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Salmon SS-182 - History

Salmon SS-182 - History

Salmon

(SS-182: dp. 1,435 (surf.), 2,198 (subm.); 1. 308'; b. 26'1", dr. 14'2"; s. 21 k. (surf.), 9 k. (subm.);cpl. 55; a. 1 3", 8 21" tt., 2 .50 cal. mg., 2 .30 cal.mg.; cl. Salmon)

Salmon (SS-182) was laid down on 15 April 1936 by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; launched on 12 June 1937; sponsored by Miss Hester Laning, and commissioned on 15 March 1938, Lt. M. Stephens in command.

After shakedown training and trials along the Atlantic coast from the West Indies to Nova Scotia Salmon joined Submarine Division 15, Squadron 6 of the Submarine Force, U.S. Fleet, at Portsmouth, N.H. As flagship of her division, she operated along the Atlantic coast until she relinquished the flag to Snapper (SS-185) late in 1939 as the division was shifted to the west coast at San Diego.

Salmon operated along the west coast through 1940 and the greater portion of 1941. Late that year, she was transferred with her division and the tender, Holland, to the Asiatic station. On 18 November, Holland with Salmon, Swordfish, Sturgeon, and Skipjack arrived at Manila and formed SubDiv 21 of the Asiatic fleet to bolster defenses in the Philippines as marked tension was growing due to Japanese militarism.

Salmon was conducting a patrol from Manila along the west coast of Luzon at the time of the surprise air raid by the Japanese against the Philippine bases and Pearl Harbor. Having been on defensive deployment since 27 November, in a wait-and-watch posture, she
commenced war patrolling immediately upon receiving word of the attacks. On 22 December, while on the surface in the Lingayen Gulf, she encountered two Japanese destroyers and pressed home an attack which seemed to bewilder the reluctant enemy. She succeeded in damaging both targets by delivering a "down the throat" spread of torpedoes which caught them as they veered course in opposite directions. She then was able to avoid further contact by ducking into a rain squall. In January 1942, she moved south to operate in the Gulf of Davao and off the southern tip of Mindanao and thence proceeded to Manipa Strait between Bura and Ceram in the Moluccas Islands. In February, she patrolled the Flores Sea from north of Timor to Lombok Strait in the Sunda Islands, then put into Tjilatjap on the south coast of Java on the 13th.

Losses suffered by ABDA forces in the battle at Badoeng Strait forced abandonment of Surabaja and exposed Tjilatjap as a possible trap. Holland moved her base of operations to Exmouth Gulf, Australia, on 20 February, as Salmon set out on her second war patrol.

Salmon spent the next month in the Java Sea on patrol between Sepandjarlg and the area just west of Bawean. She arrived at Fremantle, Australia, on 23 March to end her second patrol.

Beginning her third war patrol, Salmon departed from Fremantle on 3 May and established a barrier patrol along the south coast of Java to intercept Japanese shipping. On 2;3 May, she torpedoed and sank the 11,441-ton repair ship, Asahi; and, on the 28th, she sank the 4,382 ton passenger-cargo vessel, Ganges Maru. On 24 June, Salmon proudly returned to Fremantle and commenced preparations for her next assignment.

Salmon departed from Fremantle on 21 July for her fourth war patrol in the South China -Sulu Seas area. Sailing via Lombok and Makassar Straits, the Sibutu Passage, and the Balabac Strait, she stationed herself between North Borneo and Palawan, Philippine Islands. During this patrol, Salmon was unable to gain a favorable position for successful attack, but made numerous sightings and reports of shipping movements to sister subs in the vicinity. She returned to Fremantle on 8 September.

Salmon's fifth war patrol began on 10 October, and her area of operations was off Corregidor and Subic Bay. On the night of 10 November, she challenged a large sampan moving in the vicinity of Subic Bay during the hours of darkness. After ignoring the challenge, the vessel was ordered to stop and shots were fired across its bow. Salmon then maneuvered for a closer inspection and saw that the sampan was displaying rising sun emblems on its deckhouse and that its crew was attempting to jettison objects over the side. Salmon's crew took the sampan under fire and raked it with .50 caliber machine guns. The vessel stopped and was boarded by Salmon crewmen who found that most of the Japanese sailors had gone over the side. They removed papers, radio equipment, and other articles then set the sampan afire. As Salmon pulled away, the enemy vessel was seen to explode and sink. On 17 November, off the approach to Manila Bay, Salmon sighted three vessels and maneuvered for attack. She fired torpedoes at each of the ships and succeeded in damaging two and sinking the 5,873-ton, converted salvage vessel, Oregon Maru. Salmon ended her fifth patrol on 7 December at Pearl Harbor. She then proceeded to Mare Island, Calif., the following day, and arrived on the 13th. Salmon remained at Mare Island until 30 March 1943, undergoing alterations including the installation of new radar equipment and two 20mm. mounts to augment her firepower. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 8 April.

Salmon departed from Pearl Harbor on 29 April for her sixth war patrol via Midway. She was assigned a special mission which took her to the coast of Honshu, Japan, at Hachijo Shima, Kantori Saki, and O'Shima. During this mission, she damaged two freighters on 3 June and returned to Midway on the 19th.

Salmon's seventh patrol was conducted in the Kurils to cut the Paramushiro-Aleutian supply route. She departed from Midway on 17 July; sank a small coastal patrol vessel on 9 August, and, on 10 August sank the 2,411-ton passenger-cargo vessel, Wakanoura' Maru off the northern coast of Hokkaido. She returned to Pearl Harbor on the 25th.

Salmon's eighth war patrol saw her return to the Kurils where she was credited with damaging two freighters. This patrol lasted from 27 September to 17 November when she returned to Pearl Harbor.

The ninth war patrol for Salmon was conducted between 15 December and 25 February 1944. She succeeded in damaging one freighter on 22 January.

