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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Pomodon (SS-486)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Echo - Mike

Tench Class Submarine: Laid down, 29 January 1945, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; Launched, 12 June 1945; Commissioned USS Pomodon (SS-486), 11 September 1945; Snorkel conversion, 25 October 1946 to 26 July 1947, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.; Guppy IIA conversion from January 1951 to May 1951, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard; On 21 February 1955, while recharging batteries in the San Francisco Naval Yard, a build-up of hydrogen gas caused an explosion and fire, damaging the submarine and killing five men. She was decommissioned for repairs on 1 April 1955 and recommissioned on 2 July 1955. Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 August 1970; Final Disposition, Sold 28 December 1971 to Nicolai Joffe, Beverly Hills, CA for $ 70,631.00. Removed 26 January 1972 & scrapped by Southwest Recycling Co., San Pedro, CA.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.) & Yves Hubert.

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 electric motors with 2,740hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Pomodon 38k Pomodon (SS-486) was sponsored by Mrs. Lorena Neff.
From the "Wayne County Record", Fairfield, Illinois, May 7, 1943 (Front Page): via wikitree.com We present here six great soldiers: Five Neff brothers and Mother - greatest soldier of them all. Mrs. Lorene C Neff, of Cisne, is the mother of ten children, nine boys and one girl. Five of the sons shown here, are now seeing action in the Navy an Marine Corps. Two of them, Raymond and Guy were at Pearl Harbor on that fateful Sabbath morning of December 7th, 1941. Raleigh was among those who met the yellow plague on Midway Island a few months later. He remained at Midway for nine months, but was recently transferred to another area.....
Photo courtesy of wikitree.com via Paul Neff.
Pomodon 874k Sponsor Mrs. Lorene C Neff, Admiral Thomas Withers, CO of the PSNY, & Mrs. Charles Neff, matron & daughter in law of the sponsor, at Pomodon's (SS-486) launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 12 June 1945. Photos courtesy of terapeak.com
Pomodon 538k The Pomodon (SS-486) is launched at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 12 June 1945. USN photo # 80-G-448566 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Pomodon 427k The Pomodon (SS-486) with a forward deck gun underway possibly during shakedown trials off the New England coast. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Pomodon 2.82k 1st of 24 photos in this PDF showing the progress to Pomodon (SS-486) under going Guppy conversion at Mare Island on 26 November 1946 through July 1947.
The conversion had made Pomodon the first "Guppy" type submarine in the Pacific Fleet ("Greater Underwater Propulsion Power" obtained from increased storage battery capacity combined with a streamlined superstructure).
USN Photo # 3963-46, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
PDF added 08/26/17.
Pomodon 32k In 1945, CDR. Allen Alfred Begnertook command of Saury (SS-189), and prepared the ship for Nuclear Tests at Eniwetok, but the orders were canceled. 1946 to 1948: the two-year Engineering Course at the PG School. In 1948, he was an instructor in Marine Engineering at the Academy, and a year later, went to be X.O. of Diodon (SS-349), then to C.O. of Pomodon (SS-486). Official photograph of the U.S. Navy courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Pomodon 706k Aerial view of the Pomodon (SS-486) taken on 14 February 1948.Photo # 274701-2-48 TH, courtesy of Mare Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl Baker.
SubRonFive 2.48k SubRonFive picture 30 December 1949 featuring from upper left corner to right: Florikan (ASR-9), Pomodon (SS-486), Volador (SS-490), Catfish (SS-339), Cusk (SS-348), Diodon (SS-349), Carbonero (SS-337), Carp (SS-338) & Nereus (AS-17). USN photo courtesy of usscusk.com.
Pomodon 1.38k Starboard quarter view of the Pomodon (SS-486) after she received her Guppy II conversion, circa 16 May 1951 off Mare Island, CA. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Text courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
Pomodon 143k Bow on view of Pomodon (SS-486) departing Mare Island on 16 May 1951. USN Photo # 9237-5-51, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
Pomodon 167k Broadside view of Pomodon (SS-486) departing Mare Island on 16 May 1951. She was in overhaul at the yard from 4 January to 18 May 1951. USN Photo # 9239-5-51, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
