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NavPers 16160, The Fleet Type Submarine, the 1946 U.S. Navy training manual, lists the general procedure for diving as given below. The Ship's Organization Book of each submarine carries the diving procedure for that particular sub. You are now ready to submerge yourself in this webpage on a typical WWII Fleet Type sub.

Diving Procedure. The diving signal is two short blasts on the diving alarm, the second blast being the signal to start the dive. Two blasts are used to guard against diving on an accidental single blast. An alternate diving signal is the word "Dive, Dive" passed orally.

When the diving alarm is given, the following procedure is observed (items marked with an asterisk are executed at once without further orders):

*a. Stop all engines, shift to battery, set annunciators on "All ahead standard," open engine room doors and air locks.
*b. Close outboard and inboard engine exhaust valves, close hull ventilation supply and exhaust valves, close inboard engine air induction flappers, and close conning tower hatch.
*c. Open bow buoyancy vents and all main ballast tank vents, except the group or tank designated to be kept closed until pressure in the ship indicates that all hull openings have been closed.
*d. Rig out bow planes and place on FULL DIVE. Use stern planes to control the angle of the ship.
*e. Diving officer checks hull opening indicator light panel for condition of hull openings. Air is bled into the ship when green lights show all hull openings closed. Watertight integrity is assured when the internal air pressure remains constant.
f. The following operations are performed by direction of the diving officer, who isw guided by the existing conditions:
1. At 45 feet, shut the vents and slow to 2/3 speed.
2. At 15 feet short of desired depth, blow negative tank, shut its flood valve, and vent the tank.
3. Level off at specified depth, slow to 1/3 speed, cycle the vents, and adjust fore-and-aft trim and over-all weight.
4. Diving officer reports to conning officer when trim is satisfactory.

When diving in a heavy sea, the maneuver is accomplished most expeditiously by diving with the sea abaft the beam.

Now at periscope depth, let's raise the periscope and take a look around at various items of submarine interest that are gathered together in this wolfpack of items for sale. To order, see information at the bottom of this page.

U.S.S. Growler, SS-215 by McClelland Barclay, May 1943. Barclay was an illustrator and advertising artist who painted for the navy during WW2. He did recruiting posters and went overseas to record individual heroes. This painting of the Growler is in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT.


BARB is a kingfish of the mackerel family. This is the name which was bestowed on USS Barb (SS220). The Barb was launched 2 April 1942 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Dunn, wife of Rear Admiral Dunn; commissioned 8 July 1942, Lieutenant Commander J. R. Waterman in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

Undersea service in WWII represented the highest level of the melding of man and machine. The submariner was totally dependent upon his vessel and all his fellow crew for his well being. If that thin steel pressure vessel skin of the inner hull was materially breached by mines, depth charges, shell fire, collision or pressure of the deep, the crew stood very little chance of survival. Compartmentation of the submarine provides eight water-tight compartments, yet the compact nature of the submarine stuffs a huge amount of equipment into a very small space, leaving scant room for living and working. The complexities of the sub's systems required the utmost competency of the crew with virtually no room for error. During World War II, the United States Navy lost 52 submarines, most with their entire crew which averaged between 59 to 78 men. Submariners have always held my greatest respect and awe; the "Silent Service" was America's main weapon against the Japanese immediately following Pearl Harbor and was instrumental in the defeat of Japan. In addition, the daring downed pilot rescue missions of the Submarine Lifeguard League are legendary.

USS Sea Devil engaged in pilot rescue.

Long range submarines, the "Fleet Submarine", of WWII began with the Gato Class, a vessel with an overall length of near 312 feet and a surface displacement of around 1870 tons. Design was frozen to expedite construction so the follow-on classes of Balao (pictured at the top of this page) and Tench are nearly identical with a somewhat stronger hull (improved steel). The Fleet Submarine topside appearance constantly changed with each succeeding yard overhaul as electronics, bridge shape, anti-aircraft armament, deck gun size and placement etc.were altered. Early in WWII, the subs were equiped with a forward 3" deck gun which eventually gave way to an aft deck mounted 5"/25 wet gun. The Barb was a Gato Class sub. She received the 5"/25 only after a Mare Island overhaul between the 11th and 12th patrols.

5"/25 wet deck gun on 1:150 scale model.

The Barb sunk the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II (Several sources cite this record. The USS Flasher SS-249, is also credited in many sources as sinking the greatest tonnage of Japanese shipping and being the only submarine credited with over 100,000 tons. This disparity occurs because Japanese records were examined more recently with the Barb being credited with additional sinkings as explained in the book mentioned below)and rewrote the book on submarine warfare with innovative strategies and tactics. Her exploits under her commander, Eugene B. Fluckey, have been recorded in the exciting 1992 book, Thunder Below!, which is described further down this page.

The following brief history is from the excellent website,, which is recommended for any student of submarine history.

USS Barb at sea.

Barb's war operations span the period from 20 October 1942 until 2 August 1945, during which time she completed 12 war patrols. During her first patrol she carried out reconnaissance duties prior to, and during, the invasion of North Africa. Ope rating out of Roseneath, Scotland, until July 1943 she conducted her next four patrols against the Axis blockade runners in European waters. Barb's fifth patrol terminated 1 July 1943 and she proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., arriving 24 July.

Following a brief overhaul period at New London, Barb departed for Pearl Harbor where she arrived in September 1943. It was in the Pacific waters that Barb found lucrative hunting and went on to compile one of the outstanding submarine re cords of World War II. During the seven war patrols she conducted between March 1944 and August 1945 Barb is officially credited with sinking 17 enemy vessels totaling 96,628 tons. Included were the escort aircraft carrier Unyo, sunk 16, Sep tember 1944 in 19°18' N., 116°26' E., and a frigate.

The last two war patrols conducted by Barb are deserving of special mention. Under Commander E. B. Fluckey she commenced her 11th patrol 19 December 1944. The patrol was conducted in the Formosa Straits and East China Sea off the east coast of China, from Shanghai to Kam Kit. During this patrol, which lasted until 15 February 1945, Barb sank four Japanese merchant ships and numerous enemy small craft. On 22-23 January Barb, displaying the ultimate in skill and daring, penetr ated Namkwan Harbor on the China coast and wrought havoc upon a convoy of some 30 enemy ships at anchor. Riding dangerously in shallow waters, Barb launched her torpedoes into the enemy group and then retired at high speed on the surface in a full hour's run through uncharted, heavily mined, and rock-obstructed waters. In recognition of this outstanding patrol, Commander Fluckey was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and Barb received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Mid-section of 1:150 scale model of USS Barb.

