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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left courtesy of USS Thornback (SS-418) web site, on right by Sait Kucuk CPOS (Ret.) Turkish Navy

Thornback (SS-418)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Sierra - Bravo

Tench Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 April 1944, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 7 July 1944; Commissioned USS Thornback (SS-418), 13 October 1944; Decommissioned, 6 April 1946, at New London, CT.; Decommissioned at New London, CT on 6 April 1946 and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Reactivated for GUPPY IIA conversion at Portsmouth Navy Yard. Re-commissioned after upgrade on 2 October 1953. On 6 November 1954 conducted a first for submarines - snorkeling in the Mississippi River.
Between the years of 1954 and 1971, she was based at either Key West, FL or Charleston, SC and conducted operations in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Mediterranean as a unit of the U. S. Sixth Fleet.
Placed in a reduced manning status on 14 April 1971 in accordance with the Mutual Assistance Program. Thornback was Decommissioned on 1 July 1971 and transferred (lease) to the Republic of Turkey. Re-named and re-numbered TCG Ulucalireis (S-338), she transited the Panama Canal and underwent overhaul at Philadelphia Navy Yard until January 1972. Arriving in Turkey, she was Commissioned in a dual ceremony with TCG Orureis (S-337), (ex-Pomfret (SS-391)) on 3 May 1972.
Pursuant to the Foreign Military Sales Act, the ex-Thornback was permanently transferred (sold) to Turkey and simultaneously struck from the U. S. Naval Vessel Registry (NVR).TCG Ulucalireis served in the Turkish Navy until she was Decommissioned on 7 August 2000. Still under ownership of the Turkish Navy, the ex-Thornback was moved to moorings at the Rahmi M. Koc Museum of Transport, Communications and Industry in Istanbul, Turkey were she is currently open to the public.
Thornback received one battle star for her World War II service.
Research by CTRC Donald J. Wagner, USN (Ret) for NavSource.

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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Thornback7.76kThirty two page PDF showing General Plans for the Thornback (SS-418). US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 309k Mrs. Peter K. Fischler christens the Thornback (SS-418) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; 7 July 1944.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 145k A fully crewed Thornback (SS-418) is launched at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; 7 July 1944.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 45k Commemorative launching tag of the Thornback (SS-418) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; 7 July 1944.Photo courtesy of Ron Toth, Jr. via Tom Kermen.
Thornback 481k Overhead view of the Thornback (SS-418) possibly during her trials or shake down cruise off the New England coast.USN photo courtesy of Ed Zajkowski.
Thornback 881k Thornback (SS-418) on 19 January 1945 somewhere off of New London, CT.USN # 301398, photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 35k Thornback (SS-418) in March 1945 wearing Ms 32/3SS-B camouflage scheme. Photo & text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II", by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Thornback 174k Thornback's (SS-418) battleflag flies from the periscope shears sometime before she was decommissioned at New London on 6 April 1946.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 61k Thornback (SS-418) in the Cooper River with Charleston in the background. The Steeple is ST. Philip's church and the large building to the right is the United States Custom House. The year is 1956. The Thornback was just overhauled with a sonar dome added just forward of her sail. Text courtesy of Robert Hall.
US Navy photo.
Pompon1.70kPompon (SSR-267) and Thornback (SS-418) next to Saratoga (CV-60) for replenishment - 17 August 1958.Photo # USN 1038277 scanned by Ryan Crierie, via flickr, courtesy of Stephen Gower.
Thornback 651k Birds of a feather not all flocking together: Mackerel (SST-1), Thornback (SS-418), Clamagore (SS-343) & Chivo (SS-341) with the Howard Gilmore (AS-16) in the distance. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Thornback 260k Free parking at Key West, Florida during 1959; the Thornback (SS-418) is inboard. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Thornback 681k A whopping Thornback (SS-418) in Genoa during the 1960's. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Thornback 308k Diving Planes & Control room of the Thornback (SS-418) in the 1960's. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Thornback 268k Thornback (SS-418) & Trigger (SS-564) share a pier side time in October 1962. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Thornback 499k Thornback (SS-418) does Malta, 1963.Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 944k Seaing Thornback (SS-418) in 1963.Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 1.15k Portside view of the Thornback (SS-418). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Amberjack 334k Amberjack (SS-522) & Thornback (SS-418) side by side at St. Thomas during Springboard ops in Jan/February of 1967. Longwire antenna on Thornback attached to after torpedo loading hatch (lower end). Photo courtesy of Fred Schuster TM2 (SS).
Thornback1.31kThirteen page Welcome Aboard program for the Thornback (SS-418), circa 1967. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 856k Flyover in Charleston 1967.
Thornback (SS-418) & a Tang class, possibly the Trout (SS-566) next to a unidentified submarine tender.
Photo courtesy of Peter Swiderski (left) in the Torp Rm Fwd, with Rich Majetic & Rusty Prendergast.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR).
Photo added 12/10/14.
Thornback 189k Day at the office on Thornback (SS-418).
Four photo PDF showing the loading a torpedo down the hatch.
Photo courtesy of Peter Swiderski
PDF added 12/10/14.
Thornback204k Thornback (SS-418) left, Atule (SS-403) right, circa 1967. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback325k Thornback (SS-418) right, Atule (SS-403) left, circa 1967. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Family 571k Broadside view of Thornback (SS-418) without a sonar dome, date? Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Thornback 276k Certificate of delivery of the Thornback (SS-418) to Turkey as the Ulucalireis (S-338) on 2 July 1971. Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
TCG Ulucalireis (S-338)
Thornback 121k Bow view of the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 520k Overhead view of the ex-Thornback (SS-410), now the Ulucalireis (S-338) underway. Photo courtesy of Cuneyt Demir.
Thornback 303k Ulucalireis (S-338) underway. Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 37k Aft engine room of Thornback (SS-418) as the Ulucalireis (S-338), in Istanbul, Turkey.
Courtesy of Historic Naval Ships Association.
Thornback 34k Thornback (SS-418) as the Ulucalireis (S-338), in Istanbul, Turkey.
Courtesy of Historic Naval Ships Association.
Thornback 99k Thornback (SS-418) as the Ulucalireis (S-338) in Istanbul, Turkey, September 2003.
Courtesy of Uri Dotan-Bochner, Webmaster
Dolphin-Israel submariners association, www.dolphin.org.il
Thornback 114k Thornback (SS-418) as Ulucalireis (S-338) in Istanbul, Turkey, September 2003.
Courtesy of Uri Dotan-Bochner, Webmaster
Dolphin-Israel submariners association, www.dolphin.org.il
Thornback 77k Ticket for museum to see the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 653k The Ulucalireis (S-338) surrounded by a sea of colored houses while dockside. Photo courtesy of Cu"neyt Demir.
Thornback 263k Interior view of the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 290k Interior view of the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 271k Interior view of the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 170k Galley of the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.
Thornback 331k Forward torpedo room of the Ulucalireis (S-338). Photo courtesy of Y.M.Umar,CPO (Ret.),Turkish Navy.

View the Thornback (SS-418)
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
Thornback SS-418
USS Thornback SS-418
Tench Class Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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