© Copyrights reserved by Jeffrey S. Owens, Nicholson, PA
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HISTORY Sabalo code names Sabalo's two periods of active duty Sabalo Commanding Officers
OTHER VESSELS NAMED SABALO The first U.S.S. Sabalo  Motor Yacht Sabalo  Venezuelan diesel submarine Sabalo

The 'official' histories of Sabalo are overly brief and omit some of the major activities that she participated in, and accomplishments that were made by ship and crew.
The completeness of the record of service as promulgated by 'official' Navy releases is lacking because submarine operations are both sensitive with respect to the territorial spaces that are frequently entered without knowledge or permission, and because some tactics which might be presently used are not necessarily completely new innovations. Therefore, the less said about them, the more effective they might be.  Hence, most real facts about submarine activities are 'disguised' with the clean histories that are given for public consumption.
Please help expand the information with your contributions and recollections.  The 'when, where and what' the boat did will be expanded here for the 'real story' to be told.  Foreign ports of call are desired for all activities.  Personal tales, sea stories and other such delights will be included on the T.I.N.B.S. page

Editorial comments, sources, and questions are enclosed in brackets [  ]. 
Approximate dates are indicated with the tilde ' ~ '.

The initial data for the history is given in:
DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. VI, pp. 214-15. (see links page)
Later data has been added from the official ship's annual history reports which were referenced for the 1945-65 period.

INFORMATION NEEDED:  [Please communicate any additional knowledge you might have, or anything you feel is missing from the descriptions on the site.]

A number of references to the various Squadrons, Flotillas and other units to which Sabalo was assigned have been found in scattered references.  No continuity or understanding of the chain of these assignments is yet established.  Can someone with knowledge of the command structure expand about fleet structure and how Sabalo was supposed to fit in strategically? What were the squadron and flotilla numbers at various times?

Of special interest is the knowledge about changes in Sabalo's configuration as a result of the various overhaul and update periods, i.e. armament, electronics, structure, etc.

Jeff Owens, ETN2(SS)  owensjatsignepix.net
© Copyrights reserved by Jeffrey S. Owens, Nicholson, PA


THE SABALO  (sah´ bah lo)
"Sabalo" is a Spanish word defined in the dictionaries as meaning "Shad."  Other authorities state that the word is used by Spanish and French fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico and West Indies when referring to the Tarpon.

The Tarpon is a noted game fish and is the delight of sports fisherman because of the tenacity and resourcefulness of its fight when caught.  It is not unusual to take several hours of hard work and skillful manipulation before the fish can be brought to gaff.

It is certainly that the courage, tenacity, and resourceful qualities of our heritage, combined with the American fighting spirit and will-to-win, will make the Sabalo an excellent fighting ship.

[From the program of the 1st commissioning ceremony:]

- Another name for the tarpon, a large, silvery game fish of the herring group, found in the warmer parts of the Western Atlantic.
tarpon -  any of certain marine fish of the family Megalopidae (order Elopiformes), related to the  bonefish and the ladyfish and identified by the elongated last dorsal fin ray and the bony throat plate between the sides of the protruding lower jaw. The scales are large, thick, and silvery.     [from Encyclopædia Britannica:]

sabalo -Tarpum \Tar"pum\, n. (Zo["o]l.) A very large marine fish (Megapolis Atlanticus) of the Southern United States and the West Indies. It often becomes six or more feet in length, and has large silvery scales. The scales are a staple article of trade, and are used in fancywork. Called also tarpon, sabalo, savanilla, silverfish, and jewfish.  Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


 The Atlantic tarpon (Tarpon atlanticus, alternate name Megalops atlanticus) is found  inshore in warm parts of the Atlantic, on the Pacific side of Central America, and  sometimes in rivers. Also called silver king, grand écaille, and sabalo reál, it habitually breaks water and gulps air. [It was mentioned in one source that this is a left over prehistoric trait (remnant) which might be a derivation from amphibious ancestors. -- It's quite an appropriate trait for a snorkeling submarine.]
    It regularly grows to 1.8 m (6 feet) and 45.4 kg (100  pounds) or larger and is a favorite game fish. The largest recorded catches weigh  more than 136 kg. The Pacific tarpon, M. cyprinoides, is similar.

The first USS Sabalo retained her name.  The submarine, USS Sabalo, was named for the fish, and was not named after the first Sabalo. 

© Copyrights reserved by Jeffrey S. Owens, Nicholson, PA

Some of these data are general info about the Balao class and not what was specifically related to Sabalo
Period of applicability ?? ?? ??           *
??     **
??   ***
Displacement- surfaced 1,525 tons 1,870 tons 1,526 tons
2,010-2,075 tons
1,526 tons
Displacement- submerged 2,415 tons 2,391 tons 2,424 tons 2,415 tons
2.424 tons
Length 311'8" 311.7' 311'
Beam 27'3" 27' 27'3"
Draft 15'3" - 16'10"
Speed - surfaced 20 knots  20.25 knots 20 knots
20.25 knots
20.25 k
Speed - submerged 9 knots 8.75 knots 9 knots
8.75 knots
8.75 k
Maximum Depth - 400 feet -
400 feet
400 ft
Complement 81 † 60 enl. + 6 off. 80
6 offcrs + 60 enlistd
Armament 1 - 5" gun; 1 - 40mm 1 - 5"/25 1 3"/50 or 1 4"/50 or 1 5"/50
1 4-in./50-cal. or 1 5-in./25-cal.
one 4"/50 deck gun,
four machine guns
four 5400-hp Diesel engines,
four 2740-hp (2.0 MW) electric motors,  two propellers
Torpedo Tubes 10 - 6 bow; 4 stern.  21in. dia.
Class Balao
* This column of info found at: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/SS/SS-302_Sabalo.html
** This column of info found at: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/1592/balao.html
*** This column of info found at: http://www.answers.com/topic/uss-sabalo
†  The complement upon commissioning in 1945 was 9 officers and 72 enlisted.
[Obviously changes were made at various times/overhauls.  Can anyone shed light on the time frames for these differences or add any comments about other differences.?]



Balao/Tench Class (Test Depth = 400 ft)   Flank Full Std 2/3 1/3
Balao - First Launch - 1943, Qty. - 107 Calm Seas 21.0 18.9 14.3 9.2 4.8
Tench - First Launch - 1944, Qty. - 15 Moderate Seas 15.0 13.2 9.2 5.5 2.5
Maximum Speed Surfaced = 20.8 knots Heavy Seas 9.7 8.3 5.4 2.9 1.3
Maximum Submerged = 8.8 knots Submerged 8.6 7.3 6.2 4.9 2.8
This table found at:
[My own limited observations during '67-'69 regarding performance are that the usual best speed surfaced, 'full on four' was about 17 knots.  Submerged full speed maybe about 4 knots.  I believe the 'half-hour rate' or flank, or whatever it was called was about 6 knots on the batteries.  I don't remember what the speeds while snorkeling were, but other sites seem to indicate it was in the range of 8-10 knots. - Jeff Owens]

Range and Endurance
Cruising Range
11,000 miles surfaced at 10 knots
11,000 miles surfaced at 10kts
11,000 nmi. (20,000 km)
  surfaced at 10 knots
Fuel Capacity
116,000 gallons
94,400 gallons
Submerged Endurance
48 hours at 2 knots
48 hours at 2 knots
48 hours at 2 knots
Patrol Endurance
75 days
75 days
75 days
Source of data

Test Depth

'Test depth" or maximum allowable operating depth was 412 feet as indicated by the depth gauges at the diving station in the control room.
[Ron Scott submits the following explanation about this unusual number:   Actual test depth for the hull was 400' - figured at the center of the pressure hull.  The pressure hull was 16' in diameter.  To 1/2 of the hull diameter was added the distance from the pressure hull to the bottom of the keel beneath the tanks.  That was 4'.  So, to 400' was added 8' + 4' = 412' keel depth which was what was read on the depth gauge at the diving station.]
[The pressure exerted by seawater at any given depth is a complex variable, but, for comparison, the pressure at 400 feet would be approximately 190-200 pounds per square inch, or about 13 Atmospheres (ATM)(1 ATM = 14.7 psi.]
[Of prime importance to operating depth was the pressure hull skin thickness.  Some sites found state this was 7/8 inch for Balao Class boats, but I seem to remember from quals that it was 15/16 inch.  Anyone have the definitive data on this?]


Four: two in forward engine room; two in after engine room
Manufacturer: Fairbanks-Morse
Model: 1938  8&1/8D  AS  (=adapted for snorkel)
Cylinders: 9; vertically opposed (most later Balao Class used 10 cylinder models)
Bore: 8 1/8"
Stroke: 10"
Horsepower: 1600 @ 720 RPM
 They had 2 injectors per cylinder.  Each (upper & lower) crankshaft weighed 2000 lbs. The upper crank turned the blower and a vertical drive transferred the leftover horse-power to the lower crank to help turn the generator.
[Corrected data from Ned Heistermann, MM2(SS)][EN and MM can you expand on this?]

Generators, Propulsion Motors and Batteries 

Four Elliot Motor Co., electric main motors with 2,740 shaft horsepower driving two four-bladed propellors.
Sargo Batteries- with a total of 252 cells, 126 forward and 126 aft.  The usable output ~ 210 to 350 volts, and a power output of as much as 15,000 amps with both batteries connected in parallel. Each cell was about 54 inches high, 15 inches deep, and 21 inches wide, and weighed about 1,650 pounds. 
   more about batteries: http://www.fleetsubmarine.com/battery.html

Torpedo Tubes - 21 inch diameter   [Who knows the Mark and Mod?]

Signal Ejector
There was one signal ejector in the after torpedo room on the port side just forward of the tubes.  
[Some boats had two signal ejectors, one in each torpedo room.  Anyone have any memory about anything different than above?]

