USS Clamagore (SS-343)

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USS Clamagore;0834309.jpg
USS Clamagore (SS-343), some time after her GUPPY conversion
United States
BuilderElectric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[1]
Laid down16 March 1944[1]
Launched25 February 1945[1]
Sponsored byMiss M. J. Jacobs
Commissioned28 June 1945[1]
Decommissioned12 June 1975[1]
Stricken27 June 1975[2]
FateScrapped, 2022
BadgeSs343 patch.jpg
General characteristics (World War II)
Class and typeBalao-class diesel-electric submarine[2]
  • 1,526 tons (1,550 t) surfaced[2]
  • 2,424 tons (2,460 t) submerged[2]
Length311 ft 9 in (95.0 m)[2]
Beam27 ft 3 in (8.3 m)[2]
Draft16 ft 10 in (5.1 m) maximum[2]
  • 20.25 kn (37.50 km/h; 23.30 mph) surfaced[3]
  • 8.75 kn (16.21 km/h; 10.07 mph) submerged[3]
Range11,000 nmi (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) surfaced at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)[3]
  • 48 hours at 2 kn (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged[3]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth400 ft (122 m)[3]
Complement10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[3]
General characteristics (Guppy II)
  • 1,870 tons (1,900 t) surfaced[6]
  • 2,440 tons (2,480 t) submerged[6]
Length307 ft (93.6 m)[5]
Beam27 ft 4 in (8.3 m)[5]
Draft17 ft (5.2 m)[5]
  • Snorkel added[6]
  • Batteries upgraded to GUPPY type, capacity expanded to 504 cells (1 × 184 cell, 1 × 68 cell, and 2 × 126 cell batteries)[6]
  • 4 × high-speed electric motors replaced with 2 × low-speed direct drive electric motors[6]
  • Surfaced:
  • 18.0 kn (33.3 km/h; 20.7 mph) maximum
  • 13.5 kn (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph) cruising
  • Submerged:
  • 16.0 kn (29.6 km/h; 18.4 mph) for 12 hour
  • 9.0 kn (16.7 km/h; 10.4 mph) snorkeling
  • 3.5 kn (6.5 km/h; 4.0 mph) cruising[6]
Range15,000 nmi (28,000 km; 17,000 mi) surfaced at 11 kn (20 km/h; 13 mph)[5]
Endurance48 hours at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged[5]
  • 9–10 officers
  • 5 petty officers
  • 70 enlisted men[5]
Sensors and
processing systems
  • WFA active sonar
  • JT passive sonar
  • Mk 106 torpedo fire control system[5]
General characteristics (Guppy III)
  • 1,975 tons (2,007 t) surfaced[6]
  • 2,450 tons (2,489 t) submerged[6]
Length321 ft (98 m)[5]
  • Surfaced:
  • 17.2 kn (31.9 km/h; 19.8 mph) maximum
  • 12.2 kn (22.6 km/h; 14.0 mph) cruising
  • Submerged:
  • 14.5 kn (26.9 km/h; 16.7 mph) for 12 hour
  • 6.2 kn (11.5 km/h; 7.1 mph) snorkeling
  • 3.7 kn (6.9 km/h; 4.3 mph) cruising[6]
Range15,900 nmi (29,400 km; 18,300 mi) surfaced at 8.5 kn (15.7 km/h; 9.8 mph)[5]
Endurance36 hours at 3 kn (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged[5]
  • 8–10 officers
  • 5 petty officers
  • 70-80 enlisted men[5]
Sensors and
processing systems
  • BQS-4 active search sonar
  • BQR-2B passive search sonar
  • BQG-4 passive attack sonar[5]
USS Clamagore (Submarine)
USS Clamagore (SS-343) is located in South Carolina
USS Clamagore (SS-343)
USS Clamagore (SS-343) is located in the United States
USS Clamagore (SS-343)
LocationPatriot's Point, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Coordinates32°47′19″N 79°54′31″W / 32.78861°N 79.90861°W / 32.78861; -79.90861Coordinates: 32°47′19″N 79°54′31″W / 32.78861°N 79.90861°W / 32.78861; -79.90861
ArchitectElectric Boat Works
NRHP reference No.89001229
Significant dates
Added to NRHP29 June 1989[7]
Designated NHL29 June 1989[8]

USS Clamagore (SS-343) was a Balao-class submarine, which operated as a museum ship at the Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum outside Charleston, South Carolina from 1979 to 2022. Built in 1945 for the United States Navy, she was still in training when World War II ended. She was named for the clamagore. A National Historic Landmark, she was the last surviving example of a GUPPY III type submarine.[9] On 15 October 2022, the USS Clamagore, stripped of sail and superstructure was removed from Patriots Point and towed to Norfolk VA to begin final recycling.[10]


