USS Stickleback (SS-415)
USS Stickleback (SS-415), after GUPPY conversion
|Builder:||Mare Island Naval Shipyard|
|Laid down:||1 March 1944|
|Launched:||1 January 1945|
|Commissioned:||29 March 1945|
|Decommissioned:||26 June 1946|
|Recommissioned:||6 September 1951|
|Decommissioned:||14 November 1952|
|Recommissioned:||26 June 1953|
|Fate:||Sunk in collision with USS Silverstein (DE-534) off Oahu 29 May 1958|
|General characteristics (World War II)|
|Class & type:||Balao-class diesel-electric submarine|
|Displacement:||1,526 tons (1550 t) surfaced
2,424 tons (2460 t) submerged
|Length:||311 ft 10 in (95.05 m)|
|Beam:||27 ft 4 in (8.33 m) |
|Draft:||16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum|
|Propulsion:||4 × Fairbanks-Morse Model 38D8-⅛ 10-cylinder opposed piston diesel engines driving electrical generators
2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries
4 × high-speed General Electric electric motors with reduction gears
5,400 shp (4.0 MW) surfaced
2,740 shp (2.0 MW) submerged
|Speed:||20.25 knots (37 km/h) surfaced
8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged
|Range:||11,000 nm (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
|Endurance:||48 hours at 2 knots (4 km/h) submerged
75 days on patrol
|Test depth:||400 ft (120 m)|
|Complement:||10 officers, 70–71 enlisted|
|Armament:||10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
(six forward, four aft)
1 × 5-inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun
Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
|General characteristics (Guppy IIA)|
1,848 tons (1,878 t) surfaced
|Length:||307 ft (94 m) |
|Beam:||27 ft 4 in (8.33 m) |
|Draft:||17 ft (5.2 m) |
Construction and launch
Her keel was laid down on 1 March 1944 by the Mare Island Navy Yard of Vallejo, California. She was launched on 1 January 1945 sponsored by Mrs. John O.R. Coll, and commissioned on 29 March 1945, Commander Lawrence G. Bernard in command.
World War II
Stickleback completed outfitting on 26 May and held her shakedown cruise off the California coast. She reported to Commander, Submarines, Pacific Fleet, for duty on 21 June. More modern equipment was installed at Pearl Harbor; and, on 2 August, she arrived at Guam, where she held sea trials for a few more days. She began her first war patrol on 6 August when she departed for the Sea of Japan. She arrived there the following week and began patrolling. However, the atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it was believed the war would end shortly.
Stickleback had only been in the patrol area for two days when the cease-fire order was passed. She remained in the area and, on 21 August, sighted two bamboo rafts containing 19 survivors of a freighter which had been sunk ten days before by Jallao (SS-368). They were taken on board for 18 hours, given food, water, medical treatment, and set afloat again a short distance from one of the Japanese islands.
Stickleback returned to Guam on 9 September and sailed for the United States the next day. She arrived at San Francisco, California, on 28 September as a unit of Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet. She participated in the Navy Day celebration in October and, on 2 January 1946, made a voyage to Pearl Harbor. She was decommissioned, on 26 June 1946, at Mare Island and attached to the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Stickleback was recommissioned on 6 September 1946 and served at San Diego, California as a training ship until entering the Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 6 November 1952 for conversion to a snorkel (GUPPY IIA) type submarine. The ship was back at sea on 26 June 1953 and joined Submarine Squadron 7 at Pearl Harbor.
For the next four years, she participated in training operations and the development of both defensive and offensive submarine tactics. On 28 May 1958, Stickleback was participating in an antisubmarine warfare exercise with Silverstein (DE-534) and a torpedo retriever boat in the Hawaiian area. The exercises continued into the afternoon of the next day when the submarine completed a simulated torpedo run on Silverstein. As Stickleback was going to a safe depth, she lost power and broached approximately 200 yards (180 m) ahead of the destroyer escort. Silverstein backed full and put her rudder hard left in an effort to avoid a collision but holed the submarine on her port side.
Stickleback's crew was removed by the retriever boat and combined efforts were made by Silverstein, Sabalo (SS-302), Sturtevant (DE-239), and Greenlet (ASR-10), to save the stricken submarine. The rescue ships put lines around her, but compartment after compartment flooded and, at 18:57 on 29 May 1958, Stickleback sank in 1,800 fathoms (3,300 m) of water.
Stickleback was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 June 1958.
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Medal with "ASIA" clasp
- National Defense Service Medal
- Korean Service Medal
- United Nations Service Medal
- Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
- Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–280. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
- U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261–263
- U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
- Friedman, Norman (1994). U.S. Submarines Since 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 11–43. ISBN 1-55750-260-9.
- U.S. Submarines Since 1945 pp. 242
- Loss of the Stickleback SS-415 A crewmember's account.