Upon completion of her 11th patrol Barb was sent stateside (Mare Island) for a yard overhaul and alterations, which included the installation of 5-inch rocket launchers. Returning to the Pacific, she commenced her 12th and final patrol on 8 June. This patrol was conducted in the areas north of Hokkaido and east of Karatuto, Japan. For the first time in submarine warfare Barb successfully employed rockets against the towns of Shari, Shikuka, Kashaiko, and Shiritori. She also bombarded the town of Kaihyo To, with her regular armament (the 5"/25 installed at Mare Island), destroying 60 percent of the town. She next landed a party of crew volunteers who blew up a railroad train. For her outstanding feats during this patrol Barb was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

An exhibit of Barb memorabilia at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis Maryland. The submarine model in the exhibit is another boat. Note the log book in the lower rh corner of the case. This is the radarman's log and it is open to the page describing the July 23, 1945 landing and attack on Japan by some of the boat's crew. The log is pictured below along with a blowup of the July 23rd event entry which states, in part: "Landing party went over in lifeboat - picked them up on radar from ship to landing point -" CollectAir photos.

Returning to the United States after the cessation of hostilities, Barb was placed in commission in reserve 9 March 1946 and out of commission in reserve 12 February 1947 at New London, Conn. On 3 December 1951 she was recommissioned and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, operating out of Key West, Fla. She was placed out of commission 5 February 1954 and underwent conversion to a Guppy submarine. Recommissioned 3 August 1954, she served with the Atlantic Fleet until 13 December 1954 when she was decommissioned and loaned to Italy under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program where she was recommissioned ENRICO TAZZOLI. ENRICO TAZZOLI (S-511) (ex-BARB) was scrapped in 1975.

Barb received the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, and eight battle stars for her World War II service.

Bridge of 1:150 scale model of USS Barb.

The 1:150 scale model of the USS Barb SS-220 is available for only $299.00. A very handsome wood and glass (not plexiglass) display case is also available for $199.00, an excellent presentation for home or office. This sub model is in demand and supplies are very limited as the production rate is slow at best. Other sub models will be available in the future (see German Type VIIC below).

1:150 scale model of the USS Barb SS-220.

The August/September 2008 issue of "World War II" magazine carries a seven-page article on Eugene Fluckey and the exploits of the "Barb." The magazine can be obtained from World War II, POB 420458, Palm Coast, FL 32142-9081.

An 8x10, b&w photo montage of Eugene B. Fluckey and the Barb, autographed by Eugene B. Fluckey, is available for $15 to buyers of this submarine model. A detail section of the photo is shown below (availability limited).

A wartime fleet submarine interior.


The German Type VIIC U-Boat was built in the largest quantity of any submarine type during WW2 and the Type VIIC carried the brunt of the German U-Boat offensive. The model offered here is the early Type VIIC with a single 20mm bridge mounted gun and a deck mounted 88mm cannon. There were numerous bridge conversions during WW2, designed to increase fire power against air attacks for the most part; the bridge on this model represents the "wintergarten" style. The drawing below courtesy of, shows U-486 with the bridge arrangement used on the model. Note that term "conning tower" refers to the section internal to the bridge. The bridge protects the conning tower and serves as the platform for gunnery and other devices.

With well over 500 Type VIIC subs constructed, there is only a single example remaining; U-995 is located in an outdoor exhibit in Laboe, Germany. The photo below shows the sole Type VII submarine on view. Note that it has a later bridge design. An outstanding DVD which profiles the U-995 along with videos, schematics, reports etc. can be obtained through - well worth having for the submarine buff.

The photos below are of the model being offered. 24-inches in length, the model is mounted on a handsome board with a brass identification plate. Price for this German WW2 menace is $495.00.

The profile drawing below shows the earlier Type VIIB U-Boat, U-99, commanded by KL Otto Kretschmer. The history of this famous U-Boat may be accessed by clicking here.

Detail from "Riding the Storm" by Dennis Andrews, stretched canvas 16" x 20".

The June 2008 issue of Naval History devotes much of the issue to the Battle of the Atlantic; this is well worth obtaining from the U.S. Naval Institute at

An illustration from the "Naval History" magazine. Caption: "In one of the North Atlantic war's wildest fights, the destroyer HMCS Assiniboine, escorting Convoy SC 94, engaged in a 35-minute, point-blank gun duel with U-210 on 6 August 1942 before finally ramming and sinking the sub. The destroyer's commander later surmised that the U-boat did not dive during the battle because the skipper hoped to escape in the fog."

Detail from John Hamilton's painting of a wolf pack attack on merchant vessels.

Against All Odds by Robert Taylor.

Caught On the Surface by Robert Taylor.

Examples of Vintage toy submarines. These Marklin subs were sold at a 2012 Bertoia's auction and a 2014 Galerie de Chartres auction; these prices (9600 Euros!) make the above models look rather inexpensive, wouldn't you say?


This "S" Class submarine plan is from the January, 1940 issue of The Model Craftsman. A magazine size plan and the 2-page article can be viewed and printed out by clicking here. Enjoy building a 1930s sub.

An "S" Class submarine featured in the 1930 comicstrip Tailspin Tommy. The history of the Tailspin Tommy strip can be viewed by clicking on the strip title in the top, lefthand margin.

Tailspin Tommy and a Submarine

Hal Forrest is usually given credit for creating the very first aviation oriented cartoon strip, Tailspin Tommy. The Bell Syndicate jumped on the aviation bandwagon, following Lindbergh's 1927 flight, and hired Hal Forrest, an illustrator and a fledgling cartoonist, and Glenn Chaffin, a newspaper writer and press agent, to put together a comic strip which would have an aviation theme. The earliest date for publication of the first strip (number 1) of the daily comic has been established by correspondent Steve Hathaway as Monday, April 30, 1928.

Forrest has been described as an "indifferent" artist whose style centered more on airplanes than people. The two collaborated on the strip until the end of 1933 at which time Forrest bought out Chaffin's interest in the comic strip. Forrest did both the writing and drawing until 1936/37 when he hired an assistant, Reynold Brown (more about him later), who became a "ghost" artist, doing the actual inking of the strip over Forrest's pencil sketches, but his name never appeared on the strip. It is universally agreed that the strip's illustrations improved with Brown's renderings - particularly drawings of personages.

Shown below is one of the daily strips from 1930, number 688, which story features an adventure involving a submarine rescue, a far cry from the usual airplanes that are woven into the strips series.

SECRET OPERATION, a Limited Edition Print by Robert Taylor

Submariners are a special breed. Their environment, operating deep beneath the surface of the waves, is both unnatural and dangerous, and demands men of cool courage and exceptional quality. Prowling the depths like a mammoth shark, sometimes hunting, sometimes hunted, submarine crews live and fight, and sometimes die together, alone in the remote expanses of the world's great oceans. Regardless of national flag under which they sail, this small elite "Silent Service" is both feared and admired by all who sail the seas.

