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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on right contributed by Mike Smolinski, on left by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Scabbardfish (SS-397)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Oscar - Papa

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 27 September 1943, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 27 January 1944; Commissioned USS Scabbardfish (SS-397), 29 April 1944; along with three other U. S. submarines - Razorback, Redfish and Ronquil - a record 4 submarine launching and christenings in a single day at one shipyard.
In January 1948 she reported to Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, CA for decommissioning and "moth-balling" in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. In October 1964, Scabbardfish was re-commissioned at Mare Island for Fleet Snorkel modifications and to receive a new and distinctive "step sail". After conversion, and pursuant to terms of the Security Assistance Program, she once again decommissioned and was transferred (loan) to the Hellenic Republic of Greece.
On 26 February 1965, ex- Scabbardfish was given the name of the trident of the mythical "Ruler of the Seas, Poseidon" and commissioned in the Hellenic Submarine Forces as HS Triaina (S-86) (also transliterated as Triaena). Stricken from the United States Naval Vessel Register (NVR) on 31 January 1976 and the title transferred as a sale to the Hellenic Republic. Removed from active service by the Hellenic Navy on 12 January 1979, but continued to serve as a training vessel until at least 1982. Final fate unknown.
Scabbardfish received five battle starts for World War II service.
Researched by CTRC Donald J. Wagner, USN (Ret.) for NavSource.

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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Scabbardfish532kScabbardfish (SS-397) was launched on 27 January 1944; sponsored by Ensign Nancy J. Schetky.
She lies now at Arlington.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of Margaret Miller.
Photo added 05/12/14.
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.
Scabbardfish15kCommemorative postal cover marking Scabbardfish's (SS-397) launching, 27 January 1944. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
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. US Navy 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. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Scabbardfish169k After completing initial training at Portsmouth N.H., and torpedo trials at Newport R.I., Scabbardfish (SS-397) reported to the Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, New London, Conn., for advance training and final outfitting.
She is seen here underway on 30 May 1944.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Scabbardfish152k On 28 November 1944, Scabbardfish (SS-397) sank the Japanese submarine I-365, picking up one lone survivor named Sasaki. The I-367, seen here, is indicative of the same class as the I-365. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org.
Photo added 05/12/14.
Scabbardfish162kPortside view of the Scabbardfish (SS-397) underway, and throwing a wash over her bow, circa 1944-45.Courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Scabbardfish62kBattleflag of the Scabbardfish (SS-397), circa 1944-45.Courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet 900k Inactivated submarines at Mare Island on 3 January 1946.
Front row left to right: Sand Lance (SS-381), next two could be Sealion (SS-315) and Seahorse (SS-304), Searaven (SS-196), Pampanito (SS-383), Gurnard (SS-254), Mingo (SS-261), Guitarro (SS-363), Bashaw (SS-241).
Back row left to right: Unknown, Tunny (SS-282), next three could be Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), and Saury (SS-189), Macabi (SS-375), Sunfish (SS-281), Guavina (SS-362), Lionfish (SS-298),Piranha (SS-389).
The Scabbardfish (SS-397) is docked in ARD-11 on the other side of the causeway.

The mixture of boats from the Salmon/Sargo, Gato, and Balao classes illustrate the clear differences in the conning tower fairwaters and the periscope shears that can be used to identify boats. The high bridges with the uncovered support frames (the "covered wagon" look) of the Gato's and Salmon/Sargo's contrast with the low and sleek look of the Balao's. The fatter, more robust periscope shears of the Balao's are markedly different from the thinner shears with more supporting structure of the Gato's and Salmon/Sargo's.
The differences in the pattern of the superstructure limber holes can also be used for identification purposes. The single row of large semi-circular holes identify Electric Boat or Manitowoc boats. A dual row of smaller rectangular holes mark the government built boats. Also note that the EB/Manitowoc boats have the deck mounted, T-shaped JP sonar head on the starboard side of the forward deck, while the government boats have it on the port side.
EB/Manitowoc boats had the anchor on the starboard side, the government boats on the port side. A close look will show that some of the boats have had the anchor removed and the hawsepipe plated over as part of the mothball process.
Most of the boats have the late war radar outfit of the SJ surface search (small dish) and SV air search (large dish). The Balao's and some of the Gato's have the SS dish mounted on a separate large mast aft of the periscopes. The older Salmon/Sargo's and Gato's have a much smaller mast. Searaven appears to have had her radars already removed.
Searaven is actually sporting a late war SJ surface search antennae mounted to starboard of the periscopes. This is a rare installation. Most often it was mounted forward (early war) or aft (late war) of the 'scopes shears. Her air search set is a late war SD antennae mounted on a stub mast directly aft of the 'scopes. Searaven never received the much more capable SV air search set. Having been assigned to training duties after November, 1944 it was probably felt that the SV set was not necessary.
One strange thing: almost all of the boats appear to have the outer doors of the forward torpedo tubes open. Even though the boats have an interlock system that prevents the breech and outer doors from being opened at the same time, this is an unusual thing to do and a potential source of catastrophic flooding.
U.S. Navy photo # 17-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Text courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
Who Am I?289kInactivated submarines at Mare Island in early 1946.
Front row left to right: Sand Lance (SS-381), next two could be Sealion (SS-315) and Seahorse (SS-304), Searaven (SS-196), Pampanito (SS-383), Gurnard (SS-254), Mingo (SS-261), Guitarro (SS-363), Bashaw (SS-241).
Back row left to right: Unknown, Tunny (SS-282), next three could be Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), and Saury (SS-189), Macabi (SS-375), Sunfish (SS-281), Guavina (SS-362), Lionfish (SS-298),Piranha (SS-389).
The Scabbardfish (SS-397) is docked in ARD-11 on the other side of the causeway.
Tiru (SS-416) is on the ways in upper left hand side of photo. Two ferry boats (to the right of Tiru's ways) are YHB-2 / [ex-Post of Stockton] and YHB-21 / [ex-Tamalpais].
Photo i.d. courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Scabbardfish179kStern view of Scabbardfish (SS-397) off Mare Island on 26 February 1946. US Navy Photo # 822-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Scabbardfish165kBroadside view of Scabbardfish (SS-397) off Mare Island on 26 February 1946. She was in overhaul at the yard from 29 November 1945 to 9 March 1946. US Navy Photo # 824-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Scabbardfish187kBow on view of Scabbardfish (SS-397) off Mare Island on 26 February 1946. US Navy Photo # 826-46, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Decommissioning 245k Photo of the decommissioning ceremonies of Scabbardfish (SS-397) at Mare Island on 27 November 1953. Tinosa (SS-283) is inboard of Scabbardfish. US Navy Photo # 19449-11-53, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Scabbardfish71k Scabbardfish (SS-397) following Guppy conversion, circa 1950's.Courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Decommissioning 732kFive page PDF history of the Scabbardfish (SS-397). US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PDF added 05/12/14.
HS Triaina (S-86)
Scabbardfish286k Scabbardfish (SS-397) as the Greek submarine HS Triaina (S-86), circa April 1976. Official Hellenic Navy picture, courtesy of Tony Vrailas.

View the Scabbardfish (SS-397)
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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