USS Sarda (SS-488)
|Builder:||Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine|
|Laid down:||12 April 1945|
|Launched:||24 August 1945|
|Commissioned:||19 April 1946|
|Decommissioned:||1 June 1964|
|Struck:||1 June 1964|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 14 May 1965|
|Class and type:||Tench-class diesel-electric submarine |
|Length:||311 ft 8 in (95.00 m) |
|Beam:||27 ft 4 in (8.33 m) |
|Draft:||17 ft 0 in (5.18 m) maximum |
|Range:||11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h) |
|Test depth:||400 ft (120 m) |
|Complement:||10 officers, 71 enlisted |
USS Sarda (SS-488), a Tench-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sarda, a game fish of the central, southwestern, and western Pacific Ocean. Financed by bonds purchased during the Seventh War Loan by the residents of Lynn, Massachusetts, her keel was laid down on 12 April 1945 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 24 August 1945 sponsored by Mrs. Heffernan, the wife of James J. Heffernan, Congressman from New York.
Since World War II had ended just weeks before the submarine's launch, the decision as to whether to commission or scrap her had to be made. Sarda’s prospective commanding officer grew frustrated with the debate over the fate of his boat. During the months of waiting, he received a small plaque from his father inscribed Illegitimi non Carborundum — "Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Up." Sarda was eventually commissioned on 19 April 1946 with Commander Chester W. Nimitz, Jr., son of the famous Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, in command.
Re-fitting and commissioning
During the period between launching and commissioning, Sarda, no longer needed for wartime service, was fitted out with an extra large conning tower to permit installation of experimental equipment. After commissioning, she conducted her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea, then returned north to commence experimental work out of New London, Connecticut. There, she joined Submarine Division (SubDiv) 22 of Submarine Squadron 2; and, for the next four years, tested new equipment for the Underwater Sound Laboratory, Fort Trumbull, and evaluated new ship control procedures. In the fall of 1949, she was transferred to SubDiv 21, and her primary mission was shifted from test and evaluation work to school ship duties. She continued that work through the 1950s, interrupting it only for type training; mine planting exercises; ASW exercises; fleet exercises; occasional participation in NATO or joint United States-Canadian exercises off the coasts of the Atlantic Provinces and northern New England; and, from January to June 1957, operations in the Caribbean Sea and the Guiana and Brazilian basins for the Hydrographic Office. On her return, she resumed her primary function, training submarine school students.
In the early 1960s, she continued that work, but devoted more time to providing services to ASW units conducting exercises. During the winter of 1960, she provided services to 92 surface ships and 14 air squadrons participating in annual training exercises in the Caribbean. During the winter of 1962, she again returned to the Caribbean for an extended stay and, when not employed in servicing Atlantic Fleet air and surface ASW units, she tested and evaluated acoustical torpedoes. The following winter, 1963, she deployed to the Mediterranean Sea where she operated with the Sixth Fleet; and, on her return to New London in late May, she resumed school ship duties.
Eleven months later, Sarda was declared to be surplus to Navy needs. May 1964 was spent in port at New London preparing for inactivation; and, on 1 June, Sarda was decommissioned. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on the same day, and her hulk was sold for scrapping in March 1965.
- 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. 280–282. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
- Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–282. ISBN 978-0-313-26202-9.
- U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261–263
- U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
- U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305-311
- Photo gallery at navsource.org