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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Argonaut (SS-475)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Delta - Hotel

Tench Class Submarine: Laid down, 28 June 1944, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.; Launched, 1 October 1944; Commissioned USS Argonaut (SS-475), 15 January 1945; Converted to a Fleet Snorkel Submarine at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA. in 1952; Decommissioned, struck from the Naval Register, and Transferred (sold) to Canada, 2 December 1968, renamed HMCS Rainbow (SS-75); Decommissioned by the Canadian navy, 31 December 1974; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 24 March 1977, to Zidell Ship Dismantlers, Portland, OR. for 215,000.00. Argonaut received one battle star for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,570 t., Submerged: 2,414 t.; Length 311' 8"; Beam 27' 4"; 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 7 Officers 69 Enlisted; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 5"/25 deck gun, two 20mm guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four Fairbanks Morse main generator engines, 5,400HP, Fuel Capacity, 113,510 gal., two Elliot Motor Co. main motors with 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.

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Argonaut 58k Commemorative launch badge for the Argonaut (SS-475) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 1 October 1944. Photo courtesy of John Joseph Gerry Jr. in memory of his father, John Joseph Gerry.
Argonaut 3.01k 5 photo aerials PDF of the Argonaut (SS-475) at the Sonar School, Anaheim, California, 16 April 1945. USN photo # 80-G-0737, & 423869 / 423872 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Argonaut 76k Argonaut (SS-475), while in the Panama Canal Zone, May 1945, for training. USN Archive photo. Photo and text courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II", by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
Argonaut 162k Early in 1946, Argonaut (SS-475) was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and was based at Panama. While en route to Panama, Argonaut collided with Honolulu (CL-48) off the eastern coast between New York and Philadelphia during a heavy fog. Both ships sustained minor damage and Argonaut continued on to Panama.
She is pictured here with civilians on board inspecting her damage while she is docked next to the captured German U-boat U-3008.
Based on the retracted (into the hull) bow planes and the low profile, twin gun mount in the sail, the boat could only be a German Type XXI. According to DANFS, the former German U-3008, an American War Prize, was at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, from the Fall of 1945 until August, 1946. Since the date on the photo is 12 January 1946, this would place the former German vessel at the right place, at the right time.
Text courtesy of DANFS. Text i.d. courtesy of Bill Fessenden.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Bill Fessenden & Dave Johnston (USNR).
USN photo # 45-46, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Argonaut 354k Unknown boat along side pier, Argonaut (SS-475), and outboard boat is Bang (SS-385), circa 1946. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Balboa Sub Base 125k Aboard Amberjack (SS-522) at the Balboa Sub Base at Cristobal, Canal Zone. One of the boats in the background is the Argonaut (SS-475), seen here during her shakedown cruise, Spring / early Summer 1946. Photo courtesy of Jim Carroll and submitted by Mike Keating.
Argonaut 162k 1/4 scale model of the Argonaut (SS-475) prepared for the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., on 19 December 1946. USN photo # 1049-46, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Argonaut 66k Argonaut (SS-475), port side view underway as she makes her way up the Thames River in CT., In late 1946 she became a unit of Submarine Squadron 2 based at New London Conn.
This photo was probably taken between then and before July 1952 went she went to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, during which she received a snorkel system and a streamlined conning tower.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Argonaut 152k Post 1953 photo of the Argonaut (SS-475). Photo courtesy of R.J. Rutkowski & submitted by Mike Smolinski.
Argonaut 77k Argonaut (SS-475) still armed with a deck gun in this starboard side view underway in Malta Harbor on 21 July 1953. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Argonaut 37k Argonaut (SS-475) steaming into Norfolk, - probably on a Friday afternoon-sometime in the Spring of 1957. Photo i.d. courtesy of Mike Simmons (ETR2),USS Argonaut 3/56 12/57.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Argonaut 81k Argonaut (SS-475), underway, post mid 1950's - middle 1960's. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Argonaut 395k That is a SUBRON 4 patch (Charleston) on the side of the EB fleet snorkel boat, possibly the Angler (SS-240), Cavalla (SS-244) or Croaker (SS-246)(outboard), 1958. The other is a Portsmouth fleet snorkel boat, Argonaut (SS-475). Photo courtesy of C. E. Case.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman, Patrick Householder, John Hummel & Dave Johnston.
Argonaut 205k On 15 October 1962, Argonaut (SS-475) performed duties in conjunction with the naval quarantine of Cuba. She then had a routine overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. The yard work was completed on 13 May 1963, and the submarine sailed to the New London area for refresher training. After further training in the Virginia capes area, she got underway on 19 August for the Mediterranean and service with the 6th Fleet.
A tug accompanies the Argonaut (SS-475) on 22 July 1963.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Argonaut 128k Stern view of the Argonaut (SS-475) off the Virginia capes area on 22 July 1963. USN photo # NPC 1091175 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Argonaut385k Argonaut (SS-475), Cubera (SS-347), Sirago (SS-485) pierside, 1964.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Photo added 09/29/16.
Argonaut 60k A colorful Argonaut (SS-475) in mid 1960's. Photo and text from The World Encyclopedia of Submarines by John Parker courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Argonaut 143k Stretching the sign to fit the subject: Odax (SS-484) is moored inboard of Argonaut (SS-475) or outboard. Most likely outboard so that they have to cross Argonaut to get ashore, 1965. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Argonaut912kIf the Argonaut (SS-475) ever made it to Haifa, Israel in the 60's, than the scenery would look familiar.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin, Runner, Requin & Argonaut315kXmas 1966: Redfin (SS-272), Runner (SS-476), Requin (SS-481) and Argonaut (SS-475), Sealion (APSS-315), with Orion (AS-18) on other side of pier.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Redfin, Runner, Requin & Argonaut44kRedfin (SS-272) outboard of Runner (SS-476), Requin (SS-481) and Argonaut (SS-475) with other subs of SubRon 6, circa mid-late 1960's, at Norfolk pier #22 D&S. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Argonaut 593k The submarine moved to Norfolk early in 1967 but left the Virginia capes area on 9 January, bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico. Argonaut (SS-475) took part in Operation "Springboard" through the rest of January and most of February before leaving the Caribbean on 23 February to return to Norfolk, arriving there five days later. During the next two months, Argonaut prepared for a North Atlantic and Mediterranean cruise. She sailed on 26 May and made her first port call at Trondheim, Norway. The submarine also visited Cuxhaven, Germany; Leith, Scotland; Rota, Spain, Naples, Italy, and Valletta , Malta, before returning to her home port on 20 September. She remained in the local operating area through the duration of the year.
Argonaut appears here underway in Valletta harbour, Malta.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo A. & J. Pavia courtesy of Robert Hurst.
HMCS Rainbow (SS-75)
Argonaut 209k The ex-Argonaut (SS-475) now as the HMCS Rainbow (SS-75) sometime during the 6 year period between 1968 - 1974 when she served in the Canadian Navy. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Argonaut 607k HMCS Rainbow (SS-75) in color. Photo courtesy of readyayeready.com via Robert Hurst.
Argonaut 408k HMCS Rainbow (SS-75) underway in 1970. Official Canadian Maritime Command Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.

View the Argonaut (SS-475)
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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