Lost Submarines




This is a list of the 65 US Submarines which have been lost over the years.  Some resulted in the loss of life, some did not.  This list is in the order of their loss.












USS F-4 (SS-23)

Lost on March 25, 1915 with the lost of 21 men. She foundered 1.5 miles off of Honolulu when acid corrosion of the lead lining of the battery tank let seawater into the battery compartment, causing loss of control. She was raised in August 1915.  

USS F-1 (SS-20)

Lost on December 17, 1917 with the loss of 19 officers and men when
it was sunk after collision with the USS F-3 (Pickerel) (SS-22) off San Clemente, CA.

USS H-1 (SS-28)

Lost on March 12, 1920 with the loss of 4 men as they tried to swim to shore after grounding on a shoal off Santa Margarita Island, off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Vestal (AR-4), pulled H-1 off the rocks in the morning of 24 March, only to have her sink 45 minutes later in some 50 feet of water. She was originally named the USS Seawolf before becoming H-1.

USS S-5 (SS-110)

Lost on September 1, 1920 when a practice dive went wrong and she sank bow-first, with her stern showing above the water. In a dramatic adventure, her exhausted crew was rescued during the next few days. 
Salvage attempts were unsuccessful, S-5 settled to the bottom and was abandoned.


USS O-5 (SS-66)

Lost on October 29, 1923 with the loss of 3 men when rammed and sunk by SS Abangarez off the Panama Canal.

USS S-51 (SS-162)

Lost on Sept 25, 1925 with the loss of 33 men when it was sunk after collision with SS City of Rome off Block Island.

USS S-4 (SS-109)

Lost on December 17, 1927 with the loss of 40 officers and men when it was sunk after being rammed by USCG Paulding. Salvaged in 1928 and recommissioned.

USS Squalus (SS-192)

23 May 1939, USS Squalus suffered a catastrophic valve failure during a test dive off the Isle of Shoals. Partially flooded, the submarine sank to the bottom and came to rest keel down in 240 feet of water. Commander Charles Momsen and Navy divers on the USS Falcon (ASR-2) rescued 33 survivors use the diving bell he invented. 26 men drowned in the after compartments. Later Squalus was raised and recommissioned as the USS Sailfish. In an ironic turn of fate, Sailfish sank Chuyo, one of two Japanese aircraft carriers carrying surviving crew members from Sculpin, which had located Squalus in 1939. Only one of the 21 men on Chuyo survived, and he, along with the 20 Sculpin survivors from the other carrier, spent the rest of the war as slave laborers in Japan.

USS O-9 (SS-70)

Lost on Jun 20, 1941 with the loss of 33 men when it foundered off Isle of Shoals, 15 miles from Portsmouth, NH.

USS Sealion (SS-195)


Lost on Dec 10, 1941 with the loss of 4 men. One man later died as a POW. To prevent her from falling into enemy hands, she was scuttled in Manila Bay after incurring severe bomb damage during the initial Japanese attack.

USS S-36 (SS-141)

Lost on Jan 20, 1942 with no loss of life, on her 2nd war patrol. She ran hard aground on a reef and radioed for help. The entire crew was rescued by a Dutch ship after they scuttled her.

USS S-26 (SS-131)

Lost on Jan 24,1942 with the loss of 46 officers and men in the Gulf of Panama, on her 2nd war patrol. She was rammed by the USS PC-460 and sunk within seconds. The CO, XO and one lookout on the bridge, were the only survivors.

USS Shark (SS-174)

Lost on Feb 11,1942 with the loss of 59 officers and men on her 1st war patrol. Shark was the 1st US submarine sunk by enemy surface craft in the Pacific. She was most likely sunk by depth charges.

USS Perch (SS-176)

Lost on March 3,1942 near Java with no immediate loss of life, while on her 1st war patrol. She survived 2 severe depth chargings in less than 200 feet of water by 3 Japanese destroyers. The crew abandoned ship and scuttled her. Of the 59 officers and men taken prisoner, 53 survived the war and six died as POWs.

USS S-27 (SS-132)

Lost on June 19, 1942 when it grounded off Amchitka Island. She was on the surface in poor visibility,charging batteries and drifted into the shoals. When she could not be freed and started listing, the captain got the entire crew to shore (400 yards away) in relays using a 3-man rubber raft. The entire crew was subsequently rescued.

USS Grunion (SS-216)

Lost on July 30,1942 with the loss of 70 crew members while on her first war patrol near Kiska Harbor. She radioed that she sank two subchasers and damaged a third, but was never heard from again. Grunion’s mangled remains were found in the Bering Sea in 2006 off the Aleutian Island of Kiska.