Manned entirely by volunteers, British and American submarines saw action in every maritime theatre during the great conflict of 1939-1945, the crews fighting their solitary, stealthy, secret war with courage and nerves of steel.

Robert Taylor's evocative painting, Secret Operation, captures the menacing beauty of a submarine on the surface: the S-Class type HMS Sceptre slips her moorings in Scapa Flow, Scotland, and glides quietly into the North Sea to begin another top secret underwater operation. On the conning tower the skipper takes a final look across the water to the distant highlands while the crew savour the fresh salt air knowing soon they will submerge into their eerie, silent, artificial world beneath the waves.

This print is signed by four highly decorated WWII Royal Navy "S" Class submarine Captains: Vice-Admiral Sir Michael Lumby KCB,OBE,DSO,DSC; Commander Edward Young DSO,DSC*,RNV(S)R; Vice-Admiral Ian McGeoch KCB,DSO,DSC; and Vice-Admiral Ian McIntosh KBE,CB,DSO,DSC. A limited edition of 700 prints, the price of this submarine scene is $120.00.

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum receives support from the sale of this print. Located at Portsmouth Harbour, the museum website can be accessed at Of particular interest, the HMS Alliance, from 1947, is the subject of a virtual tour throughout the submarine; well worth taking.


Cavacraft Kit No. E-1 of the U.S.S. Perch, "New Snorkel Type Submarine". A solid scale kit with an overall hull length of 9". Kit is complete including decals, brass name plate, mounting base, plans, and formed pinewood parts, a very nice small-scale kit.

USS PERCH (SS-313) is just one example of fleet subs built late in WWII that continued their active service well into the era of the nuclear powered submarine. Having fought in WWII, these boats once again found themselves on patrol in unfriendly waters during the major conflicts of the Cold War: Korea and Vietnam.

Many of the fleet submarines from World War Two had long useful lives following the war. More powerful batteries, streamlined Conning Tower fairings and hull shapes, snorkel systems, and improved radar and sonar equipment extended the useful life of submarines built in the middle 1940s into the Cold War years of the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the GUPPY (Greater Underwater Propulsive Power) modernization programs, new or special missions sometimes required major modifications to the basic fleet boat, such as the addition of deck storage containers, missile launching equipment (e.g.; Regulus) or the removal of torpedo tubes and deck guns.

First commissioned on 7 January 1944, PERCH operated out of Hawaii and Australia during World War II and was one of only two submarines to receive the Submarine Combat Patrol insignia during the Korean War. In the 1960s, PERCH conducted special operations in Vietnam for which she again earned the Combat Patrol pin. She was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list on 1 January 1971 and sold for scrap in 1973.

The "313-boat" was named after the first USS PERCH (SS-176), which was lost on 3 March 1942 north of Surabaya during the Navy's futile attempt to slow Japanese expansion at the beginning of the war. PERCH arrived in Hawaii in spring 1944 and completed five war patrols out of Pearl Harbor under her commissioning CO, LCdr. B.C. Hills, and then two patrols from Fremantle under the command of LCdr. C.D. McCall before the war ended. PERCH's missions took her tot he Luzon Straits, the Philippine Sea, the East China Sea, the Java Sea, and the home waters of the Japanese Empire. Like many other "latecomer" boats in the Pacific theater, she found few targets this late in the war and was not credited with any sinkings.

Decommissioned on 15 January 1947, PERCH underwent a dramatic conversion at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in the spring of 1948 that would extend her usefulness to the Navy for many years and place her in a new and special role. PERCH was stripped of all her torpedo tubes and main engines one and two were removed. The spaces which once housed one half of the throbbing heart and the "teeth" of the boat, the Forward Engine Room and the Forward and After Torpedo Rooms, were now converted to berthing and equipment areas for up to 110 troops.

PERCH's active service spanned 27 years. Her participation in three wars, though exceptional, was not unique, for other boats, having survived WWII, found themselves on patrol in dangerous waters again during Korea and Vietnam. It was PERCH's special abilities that brought her "up close and personal" with the enemy. One boat, three wars. Not a bad score. The above information is from; to read more about the exploits of Perch, refer to the subnet site.

The Cavacraft kit box measures 3" x 9" x 1 3/8"; it's condition is about a 6-7 with scuffed ends, some flap tearing and one tape mark on top, but a pretty fair display boxart. The price of this kit from the late 1940s is $45.00 SORRY SOLD.

BRITISH SUBMARINES AT WAR 1939-1945 by Alastair Mars, 1971

Written by a submarine commander, British Submarines at War 1939-1945, is a "sweeping and masterly account of stirring times" in the words of Vice-Admiral John Roxburgh who was the Flag Officer of Submarines in the 1971 Royal Navy. The author states that "It can truthfully be said that never in the long history of war has any armed force been subjected to such destruction, year after year, and yet survived to inflict upon its enemies losses out of all proportion to the size of this small band of British submariners and their friends." Mr. Mars has brought the history and battle campaigns of WWII and the role the British submarine force into focus. The book jacket states that "While clearly depicting the problems of our wartime submariners, both British and Allied, the Author writes unemotionally of actual events whether triumphant or disastrous; but his criticisms, although balanced, are terse and to the point. Being a graduate of the Naval Staff College, Alastair Mars is further qualified by having held an unusual succession of keenly sought appointments during his distinguished career, including his brilliant command of the submarine Unbroken; but, as Admiral Roxburgh states in the forward, his views are frequently controversial."

Of interest, the submarine depicted in the Robert Taylor painting Secret Operation, the HMS Sceptre, is mentioned on page 205 as its commander, I.S. McIntosh (who has signed the print) towed the midget submarine X.24 to Norway where it entered Bergen Harbour to blow up a floating dry dock in 1945. This book is in fine condition with dust jacket and is the original edition published by the Naval Institute; this is not a book club edition. 256 pages with photos and 21-page maps. $29.95


From the dust jacket:

"No man above or below the waves successfully completed so many critical missions, fostered as much admiration, drew as much criticism, or made such a lasting impact on submarine warfare as one determined leader. .

"Among submariners in World War II, Dudley "Mush" Morton stood out as a warrior without peer. At the helm of the USS Wahoo he completely changed the way the sea war was fought in the Pacific. He would relentlessly attack the Japanese at every opportunity, going through his supply of torpedoes in record time on every patrol. In only nine months, he racked up an astounding list of achievements, including being the first American skipper to wipe out an entire enemy convoy single-handedly.

