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Bonita III (SF-6)

(SF-6: dp. 2,119 (surf.), 2,506 (subm.); l. 341'6"; b. 27'7"; dr. 15'7" (mean); s. 18.75 k. (surf.), 8 k. (subm.); cpl. 86; a. 6 21" tt., 1 5"; cl. V 1)


In Spanish, the feminine diminuitive for bueno (good). Also a misspelling of bonito, the name given to various medium-sized tunas intermediate between the smaller mackerels and the larger tunas. Bonito (q.v.), a schooner acquired by the Navy for the Mexican War, has often been referred to erroneously as Bonita. Undoubtedly, the repeated misrepresentattion of the name of the Mexican War schooner played a part in the subsequent assignment of Bonita to the two submarines that bore the name, Submarine No. 15 and SS-165.

Bonito (q.v.), one of three schooners under construction for the Mexican Navy at New York City at the outbreak of the Mexican War but acquired by the United States Navy instead, has often been incorrectly called Bonita.

San Jacinto captured a brig engaged in the African slave trade on 10 October 1860 that has been identified both as Bonita and Bonito. In spite of the fact that her Navy prize crew kept a log covering the period 10 October 1860 to 5 January 1861 that reposes in Record Group 24, National Archives, under the name Bonito, the former slaver was never part of the Navy.


V-3 (SF-6) was laid down on 16 November 1921 by the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard; launched on 9 June 1925; sponsored by Mrs. R. L. De Steiguer; and commissioned on 22 May 1926, Lt. Comdr. Charles A. Lockwood, Jr., in command.

Assigned to Submarine Division 20, she operated along the coast of New England and in the West Indies until early November 1927. On the 8th, she sailed with her division for the Pacific. The submarine arrived in San Diego on 17 December and operated with the fleet along the west coast and near the Panama Canal, occasionally punctuating that routine with a voyage to Pearl Harbor. The submarine was renamed Bonita on 9 March 1931, and she was reclassified SS-165 on 1 July 1931. On 1 June 1932, she was placed in rotating reserve at Mare Island, Calif. However, in September 1933, the warship returned to active service and cruised the west coast until the beginning of 1937. On 20 January 1937, she put to sea from San Diego for the east coast of the United States. Bonita arrived at Philadelphia on 18 February and was decommissioned there on 4 June 1937.

Recommissioned on 5 September 1940, she departed New London, Conn., on 17 November 1940, bound for Coco Solo in the Canal Zone. Bonita patrolled in the Pacific off Panama until after the United States entered World War II. She returned to Philadelphia in October 1942 for an overhaul. Patrolling off the Maine coast until mid 1943, she then joined Submarine Division (SubDiv) 13, Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 1, on training duty out of New London. She remained on that duty until February 1945. Arriving at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 February 1945, she was decommissioned there on 3 March 1945 and sold on 28 October 1945.


6 January 2006 

Published: Fri Jun 26 08:41:13 EDT 2015