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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Turbot (SS-427)

Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Tango - India

Turbot (SS-427) a Balao-class submarine, was laid down on 13 November 1943 at Philadelphia, Pa., by the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., but the contract for her construction was cancelled on 12 August 1945. Her partially completed hulk was later launched and, Trans. 12 June 1950 to David Taylor Model Basin, Carderock, MD. & was assigned to the Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Annapolis, Md. There, it was used for research and development in connection with the control and reduction of machinery noise in submarines. Final Disposition: Sold 24 March 1993 to Seawitch Salvage Co., Baltimore, MD for $ 42.590.00. Sale # 31-3364.
While doing research for my Balao / Tench class project, I discovered that the Turbot (SS-427) and Ulua (SS-428) both built by Cramp and delivered to the Navy incomplete, were actually Balao class boats, not Tenches. These boats were at the tail end of the boats contracted to Cramp, which built its submarines using plans supplied by Portsmouth. Even though Portsmouth had already begun building subs to the Tenches plans, it was decided that all of Cramp's boats would be Balaos. Cramp had experienced considerable difficulties in building its' assigned boats, mostly due to problems in hiring experienced workers and difficulties in getting all the necessary parts from subcontractors. It was felt that having Cramp shift over to the Tenches plans would only exacerbate the problems. Thus hulls 425-428, even though the numbers fell out of sequence, were built to Balao plans.

Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.) & Dave Johnston (USNR)
The following info was provided from an article that appeared in: www.maritime.org

Turbot (SS-427) was about eighty percent complete when the war ended and she was never finished. Instead she was used as a test platform for developing technology for a number of years. When she was of no further use the Navy allowed us to bring in a crew and remove over ten tons of items missing from Pampanito (SS-383) and spare parts and equipment. We removed the ammunition scuttle, the main supply blower motor for the ventilation system and the high pressure impulse flasks for the forward torpedo tubes and installed them on Pampanito. Also removed was a wealth of spare parts that have enabled several restoration projects. In addition many key spare parts are now available from storage. This process continues as we gather the items Pampanito will need in the future.
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Turbot 538k Psetta maxima, a Turbot.
Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.
Ulua & Tusk138k Ulua (SS-428) & Tusk (SS-426) being built at the Cramp Shipbuilding Co. in Philadelphia on 7/2/45. The Ulua has not received her superstructure main deck or bridge. The Tusk is just about complete.
Diesel intakes (induction) are visible on board the Ulua. They trunk up into the main induction just abaft the conning tower pressure vessel. The starboard branch feeds the forward engines, the port branch, whose 22-in pipe is visible under the flat boards, feeds the after engines. When snorleks were installed postwar, their intakes connected to the main induction visible here. Exhaust piping is also visible.
The bow of the Turbot (SS-427) is just visible behind the stern of the Ulua.
Photo and partial text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II", by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Partial text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press, & The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy: A Design and Construction History, by John D. Alden, Commander USN (Retired).
Turbot 521k In 1950, the Navy provided Turbot (SS-427) to the Engineering Experiment Station, Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, West Bethesda, Maryland, for use as a floating laboratory to begin a program of Submarine noise reduction. USN photo courtesy of dt.navy.mil.
Turbot 820k The Turbot (SS-427) on sound trials, circa 1950. Photo from the personal collection of Ric Hedman.
Photo added 01/16/16.
Turbot 411k The Turbot (SS-427) tied up to the wharf at the Engineering Experiment Station, Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, West Bethesda, Maryland. Photo circa 1952. Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD (Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division) via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 376k The Turbot (SS-427) which was used as a floating laboratory for machine noise investigations. Hydrophones are placed in the water near the submarine to pick up the noise transmitted through the hull. Photo circa 1952. Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 563k Article from the Navy News, 21 May 1976 regarding the Turbot's (SS-427) contribution to the Navy. Courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 175k Invitation for DOD Sales bid for the Turbot (SS-427), 24 March 1993.
Courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 275k Invitation for DOD Sales bid for the Turbot (SS-427), 24 March 1993.
Note that Cramp is misspelled as Crump.
Courtesy of Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 166k This photo & the following four were taken during aboard Turbot (SS-427) while being scrapped at Boston Metals, 1993.
Formerly what was the forward compartments.
Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 136k Forward Engine Room looking forward. Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Photo I.d. & text courtesy of LCDR R.J. Hansen, USNR(RET),Former TM2(SS).
Turbot 160k ME # 4.starboard side. Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Turbot 179k After Torpedo Room.
You can see the torpedo tubes and the aft access ladder to After Torpedo Room deck hatch.
Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)
Photo I.d. & text courtesy of LCDR R.J. Hansen, USNR(RET),Former TM2(SS).
Turbot 159k Aft torpedo room. Courtesy of Tom Warring, Public Affairs, NSWCCD via Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)

View the Turbot (SS-427)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not applicable to this ship.
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Turbot lives in San Francisco
San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, Bringing Maritime History to Life Since 1950
Guppy Submarines
Tench Class Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
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