"Here, for the first time, is the life and legend of a heroic, dynamic, and ultimately divisive submarine commander who fought the war on his own terms, and refused to do so any other way. "

This is an excellent read for any submarine buff. Buy at discount, only $17.00.

FIND 'EM, CHASE 'EM, SINK 'EM by Mike Ostlund

This book is a great read for any WW2 submarine buff as author Mike Ostlund tells the story, much of it from interviews, of SS-211, the USS Gudgeon, the first U.S. submarine to undertake a trans-Pacific patrol and take the war to Japan. From the back cover: "Revised and fully updated, the stirring and authoritative account of one of World War II's most highly decorated submarines.

"On April 7, 1944, the battle-hardened USS Gudgeon (SS-211) slowly pulled away from tiny Johnston Island, slipping beneath the waves in one of the most treacherous patrol areas in the most dangerous military service during World War II. The seventy-nine men of the Gudgeaon crew were never seen again. This is their story.

"Author Mike Ostlund's uncle, Lieutenant Junior Grade William C. Ostlund, was aboard that boat. Through extensive research of patrol reports in U.S. and Japanese archives, interviews with veterans who had served aboard the Gudgeon before its final patrol, and the personal effects of the lost men's relatives, Oslund has assembled the most accurate account yet of this remarkably successful submarine's exploits, of the men aboard - from steward to captain - and of what we now know about her demise.

"Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em also details the memories and life lessons of the young men who went to sea aboard the Gudgeon before its last patrol, who knew hardly anything, and who came home having seen too much.

"Mike Ostlund holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He is a member of the Naval Submarine League and an associate member of the United States Submarine Veterans. He lives with his family in Iowa City, Iowa." This gently read, soft cover book has 524 pages and is available for only $14.00.

A TALE OF TWO SUBS by Jonathan J. McCullough

A terrific and gripping new book about submarine warfare in WW2, centering on two sister ships and how their patrols intertwined. From the dust jacket:

On November 19, 1942, the submarine USSSculpin was attacked by a Japanese destroyer. Despite the crew's desparate attempts to survive - diving down below the waters to perilous depths and running quiet in order to hide themselves from the destroyer's sonar equipment - the destroyer prevailed. Ultimately, the Sculpin took on too much damage and was forced to surface, leaving her crew with no choice but to abandon ship. The American sailors were then picked up by the Japanese, who would subject them to days of torture. These seamen were ultimately transferred to a Japanese aircraft carrier and then sent to a dreaded Japanese POW camp.

On board the Sculpin was Lt. Commander Cromwell, who, unbeknownst to the crew, carried an important secret: the United States had managed to crack the secret Japanese war code. Cromwell knew that this information was too important for him to risk interrogation; he now had a terrible decision to make.

Weeks later, another sub, the USS Sailfish, came upon a Japanese aircraft carrier. It was a fortuitous discovery, as an enemy carrier was a prime target in World War II. But little did the crew of the Sailfish know that their countrymen - the survivors from the Sculpin - were on board that same carrier, locked in the brig and trying to escape as exploding torpedoes from the Sailfish erupted around them.

Ironically, the Sculpin and the Sailfish (originally christened as the Squalus) were sister submarines. In fact, when the Squalus had first been launched in 1939, it had gone down in a test dive. The Sculpin had been instrumental in finding her in time to save the lives of half of her crew.

The incredible interconnections between the Sculpin and the Sailfish have never been so dramatically portrayed. Thoroughly researched by the author, who gained access to the few living survivors, never-before-translated Japanese war documents, and exclusive photographs, A TALE OF TWO SUBS tells the story of some of the most amazing and moving events in World War II history.

A read which delight any submarine buff, this book is available for $26.99.


A submarine story involving the USS Billfish, SS-286, while on patrol in the Makassar Strait off Borneo in November 1943. The sub became the target of a vicious depth-charge attack by Japanese vessels. A young officer, Charlie Rush, as diving officer, took command of the sub as senior officers were incapacitated under circumstances which have taken sixty years to be told. This is a gripping tale told by a best selling author, Don Keith. Sixty year memories may not be wholly accurate but the story of courage and leadership has resulted in a Navy Cross being presented to Captain Charles W. Rush 2002. Keith is a good story teller but not without lapses of accuracy. A few errors concerning the role of the USS Enterprise in the Doolittle Tokyo Raid and the conversion of knots to mph aren't enough to dull the edge of this heroic story. Own this wonderful submarine read for a discounted price of only $17.95. First printing April 2010.

SHADOW DIVERS by Robert Kurson

The German type IXC U-boat, U-869, was sunk off the coast of New Jersey in 1945, probably being struck by one of its own errant torpedoes. Discovered by scuba divers in 1991, the story of the mystery sub was carried by PBS's Nova series in November 2000. The adventurous tale of the divers and their dangerous quest for answers is a satisfying submarine story told by the discoverers of the wreckage - a fine counterpoint to submariners stories told from inside the pressure hull.

From the dust jacket:

"A true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery - and make history themselves.

"For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.

"But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones - all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.

"No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts that Chatterton and Kohler brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

"Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical bond of brotherhood, with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors - former enemies of their country. As the men's marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

"Author Robert Kurson's account of this quest is at once thrilling, emotionally complex, and written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they encounter the dangers of the oceans's underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, 230 feet down, in the deep blue sea."

Book is nearly new condition, dust jacket fine with price clipped. Only blemish is a two-line inked inscription on the front free endpaper. A superb book from 2004 and priced at only $3.00..

DARDANELLES PATROL by Peter Shankland and Anthony Hunter - 1964

This is not a rare book; in fact, hard and soft cover copies of the 1964 book are easily available. It is being mentioned here because it is a superb submarine story of WW1. This hard cover copy is priced at $10.00; it is ex-lib with dj and is in condition "fair."

British sub E 11 at sea. From the book, "Dardanelles Patrol."

From the dust jacket: This is one of the most exciting submarine stories ever written. In May 1915 the British submarine E 11 left her base in the Aegean to carry out a patrol in the Sea of Marmara - that land-locked stretch of water lying between the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles - in support of the hard pressed Gallipoli expedition. Even to reach the Sea of Marmara the submarine had to grope her way through thirty miles of the narrowest, most heavily guarded and most treacherous waters in the world. Nothing was known of the deadly undersea currents and no accurate information was available as to the position of mine fields or anti-submarine nets. Of the four submarines that had so far tried the passage three had been lost within a few hours of setting out. Once in the Marmara the game was for high stakes. It is not often that the presence of one submarine can influence the conduct of a whole campaign. This small stretch of water was as rich in opportunity as it was in danger, and E 11 accepted both with gusto. Challenging the whole Turkish navy on its home ground, she exploited every possibility of offensive action, from attacking a battleship to engaging a troop of cavalry. As the only hostile warship to have entered the harbor of Constantinople since the fall of the city five hundred years before, she made history and broke a legend. This magnificent story of courage and seamanship, of high spirited adventure and supreme professional skill, is now told for the first time at full length by the authors of Malta Convoy, with the fullest assistance from her commander, Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C. The readers of this book may well agree with Sir Winston Churchill that, "The naval history of Britain contains no page more wonderful than that which records the prowess of her submarines at the Dardanelles."


