Tuesday, September 01, 2015

USS Tigrone (SS 419)

"Submarine Honor Guard"

USS Tigrone (SS 419)

USS Tigrone (SS 419) was a Tench-class submarine built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  She was commissioned into the United States navy on October 25, 1944.  The submarine arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on February 16, 1945, ready to serve in the Pacific Fleet.

USS Tigrone (SS 419) launched on July 20, 1944.  United States Navy photograph.

During World War II, the submarine served three war patrols.  She patrolled the South China Sea, Hainan coast, Batan Island, and off of Honshū, Japan.  May 19 to July 3, 1945, Tigrone’s second war patrol, the submarine served lifeguard duty where she rescued a total of 30 aviators.  The final war patrol, she again served lifeguard duty off of Japan’s mainland.  August 15, 1945, orders were received to “Cease Fire.”  August 31, 1945, Tigrone moored in Tokyo Bay to be present during the formal surrender of the Empire of Japan.

October of 1945, after the war ended, Tigrone visited Washington, D.C. for Navy Day.  In December, she was prepared for inactivation.  The submarine was decommissioned on March 30, 1946.  The Navy chose to reclassify Tigrone as a radar picket submarine (SSR 419).  She was then recommissioned on November 1, 1948. 

USS Tigrone (SSR 419) as a Radar Picket Submarine, 1951.  United States Navy photograph.

From 1949 to 1957, Tigrone evaluated new radar equipment and techniques for long range air defense in the Arctic, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean.  Again, the submarine was decommissioned from service on August 1, 1957.

Tigrone was redesignated back to SS 419 and recommissioned on March 10, 1962.  After refresher training, the submarine operated in the Mediterranean Sea.  She then served for the Submarine School in the United States.

Again the submarine went through a new designation as an auxiliary submarine (AGSS 419) in December of 1963.  The next year, Tigrone was fitted with an experimental sonar unit and operated with the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory and the Submarine School. 

USS Tigrone (SS 419) underway March 15, 1967.  Photograph courtesy of Carlos Manuel Estrela.

In 1965, Tigrone went through a major overhaul and modification by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.  The submarine’s torpedo tubes were removed, the two forward compartments were sound isolated, and a new experimental sonar system was installed.  The Underwater Sound Laboratory used the submarine for research and development. Tigrone and British submarine HMS Grampus worked together for a joint American-British oceanographic operation in 1972. Tigrone continued in research activities until she was decommissioned on June 27, 1975.   In October of 1976, the submarine was sunk as a target.

Postal Cover to commemorate the joint United States and British sonar operations, April 26, 1972.

When the submarine was decommissioned, she was the oldest submarine still in commission by the United States Navy.  Tigrone actively served the Navy for twenty three years, eight months, and twenty two days.  In 1975, she was the last unit of the submarine force that had taken part in combat action in World War II, where she earned two battle stars. 

Author: Allison Hiblong

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home