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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, on Seavey Island in Kittery, Maine. 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 (of blessed memory)

As built to the 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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927k The Argonaut (SS-475) was sponsored by Mrs. Allen R. McCann, the wife of then Capt. McCann. Unfortunately, most of the women sponsors were outshined by their luminous husbands. Anyone who has a picture of her is welcome to submit it here. Photo courtesy of
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 Bay, 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 & David Johnston
USN photo # 45-46, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Argonaut 354k Unknown boat along side pier, Argonaut (SS-475), and outboard boat is Bang (SS-385), circa 1946. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
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 &
NR Officer candidates for the submarine service undergo intensive instructive training at the New London (Connecticut) base. Docking lessons are taught by radio-controlled models. Note the Argonaut (SS-475). Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 23 September 1951, Image 163, via
NR Better Living Conditions
THE GOOD submarine Argonaut (SS-475) sliced swiftly through the choppy Thames River at its base here and headed toward the open sea. It was a routine training cruise and through the periscope the waves seemed ever so close as the sub's bow disappeared below the surface....But this story is not essentially on the mechanical and scientific wizardry of modern spbs. Instead, it is about how' a little “interior decorating," such as you might do in your own home, is helping solve a couple of urgent submarine problems: Vision and habitation....
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 11 May 1952, Image 143, via
NR For Our Submarine Crews
Comdr. C. W. Lynn, skipper of the sub, takes a bearing through the periscope.......
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 11 May 1952, Image 144, via
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, (USN) retired.
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 &
Argonaut 81k Argonaut (SS-475), underway, post mid 1950's - middle 1960's. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
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, (USN) retired & David 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 &
Argonaut 839k Stern & port views of the Argonaut (SS-475) off the Virginia capes area on 22 July 1963. USN photo # NPC 1091175 courtesy of Scott Koen &
Insert photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired, (USN) retired.
Argonaut385k Argonaut (SS-475), Cubera (SS-347), Sirago (SS-485) pierside, 1964.Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
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, (USN) retired.
1.53k Nearest to farthest: Cubera (SS-347), Argonaut (SS-475), and Damato (DD-871), mid-June 1965. Photo by Manuel Galilea. Courtesy of Museu Marítim de Barcelona via Fabio Pena.
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.
Sailfish 886k Orion (AS-18) at Naval Station Norfolk, VA. during a change of command ceremony with the following submarines alongside.
Inboard to outboard:
Sailfish (SSR-572),
probably Cutlass (SS-478),
Runner (SS-476),
Cobbler (SS-344),
Argonaut (SS-475),
Requin (SS-481) & Barbero (SSG-317).
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92321 courtesy of Robert Hurst via Gary Priolo.
Redfin, Runner, Requin & Argonaut44kRedfin (SSR-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.
Redfin760kFrom R to L: Sealion (SS-315), Argonaut (SS-475), Requin (SS-481), Runner (SS-476) & Redfin (SSR-272).
Orion (AS-18) is on the other side of the pier together with other boats, end of year holidays in 1966.
Behind these five boats are four more Guppy diesel boats, and behind them at the end of the pier is a Skipjack class SSN moored next to the big nuclear boat Triton (SSN-586), formerly SSRN, and the flagship of the Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet (SUBLANT). On the other side of the pier from Triton is another Skipjack class SSN and directly behind the tender are three more diesel Guppies.
Text I.d. courtesy of David Johnston
Photo courtesy of Richard Simpson via Authur Rebman IC1(SS).
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 &
Argonaut 607k HMCS Rainbow (SS-75) in color. Photo courtesy of 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

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