The gripping story of the U.S. Navy submarine Tang on its last patrol; sunk by her own wayward torpedo in 180 feet of water in the Formosa Strait, a few crewmen were able to escape the sunken sub, the only submariners to escape from a sunken sub in WW2.

From the jacket: In October 1944, the U.S. Navy submarine Tang was already legendary - it had sunk more enemy ships, rescued more downed airmen, and pulled off more daring surface attacks than any other Allied submarine in the Pacific. And then, on her fifth patrol, disaster struck. The Tang's last torpedo went out straight on target, but suddenly marlfaunctioned, turned back in an erratic "circular run," and struck the Tang with such enormous force that half of the eighty-seven-man crew was killed instantly.

The survivors who went down with the Tang struggled to stay alive in their submerged "iron coffin" one hundred eighty feet beneath the surface, while the Japanese dropped deadly depth charges. As the oxygen depleted, some of the men made a daring ascent through the escape trunk. In the end just nine men of the original crew survived, including four who had been thrown from the bridge when the faulty torpedo hit, and had managed to tread water for over eight hours. But all of them were just beginning a far greater ordeal.

After being picked up by a Japanese patrol vessel, the survivors from the Tang were sent to a secret Japanese interrogation camp known as the "Torture Farm." When they were finally liberated in August 1945, they were close to death, but they had revealed nothing to the Japanese, including the greatest secret of World War II.

With the same heart-pounding narrative drive that mad The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter national bestsellers, Alex Kershaw brings to life this incredible story of survival and endurance in the face of staggering adversity.

The Tang's skipper, Richard O'Kane, was a survivor of the sinking. He wrote two great submarine books, Clear the Bridge! The War Patrols of the USS Tang and Wahoo: The Patrols of America's Most Famous World War II Submarine. Both of these books are recommended reading for any sub buff.

Escape From the Deep, published in 2008, is available for $26.00.

U.S. Navy E-Class Submarine

The Navy's first submarine was the Holland-Class, Number VI, completed in 1897. The Holland-Class used an air-breathing gasoline engine for propulsion and battery charging. Continuing variants of the Holland-Class started with the A-Class; the E-Class submarine was completed in 1911 and it represented the first in the U.S. Navy to be powered by diesel engines. The E-Class was also the first to have bow planes and radio equipment installed during construction. The early diesels proved to be troublesome and the two E-Class subs built were removed from service in 1915. The E-Class had a length of 135 ft. 3 in. and a beam of 14 ft. 7 in.

A fascinating film of early U.S. Navy operations has been preserved; the opening of this wonderful 11-minute film shows many scenes of the E-2 submarine in operation. View this historical sequence of U.S. Navy history by clicking here. Use the back arrow to return.


The May 1954 issue of Air Trails featuring the Nautilus on the cover, shooting a rather nifty missile. Has two-page picture article on "A-Sub Heralds New Era in Underwater Transportation and Warfare." Other swell articles including two-pages of views of the new Corvette drawn by Walt Jefferies and a plan for a Fokker Triplane.along with photos from the International Motor Sports Show - remember the Renault Rogue sports car? You don't! Neither do I. A nifty magazine for only SOLD in great condition.


This manual, NAVPERS 16160, was prepared by the Submarine School, Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, along with other submarine activities, to serve as an instruction and operating manual. The preface to the manual states, "Since, in wartime, changes in design and construction developed rapidly as a result of battle experience, it became increasingly difficult to incorporate into this text all classes of submarines. Therefore, the USS Perch, or SS313, was selected as representative of the class discussed and described in the text. In some instances, however, it was found desirable to make reference to later units and to describe and illustrate these newer installations so that a more complete text would result. The manual on the fleet type submarine includes descriptive information covering: a. Submarine history and development; b. Submarine construction; c. Submarine systems; d. Submarine operations; e. Submarine training."

This 204 page manual is the bible for submarine operation; it thoroughly covers all the sub's systems with copious photos and diagrams plus twenty-eight 2 1/2-page fold-out illustrations, all beautifully done. There isn't anything about a fleet type sub that isn't covered in this manual. The fold-out pictured below is typical.

The photo below shows some typical photo illustration pages from 16160.

Note that the USS Perch is used as the example in this manual which is dated June 1946, prior to any major alterations of the WWII fleet type submarines. This copy of the manual has very clean pages and only the number notation "01203" on the inside cover endpaper. It was obviouly used but taken care of; the covers show some edge scuffing and wear of the gilt as can be seen in the photo of the cover above. The fold-outs have broken away from the spine but are intact and actually easier to use; the manual is not "loose". The covers measure 8 1/8" x 110 1/2" and appear to be the military standard manual size. You can own this indispensable 1946 manual, produced for ComSubLant, and become an expert arm-chair submariner (much more in 16160 than you'll find in any commercial book or publication) for $395.00


This card is from the "Transportation Through the Ages" set put out by Red Rose Tea (Brooke Bond Canada Limited)in Canada. The card is number 47 of a set of 48 in series 10. Depicted is the British Royal Navy's submarine HMS Dreadnought with "571" on the conning tower or "sail". Actually the Dreadnought was S101 and was Britains first nuclear submarine. The card measures 3.7x6.9 cm. The reverse has a description in both French and English. This card is available for $1.00.


This is an exciting submarine read involving an aging, American nuclear sub sent on an extremely dangerous mission to the shores of Russia. This is a First Edition dated 2005. The price of this outstanding novel, which is seldom above the ocean's surface, is only $10.00 plus postage.

From the book jacket:

The USS Memphis, a dilapidated submarine that should have been mothballed decades ago, has been given one last mission by the newly elected president. The task: To sneak illegally into Russia's coasstal waters and recon the leaking nuclear fuel containers hidden on the floor of the Arctic Ocean. More than just an environmental nightmare, this radioactive burial ground houses enough nuclear capability to destroy most of America's major cities.

The Memphis's commander, Lowell Hardy, had been looking forward to flag rank and pleasant duty upon the sub's decommissioning. Now he is trapped in an inconceivably dangerous and illegal mission that could easily end his career, if not his life and the lives of his crew. And it's the crew who feel Hardy's tension as he tyrannizes over everyone onboard in an effort to ensure they'll be ready for anything.