On 1 April, Salmon departed from Pearl Harbor enroute to Johnston Island in company with Seadragon. She was assigned a special photo reconnaissance mission for her tenth patrol which would assist in preparing plans for gaining control of the Caroline Islands. She conducted a reconnaissance of Ulithi from 15 to 20 April; Yap from the 22nd to the 26th, and Woleai between 28 April and 9 May. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 21 May with much valuable information that was utilized in last minute changes to the assault plans.

Salmon's eleventh and last war patrol was conducted in company with Trigger and Sterlet as a coordinated attack group in the Ryukyu Islands. This patrol began on 24 September. On 30 October, Salmon attacked a large tanker that had been previously damaged by Trigger. This tanker was protected by four antisubmarine patrol vessels which were cruising back and forth around the stricken ship. Salmon fired four torpedoes and made two good hits, but was forced to dive deep under a severe depth charge attack by the escorts. She leveled off at 300 feet but was soon forced to nearly 500 feet due to damage and additional pounding
of the depth charges. Unable to control leaking and maintain depth level, she battle surfaced to fight for survival on the surface.

The enemy seemed wary and held their distance while sniffing out the situation, and gave Salmon's crew a few precious minutes to correct a bad list and to repair some damage. The vessels began to close, but Salmon showing an aggressive stance, turned on the attackers and passing within 50 yards down the side of one, raked her with 20mm. gunfire and her deck gun. Apparently killing the topside personnel of the patrol escort which came to a stop, Salmon then exchanged fire with a second which again seemed to hesitate at some distance for reinforcement from the other two which were coming to the scene. Salmon began sending out plain language directions for all other subs in the vicinity to attack, giving the position of the action. This probably further discouraged the enemy who, fearing other submarines in the area, began milling around pinging on sound gear. Salmon took advantage of a rain squall and slipped away.

Other than the damage caused by depth charges Salmon suffered only a few small caliber hits from the enemy vessels. Escorted by Sterlet, Silversides, and Trigger, she made it to Saipan. She was given one third credit for the 10,500-ton tanker, Jinei Maru which was eventually sunk by a Sterlet torpedo. On 3 November, she moored alongside tender, Fulton, in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan.

On 10 November, Salmon stood out from Saipan, in company with Holland, and sailed via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. On 26 January 1945, she departed from San Francisco with Redfish and proceeded via the Panama Canal to Portsmouth, N.H. where she arrived on 17 February.

After repairs and overhaul at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Salmon was assigned as a training vessel for the Atlantic Fleet. After the war's end, Salmon was slated for disposal and was decommissioned on 24 September. Struck from the Navy list on 11 October, she was scrapped on 4 April 1946.

Salmon was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism against enemy surface vessels during her eleventh war patrol in restricted, enemy -held waters of the Pacific.

Salmon earned nine battle stars for World War II service in the Asiatic-Pacific area.


Salmon SS-182 - History

USS Salmon , first of a class of six 1435-ton submarines, was built at Groton, Connecticut. Commissioned in March 1938, she operated in the western Atlantic until late 1939, when she went to the Pacific. Salmon was based on the west coast in 1940 and most of 1941, then shifted to the Philippines, where she was stationed when war began with Japan on 7 December 1941. After her initial war patrol in Philippines and East Indies waters, her base moved to Australia, from which she conducted the next four war patrols in the East Indies, South China Sea, Indochina and Philippines areas during February-December 1942. In the course of her third and fifth patrols she sank three ships, totalling 21,300 tons.

Salmon completed her fifth war patrol at Pearl Harbor. After a west coast overhaul, she made her sixth war patrol off Japan in April-June 1943. Her seventh patrol, in the northwestern Pacific during July and August, cost the enemy a 2500-ton ship. The submarine's eighth and ninth patrols, into Japanese waters in September 1943 - February 1944, produced no sinkings. There were also no sinkings on her tenth, during April and May, but that patrol produced valuable photographic intelligence on enemy bases in the Caroline Islands.

Following another overhaul, Salmon began her eleventh war patrol in September 1944. Operating as part of a "wolf pack" against Japanese shipping, she torpedoed and damaged a tanker but was seriously hurt in the ensuing depth charge attack. Forced to surface, she aggressively attacked the enemy escort ships with her deck guns, driving them off. She escaped the combat area with little additional damage. Her crew received the Presidential Unit Citation for their heroism during this action.

Now showing her age and the lingering results of her depth charging, Salmon saw no further fighting. She transited the Panama Canal to the Atlantic, arriving in February 1945 and spending the rest of the war in overhaul and training service. USS Salmon decommissioned in September 1945 and was scrapped in April 1946.

This page features selected views of USS Salmon (SS-182).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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Running speed trials in early 1938.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

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Running speed trials in 1938.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 92KB 740 x 615 pixels

Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 22 March 1943.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 51KB 740 x 535 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 23 March 1943, following completion of an overhaul.
Circles on the image mark recent alterations to the ship.
Note rope laid out on deck, aft of the conning tower.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 126KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 10 August 1944.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

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Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 10 August 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 83KB 740 x 620 pixels

At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 16 August 1944, following overhaul. Circles on the photo mark recent alterations to the ship.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 114KB 740 x 615 pixels

Underway at sea on 15 February 1945, while in the Atlantic en route to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 118KB 740 x 605 pixels

Ready for launching, at the Electric Boat Company shipyard, Groton, Connecticut, 12 June 1937.
Taken by an Electric Boat Co. photographer.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 119KB 590 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Panoramic photograph of the ship moored at Bouy 19, San Diego harbor, California, in 1940, with eleven submarines alongside. Submarines are (from left to right): Salmon (SS-182) Seal (SS-183) Stingray (SS-186) Perch (SS-176) Pollack (SS-180) Cachalot (SS-170) Cuttlefish (SS-171) Skipjack (SS-184) Sturgeon (SS-187) Snapper (SS-185) and Sargo (SS-188). SS-182 through SS-187 were members of Submarine Division 15, commanded by R.W. Christie.
USS Richmond (CL-9), flagship of the Submarine Force, is in the right distance.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute. James C. Fahey Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 53KB 900 x 310 pixels

Submarines in San Diego harbor, California, 1940

Moored alongside USS Holland (AS-3), from which the photograph was taken, the submarines are (from left to right): Salmon (SS-182) Seal (SS-183) Pickerel (SS-177) Plunger (SS-179) Snapper (SS-185) and Permit (SS-178).
Note the small motor boats, of the type carried by fleet submarines prior to World War II.
One of the men standing on Salmon 's deck is Yeoman Clayton Johnson, who in 1969 was a Commander serving at the Naval History Division.
USS Enterprise (CV-6) is in the distance, tied up at Naval Air Station, North Island.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute. James C. Fahey Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB 740 x 565 pixels

Backing clear of a nest of submarines, alongside their tender in San Diego harbor, California, in 1940. Other identifiable submarines present are:
Salmon (SS-182)
Seal (SS-183) and
Stingray (SS-186).


