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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Springer (SS-414)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Quebec - India

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 30 October 1943, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA..; Launched, 3 August 1944; Commissioned USS Springer (SS-414), 18 October 1944; Decommissioned, 26 June 1946, at Mare Island Navy Yard; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Mare Island Group; Recommissioned in 1960 for modernization at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Hunters Point; Decommissioned, and transferred (loaned) to Chile, 23 January 1961, under terms of the Military Assistance Program, renamed Thomson (SS-20); Struck from the Naval Register, and sold outright to Chile, 1 September 1972; Final Disposition, deleted by the Chilean navy, stripped for spare parts and her hulk sold for scrapping. Springer earned three battle stars for World War II service.

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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Springer 205k Honorary welders for the keel laying of the Springer (SS-414) are shown at Mare Island on 30 October 1943.
USN photo # 7409-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 1.40k Marine LVT in the foreground.
It seems Mare Island was adding armor plate to certain areas of the LVT as part of a R&D project. What is interesting is the submarine hull sections in the background. This is the first photo I have found showing submarine hull sections in the shipfitter building. These are sections of the Springer (SS-414). The photo was taken early in December 1943.
USN photo # 7409-43, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Spot & Springer317k Stern view of the Springer (SS-414) on the building ways at Mare Island on 3 January 1944. The Spot (SS-413) is to the right. USN photo # 50-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Spot & Springer302k Bow view of the Springer (SS-414) on the building ways at Mare Island on 3 January 1944. The Spot (SS-413) is to the left. USN photo # 49-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Spot & Springer319k Stern view of the Spot (SS-413) on the building ways at Mare Island on 3 January 1944. The Springer (SS-414) is to the left. USN photo # 48-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Spot & Springer230k Progress, stern view of the Spot (SS-413) on the building ways at Mare Island on 3 January 1944. The Springer (SS-414) is to the right. USN photo # 51-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 291k Bow view of Springer (SS-414) on the building ways at Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 July 1944. USN photo # 4139-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 66k Mrs. M. S. Tisdale (Sponsor) left and Mrs. Kenneth J. Sanger (Matron of Honor) right are shown at the bow of Springer (SS-414) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 3 August 1944 prior to the submarine's launching. This photo appeared in the shipyard newspaper "Grapevine". USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 194k Mrs. M. S. Tisdale (Sponsor) christens the Springer (SS-414) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 3 August 1944. Mrs. Kenneth J. Sanger (Matron of Honor) is to the left. USN photo # 5026-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 83k Copy of the detailed operating schedule for launching of the Springer (SS-414) at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., 3 August 1944. USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 191k Broadside view of Springer (SS-414) with tugs assisting, immediately after her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard on 3 August 1944. USN photo # 5022-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 213k Starboard side view of the Springer (SS-414) off of Mare Island, probably before commissioning, 18 October 1944. USN photo courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
Springer 166k Commissioning cachet for the Springer (SS-414) on 18 October 1944. Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
Springer 261k The Springer (SS-414) seen from astern, while off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 2 December 1944. USN Photo # 7338-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker. Text courtesy of USNHC photo NH 103049.
Springer 175k The Springer (SS-414) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 2 December 1944. USN Photo # 7333-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Springer 47k The Springer (SS-414) underway off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 2 December 1944. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, # NH 103047, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Springer 25k Springer (SS-414) control room, 1944.