Jerry Mitchell: A former naval pilot with political connections, he is a novice submariner, unprepared for his demanding job as a weapons officer. Central to the Memphis's mission, Mitchell may be its greatest liability...or its ultimate salvation.

Dr. Joanna Patterson: The senior civilian scientist, appointed by and reporting to the president, she is a world-class expert on nuclear fuel contamination - and every bit as demanding as Hardy. Patterson and her partner, Dr. Emily Davis, soon find themselves battling flaring tempers, faulty machinery, lethal radioactivity, and the raging Arctic seas.

The submariners: Seething with rage at their Captain Bligh-like commander and the equally domineering Joanna Patterson, they are also at war with Jerry Mitchell and one another. Like the captain, they feel they deserve better, not this antiquated relic of a sub, not this hostile scientist, not this novice weapons officer, and definitely not this disastrously dangerous mission.

Nor is the mission what is seems. Lurking beneath the frigid, black, radioactive waters is a secret far more deadly than anything naval command could imagine - a secret so menacing the Russian fleet is hell-bent on destroying the Memphis and all who sail on her.

Larry Bond is the author of numerous best-selling thrillers, including Vortex, Cauldron, and The Enemy Within. A former Naval Intelligence officer, warfare analyst, and antisubmarine technology expert, he is also the developer of the successful computer game Harpoon. He makes his home in Springfield, Virginia.

COLD CHOICES by Larry Bond

A 2009 First Edition submarine thriller by Larry Bond. Former aviator, Jerry Mitchell, and Dr. Joanna Patterson, both main characters in Bond's superb book, Dangerous Ground (see above), are central participants in this nuclear sub adventure in the deep freeze of the Barents Sea, home grounds of the Russian Northern Fleet. The USS Seawolf, while on a reconnaissance mission, is ambushed by a brand new Russian sub, the Severodvinsk; a collision occurs and the resulting sinking and rescue efforts in the ice-strewn, frigid waters cause an international crisis. You can't put this book down once you start reading. As new, this outstanding submarine novel is yours for $18.00.


A Tootsietoy submarine from the 1940s and 50s. This miniature sub measures 5.9 cm and is in fine, original condition and has not been cleaned. The bottom reads, "TOOTSIETOY USA". The conning tower has the marking "D-1". Become a submariner in the Tootsietoy Navy for $10.00 SORRY SOLD.


This kit from the Ideal Aeroplane & Supply Co., Inc. is an all-balsa submarine kit which was first designed and kitted in 1938; the 250 foot sub was the standard fleet submarine of that era. Originally the kit had a solid balsa hull which measures 24". This kit must have come out in the early 1940s and has a redesigned hull construction consisting of solid balsa end pieces and a built up center hull which is to be fully planked similar to a model airplane. An additional plan is included which states that "Due to restrictions on the use of Balsa, it has been necessary to develop another method of making the hull." Yet, the redesign is still all-balsa.

From 1939 Ideal catalog.

The lid-type kit box measures 5 1/2" x 19 1/4" x 1 7/8" deep and is in condition 8.5 with some flap tear on one end. The kit is complete. The main plan has a few small holes, all in all a very nice kit representing a 1938 submarine. Price is $SORRY SOLD$ for this old Ideal kit.


Soviet Attack Sub B-39. CollectAir photo.

A 1970s spy photo at the Barents base of Gadzhiyevo? No, this Soviet Attack Submarine B-39 diesel boat is currently berthed in San Diego Bay at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. On temporary loan, the cold-war diesel sub will be available for tours for about 18 months before being reassigned. It is seaworthy as it was tug-towed to San Diego (see above). The museum website is which this to say about B-39: "One of a fleet of diesel electric submarines the Soviet Navy called "Project 641," B-39 was commissioned in the early 1970s and served on active duty for more than 20 years. 300 feet in length and displacing more than 2000 tons, B-39 is among the largest conventionally powered submarines ever built. She was designed to track U.S. and NATO warships throughout the world's oceans. B-39, assigned to the Soviet Pacific fleet, undoubtedly stalked many of the U.S. Navy's ships home ported in San Diego. Soviet Project 641 submarines, classified as 'Foxtrot' by NATO, are essentially larger and more powerful versions of German World War II era U-boats." Diesel-electric submarines can be effective for missions such as coastal defense, where high speed and long range are not crucial. Operating on virtually silent electric motors underwater, they are inherently quieter than nuclear-powered boats with their coolant pumps. Diesel-electric submarines are also less costly to build and maintain. Oops, nothing for sale here, but you can join the San Diego Maritime Museum at their website.

The Russian attack sub Scorpion was moved to Long Beach to be moored next to the Queen Mary. This 1972 sub was built at the Sudomekh Shipyards near Leningrad and was based in Vladivostok until its retirement in 1994. Self guided tours of the sub are available.


The complete and dramatic story of how the U.S. Navy's "Silent Service" helped win the most extensive underseas war in history. this massive and important work provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the operations of American submarines during the Second World War. Included is a detailed list of the Japanese Naval & Merchant Vessels which were sunk by each US Submarine. The book is profusely illustrated; the diagram of a fleet-type submarine is shown below as taken from the book.

The dustjacket is tattered with pieces missing and is in a Mylar protector. Full cloth. Black & white photographs, illustrations, and colored maps. xx, 577 pages. Excellent condition book . Classic work which focuses mainly on the Pacific Theater. Written for the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Complete, dramatic story of the U. S. "Silent Service" fighting the greatest undersea battle in history. Well illustrated with over 200 charts, original illustrations, and photographs--including many shot by the famous Steichen Photographic Unit under the direction of Captain Edward Steichen. Light tan cloth over boards with dark grey stamped lettering and decoration to spine and upper board, illustrated endpapers.

This outstanding book by theodore Roscoe is the 1950 third printing edition. The book has been reprinted since many times and is currently available, but you can own this clean vintage edition for $47.50.

THUNDER BELOW! by Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey

The USS Barb, SS-220, compiled the greatest tonnage sunk by any American submarine in World War II. Thunder Below! is an account of the Barb'swartime patrols under Eugene Fluckey as skipper as he joined the Barb in January of 1944. All of the submarine's attacks on patrols eight through it's final wartime twelfth patrol are covered in detail. The accounts are lively and conversations are recounted giving authority and interest to the historical events. From the book jacket: The unique story of the Barb begins with its men, who had the confidence to become unbeatable. Each team helped develop innovative ideas, new tactics, and new strategies. All strove for personal excellence, and success became contagious. Instead of lying in wait under the waves, the USS Barb pursued enemy ships on the surface, attacking in the swift and precise style of torpedo boats. She was the first sub to use rocket missiles and to creep up on enemy convoys at night, joining the flank escort line from astern, darting in and out as she sank ships up the column.