Gyro Compasses
Main Gyro- Arma Mark 7 and Auxilary Gyro- Sperry Mark 18 [as reported by IC2(SS) Kent Smith (Shitty Smitty) 68-70]


Snorkel Conversion

From 18 February to 28 September 1952, Sabalo underwent conversion to a "Fleet Snorkel" type at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. This included the streamlined fairwater "sail"; other mast changes, and numerous other changes.  The original bow with bullnose was retained, unlike the "GUPPY" conversions.  [The design of the sail has been referred to as the "Portsmouth Design", but  nothing specific found proves this.  Appearance wise, boats done at Portsmouth seem to be very similar.  Electric Boat and other configurations were significantly different. Specific details about the conversion are needed to expand the description of the changes.] - see sail plan overall blueprint

#7 Main Ballast Tank Conversion
In the early '50's, a short time after the snorkel conversion, during a succeeding yard period, the number seven (rear most) main ballast tank was converted to a store room by welding all openings closed.  [Some other modifications must have been required because the skin of the tanks would not have been thick enough to with stand the same pressures as the original pressure hull.--suggestion by Ron Scott]

Lead weights were added to offset the increased buoyancy created.  It was reported that the amount of added weights to compensate were, initially, grossly under calculated.  When Sabalo went out from Pearl Harbor for the first test dive she could not submerge fully, and the stern remained above water.   [Conversion info from recollection of John Belew.]

The storeroom was for the purpose of storing spare parts for all departments.  Control of the parts was the duty of the Supply Officer and at least one storekeeper. There was a 'storekeeper's shack' where inventory records were kept and paperwork accomplished.  This consisted of a very small space in the forward, starboard corner of the after torpedo room that had space for one man to enter and sit in a chair, but no other room to move about.  [It has been reported that prior to the storeroom creation, and during the first commissioned period that this space was known as the "engineering log keeper's shack".]

The Navy supply system was responsible for specifying what parts were stocked based on equipment installed on board, and overall usage data from the fleet.  Records were kept on shore side computers to track parts usage, create some uniformity and efficiency, and to reduce waste from over stock or excessive consumption.  Printouts were periodically provided for on board usage.  Previously, spares were more or less each department's own responsibility.  Most engine spares, for instance, were kept in large bags stowed outboard of the engines.  Stocking levels were based on individual crew members 'feel' for what was needed rather than any technical analysis of what would provide the most readiness and quick repair in case of problems.  However, even with this new, 'scientific' system, most departments still kept off-the-books spares according to their desire.  The system recommendations were less than perfect regarding what might be needed, or what might fail most often.

Gun Armament

The recollection from a few crew members regarding early gun armament varies, but a photocopy of an early photo [submitted by Charley Odom & Cliff Murr] shows one 40mm gun mounted forward on the bridge superstructure, one 20mm gun mounted aft of the shears on the superstructure on what was known as the "cigarette deck", and a 5 inch/25 gun mounted on the after deck. [The recollection of Cliff Murr and Orrin Kreps is that the 20mm was changed to a 40mm, possibly while at Electric Boat between July and October '45.  Close examination of the photo taken in Oct 1945 at Chester, PA Navy Day celebration verifies that the rear gun appears to be a single barreled 40 mm.]

The 40mm was the Bofors, and the 20 mm was the Oerlikon.
     Addtl. Link to complete manual and description of the Bofors 40 U.S. Navy Submarine version.  and another link to pics and info about the 40mm
     Addtl. Link to pics and info about Oerlikon 20 mm

After recommissioning in 1951, and some time before leaving Connecticut to be transferred to Pearl Harbor the forward 40 mm gun was removed, and later, during the snorkel conversion at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in 1952, the remaining mounted deck guns were removed.  [This sequence of events seems to be confirmed from various photos and recollections.]

5"/25 guns removed from pre-war battleships (especially those rebuilt after Pearl Harbor) had their barrel linings chromed. These guns then began being mounted on submarines in late 1943 for extra firepower against small boats and sampans often encountered off the coast of Japan. The Mark 17 gun in the Mark 40 submarine gun mount used semi-fixed ammunition (case and projectile handled separately) and had a range of 14,500 yards (13,260 m) at the maximum elevation of 40 degrees.

[Source of above and a color photo of the gun on Bowfin SS-287, now a museum boat at Pearl, can be seen at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5"/25_caliber_gun_(United_States)  ]
PHOTO of Lewis “Carl” Smith on Sabalo’s 5”25 gun ca 1951-52.
     Addtl. link to pics and info about the 5"-25

Initially, there were mounts on the side of the bridge deck / superstructure for temporary placement of .50 and .30 cal. machine guns.  Some documentation for others in the class indicate that the normal provision was for four .50 caliber guns, but boats in this class may have carried as many as six in the early days.  Later, after the sail conversion in 1952, the .50 cal. and .30 cal. machine guns could be utilized from mounting points on either side of the bridge fairing. 

During a yard period in 1964 or '65, for possible operations of the Viet Nam War, two mounts for the .50 caliber machine guns, and provision to insert them into the forward deck superstructure were fabricated and installed.  During the WesPac of 1965 Lt. Vic Peters led a team of crew members for weapons training with the Marines in Subic Bay, and in addition to the normal small arms complement the boat "borrowed" two 50 caliber machine guns, a 60mm recoilless rifle, and a .30 cal.Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) for possible use. [rptd by Harold Barker & Vic Peters] [PHOTO showing the .50's with their mounts, and also the .30's mounted on the bridge fairing. - Vic Peters is the officer wearing the .45; Bob Phelps is the sailor on the far right.]

In 67-69, for Viet Nam deployment, the gun armament was supplied by the USMC armory at San Diego, and consisted of:  Two .50 caliber M1A1, and two .30 caliber Thompson M1919 machine guns.  The individual side arms included a number of .45 caliber M1929A1 Thompson submachine guns, .30 cal. Garand M-1 rifle's, and .45 caliber M1911A1 semi-auto pistols.  

Ammunition Storage
The above portable weapons and all ammunition were stored in the 'armory' which in later years was a locked space in the forward, port corner of the after torpedo room.

When the fixed deck guns were installed, the armory was in the after battery compartment, in the forward end; below deck under the galley, in the space which was later to become the sonar room.  Ready ammunition storage topside was accomplished by two cylindrical watertight lockers which were built into the side of the bridge superstructure.  [A photo taken Oct. 1945 shows the lockers in the lower center of the image.]
[Early specifications for others in the class indicate the armory was below the control room in some boats, in what was also the pump and auxiliary machinery room, but no recollection about Sabalo indicates the latter.]

Torpedo Load

[TM's please help out with this.  What was the usual mix and total load of torpedoes?
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/SS/SS-302_Sabalo.html  states the load was (8 aft, 16 forward), type not indicated.
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/1592/balao.html  shows the "max load = 24".]
Types carried '67-'69
Mk 14    Mk 16    Mk 37
[See the links page for details and specs of torpedoes.]
Patrol report # 2 (late 1954-early '55) refers to Mark 28's being aboard.

Electronics: ~1967-70
Early Electronics- It has been reported that the first radar was the SV type, and the first sonar was the JT and JP, there was also an active sonar which was operated from the conning tower which was the WCA. 
     The SS-2 radar was aboard during the first cruise after the snorkel conversion. [Whether it was installed at Pearl Harbor, or possibly at Electric Boat right after comissioning in 1945 is yet to be determined.]
     The early 'own ship's noise' was monitored by the NLM (Noise Level Monitor).  The early fathometer was the NGA.
    At some yard period subsequent to the snorkel conversion a "binaural array" consisting of two long hydrophones, type AN/BQR-4, was installed on the forward vertical part of the sail.  Reported as successful in hearing contacts as far away as 85 miles in sectors mostly forward of the bow , it lacked ability to give any bearing information other than port or starboard relative.  Its value seemed to be as an 'early warning' of contacts and enabled the sonar operators to focus on a particular sector with the other gear.  Skilled operators were reported to be able to discern certain contact maneuvers from the audio cues received.
   The Sonar equipment was completely upgraded during the 1956 yard period.  The two new equipments were the AN/BQR-3A passive sonar and the AN/BQS-2 active/passive sonar.  Both utilized top side mounts for the hydrophones & transducer which can be seen in photos of that period. [recollection of Larry Douglas and Patrol Report references]

Heads- Of course of prime importance to crew comfort was the installation of heads (toilet facilities) on the boats.  Very early submarines did not have toilets, but used  buckets which had a small amount of diesel oil added to create a top layer to reduce odor.  Not very efficient!! Or in many cases the bilges were used. [or at least that's what I heard].

The foward torpedo room had a single toilet and a single shower which was reserved for officers only.[The captain's stateroom had a sink, but I can't remember if there were others in the officers quarters.]

 The after battery had two toilets; two showers; three sinks; and a urinal.   Fixtures on the boat were originally designed for use on railroad trains.  The sinks, urinals and toilets were made of all stainless steel with some adaptation for use on the boats.

[During my time aboard(67-69), most of the time, one of the two showers was used for storage, mostly potatoes. The remaining shower was used only by the cooks and messcooks who were supposed to shower daily while underway. Wasting fresh water was a definite way to arouse the wrath of the enginemen who had to make it using the evaporators which created a lot of heat in the forward engine room, and standing watches in 135 degree temperatures was enough to frazzle most after a few hours.  At various times when returning from a short exercise, if there was enough fresh water left on board from that taken on before departure, the showers would be opened before returning to port. - Jeff Owens]

There was a shower head installed under the superstructure deck, forward near the torpedo room trunk.  It was riggable to utilize either fresh or salt water.

It has been confirmed by various recollections that in the early days Sabalo also had a urinal in the after torpedo room on the forward bulkhead, port side.  It was a 3 gallon impulse ejection type apparatus.

Submarine Rescue Buoy / Paint Schemes- In one of the photos from the early fifties the rescue buoys were painted a light color: white, yellow or orange.   It seems to have been common on some other boats as well. The changing of paint schemes may have been related to "Measure 32" which mandated a camouflage multi-toned scheme for the superstructure.  Additionally, some photos indicate that the buoys at one time protruded above the deck level.  Early recollections of some are that the buoys were welded in place for patrol duties. [I don't remember this for the WesPac's of 68 & 69. Anyone with recollection about the buoys or Sabalo's paint scheme is invited to contribute. During the late 60's I recollect that they were painted with something highly visible on the part concealed in the superstructure, but the top was black.  Can someone verify?]

