Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Hardhead (SS-365) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Hardhead (SS-365) 

USS Hardhead (SS-365) was launched by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wis., 12 December 1943; sponsored by Mrs. E. F. McDonald; and commissioned 18 April 1944, Comdr. F. McMaster in command.

Following shakedown training in lake Michigan USS Hardhead (SS-365) entered a floating dry dock at Lockport, III., and was towed to New Orleans, where she arrived 16 May 1944. USS Hardhead (SS-365) got underway from Algiers, La., 22 May, and arrived Balboa, Canal Zone, 5 days later. There she took part in additional training exercises before her arrival at Pearl Harbor 7 July 1944.

USS Hardhead (SS-365), departed on her first war patrol 27 July and proceeded to her patrol area off the Philippines. Early 18 August she detected Japanese cruiser Natori east of San Bernardino Strait, and closed for a surface attack. The first well directed salvo stopped the cruiser dead in the water; a second sent her to the bottom. Putting to sea again 24 December. USS Hardhead (SS-365) began her third war patrol in the South China Sea. Operating with USS Besugo and USS Blackfin, USS Hardhead (SS-365) damaged several ships before sinking Nanshin Maru 2 February 1945. Following lifeguard duty for the B-29 strikes on Singapore she returned to Fremantle 15 February.

Sailing from Fremantle 18 June, USS Hardhead (SS-365) began her fifth war patrol, to be conducted in the Java Sea. She severely damaged a freighter with her deck guns 22 June, and next day sank four coastal defense craft during an attack on Ambat Roads with USS Bullhead. USS Hardhead (SS-365) sailed 31 August and arrived San Francisco via Pearl Harbor 22 September 1945. She decommissioned 10 May 1946 and entered the reserve fleet at Mare Island.

USS Hardhead (SS-365) was placed in commission in reserve 6 February 1952 and upon her arrival at New London for conversion was placed out of commission. Following her "guppy" conversion, including streamlining, installation of a snorkel breathing apparatus, and larger storage batteries, the submarine recommissioned 24 March 1953. She joined the Atlantic Fleet for training exercises and tactical drills in the years that followed, operating mainly in the Caribbean and off the East Coast of the United States. She sailed for the Mediterranean 7 September 1956 to strengthen the 6th Fleet during the Suez crisis.

In July 1958 USS Hardhead (SS-365), joined Submarine Development Group 2, turning her attention from fleet operations to research and testing of equipment and tactical doctrine. USS Hardhead (SS-365) continued through 1967 to perform this vital work in maintaining the technical superiority and readiness of the fleet.

For a complete history of USS Hardhead (SS-365) please see its DANFS page.