The U.S. SUBMARINE WAR
  in the PACIFIC  1941 - 1945


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ARGONAUT and NARWHAL CLASS SUBMARINES
WWII U.S. Submarine Warfare - Pacific Theater 1941 to 1945
World War II specifications and design details for the
Argonaut, Narwhal, Cachalot and Dolphin Class submarines



 

Argonaut and Narwhal class submarines

 

Commonly referred to as "V boats", the Argonaut and Narwhal classes were specifically developed to resolve the need for a reliable fleet boat. Unfortunately, bigger is not always better. These submarines were extremely large by standards of the day (about three times the size of an S boat), slow on the surface, slow on the dive and difficult to maneuver. Poorly designed diesel engines were unable to deliver the horsepower which would allow these large vessels to maintain an adequate speed which the Navy required of a fleet boat, and were replaced in 1940.

The USS Argonaut, the lone member and the namesake of its class was the direct descendant of the Barracuda Class, developed principally to serve in the Pacific as a long range mine layer. The Narwhal and Nautilus were submarine cruisers, large enough to accommodate two 6" guns and capable of higher surface speeds then the older S - Class. They were derived from the Argonaut's mine laying design. In practice, the greater size needed to accommodate the second deck gun made these submarines easier to detect and did not make up for poor handling characteristics.  

Although never actually used during the war in the capacity for which they were designed, these subs were employed primarily to deliver supplies to guerillas, and to transport commandos and coast watchers. Between the Narwhal and Nautilus, they managed to sink eleven Japanese ships (34,978 tons) including the destroyer Yamakaze.

 

ARGONAUT CLASS

Displacement 3,128 surfaced, 4,164 submerged
Length 381'
Beam 33' 6"
Draft 15' 9"
Max dive depth 328'
Speed: (in knots) 15 surfaced, 8 submerged
Guns 2 - 6" 50 cal, (1 fwd, 1 aft)
Tubes 4 - 21" fwd, 2 aft for mine laying 
Crew 80
Power 2 Diesel engines/2 electric motors

 

 


 

NARWHAL CLASS

Displacement 3,128 surfaced, 4,023 submerged
Length 371'
Beam 33' 3"
Draft 15' 9"
Max dive depth 328'
Speed: (in knots) 17 surfaced, 8.5 submerged
Guns 2 - 6" 50 cal, 4 - 20mm
Tubes 4 - 21" fwd, 2 aft, 4 topside 
Crew 88
Power 2 Diesel engines/2 electric motors
Range  18,000 miles surfaced

 

 

U.S.S ARGONAUT S.S.-166

PATROL SKIPPER DATE DURATION LOCATION CLAIMED CONFIRMED TONNAGE FLEET  
1 Barchet Dec 41 59 days Midway 0 0 0 SubPac  
2 Pierce Aug 42 18 days Makin* 0 0 0 '  
3    " Nov 42 0 To Brisbane 0 0 0 '  
                   
*Makin Raid in support of 2nd Marine Raider Battalion (Carlson's Raiders)
                   

 

U.S.S NARWHAL S.S.-167 (Built Portsmouth Navy Yard - Commissioned May 15th 1930)

PATROL

CO

DATE DURATION

LOCATION

CLAIMED CONFIRMED* TONNAGE*

BASE

1 Wilkins Feb 42 54 days E China Sea 2 1 1244 Pearl Harbor
2 " May 42 15 days to Midway 0 0 0 "
3 " July 42 49 days Empire of Japan 4 3 7000 "
4 Latta Apr 43 38 days Recon (Attu) 0 0 0 "
5 " June 43 42 days Special Mission 1 - - - "
6 " Aug 48 31 days to Fremantle 0 0 0 "
7 " Oct 43 31 days Special Mission 2 - - - Fremantle
8 " Nov 43 23 days Special Mission ? 1 1 834 "
9 " Jan 44 29 days Special Mission ? - - - "
10 " Feb 44 33 days Special Mission 3 1 1 560 "
11 Titus May 44 11 days Special Mission 4 - - - "
12 " June 44 27 days Special Mission 5 - - - "
13 " Aug 44 27 days Special Mission 6 - - - "
14 " Sept 44 22 days Special Mission 7 - - - "
15 Holman Oct 44 22 days Special Mission 8 - - - "

 

   