Salmon (SS-182)


USS Salmon on trials

Decommissioned 24 September 1945.
Stricken 11 October 1945.
Sold 4 April 1946 to be broken up for scrap.

Commands listed for USS Salmon (182)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Marvin Massey Stephens, USN15 Mar 1938Aug 1941
2Eugene Bradley McKinney, USNAug 19413 Feb 1943
3T/Cdr. Nicholas John Nicholas, USN3 Feb 194326 Feb 1944
4T/Cdr. Harley Kent Nauman, USN26 Feb 1944late 1944
5Richard B. Laning, USNlate 1944Jan 1945
6William G. Brown, USNJan 194524 Sep 1945

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Notable events involving Salmon include:

27 Nov 1941
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr Eugene Bradley McKinney) left Manila for a defensive patrol of the west coast of Luzon, when the Japanese attacked this patrol became her first war patrol.

13 Feb 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) ended her first war patrol at Tjilatjap, Java, Netherlands East Indies.

20 Feb 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) left Tjilatjap for her second war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Java Sea.

23 Mar 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) ended her second war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

3 May 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) left Fremantle for her third war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

26 May 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) torpedoed and sank the Japanese repair ship Asahi (11441 tons) about 180 nautical miles south-south-east of Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina in position 10°00'N, 110°00'E.

28 May 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant Ganges Maru (4382 GRT) in the South China Sea about 250 nautical miles south-south-east of Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina in position 09°00'N, 111°00'E.

24 Jun 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) ended her third war patrol when she returned to Fremantle.

21 Jul 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) left Fremantle for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea / Sulu Sea area.

8 Sep 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) ended her 4th war patrol at Fremantle.

10 Oct 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) left Fremantle for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the vicinity of Subic Bay, Philippines.

10 Nov 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) sank a Japanese sampan with gunfire off Subic Bay in position 15°10'N, 119°42'E.

17 Nov 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) torpedoed and sank the Japanese repair ship Oregon Maru (5873 GRT) about 65 nautical miles north-west of Manila in position 14°16'N, 119°44'E.

7 Dec 1942
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.B. McKinney) ended her 5th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was ordered to the Mare Islands Navy Yard for an overhaul.

29 Apr 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. Nicholas J. Nicholas) left Pearl Harbor for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in off Honshu in Japanese home waters.

19 Jun 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) ended her 6th war patrol at Midway.

17 Jul 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) leaves Midway for her 7th war patrol. she was ordered to patrol off the Kuril Islands.

10 Aug 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fishing vessel Wakanoura Maru (2408 GRT) north of Hokkaido in position 46°55'N, 143°30'E.

25 Aug 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) ended her 7th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

27 Sep 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) leaves Pearl Harbor for her 8th war patrol. Once again she was ordered to patrol off the Kuril Islands.

17 Nov 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) ended her 8th war patrol when she returns to Pearl Harbor.

15 Dec 1943
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) leaves Pearl Harbor for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Japanese home waters.

25 Feb 1944
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Nicholas) ended her 9th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

24 Mar 1944
During 24/25 March 1944, USS Seadragon (Cdr. R.L. Rutter, USN), conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Mitchell (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Erdahl, USNR), USS Florikan (Cdr. G.A. Sharp, USN), USS Allen (Lt.Cdr. H.H. Nielsen, USN), USS Salmon (Cdr. H.K. Nauman, USN) and USS Bang (Cdr. A.R. Gallaher, USN). These exercises included night exercises.

25 Mar 1944
USS Seadragon (Cdr. R.L. Rutter, USN) conducted exercises off Pearl Harbour together with USS Wyman (Lt. E.P. Parker, USNR), USS Florikan (Cdr. G.A. Sharp, USN) and USS Salmon (Cdr. H.K. Nauman, USN).

1 Apr 1944
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. Harley K. Nauman) leaves Pearl Harbor for her 10th war patrol. She was assigned a special photo reconnaissance mission which would assist in preparing plans for gaining control of the Caroline Islands.

21 May 1944
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. H.K. Nauman) ended her 10th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

24 Sep 1944
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. H.K. Nauman) leaves Pearl Harbor for her 11th and final war patrol together with USS Trigger and USS Sterlet. They were to patrol off the Ryukyu Islands.

30 Oct 1944
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. Harley K. Nauman) hits with two out of four torpedoes the Japanese tanker Takane Maru (10021 GRT) previously damaged by USS Trigger off Toisaki, Kyushu, Japan in position 30°13'N, 132°49'E. Salmon is heavily depth charged by 4 frigates including Kaibokan 22 and Kaibokan 33. She dived to 500 ft (beyond her test depth) but is finally forced to surface. Kaibokan No.22 charges in to ram but Salmon heads straight for her attacker, passing her at only 50 yards and heavily damaging her with 4" deck gun and 20mm cannon fire. Kaibokan No.22 was left dead in the water. USS Salmon also drives off Kaibokan No.33 with gunfire.

The Takane Maru was eventually finished off by USS Sterlet (each sub receives a third credit).

This was one of the few confirmed cases of a WWII sub seriously damaging a Japanese frigate with gunfire.