USS S-39 (SS-144)

Lost on August 14,1942 after grounding on a reef south while on her3rd war patrol. The entire crew was able to get off and rescued by the HMAS Katoomba

USS Argonaut (SS-166)

Lost on Jan 10, 1943 with the loss of 102 officers and men off Rabaul, on her 3rd war patrol. While attacking a convoy, she torpedoed a Jap destroyer who along with 2 other destroyers depth charged her. As she tried to surface, the destroyers sunk her by gun fire.

USS Amberjack (SS-219)

Lost on Feb 16,1943 with the loss of 72 officers and men on her 3rd war patrol. Off Rabaul, she was attacked by a Japanese patrol plane, attacked by a torpedo boat and then depth charged by a subchaser.

USS Grampus (SS-207)

Lost on March 5,1943 with the loss of 71 officers and men, on her 6th war patrol. She was lost in Vella Gulf, sunk after engaging 2 Japanese Destroyers.

USS Triton (SS-201)

Lost on March 15,1943 with the loss of 74 men. She was sunk north of the Admiralty Islands during a fight with 3 Japanese Destroyers. Triton was the 1st boat to engage the enemy in December 1941 off Wake Island, sinking 9 ships, 1 submarine and a destroyer.

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 mine fields.

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, the plane dropped a bomb 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.

USS R-12 (SS-89)

Lost on June 12, 1943 with the loss of 42 men near Key West, FL
during a practice torpedo approach. The cause was probably due to
flooding through a torpedo tube. The CO and 2 other men on the
bridge survived, as did 18 crew members on liberty at the time of the
accident

USS Runner (SS-275)

Lost between June 26 and July 4th with the loss of 78 men. Runner was on her 3rd war patrol probably due to a mine. Prior to her loss, she reported sinking a freighter and a passenger-cargoman off the Kuriles. This boat's last known ship sunk happened on June 26th, so she probably hit that mine on or after that date but before July 4th, when she was scheduled back at Midway.

USS Pompano (SS-181)

Pompano was sunk (between Sept 17 and Oct 5) with the loss of 77 men while on her 7th war patrol. Possibly lost on Sept 17, 1943.  Japanese records show that a submarine was sunk in her patrol area on 17 September by air & depth charge attack off the Aomori Prefecture near Shiriya Zaki. Before being lost, she sank two enemy cargo ships. The exact cause of her loss remains unknown, but she probably was sunk by the air/sea attack above or fell victim to a mine on or after 9/25/1943. This boat's last recorded ship (Taiko Maru) sunk happened on Sept 25th, so she probably hit a mine on or after that date but before Oct 5th, when she was scheduled back at Midway.

USS Grayling (SS-209)

Lost on Sept 9, 1943 with the loss of 76 men near the Tablas Strait.
Grayling was on her 8th war patrol and sank two ships before being lost.

USS Cisco (SS-290)

Lost on Sept 28, 1943 on her first war patrol with the loss of 76 men in the Sulu Sea west of Mindinao.

USS S-44 (SS-155)

Lost on Oct 7, 1943 with the loss of 56 men when it was sunk off Paramushiru, Kuriles. S-44 was on her 5th war patrol after attacking a target thought to be a merchant on the surface, S-44 found herself in a losing gun battle with a heavily armed Japanese destroyer. Two men were taken prisoner and survived the war.
 
USS Wahoo (SS-238)


Lost on Oct 11, 1943 with the loss of 80 men near La Perouse Strait. Under command of one of the great sub skippers of World War II, CDR "Mush" Morton, Wahoo was on her 7th war patrol. Wahoo had won a Presidential Unit Citation and ranks 5th in the number of enemy ships sunk. She was lost to depth charges dropped by a Japanese patrol aircraft.
 
USS Dorado (SS-248)

Lost on Oct 12, 1943 with the loss of 77 men when she was sunk in the western Atlantic near Cuba. Newly commissioned, she had departed New London and was enroute to Panama. She may have been sunk by a U.S. patrol plane that received faulty instructions regarding bombing restriction areas or a German U-boat that was in the vicinity.
 
USS Corvina (SS-226)

Lost on Nov 16, 1943 with the loss of 82 men when she was sunk just south of Truk. Corvina was on her 1st war patrol and appears she was lost to the torpedoes of a Japanese submarine.
 
