Lost 52 Project Discovers Their 7th Submarine

USS S-35 (SS-140) Off San Diego, California, on 23 November 1923 NH 69868

The New York-based Lost 52 Project, which is dedicated to finding all 52 WWII American submarines on “Eternal Patrol,” recently announced they found the final resting place of a lost boat that, while not one of the 52, was nonetheless a very interesting submarine: the S-class “pig boat” USS S-35 (SS-140).

Laid down on 14 June 1918 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California, she was commissioned on 17 August 1922 then spent two full decades on the West Coast in training duties and, while obsolete, conducted seven war patrols, principally against the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands and Northern Pacific. Relegated to training tasks after 1944, she was decommissioned on 19 March 1945 then sunk by torpedo fire on 4 April 1946 in deep water off Oahu.

As noted by Lost 52:

The S-35 lower hull underneath the control room and after battery is smashed in. This could indicate that the torpedo used to sink her detonated under the hull without actually striking it, most likely using a magnetic influence exploder. Strangely, the amount of damage doesn’t seem nearly bad enough if the weapon that was used was the typical Mk 14 or Mk 18 torpedo with their large 600 lb+ Torpex warhead. If one of those weapons had been used on the S-35 the most likely result would have been a completely broken keel with the wreck in two or more pieces. The weapon that might have been used could have been the Mk 27 “Cutie” homing torpedo. This was a much smaller weapon with a warhead of only 127 lbs. It was a new weapon at the time and there may have been a desire to conduct tests under real conditions to see how the weapon reacted.

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