943, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 27 January 1944; Commissioned USS Ronquil (SS-396), 22 April 1944; Decommissioned, 1 May 1952, "Guppy" modernization at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.; Recommissioned, 16 January 1953; Decommissioned, 1 July 1971, struck from the Naval Register, the same day and transferred to Spain, under the Mutual Security Assistance Act; Commissioned into the Spanish Navy as Isaac Peral (S-32); Final Disposition, struck from Spanish Naval rolls, in 1982, fate unknown. Ronquil received six battle stars for World War II service.
Ronquil was used in the movie "Ice Station Zebra" w/Rock Hudson & Ernest Borgnine.

As built to the 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, 2,740hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.

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Drydock493kEarly 1944 photo of the Redfish (SS-395), Ronquil (SS-396) & Razorback (SS-394) under construction and soon to be launched, with prefabricated sections and other building parts for the soon to be constructed Piper (SS-409) & Threadfin (SS-410) in the foreground.Photo courtesy of John D. Alden, author of The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy: A Design and Construction History.
Quintuplets123kCommemorative postal cover marking the quadruple launching of the Razorback (SS-394), Redfish (SS-395), Ronquil (SS-396) & Scabbardfish (SS-397) launching, 27 January 1944 at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Redfish 154k Preparing for the Christening ceremony aboard the Redfish (SS-395) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., 27 January 1944. Two of the submarines behind the Redfish are either the Razorback (SS-394), Ronquil (SS-396) & Scabbardfish (SS-397). All 4 boats were launched that day. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Redfish 178k Miss Ruth Roper holds the bottle at the Christening ceremony aboard the Redfish (SS-395) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., 27 January 1944. Two of the submarines behind the Redfish are either the Razorback (SS-394), Ronquil (SS-396) & Scabbardfish (SS-397). All 4 boats were launched that day. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Ronquil16kCommemorative postal cover marking the commissioning of the Ronquil (SS-396), 22 April 1944 at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Ronquil 79k CDR. Robert Bond Lander was the commanding officer of the Ronquil (SS-396) from December 1944 to 29 August 1945. USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Ronquil 213k Starboard bow view of the Ronquil (SS-396) entering Pearl Harbor, circa 1944-45. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Ronquil 41k WW II battleflag of the Ronquil (SS-396). USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Ronquil 61k Portside view of the Ronquil (SS-396), possibly taken circa January 1947, when she departed San Diego for her first peacetime western Pacific deployment. This patrol lasted 114 days and took the submarine to Tahiti, the Carolines, the Marianas, Japan, and the Yellow Sea. Text info courtesy of DANFS. Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Ronquil 56k Ronquil (SS-396), in a postwar photo showing her radar antennae, peace-time hull number and name markings, and a pair each of 5-inch and 40-millimeter guns. Some submarines were modified late in World War II for heavy surface firepower for use against smaller ships and craft." USN photo courtesy of Joe Radigan, MACM, USN Ret.
Ronquil 111k The Ronquil (SS-396), taken 25 February 1949 passing under the Golden Gate Bridge on her way in from extensive cold weather maneuvers in the Gulf of Alaska. USN photo.
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540kOfficial party arrives to re-commission Ronquil (SS-396) at Mare Island on 16 January 1953 after her Guppy 1A. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
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1.18kGeneral view of the re-commissioning ceremonies at Mare Island on 16 January 1953. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ronquil 225k Photo of re-commissioning ceremonies aboard Ronquil (SS-396) at Mare Island on 16 January 1953. USN photo # 15913-1-53, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ronquil 223k Broadside view of Ronquil (SS-396) off Mare Island on trials during her Guppy II conversion on 30 March 1953. She was under conversion at the yard from 27 May 1952 to 3 April 1953. Note she was fitted with a so-called "step sail"; as shown in other photographs on this page, this was later replaced by a "Northern sail", designed to bring the bridge higher, so that it could be manned in rough weather.