USS Salmon eventually managed to limp back to base at Saipan escorted by USS Trigger, USS Sterlet and USS Silversides.

3 Nov 1944
USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. H.K. Nauman) ended her 12th and final war patrol at Saipan. Salmon was now assigned to training duties.

6 Feb 1945
USS Salmon arrived in the Panama Canal Zone.

8 Feb 1945
USS Salmon departed the Panama Canal Zone for the Portsmouth Navy Yard.

17 Feb 1945
USS Salmon arrived at Portsmouth Navy Yard for overhaul.

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II
Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


World War II Database


ww2dbase Salmon was the lead ship of her class of submarines. After shakedown training off the western Atlantic Ocean under the command of Lieutenant M. M. Stephens, she joined Squadron 6 of the US Navy Submarine Force's Submarine Division 15 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. She was the flagship of the division until late 1939, when the division shifted its base to San Diego, California, United States, where she remained until late 1941. With submarine tender Holland, the submarines Salmon, Swordfish, Sturgeon, and Skipjack were shifted to Manila, Luzon, Philippines, arriving on 18 Nov 1941 and forming Submarine Division 21 of the Asiatic Fleet.

ww2dbase Salmon was underway on a patrol along the west coast of Luzon when the Japanese struck. On 22 Dec, while on the surface in the Lingayen Gulf, she encountered two Japanese destroyers and damaged them both, and then escaped into a rain squall after the attack. In Jan 1942, she moved south to operate in the Gulf of Davao and off the southern tip of Mindanao, then moved further south to the Manipa Strait and in the Molucca Islands as the Japanese advanced. In Feb 1942, she patrolled the Flores Sea from north of Timor to Lombok Strait in the Sunda Islands. On 13 Feb, she made port call at Tjilatjap, Java, ending her first war patrol. On 20 Feb, she set out on her second war patrol just as Tjilatjap was being abandoned due to risk of Japanese attack, patrolling between Sepandjang and the area just west of Bawean. The second patrol ended at Fremantle, Australia on 23 Mar.

ww2dbase On 3 May 1942, Salmon departed Fremantle to waters south of Java for her third war patrol. On 3 May and 28 May, she sank the 11,441-ton repair ship Asahi and the 4,382-ton passenger ship Ganges Maru, respectively. She returned to Fremantle on 24 Jun. On 21 Jul, she departed for her fourth war patrol to the South China Sea and Sulu Sea area, between Borneo and Palawan of the Philippine Islands. She returned to Fremantle on 8 Sep without any opportunity to commence attacks. On 10 Oct, she departed Fremantle for her fifth patrol off of western Luzon. During the night of 10 Nov, she challenged a sampan in Subic Bay, which was abandoned by her Japanese crew. Salmon's crew boarded the sampan and removed documents, radio equipment, and other articles, before scuttling the sampan. On 17 Nov, she attacked three vessels off Manila Bay and sank the 5,873-ton converted salvage vessel Oregon Maru. She entered Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1942, which ended her fifth patrol. She underwent an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard in California, United States between 13 Dec 1942 and 30 Mar 1943, receiving new radar equipment and two 20mm gun mounts.

ww2dbase Salmon arrived at Pearl Harbor on 8 Apr 1943, then set out for her sixth war patrol on 29 Apr to Honshu, Japan. She damaged two freighters on 3 Jun before arriving at Midway on 19 Jun to end the patrol. On 17 Jul, she departed from Midway for her seventh war patrol to the Kuril Islands. On 9 Aug, she sank a small coastal vessel and on the next day the 2,411-ton passenger ship Wakanoura Maru off the northern coast of Hokkaido. The seventh war patrol ended at Pearl Harbor on 25 Aug. On 27 Sep, she set sail for her eighth war patrol to the Kuril Islands. After damaging two freighters, she returned to Pearl Harbor on 17 Nov. Her ninth war patrol took place between 15 Dec 1943 and 25 Feb 1944, during which time she damaged one freighter on 22 Jan. Her tenth war patrol, which began on 1 Apr from Pearl Harbor, took her to Ulithi Islands between 15 and 20 Apr, Yap between 22 to 26 Apr, and Woleai between 28 Apr and 9 May to collect photo reconnaissance. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 21 May.

ww2dbase On 24 Sep 1944, Salmon sailed with submarines Trigger and Sterlet to raid Japanese shipping in the Ryukyu Islands. On 30 Oct, she attacked the 10,500-ton tanker Jinei Maru that had previously been damaged by Trigger. After firing four torpedoes, she dove to avoid the attack by the tanker's four escort vessels. Two of the torpedoes hit, but leaks due to depth charge damage forced her to surface. The Japanese vessels hesitated, which gave Salmon's crew a few minutes to correct the ship's list. As the Japanese vessels closed, Salmon's 20mm guns killed most or all topside personnel of one vessel while the other three closed in on her, hitting her a few times with small caliber guns. Salmon sent out a plain language radio to call for the other two submarines to assist, which probably discouraged the Japanese escort vessels, as indicated by the activation of their sound gear. Noting the hesitation by her enemy, Salmon sailed into a rain squall and slipped away from the engagement. Jinei Maru was eventually sunk by a torpedo from Sterlet. Submarines Sterlet, Trigger, and Silversides escorted Salmon to Tanapag Harbor, Saipan in the Mariana Islands, arriving on 3 Nov.

ww2dbase On 10 Nov 1944, Salmon set sail from Saipan alongside of submarine tender Holland for San Francisco, California, United States. On 26 Jan 1945, she departed from San Francisco with submarine Redfish for Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States via the Panama Canal, arriving on 17 Feb. After repairs at Portsmouth Navy Yard, she became a training vessel for the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. She was decommissioned immediately after the end of WW2 and was sold for scraps on 4 Apr 1946.

ww2dbase Source: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2007

Submarine Salmon (SS-182) Interactive Map

Salmon Operational Timeline

15 Mar 1938 Salmon was commissioned into service.
28 May 1942 USS Salmon sank Japanese passenger-cargo ship Ganges Maru in the South China Sea.
24 Sep 1945 Salmon was decommissioned from service.

