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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


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

Tench (SS-417) (AGSS-417)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Romeo - Yankee

Tench Class Submarine: Laid down, 1 April 1944, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 7 July 1944; Commissioned USS Tench (SS-417), 6 October 1944; Decommissioned in March 1946; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; In March 1946, she was placed out of commission in reserve at New London (DANFS). She was decommissioned in January 1947 (Friedman). Almost four years of idleness ended for Tench in October 1950 when she came out of "mothballs" to be converted to a Guppy 1A submarine. Over the next three months, she underwent extensive modifications to improve her performance characteristics for submerged operations. In January 1951, the submarine was recommissioned at Norfolk (DANFS).
Reclassified Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-417), 1 October 1969; Decommissioned, 8 May 1970, at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group; Reclassified SS-417 on 30 June 1971, Struck from the Naval Register, 16 August 1973; sold to Peru for spare parts 16 September 1976 (Bauer) for $ 81,600.00. Tench was awarded three battle stars for her World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.) & Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,570 t., Submerged: 2,416 t.; Length 311' 8"; Beam 27' 2"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10kts; Submerged Endurance, 48 hours at 2kts; 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 40mm gun, one 20mm gun, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four Fairbanks Morse main generator diesel engines, 5,400 hp, Fuel Capacity, 113,510 gals, two General Electric main motors, 2,740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Tench 28k Tinca Tinca tench. Courtesy of fishbase.org.
Tench1.75kFrom left to right: Miss Betty Jane Fischler, Maid of Honor, Mrs. Peter K. Fischler, Sponsor for Thornback (SS-418); Rear Admiral Thomas Withers, USN, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Sponsor, & Mrs. Tom C. Clark, Matron of Honor for Tench (SS-417) at twin launching at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. 7 July 1944. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Thornburg, LBJ Library and Museum A/V Archives Technician/Special Emphasis Program Manager.
Tench1.77k Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Sponsor & Mrs. Tom C. Clark, Matron of Honor for Tench (SS-417) with the launching bottle prior to christening of the submarine at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. 7 July 1944. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Thornburg, LBJ Library and Museum A/V Archives Technician/Special Emphasis Program Manager.
Tench1.65k Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Sponsor, Rear Admiral Thomas Withers, USN, & Mrs. Tom C. Clark, Matron of Honor for Tench (SS-417) at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. 7 July 1944. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Thornburg, LBJ Library and Museum A/V Archives Technician/Special Emphasis Program Manager.
Tench768kLady Bird Johnson, future First Lady, posing immediately prior to the christening of the Tench (SS-417) at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 7 July 1944. Photo & text courtesy of NARA, Record Hierarchy, Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, 1784 - 2000.
Tench1.54kLady Bird Johnson christens the Tench (SS-417) at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 7 July 1944. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Thornburg, LBJ Library and Museum A/V Archives Technician/Special Emphasis Program Manager.
Tench49kCommemorative launching tag of the Tench (SS-417) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., 7 July 1944. Photo courtesy of Ron Toth, Jr. via Tom Kermen.
417143kInvitation to the commissioning party of the Tench (SS-417) on 4 October 1944. PDF courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Tench174kA measure of Tench (SS-417) in her original configuration. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Tench 268k Tench (SS-417) sports her WW II battleflag in harbor. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Tench258kThree dimensional cutaway of the Tench (SS-417). Photo courtesy of unlimiteddetails.com
Tench137kTench (SS-417) cutaway. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Barney31kRear Admiral William Bernard “Barney” Sieglaff was a member of the Naval Academy graduating class of 1931 with a degree in Engineering. He also received a Master’s Degree from MIT in Naval Engineering prior to the war. On submarines during WWII he was the commanding officer of the Tautog (SS-199) from 28 November 1942 to 8 April 1944 and the Tench (SS-417) from 6 October 1944 to March 1945. His record in the Pacific gained him two Navy Crosses, three Silver Stars, and two Legions of Merit. USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Tench97kPostcard cover dated 18 January 1951 signed by Lady Bird Johnson, sponsor (LBJ was at that time a congressman from Texas), and Cdr. William B. Sieglaff, USN, Tench's (SS-417) first commanding officer. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Tench49kOil on canvas by the artist Jim Christley entitled "Night Run" shows a Guppy submarine similar to the Tench (SS-417).
The deck was cleared of protrusions such as antenna supports and deck guns. The bow and superstructure were smoothed and a fairing built around the bridge and the support structure for the antennas and periscopes. A snorkel system was added to allow the boat to run on its diesel engines while submerged. Most of the time, however, the boats transited on the surface where their speed could be used to advantage.
Photo & text courtesy of subart.net.
Tench1.67kPDF History & Welcome Aboard the Tench (SS-417). PDF courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Tench93k Tench's (SS-417) control room, 1953. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Tench 2.19k Mumps" Hilburn Tench (SS-417) is rescued by a helicopter, circa early 1950's. Photo courtesy of Anonymous.
Tench46kTench (SS-417) underway after her GUPPY IA rebuild.
USN photo courtesy of George M. Arnold.
Tench54kTench (SS-417) underway, stern view. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Tench269kA cold weather Tench (SS-417) and crew. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Tench319k Tench (SS-417) with the Newport News (CA-148) before 1962. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Tench31kTench (SS-417) on her way to the Arctic Circle, 1960.USN photo courtesy of Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
Tench2.05k Tench (SS-417) at PNSY, 1963. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine 'Today', 29 November 1964 via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Dogfish 580k Submarines at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, P.R., circa 1965. From the bottom: Trigger (SS-564), Requin (SS-481), Cutlass (SS-478); Other side of pier Tench (SS-417) and Dogfish (SS-350). Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Photo added 12/11/16.
Tench813k Tench (SS-417) underway in 1966. Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Tench 281k During the summer of 1955, the submarine changed homeports, leaving SubRon 6 behind for duty with SubRon 2, based at New London, Conn. In addition to periodic fleet exercises, Tench (SS-417) served as a school ship for the Submarine School located at New London. That employment continued until October 1961 at which time she stood out of New London on her second deployment to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean from which she returned early in 1962. Another extended period of duty with the Submarine School followed. That assignment was augmented by duty with various aviation and surface units in a series of antisubmarine warfare exercises. Early in April 1966, Tench broke that routine once again for a four-month cruise with the 6th Fleet. This appears to have been her third and last tour of duty in the Mediterranean. Upon completion of the deployment, she returned once again to her New London-based training operations which occupied the submarine for the remainder of her active career.
Tench is seen here at sub base New London, CT during the late 1960's.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Blenny24kBlenny (SS-324), in between the Tench (SS-417) (alongside pier)and Becuna (SS-319) at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. Boats are in for de-commissioning, 7 November 1969.
This photo was taken at Pier "D" in the back channel of PNSY probably about the same time they are being prepared to be put on the marine railway which is on the left & out of the picture to be closed up.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Text I.d. submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Becuna144kBecuna (SS-319), in drydock with the Tench (SS-417) in Phila., 1970.
The Paint Shop X-71, and the Riggers X-72 are getting the boats ready for sandblasting in Drydock # 1. The sailors you see are from the INACSHIPS doing guard duty. You'll note the DH shelters forward of the conning towers painted yellow.
Text I.d. submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.

View the Tench (SS-417)
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
Tench Class Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
HISTORIC SUBMARINE DOCUMENTARY AND TRAINING FILMS

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