S-38 file photo [32155]

S-38

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassS-class Submarine
Hull NumberSS-143
BuilderBethlehem San Francisco Shipyard
Laid Down15 Jan 1919
Launched17 Jun 1919
Commissioned11 May 1923
Decommissioned14 Dec 1944
Sunk20 Feb 1945
Displacement868 tons standard; 1,079 tons submerged
Length219 feet
Beam21 feet
Draft16 feet
MachineryNew London Ship & Engine diesel engines (1,200hp), General Electric motors (1,500hp), 120-cell Exide battery, 2 shafts
Bunkerage168t fuel oil
Speed14 knots
Crew42
Armament1x4in/50 deck gun, 4x21in torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes
Submerged Speed11 knots

Contributor:

ww2dbaseSubmarine S-38 was launched by the Union Iron Works, a division of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, in San Francisco, California, United States in 1919. She spent the bulk of her pre-WW2 career with US Navy's Asiatic Fleet based at Cavite in the Philippine Islands, with regular tours in Chinese waters. In Jun 1940, she completed her final cruiser to China. In the fall of 1941, she conducted exercises in Philippine waters. On 8 Dec 1941, hours after Japan raided Pearl Harbor, she departed Manila Bay on her first war patrol under the command of Wreford Chapple. She sank two ships on her first war patrol. The first of which was the Norwegian freighter Hydra II, which Chapple misidentified as hostile. Hydra II had been carrying 2,000 tons of rice and salt from Thailand, with the original destination of Hong Kong, but had instead sailed toward the Philippine Islands due to the outbreak of war. The torpedo from S-38 detonated amidships, sinking the ship in about two minutes, killing the master Lars Røed, the first mate Hjalmar Nilsen, the first engineer Karl Alfred Jacobsen, and 38 crewmembers, most of whom were Chinese. On 22 Dec, she entered Lingayen Gulf and sank the Japanese transport Hayo Maru, sustaining light damage from running aground while diving from the subsequent Japanese depth charge attack. Mechanical problems plagued her through the next few war patrols, leading to a nearly month-long down time at Queensland Government Dry Dock in Brisbane, Australia in Jul 1942 and then a complete overhaul of her engines and motors in San Diego, California in late 1942 and early 1943. At San Diego, she also received new radar, sound, and radio equipment, as well as a four-inch (102-millimeter) 50 caliber gun to replace her previous three-inch gun. Minor mechanical trouble continued as she sailed from San Diego toward Pearl Harbor in the US Territory of Hawaii, leading to an additional repair time between late Apr and late Jun 1943. Her final war patrol was spent in the Marshall Islands, gathering intelligence for upcoming operations. In Jul 1943, she arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, where she would remain until the summer of 1944 for antisubmarine training duties. She was decommissioned in Dec 1944, prior to the war's end, and was sunk as a target in Feb 1945.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Submarine S-38 (SS-143) Interactive Map