Pomodon 991k Starboard quarter view of the Pomodon (SS-486) circa 1951. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Pomodon 162k Broadside view of Pomodon (SS-486), probably departing Mare Island after her last overhaul and conversion as a Guppy IIA. That is demonstrated by the single engine exhaust on the port side of the after engine room and the North Atlantic sail. The single engine forward was an eight cylinder Fairbanks mounted center-line in a sound isolation enclosure which was in turn mounted on sound isolation mounts.USN Photo courtesy of Wendy Gulley at the Nautilus (SSN-571) museum & partial text courtesy of Carl Hochstetler.
Pomodon 170k Port beam view of Pomodon (SS-486) probably departing Mare Island after her last overhaul and conversion as a Guppy IIA. That is demonstrated by the single engine exhaust on the port side of the after engine room and the North Atlantic sail. The single engine forward was an eight cylinder Fairbanks mounted center-line in a sound isolation enclosure which was in turn mounted on sound isolation mounts.USN Photo courtesy of Wendy Gulley at the Nautilus (SSN-571) museum & partial text courtesy of Carl Hochstetler.
Menhaden264kStern view of Pomodon (SS-486) and Menhaden (SS-377) holding open house at Mare Island on 18 September 1954 during the Shipyards' Centennial Celebration. USN photo # 23882-12-54, courtesy of Darryl Baker.
Pomodon 44k On 21 February 1955, while recharging batteries in the San Francisco Naval Yard, a build-up of hydrogen gas caused an explosion and fire, damaging the Pomodon (SS-486) and killing five men. TM1(SS) Charles E. Payne earned the Navy Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant by his actions in fighting the fire and rescuing the injured. Pasquale Talladino En2 received the Navy Marine Corp Medal. After the third explosion he entered the control room through the conning tower in an attempt to rescue anyone who might still be alive.
The Pomodon is pictured here after the explosion at San Francisco.
Courtesy of John Mitchell.
Partial text courtesy of wikipedia.org.
Pomodon 57k Newspaper article about the Pomodon (SS-486) and the explosion and fire killing five men on 21 February 1955. Courtesy of John Mitchell.
Pomodon 488k Pomodon (SS-486) at San Francisco Navy Yard (Hunters Point) in the early morning of 20 February 1955. She had experienced a battery explosion the day before and two men were killed and three additional men were reported missing. LST-644 is in the background. Photo courtesy of Mare Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl Baker.
Pomodon 224k Commemorative photo honoring the memory of the crew of the Pomodon (SS-486).Photo courtesy of Raymond Fritz. ET1(SS).
Apogon 417k The destructive power of the Torpedo MK-37 is graphically portrayed in this photograph showing Aspro (SS-309) after being hit by a Torpedo MK-37 fired from Pomodon (SS-486) on 16 November 1962. The unmanned Aspro sank in 17 minutes in 630 fathoms of water 16 miles west of San Diego after being fired upon as part of a Service Weapons Test. Through the Torpedo MK-37 improvement program underway at the Navy Underwater Systems Center, the weapon is being modified to increase its effectiveness against modern, more evasive targets. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Pomodon 298k The Pomodon (SS-486) shows the flag while underway. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Pomodon 280k The Pomodon (SS-486) off Vancouver BC on 8 September 1964. Walter E. Frost Photographer, Source: City of Vancouver Archives, AM1506-S3-3-: CVA 447-7602, courtey of Mike Green.
Pomodon 156k The Pomodon's (SS-486) W.E.T.S.U. pendant. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Pomodon 344k Four page Welcome Aboard PDF of the Pomodon (SS-486), circa 1969. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Pomodon 361k View of the decommissioning of the three submarines at Mare Island on 1 August 1970.
Left to right: Pomodon (SS-486), and Medregal (SS-480) outboard of Segundo (SS-398).
Photo # 99510-8-70 TH, courtesy of Mare Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl Baker.
MINSY430k Seven inactive submarines at Mare Island on 30 April 1971.
Left to right: Cusk (SS-348), Rock (SS-274), Bashaw (SS-241), Spinax (SSR-489), Pomodon (SS-486), Medregal (SS-480), and Diodon (SS-349).
Photo by Ted Stone and negative given to the shipyard in 1995.
USN photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.
Tolling The Boats 669k Active duty and veteran submariners stand together at the 29th annual "Tolling The Boats" Memorial Service held at the World War II National Submarine Memorial-West, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif. May 29, 2006. The ceremony honored members of the Silent Service who gave their lives during World War II and the Cold War for their country and the cause of freedom. USN photo # N-1159B-052 by Journalist 1st Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of navy.news.mil.

View the Pomodon (SS-486)
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

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