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Salmon History and Timeline

From 6 million years ago to today: highlights and the evolution of the relationship between people and salmon.

Origins

6,000,000 years ago-First salmon present in the Pacific Northwest.

Pre-1800s to present-Indian tribes rely on salmon for food and culture.

The 1800s

1805-Lewis and Clark expedition notes abundance of salmon.

1829-Columbia River salmon trading established.

1866-Salmon canning industry born on Columbia River Puget Sound soon follows.

1875-U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries identifies the three primary threats to salmon as overfishing, dams, and habitat degradation.

1877-First Columbia River fish hatchery built.

1879-Fish wheels (Ferris wheel-like devices, powered by currents, that scoop fish out of the water) first used on Columbia River. A single wheel could take as much as 70,000 pounds of fish a day.

1890-Washington Department of Fisheries created to regulate fishing.

1894-U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries’ issues report on decreases of salmon in the Columbia River.

1896-First Puget Sound fish hatchery built.

The 1900s

1917-Purse seines (a non-selective net) fisheries are prohibited.

1933-First Columbia River dam built at Rock Island.

1934-Washington State Legislature bans fish wheels.

1935-First year Washington keeps records on fisheries.

1974-Boldt decision gives treaty Indian tribes and non-tribal citizens equal share of fish.

Late 1980 to early 1990-Washington fish hatcheries producing more than 120 million fish annually.

  • Ocean and Puget Sound marine coho and Chinook fishing restrictions are underway to address coho population declines coast-wide.
  • The Washington Legislature creates regional fisheries enhancement groups.

1991-Federal government lists Snake River sockeye salmon as endangered.

1992-Federal government lists Snake River summer and fall Chinook salmon as threatened.

  • Wild Stock Restoration Initiative adopted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • The Columbia River hydropower biological opinion is issued by federal agencies.
  • The federal government adopts the Northwest Forest Plan.
  • A federal court rejects the 1993 Columbia River hydropower biological opinion.

1995-The federal government initiates overhaul of the way the federal power system is to be operated on the Columbia River.

1996-The Washington Department of Natural Resources adopts a Habitat Conservation Plan for 1.4 million acres of state-owned forestland.

  • Governor Gary Locke brings together the state agencies that most affect salmon management in a forum called the Joint Natural Resources Cabinet.
  • The federal government lists Snake River steelhead as threatened and upper Columbia steelhead as endangered.
  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife adopts the Wild Salmonid Policy.
  • The Legislature passes the State Salmon Recovery Act.
  • Governor Gary Locke and Canadian Fisheries and Ocean Minister David Anderson reach agreement to reduce fisheries.
  • The Legislature establishes the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office.
  • The Independent Science Panel is appointed by the Governor following recommendations by the American Fisheries Society.
  • The Legislature creates watershed planning units and salmon recovery lead entities.
  • The Forests and Fish Agreement is signed.
  • The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board is established by the Legislature in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania, and Wahkiakum Counties.
  • The federal government lists lower Columbia River steelhead, and upper Columbia, northeast Washington, lower Columbia, and Snake River bull trout as threatened.
  • Governor Gary Locke and Canadian Fisheries and Ocean Minister David Anderson re-negotiate the landmark Pacific Salmon Treaty, providing a federal fund to pay for salmon restoration.
  • The Forests and Fish Agreement becomes state law.
  • The Legislature establishes the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
  • The Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon: Extinction is Not an Option is completed.
  • Washington, Oregon, four Columbia River treaty Indian tribes, and the federal government sign the Columbia River Accord.
  • The federal government lists Puget Sound Chinook, Hood Canal summer chum, Washington coastal Lake Ozette sockeye, lower Columbia River Chinook, lower Columbia River chum, and middle Columbia River steelhead as threatened. In addition, upper Columbia spring Chinook is listed as endangered.
  • Endangered Species Act listings of Chinook, coho, chum, and steelhead stocks in Washington now cover more than 75 percent of the state.