Clamagore was built by Electric Boat Co. in Groton, Connecticut near the end of World War II. She was launched on 25 February 1945 and sponsored by Miss Mary Jane Jacobs, daughter of Vice Admiral Randall Jacobs and commissioned on 28 June 1945, with Commander S.C. Loomis, Jr., taking command.[11]

Operational history[edit]

Clamagore was first assigned to Key West, Florida, and reported there on 5 September 1945. She operated off Key West with various fleet units and with the Fleet Sonar School, voyaging on occasion to Cuba and the Virgin Islands until 5 December 1947, when she entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for GUPPY II modernization and installation of snorkel.[11]

Clamagore returned to Key West 6 August 1948 and assumed local and Caribbean operations for the next eight years, except for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean from 3 February to 16 April 1953.[11]

Clamagore called at New London, Connecticut and Newport, Rhode Island early in 1957, returning to Key West 13 March. Between 23 September and 7 December she took part in NATO exercises in the North Atlantic, calling at Portsmouth, England, and Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland. On 29 June 1959, she arrived at Charleston, her new home port, and after a period of coastwise operations, sailed 5 April 1960 to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean for a tour of duty which continued until July, when the submarine returned to Charleston. For the remainder of 1960 Clamagore operated off the east coast.[11]

In 1962, Clamagore became one of only nine boats to undergo the GUPPY III conversion.[12] She had a 15 ft (4.6 m) hull extension added forward of the control room, a plastic sail and the BQG-4 PUFFS passive ranging sonar, which included the three sharkfin sensors on her deck.[6]

Clamagore finished her GUPPY III conversion in February 1963, and was transferred to Submarine Squadron 2 (SUBRON2) in Groton, Connecticut.[citation needed]

Post operational history[edit]

Clamagore was decommissioned on 12 June 1975 and stricken on 27 June 1975 after having served in the Navy for thirty years.[1][2] She was donated as a museum ship on 6 August 1979.[citation needed]

Clamagore arrived at Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Charleston, South Carolina in May 1981,[13] where she was moored as a museum ship along with aircraft carrier Yorktown and destroyer Laffey.

Clamagore was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark on 29 June 1989.[8][7][9]

According to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Clamagore "is now the only surviving GUPPY type III submarine in the United States. She represents the continued adaptation and use of war-built diesel submarines by the Navy for the first two decades after the war."[14] The GUPPY conversion submarines constituted the bulk of the nation's submarine force through the mid-1960s.

Due to severe degradation of the hull the Patriot Point museum has on several occasions looked for an alternate means to preserve the vessel.[15] On 10 January 2017 the Palm Beach County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve funds for the vessel to be sunk as an artificial reef.[16] On 16 April 2019 a group of retired submariners sued the State of South Carolina to save the Clamagore.[17] In early 2020, the museum formed a plan to sink Clamagore at the Vermilion Reef site before the 2021 hurricane season.[15] As of 2022 the museum has announced plans to scrap the submarine as the cost of preservation is considered unsupportable.[18]

During the summer of 2022, the museum began the process of scrapping the Clamagore despite calls to save the historical submarine.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h 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.
  3. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305-311
  4. ^ a b U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m U.S. Submarines Since 1945 pp. 242
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 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.
  7. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 23 January 2007.
  8. ^ a b "CLAMAGORE, USS (Submarine)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  9. ^ a b Delgado, James P. (28 December 1988). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: USS Clamagore (SS-343) / Clamagore". National Park Service. Retrieved 22 June 2009. and
    Delgado, James P. (28 December 1988). "Accompanying two photos, exterior, from 1960 and 1988". National Park Service. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  10. ^ Ramsey, John. "Navy submarine Clamagore towed from Patriots Point to be scrapped". Post and Courier. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  11. ^ a b c d "Clamagore". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. United States Navy. Archived from the original on 21 March 2005. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  12. ^ "USS Clamagore (SS-343)". Archived from the original on 5 September 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2006.
  13. ^ "Ships at Patriots Point – Events and History". Patriots Point Development Authority. Archived from the original on 23 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  14. ^ "U.S.S. Clamagore, Charleston County (Patriot's Point, Mount Pleasant vicinity)". National Register Properties in South Carolina listing. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  15. ^ a b "WWII submarine to go on 'eternal patrol' off SC coast as part of artificial reef. As of 2022, Clamagore is still docked at Patriots Point". Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  16. ^ Kleinberg, Eliot (10 January 2017). "Palm Beach County OKs $1 million for sinking sub as artificial reef". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  17. ^ Werner, Ben (19 April 2019). "Submariners are Suing South Carolina to Save Cold War-Era Attack Boat". USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Patriots Point to dismantle USS Clagamore". 18 March 2022. Archived from the original on 20 March 2022. Retrieved 20 March 2022.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]