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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

The two patches on the left were contributed by Robert F. Marble TMCS(SS) USN (Retired). The two patches on the right were contributed by Mike Smolinski.

Piper (SS-409) (AGSS-409)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Alpha - Delta

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 15 March 1944, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, on Seavey Island in Kittery, Maine. Launched, 26 June 1944; Commissioned USS Piper (SS-409), 23 August 1944; Converted to a Fleet Snorkel Submarine at Charleston Naval Shipyard in 1951; Reclassified Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS-409), 15 June 1967; Decommissioned, 16 June 1967; Placed in service as a Naval Reserve Training Vessel at Detroit, MI; Place out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1970; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in June 1971 to a firm in Ashtabula, Ohio. Piper earned four battle stars during WWII.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves (of blessed memory) & Yves Hubert.

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, 4 Fairbanks-Morse 38D-8-1/8, 10 cyl. 1600 HP diesel engines, total 6,400 HP, (Contributed by Robert F. Marble TMCS(SS) USN (Retired).
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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SizeImage DescriptionSource
Oxyporhamphus micropteru11kThe Oxyporhamphus micropteru, a halfbeak, of which a member of this family is called the Piper. Courtesy of
Drydock93kEarly 1944 photo of the Razorback (SS-394), Redfish (SS-395), Ronquil (SS-396) 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
Twin 263k Lt. Cdr. Chester L. Hults, U.S.N.R. Chaplain, Offering up of Prayers for the Piper (SS-409) & Threadfin (SS-410) at Twin Launching at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. 26 June 1944. National Archives Identifier: 7450332
Photo courtesy of
NR The Piper (SS-409) was launched 26 June 1944 & sponsored by Mrs. Charles W. Wilkins, wife of Captain Wilkins.
Secretary of Marine of Mexico, Vice Admiral Roberto Gomez Maqueo (left), and Mrs. Charles W. Wilkins get over the language barrier by gesturing. The vice admiral was honored yesterday at a reception given for him by Rear Admiral and Mrs. Wilkins. Admiral Wilkins (right), is naval director of Pan American Affairs.
Star Staff Photo
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by Evening Star.[volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 14 February 1957, Image 27, via
2 launched 592k Piper (SS-409) & Threadfin (SS-410) double launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; 26 June 1944. USN photo # 80-G-448581 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Piper43kCommemorative postal cover marking the double launching of the Piper (SS-409) & Threadfin (SS-410) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; 26 June 1944.Courtesy of Obediah Hill via
Piper53k Commemorative launching tag of the Piper (SS-409) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 26 June 1944. Photo courtesy of Ron Toth, Jr.via Tom Kermen.
Piper341kThe cover letter of a service test by the Piper (SS-409) firing live torpedoes exploding against Bald Porcupine Island at Bar Harbor, Maine, 14 October 1944.National Archives photo from the collection of Acadia National Park, courtesy of Jonathan Eno.
Piper731kPiper (SS-409) during her visit to Bar Harbor, Maine during torpedo tests, 14 October 1944. Photos from the collection of Robert Gilfillan courtesy of Jonathan Eno.
Piper731kService test by the Piper (SS-409) firing live torpedoes exploding against Bald Porcupine Island at Bar Harbor, Maine, 14 October 1944. National Archives photo from the collection of Acadia National Park, courtesy of Jonathan Eno.
Piper578kThe results of a service test by the Piper (SS-409) firing live torpedoes exploding against Bald Porcupine Island at Bar Harbor, Maine, 14 October 1944. National Archives photo from the collection of Acadia National Park, courtesy of Jonathan Eno.
Piper186kOfficers of the Piper (SS-409) - Pearl Harbor - July 1945, 3rd war patrol.
Other than Captain Beach, I cannot identify the other officers. However here is the rank and names: Lieut. Comdr. E.L. Beach, U.S. Navy; Lieut. G.M. Reeves, U.S. Navy; Lieut. A.R. Christiansen, U.S.N.R.; Lieut. W.A. Bowman, U.S.N.R.; Lieut. O.A. Holt, U.S.N.R. (back row, far left); Lieut. G.F. Eberle, U.S.N.R.; Lieut (jg) J.K. Appeldoorn, U.S.N.R; Lieut (jg) W.R. Harrison, U.S.N.R.; Lieut (jg) L.R. Porter, U.S. Navy; Ensign B.E. Englund, U.S.N.R.
Photo courtesy of John Clarkin - USS Piper 1944-1945 via
NR SUBMARINE: By Comdr. Edward L. Beach, USN
Piper (SS-409) and Skipper Barely Slipped Through Mine Net Near War's End
AUTHOR IN NEW COMMAND—Comdr. Edward L. Beach, U.S.N., author of "Submarine," as he looks today. Comdr. Beach was photographed on the deck of his new command, a modern submarine named Trigger (SS-564), for his first undersea craft, Trigger (SS-237).
USN photo
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by Evening Star.[volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 29 November 1952, Image 13, via
Piper279kCirca WW II photo of the numberless Piper (SS-409) with full deck armament. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Piper568kPiper (SS-409) arrived 15 October 1945 at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn. During the next five years, Piper remained in the New London area with the exception of cruises to Nassau, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and overhauls in Portsmouth and Philadelphia.