The 2000s

  • Congress creates a federal hatchery reform initiative and establishes an independent Hatchery Scientific Review Group.
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service re-issue biological opinions for Federal Columbia River Power System operations.
  • The first State Agencies’ Action Plan for the Statewide Strategy, a biennial implementation plan for the statewide strategy, is published.
  • The state’s performance management system-Salmon Recovery Scorecard-is published.
  • The first State of Salmon in Watersheds report is published.
  • The Legislature mandates development of a comprehensive monitoring strategy and action plan for watershed health with a focus on salmon recovery.
  • Treaty Indian tribes in western Washington sue Washington State for its failure to correct fish-blocking culverts, saying it damaged their treaty rights to fish.
  • The 2001-2003 State Agency Action Plan, and the 1999-2001 Action Plan Accomplishments are released.
  • The Washington Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy and Action Plan for Watershed Health and Salmon Recovery is developed for consideration by the Governor and Legislature.
  • Regional salmon recovery organizations receive funding from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board to develop salmon recovery plans for listed salmon. These groups, working closely with local citizens, are the only organizations developing recovery plans for the purposes of the Endangered Species Act.
  • A federal judge hands back the 2000 Biological Opinion on operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System for salmon and steelhead to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) to resolve deficiencies.
  • The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office produces the 2003-2005 State Agency Action Plan, the third biennial implementation plan for the Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon.
  • The Governor signs Executive Order 04-03, creating the Governor’s Forum on Monitoring Salmon Recovery and Watershed Health. This order establishes a coordinating body for monitoring salmon recovery and watershed health.
  • All Washington subbasins submit their draft fish and wildlife subbasin plans to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on time. Collectively, the plans represent the largest compilation of data on fish, other wildlife, and environmental conditions ever in the Columbia River basin.
  • The federal government issues a draft hatchery policy, indicating how hatchery fish will be considered in salmon recovery, and revises its status reviews for listed fish in Washington. It proposes to down list upper Columbia steelhead from endangered to threatened and list lower Columbia coho for the first time as threatened.
  • The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board completes the first regional salmon recovery plan in Washington.
  • Draft recovery plans are completed and delivered to NOAA-Fisheries for Puget Sound, Hood Canal, middle Columbia River, upper Columbia River, and Snake River regions.
  • NOAA-Fisheries lists lower Columbia coho as a threatened species, and down-lists upper Columbia steelhead from endangered to threatened.
  • NOAA-Fisheries adopts the lower Columbia recovery plan.
  • NOAA-Fisheries places notices in the federal register of intent to adopt interim recovery plans from all Washington salmon recovery regional organizations.
  • A Habitat Conservation Plan for 1.6 million acres of forested state trust lands-mostly in western Washington-in the range of the northern spotted owl is adopted by the federal government. This 70-year management plan is an agreement between the Washington Department of Natural Resources and federal agencies under the Endangered Species Act to guarantee that habitat commitments are met, while not penalizing the occasional incidental “take” of a federally listed animal or its habitat.
  • NOAA-Fisheries lists Puget Sound steelhead as threatened.
  • Governor Christine Gregoire signs into law a measure she requested to protect and restore Puget Sound. The bill creates the Puget Sound Partnership to oversee restoration by 2020. The bill also makes the partnership the regional organization for salmon recovery.
  • NOAA-Fisheries adopts the final upper Columbia salmon recovery plan for Chinook and steelhead.
  • New Pacific Coast-wide agreement on fishing arrangements under the Pacific Salmon Treaty will result in increased returns of Chinook salmon to Washington waters. The 10-year agreement guides fishery management plans for Chinook, coho, chum, and some pink and sockeye populations from 2009-2018 in Canada, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.
  • NOAA-Fisheries issues a biological opinion for operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System. Although subject to legal challenge, the opinion includes significant commitments to increase survival at the federal dams and to improve tributary and estuary habitats.
  • The Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Partnership is formed to help address salmon recovery and preservation in the Washington Coast Salmon Recovery Region.
  • A proposed recovery plan for middle Columbia River steelhead is released by NOAA-Fisheries. This plan incorporates the recovery plan-with significant updates already adopted by the federal agency and Washington State for steelhead within Washington.
  • The Forum on Monitoring Salmon Recovery and Watershed Health is disbanded.
  • The federal government, along with many local partners, began its largest dam removal project in United States history – the demolition of two dams that block the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula. The project is expected to open more than 70 miles of habitat to salmon and restore the river’s salmon populations from 3,000 to more than 300,000. (Dam removal was completed in 2014, and salmon are returning to the opened habitat.)
  • Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in Klickitat and Skamania Counties is removed, opening 33 miles of new spawning and rearing grounds for steelhead and 14 miles for salmon in the White Salmon River basin.
  • New fishing rules for lower Columbia River Chinook were adopted that should increase the number of these wild fish reaching spawning grounds.
  • New commercial fishing gear alternatives, which will allow continued harvest of hatchery Chinook while reducing impacts on natural-origin Chinook, are being tested and showing promising results. The final year of the study is 2013.
  • Puget Sound Partnership issued an updated Action Agenda, including an integrated approach to salmon recovery.
  • The first version of the State of Salmon in Watersheds Web site is produced with interactive data.
  • NOAA-Fisheries adopts the first bi-state recovery plan for portions of the lower Columbia River in Oregon, Washington, and the estuary.
  • A permanent injunction was issued in favor of the treaty Indian tribes in the culvert case.
  • The Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Plan is completed, and the Coast Salmon Foundation is established (originally called the Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Foundation).
  • The Washington State Legislature created the Fish Barrier Removal Board to coordinate the removal of barriers that block salmon access to prime spawning and rearing habitat on state, local, tribal, and private lands to ensure the corrections are strategic and better coordinated.
  • The Salmon Recovery Network is formed. The network is focused on improving communication among salmon recovery partners and refining the staffing and project funding needs. The group’s charter includes having members speak with a unified voice to build public and financial support for protecting and recovering salmon in Washington State.
  • The passing of legendary salmon recovery champion and tribal treaty rights activist, Billy Frank Jr.

2015-The Legislature created the Washington Coast Resiliency and Restoration Initiative, which provides funding and technical assistance to communities along Washington’s coast to correct fish passage barriers and complete 22 restoration projects.

  • The Fish Barrier Removal Board was renamed to the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board in honor of Mr. Abbot, a long-time salmon recovery champion and executive coordinator of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, who passed away.
  • The Salmon Recovery Funding Board’s Monitoring Panel is formed.

2017-The Washington Recreation and Conservation Office conducts a “Lean” study to look at improving and streamlining the processes for recruiting, vetting, and presenting projects to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.


SS-182 S-1 Salmon

The German U-boats of the 1914-1918 conflict gave American officers and designers reason for pause. Physically durable, powered by very reliable diesels, technically blessed with very long sea legs, they provided the paradigm for American interwar development. At the same time, the 1916-vintage American S-class proved a virtual clinic for basic design mistakes, burdened with difficult metallurgical problems and very unreliable diesels.

While Rear Admirals Harry Yarnell and Samuel Robinson, successive interwar chiefs of the Bureau of Engineering, worked to remedy the technical flaws with solutions from European and American engineering practice, the community of submarine officers struggled with a problem even more fundamental than propulsion. How should the Navy use submarines? What was their proper strategic role? During the interwar period influential officers like Captains Thomas Hart and Yates Stirling Jr., Admirals Henry Wiley and Frank Schofield, and the innovative Commander Thomas Withers debated these issues with the German paradigm in mind. Unfortunately, this model did not offer easy direction. While the German commercial warfare strategy and independent patrol tactics had great effect on the war effort of the Entente and its allies, incidents like the sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania painted this style of warfare with a dark brush, suggesting immorality when submersibles operated without restriction.

