April Lost Boats

USS Pickerel (SS-177)

Lost on April 3, 1943 with the loss of 74 officers and men, while on her 7th war patrol. She was lost off Honshu. The exact cause of her loss has never been determined, but her OP area contained numerous minefields.

Class: SS 172
Commissioned: 1/26/1937
Launched: 7/7/1936
Builder: Electric Boat Co (General Dynamics)
Length: 301 Beam: 25
#Officers: 5 #Enlisted: 45
Fate: Pickerel departed Pearl Harbor, HI., and after topping off with fuel at Midway, Island on 22 March, and headed for the Eastern Coast of Northern Honshu and was never heard from again.

USS Snook (SS-279)

Lost on April 8,1945 with the loss of 84 officers and men. Snook ranks 10th in total Japanese tonnage sunk and is tied for 9th in the number of ships sunk. She was lost near Hainan Island, possibly sunk by a Japanese submarine.

Class: SS 212
Commissioned: 10/24/1942
Launched: 8/15/1942
Builder: Portsmouth Navy Yard
Length: 307 Beam: 27
#Officers: 6 #Enlisted: 54
Fate: Snook was lost from unknown causes while conducting her 9th war patrol, in the South China Sea and Luzon Strait. 84 men lost.

USS Thresher (SSN-593)

Lost on April 10, 1963 with the loss of 112 crew members and 17 civilian technicians during deep-diving exercises. 15 minutes after reaching test depth, she communicated with USS Skylark that she was having problems. Skylark heard noises “like air rushing into an air tank” – then, silence. Rescue ship Recovery (ASR-43) subsequently recovered bits of debris, including gloves and bits of internal insulation. Photographs taken by Trieste proved that the submarine had broken up, taking all hands on board to their deaths in 1,400 fathoms of water, some 220 miles east of Boston.

Class: SSN 593
Commissioned: 8/31/1961
Launched: 7/9/1960
Builder: Portsmouth Navy Yard
Length: 279 Beam: 32
#Officers: 16 #Enlisted: 96
Fate: Thresher was lost while conducting sea trials off the New England coast. Probably due to a catastrophic flooding casualty. 129 men lost.

USS Gudgeon (SS-211)

USS Gudgeon (SS-211) was probably lost on April 18, 1944 with the loss of 79 men SE of Iwo Jima, but may have been sunk on May 12, 1944 in another attack on an unidentified submarine and heard by several other submarines in the area. Winner of 5 Presidential Unit Citations, Gudgeon was on her 12th war patrol and most likely due to a combined air and surface antisubmarine attack. Gudgeon was the first US submarine to go on patrol from Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack. On her first patrol, she became the first US submarine to sink an enemy warship, picking off the submarine I-173.

Class: SS 198
Commissioned: 4/21/1941
Launched: 1/25/1941
Builder: Mare Island Navy Yard
Length: 307 Beam: 27
#Officers: 6 #Enlisted: 54
Fate: Gudgeon was officially overdue and presumed lost on 7 June 1944. Captured Japanese records shed no light on the manner of her loss, and it must remain one of the mysteries of the silent sea. 79 men lost.

USS Grenadier (SS-210)

Lost on April 22,1943 near Penang, with no immediate loss of life. She was on her 6th war patrol. While stalking a convoy, she was spotted by a plane and dove. While passing 130 feet, Grenadier was bombed, causing severe damage. She was lodged on the bottom 270 feet and the crew spent hours fighting fires and flooding. When she surfaced, she had no propulsion and was attacked by another plane. While she shot down the plane. When enemy ships arrived, the CO abandoned ship and scuttled the boat. Of the 76 crew members taken prisoner, 72 survived the war.

Class: SS 198
Commissioned: 5/1/1941
Launched: 11/29/1940
Builder: Portsmouth Navy Yard
Length: 307 Beam: 27
#Officers: 6 #Enlisted: 54
Fate: Grenadier was scuttled after being heavily damaged by a Japanese aircraft off Malay Peninsula. Her crew was taken prisoner by the Japanese. 4 died in captivity.

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