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USS SCABBARDFISH (SS-397) - a Balao class submarine

In Commission 1944 to 1948

SS-397 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SS-397 Shellback Initiation Add a SS-397 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
SEP1943-Keel Date: 27 SEP 1943
at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Kittery ME
JAN1944-Launch Date: 27 JAN 1944
APR1944-Commissioned: 29 APR 1944
FEB1965-Decommissioned: 26 FEB 1965

SS-397 General Specifications

Class: Balao class submarine

Complement: 10 Officers and 70 Enlisted

Displacement: 1526 tons

Length: 311 feet 6 inches

Beam: 27 feet 3 inches

Draft: 16 feet 10 in

Range: 11 000 Nautical Miles

Final Disposition: Transferred to Greece 26 February 1965


Scabbardfish (SS-397) was laid down on 27 September 1943 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.; launched on 27 January 1944; sponsored by Ensign Nancy J. Schetky; and commissioned on 29 April 1944, Lt. Comdr. F. A. Gunn in command.

After completing initial training at Portsmouth, N.H., and torpedo trials at Newport, R.I., Scabbardfish reported to the Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, New London, Conn., for advance training and final outfitting. Upon completion thereof, she sailed to Key West, Fla., for ASW duties which began on 21 June 1944. On 1 July, she departed for Panama, Canal Zone. Four days later, she transited the canal en route to the west coast and Pearl Harbor.

Scabbardfish, as a unit of Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, arrived at Pearl Harbor on 24 July. After completing voyage repairs and final training, she departed for Midway Island on 17 August. After refueling there, she departed on her first war patrol in the Ryukyu Islands area.

On 31 August, she sighted her first enemy ships, an inter-island steamer with two escorts. Scabbardfish fired two spreads of three torpedoes but all missed. After a light depth charge attack, she surfaced and continued steaming west.

On 19 September, west of Okinawa, she damaged a 5,500-ton Jingei-classsubmarine tender with two hits. She also fired a spread "down the throat" of a Chidori-class escort but missed. As a consequence, she underwent a depth charge attack for three hours but suffered no damage. The remainder of her patrol proved fruitless, and the submarine returned to Midway Island, on 12 October, for refitting. Two weeks later, she sailed to Saipan, Mariana Islands, for further orders.

Scabbardfish departed Saipan on 12 November to patrol in the seas southeast of Honshu. She arrived at her designated patrol area on the 16th and sank a 2,100-ton inter-island steamer that day. Six days later, she sank the 875-ton Kisaragi Maru and damaged a 4,000-ton freighter. On 28 November, she sank the Japanese submarine 1-365, picking up one lone survivor named Sasaki.

SS-397 completed her patrol at Guam on 20 December 1944; remained there until 16 January 1945; and, then, sailed to Saipan. Upon arrival there, she underwent intensive training in wolfpack tactics. Her third war patrol began on 23 January when she began patrolling the sea lanes between the Philippine and Ryukyu islands. In late February, she engaged 12 luggers and a trawler with her deck gun but was forced to submerge by an enemy plane. She was bombed but suffered no damage. She returned to Saipan on 6 March and was ordered to return to Pearl Harbor for refitting. Scabbardfish returned to Guam in late April and underwent voyage repairs by Holland (AS-3). On the 29th, she departed for the East China Sea. A change of orders assigned her to the Life Guard League; and, on 4 May, she rescued five crewmen from a ditched B-29. They were transferred to Picuda (SS-382) two days later, and SS-397 continued to the Yellow Sea area. On 17 May, Scabbardfish fired a spread of torpedoes at a small freighter which was accompanied by two escorts. This proved to be a hunter-killer group; and, when the torpedoes missed, they subjected the submarine to a grueling four-hour depth charge attack. The submarine sustained no serious damage and returned to Guam on 11 June to be refitted by Apollo (AS-25).

Scabbardfish began her fifth, and last, war patrol on 1 July with another assignment to the Life Guard League. During the period 25 July-10 August, she rescued seven pilots. When she returned to Saipan on 15 August, the cease fire had gone into effect, and Scabbardfish sailed to Pearl Harbor. She sailed from there on 6 September under orders which sent her to Eniwetok for ASW training duties. She remained there for a month; sailed to Guam for a month; and, on 14 November, stood out of Apra Harbor en route to San Francisco, via Midway Island. On 29 November 1945, the submarine arrived at Mare Island for her first overhaul, which was not completed until mid-March 1946.

Scabbardfish operated along the west coast until 17 March 1947 when she entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for her second major overhaul. The submarine departed directly from drydock, on 8 August, for San Diego. One month later, she called at Pearl Harbor for a few days and then continued sailing west on a simulated war patrol. After visiting the Palau Islands, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tsingtao, and Okinawa, she returned to San Diego on 11 December 1947.

On 3 January 1948, she was underway for Mare Island and, two days later, reported to the Pacific Reserve Fleet for inactivation. In February 1948, she was placed in reserve, out of commission, and berthed at Mare Island. Scabbardfish remained there until October 1964 when she was again placed in commission, preparatory to transferring her to the government of Greece. She was officially transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy, on 26 February 1965, and serves as Triana (S-86).

Scabbardfish received five battle stars for World War II service.

[Note: The above USS SCABBARDFISH (SS-397) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS SCABBARDFISH (SS-397), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]