What a 20-pack of diesel boats look like in hard storage
Here we see at least 20 inactivated boats of the WWII-era Salmon/Sargo, Gato, and Balao classes at rest at Mare Island, California on 3 January 1946.
Front row left to right: Sand Lance (SS-381), next two could be Sealion (SS-315) and Seahorse (SS-304), Searaven (SS-196), Pampanito (SS-383), Gurnard (SS-254), Mingo (SS-261), Guitarro (SS-363), Bashaw (SS-241).
Back row left to right: Unknown, Tunny (SS-282), next three could be Sargo (SS-188), Spearfish (SS-190), and Saury (SS-189), Macabi (SS-375), Sunfish (SS-281), Guavina (SS-362), Lionfish (SS-298),Piranha (SS-389).
The Scabbardfish (SS-397) is docked in ARD-11 on the other side of the causeway.
Although out of commission, most of these boats remained in pier-side service as classroom for Naval Reserve units for years and many returned to active duty in either the U.S. or allied fleets– in fact, two are still afloat today.
- Sand Lance would be transferred to Brazil as the Rio Grande do Sul (S-11) in 1962 and struck ten years later.
- Sealion who sank the Japanese battleship Kongō, would be recalled to operate in Korea and as a SEAL boat in Vietnam, would be struck in 1977 and sunk as a target off Newport on 8 July 1978.
- Seahorse would never be beautiful again and would be sold for scrap, 4 December 1968.
- Searaven, who tried to reinforce Corregidor, was A-bombed at Bikini then sunk as a target off southern California on 11 September 1948.
- Pampanito has been a museum ship in San Francisco since 21 November 1975.
- Gunard was sold for scrap, 29 October 1961.
- Mingo was transferred to Japan in 1955 as the Kuroshio, then sunk as a target in 1973.
- Guitarro was transferred to Turkey as TCG Preveze (S 340) and remained in service until 1972.
- Bashaw was GUPPY’d and returned to service until 1969 then scrapped in 1972.
- Tunny gave hard service in Korea and Vietnam, then expended as a target in 1970.
- Sargo, another Corregidor vet, was scrapped in 1947.
- Spearfish was likewise scrapped in 1947.
- Macabi was transferred to Argentina as ARA Santa Fe (S-11) and remained in service until 1971.
- Sunfish only left Mare Island again when was scrapped in 1960.
- Guavina was converted to a submarine tanker (AGSS-362) and was to be used to refuel P6M SeaMaster strategic flying boats at sea. However, as SeaMaster never took off, she was scrapped sunk as a target off Cape Henry, 14 November 1967 (see below).
- Piranha was scrapped in 1970 after 24 years at Mare Island.
- Lionfish was brought back for Korea and after she was finally struck was donated to become a museum ship at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts in 1972.
- Scabbardfish was transferred to Greece as Triaina (S-86) and remained in service until 1980– the longest-serving of the above subs.
- As for ARD-11, the Auxiliary Repair Dock, she was given to Mexico in 1974 and her final fate is unknown.