S-38 Operational Timeline

15 Jan 1919 The keel of S-38 was laid down by Union Iron Works of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California, United States.
24 May 1919 USS S-38 was assigned to Submarine Division 17.
9 Jun 1919 USS S-38 departed waters near San Pedro, California, United States for the Territory of Alaska.
17 Jun 1919 S-38 was launched by Union Iron Works of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California, United States, sponsored by Mrs. Grace M. Collins.
21 Jun 1919 USS S-38 arrived at Dutch Harbor, US Territory of Alaska.
16 Jul 1919 USS S-38 arrived at Anchorage, US Territory of Alaska.
17 Jul 1919 USS S-38 suffered flooding to the motor room after a crewman accidentally removed a valve cover during routine engine maintenance procedures at at Anchorage, US Territory of Alaska.
23 Jul 1919 USS S-38 completed its temporary repairs to the engine, which was damaged by accidentally flooding while in port at at Anchorage, US Territory of Alaska six days prior.
1 Aug 1919 USS S-38 arrived at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States.
11 May 1923 USS S-38 was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Clifford H. Roper in command.
4 Nov 1924 USS S-38 arrived at Manila Bay, Philippine Islands.
8 Dec 1941 USS S-38 departed Manila Bay, Philippine Islands for her first war patrol.
9 Dec 1941 USS S-38 was ordered to shift her patrol area to waters west of Mindoro, Philippine Islands.
12 Dec 1941 USS S-38 fired a torpedo at what the commanding officer thought was a Japanese transport west of Cape Calavite, Mindoro, Philippine Islands. The torpedo scored a hit and sank the ship, and it was discovered that the target was Norwegian freighter Hydra II. 41 were killed.
19 Dec 1941 USS S-38 set departed waters west of Mindoro, Phlippine Islands after sundown.
20 Dec 1941 USS S-38 entered Camens Cove in the Phlippines Islands to repair damage caused by an explosion of pressue built up in the port engine lubricating oil cooler.
21 Dec 1941 USS S-38 entered Ligayen Gulf in the Phlippines Islands just before dawn. Spotting a group of four Japanese transports at 0645 hours, she maneuvered and fired four torpedoes at 0710 hours, all of which missed. At 0758 hours, she fired two more torpedoes, striking transport Hayo Maru. She dove to avoid depth charges from Japanese destroyers, and ran aground, sustaining light damage.
21 Dec 1941 USS S-38 departed Camens Cove in the Phlippines Islands at dawn.
24 Dec 1941 USS S-38 moved to the southern part of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippine Islands and spotted a group of six Japanese auxiliaries at 1130 hours. Before she could attack, she was spotted by a Japanese aircraft, which dropped a bomb on her port side. She dove, escaping further bombing and depth charging. She remained at the bottom of the gulf until 1842 hours before making her escape. At 2235 hours, she surfaced to recharge her batteries, and suffered a battery explosion five minutes later. Neverthess, she was able to escape out of Lingayen Gulf.
25 Dec 1941 USS S-38 was discovered by a Japanese destroyer at about 0346 hours, which commenced depth charging at about 0350 hours. At 1235 hours, after the destroyer had given up the hunt, S-38 set sail for Manila, Philippine Islands. An hour later, she ran aground, but was able to free herself shortly after.
26 Dec 1941 USS S-38 arrived at Manila Bay, Philippine Islands at 2145 hours, ending her first war patrol.
14 Jan 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Soerabaja (Surabaya), Java, Dutch East Indies, ending her first war patrol.
25 Jan 1942 USS S-38 departed Soerabaja (Surabaya), Java, Dutch East Indies, starting her second war patrol.
7 Feb 1942 USS S-38 reconnoitered Balikpapan harbor, Borneo, Dutch East Indies.
9 Feb 1942 USS S-38 was ordered to patrol off Cape William on the Celebes (Sulawesi) side of the Makassar Strait.
12 Feb 1942 USS S-38 was ordered to return to Soerabaja (Surabaya), Java, Dutch East Indies.
16 Feb 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Soerabaja (Surabaya), Java, Dutch East Indies, ending her second war patrol.
22 Feb 1942 USS S-38 departed Soerabaja (Surabaya), Java, Dutch East Indies, starting her third war patrol.
26 Feb 1942 USS S-38 shelled Japanese troops at Sangkapura on the southern shore of Bawean island in the Java Sea.
28 Feb 1942 USS S-38 picked up 58 survivors of destroyer HMS Electra, which sank the day prior at the Battle of the Java Sea.
1 Mar 1942 USS S-38 transferred the 58 rescued survivors of destroyer HMS Electra to a surface ship in the Madura Strait.