USS Sabalo (SS-302)

The keel was laid down on 5 June 1943 by Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa..

Sabalo was launched on 4 June 1944 during a joint ceremony with the USS Sablefish (SS-303).  She was sponsored by Mrs. Charles M. Oman, wife of Rear Admiral Charles E. Oman, Commanding Officer of the Naval Convalescent Hospital for Officers at Harriman, NY.  She was dedicated to the memorial of George E. Muhs, the first Philadelphia policeman killed in action during WW II. Her construction was financed by the sale of War Bonds through the efforts of the Philadelphia City Police.  The amount raised, which "was sufficient to pay for the submarines", was variously quoted as $16.5 and $16.8 million  combined total for both boats. [News articles]   [Photos]

After launching Sabalo was moored at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for completion. These activities took longer than planned due to a combination of two main factors.  Internal financial problems and labor shortages at Cramp caused delay, and also equipment for installation provided from other Naval contractors was late, or shunted to other sub builders.

 During April of 1945 the crew started involvement in the new construction process. [reported by Orrin Kreps] On 11 June she arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to prepare for the commissioning ceremony. Sabalo was commissioned on 19 June 1945 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Lt. Comdr. James G. Andrews in command.  She was assigned to Division 341, Squadron 34


On 24 June 1945 she got underway for the first time; had sea trials and her first dive off Cape May, NJ., and later anchored in the Delaware River overnight; returning to P.N.S.Y. the next day.  On the 29th, Sabalo then proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., arriving on 30 June.

Beginning on 2 July she left New London for shake down operations; anchoring near Block Island at night she had diving practice until the 5th and returned, mooring at Electric Boat.  On the 7th she was underway for more ops, and on 8 July she had a deep dive to 490 feet [as reported by Orrin Kreps - This was an accidental exceeding of maximum operating depth, reportedly due to gross trim miscalculations causing a heavy forward condition.  The deck log records this only as "DEEP".].  On the 9th she moored over night at SBNLon, and was underway again 10-14, and returned to SBNLon. 

On the 27th Sabalo was placed on a marine railway at Electric Boat and hauled out.  She was relaunched on 3 Aug and moored at E.B. until 16 Oct. [As stated above, possibly due to these delays or problems at Cramp the boat was sent to New London/Electric Boat  for installation of a new radar, some electronic equipment, additional armament and other repairs. This may have been due to late delivery of equipment to be installed, or due to new designs introduced near the end of the War. --In the official history report this was referred to as a "modernization overhaul."]

 On 16 Oct the boat left E.B. and went to Sub Base at New London and moored at the degaussing pier.  On 20 & 22nd Oct she had some additional shakedown and training; returned at night and moored at SBNLon.

[V-E Day  was on 8 May 1945 and V-J Day was 15 Aug 1945.  Sabalo was not a participant in any war patrols.]

Sabalo departed New London on 24 Oct 1945, and on the 25th she arrived at the Ford Motor Co. pier in Chester, Pennsylvania for a Navy Day celebration.  Forty members of the Philadelphia Police Department  made a special visit to the boat on the 28th as a thank you for their fund raising support.   It was reported that over the three day weekend of 27, 28 & 29 Oct there were 39,000 visitors to make a tour of inspection. She left Philadelphia on the 31st, and was back at New London on the 1st of November. [News articles]     [Photo]

On 2 Nov the boat was underway, and had sound tests returning to mooring at NLon that night.  From the 5th through the 8th she conducted operations off New London, and on 7 Nov had another deep dive. Mooring overnight the 8th she was again underway until the 13th when she anchored overnight, and then the 14th moored at Gould Island, Newport, RI to load torpedoes.  Between 14-17 Nov she fired 30 torpedoes in the Newport Firing Range area, and then returned to N.L. On the 19th she was again underway for engine testing which she completed successfully with 4 hours and fifteen minutes of full power running.   On the 20th she moved to the ammo loading pier and took on .50 cal. and 40mm ammo.

23 Nov 1945- Sabalo left for Panama, arriving there after four days transit.  On the 28th, during gun practice, the forward port mount of the .50 cal broke, and two men were injured,.  Earl Kelly and Wm. Buckbee suffered minor injuries..

On the 29th, Sabalo anchored awaiting her turn for passage through the canal, and then proceeded.  During this time she suffered a gyro failure, and was forced to anchor at one point but made finally passage through the Canal, and then moored at NavSta Balboa, C.Z.

30 Nov- Gun practice was conducted with the .50 cal. and 40 mm guns, and then anchored overnight.  [For an idea of the precise location of subsequent ops in this area, the anchor posit was recorded as 7deg 25.5 min N / 79 deg 10 min W.]  On 1 Dec she moored at Sub Base Balboa.  Underway again 3 Dec she had diving practice and torpedo firing exercises consisting of radar tracking exercises and approach practice.  On the 4th the boat anchored off Saboga Island, and some of the crew was let ashore for four hours for a recreational party.

5-8 Dec- Sabalo operated with surface craft in simulated ASW exercises on the Pacific side near Saboga Island, and near Contadora Island, and in the general area of the Las Perlas (Pearl) Islands in the Gulf of Panama.  She was moored at Sub Base Balboa from 8-10 and on the 10th off loaded her practice torpedoes.  [details from personal log kept by Orrin Kreps.]

[After these operations it was planned that Sabalo was to report to Pearl Harbor, as she had been assigned to Division 142, Squadron 14 in November,  for anticipated participation in Pacific operations.  However, during operations, likely on 8 Dec, she reportedly developed serious leak problems with the after torpedo room hatch.  She was directed to return to New London for repairs . --Details from two crew members recollection.]

On 11 Dec Sabalo made transit back through the Canal and left Panama.  During transit she encountered rough weather and was rolling up to 45 degrees.  Somewhat slowed in transit she arrived in New London on the 17th.  On the 18th the 5" gun was removed.  19 Dec - Left for Portsmouth on the 19th; anchored in the Cape Cod Channel overnight, and on the 20th moored to a buoy in the Lower Harbor.  She moored at Pier 6, Portsmouth on the 21th. 

Sabalo was scheduled to start the deactivation process, but on 11 Jan 1946 it was announced she would briefly return to the fleet. On the 22nd she shifted berth, and on 1 March loaded ammo.  During this period the 5" gun was reinstalled.  Underway on 6 March she made a deep dive to test depth.  Before returning to Portsmouth the 5" gun was test fired, and suffered a catastrophic failure which was later determined to be a result of failure of yard personnel to replace the oil in the shock absorber. [There are a couple recollections that some men may have been injured in this gun mishap, but nothing was recorded in the deck log.]

After ops she moored at Portsmouth on March 7th.  On the 8th she left Portsmouth, anchored again in Cape Cod Channel overnight, and arrived at New London on the 9th. 

On 11 March it was announced that she was again being sent back for inactivation.   She changed piers on the 14th, and off loaded all ammo on the 18th.

17 April underway to Portsmouth; moored on the 18th.  The ship was defueled on the 25th.

3 June Into drydock at Portsmouth, where on the 10th she had a small fire in the after torpedo room.

21 June CO Andrews was relieved by LT William C. Logan.

15 July - Left drydock.  Towed to Berth 11-B at Portmouth.  30 July towed to Berth 6-C.

2 Aug- Undertow by USS Wandank ATO-26.  First troubled by a towline problem, the line finally parted forcing the boat to anchor.  After rerigging, she was finally towed to Pier 1, S. Boston.  Again undertow on the 3rd of August by Wandank and tugs YTB-542 & YTB-364.

4 August - Moored at Pier 9 SubBaseNewLondon.

6 Aug Final defueling

7 Aug Decommissioning.

[Many details of Sabalo's early operations are from a personal log kept by Orrin Kreps.  The official deck logs have also been abstracted regarding the recorded movements and activities.]

In June 1946, Sabalo finally began preparations for inactivation. She was decommissioned at the Portsmouth Navy Base on 7 August 1946, and was placed in reserve. 
 [Update Feb 2007-The exact mooring place has now been determined, but various accounts use Portsmouth, N.H.or Kittery, ME when giving the location.  The actual location of Portsmouth Naval Base is on an island in the Piscataqua River which separates the two towns.  Maine and New Hampshire battled for years, all the way to the US Supreme Court, before the justices ruled in 2001 that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard lay within Maine's boundaries.]

Sabalo remained in 'mothballs' until recommissioning on 1 June 1951 at New London, CT with Lt. Comdr. Lawrence Savadkin as CO.

On 13 August 1951, Sabalo departed New London for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, her new home port. She transited via the Panama Canal and arrived in P.H. on 6 September.  She was assigned to Submarine Squadron 7, Division 72, and conducted local operations until 18 February 1952.  From 18 February to 28 September, she underwent conversion to a "Fleet Snorkel" type at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Following this conversion, she participated in local operations, and then was deployed to the western Pacific.

Sabalo departed Pearl Harbor the day after Christmas for her first extended deployment of 26 December 1952 to 26 June 1953.  During this assignment Sabalo's activities were primarily of a reconnaissance nature in which she monitored and recorded ship movements in her patrol sector in the Sea of Japan.  The actual patrol period was 2 Mar 1953-5 Apr 1953.  After the patrol period she engaged in services and type training in the WesPac area until departure for Pearl Harbor. [Official Patrol Report] During this cruise the Sabalo made a stop on Chi Chi Jima, a small island in the Bonin Islands, and also some visits to Yokosuka, Japan for repairs and replenishment, additionally she was at Naha and Buckner Bay, Okinawa.  After her return to Pearl Harbor the peace accords with North Korea ended fighting on 27 Jul 1953. This is referred to as Sabalo's first simulated war patrol.