Surface-cruising, diving only to escape, "Luckey Fluckey" relentlessly patrolled the Pacific, driving his boat and crew to their limits. There can be no greater contrast to modern warfare's long-distance, viseo-game style of battle than the exploits of the captain and crew of the USS Barb, where the sub, out of ammunition, actually rammed an enemy ship until it sank.

Eight members of the Barb's crew, the Saboteur Squad, were the only Americans to land on Japanese soil in World War II. They blew up a train with sixteen cars using one of the sub's three self-scuttling charges. (Patrol Twelve at Patience Bay). This exciting and true submarine story is available for $29.95.

Illustration from the book with caption, "The USS Barb on arrival home at New London, Connecticut, 21 September 1945." Note that this configuration is the one used for the 1:150 scale model shown above.

Note that the painting on the book jacket, "Galloping Ghost of the China Coast," is available from the Naval Institute website.


A 1:192 scale model, 23 1/4" in length, of the USS Virginia, SSN-774, the newest class of submarine to be added to the U.S. fleet.

Artists conception of the USS Virginia Class submarine.

In late 1998, the contract was let for building the first of the New Attack Submarine, the Virginia-class. It is the first U.S. submarine to be designed for battlespace dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions as well as open-ocean, "blue water" missions. The Virginia-class achieves the right balance of core military capabilities and affordability

General Characteristics, Virginia class.
Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Newport News Shipbuilding.
Power Plant: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 377 feet (114.91 meters)
Beam: 34 feet (10.36 meters)
Displacement: Approx. 7,800 tons (7,925.18 metric tons)
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph)
Cost: about $1.65 billion each (based on FY95 dollars and 30-ship class)
Ships: Virginia (SSN 774), under construction; delivery in 2004
Texas (SSN 775), under construction; delivery in 2005
Hawaii (SSN 776), under construction; delivery in 2006
North Carolina (SSN 777), named 11 December 2000; delivery in 2007 (Note: By late 2003 the Navy cut two of these subs from its budget).
Crew: 134 Officers and Enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, VLS tubes, MK-48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes, advanced mobile mines, and unmanned undersea vehicles.

In a memo, No. 470-98, September 10, 1998, from John Dalton, Secretary of the Navy, he announced his decision to name the lead ship of the New Attack Submarine class the USS Virginia (SSN 774).

"I can think of no other state that so embodies the maritime heritage of this great Nation than the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Secretary Dalton. "I am also most grateful to the Virginia delegation for their strong support of the Navy Department. The submarines of the Virginia class will silently roam the world's oceans for decades to come, carrying the spirit of America and Virginia with them wherever they go."

Virginia will be able to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea forces. Other missions Virginia will conduct include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, special forces delivery and support, and mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced communications connectivity, Virginia also will provide important battle group and joint task force support, with full integration into carrier battle group operations. The Virginia class of attack submarines surpasses the performance of any current projected threat submarine, ensuring U.S. undersea dominance well into the next century (from the 1998 memo).

The USS Virginia was commissioned on October 23, 2004, the first of the new class of fast attack subs specifically designed for security in these post-Cold War times. It is the first submarine to be built without a periscope; a high resolution digital camera replaces the familiar "up periscope". The control room no longer has to be located directly below the periscope so can be located in the sub's lower deck.

This sub is so secret that I can't let you go below, but for a mere $399.95 you can be the skipper of this sleek, new undersea weapons system and explore it yourself.

Pictures are shown below of the 1:192 scale model.

Update 2010: The Virginia Class submarine has grown into a fleet of six subs, with the USS Missouri as the newest. The class has been plagued with a loss of some of the anechoic material used to coat the sub for stealth; recent reports indicate that the two newest subs have had less problem but still lose a portion of their special coating - around 2 percent peeling off.


Pictured above are some of the books featuring submarines that are offered for sale. Listing of sub books will be posted here.

Buchheim, Lothar-Gunther, U-BOAT WAR, 1978 original hard cover, by author of "The Boat", with dj, clean, SOLD. See U-boat model for sale on this page.

8-15, Mars, Alastain, BRITISH SUBMARINES AT WAR 1939-1945, 1971, DJ, 0-87021-811-5 fine $29.95

WARSHIP PROFILE 8 - KRIEGSMARINE U-107 SUBMARINE by Dr, Jurgen Rohwer. A soft-cover from Profile Publications in their classic series from 1971. The life history of a German WWII submarine, described in detail by the world's leading authority on U-boat warfare. Pages 169 -192 with many photos, a chart of action, and a double-page color profile spread of U.107. Excellent condition. $10.00 SORRY SOLD

GX-269H, Galantin, U.S.N. (Ret.), Admiral I.J., TAKE HER DEEP! - A Submarine Against Japan in World War II, Intro by Edward L. Beach, 1987, DJ, 260pp. plus Appendix, Book-Club, the U.SS Halibut. Fine $15.00

4-03, Lipscomb, F.W., HISTORIC SUBMARINES, 1970, LC 77-77304, DJ, 16 excellent color profiles of submarines, all suitable for framing, pages are loosened from spine, large format with heavy paper. (The Balao at top of this web page is from this book). $30.00

2-66, Lowder, Hughston E., BATFISH - THE CHAMPION "SUBMARINE KILLER" SUBMARINE OF WORLD WAR II, 1980, DJ, 232pp. Fine $20.00

H-02, Galvin, John, SALVATION FOR A DOOMED ZOOMIE - A TRUE STORY, 1983 reprint of 1956 book, 0-934374-01-5, DJ, 272pp., rescue of downed pilot by USS Harder submarine and the following sub action with a pilot aboard, a great tale, as new SOLD

H-30, JANE'S POCKET BOOK OF SUBMARINE DEVELOPMENT, 1976, vinyl covers, 240pp., as new $7.00

O GOD OF BATTLES by Harry Homewood. A novel of WWII submarine action in the Pacific, written by a former submariner who made eleven war patrols in the Pacific and served on an "S" boat in the Asiatic Fleet. 1983. 359 action pages with dust jacket. $19.95

D-26, Hoyt, Edwin P., WAR IN THE DEEP - PACIFIC SUBMARINE ACTION IN WORLD WAR II, 1978 second impression, DJ, 155pp. Fine $8.95

Reeman, Douglas, SURFACE WITH DARING, 1977 First American Edition, 272 pp., SBN:399-11891-8, dj, a novel of British X-craft midget submarine action in 1944 just before the invasion of France - the X-craft are to destroy a secret weapon, Reeman wrote many high drama books of the sea and this is a good example, the book condition is fine and the dj has minor edge chipping and wear. $20.00

Robinson, Patrick, THE SHARK MUTINY, 2001 First Edition, a novel set in 2007, Chinese aggression, Navy SEALs, and the USS Shark do battle in a rousing novel packed with action and the first mutiny in U.S. Navy history. as new $20.00.