2 Mar 1942 USS S-38 spotted Japanese light cruiser Kinu in the Java Sea before dawn. She fired four torpedoes and claimed one hit, but Japanese records showed no damage to Kinu on that date. Japanese destroyers counterattacked with depth charges, causing no damage. S-38 escaped the area in the mid-afternoon. In the evening, she came upon a Japanese destroyer and fired two torpedoes at the target; both torpedoes missed.
3 Mar 1942 USS S-38 was ordered to sail to western Australia.
5 Mar 1942 USS S-38 transited the Lombok Strait in the Dutch East Indies.
13 Mar 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Fremantle, Austalia, ending her third war patrol.
28 Apr 1942 USS S-38 departed Brisbane, Australia, starting her fourth war patrol.
20 May 1942 USS S-38 came across a debris field which her officers believed was from the Battle of the Coral Sea.
24 May 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her fourth war patrol.
24 Jun 1942 USS S-38 departed Brisbane, Australia, starting her fifth war patrol.
29 Jun 1942 USS S-38 set course for waters between the Russell Islands and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
30 Jun 1942 USS S-38 arrived off Lunga Roads north of Guadalcanal.
1 Jul 1942 USS S-38 fired two torpedoes at a Japanese destroyer off Tulagi, Solomon Islands. While escaping from depth charges, air leaks gave away her position, but she was able to get away.
7 Jul 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her fifth war patrol.
28 Jul 1942 USS S-38 departed Brisbane, Australia, starting her sixth war patrol.
4 Aug 1942 USS S-38 arrived in New Britain-New Ireland waters.
7 Aug 1942 USS S-38 spotted targets off New Ireland, but the pursuit was given up after the submarine suffered mechanical failures.
8 Aug 1942 USS S-38 spotted Japanese transport Meiyo Maru escorted by a destroyer about 8 miles off of Cape St. George. At 2324 hours, she fired two torpedoes, scoring both hits, sinking Meiyo Maru 8 minutes later; 353 were killed. S-38 survived the depth charging by the destroyer after the attack.
15 Aug 1942 USS S-38 departed New Britain waters.
22 Aug 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her sixth war patrol.
21 Sep 1942 USS S-38 departed Brisbane, Australia.
25 Sep 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia.
26 Sep 1942 USS S-38 departed Nouméa, New Caledonia.
30 Sep 1942 USS S-38 arrived at Anuta, Santa Cruz Islands to wait for a PBY Catalina aircraft scheduled to pick up a sailor suffering from acute appendicitis.
1 Oct 1942 USS S-38 transferred a sailor suffering from acute apendicitis to a PBY Catalina aircraft at Anuta, Santa Cruz Islands.
5 Oct 1942 USS S-38 spotted a Japanese tanker at Tarawa, Gilbert Islands and fired three torpedoes at it. The torpedoes struck a lagoon and detonated before they could reach the target.
10 Oct 1942 USS S-38 reconnoitered Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
6 Nov 1942 USS S-38 arrived at San Diego, California, United States.
13 Apr 1943 USS S-38 completed her overhaul at San Diego, California, United States.
15 Apr 1943 USS S-38 departed San Diego, California, United States.
26 Jun 1943 USS S-38 departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her seventh war patrol.
12 Jul 1943 USS S-38 fired four torpedoes at a Japanese transport northwest of Matamat Atoll, Marshall Islands; all four torpedoes missed.
22 Jul 1943 USS S-38 set sail for the New Hebrides.
27 Jul 1943 USS S-38 arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, ending her seventh war patrol.
27 Jul 1944 USS S-38 departed Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
7 Sep 1944 USS S-38 arrived at San Diego, California, United States.
14 Dec 1944 USS S-38 was decommissioned from service.
20 Jan 1945 USS S-38 was struck from the US Naval Vessel Register.
20 Feb 1945 USS S-38 was sunk as a target by aerial bombing.

Photographs

USS S-38 fitting out at the Union Iron Works of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California, United States, 29 Mar 1923USS Canopus with submarines USS S-36, S-37, S-38, S-39, S-40, and S-41, Apra Harbor, Guam, 1924USS Canopus with submarines USS S-36, S-37, S-38, S-39, S-40, and S-41, Apra Harbor, Guam, 29 Oct 1924Submarines S-40, S-38, and S-41 (left to right) moored along side USS Canopus, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, 1930; note another submarine approaching
See all 13 photographs of Submarine S-38 (SS-143)



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Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of the Philippine Islands
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java

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Submarine S-38 (SS-143) Photo Gallery
USS S-38 fitting out at the Union Iron Works of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California, United States, 29 Mar 1923
See all 13 photographs of Submarine S-38 (SS-143)


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