Only a subtle formula could help American submariners address questions of identity and mission in such a political environment. Since the state of design and propulsion technology would not permit American industry to build a submarine durable and fast enough to keep pace with the battlefleet, operating with surface ships on a regular basis seemed unlikely. This forced submarine strategists like Withers to look more closely at independent patrols and a model that approximated the World War I German experience. In isolationist postwar America, however, this option brought with it the ethical burden of unrestricted U-boat warfare and civilian casualties, something a Navy diminished by the Washington Treaties did not care to assume. Thus, American submarine strategy could not include unrestricted submarine warfare, which might turn neutral commercial vessels and innocent civilians into victims.

American officers realized that war in all of its brutality, not peacetime politics or worthy ethical concerns, would determine the future challenges faced by the submarine force. In spite of official policy, the boats under construction in the 1930s reflected assertive, offensive strategic thinking as the country came to terms with the Depression under Franklin Roosevelt and the Bureaus of Construction and Repair and Engineering resolved the submarine engineering and propulsion dilemmas.

By 1934, a design of approximately 1,475 tons assumed primary place within the submarine community as the best size and configuration to satisfy the Navy's desire for reliability, range, and habitability. In March of 1936, the General Board's final recommendations to the Secretary for the 1937 construction program gave 1,450 tons as the "minimum compatible with a proper balance of the required military characteristics to meet the intended employment of the submarine."

The new Salmon-Sargo designs were intended for long-range independent patrols, with requisite food, fuel, and weapons capacity. In addition, the fleet exercises and war game scenarios during the late 1930s permitted these vessels to attack warships, convoy escort ships, and even certain convoys identified as critical to enemy logistical support. By 1940, the submarine force had answered its fundamental strategic questions and had the vessels to carry out the consequent roles and missions. Thus, when Admiral Thomas Hart proclaimed unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan on 8 December 1941, it came as no surprise. The submarine force knew what to do.

Six Salmon (SS-182) class submarines were ordered in the FY1936 building program. Electric Boat built SS-182 to 184 Portsmouth Navy Yard built SS-185 and 186 Mare Island Navy Yard built SS-187. All were laid down in 1936 and commissioned 1937-38. These bore the pennant numbers S-1 thru S-6.

The pressure hull consisted of 11/16-in mild steel. Test depth was 250-feet. There were seven waterproof compartments in addition to the conning tower. They were equipped with four engine rooms generating 5,500hp on the surface, diesel-electric reduction gear, one auxiliary generator, four electric motors generating 2660 hp when submerged driven by two 126-cell batteries. Submerged endurance was 48 hours at 2 knots. Cruising range was 10,000 miles on the surface at 10 knots with 96,025 gallons of diesel fuel. Patrol duration was 75 days.

The entire class survived World War II and were decommissioned 1945-46. Skipjack (SS-184) was sunk as a target in the Bikini atoll atomic tests, raised, and towed to Mare Island, then sunk again as a target in rocket tests off California in August 1948. Seal (SS-183) was used as a Naval Reserve training boat until scrapped in 1956.


Contents

After shakedown training and trials along the Atlantic coast from the West Indies to Nova Scotia, Salmon joined Submarine Division㺏, Squadronن of the Submarine Force, U.S. Fleet, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As flagship of her division, she operated along the Atlantic coast until she relinquished the flag to sister ship Snapper  (SS-185) late in 1939 as the division was shifted to the West Coast at San Diego.

Salmon operated along the West Coast through 1940 and the greater portion of 1941. Late that year, she was transferred with her division and the submarine tender Holland  (AS-3) , to the Asiatic station. On 18 November, Holland with Salmon, Swordfish  (SS-193) , Sturgeon  (SS-187) , and Skipjack  (SS-184) arrived at Manila and formed SubDiv㺕 of the Asiatic fleet to bolster defenses in the Philippines as marked tension was growing due to Japanese militarism.


A Brief History of Salmon Fishing in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest has always been known for its large salmon populations. However, since the late 19 th century, the number of fish in the region has declined drastically. Currently , six of eight Pacific Northwest “salmonid” species subtypes are listed as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

These changes are due in large part to human overfishing, as well as environmental degradation, climate change, and habitat loss in the last century. Below is a brief history of these issues and their effects on Pacific Northwest salmon populations.

Women cooking salmon on the Muckleshoot Reservation, Auburn. ca. 1950. Image courtesy of Museum of History and Industry (Seattle), the Seattle P-I Collection

Before 1850, Native American Indians fished, traded, and sold most salmon because they weren’t used by the EuroAmericans. However, after the development of salmon canning technology, which increased the market potential for salmon, big companies like Hudson Bay Co. took over fishing in the Northwest. Salmon populations rapidly declined.

Interior of a Puget Sound salmon cannery, ca. 1906. Image courtesy of University of Washington, Albert Henry Barnes Collection

In the 1890s and 1900s, regulations were set attempting to preserve salmon populations, but were largely unsuccessful. Hatcheries were established to raise fish in captivity and keep populations up with mandatory escapement numbers each salmon run season, with varying success. As salmon populations continue to decline, fewer and fewer are available to be commercially and privately fished each year.

New genetic tools allowed scientists to understand the great diversity within wild salmon populations that can’t be recreated in hatcheries. The importance of preserving existing wild populations, and restoring naturally spawning populations, provides the ability of salmon populations to adjust to changing environmental conditions.

Puget Sound salmon catch, ca. 1900. Image courtesy of Museum of History and Industry (Seattle)

Historic estimates for Chinook salmon populations are in the hundreds of thousands. In fact, some sources estimate that in the early 1800s, total salmon populations would have been in the millions. Current runs are a small fraction of this number.

A comparison of 5-yr (2000-2004) average Puget Sound Chinook salmon populations to historical estimates (EDT estimates). Graph courtesy of NOAA, 2007, accessed a t Encyclopedia of Puget Sound

In 1999, salmon in Washington, California, Oregon, and Idaho were already extinc t in as much as 40% of their former spawning areas.

Salmon populations suffered from more than overfishing. Most varieties of Puget Sound salmon migrate from the small creeks in which they were born to rivers and freshwater lakes like Lake Washington, to esturaries, and along our shorelines to the Pacific Ocean. At the end of their life, they return back to their birth stream to spawn and die.

