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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Pickerel (SS-524)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Kilo - Golf

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Tench Class Submarine: Laid down, 8 February 1944, at Boston Navy Yard, Boston, MA.; Launched, 15 December 1944; Commissioned USS Pickerel (SS-524), 4 April 1949; she was completed as a Guppy II submarine before commissioning and was refitted as a Guppy III submarine in 1962; Decommissioned, 18 August 1972, and transferred (loaned) to Italy, renamed Primo Longobordo (S-501). Final Disposition, sold 5 December 1977 outright, Decomm. 31 January 1980 & sold 31 May 1981 in Genoa, Italy.
Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves (of blessed memory)& 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 20 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, Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four main generator motors, Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, HP 5,400. Fuel Capacity, 113,510 gal., Elliot electric motors, HP 2,740, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.

The following specs have been contributed by Robert (Bob) C. Sowell Jr. ET3 (Retired): No doubt, initially, when her construction began during WW II the plan was for her to have 126 cells forward and 126 aft; however, before her construction was completed in 1949 the new Ni-Cad battery had been developed that produced the same power with half the size and weight. The Pickerel had four 126 cell NiCad batteries, two in the Forward Battery Compartment and two in the After Battery Compartment. This additional battery power coupled with her streamlined superstructure boosted her underwater speed to about twice of that of conventional WWII Fleet type boats.