USS Sculpin (SS-191)

Lost on Nov 19, 1943 with the loss of 63 men near Truk. Severely damaged by depth charges after attacking an enemy convoy, Sculpin continued to fight on the surface. When the captain was killed, the crew abandoned ship and scuttled Sculpin. 41 men were taken prisoner; only 21 survived the war. Among those not abandoning ship was CAPT Cromwell,aboard as a potential wolfpack commander, he rode the Sculpin down, fearing that vital information in his possession might be compromised under torture. For this, CAPT Cromwell was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

USS Capelin (SS-289)

Lost on Dec 2, 1943 with the loss of 76 men. She was on her 1st war patrol, but her exact location and cause of loss remain a mystery. She may have been lost to mines or an operational casualty.

USS Scorpion (SS-278)

Lost on Jan 5,1944 with the loss of 77 officers and men in the East China Sea, on her 4th war patrol. It is assumed she was sunk by a mine.

USS Grayback (SS-208)

Lost on Feb 27,1944 with the loss of 80 officers and men on her 10th war patrol. She appears to have been caught on the surface in the East China Sea by a Japanese carrier plane whose bombs made a direct hit. During this patrol she sank 4 ships totaling 21,594 tons and was tied for 11th in the number of ships sunk

USS Trout (SS-202)

Lost on Feb 29,1944 with the loss of 81 officers and men on her 11th war patrol. She was sunk by escorts in the middle of the Philippines Basin after sinking a passenger-cargoman and damaging another in a convoy. She carried out several notable special missions, including carrying over two tons of gold bullion out of Corregidor in February 1942.

USS Tullibee (SS-284)

Lost on March 26,1944 with the loss of 79 officers and men, on her 4th war patrol. It's believed she was a victim of a circular run by one of her own torpedoes. The lookout was the only survivor and he survived the war as a Japanese prisoner. 

USS Gudgeon (SS-211)

Lost on April 18, 1944 with the loss of 79 men off Saipan. 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.

USS Herring (SS-233)

Lost on June 1, 1944 with the loss of 83 men near Matsuwa Island.
Herring was on her 8th war patrol and was conducting a surface
attack when a shore battery spotted her and made 2 direct hits on her
conning tower and causing her loss. Before being sunk, she had sank
a freighter and a passenger-cargoman. Herring was the only US
submarine sunk by a land battery.

USS S-28 (SS-133)

Lost on July 4,1944 with the loss of 49 crew members. She was conducting training exercises off Hawaii with the US Coast Guard

Cutter Reliance. After S-28 dove for a practice torpedo approach, Reliance lost contact. No distress signal or explosion was heard. Two days later, an oil slick was found near where S-28. The exact cause of her loss remains a mystery. 

USS Golet (SS-361)

Lost on June 14, 1944 with the loss of 82 men. On her 2nd war patrol,
Golet was apparently lost in battle with antisubmarine forces north of
Honshu.

USS Growler (SS-215)

Lost on Nov 8, 1944 with the loss of 86 men when she was sunk in the South China Sea. Winner of two Navy Unit Commendations, Growler was on her 12th war patrol, and was lost while attacking a convoy, probably as a result of a depth charge attack or victim of a circular run by one of her own torpedoes.

USS Robalo (SS-273)

Lost on July 26,1944 with the loss of 81 crew members while on her 3rd war patrol. She struck a mine about 2 miles off the coast of Palawan. Four men survived and swam ashore, then were imprisoned by the Japanese. Unfortunately, they were put on a Japanese destroyer and lost when that destroyer was sunk.

USS Harder (SS-257)

Lost on August 24,1944 with the loss of 79 crew members from a depth charge attack by a minesweeper near Bataan while on her 6th war patrol. Harder had won a Presidential Unit Citation for her first 5 war patrols and CDR Dealey was awarded the Congressional Medalof Honor posthumously. Harder is tied for 9th in the number of enemy ships sunk.

USS Flier (SS-250)

Lost on August 13,1944, with the loss of 78 crew members while on her 2nd war patrol. Flier was transiting on the surface when she was rocked by a massive explosion (probably a mine) and sank within less than a minute. 13 survivors, some injured, made it into the water and swam to shore. 8 survived and 6 days later friendly natives guided them to a Coast Watcher and they were evacuated by the USS Redfin.

USS Escolar (SS-294)

Lost on Oct 17, 1944 with the loss of 82 men. She was on her 1st war patrol and was most likely lost to a mine somewhere in the Yellow Sea.

USS Shark (SS-314)

Lost on Oct 24,1944 with the loss of 87 when she was sunk near Hainan. The second boat to carry this name during World War II, she was on her 3rd war patrol. Shark was sunk by escorts after attacking and sinking a lone freighter. Compounding the tragedy, it turned out that the freighter had 1,800 U.S. POW's on board.

