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USS Grouper (SS-214/SSK-214/AGSS-214) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Grouper (SS-214/SSK-214/AGSS-214) 

USS Grouper (SS-214) was launched by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn., 27 October 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Albert F. Church; and commissioned at New London 12 February 1942, Lt. Comdr. C. E. Duke in command.

After shakedown in Long Island Sound, USS Grouper (SS-214) sailed for Pearl Harbor 30 March 1942 to join the Pacific Submarine Force which was to play havoc on Japanese shipping. Before departing for her first war patrol, USS Grouper (SS-214) was assigned to the submarine screen which ringed the area as the American and Japanese fleets clashed in the decisive Battle of Midway.

On 5 June as the battle still raged, USS Grouper (SS-214) crash-dived to avoid heavy bombers, then after 3 days at Midway to fuel and provision, Grouper sailed on her first war patrol 12 June. She torpedoed and damaged two Japanese marus in the China Sea before returning to Pearl Harbor 30 July. On her second patrol (28 August-9 October) USS Grouper (SS-214) had the satisfaction of sending to the bottom two freighters, Tone Maru on 21 September and Lisbon Maru on 1 October. During her fourth war patrol (21 January-18 March 1943) USS Grouper (SS-214) rescued an aviator stranded on Rengi Island for several days and located several key Japanese radar installations in the Solomons. Her next four patrols netted her no further kills, despite several determined attacks, but illustrated the varied tasks submarines took on during the war.

After returning to Pearl Harbor 7 January 1944 for additional repairs, the veteran submarine sailed for her ninth war patrol 22 May. This patrol netted USS Grouper (SS-214) what was to be her last kill of the war, Kumanoyama Maru, which she sank in a night surface attack 24 June. Returning to Pearl Harbor from her 12th war patrol 26 April 1945, USS Grouper (SS-214) sailed for San Francisco and overhaul the following day. She returned to Pearl Harbor 6 August, but V-J Day cancelled plans for another patrol, and on 9 September USS Grouper (SS-214) in company with  USSToro and USS Blackfish, sailed for New London. Four years of local operations and training exercises along the coast to Florida and in the Caribbean followed for USS Grouper (SS-214). 

Her classification was changed to SSK-214 on 2 January 1951. With the addition of a snorkel and extensive sonar and radar facilities, USS Grouper (SSK-214) emerged from the yard 27 June 1951 to pioneer in research on the deadly submarine-versus-submarine warfare. For the next 8 years, as a unit of Submarine Development Group 2, USS Grouper (SSK-214) worked to develop and test concepts of hunter-killer antisubmarine warfare. USS Grouper was reclassified AG(SS)-214, 17 May 1958, and on 28 November 1959 she entered the Portsmouth, N.H., Navy Yard for extensive modification. Her forward torpedo room was converted into a floating laboratory, work benches and additional berths for scientists were installed, and various types of sonar gear were added topside.

At present USS Grouper (AG(SS)-214) is still adding accomplishments as a floating laboratory to her long and outstanding record during both war and peace.

For a complete history of USS Grouper (SS-214/SSK-214/AGSS-214) please see its DANFS page.