She is seen here at Halifax, Nova Scotia, while the crew is celebrating Israel's Independence Day, Saturday May 15, 1948, the first "official" day of statehood for Israel.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Tyree59kCDR. Alexander Kelly Tyree was the commanding officer of the Piper (SS-409) from 1946 to 1948. Photo courtesy of the Lucky Bag Yearbook – Class of 1936 via Bill Gonyo.
Piper320kPiper (SS-409), 1949, running on the surface, place unknown. The guns are 5"25 on deck, 40mm on cigarette decks.Courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Piper 156k Piper (SS-409) off the south coast of France, 1950. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Piper127k The Piper (SS-409) plays a tune on 14 September 1950 at Malta while she did a tour of duty with the U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Piper265kIn June 1951 Piper (SS-409) went to the Charleston Naval Shipyard for conversion which gave her the streamlined "new look" and Snorkel gear. For the next few years the submarine operated out of New London along the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean. She appears here circa 1952.Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Piper1.00kThe fourth of April 1952 finds the Piper (SS-409) exercising off the Atlantic coast. USN photo #USN 639868, courtesy of Scott Koen &
McWethy 911k Photo of the then LCDR R. D. McWethy, USN. This photo was taken in October 1947 while he was serving as Assistant to the Mare Island Shipyard Commander. He served as the CO of the Piper (SS-409) from 7 September 1952 to 22 January 1955. Text i.d. courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler.
Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Bayne 331k Marmaduke Gresham Bayne was born on 2 May 1920 in Norfolk, Virginia. He attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942. He was commissioned Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 16 June 1942 and subsequently advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral, to date from 1 February 1973, having transferred to the Regular Navy on 30 July 1945. After receiving his commission in 1942, he attended the Naval Training School, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, for indoctrination training. In November 1942, he became Officer in Charge of YP-61. He had submarine training at the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut, and in April 1944 joined the Becuna (SS-319), making three war patrols in the Pacific on that submarine. In March 1945, he was assigned to Submarine Division 261 for duty with a Refit Crew and in June 1945 became Engineering Officer of the Bergall (SS-320). He had instruction at the General Line School, Newport, Rhode Island, from July 1946 to June 1947, then became Executive Officer of the Toro (SS-422). Between August 1949 and March 1951, he was Officer in Charge at Training Aids Section, at the Fifth Naval District Headquarters, Norfolk, Virginia, after which he had duty on the Sea Leopard (SS-483) as Executive Officer. In May 1954 he assumed command of the Piper (SS-409). He had command of the Trigger (SS-564) from April 1955 to January 1957, then had instruction at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, for the next seven months. Text from the Naval Historical Foundation via Bill Gonyo.
Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Groton 226k Busy piers at lower base in Groton shows a few SSKs, 1957.
From left to right, unidentifed sub,
Toro (SS-422),
Irex (SS-482),
unidentifed sub,
Trout (SS-566),
Bergall (SS-320),
Sea Owl (SS-405),
Cavalla (SS-244),
& Sea Robin (SS-407), & Piper (SS-409).
The rest of the subs are too far away for positive identification.
Text courtesy of David Johnston.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Mike Brood.
USN photo courtesy of Submarine Force Library, courtesy of Ken Hart.
389k USCGC Frederick Lee, a 125' cutter, attempts to pull Navy Submarine Piper (SS-409) off a sandbar near Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1958. The cutter's crew, exhibiting their great towing skills, was successful re-floating the sub at high tide. In gratitude the submarine's skipper promised to name his first born son "Freddie" and exchanged new movies with the cutter, including the latest flick, "The Blob". Photo courtesy of Mike Maynard, USCG (Ret) via Bryan Fisher RMC, USCG & Gary Priolo.
Piper19kCommemorative postal cover marking the Piper's (SS-409) 10,000th dive, 16 March 1961. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
2 launched 176k Piper (SS-409) commenced another Mediterranean deployment 8 October 1963. She transited the Suez Canal to Karachi, Pakistan to participate with the Navies of the CENTO nations in exercise Midlink VI and returned to the Mediterranean early in December for operations with the 6th Fleet before returning to New London 1 February 1964. Text courtesy of DANFS.
AP Wire photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
485 & 409
1.73k Front to back, left to right: Piper (SS-409) & Sirago (SS-485), Destroyers William M. Wood (DDR-715) & Leary (DD-879), 1964. Photo by Manuel Galilea. Courtesy of Museu Marítim de Barcelona via Fabio Pena.
2 launched 200k After an overhaul in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during the first six months of 1965, Piper (SS-409) sailed for the first of two Caribbean deployments 15 October, returning from the second 10 April 1966.
She is seen here in South Boston.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
AP Wire photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Piper265kPiper (SS-409) on 18 February 1968 in Boston Harbor. Text i.d. courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
USN photo # NPC 1120105, courtesy of Scott Koen &

View the Piper (SS-409)
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
USS Piper (SS-409) Veterans Association
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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