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Pickerel 53k Northern pike (E. lucius), or Pickerel. Courtesy of
SS 155 1.00k The Pickerel (SS-524) was sponsored by Anne Gould Moore, the wife of Lieutenant Commander John R. Moore, USN.
No photo of her is currently available, but he appears here with then Captain Ralph W. Christie, USN, Commander Task Force 42 and Submarine Squadron Five (left), congratulates Lieutenant Commander John R. Moore, USN, Commanding Officer of S-44 (SS-155)," as he returned to this South Pacific base after a very successful week of patrol activity". (quoted from original World War II photo caption).
The original caption date is 1 September 1942, which is presumably a release date. S-44 returned to Brisbane, Australia, on 23 August 1942 at the end of a war patrol in the Solomon Islands, during which she sank the Japanese heavy cruiser Kako. The photograph was probably taken at about that time.
USN photo # 80-G-12171 courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command.
GUPPY 222k Broadside view of a cutout of a GUPPY design. Photo courtesy of
GUPPY 182k Overhead view of a cutout of a GUPPY design. Photo courtesy of
Pickerel 64k Pickerel (SS-524), off the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, New Hampshire, 21 July 1949. Official USN photo # NH 97020, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Pickerel 61k Pickerel (SS-524), possibly off the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, New Hampshire, 21 July 1949. USN photo from The World Encyclopedia of Submarines, by John Parker, courtesy of Robert Hurst.
764k LCDR John H. Nicholson was the 7th CO of Pickerel (SS-524) from 1 June 1959 to 26 August 1959. Text i.d. via Wolfgang Hechler.
USN photo courtesy of Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
THIS IS THE U. S. SUBMARINE PICKEREL (SS-524) which remained under water 21 days on a 5.200 mile cruise from Hongkong. China, to Pearl Harbor. Naval officers said it is the longest under-sea run they had ever heard of. but they didn't claim a record. The Pickerel was commanded on the cruise by Commander Paul R. Schratz (right) of Pittsburgh. The long stay under water was made possible by a "Snorkel” device.
A.P. Wirephoto.
Image and text provided by University of Florida.
Photo & text by The Key West Citizen. [volume] (Key West, Fla.) 1879-current, 11 April 1950, Image 1, via
Pickerel 758k Pickerel (SS-524) arriving at Pearl Harbor on 9 April 1950 after her 5,200 mile submerged trip from Hong Kong. Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Pickerel 44k Pickerel (SS-524) returning to Pearl Harbor after a record-setting 21-day submerged run snorkeling across the Pacific from Hong Kong. Courtesy of Grant Riddle /
K-3 34k Bass (SSK-2), Bonita (SSK-3),Greenfish (SS-351) and Pickerel (SS-524) at Pearl Harbor, 1950. Courtesy of Grant Riddle /
Pickerel 104k "Crew members of the streamlined submarine Pickerel (SS-524) are shown beside a huge lei presented to the officers and men as the submarine docked at Pearl Harbor today, 4 November. She was among the first Pearl Harbor based submarines to return from the Korean War Zone. "The original photograph was released by 14th Naval District PIO, and is dated 4 November 1950. The sailors are standing on Pickerel's bow, by her sonar dome and jackstaff. Official USN photo # NH 97017, from the All Hands collection at the Naval Historical Center.
Pickerel 3.67k Pickerel (SS-524), surfacing at a 48 degree up angle, from a depth of 150 feet, during tests off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 1 March 1952.
"The purpose of this operation was to enable the Navy's submarine experts to evaluate the sub's capabilities and characteristics of the GUPPY-snorkel type sub.
This picture was taken from Sabalo (SS-302). Her sonarmen kept Pickerel under observation while she was submerged and preparing to surface. During Pickerel's maneuvering the sonar gear delivered the constantly changing relative bearing which enabled the photographers to make this shot as she broke the surface."
Note: The official record of the "surfacing" pictured above is that it started at 150 feet and reached a 48 degree up-angle. From a crew-member manning the helm during this evolution:
"We started at 250 feet, flank speed. The surfacing order included 'use 60 degrees' (the highest reading on the -bubble-type' angle indicator).
"We overshot, and lost the bubble at 65 degrees. The maximum angle (72 degrees) was calculated later by the highwater marks in the Pump Room bilges. Thinking back, even with the bow sticking above water up to the bridge fairwater, the screws wouldn't have been much above where we started, still pushing us upward.
"First message from the Queenfish (SS-393) which was accompanying us: 'What is the specific gravity of your Torpedo Room bilges?'
"As you may imagine, the C.O. was something of a competitive wildman, pushing to find out what the limits were for these new GUPPY boats, after putting up with the older WW2 boats. And, we had to beat the Amberjack's (SS-522) record of 43 degrees."
Text from All Hands magazine, May 1952 edition, courtesy of Stan Svec & /
Official USN photo # USN 440604,courtesy of the Library of Congress, from the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, courtesy of
Pickerel 177k Captain Ignatius J. Galantin at change of command ceremony relinquishing command of Submarine Squadron 7, Pearl Harbor, to Captain R.H. O'Kane, 6 July 1954 aboard the Pickerel (SS-524). USN photo via Bill Gonyo.
Pickerel 493k Pickerel (SS-524), off Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, 4 April 1955. Official USN photograph, # NH 97021, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Pickerel 167k Prior to the Guppy III conversion Pickerel (SS-524) is framed in a 1962 Xmas card. Photograph courtesy of Jim Kelling.
Pickerel 169k Colored Pickerel (SS-524) from the above text. Photograph courtesy of Jim Kelling.
Pickerel 119k Pickerel (SS-524) in drydock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard while she was undergoing Guppy III conversion, Fall of 1962. Photograph courtesy of Jim Kelling.
Pickerel 397k Pickerel (SS-524), underway off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, 17 January 1963. Official USN photograph, # NH 97022, Photographed by PH2 D.C. Smith, USN, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Pickerel 163k Pickerel (SS-524), with P-3 Orion flying overhead, circa 1960's. USN photograph # NPC 1107880, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Pickerel 759k Formal dining-in retirement of CDR Edgar G. Hanson (Former CO of Pickerel (SS-524) at Mare Island on 22 July 1967. Captain B. C. Jarvis, standing to the far right, was the WWII commanding officer of the Baya (SS-318).
Left to right: Standing RADM Lawrence (Retired), CDR Edgar G. Hanson and Capt. B. C. Jarvis. Seated Mrs. Jarvis, Mrs. Hanson and Mrs. Lawrence.
Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Pickerel 85k Pickerel (SS-524), surfaced and underway off Hawaii, circa late 1960's. Photo courtesy of George M. Arnold.
Submarine Base Pearl Harbor564kSubmarine are from left to right: Halibut (SSGN-587), Pickerel (SS-524), Perch (LPSS-313), Unidentified, Sterlet (SS-392) at Submarine Base Pearl Harbor on 12 April 1967. USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired). & David Johnston.
Pickerel 309k A 1969 Pickerel (SS-524). USN photograph courtesy of Scott Koen &
Pickerel 321k Bow on Pickerel (SS-524). USN photograph courtesy of Scott Koen &
Pickerel 214k Port Pickerel (SS-524). USN photograph courtesy of Scott Koen &
Pickerel 122k Pickerel (SS-524), underway in the Pacific Ocean, September 1969.
The boat was in the Atlantic in September 69, because we were transferred to SUBRON 4 and arrived in Charleston in June 69. If that pic was taken in Hawaiian waters, the very latest it could have been taken was early June 69.
Official USN photograph # USN 1140854, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Dick Helm, 1968-71.
Pickerel 136k H-mail arrives before e-mail.
During a training op off Bermuda, 69-71, we received some mail via a helo transfer. With the wind, sea, and weather conditions just right, the young stud helo pilot decided to hand us the package thru the helo door instead of dropping it on a line! He was just a few feet off the deck.
Photo courtesy of Frank Pasquinelli. (CDR-USN-ret) via Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Pickerel 953k Crew members of the Pickerel (SS-524) during UNITAS XI 1970.USN photo by LCDR Orlando Gallardo, Jr.
Primo Longobordo (S-501)
Pickerel 197k Merchant ships waiting to unload in the harbor of Taranto, Italy in 1972 backdrop the ex-Pickerel (SS-524) as the Itialan Primo Longobordo (S-501). Itialian Navy photo by Lt.Cdr. Erminio Bagnasco via Maurizio Brescia.
Pickerel 129k ex-Pickerel (SS-524) as the Itialan Primo Longobordo (S-501) at Taranto, 1973.
Not much has changed from her appearance in U.S. service except a loss of 23 numbers.
Photo from the Maurizio Brescia collection.
Pickerel 295k The Primo Longobordo (S-501) departs Toulon on 21 November 1973. Photo by Carlo Martinelli.

View the Pickerel (SS-524)
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
Guppy Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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