USS Bonita (SSK-3)
Bonita with characteristic bulky electronics compartment at her bow (Mare Island Naval Shipyard)
|Career (United States of America)|
|Namesake:||the bonita, a name applied to various types of fish|
|Builder:||Mare Island Naval Shipyard |
|Laid down:||19 May 1950 |
|Launched:||21 June 1951 |
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. J.S. Clark|
|Commissioned:||11 January 1952 |
|Decommissioned:||7 November 1958|
|Struck:||1 April 1965 |
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 17 November 1966 |
|Class & type:||Barracuda-class diesel-electric hunter-killer submarine|
|Displacement:||765 tons (777 t) surfaced
1,160 tons (1179 t) submerged
|Length:||196 ft 1 in (59.77 m) overall |
|Beam:||24 ft 7 in (7.49 m) |
|Draft:||14 ft 5 in (4.39 m) mean|
|Propulsion:||3 × General Motors diesel engines, total 1050 bhp (0.8 MW)
2 × General Electric electric motors
two screws 
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h) surfaced
8.5 knots (16 km/h) submerged 
|Test depth:||400 ft (120 m) |
|Complement:||37 officers and men |
|Armament:||4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes|
USS Bonita (SSK-3/SS-552), a Barracuda-class submarine, was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bonita, a name applied to several types of fish, including the skipjack tuna, (Katsuwonus pelamis), the Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda), the lesser amberjack (Seriola fasciata), or the cobia (Rachycentron canadum).
The original contract for construction of Bonita (SSK-3) was awarded to New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey, but later transferred to Mare Island Naval Shipyard of Vallejo, California, where her keel was laid down on 19 May 1950. She was launched as K-3 on 21 June 1951 sponsored by Mrs. J.S. Clark, widow of Commander James S. Clark, and commissioned on 11 January 1952 commanded by Lieutenant Commander Eric E. Hopley.
The three SSK boats, Barracuda (SSK-1), Bass (SSK-2), and Bonita (SSK-3), were equipped with the large BQR-4 bow-mounted sonar array as part of Project Kayo, which experimented with the use of passive acoustics with low-frequency, bow sonar arrays. When the boat was rigged for silent running, these arrays gave greatly improved convergence zone detection ranges against snorkeling submarines. The SSKs themselves were limited in their anti-submarine warfare abilities by their low speed and their need to snorkel periodically to recharge their batteries, but the advances in sonar technology they pioneered were invaluable to the development of nuclear-powered submarines in the late 1950s.
K-3 joined Submarine Squadron 7 at Pearl Harbor on 15 May 1952 and performed experimental and normal submarine duties, making a cruise to Alaskan waters in August and September 1956. She was renamed Bonita 15 December 1955.
She was decommissioned on 7 November 1958, and given hull classification symbol SS-552 on 15 August 1959. She was struck from the Naval Register on 1 April 1965, and sold for scrap on 17 November 1966. She was the last of her class to survive.
- "Cover Artwork of SSK-3" Popular Mechanics, August 1953.