Photo courtesy of finaltrim.lampresource.com.
Springer 16k Springer (SS-414) trophy board; 3 war patrols,
3 Battle Stars,
4 Ships sunk,
8 airmen rescued & 12 mines destroyed. 1945
Photo courtesy of finaltrim.lampresource.com. Text info courtesy of Jim Wright, Systems Analyst II, SWHP-MIS.
Springer 22k Lifeguard duty in the Sea of Japan, 1945. Note the 40mm and 5 inch guns aboard the Springer (SS-414). Photo courtesy of finaltrim.lampresource.com.Text info courtesy of Jim Wright, Systems Analyst II, SWHP-MIS.
Unknown Photos 1.18k The table below lists the location of submarines at Mare Island on 20 September 1945. This information was pulled from microfiche copies of the hand written shipyard journals. Iím surprised that both the clipping and my table show 21 subs at the yard on the date in question. The photo is looking north and berth 3 is at the top of the photo and then the berths run down or south.
Berth 3 - Springer (SS-414) & Spadefish (SS-411)
Berth 4 - Guavina (SS-362) & Barbero (SS-317)
Berth 5 - Hammerhead (SS-364), Tinosa (SS-283), Mapiro (SS-376) & Moray (SS-300)
Berth 6 - Bream (SS-243), Seahorse (SS-304), Batfish (SS-310) & Aspro (SS-309)
Berth 7 - Pomfret (SS-391), Parche (SS-384) & Sunfish (SS-281)
Berth 8 - Queenfish (SS-393)
Berth 9 - Lionfish (SS-298) & Plaice (SS-390)
Dry Dock 1 - Bashaw (SS-241) & Mingo (SS-261)
Berth 12 - Guitarro (SS-363).
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 05/18/14.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet137kReserve fleet at Mare Island, circa January 1946. There are 52 submarines and 4 Sub Tenders in this photo. This photo is a Berthing list identifying the ships in the picture. Photo commemorating 50 years, U. S. Submarine Veterans of WW II 1996 calendar, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Mare Island Reserve Fleet453kPhoto of the Reserve fleet at Mare Island, circa January 1946. There are 52 submarines and 4 Sub Tenders in this photo. Whether coincidental or on purpose, the number of boats in the photo is the same as that which were lost in WW II.
From back to front and left to right, first group of 12 boats:
Sandlance (SS-381)
Tunny (SS-282)
Aspro (SS-309)
Lionfish (SS-298)
Guvania (SS-362)
Sunfish (SS-281)
Macabi (SS-375)
Gurnard (SS-254)
Pampanito (SS-383)
Mingo (SS-261)
Guitarro (SS-363)
Bashaw (SS-241)
From back to front and left to right, second group of 12 boats:
Sealion (SS-315)
Hammerhead (SS-364)
Bream (SS-243)
Seahorse (SS-304)
Tinosa (SS-283)
Pintado (SS-387)
Mapiro (SS-376)
Pipefish (SS-388)
Moray (SS-300)
Batfish (SS-310)
Hackleback (SS-295)
Bluegill (SS-242)
From back to front and left to right, third group of 12 boats:
Hawkbill (SS-366)
Menhaden (SS-377)
Perch (SS-313)
Loggerhead (SS-374)
Barbero (SS-317)
Baya (SS-318)
Hardhead (SS-365)
Spadefish (SS-411)
Springer (SS-414)
Devilfish (SS-292)
Kraken (SS-370)
Dragonet (SS-293)
From back to front and left to right, fourth group of 12 boats:
Lamprey (SS-372)
Piranha (SS-389)
Manta (SS-299)
Pargo (SS-264)
Rancador (SS-301)
Archerfish (SS-311)
Mero (SS-378)
Sawfish (SS-276)
Spot (SS-413)
Lizardfish (SS-373)
Jallao (SS-368)
Icefish (SS-367)
From back to front and left to right, last group of 4 boats:
Steelhead (SS-280)
Puffer (SS-268)
Stickleback (SS-415)
Trepang (SS-412)
From back to front, Submarine Tenders group of 4 ships:
Pelias (AS-14)
Aegir (AS-23)
Euryale (AS-22)
Griffin (AS-13)
Photo commemorating 50 years, U. S. Submarine Veterans of WW II 1996 calendar, courtesy of Darryl Baker
Springer 217k The Springer (SS-414) in drydock at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California, in May 1960, while undergoing overhaul prior to her transfer to Chile. She served as the Chilean Navy submarine Thomson (SS-22) during 1961-1972. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, # NH 86597, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.Courtesy of Commander John L. Springer, USNR (Retired), 1978.
Springer 33k Springer (SS-414) stern view underway after being recommissioned in 1960 for modernization at San Francisco Naval Shipyard. Courtesy of John Hummel.
Thomson (S-20)
Springer 307k The ex-Springer (SS-414) as Thomson (SS-20) on 30 September 1966. Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
Springer 152k Springer (SS-414) shortly after being sold to the government of Chile and subsequently being renamed Thomson (SS-20). Courtesy of John Hummel.
Springer 43k Thomson (SS-20) sometime in 1968. Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.

View the Springer (SS-414)
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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