Simulated war patrol defined

In light of the growing tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, emphasized by President Truman’s 12 March 1947
message to Congress articulating American willingness to provide military aid to countries threatened by communism, the Navy began planning for a possible confrontation with the Soviet Union.  One of the training measures devised to give submarine crews experience in case of such a conflict was the “simulated war patrol”.

[There are two sites on the links page that incorrectly detail Sabalo's Korean War participation.  One of them incorrectly mentions "two patrols" with no details.  The other seemingly has a typo which indicates a period in 1952 as Sabalo's participation period for the awarding of the Korean Service Medal which is incorrect because it conflicts with the dates given in other histories and accounts as the yard period for fleet snorkel conversion.  The single, correct period for which she is credited is 10 Jan 1953-10 Jun 1953, and is found at:  http://www.history.navy.mil/medals/kormedal/korea-s.htm
For many details about the movements, activities and ports of call during the cruise of 1953 see:
[Personal account of the Korean Patrol by LT Robert Bell]  
  and [U.S.S. Sabalo Returns to Pearl Harbor After Six Months Tour in Korean Area -news story and photo.]
  [ Can anyone add further details on the activities during this patrol?]

26 June-23 October 1953 After a  period of rest and repair she again participated in local ops. 
6 July 1953 Change of Command - Lcdr Lawrence Savadkin  relieved by Lcdr N.C. Woodward.
23 Oct 1953 departed Pearl Harbor for operations in San Diego, CA; returned to P.H. on 1 Dec 1953.
Oct 1953 - late Feb or early March 1954 Conducted local ops in P.H. area, inc. one month of services to ComSubGru, San Diego.  Also had visits to neighboring islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.

Mar-Aug 1954 Overhaul at Pearl Harbor to improve military effectiveness, appearance and habitability of the ship.
    [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958]

On 9 November 1954, after refresher training, Sabalo was deployed for her second simulated war patrol.  Enroute calls were made at the seldom visited islands of Ponape and Truk in the Caroline Islands; Johnston Island, and ChiChi Jima in the Bonin Islands.  Arrived Yokosuka 30 Nov. Between 17 Dec 1954 and 12 Jan 1955 Sabalo conducted her second simulated war patrol in the Northern Japan Sea in Joint Zones 5 & 10.  [Official Patrol Report]  She also visited Kobe; Sasebo; Koatsujima; and Yokosuka, Japan.  In between port visits she operated with various units of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces.  Sabalo departed Yokosuka on 14 April 1955 enroute to Hong Kong, and during this transit conducted exercises with the Chinese Nationalist Navy, thereby qualifying for the China Service Medal (Extended).  After four days liberty in Hong Kong departed for P.H. arriving on 10 May 1955.      [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958 & Official Patrol Report #2]

During Dec 1954 Sabalo was assigned to SubRon 7.  [info found at U.S. Submarine Force Library, Groton]

19 May 1955 Change of Command Lcdr G.H. Mahoney relieved Lcdr N.C. Woodward.
After recreation and refit period of approx one month resumed local ops in the P.H. area.  In early August, Sabalo visited Kona, Hawaii for the annual outrigger canoe races.      [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958]

Between May 1955 and September 1955 had normal upkeep periods and conducted local operations in the Hawaiian area.

On 1 Sep 1955 Sabalo was assigned to Submarine Squadron One.

Her third deployment, 17 September1955 -4 November 1955, was conducted in northern Siberian waters. Enroute proceeded via Amukta Pass in the Aleutians to rendezvous with the USS Carp SS-328 15 miles west of Cape Chibukak, St. Lawrence Island on the 29th of Sept.  Then proceeded to the Bering Strait - Cape Chaplina - Provideniya - Gulf of Anadyr area.  Patrol ops terminated on 26 October and she returned to P.H. on 4 Nov. [Alaskan training cruise and third simulated war patrol = "Northern Run" - off Kamchatka Peninsula-per L. Douglas]

Upon return she resumed local ops until near Christmastime when a recreational and refit period was conducted.  After this she resumed local ops for type training and services to other commands until 9 Mar 1956.      [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958]

25-26 Feb 1956  Sabalo made a recreational visit to Nawiliwili, Kauai. There was an afternoon open house for visitors. [Patrol Newspaper, Run 9 Dive 31, 10 Mar 1956]

From 9 March 56-3 August 56 underwent overhaul at Pearl Harbor.  Shortly after overhaul she visited Kahului, Maui for two days in August, then continued to conduct refresher and type training, and services in the Hawaiian area until 19 Oct 1956.  From 1 Nov until departure for patrol was in P.H Naval Shipyard for main generator repairs.

7 November 56 departed for WesPac, enroute completed fourth simulated war patrol, another "Northern Run", passing St. Lawrence Island, Little and Big Diomede Islands, up to the Bering Strait, almost to the Arctic Circle, then passing through the Aleutian chain on the way up, and then down along the Kamchatka Peninsula (Petropavlosk) to Japan; arrived Yokosuka 23 Dec 56.  Following a three week upkeep period, she departed for hong Kong on 11 Jan 1957. After conducting ops with Japanese Defense Force and U.S. Fleet units Sabalo visited Hong Kong 17-22 Jan, and was originally scheduled to later visit Singapore.  However, she was reassigned, and 23-25 Jan was enroute to Buckner Bay, Okinawa.  Three days of services were provided to Army Special Operations Det 8321 in Buckner Bay. Sabalo departed Buckner Bay on 31 Jan, arriving at Subic Bay 3 Feb.  After 7 days upkeep, she departed on her Fifth Special Patrol on 11 Feb 1957. . This consisted of approximately one month of snorkel operations for the purposes of gaining intelligence on ship movements in and out of North Viet Nam, and in locating coastal radar sites. After the patrol she went to Manila, P.I. arriving on 9 Mar 1957.  Sabalo qualified for the second time for the China Service Medal (Extended) during this period. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 4 May 1957.  Folowing a period of rest and refit she resumed local ops.      [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958 & Official Patrol Report #5] 

After return to P.H. Sabalo had a period of recreation and refit for about one month, then resumed local ops in the P.H. area.
8 Jun 1957 Change of Command - Lcdr W. Masek, Jr. relieved Lcdr G.H. Mahoney.
In Sep 1957 Sabalo made a weekend visit to Nawiliwili, Kauai, and in October she visited Kahului, Maui for the annual Maui County Fair.
After Christmas leave and recreation period, Sabalo conducted type training and services to other commands in the P.H. area until 8 August 1958.
   [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958]

29 May 1958 - Sabalo participated in the rescue of the crew and attempted salvage of  Stickleback (SS-415) which had collided with Silverstein (DE-534) while conducting ASW training with Silverstein and the torpedo retriever boat Greenlet (ASR-10) in the Hawaiian area.  Stickleback's crew of 82 was successfully removed mainly by the torpedo retriever boat.  Sabalo was also joined on the scene by Sturtevant (DE-239), and a little later by the rescue ship Current (ARS-22), and combined efforts were made by all to save the stricken submarine. The rescue ships put lines around her, and the Current was in the process of attaching a tow line to the Stickleback's stern, but compartment after compartment flooded and, at 1857 hours, Stickleback sank in 1,800 fathoms of water approximately 15 miles south of Barber's Point.
[See also Personal accounts by James Braun and Robert "Dutch" Schultz on T.I.N.B.S. page which includes link to photos and additional accounts.]
[Additional details about the collision can be found by following the Stickleback links on the links page. ]

8 Aug 1958 Departed Pearl Harbor for WesPac for training patrols.  Port visits included Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and Hong Kong, B.C.C.  Departing Yokosuka on 24 Nov 1958 she returned via Hong Kong and arrived at Pearl on 22 Dec 1958.
   [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958]

28 Jan 1959-12 Jun 1959  - Sabalo was overhauled during this period including being outfitted with new batteries and other upgrades from the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.    [Info from ship's history dated 6 Jan 1958][and recollection of Michael Elzinga]

July 1959 - Sabalo made trips to Lahaina, Maui and also Hilo and Kona on the big island of Hawaii. [recollection of Michael Elzinga]

4 Sep 1959 Lcdr A.A. Burki relieved Lcdr W. Masek, Jr. as C.O.
Sabalo conducted type training and services in the Hawaiian area until Jan 1960.

26 Oct 1959  Sabalo is recorded in the deck log of USS Lansing (DER-388) as having provided ASW services during the afternoon of that date in local waters of Pearl Harbor.

