Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Just a little history bout one a my duty stations... The USS PIPER SS409....


USS Piper (SS409)

-Keel laid by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery Maine, 15 March 1944,

-launched 26 June 1944,

-commissioned 23 August 1944,

-decommissioned 16 June 1967

-Balao ClassLength: 311' 8"

-Extreme Beam: 27'

-3"Mean Draft: 15' 3"

-Displacement: 1,526 tons (surface), 2,401 tons (submerged)

-Design Speed: 20.25 knots (surface), 8.75 knots (submerged)

-Design Depth: 400 feet


-21 inch torpedo tubes; 6 fwd, 4 aft;

-24 torpedoes,

-one 5"/25 deck gun,

-one 40 mm,

-one 20 mm,

-two 50 cal machine guns


-Twin screw, diesel electric drive

-Engines: 4 Fairbanks Morse - 5,400 shaft horsepower

-Main Motors: 4 Elliot Motor Co. - 2,740 shaft horsepower

-Batteries: Gould Storage Battery Co. - 252 cells

-Fuel: 118,300 gallons

-Submerged Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots

-Patrol Endurance: 11,000 nautical miles, surfaced at 10 knots

-Design Complement: 6 officers, 60 enlisted men.

-Guppy: Snorkel conversion in 1951

Although built late in World War II, Piper completed 3 successful war patrols in the Pacific, winning four battle stars before the end of hostilities.

She was responsible for sinking more than 6,000 tons of Japanese shipping.After the war, Piper operated out of the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton Connecticut until her decommissioning in 1967.

They're all gone now...but here's a poem I found that sums up a Submariners feelin's bout those old "Boats".

THE GUPPIES by Bob Harrison, Greenfield Indiana, 9/4/2000

Long before the advent of the hippie and the yuppie

There was a class of warship that was fondly called the Guppy.

Now the Guppy was a submarine, in case you didn't know

Long and black and sleek she was, and always on the go.

In World War Two, the submarines were our first line of attack

Many of them went out to sea and some did not come back.

Now the submariners knew this but still they went to war

To defend their nation's freedom was what they were fighting for.

After World War Two had ended, when the Japs and Germans quit

Someone thought the old subs should be streamlined just a bit.

So they re-designed the old boats and named them Guppy Class

With snorkels, better batteries and a hull to make 'em fast.

They went to sea both north and south from east to setting sun

They never knew when night was o'er and daytime had begun.

Theirs was a life of silence and the darkness of the deep

Sometimes their only pleasure were a few hours of blessed sleep.

They ploughed the seas from Pole to Pole in defense of freedom's goals

From Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka to the faroff iceland shoals.

To spy on Soviet submarines and other ships of war

Was the job of these brave lads who roamed the ocean floor.

They ran patrols from Greenland to the shores of Timbuktu.

The GIUK GAP and MED RUN were just nothing for a crew

Of Guppy sailors who thought the NORTHERN RUN okay.

Then take shore leave in Norfolk for another night of play.

How many Guppies were there? Far more than I could name

And each has earned an honored place in the Guppy Hall of Fame.

They fought the war with Soviets in secrecy and guile

Until the foe gave up the fight, which made it all worth while.

Now they're gone, as all ships go when their tour of duty's o'er

Brave Guppy stalwart warriors, they roam the seas no more.

They've gone to graves far out at sea and this should be their lot

Gone from the sight of those they served but not to be forgot.

.......I was only on her fer bout 8-9 months before I headed off to Submarine Nuclear Power School and later...The Navy Seabee's...but ya couldn't help but fallin in love with this Gray Iron Lady......Cookie......