Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Sabalo II (SS-302)

Image related to Sabalo II
Caption: Sabalo (SS-302) in the 1950s, after her "Fleet Snorkel" modernization. This was a less-extensive alteration than the Guppy conversion received by many World War II "Fleet boats" during the same general period. Sabalo has a new streamlined sail, but retains her original hull form. A periscope and a radar mast are extended; the two-shaded mottle finish on the periscope fairing was prescribed in 1953 for periscopes and snorkels

(SS-302: dp. 1,525 (surf.), 2,415 (subm.) ; l. 311'8"; b. 27'3"; dr. 15'3"; s. 20 k. (surf.), 9 k. (subm.); cpl. 81; a. 1 5", 1 40mm., 10 21" tt; cl. Balao)

Another name for the tarpon, a large, silvery game fish of the herring group, found in the warmer parts of the western Atlantic. The first Sabalo retained her former name; the second was named for the fish.


Sabalo (SS-302) was laid down on 5 June 1943 by Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; launched on 4 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Charles M. Oman; and commissioned on 19 June 1945 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Lt. Comdr. James G. Andrews in command.

After trials in the Delaware, Sabalo proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., for shakedown and training. She operated locally from New London until June 1946 when she began preparations for inactivation. She decommissioned on 7 August at Portsmouth, N.H., and was placed in reserve, remaining there until recommissioning in June 1951 at New London.

In August 1951, Sabalo departed New London for Pearl Harbor, her new home port. Arriving in September, she conducted local operations into February 1952. From 18 February to 28 September, she underwent conversion to a "Fleet Snorkel" type at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Following this conversion, she alternated local operations with simulated war patrols while deployed to the western Pacific. The first deployment, 26 December 1952 to 26 June 1953, was followed by a second, mid-November 1954 to 10 May 1955. Her third deployment, 17 September-4 November 1955, was conducted off Alaska and among the eastern Aleutians.

In September 1966, Sabalo's home port was changed to San Diego, and she resumed training operations off the west coast, primarily providing services to ships undergoing ASW, type, and refresher training. Sabalo served in that capacity as a unit of the 1st Fleet until decommissioned on 1 July 1971. Struck from the Navy list the same day, she was sunk off San Diego in February 1973.

Published: Tue Sep 01 10:08:25 EDT 2015