1 Jan 1960 Began the year moored at Pier 7 Pearl Harbor as part of SubRon 7 Div 73
2 Jan Underway from Pearl Harbor for Subic Bay, Philippines.
7 Jan Crossed international dateline.
14 Jan Bushman, Wayne EM splashed acid in his eyes.
16 Jan Keiler, Ronald IC lacerated index finger r.h.
18 Jan Moored at Subic Bay
19 Jan Shifted berths
22 Jan underway from Subic Bay for Satahib, Thailand.
27 Jan Arrive Sattahib, Thailand.  Moored at Satahib Naval Base.
29 Jan Leave Sattahib for Bankok, Thailand.
30 Jan Ops in Gulf of Siam with Royal Thai Navy, and then moored Satahib.
1 Feb Underway for UDT ops then anchored Gulf of Siam
2 Feb Underway for UDT ops then anchored Gulf of Siam
3 Feb Underway for UDT ops then anchored Gulf of Siam
4 Feb Underway then moored Bangkok, Thailand
<>7 Feb Leave Bankok for Phillipines.
12 Feb Anchored at Iba, Zambales, P.I.
13 Feb ASW ops with P.I. Navy; then moored Rivera Pt., Subic Bay
26 Feb  Leave Subic Bay for Manila; moored Manila
28 Feb UW
1 Mar UW in Manila Op Area then depart for Hong Kong
4 Mar <>Arrive Hong Kong.
10 Mar Underway from Hong Kong for Kaohsiung, Formosa.
11 Mar Moored stbd side to USS Hollister DD-788; embarked recon Marines for exercises; then UW
12 Mar Briefly moored Kaohsiung, then underway.
15 Mar Debark Marines after ops; then UW for Yokosuka, Japan
17 Mar Logged as "C.Ops" until the 26th.  Last posit on the 16th =25 deg 55 min N, 128 deg 32.2 min E  (Clandestine Ops?)
26 Mar Moored Yokosuka
2 Apr UW to move to mooring alongside USS Coucal ASR-8
4 Apr UW to enter drydock
6 Apr Out of dock to mooring.
8 Apr Underway for "C. Ops" - Northern Run
11 May Moored Yokosuka Naval Base
28 May UW for "People-to-People Cruise" to Hakodate, Japan; then moored there.
1 Jun UW to Muroran, Japan and then moored there.
6 Jun UW to Toyama, Japan
8 Jun Moored Toyama; visitors aboard.
10 Jun UW to Yokosuka; OPs with Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force
13 Jun Moored Yokosuka outboard Coucal
20 Jun Underway for Pearl Harbor
1 July Moored S-11 P.H.
11 Jul Into drydock ARD-30
21 Jul Out of dock to mooring 1-B P.H.
29 Jul UW to observe missle launch of USS Barbero SSG-317; then moored later
1 Aug UW to Oahu Ops Area
9 Aug Moored P.H.
17 Aug  UW daily ops then moored
18 Aug UW daily ops then moored
22 Aug UW for ops
23 Aug Moored P.H.
24 Aug UW daily ops then moored
25 Aug UW daily ops then moored
19 Sep UW
20 Sep Torpedo firing exercises with USS McCain DL-3
22 Sep Moored P.H.
26 Sep UW
27 Sep Moored P.H.
28 Sep UW
29 Sep Anchored at Lahaina
30 Sep Underway with Torpedo retriever S.B. #3 in tow; line parted; then moored P.H.
4 Oct UW daily ops then moored
5 Oct UW daily ops then moored
6 Oct UW daily ops with USS Fletcher DDE-445 then moored.
11 Oct  UW daily ops then moored
12 Oct UW daily ops then moored
17 Oct UW for local ops
21 Oct Moored P.H.
24 Oct UW for local ops
25 Oct Moored P.H.
26 Oct UW daily ops then moored
27 Oct UW daily ops then moored
14 Nov UW
15 Nov Anchored Papohaku Roadstead, Molokai, HI
16 Nov UW-  Kratz, J. injured by falling O2 botte.
18 Nov Moored P.H.
28 Nov UW
3 Dec Moored Hilo, HI
4 Dec UW
9 Dec Moored P.H.
29 Dec Sumich, J.E. injured in a fall

[Movements and activities of 1960 extracted from the deck logs at the National Archives.]

1 Jan 1961 - 1 April 1961 Sabalo conducted type training and services in the Hawaiian area. [Ship's History Report]

During April and May 1961 Sabalo participated in an exercise named GREENLIGHT off the coast of California. [Ship's History Report] - She also had a visit to San Francisco. [recollection of Michael Elzinga]

24 Jun 1961 Lcdr H.R. Hunter relieved Lcdr A.A. Burki as C.O.

31 Jul - 29 Dec 1961 Completed overhaul at P.H. Naval Shipyard.

In December 1961 Sabalo was transferred to Submarine Sqdrn One, Division 12. [Info from visitors pamphlet ca. 1965.]

1 Jan 1962 - 1 Mar 1962  Sabalo conducted type training and services in the Hawaiian area. [Ship's History Report]

2 Mar 1962 - 30 Aug 1962 Sabalo made a WesPac cruise.  She provided services to the British Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, and the Royal Thai Navy as well as the U.S. Pacific Fleet.  During March '62 she was in Yokosuka for repairs, in April she stopped in Okinawa, later was at Subic Bay.  In July she visited Hong Kong and in July or August visited Bangkok. [port info from photo album of Jim Cramer.] She visited both Naha and Buckner Bay in Okinawa. [ship's history]
    During the Bangkok stay Sabalo hosted a two day open house which attracted 3,000 visitors to the boat.  [News Article w/photos]

Following a recreation and refit period of one month in P.H. Sabalo resumed local operations in the P.H. area. [Ship's History Report]

14 Dec 1962 - Lcdr Jess L. Cariker, Jr. relieved Lcdr H.R. Hunter as C.O.

1 Jan 1963 - 31 Mar 1963 Sabalo conducted type training and services in the Hawaiian area. [Ship's History Report]

1 Apr - 24 Jun 1963  Departed Pearl Harbor to provide services to ASW aircraft, and also conducted MK-37 torpedo evaluations and acceptance exercises along the western U.S. coast.  Additional operations may have included patrol in the North Pacific which involved extended periods of snorkeling. Ports-of-call included: Hunter's Point Shipyard in San Francisco, Port Angeles, Bangor/Dabob Bay, and later: Portland (Rose Festival); Seattle & Vancouver, BC. [recollections of Bob Frick,  Ted Storie & CO Jess Cariker] and [Ship's History Report].

3 May 1963: A practice MK-37 torpedo, with a dummy warhead, which was fired by the Sabalo, malfunctioned, and struck the USS Medregal (SS-480) while she was conducting joint exercises with Sabalo.  Damage was not major.
[source: http://www.lostsubs.com/Neptune_Papers_3.pdf]
[http://www.peacelink.it/webgate/armamenti/msg00252.html  shows the date of this event as "10/03/63"]

Following a brief upkeep period Sabalo conducted type training and services until 8 Nov 1963.  During this period Sabalo received an interim docking in USS ARD-30 and visited Lahaina, Maui. [Ship's History Report]

14 Aug 1963 Members of Sabalo's crew were detailed to take the USS Queenfish (SS/AGSS-393) out from Pearl Harbor where she was sunk as target by USS Swordfish (SSN-579) for torpedo testing purposes.  The Queenfish was set at about 10 knots crusing speed as those on board jumped to a torpedo recovery vessel following close alongside.  Course direction was accomplished by remote control from a helicopter overhead which controlled the rudder using a set of signal lights on deck which indicated rudder position.  Sabalo remained on scene, and was observer, along with at least one large surface craft, of the final disposition of Queenfish. [recollection of Paul J. O'Reilly]

8 Nov 1963 - 13 March 1964 Overhaul at P.H. Naval Shipyard. [Ship's History Report]

14 Mar - 19 Apr 1964 Sabalo conducted type training and services in the Hawaiian area. [Ship's History Report]

20 Apr - 2 Jun 1964 Sabalo deployed to the eastern Pacific area where she provided ASW services.  During the last few days of April and early May Sabalo conducted operations with the 1st Recon Batt Fleet Marines off the coast of Calif.  She also visited San Francisco and San Diego, Calif. [ship's history and info found at U.S. Submarine Force Library, Groton as reported in Periscope 8 May 1964.-- Jess Cariker reports that these ops were off Camp Pendleton.]

Jun - Jul 1964 Following return to P.H. and a brief upkeep period Sabalo participated in several fleet ASW exercises in the Hawaiian area. [ship's history]

In early August, 1964, the destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and Turner Joy (DD-951) were attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in "The Tonkin Gulf Incident".  This event precipitated air attacks against North Vietnam, and was the beginning of  large increases in war actions beyond the previously covert activities of limited ground forces, and the announced role of the U.S. as only "advisors" to the South Vietnamese. Official documents on the events can be found here:  http://www.history.navy.mil/docs/gulfoftonkin.htm

Following soon thereafter on 10 Aug 1964, Sabalo was deployed to Westpac on short notice (although she was due to depart about a month later).  After stopping at Subic Bay, P.I. for refueling and stores,  she then deployed to the Gulf of Tonkin.  During the period of 2 Sep-3 Oct 1964 Sabalo is credited with activities within the Viet Nam Combat Zone. While up near Haiphong on 18 September, Sabalo received reports about the US destroyers, Richard S. Edwards (DD-950) and Morton (DD-948) being under attack by North Vietnamese patrol boats.  Although Sabalo was nearby, she was not able to affect any intercept of the fleeing boats.  This is referred to as the "September Incident".

"During the attack, aircraft from carriers lit up the sky with flares.  I was at periscope depth in 100 feet of water off Haiphong and could see my periscope shadow across the calm waters.  The destroyers and the firing on PT boats were south of me, so I did not see any of that.  The next day we headed south to get out of the gulf before an intense typhoon moved in."
[quote from CO, Lcdr Jess L. Cariker, Jr.]
[From the web site of the Edwards:http://www.dd950.com/]
..."Not until mid-September did American leaders authorize another "Desoto Patrol" into the Gulf. On the 17th and 18th, Morton (DD 948) and Richard E. Edwards (DD-950) cruised along a track no closer than 20 miles to the North Vietnamese mainland without incident. On the night of September 18, 1964 however, both destroyers opened fire on what their crews believed were attacking high-speed surface vessels. While a subsequent naval investigation concluded that at least one unidentified, hostile-acting fast craft was in the area, the validity of an attack was called into question by the lack of firm evidence. Following this incident, never again were Desoto Patrols conducted in the Gulf of Tonkin. Thus, from a military standpoint, the naval actions in August initiated a temporary downturn rather than an escalation in the Southeast Asian crisis." ...
[The complete chronology of this historic event is found in the official report including the tracks of all veseels involved.  Note that the track information does not include specific position information showing the location of the 'attack' even though the document has been declassified:   http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/star/images/107/1070808001.pdf   ]
 [It is noted that both of the "Incidents" related above have been the subject of numerous inquiries by many, including the military, Congress and the news media.  These events, which were at the core of reasons given for escalating actions against North VietNam, are even today still subject to inconclusion regarding the actual scenarios and their details. ]

On this page http://www.history.navy.mil/docs/vietnam/tonkin-7.htm  contained in, STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ROBERT S. McNAMARA BEFORE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE 20 FEBRUARY 1968, under the section heading, "Was There Indeed A Second Attack" there are some definitve statements:
 "As for the second attack, the incident occurred on a very dark, moonless, overcast-night." 
"...another incident which occurred on the 18th of September 1964, i.e., about 45 days later. At that time, the US destroyers Morton and Edwards were patrolling, at night, in the Gulf of Tonkin, and initially reported themselves under attack. While the ensuing situation reports indicated the probability of hostile craft in the area of the patrol, it was decided at both Washington and field command levels that no credible evidence of an attack existed. It should be noted that the intelligence source that confirmed the attacks of August 2nd and 4th provided no evidence of any enemy action on September 18th. In view of our unresolved doubts, no retaliatory action was taken. Many individuals who were not aware of all of the facts about all three incidents, i.e., 2 August, 4 August and 18 September, have made the mistaken assumption that descriptions of the 18 September incident were referring to the second Tonkin Gulf incident. Aware of the negative findings on 18 September, they have mistakenly assumed that there is serious doubt as to whether the "second" Tonkin Gulf attack in fact took place."

