USS Clamagore (SS-343)

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USS Clamagore (SS-343), some time after her GUPPY conversion, c. post 1948.
USS Clamagore (SS-343), some time after her GUPPY conversion, c. post 1948.
Career (United States)
Name: Clamagore
Namesake: Clamagore
Builder: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[1]
Laid down: 16 March 1944[1]
Launched: 25 February 1945[1]
Sponsored by: Miss M. J. Jacobs
Commissioned: 28 June 1945[1]
Decommissioned: 12 June 1973[1]
Struck: 27 June 1975[2]
Status: Museum ship at Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Charleston, South Carolina since 1981[2]
Badge: Ss343 patch.jpg
General characteristics (World War II)
Class and type: Balao-class diesel-electric submarine[2]
Displacement: 1,526 tons (1,550 t) surfaced[2]
2,424 tons (2,460 t) submerged[2]
Length: 311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)[2]
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[2]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[2]
Propulsion: 4 × General Motors Model 16-278A V16 diesel engines driving electrical generators[2][3]

2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries [4]
4 × high-speed General Electric electric motors with reduction gears [2]
two propellers [2]
5,400 shp (4.0 MW) surfaced[2]

2,740 shp (2.0 MW) submerged[2]
Speed: 20.25 knots (37 km/h) surfaced[4]
8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[4]
Range: 11,000 nm (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)[4]
Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots (4 km/h) submerged[4]
75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[4]
Complement: 10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[4]
Armament: 10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
 (six forward, four aft)
 24 torpedoes[4]
1 × 5-inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun[4]
Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
General characteristics (Guppy II)
Displacement: 1,870 tons (1,900 t) surfaced[5]
2,440 tons (2,480 t) submerged[5]
Length: 307 ft (94 m)[6]
Beam: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)[6]
Draft: 17 ft (5.2 m)[6]
Propulsion: Snorkel added[5]

Batteries upgraded to GUPPY type, capacity expanded to 504 cells (1 × 184 cell, 1 × 68 cell, and 2 × 126 cell batteries)[5]

4 × high-speed electric motors replaced with 2 × low-speed direct drive electric motors[5]
Speed: Surfaced:
18.0 knots (33.3 km/h) maximum
13.5 knots (25.0 km/h) cruising
16.0 knots (29.6 km/h) for 12 hour
9.0 knots (16.7 km/h) snorkeling
3.5 knots (6.5 km/h) cruising[5]
Range: 15,000 nm (28,000 km) surfaced at 11 knots (20 km/h)[6]
Endurance: 48 hours at 4 knots (7.4 km/h) submerged[6]
Complement: 9–10 officers
5 petty officers
70 enlisted men[6]
Sensors and
processing systems:
WFA active sonar
JT passive sonar
Mk 106 torpedo fire control system[6]
Armament: 10 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
(6 forward, 4 aft)[6]
all guns removed[5]
General characteristics (Guppy III)
Displacement: 1,975 tons (2,007 t) surfaced[5]
2,450 tons (2,489 t) submerged[5]
Length: 321 ft (98 m)[6]
Speed: Surfaced:
17.2 knots (31.9 km/h) maximum
12.2 knots (22.6 km/h) cruising
14.5 knots (26.9 km/h) for 12 hour
6.2 knots (11.5 km/h) snorkeling
3.7 knots (6.9 km/h) cruising[5]
Range: 15,900 nm (29,400 km) surfaced at 8.5 knots (15.7 km/h)[6]
Endurance: 36 hours at 3 knots (5.6 km/h) submerged[6]
Complement: 8–10 officers
5 petty officers
70-80 enlisted men[6]
Sensors and
processing systems:
BQS-4 active search sonar
BQR-2B passive search sonar
BQG-4 passive attack sonar[6]
USS Clamagore (Submarine)
USS Clamagore (SS-343) is located in South Carolina
USS Clamagore (SS-343)
Location Patriot's Point, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Coordinates 32°47′22.56″N 79°54′27.89″W / 32.7896000°N 79.9077472°W / 32.7896000; -79.9077472Coordinates: 32°47′22.56″N 79°54′27.89″W / 32.7896000°N 79.9077472°W / 32.7896000; -79.9077472
Built 1963
Architect Electric Boat Works
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 89001229
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 29 June 1989[7]
Designated NHL 29 June 1989[8]

USS Clamagore (SS-343) is a Balao-class submarine, presently a museum ship at the Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. Built in 1945 for the United States Navy, she was still in training when World War II ended. She was named for the clamagore or blue parrotfish, Scarus coeruleus, found in the West Indies and along the Atlantic coast as far north as Maryland. A National Historic Landmark, she is the only known surviving example of a GUPPY type submarine.[9]


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 commissioned on 28 June 1945, with Commander S.C. Loomis, Jr., taking command.[10]

Operational history[edit]

Clamagore was first assigned to Key West, 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.[10]

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.[10]

Clamagore called at New London and Newport 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 NS 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.[10]

In 1962, Clamagore became one of only nine boats to undergo the GUPPY III conversion.[11] She had a 15 feet (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.[5]

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]

USS Clamagore, 24 November 2003.

Clamagore was decommissioned 12 June 1975 and stricken on 27 June 1975 after having served in the Navy for 30 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,[12] where she was docked as a museum ship along with aircraft carrier Yorktown and destroyer Laffey. Clamagore is available for visitor tours. Her continually deteriorating condition, however, may lead to the sub being sunk as an artificial reef unless critical repairs can be made in a timely manner.[13]

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. The GUPPY conversion submarines comprised the bulk of the nation's submarine forces through the mid-1960s."[14]


See also[edit]

Media related to USS Clamagore (SS-343) at Wikimedia Commons


  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 i j k l m n 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. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305-311
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m U.S. Submarines Since 1945 pp. 242
  7. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  8. ^ a b "CLAMAGORE, USS (Submarine)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  9. ^ a b Delgado, James P. (28 December 1988). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: USS Clamagore (SS-343) / Clamagore" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  and
    Delgado, James P. (28 December 1988). "Accompanying two photos, exterior, from 1960 and 1988" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Clamagore". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. United States Navy. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  11. ^ "USS Clamagore (SS-343)". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Ships at Patriots Point – Events and History". Patriots Point Development Authority. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  13. ^ "Time running out to save museum sub". The Sacramento Bee. The Associated Press. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  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. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 

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

External links[edit]

History of Clamagore