Salmon life cycle. Image courtesy of NOAA Fisheries

The healthiest habitats for salmon spawning are cool streams and creeks with lots of woody debris and clean gravelly patches where salmon can safely deposit their eggs. In recent years, a combination of factors. including water diversions, has eliminated much of this critical salmon breeding ground.

These images show the drastic loss of salmon habitat in Seattle’s Duwamish River Basin. On the left, you see historic conditions – with a meandering river and large estuary. On the right, you see a straightened river, and the man-made “Harbor Island” where the estuary once was. Courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation and Flickr user J Brew, respectively

Specific to urban areas , research on Lake Forest Park, WA s tates that “fisheries biologists believe a long list of destructive forces —over-fishing, stormwater runoff, the “hardening” of stream banks with stone or concrete, siltation from upstream development, pollution from lawns, the loss of wetlands, changes in the temperature of ocean currents – all have converged to kill off the fish in urban streams around Puget Sound.”

Thus, it is key to improve conditions for salmon in the immediate future. Many cities in Washington have already begun efforts to reduce pollution and restore populations.


Contents

After shakedown training and trials along the Atlantic coast from the West Indies to Nova Scotia, Salmon joined Submarine Division㺏, Squadronن of the Submarine Force, U.S. Fleet, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As flagship of her division, she operated along the Atlantic coast until she relinquished the flag to sister ship Snapper  (SS-185) late in 1939 as the division was shifted to the West Coast at San Diego.

Salmon operated along the West Coast through 1940 and the greater portion of 1941. Late that year, she was transferred with her division and the submarine tender Holland  (AS-3) , to the Asiatic station. On 18 November, Holland with Salmon, Swordfish  (SS-193) , Sturgeon  (SS-187) , and Skipjack  (SS-184) arrived at Manila and formed SubDiv㺕 of the Asiatic fleet to bolster defenses in the Philippines as marked tension was growing due to Japanese militarism.


Norman’s Corner: A Most Unforgettable Character

After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1940, Laning served in the new aircraft carrier Hornet (CV 8), from her commissioning in October 1941 until August 1942. Thus, he was on board when she launched the Doolittle air strike against Japan in April 1942, and at the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

Laning then attended submarine school and went to sea in the USS Salmon (SS 182). Rising to executive office of the submarine, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Silver Star Medal for his role in several actions against the Japanese. The official record of one action reads, the Salmon “scored two direct hits on an enemy tanker, in defiance of four escort ships within 1,000 yards of the target…. Forced to dive twice her test depth by terrific depth charging, which started many leaks and put vital machinery out of action, she daringly battle-surfaced to effect emergency repairs and fight it out….” The submarine received the Presidential Unit Citation for this action.

The Salmon was decommissioned in 1944 and Laning became executive officer of the submarine Stickleback (SS 415) for the remainder of the war. After the war he was given command of the Pilotfish (SS 386), which had been damaged in the war and was scheduled to be used as a target in the Bikini atomic bomb tests in July1946. (The submarine was sunk in the tests.)

At Bikini Laning spoke with Dr. George Gamow, a theoretical physicist and expert on nuclear physics. They discussed the feasibility of a nuclear-propelled submarine… not knowing that the Navy had actually begun research on such a project in 1939. After their discussions, Laning wrote a letter, through the chain-of-command, recommending a nuclear propulsion program and volunteering to serve in the program. He did not receive a reply. Subsequently, Laning served ashore, and earned a master of science in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkley. Back at sea, he commanded the diesel submarines Trutta (SS 421) and then the brand-new Harder (SS 568 ). And, after nuclear power training, on 30 March 1957, he placed in commission the USS Seawolf (SSN 575), the world’s second nuclear-propelled submarine. Laning commanded her until December 1958, when she went into the yard to have her unique sodium-liquid-cooled reactor replaced by a pressurized-water reactor, which was used in all other U.S. nuclear submarines.

Always looking for “better,” Laning strongly opposed the change, arguing with Admiral H.G. Rickover, head of the nuclear program, that the unique propulsion plant should be further evaluated. Rickover “won” the argument.

In 1960, after attending the National War College, he received another unique assignment: To take command of the submarine tender Proteus (AS 19), then being converted to support Polaris missile submarines. About this time my “submarine mentors,” then-Captain F.J. (Fritz) Harlfinger and then-Commander Dominic A. Paolucci, were introducing me to all of the early nuclear submarine skippers. Thus I met “Dick” Laning and we immediately “hit it off.” We kept in contact when he took the Proteus to sea, and when she was based at Holy Loch, Scotland, the first tender to support U.S. missile submarines.

He ran a “taut” ship and—the story goes—he always wore a .45-caliber pistol… he had nuclear-armed missiles on board and was prepared for any eventuality. He commanded the Proteus until 1962, when he went on to shore duty at Pearl Harbor.

Dick retired from the Navy in 1963 and became a corporate planner for United Aircraft Corp. In 1973 he and his wife, Ruth, moved to Florida where he was active writing and in the local Chamber of Commerce. We kept in contact and he helped me considerably when I was writing Rickover: Controversy and Genius (1982), which I coauthored with Thomas B. Allen.
On one occasion Dick and I met in Orlando, near his home, to discuss the Rickover project. I had found a copy of the Navy orders to Lieutenant James Earl Carter to report to the USS Seawolf. I asked Dick about what kind of a person and officer he was aboard the submarine. Dick laughed. He said that Carter—who would become the 39 th president—had never reported aboard. His father had died and he resigned his Navy commission just before reporting to the Seawolf.
In his letters and our direct conversations, the latter usually over lunch or dinner, often with Harlfinger or Paolucci joining us, Dick always confirmed that he was an original thinker—someone always looking for a “better” solution.

He passed away on 5 March 2006. The world lost an outstanding submariner, a hero, and a most original “character.”


Watch the video: USS Salmon, SS 182 (November 2021).

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