Dorado file photo [16848]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassGato-class Submarine
Hull NumberSS-248
BuilderElectric Boat Company
Laid Down27 Aug 1942
Launched23 May 1943
Commissioned28 Aug 1943
Sunk14 Oct 1943
Displacement1,549 tons standard; 2,463 tons submerged
Length312 feet
Beam27 feet
Draft17 feet
MachineryFour General Motors Model 16-248 V16 diesel engines (5,400shp), four high-speed General Electric electric motors (2,740shp), two 126-cell Sargo batteries, two propellers
Bunkerage97,140gal oil
Speed20 knots
Range11,000nm at 10 knots surfaced, 48 hours at 2 knots submerged
Armament6x533mm forward torpedo tubes, 4x533mm aft torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, 1x76mm gun, 2x.50cal machine guns, 2x.30cal machine guns
Submerged Speed8.75 knots


ww2dbaseCommissioned into service in the summer of 1943, USS Dorado conducted shakedown and training operations off the New England region of northeastern United States. On 6 Oct 1943, she departed for the Panama Canal Zone for the ultimate destination of Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. On 12 Oct 1943, a US Navy PBM Mariner aircraft operating out of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba detected an unidentified submarine and attacked her with three depth charges and one bomb; it was not clear whether the submarine was damaged; later in the patrol, the same aircraft encountered another submarine which fired on the aircraft. Later, an Allied convoy sailing through the region reported no contact with any friendly submarines. After Dorado had failed to arrive at the Panama Canal Zone on 14 Oct, air searches were launched, finding scattered oil slicks that later investigation found to be not of submarine fuel in nature. It was ultimately concluded that both of the submarine contacts that the US Navy PBM Mariner aircraft encountered on 12 Oct 1943 were indeed hostile (the second contact was later concluded to be German submarine U-214), and thus USS Dorado was most likely lost due to an accident or to a German naval mine.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Dec 2012

Submarine Dorado (SS-248) Interactive Map

Dorado Operational Timeline

27 Aug 1942 The keel of submarine Dorado was laid down by the Electric Boat Company at Groton, Connecticut, United States.
23 May 1943 Submarine Dorado was launched at Groton, Connecticut, United States, sponsored by the wife of Ezra G. Allen.
28 Aug 1943 USS Dorado was commissioned into service, Lieutenant Commander Earle Caffrey Schneider in command.
6 Oct 1943 USS Dorado departed New London, Connecticut, United States.
12 Oct 1943 An Allied convoy sailing through the planned path of USS Dorado reported no submarine contacts.
14 Oct 1943 USS Dorado failed to arrive at the Panama Canal Zone, and aircraft were launched to search, without success, for the submarine. Early suggestions that she was sunk in error by a US Mariner aircraft was later concluded as incorrect, and it seemed likely that her loss was attributable to an unknown accident on board or to a German naval mine.


Laying the keel of submarine Dorado, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 27 Aug 1942Future commander of Dorado Earle C. Schneider at the launching ceremony with his son Earle V. Launching of submarine Dorado, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 23 May 1943Bow view of submarine Dorado, off New England, United States, Aug 1943
See all 6 photographs of Submarine Dorado (SS-248)

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Douglas Campbell says:
12 Nov 2011 12:20:55 PM

"USS DORADO (SS-248): On Eternal Patrol" is a 614-page book about the sub, the officers and crew, and the search for the sub by the author, Douglas Campbell, over a 20-year period. Released on Oct 12, 2011, 68th Anniversary of her loss. ISBN 978-1-257-95155-0

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Submarine Dorado (SS-248) Photo Gallery
Laying the keel of submarine Dorado, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 27 Aug 1942
See all 6 photographs of Submarine Dorado (SS-248)

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