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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

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Sea Leopard (SS-483)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Echo - Golf

Tench Class Submarine: Laid down, 7 November 1944, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, on Seavey Island in Kittery, Maine. Launched, 2 March 1945; Commissioned USS Sea Leopard (SS-483), 11 June 1945; Modernized with a Guppy II conversion at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA. in 1948-49; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 27 March 1973; Sold under the Military Assistance Program to Brazil in 1973, renamed Bahia (S-12); Final Disposition, placed out of service by the Brazilian navy and scrapped in 1998.

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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Size Image Description Source
Sea Leopard75kHydrurga leptonyx Leopard Seal Photo courtesy of Ben Cranke, via
Sea Leopard488kThe Hon. Margaret Chase Smith, United States Congresswoman from Maine, sponsor at launching of Sea Leopard (SS-483) with RADM Thomas Withers USN, & Mrs. J.R. Bertrand, matron of honor at Navy Yard Portsmouth N.H., 2 March 1945. USN photo # 80-G-1213 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Sea Leopard663kPresentation of Navy Yard employees gift to the sponsor, the Honorable Margaret Chase Smith, by Mr. Harry M. Ellis, Shop 70, at launching of the Sea Leopard (SS-483), at Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. National Archives Identifier: 12563124
Photo courtesy of
Sea Leopard 237k The top of the poppet & packing of Sea Leopard's (SS-483) construction is just visible under her flag draped bow as she slides into the water at the end of the launching ways at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 2 March 1945. USN photo courtesy of Dan Hecker &
Sea Leopard 246k Port side view of the launching of the Sea Leopard (SS-483) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 2 March 1945. USN photo courtesy of Dan Hecker &
Sea Leopard 144k Commemorative launch tag on the occasion of Sea Leopard's (SS-483) launching at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 2 March 1945. Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Sea Leopard 64k Lookouts in the Sea Leopard's (SS-483) periscope shears scan the horizon while the boat is underway, probably off the Florida coast, 1946. She was based out of Key West, Fla., and she remained in Florida waters through 1946 providing services to the Antisubmarine Development Force. USN photo courtesy of
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Sea Leopard 91k Sea Leopard's (SS-483) main 5"/25 deck gun as it appeared when she was based out of Key West, Fla. 1946. USN photo courtesy of Ed Schuele &
Requin 525k President Harry S. Truman at a ceremony aboard U-2513 on 5 December 1947.
The submarines Sea Leopard (SS-483) and what looks to be the Requin (SS-481) are moored alongside as well as their unidentified tender.
Source: USN Photos # 59-1330-3 & 59-1330-1 (insert) courtesy of
Sea Leopard 148k Admiral Robert L. J. Long commanded the Sea Leopard (SS-483), a diesel-powered submarine, the Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) and the Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633), nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Sea Leopard 477k Sea Leopard (SS-483) at Key West, Florida in 1948. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sea Leopard1.60kAerial view of Sea Leopard (SS-483) "off the bow", PNS 9/3/48. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sea Leopard 113k Sea Leopard (SS-483) underway on 30 May 1950. During February and March 1950, the Sea Leopard participated in maneuvers in the Caribbean. From August through November, she joined the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, visiting ports of Italy, France, and Sicily, before returning home. Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # USN 415945, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Sea Leopard 387k Med cruise summer in 1950 Naples Harbor: Sea Leopard (SS-483), Torsk (SS-423), and Sea Robin (SS-407). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Augusta Bay, Sicily2.20kThe destroyer tender Yellowstone (AD-27) at Augusta Bay, Sicily, May - October 1950.
Ships alongside to starboard; Sea Robin (SS-407), Torsk (SS-423), Sea Leopard (SS-483), Burrfish (SS-312).
To port; John R Pierce (DD-753), Barton (DD-722), Shea (DM-30) , and in the background Bauer (DM-26).
US National Archives photo # 80-G-428712, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Augusta Bay, Sicily246kCold War view of the Sea Leopard (SS-483).Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Sea Leopard 336k 1953 vintage Sea Leopard (SS-483). Photo courtesy of John Hummel, (USN) retired.
Cutlass 254k British subs visits Norfolk circa middle 1950's plus. Submarines lined up on the pier from outboard to inboard are: Cutlass (SS-478) and Sea Leopard (SS-483) with step sails. Followed by the Sealion (SS-315) & several SSR's which might be the Tigrone (SSR-419) and Burrfish (SSR-312). Both boats are in the Migraine I SSR version. If the last SSR is indeed the Burrfish, then this picture would have been taken sometime in the late spring of 1956.
The USN sailors are in dress whites (indicating the springtime changeover to whites), and the Burrfish departed Norfolk for the last time on 5 June 1956, headed for New London and decommissioning. The tender is Sierra (AD-18), which was always located at the next pier down from the sub pier.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired). Photo i.d. & text courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired)
Sea Leopard774kSea Leopard (SS-483) in Genoa Italy, June 1956. Photo courtesy of Carlo Martinelli.
Sea Leopard1.56kEight page Welcome Aboard PDF of the Sea Leopard (SS-483). Photos courtesy of Scott Koen &
Entemedor & Sea Leopard188kSea Leopard (SS-483) inboard & the Entemedor (SS-340) in Monaco, April 1957.Courtesy of Chuck Jensen.
Sea Leopard
454k An oblique view of the hurricane flooding of piers at Portsmouth VA Navy Yard on 7 March 1962. In view are the Agile (MSO-421), the Sea Leopard (SS-483), and the Bache (DD-470). Photo courtesy of Dave Schroeder and John Chiquoine.
Sea Leopard447kSEa LEopard (SS-483) with one capital E. Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Sea Leopard2.33kMid-1960s when the Sea Leopard (SS-483) was docked near Miami, FL and they were allowing civilian tours about her. Photo from the private collection of Rick Clark.
Sea Leopard 605k Sea Leopard (SS-483) starboard view underway, 8 June 1970 leaving Philadelphia Naval Shipyard after entering on 17 January 1970 for a six-month overhaul. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Bahia (S-12)
Sea Leopard 651k Decommissioning of Sea Leopard (SS-483), and transfer to the Brazilian Navy. From the Key West Citizen, 29 March 1973. Courtesy of Mike Keating.
Sea Leopard 42k A Brazilian Navy UH-12 Esquilo N-7051 helicopter flies over the exSea Leopard (SS-483), now the Brazilian Bahia (S-12) sometime circa 1973-93. Brazilian Navy photo by SDM, courtesy of, & submitted by Valdo Novaes.
Sea Leopard 57k The exSea Leopard (SS-483), now the Brazilian Bahia (S-12) in drydock DFlt Afonso Pena - G 25 in 1986. Brazilian Navy photo by Mario R. V. Carneiro/Segurança & Defes, courtesy of, & submitted by Valdo Novaes.
Sea Leopard 20k The sail of the exSea Leopard (SS-483), now the Brazilian Bahia (S-12) on display at the Museu Nacional do Mar em, (National Maritime Museum) at São Francisco do Sul, circa 1993 plus. Brazilian Navy photo by Luis Carlos de Oliveira, courtesy of & submitted by Valdo Novaes.

View the Sea Leopard (SS-483)
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 Sea Leopard (SS-483)
USS Sea Leopard
Tench Class Submarines
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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