Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Darter II (SS-576)

(SS-576: displacement 1,622 tons (surface); length 268 feet 7 inches; beam 27 feet 2 inches; draft 16 feet 9 inches; speed 16 knots; complement 83; armament 8 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Darter)

Any of many small American fresh-water fishes, closely related to the perch family.


The second Darter (SS-576) was launched 28 May 1956 by General Dynamics Corp. (Electric Boat Co. Division), Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. G. L. Russell; and commissioned 20 October 1956, Lieutenant Commander Ralph R. Blaine in command.

Designed with sophisticated acoustic, electronic and fire control gear, Darter was intended to serve as a new generation of post-war ASW submarines, similar to Tang (SS-563). Upon commissioning Darter operated on various training exercises in the Atlantic, both locally from her home port of Newport, R.I. and on cruises to the West Indies or to Europe for NATO operations. Following an overhaul at Portsmouth, N.H., in 1959 she changed homeport to Charleston, S.C., on 1 August 1959) and began training missions in support of the newly commissioned fleet ballistic submarines, providing ASW services for surface units in the West Indies and off Key West and serving as a platform for various CNO projects. In between these regular operations, Darter deployed to the Mediterranean for cruises in 1963 and 1967. She also received a major modernization overhaul in 1965, receiving a 16-foot hull extension, new engines, new safety gear and better electronic gear.

Shifting homeports again in 1971, when she moved to San Diego, Darter made four WestPac deployments in support of 7th Fleet operations before changing homeport a fourth time to Sasebo, Japan, on 8 May 1979. She spent a decade there; conducting numerous joint operations with the Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian and Australian navies, a number of special operations exercises and other operations throughout the western Pacific.

Darter sailed for Hawaii on 18 August 1989, conducting her last dive on 26 September, and was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor on 1 December 1989. She Darter was disposed of as a target on 7 January 1992.



30 April 2004

Published: Mon Jul 06 12:40:10 EDT 2015