Thursday, August 27, 2015

USS Runner (SS 476)

"Submarine Honor Guard"

USS Runner (SS 476)

On July 10, 1944, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard laid the keel to the Tench-class submarine USS Runner (SS 476).  Three months later the submarine was launched and on February 6, 1945, she was commissioned into the United States Navy. 

USS Runner (SS 476), March 1945.  United States Navy photograph.

Runner joined the Pacific Fleet on May 21, 1945.  Her first war patrol’s primary mission was to scout for defensive minefields that guarded the Japanese home islands.  When Runner arrived on station at Honshū, Japan, for her second war patrol peace had come. The submarine, Runner, was given the order to participate in the formal surrender ceremony of the Empire of Japan.

After World War II, Runner served out of various ports. 
·         Balboa, Panama: 1946 to 1949
·         Norfolk, Virginia: 1949 to 1957
·         San Juan, Puerto Rico: 1958 to 1959
·         Norfolk, Virginia: 1959 to 1963
In 1957, the submarine participated in North Atlantic NATO exercises visiting ports in France and England.  While Runner served in Puerto Rico, she served as a Regulus missile guidance submarine.

USS Runner (SS 476) docked at Great Lakes Naval Training Station.  Photograph courtesy of Joe Radigan.

Later in life, Runner served as an educational tool. The summer of 1964, Runner arrived in Great Lakes to serve as a training vessel for the Naval Reservists.  In 1967, she served for educational services for future submariners.  Runner provided services for Underwater Demolition Team school at Little Creek, Virginia, in 1968. Runner did complete one last Mediterranean Sea deployment in April through July of 1968. During the deployment the submarine visited European ports and participating in NATO exercises.

USS Runner (SS 476) in Genoa, Italy, June 29, 1968.  Photograph courtesy of Carlo Martinelli.

January 25, 1969, Runner was decommissioned from the United States Navy.  She was still useful to the Navy as a Naval Reserve Training vessel as an auxiliary submarine (AGSS 476).  Runner was finally stricken from the Naval Register on December 15, 1971. The submarine was sold for scrap on June 19, 1973, to Diamond Scrapyards in Waukegan, Illinois for $108,000.00. 

USS Runner (SS 476) towed to Great Lakes Naval Station, August 12, 1969. Photograph courtesy of Ron Reeves. 

Runner served continuously for the United States Navy for twenty-three years, eleven months, and nineteen days.  After being decommissioned she served for almost two more years.  During her service she did earn one battle star for her World War II service.

Author: Allison Hiblong

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