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Greenfish (SS-351)


Named for one of various labroid fishes, Florida bluefish or ladyfish.

(SS-351: displacement 1,526 (standard), 2,424 (submerged) ; length 311'9" (overall); beam 27'3"; draft 15'3" (mean); speed 20.25 knots (surfaced), 8.75 (submerged); designed depth 400'0"; complement 66; armament 1 5-inch, 1 40 millimeter, 1 20 millimeter, 10 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Balao)

Greenfish (SS-351) was laid down 29 June 1944 at Groton, Conn., by the launched by the  Groton, Conn., 21 December 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas J. Doyle; and commissioned on 7 June 1946, Cmdr. Ralph M. Metcalf commanding.

Greenfish's shakedown cruise (22 July to 13 September 1946), took her to Barranquilla, Colombia ; the Canal Zone; Callao, Peru; and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Exercises out of New London and in Chesapeake Bay carried her through the year, and the early months of 1947 found Greenfish, back in the Caribbean for fleet exercises. On 11 February 1947 she effected one of the first transfers of personnel from an aircraft carrier, Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) to a submarine by helicopter. Various exercises along the U. S. coast and in the Caribbean occupied Greenfish until 8 January 1948, when she entered the Electric Boat Co. yards for GUPPY (Greater Underwater Propulsion Power) conversion.

This conversion included the installation of snorkeling equipment on board Greenfish to enable her to steam on diesel engines while submerged, which required the enlargement of her "sail." In addition, more batteries were installed to increase her submerged speed and permit the ship to remain completely submerged for longer periods. Returning to New London on 21 August 1948, Greenfish sailed on her "second" shakedown cruise on 1 September, with Rear Adm. James J. Fife, Commander Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, embarked. She transited the Panama Canal on 9 September and engaged in exercises at Balboa before returning to New London on 24 September.

The new GUPPY submarine was attached to the Pacific Fleet, and sailed for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 23 October. She reached her new home 25 November 1948. With the exception of ASW and harbor defense exercises in Puget Sound during January-February 1950 and a subsequent overhaul at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard,  Calif., Greenfish operated out of Pearl Harbor on local exercises through 1951.

Departing Pearl Harbor on 15 November 1951, Greenfish sailed to Yokosuka, Japan, for Korean War duty. After a patrol 31 January to 1 March 1952, She participated in exercises at Okinawa and then returned to Hawaii on 2 June. Local and special operations filled her time until 5 November 1954, when she entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for another modernization overhaul.

Greenfish, her overhaul completed on 6 July 1955, sailed for deployment with the Seventh Fleet on 15 September and reached Yokosuka on 29 September. From 19 October to 15 November, she engaged in special operations, and then embarked on a tour of Southeast Asia. Ports visited by Greenfish during her two-month cruise included Manila, Singapore, Rangoon, where she was the first submarine ever to visit and was inspected by Burmese Prime Minister U Nu, and Hong Kong. After further exercises off Okinawa and Yokosuka, Greenfish returned to Pearl Harbor on 13 March 1956.

The following five years fell into a pattern for Greenfish, local operations out of Pearl Harbor, special operations, exercises along the U. S. coast, and periodic overhauls. Greenfish entered Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on 15 December 1960 for a FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization) overhaul and extensive conversion to a GUPPY-III class ship. This included cutting Greenfish in half and adding a 15-foot section of hull to permit more batteries and other equipment.

Her conversion completed, Greenfish departed on 28 July 1961 for shakedown, operations at Pearl Harbor, and in December sailed to serve with the Seventh Fleet. In addition to special operations, the submarine participated in various fleet and ASW exercises and visited several ports, including Hong Kong, Manila, and Okinawa. Returning to Pearl Harbor in June 1962, Greenfish engaged in local operations until October, when the Cuban Missile Crisis sent her to Japan to strengthen the Seventh Fleet. Upon return to Hawaii in December 1962, she underwent a brief overhaul and then resumed her peacetime schedule of local and special operations interspersed with training exercises.

Based at Pearl Harbor, she participated in various ASW exercises while maintaining the high tempo of training and readiness for her crew. From 30 March 1964 to 4 September she underwent an overhaul; and, after a cruise to the Pacific Coast and back, Greenfish departed for the Far East on 27 January 1965. She reached Japan early in February and during the next four months operated with the Seventh Fleet in waters from Japan to the Philippines. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 1 August, continued type training into 1966, and deployed once again to the Western Pacific on 1 February 1966. She completed her duty with the Seventh Fleet on 1 July and returned to Hawaii later that month to resume readiness exercises out of Pearl Harbor. 

Ultimately stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 29 October 1973, Greenfish was disposed-of, through the Security Assistance Program, on 1 December 1973, sold to the government of Brazil.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

7 June 2024

Published: Fri Jun 07 12:07:58 EDT 2024