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USS Lancetfish

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Lancetfish (SS-296) is finally on a level keel on March 23, 1945, eight days following her accidental sinking at Pier 8 East of the Boston Navy Yard. She would be decommissioned the following day, 24 March.
United States
BuilderWilliam Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia[1]
Yard number551
Laid down30 September 1942[1]
Launched15 August 1943[1]
Commissioned12 February 1945[1]
Decommissioned24 March 1945[1]
Stricken9 June 1958[1]
FateSold for scrap, 20 August 1959[1]
General characteristics
Class and typeBalao-class diesel-electric submarine[3]
  • 1,526 tons (1550 t) surfaced[3]
  • 2,424 tons (2460 t) submerged[3]
Length311 ft 8 in (95.00 m)[3]
Beam27 ft 3 in (8.31 m) [3]
Draft16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[3]
  • 20.25 knots (37 km/h) surfaced[2]
  • 8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[2]
Range11,000 nm (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)[2]
  • 48 hours at 2 knots (4 km/h) submerged[2]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth400 ft (120 m)[2]
Complement10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[2]

USS Lancetfish (SS-296), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox), a large voracious, deep sea fish having long lancetlike teeth and a high long dorsal fin.

Her keel was laid down on 30 September 1942 by Cramp Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia. She was launched on 15 August 1943 sponsored by Miss Beatrice P. Barker, towed to Boston Navy Yard 19 May 1944 for completion, and commissioned 12 February 1945.

The beginning of the salvage operation for Lancetfish (SS-296), 23 March 1945.

While tied up alongside Pier 8, Lancetfish flooded through an aft torpedo tube and sank 15 March 1945. She was raised eight days later and decommissioned 24 March. Assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in uncompleted condition, she was transferred to the First Naval District 27 February 1947 and was assigned to the New London Group 9 December 1952. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 9 June 1958 and sold for scrap for $57,189 on 20 August 1959 having never gone to sea on patrol, to Yale Waste Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Although Lancetfish was commissioned at the time of her sinking, she never saw active service, and she is not counted among the 52 American submarines lost during World War II.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–280. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
  4. ^ a b c d e Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 271–280. ISBN 978-0-313-26202-9.
  5. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261–263
  6. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311

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