Greenfield, Irving, BARRACUDA, a novel, 1978, hard cover, nuclear sub on a mission of "righteous madness," dj, $2.00.

Ehrlich, Max, DEEP IS THE BLUE, pocketbook, 1966, "The ghost of the sunken Thresher hung over this nuclear sub...," $0.50

Cope, Harley and Karig, Walter, BATTLE SUBMERGED - Submarine Fighters of World War II, 1951 First Edition, 244pp., no dj, describes the versatility of the U.S. sub fleet, inscriptions on front free endpaper, pages wavy from moisture, a good reader condition, $3.00.

TORPEDOMAN'S MATE 1 & C, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Training Course, NAVPERS 10164, Confidential, 1964, soft cover, 213pp., course on torpedos, fire control etc., slight waviness on pages, excellent reference, $7.00.

Dunmore, Spencer, with an introduction by Ballard, Dr. Robert D., LOST SUBS, From the Humnley to the Kursk, the greatest submarines ever lost - and found, 176pp., dj, as new, $10.00.


This Swiss produced magazine from 1974 has a ten-page spread on the Royal Navy submarine S09 OBERON The OBERON class submarines were conventional subs designed and built in Britain following WWII. Even though the OBERON class subs were fitted with two ASR V-16 diesels, the boats, in 1974, were used for the basic training of personnel for nuclear submarines.

The three-page fold-out, shown above, is from the OBERON article. The Farnborough Air Show of 1974 is also covered in this issue of Aviation & Marine International. Also, the history of the Italian Air Force in Russia, Part II, is presented including color profiles of the Macchi C.200 Saetta and the C.202 Folgore. An article on British battlecruisers is also well done. Get this "Monorama" of the OBERON class for $12.50.


The U.S.S. Seadragon, SS194, was of the Sargo Class patrol subs. It was built at the Electric Boat Co. shipyard and had geared diesel electric drives with a single large main motor on each shaft. This class was built in 1939-1940. A rather large sub, it measured 310.5 in overall length and displaced 1450 tons on the surface. This is the same class as the Squalus which sank during tests in May 1939.

Ace Whitman model kits were not advertised in magazines but were sold through department stores, dime stores etc. This plan is from kit #2994 and is dated 1941. Excuse the poor quality of the photos below because the plan is printed in blue ink which doesn't photograph very well. The plan is a large 26" x 39" and states that this is "One of the Navy's latest type submarines." The model is 22" in length and is given as 1"=14.09 ft. (1:169 scale). The hull is constructed using the same method as a model airplane: formers, stringers and tissue covering. All printwood parts are detailed on the plan. A Kinko's copy of this plan in black & white is available for $15 including mailing. A bonus plan copy, 8 1/2" x 11", of Comet Kit #D8, Submarine S-41, is included.


A Comet all-balsa kit of the USS Perch, a WWII fleet submarine (not sure whether this is the first Perch lost in March 1942, SS-176, or the SS-313). "P5" is carried on the conning tower. The kit box shown above measures 13 1/8" x 3 5/8" x 1 3/4" deep and is a condition "9+". The 11" x 17" plan is in undamaged condition. The balsa hull is double profile cut with the balance of parts on several printwood sheets. A one-ounce bottle of original Gray Comet Dope is included and is still liquid after all these years! The plan is undated but the box carries a 1945 date. The length of the submarine model is 12 inches making it about 1:300 scale. This excellent condition kit is available for $47.50 for your submarine kit collection.


Miniature, waterline ship models in 1:1200 scale were manufactured in the early 1900s by the British firm of Bassett-Lowke for the British Admiralty for use in training and recognition. The 1:1200 scale was also used in the U.S. during the Great War for training models; some of these wooden, German-type waterline ships can be seen in an exhibit at the Naval Academy Museum at Annapolis (note: no longer on exhibit in June 2005). The small scale was not used commercially until the mid-1930s when Friedrich Peltzer, who founded the German firm of Wiking Modellbau in 1930, began achieving some success in selling his range of 1:1250 scale ship models which he cast in metal. Up to that time, toy or scale ships were generally in much larger sizes with numerous working parts and detail.

By the end of the 1930s, Peltzer had branched into the aircraft field also, initially with 1:200 scale metal airplanes which later were made from a proprietary, injection-molded plastic to facilitate production and to lower cost; they continued to make the ship models from metal. As World War II began in Europe, the Wiking company was ordered to provide models for the German forces as instructional devices (some Wiking models can be seen on the Friend or Foe? Museum page link). The Sommer 1939 Wiking-Modelle ship model catalog for 1:1250 scale models declares that the company is "Unter dem Protektorat des Reichsbundes Deutscher Seeegeltung" which sort of indicates that the German Navy has something to do with the models as further information mentions the "Oberbefchlshaber der Kriegsmarine". The waterline models were generally painted in appropriate colors with commercial vessels painted in civilian schemes and naval ships in overall grey with some detail markings in black.

A large collection of models from this 1939 catalog was acquired from an Army Air Forces captain who initially got the models in Europe from a German U-boat skipper following WWII. These extremely rare pre-war models are difficult to find. Fortunately, there are several duplicates of submarines (although each has a different number) which are being offered here for the first time in a rare sale.

The 1939 catalog lists and pictures three submarines; the Große U-Boote, the Mittlere U-Boote, and the Kleine U-Boote - which merely translates as large, medium and small! These are of course in the diminutive 1:1250 scale.

The Wiking Große U-Boote.

A wolfpack surfaces in a calm bay in Iceland in 1940; the Mittlere and Klein U-bootes.

These three very rare 1939 German Wiking 1:1250 submarine models, with an interesting provenance, are available as a grouping for $100.00. Only one set remaining.

1:1200 scale ship models (both metal and plastic) became popular following WWII as Comet "Authenticast" models became commercially available, Wiking got back into civilian production and many other companies started offering collector models; numerous 1:1200 scale ships are now available as well as 1:2400 scale which are used for wargaming. Prices for well-made German and Japanese models are quite high.

A post-war example of a metal, 1:1250 scale Wiking submarine model is shown below; this model of the USS TUNNY is from the 1950s and shows the Chance Vought REGULUS I missile installation. Information on the TUNNY and the REGULUS I is located on the Missiles & Space page link where a Topping Regulus I manufacturer's display model is offered for sale.

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