Later during the same cruise in 1964, port visits included Hong Kong, and then Bankok and Sattihib, Thailand.  Exercises were conducted with some Thai Marines.  After that the boat went to Singapore, and then conducted a patrol through the Java Sea. 

In January 1965, Sabalo arrived in Yokosuka, Japan where on 2 Jan there was a change of command from Lcdr Jess L. Cariker, Jr. to Lcdr Harold D. Barker. [Ship's History Report & recollection of CO Jess Cariker, and also see personal recollections of Ned Heistermann]

"Sabalo next headed south with upkeep in Subic Bay.  With combat intensity increasing in Viet Nam and all other ships in Subic departing for the war zone, and with crew enthusiasm, Sabalo volunteered to extend its deployment.  The ship was immediately sent to operations off Haiiphong to observe the enemy and act as life guard for ditched aviators.  Finally the boat returned to Pearl Harbor flying a flag with a cow's udder and the phrase, "We stayed till the cows came home." Viet Nam Service Medal earned during this period." [recollection of CO Hal Barker]

[The official record regarding the medal earned during this period is more fully explained on the Medals and Ribbons page. Sabalo is indicated for eligibility for the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the periods of 15 Jan-4 Feb 1965 and 9 Feb-27 Feb 1965.]

19 Mar 1965 Sabalo returned to P.H. after completing a seven and one half month deployment to the western Pacific. 

23-25 April 1965 Visited Hilo, Hawaii during the Second Annual Merry Monarch Festival, and hosted a visit from the Festival Chairman, and the Queen and Princesses.

16 Aug - 5 Dec 1965 

"In July 1965 a submarine was damaged in WestPac, and a rapidly available replacement was needed.  A query of all boats for their readiness to deploy brought responses of three weeks to months by all but Sabalo.  From Sabalo: "If we load stores today and torpedoes tomorrow we can sail in 48 hours." Deployed in early August, the following period included port visits to Yokosuka, Buckner Bay, Hong Kong and Subic Bay.  Passing through the center of a Beaufort 17 type typhoon tested all hands' sea legs.  Operational commitments were primarily several missions in the Gulf of Tonkin gathering intelligence, lifeguard station and services to our forces.  Because the missions might require surfacing under hostile guns, Vic Peters led a team of crew members for weapons training with the Marines in Subic and the boat "borrowed" two 50 caliber machine guns, a 60mm recoilless rifle, a BAR and ammo.  "Battle Surface" drills were exercised enroute to station.  As a reward for the rapid and successful deployment the ship was given a visit to Brisbane, Australia enroute home to Pearl Harbor.  Crossing the equator, all pollywogs were duly initiated into worthy Golden Shellbacks because crossing was at the 180 meridian.  Viet Nam Service Medal again awarded."  [recollection of CO Hal Barker]

The boat was recorded on station in the Tonkin Gulf from 16 Sep-11 Oct 1965. 

6 Dec - 17 Dec 1965 Sabalo provided ASW services, and operated with the Fleet Marine Force, and conducted type training during this period.

"With superb pitching by Big Ed Dominguez, the Sabalo team was champion of the Submarine Force softball league." [recollection of CO Hal Barker]

May 1966 - "Sabalo awarded the Battle Efficiency 'E'. During the previous few years Sabalo never missed, or was late, and successfully completed every assigned mission and operation." [recollection of CO Hal Barker]

 In August 1966, Sabalo's home port was changed to San Diego, Calif., and she was assigned to SubRon Five.
15 Aug UW to Acapulco, Mexico
26 Aug Anchored in Acapulco Harbor
29 Aug UW to San Diego
4 Sep Moored S.D.
6 Sep -  Sabalo participated in a live torpedo firing exercise off San Diego.  A Mk 16 torpedo with a hydrogen peroxide engine was used on a destroyer escort from the mothball fleet.  The target ship, USS Foss DE-59, was broken in two by the first torpedo.  A second shot was made on the bow section, and again was a direct hit.  However, when Sabalo surfaced the vessel's bow was still above water.  A fleet tug on the scene made some holes in the foward section with a cutting torch to facilitate sinking. The stern section sank on its own.  See details, personal accounts and photos.

7 Sep Sabalo proceeded to the Hunter's Point Shipyard at San Francisco for overhaul. 
8 Sep Moored Hunter's Point
16 Sep UW for DryDock # 5
30 Sep 1966 Sabalo entered Drydock #5 and was placed under responsibility of Lt Paul Benson, Ship's Superintendent for an extensive overhaul which included the complete removal and rebuilding of all four engines*, and new batteries.  [*The discovery of extensive cracks in the blocks of two of the engines resulted in the search for replacements around the world.-[Recollection of Harold Losby]

Sabalo completed dock trials on 10 Feb 1967, fast cruise on 13 Feb and bay trial on 14 Feb; she was completed in March 1967,.  She returned to San Diego, and resumed training operations off the west coast, primarily providing services to ships undergoing ASW, type, and refresher training.
[Info from visitor's pamphlet of the late 60's. and info found at U.S. Submarine Force Library, Groton, CT which included a number of small news articles from, Tieline, the shipyard newsletter] 

April 1967 - Sabalo participated in an exercise with a large amphibious force group which simulated an extensive landing operation. There were in excess of two dozen surface ships, and 2 or 3 other subs involved.  This took place on the shores of Camp Pendleton, CA.  Sabalo embarked about 15 Marines before leaving Ballast Point Sub Base.  They later made a night reconnaissance practice. This was done by Sabalo maneuvering submerged to fairly close inshore; coming to a broached depth, and then the Marine team debarked through the forward trunk and went ashore by raft.  [See Ron Gorence's story about this exercise.]

At some time between the completion of overhaul in Mar '67 and the Jul '67 deployment, Sabalo was sent to Dabob Bay, Washington for compass calibration, and  TDC (Torpedo Data Computer) testing.  In between operations she tied up at the Ediz Hook Coast Guard Station for liberty in Port Angeles, Washington. [recollection of Jeff Owens]

Jul67-Jan68: WesPac / Viet Nam deployment. 
The ship was credited with three periods in the Combat Zone during this cruise: 18 Sep-1 Oct 67; 22 Oct-1 Nov 67 ; 7 Dec-20 Dec 67.
Ports of call (in order):  1-4 Aug, Pearl Harbor; 18-23 Aug, Yokosuka, Japan; 28-29 Aug, Yokosuka; 5-7 Sep, Naha, Okinawa; 3-15 Oct, Subic Bay, Philippines; 17-19, Oct, Subic; 7-15 Nov, Subic; 16-18 Nov, Manila, P.I.; 22-23 Nov, Subic; 1-6 Dec, Hong Kong, B.C.C.; 24-25 Dec, Naha; 29 Dec-3 Jan, Yokosuka; returned 21 Jan 1968, San Diego. [ port of call dates from record kept by Dennis Dipley]

25 Oct 1967- In September 1967 ROWAN DD-782 and the PERKINS (DD-877) headed for Vietnam. On 25 October ROWAN relieved the RADFORD (DD-446) on the gun line. Later relieved by the PHILIP (DD-498), ROWAN moved on to Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf for practice ASW exercises with the WALKE (DD-723) and SABALO

26-27 Oct 1967- Practice ASW exercises with USS Orleck (DD-886) and USS Thomason (DD-760) and various SH3A helicopters from USS KEARSARGE (CVS 33) [from http://www.ussorleck.com/decklogs/xls/October_1967.xls]

1 Jan Moored Yokosuka, Japan
4 Jan UW to San Diego
21 Jan Moored S.D. alongside USS Perch AGSS-313 at the Adm Kidd Club Pier
7 Feb Moved to Sub Base S.D. Main pier
16 Feb Moved to Deep Submergence pier
19 Feb UW to SoCal Op Area
21 Feb
Moored to Deep Submergence pier
26 Feb UW
27 Feb Lowrey, Ronald suffered an eye injury
1 Mar Moored San Diego
19 May UW for Bremerton, WA
23 May Moored Bremerton Naval Shipyard
24 May UW to move to Seattle, WA
30 Moored Naval Supply Depot, Seattle
3 Jun UW to Portland 
6 Jun Moored Portland, OR -Stbd side to and outboard of USS Keyes DD-787
[The boat, along with a number of surface craft, made a good will call to Portland, Oregon at the time of the Portland Rose Festival. The boat was open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.  Visitors entered through the side of the forward trunk and exited through the after torpedo room hatch.   [I believe the number of visitors was in the thousands each day.  The line was over an hour wait.- recollection of Jeff Owens]
10 Jun UW for San Diego
14 Jun Moored S.D.
16 Jun Change of Command - Lcdr John P. Wood relieved Cdr Arthur R. Barke

Shortly before the upcoming deployment, Sabalo was sent to Dabob Bay, Washington for compass calibration, and  TDC (Torpedo Data Computer) testing.  In between operations she tied up at a remote location on the Bangor Sub Base, near Silverdale; later the boat visited Seattle. [recollections of Jeff Owens & Harold Losby]

