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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch on left contributed Harold F.(Carl) Carlson & submitted by Gary Carlson, on right by Mike Smolinski

Flasher (SS-249)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Xray - Quebec

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Presidental Unit Citation (3) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (6) - World War II Victory Medal

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 30 September 1942, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 20 June 1943; Commissioned USS Flasher (SS-249), 25 September 1943; Decommissioned, 16 March 1946, at New London, CT; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; Struck from the Naval Register 1 June 1959, and sold for scrapping 31 May 1963. Final Dispostion, scrapped. Flasher was awarded 3 Presidential Unit Citations and the Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Ribbon with 6 battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 Officers 54 Enlisted; Operating Depth, 300 ft; Submerged Endurance, 48 hrs at 2 kts; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel electric reduction gear with four General Motors main generator engines, 5,400HP, Fuel Capacity, 97,140 gal., four General Electric main motors, 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Flasher 27k Postal cover marking Flasher's (SS-249) keel laying on 30 September 1942, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Photo courtesy of
Signs of the times 315k Signs of the times: Logo's for the following boats are emblazoned on the building wall to the right: Dace (SS-247), Dorado (SS-248), Flasher (SS-249), Flier (SS-250), Flounder (SS-251) & Gabilan (SS-252). Photo from the Photo Essay How To Build A Submarine at Electric Boat Co. New London, Conn.
Photographer: Bernard Hoffman, courtesy of Life.
Flasher 61k The Flasher (SS-249) slides down the ways at Electric Boat on 20 June 1943. USN photo courtesy of
Flasher 112k Postal cover marking the launching of the Flasher (SS-249) at Electric Boat on 20 June 1943. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Flasher 27k Postal cover marking Flasher's (SS-249) commissioning on 25 September 1943. Photo courtesy of
Flasher 943k Starboard view of the Flasher (SS-249) underway during her shake down off the Atlantic coast on 4 November 1943. US National Archives photo # 80-G-450236, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Flasher ? 362k I've seen this photo listed as the Flasher (SS-249) in various places online over the years, but I have absolutely no idea if that's correct. The configuration is correct for her as built, but beyond that... A Mod 3 Gato EB design. Photo probably taken early 44.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & Robert Morgan.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Flasher 137k The Flasher (SS-249) port side view underway, circa 1943-45. USN photo courtesy of
Flasher 107k Mitsui Bussan KK-owned motor tanker Otowasan Maru underway. Otowasan Maru (9,205 grt) was torpedoed and sunk on 22 December 1944 at position (15 degrees 04' N, 109 degrees 06' E) by the submarine Flasher (SS-249). Photo courtesy of Mitsui Bussan. Photo taken from "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" by Roger W. Jordan via Robert Hurst.
Flasher 1.0k The Flasher (SS-249) prepares to tie up entering Pearl Harbor on way to mainland, on 24 July 1945.
Bound for Guam on a seventh war patrol at the close of the war, Flasher was ordered back to New London, where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 16 March 1946.
Text courtesy of DANFS. Photo i.d. Courtesy of Ric Hedman.
USN photo # 80-G-264326 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Flasher 1.00k 69 page PDF of the Flasher's (SS-249) history & her 4th & 5th War Patrol patrols. USN photos courtesy of Scott Koen &
PDF added 03/03/18.
Fremantle 365k This plaque was unveiled 20 March 1995 by His Excellency Major General P.M. Jeffery OA MC, Governor of Western Australia to commemorate the sacrifices made by Allied submarines that operated out of Fremantle, Western Australia during WW II. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves (of blessed memory).
Flasher 47k Flasher's (SS-249) Battleflag, 1943-45. USN photo courtesy of
Flasher & Finback 117k Flasher (SS-249) & probably Finback (SS-230) most likely from April of 1945 when Flasher was in Pearl Harbor enroute to San Francisco for overhaul. USN photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS).
Flasher 851k Painting of the Flasher (SS-249) during WWII operations dated June 1961. Photo courtesy of Valllejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Flasher 110k Flasher (SS-249) in 1/178 scale, starboard bow oblique view & starboard side view, with measure 32-3SSB paint scheme. Model and photo by Ken Hart.
Flasher 274k A dockside Flasher (SS-249) post WW II at New London Sub Base in the mothball fleet. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS).
Archerfish 279k Line up of decommissioned subs at Groton, CT., circa 1947. From left to right:Archerfish (SS-311), Flasher (SS-249), Cobia (SS-245), Croaker (SS-246), Drum (SS-228) & what looks like the Cavalla (SS-244). USN photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory). Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Key West 998k From left to right: Unnumbered sub, Manta (SS-299) & Flasher (SS-249), Sub Base New London at the north end of the base.
Unnumbered submarine is Guardfish (SS-217). She was in the New London Reserve Fleet for a long time before being expended. The masting looks the same as her latewar appearance, but a few features strongly suggest her. The forward gun platform has a turned down spray shield, as Guardfish did. The railings around that platform have stiffeners in an "X" pattern, as did Guardfish . There is also an elliptical vertical "barrel guard" at the front top of that railing to stop the 20mm gun crew from firing downwards and forward, probably to protect anyone on the forward main deck which Guardfish had late/end of war. Although difficult to tell for sure, the venturi appears the same shape, and the railings around the lookout platform atop the shears similarly look "splayed out."
The date is between late 1959, (based on early model year car sales for the blue 1960 Chevy Bellaire parked in center foreground) and October 1961, when Guardfish was sunk as a torpedo target in Long Island Sound off New London, Connecticut, by the submarines Dogfish (SS-350) and Blenny (SS-324).
Photo courtesy of Peter Greis via Fabia Pena.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedmen & Robert Morgan.
Photo added 01/21/17.
Flasher 623k June 1961 architect proposed view of the Flasher (SS-249) Memorial in Groton. Photo courtesy of Valllejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker
Flasher 243k The twenty year old Flasher (SS-249) was towed down river and past Electric Boat about 3 hours before the launch of the new Flasher (SSN-613) on 22 June 1963. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS).
Flasher 299k A tug boat nudges the twenty year old Flasher (SS-249) down river and past Electric Boat about 3 hours before the launch of the new Flasher (SSN-613). Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS).
Flasher 122k Port stern view of Flasher (SS-249) memorial in Groton, July 1991. Photo courtesy of Ken Hart.
Flasher 43k Flasher (SS-249) last deck-gun on display outside the Subforce Museum in Groton just outside the base main gate. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS).

View the Flasher (SS-249)
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
USS Flasher SS 249
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
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