USS Darter (SS-227)

Lost on Oct 24, 1944 when she became grounded on Bombay Shoal off Palawan and was then destroyed to prevent her falling into enemy hands intact. The entire crew was rescued by USS Dace. Winner of one Navy Unit Commendation, Darter had sunk a heavy cruiser and damaged another and went aground while attempting an "end around" on an enemy formation in hopes of getting in an attack on a battleship.

USS Tang (SS-306)

Lost on Oct 25,1944 with the lost of 78 men in the Formosa Strait.  Tang was on her 5th war patrol. Tang ranks 2nd in the number of ships sunk and 4th in tonnage, and had won two Presidential Unit Citations. During a daring night surface attack, Tang was lost to a circular run by one of her own torpedoes. Nine of the crew were taken prisoner, including CDR. O'Kane and five who had gained the surface from her final resting place 180 feet below. All survived the war, and CDR O'Kane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

USS Seawolf (SS-197)
 

Lost on Oct 3,1944 with the loss of 83 officers and men and 17 US Army troops when she was sunk just north of Moritai by USS Rowell, a Destroyer Escort (DE). In this tragic error, Rowell mistook Seawolf for a Japanese submarine that had just sunk another Destroyer.  Seawolf ranks 7th for enemy ships sunk.
 
USS Albacore (SS-218)

Lost on Nov 7, 1944 with the loss of 85 men when she was sunk off northern Hokkaido. Winner of two Presidential Unit Citations, Albacore was on her eleventh war patrol and struck a mine while running submerged near a Japanese patrol craft that had detected her.

USS Scamp (SS-277)

Lost on Nov 9, 1944 with the loss of 83 men near Tokyo Bay. On her 8th war patrol, she may have been damaged by a mine and was trailing oil, which helped Japanese coast defense vessels locate her and destroy her with depth charges.

USS Barbel (SS-316)

Lost on Feb 4,1945 with the loss of 81 officers and men on her 4th war patrol. Based on Japanese records, she was bombed near the southern entrance to the Palawan Passage. The day before, she reported she survived 3 depth charge attacks.

USS Swordfish (SS-193)

Lost on Jan 12,1945 with the loss of 89 officers and men somewhere near Okinawa, on her 13th war patrol. Probably was lost to a mine.

USS Kete (SS-369)

Lost on March 20,1945 with the loss of 87 officers and men at the end of her 2nd war patrol. Probably sunk near Okinawa, by a Japanese submarine that itself was subsequently lost.

USS Trigger (SS-237)

Lost on March 26,1945 with the loss of 89 officers and men, on her 12th war patrol. She was lost during a combined attack by Japanese antisubmarine vessels and aircraft. Trigger ranked 7th in total tonnage sunk and tied for 8th in number of ships sunk. 

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.

USS Lagarto (SS-371)

Lost on May 3, 1945 with the loss of 86 men near the Gulf of Siam.
On her 2nd war patrol, she is believed to have been lost to a radar
equipped minelayer. This minelayer was sunk by the USS Hawkbill two
weeks later.

USS Bonefish (SS-223)

Lost on June 18, 1945 with the loss of 85 men when sunk near Suzu Misaki. Winner of 3 Navy Unit Citations, Bonefish was on her 8th war patrol. After sinking a passenger-cargoman, Bonefish was subjected to a savage depth charge attack.

USS Bullhead (SS-332)

Lost on August 6,1945 with the loss of 84 crew members in the Lombok Strait while on her 3rd war patrol when sunk by a depth charge dropped by a Japanese Army p lane. Bullhead was the last submarine lost during WWII.

USS Cochino (SS-345)

Lost on August 26, 1949 after being jolted by a violent polar gale off Norway caused an electrical fire and battery explosion that generated hydrogen and chlorine gasses. In extremely bad weather, men of Cochino and Tusk (SS-426) fought to save the submarine for 14 hours. After a 2nd battery explosion, Abandon Ship was ordered and Cochino sank. Tusk's crew rescued all of Cochino's men except for one civilian engineer. Six sailors from Tusk were lost during the rescue.

USS Stickleback (SS-415)

Lost on May 28, 1958 when it sank off Hawaii while under tow after
collision with USS Silverstein (DE-534). The entire crew was taken off
prior to sinking.
 
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.


USS Scorpion (SSN-589)


USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was returning to Norfolk, VA. from a

Mediterranean deployment. On May 22,1968 she reported her position to be about 50 miles south of the Azores. Scorpion was never heard from again. The exact cause of her loss has never been determined. 99 officers and men were lost.