31 Oct68-May69: WestPac / Viet Nam deployment. 

The ship made four trips into the Combat Zone during this cruise:  1 Feb-20 Feb 69; 14 Mar 69; 25 Mar-26 Mar 69; 9 Apr-17 Apr 69
Ports of call:
Pearl Harbor; Yokosuka, Japan; Buckner Bay, Okinawa;
Subic Bay, Philippines; Manila, Philippines; Hong Kong, B.C.C.; Sasebo, Japan;
Bangkok, Thailand [Map: http://www.seasiatravel.com/tland/tlandmap.htm]
Songklha, Thailand;
Kaohshiung, Taiwan [Map: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/Libs/PCL/Map_collection/middle_east_and_asia/Taiwan.GIF]

10 Oct briefly at Long Beach
11 Oct underway
31 Oct UW for Pearl Harbor
8 Nov Moored Sub Base P.H.
12 Nov UW for Yokosuka, Japan
17 Nov Crossed the international dateline
25 Nov Moored Yokosuka
29 Nov Underway
16 Dec Moored Sasebo, Japan
17 Dec UW for Yokosuka
19 Dec Moored Yokosuka
20 Dec UW
21 Dec Moored Yokosuka
26 Dec UW for Okinawa
31 Dec Anchored Buckner Bay, Okinawa

6-8 Feb 1969  Operations with USS Fletcher DD-445 in the Tonkin Gulf [from Fletcher web site]

~14-21 Mar 1969 - During the deployment of late 68-early 69 Sabalo participated in simulated ASW operations in the Gulf of Siam with two or three ships of a small destroyer escort type belonging to the Thai Navy.  After operations, Sabalo, along with the Thai units, anchored off Songklha, Thailand where the crew was let ashore for an afternoon of liberty.  However, the wind picked up and prevented small boats from bringing many of the men back before dark, so some had an overnight liberty and some spent the night aboard one of the Thai ships.  [recollection of Jeff Owens]
     In anticipation of later making port of call at Bangkok, Thailand, Sabalo's pay records and some mail were transferred to the Thai units for transfer to a Thai Naval air facility somewhere in the southern peninsula of Thailand to be ferry flighted to Bangkok.  The aircraft, a Thai Navy S-2F, subsequently crashed into the Gulf of Siam, and the crew of 3 Thais, and a US Navy Advisor were lost.  Sabalo assisted the Thai Navy units in a two day, systematic search of the flight path, but nothing was reported found.  Sabalo docked in Bangkok on the 21st.  All pay records were lost which caused some confusion and minor hardship for the paymaster and crew.
[News Article & Photos]

14 Apr. 1969 -  A Navy EC-121M aircraft from Squadron VQ-1 was shot down by North Korean aircraft over the Sea of Japan.  Thirty Naval personnel and one Marine were killed.  Sabalo was on station in the Tonkin Gulf at the time and shortly afterward was dispatched with a large battle group of surface craft, and possibly two or three other subs, to the Sea of Japan in waters off the coast of North Korea as a response to this act of aggression.

~May 1969 - Sabalo anchored off Shimoda, Japan for anticipated participation in the annual Black Ship Festival. The festival, first held in 1939, celebrates the 1853 visit to Shimoda by Commodore Matthew Perry and his fleet of black ships. Perry’s visit marked the signing of the Japan-American Treaty of Trade and Amity that opened Japan for trade and brought an end to their period of isolationism. The ceremony  is staged  to honor U.S. servicemen who died during Perry’s visit.
     Ship's officers donned full dress whites and were ashore to participate in a wreath laying ceremony in Shimoda Park to display the friendship and cooperation between the people of the United States and Japan.  [reported by Will Kaefer.]   [However, the plans to participate in a parade and other activities were twarted when a heavy rainstorm developed.  Accompanying highs winds prevented small boat activity for transfer of other personnel, and an all night anchor watch was required due to some slippage and change in position. - recollection of Jeff Owens

During the two deployments of '67-'68 & '68-'69 Sabalo made a number of trips to the combat zone and "Yankee Station" in the Tonkin Gulf, but was not engaged in active hostilities or enemy action. Other than the possibility of being utilized for other missions, Sabalo's main occupation during these periods in the Gulf was providing ASW training exercises for destroyers and other ship types which were receiving a respite from 'gun line' or other active assignments.  However, during at least one trip some special ECM and communications monitoring equipment was temporarily installed in the sonar room, and a specialist from the ELINT group in either Pearl Harbor or San Diego was aboard to perform specific electronics intelligence gathering.
   [ During ASW exercises, the ships would have two or three days of chasing us around (or sometimes we'd chase them) in directed and pre-planned exercises.  These activities usually were engaged between 0600 and 2200.    During the remainder of the night all units were allowed to stand down for rest.  Of course, Sabalo had battery charges and the other necessary evolutions to accomplish after being submerged most of the day. -recollections of Jeff Owens]

~Jul 1969 Change of command from Lcdr J.P. Wood to Lcdr Allan L. Andrade
Aug 1969 Sabalo left San Diego and reported to the Mare Island shipyards in San Francisco for an interim docking period.

Assigned to Flotilla 7 Squadron 5 Division 51
13 Mar UW for Pearl Harbor from San Diego - Ray, Ernest YN3 missed movement.
21 Mar Moored P.H.
29 Mar UW for Sasebo, Japan
3 Apr Crossed the international dateline
10 Apr Moored NavSupFac, Sasebo
15 Apr UW
19 Apr Anchored East coast of Korea at 35 deg 51.1 min N 123 deg 33.0 min E; then underway to Op Area Yang Po Ri
26 Apr Moored Pier 3 B13 Pusan, Korea
29 Apr UW for Buckner Bay, Okinawa
2 May Moored Buckner Bay
5 May UW local
6 May UW for Naha, Okinawa
12 May Moored U.S. Army Supply Depot, Naha
14 May UW for Buckner Bay
19 May Moored Buckner Bay
20 May UW for Yokosuka
26 May Moored USN RepFac, Yokosuka
5 Jun UW for Chinhae, So. Korea
8 Jun Anchored Chinhae
9 Jun UW for Subic Bay
19 Jun Moored Rivera Pier, subic Bay
20 Jun UW for Sangley Point, P.I.
28 Jun Moored Sangley Pt.
30 Jun UW for Kaohsuing, Taiwan
4 Jul Moored Kaohsuing
7 Jul UW for Keelung, Taiwan
9 Jul Moored Keelung
11 Jul UW for Subic Bay
13 Jul Moored Subic
14 Jul Into drydock at Subic
15 Jul Ou of dock; moored Alava 8
19 Jul UW for Sattahib, Thailand
24 Jul Moored Sattahib; then underway for local ops
27 Jul Moored Sattahib
28 Jul UW for Bangkok
30 Jul Moored Bangkok
3 Aug UW for Hong Kong
10 Aug Moored Hong Kong
14 Aug UW for Guam
24 Aug Moored Apra Harbor, Guam
29 Aug UW for Pearl Harbor
7 Sep Moored P.H.
8 Sep UW for San Diego
15 Sep Moored San Diego
[During this WesPac cruise Sabalo is credited with the period of 21 Jul-8 Aug 1970 in the Viet Nam combat zone.[[This doesn't agree with the ship's movements as recorded in the deck logs as abstracted above.]]
      Activities in the war zone included delivering and picking up recon Marines to coastal areas near the border of North Viet Nam.  On a separate occasion Sabalo was chased by a North Korean patrol boat, but evaded any confrontation.  During this cruise the crew had the pleasure of visiting numerous ports for liberty including: Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan; Zamboanga, Subic Bay and Sangley Point, Phillipines; Kaoshiung and Keelung, Taiwan; Seoul and Yang Po Ri, Korea; Guam and Pearl Harbor.[recollections of James Robertson]  

Between and after the deployments of the late 60's and 1970 Sabalo continued to serve in various training activities described above as a unit of the 1st Fleet.  During her last months, including all of the period of Jan-Jun 1971, she remained moored at Ballast Point, San Diego, CA as part of Submarine Flotilla One where she was readied for decommission by removal of critical parts and cannibalization to support the remaining fleet. She was decommissioned on 1 July 1971 in a triple ceremony involving the Sabalo, USS Ronquil (SS396) and USS Catfish (SS339).  Admiral Edward A. Cooke was the principal speaker.  Each of the commanding officers also made brief remarks.  This was the first time that a triple decommissioning ceremony involving submarines was held in the San Diego area. [decommissioning details from 1971 official annual history report.]

On 1 July 1971 Sabalo was struck from the Navy list the same day as her decommissioning,

DISPOSITION Update Sep 2010: As a result of communication with persons knowledgeable about Sabalo's final disposition, new information has come forth with different details than previously reported.
     Sabalo remained moored in San Diego until she was selected for her final mission.  Among other preparation, the boat had all of its deck planking removed, and apparatus was rigged to allow manual opening of the ballast tank vents from atop the pressure hull. 
Sabalo was escorted (or towed) to a position SW of San Diego. Once in position at sea, tanks and ballasting arrangements were done in a strategic manner to cause partial internal flooding.  Navy divers on the topside of the ballast tanks opened the vents, and then left the boat via an inflatable launch, and subsequently Sabalo was intentionally flooded and sunk on 21 February 1973.    The USS Bolster (ARS-38) provided diver transport and recovery, and assisted in the operations. Sabalo was sunk in 3,400 feet of water, enough depth to insure hull implosion would take place, but still allowing later photographic exploration by submersibles once on the bottom. This procedure was part of an experiment to record the sounds of the hull implosion. The sound data from this test was used as part of the investigation into the cause of the sinking of the USS Scorpion SSN-589.

     Personal recollection of LT Robt F. Lynch (recd 17Feb2016): "I visited the ship at one of the 32nd St. docks and went aboard with 1 or 2 inspectors.  The superstructure was completely removed and all that remained outwardly was the ship's sail and hull.  It was eerie looking.  I was told at that time it was going out to sea to be used as a target. 
     Of course I didn't go with it, but I vividly remembered thinking how sad it was to see it in this condition and that I was probably the last crew member to see my old boat.  At that time I was stationed at Ballast Point, as a diving officer at the newly-formed Saturation Diving School."