She shows a new 100-in sonar dome on deck forward to accommadate a WFA-1 transducer (but designed for the BQS-2 that replaced it). Note also the sleeve, surrounding her raised periscope, that was designed to permit vibration free operation at higher speeds.
USN photo # 16880-3-53, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Partial text courtesy of Fabio Peña & U.S. Submarines Since 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman & James L. Christley. Naval Institute Press.
Ronquil 332k Starboard view of the Ronquil (SS-396) circa mid 1950's passing the submarine tender Nereus (AS-17). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Sterlet 46k Sterlet (SS-392), in Kaohsiung, Formosa, tied up alongside the dock and the Ronquil (SS-396) moored outboard. Circa mid 1950's. Courtesy of Grant Riddle / submarinebaseph.com.
Ronquil 249k Ronquil (SS-396), at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, with Canadian destroyers anchored in background. Circa mid 1950's. Courtesy of Grant Riddle /submarinebaseph.com.
Ronquil 223k Ronquil (SS-396) makes her way past the wire fence into the open sea in this post mid 1950's photo. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ronquil 88k Ronquil (SS-396), surfaced and underway, date and place unknown. Courtesy of George M. Arnold.
Sperry 666k Sperry (AS-12) moored in the harbor at San Diego CA., in 1962 with submarines on her port side, from outboard to inboard,
Bugara (SS-331)
Caiman (SS-323)
Ronquil (SS-396)
Charr (SS-328)
Sea Fox (SS-402) and
Menhaden (SS-377).
Photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
Ronquil 154k Ronquil (SS-396), 19 June 1963.
After taking part in a demonstration of antisubmarine operations for the national radio and television networks, she began a period of overhaul and local operations. The submarine departed San Diego in November 1963 for duty with the 7th Fleet; on her return to California, she again resumed operations off the west coast.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
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1.19kRonquil (SS-396) departing San Diego in the mid 1960’s. By this time she has had the new fiberglass “North Atlantic” sail installed to replace her earlier Portsmouth style stepped sail.” She did not receive the Guppy III modification. She received the Guppy IIA mod and never got a Guppy III. ALL of the Guppy III’s received the three shark fin domes for the PUFFS sonar. However, many of the Guppy II’s a and IIA’s did get the high fiberglass “North Atlantic” sail to replace the original stepped sail. This was in response to criticisms of a very wet bridge during runs up north. The higher sails began to appear in the early 1960’s during the boat’s regular scheduled overhauls.Text courtesy of David Johnston.
Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
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428k1967 photo of RADM Monroe. He was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Medal of getting S-35 (SS-140) back to port after a serious electrical fire. He was awarded two Silver Stars for service as the commanding officer of Ronquil (SS-396). Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Pomfret259kArticle from the 12 November 1965 edition of the Grapevine-Drydocker newspaper (Combined newspaper of Mare Island & Hunters Point Naval Shipyards) concerning the Ronquil (SS-396) donating her bow to the Pomfret (SS-391). PDF courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ronquil 952k Ice Station Zebra star Ronquil (SS-396) in the 1968 film in which she played the part of the fictional Tigerfish (SSN-509). Photo courtesy of DVDCLASSIK.COM via Robert Hurst & flickr.com
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477k3 page PDF WW 11 history of Ronquil (SS-396) & 4 page PDF post war.Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Isaac Peral (S-32)
Ronquil 33k Isaac Peral y Caballero. Born in Cartagena, 1 June 1851. Died in Berlin, 22 May 1895. Spanish scientist and sailor, Lieutenant in the [Spanish] Royal Navy and inventor of the first submarine torpedo boat, the Peral (1885). Photo & text courtesy of Fabio Pena.
Ronquil 71k ex Ronquil (SS-396), in Spanish naval service. Named after the Spanish submarine pioneer, Isaac Peral (S-32) is seen at Barcelona, Spain, 22 January 1983. Partially visible is Martín Álvarez (L-12), ex Wexford County (LST-1168). USN photo courtesy of Fabio Peña.
Ronquil 41k Isaac Peral (S-32), at Barcelona, Spain, 22 January 1983. Note retracted bow hydroplane USN photo courtesy of Fabio Peña.

View the Ronquil (SS-396)
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
Guppy Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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