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SS-174 P-3 Shark

USS Shark was lead ship of a class of two 1316-ton submarines, and the Navy's first submarine to feature all-welded construction. This class bore the pennant numbers P-3 and P-4. Some accounts hold these two boats as part of the Porpoise class, but this cannot be so, since they differ in almost all particulars.

Built at Groton, Connecticut, Shark was commissioned in January 1936 and performed her initial service in the North Atlantic and Caribbean areas. During the first part of 1937 Shark transferred to the Pacific, with her new base located at San Diego, California. After nearly two years there, during which she participated in exercises and training, in December 1938 the submarine was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and two years later went on to Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Soon after war began with Japan in December 1941 Shark patrolled briefly to the south of Luzon, then returned to Manila where in late December she embarked Asiatic Fleet commander Admiral Thomas C. Hart and transported him to Surabaya, Java. She began her second war patrol in early January, assigned to take part in the defense of the Dutch East Indies. On 2 February 1942 Shark made a fruitless torpedo attack and escaped a depth charging, and on 5 February made another radio report. Nothing more was heard from her and she was ultimately given up as lost, with her entire crew of nearly sixty officers and men. Postwar Japanese records provided no solid information on her fate, though it is possible that she was sunk by depth charges off Menado, Celebes, on 11 February.

Tarpon (SS-175) sunk off Cape Hatteras in August 1957 while being towed to the scrapper -- she is a commonly visited dive site.

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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:41:46 ZULU