[The USS Blackfin SS-322 was sunk in much the same manner, as part of the same experiments, shortly after on 13 May 1973.]
[A number of internet sources indicates this was part of a program called "SubSinkEx / Project Thurber".  All of these sources have the same false assumption about the sinking that Sabalo and Blackfin were torpedo targets.  No torpedos were involved in the sinking of either boat. ]

Photo of Sabalo in her final resting place(377Kb) [This is scan of a photocopy, so not the best quality. Submitted by John A. Baker]

[This is an overhead view of the 'turtleback', the aft most part of the superstructure.  Notable details:  the hole ripped in the superstructure by the implosion; the after capstan; the lifeline track; the towing padeye with stern light on top, and the flag staff which looks like it is waiting for the ensign to be raised....]

There is a poetry in ships' names. It can still be heard in the quiet watches of the night..., when mist obscures the waterfront and foghorns call mournfully through the darkness. Out across the bay, blinking lights mark the channel down which Navy ships have sailed for a hundred years, and bells sound a knell for those that never came back. There is no quiet Arlington for ships; their bones rust in unknown lands beneath the sea. The names that entered history in minutes filled with fire and thunder are soon forgotten, except in long hours of the night when the bells call the roll of missing ships.
    --- Fletcher Pratt        
                                                           Who is Fletcher Pratt?

Sabalo's two periods of active duty
19 Jun 1945-7 Aug 1946    415 days
1 Jun 1951-1 Jul 1971      7,337 days

Total active service            7,752 days

During the second commissioned period, Sabalo, according to the record assembled, made 13 extended cruises in the Western Pacific  (WesPac)

Sabalo's Commanding Officers

19 Jun 1945-21 Jun1946        Andrews, James Gold, Lcdr-Cdr
21 Jun 1946-7 Aug 1946        Logan, William C. Jr. LT
  [ship decomissioned 8 Aug 1946 - 1 Jun 1951]
1 Jun 1951-6 Jul 53                Savadkin, Lawrence, Lcdr
6 Jul 1953-19 May 55            Woodward, Nelson C., Lcdr
19 May 55-8 Jun57                Mahoney, George H., Lcdr
8 Jun 57-4 Sep59                    Masek, William Jr., Lcdr
4 Sep59- 24 Jun 1961             Burki, Arde A., Lcdr
24 Jun 1961- 14 Dec 1962     Hunter, H.Reid, Lcdr
14 Dec 62- 2 Jan 1965           Cariker, Jess L., Lcdr
2 Jan 1965 - ~Mar66              Barker, Harold Drake, Lcdr-Cdr
Mar66-15 Jun68                     Barke, Arthur R., Lcdr-Cdr
15 Jun 68-~16 Jun 69             Wood, John P., Cdr
16 Jun 69-~70                        Andrade, Allan L., Lcdr
70-Jun71                                Booriakin, Walter A., Lcdr

[Some dates are approximate.  Anyone having more accurate or missing info please submit.]

Sabalo Code Name

  N   X  Y O
       November               Xray                   Yankee              Oscar
 On another site the code name of Sabalo is indicated as "Clever Boy" with code letters "NXYO".
 [I seem to remember something different, especially a special one for Yankee Station ops.  Anybody remember something else? - Jeff Owens ETN2(SS)]
["Seems you are right. Was it “civil war” or “war rocket”? I may have this mixed up with the USS Carp."  -Don Nelson STS2(SS)]
["It was not clever boy - it was "Lucky Boy."  -Ron VanNest LTjg - EMO][Clever Boy was the regular one, but I think maybe it was 'Lucky something' that we had assigned to us during the WesPac of 67-68 while on Yankee Station. - Jeff Owens]
NXYO was a radio call sign that was permanently assigned to the Sabalo.  It was used when we had to communicate by Morse code.  I don’t think it was used otherwise.  Clever Boy was the permanent voice call identification.   I have never thought about these old IDs until I received the Email (asking about it), and then it was just like yesterday.    I don’t recall using anything different overseas.  -Gordon Fish RM1(SS)]
[I remember always using Clever Boy as our code name during ops either on the UQC or the radio. I don't believe it changed on Yankee Station.  Gorence or Bert C. be able to shed some light on it as well.  Tom Wilhelm QM2(SS)]
[Bert Buckle QM2(SS) - I remember clever boy, Ron Gorence should know.]

The first USS Sabalo (SP-225) Built in 1916 by George Lawley & Sons, Neponset, MA; Acquired by the Navy in May 1917; Commissioned USS Sabalo (SP 225), 20 July 1917; Decommissioned 3 March 1919 and returned to her owner, W. Earl Dodge of New York, NY; Sold in 1921 to Van Lear Black of Baltimore, MD; Sold in 1931 to the Albert Pack Corp. of Chicago, IL and renamed Breezin' Thru; Sold in 1937 to Leila Y. Post Montgomery of Battle Creek, MI; Sold in 1940 to Bearl Sprott Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy 11 September 1940 and commissioned HMCS Cougar (Z 15). Placed on anti-submarine patrol out of Esquimalt, British Columbia. Transferred in May 1942 to Prince Rupert Force. Returned to Esquimalt in June 1944, to serve as examination vessel. Decommissioned 23 November 1945 and returned to her owner, Bearl Sprott Ltd., in 1946 and renamed Breezin' Thru; Sunk during a hurricane at Kingston, Jamaica in September 1950

(Weight - 204 tons; Length - 141'; Beam - 19'6"; Draft - 7'; Speed - 14 kts.; Complement - 12;  Armament 2 3-pounders.)
[Info from Dict. of Amer. Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. VI, p. 214.]

SP-225 was constructed as a private vessel originally, but was fitted with armament and with some type of early listening gear for detecting submarines.
Photos of the first Sabalo as she appeared before being used for Naval duty and later periods are found here:
and here: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-civil/civsh-s/sabalo.htm
[Notations on one of the photographs seem to indicate the fee paid to the owner for its use was $25,230.30 based on an agreement dated 9 Apr 1917.]
[ It is reported that she was assigned duty "listening" on station near Ambrose Lightship which was off the coast of New Jersey. - from: http://www.multied.com/Navy/yacht/Aramis.html]
[and on another site giving infomation about a member of her crew it stated, "scout patrol duty". see: http://www.rootsweb.com/~njhudson/JC/wwia-c.htm]

The first USS Sabalo participates in a rescue at sea.
The Revenue Cutter, Mohawk, was built in 1902 in Richmond, Virginia. She was commissioned on May 10, 1904, and was owned by the Treasury Department. The Mohawk was 205 feet, six inches long, 32 feet wide, powered by steam and displaced 980 tons. On April 6, 1917, she was temporarily transferred to the Navy. The Mohawk served coastal duty for convoy operations.

On October 1, 1917, this single screw cutter was sunk due to a collision with the British tanker, SS Vennachar. According to the Navy's report of the incident,  " The British vessel struck the Mohawk nearly at right angles, her stem cutting into the side amidships, abreast the engine room, between the launch davits, smashing the surf boat and cutting into the ship's side to such an extent that the use of a collision mat was out of the question.... Pumps were started at once, the general alarm sounded and all hands called to take stations for abandoning ship". The ship filled rapidly and began settling by the stern. She took one hour to go down which left plenty of time for all 77 crew members to be rescued by the USS Mohigan and USS SABALO. The USS Bridge arrived on the scene and attached a cable to the Mohawk's bow bit. She then attempted to tow the Mohawk into shallow water. Before rescuers were able to generate any forward movement, it was noticed that the Mohawk had begun to sink rapidly and list heavily to port. The commanding officer of the Bridge was forced to cut the tow line and throw both engines into full speed ahead to get clear. " With her bow high in the air, the Mohawk settled slowly emitting quantities of smoke".

[[Note the ironic similarities between this and the futile attempt by submarine Sabalo and others to save the submarine Stickleback.]]

Motor Yacht Sabalo - Photo
20 August 1930 - Photo Caption -"Baltimore Publisher and Yacht From Which He Was Lost. -- The yacht Sabalo, from which Van Lear Black was lost Monday night. A close-up of the publisher, financier, and aviation enthusiast, who is believed to have fallen from the yacht and drowned, is shown in the inset." [A small map was also included with the original article which indicates that Mr. Black's disappearance occurred about ten miles off of Asbury Park, New Jersey.]
[This newspaper article is originally from The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and can be found in the "Suburbs" collection of the Urban Archives at the Paley Library of Temple University, 13th & Berks Mall, Phila., PA 19122] [see above for her war duty as SP-225.]


Venezuelan diesel submarine Sabalo 
Class: Sabalo - SSK - consisting of 2 active, coastal submarines

German type U-209-A/ 1300 built for Venezuela by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel.
Displacement: 1,390 tons submerged, 1,285 surfaced
Dimensions: 59.5 x 6.2 x 5.5 meters (195 x 20 x 18 feet)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, 4 diesels, 1 shaft
Speed (kts): 22 knots submerged; 10.9 knots surfaced (surface speed variously reported as 10.9 - 12 knots)
Diving depth: 800 ft.
Crew: 33
Sonar: SNT Atlas Electronik CSU-3-32 intercept; Thomson-Sintra DUUX 2 passive
Thomson CFS Calypso; Thomson CFS DR-2000
Armament: 8 - 21 inch torpedo tubes (14 - Mk 37 or SST-4 torpedos)
Hull Number Ship Name Date Launched
S-31 Sabalo 6 Aug 1976  (refitted mid 1990's.)
S-32 Caribe 11 Mar 1977   "           "       "
Source: http://home.comcast.net/~kimurho/list_s-y.htm#VENEZUELA
A couple photos of the Sabalo S-31 photos - not very high quality, but small, fair images. |Alongside|   |Underway|  originally from: http://www.fav-club.com/images/subs31.jpg & http://www.fav-club.com/images/armada03.JPG

This web page authored by Jeff Owens.  Please report any errors, comments or suggestions to him. owensjatepix.net
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