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Pickerel file photo [4378]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassPorpoise-class Submarine
Hull NumberSS-177
BuilderElectric Boat Company
Laid Down25 Mar 1935
Launched7 Jul 1936
Commissioned26 Jan 1937
Sunk7 Apr 1943
Displacement1,330 tons standard; 1,997 tons submerged
Length300 feet
Beam25 feet
Draft14 feet
MachineryFour Winton Engine Co. Type 201 diesel-electric drives, 4,300hp; eight General Electric electric motors with 240-cell Gould battery, 2,336hp; two shafts
Bunkerage350,138L oil
Speed19 knots
Armament1x4in deck gun, 2x12.7mm machine guns, 6x21in torpedo tubes
Submerged Speed8.75 knots


ww2dbasePickerel was a Porpoise-class submarine of the P-5/Perch sub-class. She held her shakedown cruise to the South Atlantic Ocean, operated on the East Coast of the United States, then on 26 Oct 1937 headed for the Pacific Ocean, arriving in San Diego, California, United States in Nov 1937 via the Panama Canal. In the fall of 1939, she sailed to the Philippine Islands to join the Asiatic Fleet. When the United States entered the war in Dec 1941, she was in Manila. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Barton E. Bacon, Jr., she was immediately dispatched to Camranh Bay and Tourane Harbor off Indochina to hunt for Japanese shipping. She tracked a submarine and a destroyer but lost contact with them before she could attack, then on 19 Dec she attacked a small Japanese patrol craft with five torpedoes, but they all missed. The first patrol ended at Manila, Luzon, Philippines on 29 Dec. Her second war patrol lasted from 31 Dec 1941 to 29 Jan 1942, which brought her to waters between Manila and Surabaya, and she sank the 2,929-ton converted gunboat Kanko Maru on 10 Jan. Her third patrol lasted from 7 Feb to 19 Mar along the Malay Barrier and the fourth from 15 Apr to 6 Jun in the Philippine Islands; both of them were uneventful. Her fifth war patrol originated from Brisbane, Australia and lasted from 10 Jul to 26 Aug, with the primary mission being reaching Pearl Harbor for eventual refitting at the Mare Island Navy Yard in California, United States, though she did patrolled briefly in the Mariana Islands en route and damaged a freighter. Her sixth war patrol lasted from 22 Jan to 3 Mar 1943 at the Kuril Islands in northern Japan, which saw the sinking of the 1,990-ton cargo ship Tateyama Maru and two sampans. On 22 Mar, she left Midway for her seventh war patrol, again to the northern Japanese waters. Communications was lost some time in early Apr 1943, and Pickerel was never heard from again. After the war, captured Japanese documents noted that Pickerel might have been attacked and damaged (as indicated by large oil leakage) by depth charges launched from aircraft and ships off Shiramuka Lighthouse in northern Honshu on 3 Apr 1943, then the submarine went on to sink the 440-ton Submarine Chaser Number 13 on 3 Apr and then the 1,113-ton cargo ship Fukuei Maru on 7 Apr. The Japanese reports most likely described the movements of Pickerel, since she was the only submarine operating in that area at the time. She was likely sunk shortly after 7 Apr by a similar attack that she experienced on 3 Apr.

ww2dbaseSource: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, United States Navy Naval Historical Center.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2007

Submarine Pickerel (SS-177) Interactive Map


Wooden pattern for PickerelPickerel, circa 1937
See all 8 photographs of Submarine Pickerel (SS-177)

Pickerel Operational Timeline

26 Jan 1937 Pickerel was commissioned into service.
10 Jan 1942 USS Pickerel sank Japanese gunboat Kanko Maru off Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippine Islands.
3 Apr 1943 The US submarine Pickerel was depth charged and sunk by Japanese warships north of Honshu, Japan.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. 1st Sgt says:
25 Sep 2012 05:29:08 PM

Great information. Always been interested in WWII action. Naval, armies any thing with infromation of terrain, material, to really understand what all these men went thru.

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Submarine Pickerel (SS-177) Photo Gallery
Wooden pattern for PickerelPickerel, circa 1937
See all 8 photographs of Submarine Pickerel (SS-177)

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