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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Sea Poacher (SS-406) (AGSS-406)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Papa - Kilo

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 23 February 1944, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.; Launched, 20 May 1944; Commissioned USS Sea Poacher (SS-406), 31 July 1944; Converted to a Guppy-IA submarine in 1951 at Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, SC; Reclassified Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-406), 1 November 1969; Decommissioned, 15 November 1969; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia, PA.; Reclassified (SS-406), 30 June 1971; Struck from the Naval Register, 15 August 1973; Transferred (sold) under terms of the Security Assistance Program, to Peru,1 July 1974; Commissioned into the Peruvian Navy as Pabellion de Pica (S-49), name changed to La Pedrera; Final Disposition, taken out of service in 1995, and relegated to pierside training, fate unknown. Sea Poacher 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' 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, 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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Size Image Description Source
Sea Poacher 599k Launching of Sea Poacher (SS-406), 20 May 1944 at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.USN photo # 80-G-448574 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Sea Poacher 18k Commemorative launch day badge from Sea Poacher's (SS-406) launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 20 May 1944. 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.
Sea Poacher 14k Commemorative postal cover marking the Sea Poacher's (SS-406) launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 20 May 1944. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Sea Poacher 100k Sea Poacher (SS-406) underway, probably during her sea trials off the New England coast, circa summer 1944. USN / USNI photo.
Sea Poacher445kTwo similiar views of Sea Poacher (SS-406) as seen from the airship ZP-11 while on sea trials & shakedown on 8 September 1944.US National Archives photo #(80G-280027 Insert) & 80G-280028 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Sea Poacher 45k Oil on canvas painting by the artist John Meeks entitled "Just Fishin'...?", a US Fleet Submarine intercepts and investigates a suspected Japanese picket boat, 1944/45.
Although her first two war patrols were unproductive, during the third, conducted in the Kuril Islands area, Sea Poacher (SS-406) torpedoed and sank a Japanese trawler and four days later, sent two fishing boats to the bottom in a surface attack.
Photo & partial text courtesy of
Hackleback 1.22k U.S. submarine leaving Midway Island on war patrol. Note other submarines at the docks, May 1945.
Returning to Midway 26 April, Hackleback (SS-295) prepared for a second patrol and on 21 May sailed. Among the submarines at Midway at the time of this photo is the Sea Poacher (SS-406). (somewhere there).
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Robert Morgan.
USN photo # 80-G-468353, photographed by Lieutenant Commander Horace Brisol, now in the collections of the National Archives via National Museum of the U.S. Navy via
Sea Poacher332kThree page PDF WWII history of the Sea Poacher (SS-406). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Sea Poacher173kBroadside view of the Sea Poacher (SS-406) off Portsmouth N.H. on 6 May 1946.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Sea Poacher 228k Sea Poacher (SS-406), circa 1944-50. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
325k 1 June 1955 photo of CDR T. M. Ustick while at Mare Island with the San Francisco Bay Submarine Group. He is listed as the commanding officer of Sea Poacher (SS-406) from June 1948 to October 1949 in a CINCPACFLT listing of commands under its control at that time. Partial text courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler.
Photo from files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Sea Poacher454k Sea Poacher (SS-406) on surface run off of Key West, Florida, 1950.USN photo # 80-G-428965 courtesy of NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
NR LUTHER JAMES JENKINS. Seaman, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs Hillary Jenkins of Route 1. Box 3, Scott, Louisiana, has recently "Qualified in Submarines" aboard the Submarine Sea Poacher (SS-406) with the Atlantic Fleet. The above photograph shows Jenkins receiving his Silver Dolphins, which he is now eligible to wear, from his Commanding Officer, W. R. Gibson, Commander, USN.
Jenkins, who entered the Naval Service 15 January 1951, received his recruit training at the Naval Training Center, San Diego, California. After his recruit training he attended and graduated from Basic Submarine School. New London, Conn. A short Sonar School in New London then followed prior to his reporting aboard the Sea Poacher for duty. Before entering the Navy he attended the Southwestern Louisiana Institute.
Image and text provided by University of Florida.
Photo from the The Key West Citizen. [volume] (Key West, Fla.) 1879-current, 29 May 1952, Image 2, via
Sea Poacher 411k Sub Rescues Disabled Airship.
A disabled airship nears the reach of Boca Chica Naval Air Station in tow by an air-sea rescue boat which took over from Sea Poacher (SS-406). The ZX-11 blimp while making a dummy attack of the submarine came in on a low attack and its propellers struck the surface of the ocean rendering it powerless. The Sea Poacher attached a cable to the blimp's mooring line and towed it to the beach. At daybreak, sailors hauled the blimp ashore to a mooring mast. Photograph released 11 July 1952.
Photo # USN 443985, courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, via
Sea Poacher1.65kSea Poacher (SS-406) tows a disabled ZX-11 airship during a 22 hour rescue which started out as a dummy attack by the airship on a submarine. Coming in at low altitude, the blimp propellers hit the surface of the ocean rendering it powerless. The submarine, commanded by Commander William Gibbson, attached the cable to the blimp's mooring line and started towing it toward Boca Chica Naval Air Station. Closer to shore an air-sea rescue boat completed the towing job and sailors pulled the blimp ashore to a mooring mast. Photo # USN 443980, courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, via
Sea Poacher 96k Key West Fla 1954: Inboard Sea Poacher (SS-406), outboard Odax (SS-484), two in middle known only to God. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sea Poacher600kStern view of the Sea Poacher (SS-406) in Genoa Italy, June 1956.Photo courtesy of Carlo Martinelli.
Sea Poacher232kSea Poacher (SS-406) in the Malta harbor on 5 November 1957.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Sea Poacher 199k Port side view of the Sea Poacher (SS-406), underway,in the later stage of her US life. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Sea Poacher 158k Bow on view of the Sea Poacher (SS-406), underway, date and place unknown. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
481 & 406
1.80k Requin (SS-481) & Sea Poacher (SS-406), April 1964. Photo by Manuel Galilea. Courtesy of Museu Marítim de Barcelona via Fabio Pena.
Sea Poacher 283k Sea Poacher (SS-406) & Bushnell (AS-15) alongside the pier at the Naval Station Key West on 29 October 1969. Sea Poacher was leaving Key West for the last time.Photo courtesy of Florida Keys Public Libraries, image # MM00005528x via Robert Hurst.

View the Sea Poacher (SS-406)
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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