  SPECIAL MISSIONS - NOTES 

1  Bombardment of Matsuwa

2 Supply run Mindinoro      
3  Supply Run Panay 4  Landing Party Samar

5  Bombardment of Bula

6 Landing Part Luzon

7  Landing Party Mindanoro 8 Landing Party Negros

 

 

   

 

U.S.S Nautilus S.S.-168 (Built Mare Island Navy Yard - Commissioned May 15th 1930)

PATROL

CO

DATE DURATION

LOCATION

CLAIMED CONFIRMED* TONNAGE*

BASE

- Brockman June 42 15 days Midway 1 .5 15000 Pearl Harbor
1 " June 42 48 days Empire of Japan 3 1 1600 "
2 " Aug 42 18 days Special Mission 1 - -   "
3 " Sept 42 56 days Empire of Japan 2 3 12000 "
4 " Dec 42 55 days to Brisnbane 1 1 1500 "
- " Mar 43 21 days to Pearl Harbor 0 0 0 "
5 " April 43 36 days Special Mission 2 - - - Brisbane
6 Irvin Sept 43 31 days Gilberts 0 0 0 Pearl Harbor
7 " Nov 43 27 days Gilberts 0 0 0 "
8 " Jan 44 57 days Marianas 1 1 6100 "
9 Sharp May 44 13 days Special Mission 3 - - - Fremantle
10 " June 44 10 days Special Mission 4 - - - "
11 " July 44 27 days Special Mission 5 - - - "
12 " Sept 44 19 days Special Mission 6 - - - "
13 " Oct 44 41 days Special Mission 7 - - - "
15 Michael Jan 45 28 days Special Mission 8 - - - "

 

   

  SPECIAL MISSIONS - NOTES 

1  Makin Raid

2  Attu Raid
3  Mindanao 4   Philippines

5  Pandan Isle

6  Panay

7  Luzon 8  Mindanao

 

 

   

 

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CACHALOT and DOLPHIN CLASS SUBMARINES
WWII U.S. Submarine Warfare - Pacific Theater 1941 to 1945
World War II specifications, design details and boat lists for the
U.S. Navy Cachalot and Dolphin Class submarines


 

DOLPHIN CLASS SUBMARINES

 

U.S.S Dolphin S.S.-169 (Built Portsmouth Navy Yard - Commissioned June 1st 1942)

PATROL SKIPPER DATE DURATION

LOCATION

CLAIMED CONFIRMED* TONNAGE*

BASE

1 Rainer Dec 41 42 days Marshall Islands 0 0 0 Pearl Harbor
2 Rutter May 42 15 days Midway 0 0 0 "
3 " June 42 68 days Empire of Japan 0 0 0 "
4 " Oct 42 51 days Alaska 0 0 0 Aleutians

 

 

CACHALOT CLASS SUBMARINES

 

U.S.S Cachalot S.S.-170 (Built Portsmouth Navy Yard - Commissioned December 1st 1933)

PATROL SKIPPER DATE DURATION

LOCATION

CLAIMED CONFIRMED* TONNAGE*

BASE

1 Christensen Jan 42 66 days Caroline Islands 0 0 0 Pearl Harbor
2 Lewis May 42 15 days Midway 0 0 0 "
3 " June 42 47 days Empire of Japan 0 0 0 "
4 Stevenson Sept 42 46 days Alaska 0 0 0 "

 

U.S.S Cuttlefish S.S.-171 (Built Electric Boat Company - Commissioned June 8th 1934)

PATROL SKIPPER DATE DURATION

LOCATION

CLAIMED CONFIRMED* TONNAGE*

BASE

1 Hottel              
2 "              
3 Marshall              
4 ? ? ?          

 

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  RESOURCE NOTES:
Product photo
United States Submarine Operations in World War II
By Theodore Roscoe
United States Naval Institute
George Banta Company Inc Copyright 1949
Product photo Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan
By Clay Blair
J.B. Lippincott Company
Copyright 1975
Product photo Subs Against the Rising Sun:
U.S. Submarines in the Pacific

By Keith H. Milton
Yucca Free Press
Copyright 2000
Book Cover U. S. Submarines in World War II:
An Illustrated History of the Pacific

By Larry Kimmett & Margaret Regis
Navigator Publishing
Copyright 191996
 
   

 


 
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