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USS Lionfish (SS-298)

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Title: USS Lionfish (SS-298)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Battleship Cove, USS Tusk (SS-426), USS Bowfin (SS-287), Lionfish (disambiguation), ARA Santa Fe (S-21)
Collection: 1943 Ships, Balao-Class Submarines, Buildings and Structures in Fall River, Massachusetts, Cold War Submarines of the United States, Military and War Museums in Massachusetts, Museum Ships in Massachusetts, Museums in Bristol County, Massachusetts, National Historic Landmarks in Massachusetts, National Register of Historic Places in Bristol County, Massachusetts, Ships Built in Pennsylvania, Ships on the National Register of Historic Places in Massachusetts, Visitor Attractions in Fall River, Massachusetts, World War II Submarines of the United States
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

USS Lionfish (SS-298)

USS Lionfish (SS-298)
USS Lionfish
USS Lionfish
Name: Lionfish
Namesake: Lionfish
Builder: Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia / Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine[1]
Laid down: 15 December 1942[1]
Launched: 7 November 1943[1]
Sponsored by: Mrs. Harold C. Train
Commissioned: 1 November 1944[1]
Decommissioned: 16 January 1946[1]
Recommissioned: 31 January 1951[1]
Decommissioned: 15 December 1953[1]
Struck: 20 December 1971[1]
Status: Museum ship at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts since 30 August 1972[2]
General characteristics
Class & type: Balao-class submarine[2]
  • 1,526 long tons (1,550 t) surfaced[2]
  • 2,424 long tons (2,463 t) submerged[2]
Length: 311 ft 6 in (94.95 m) [2]
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m) [2]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[2]
  • 20.25 knots (37.50 km/h; 23.30 mph) surfaced[4]
  • 8.75 knots (16.21 km/h; 10.07 mph) submerged[4]
Range: 11,000 nmi (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)[4]
  • 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged[4]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[4]
Complement: 10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[4]
USS Lionfish (SS-298)
USS Lionfish (SS-298) is located in Massachusetts
Location Fall River, Massachusetts
Built 1943
Architectural style Other
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 76002270[5]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 30 September 1976
Designated NHL 14 January 1986

USS Lionfish (SS-298), a Balao-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy named for the lionfish, a scorpaenid fish native to the Pacific and an invasive species found around the Caribbean. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986, and is now on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.


  • History 1
  • World War II 2
  • Post World War II 3
  • Museum ship 4
  • In popular culture 5
  • Awards 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Lionfish was laid down on 15 December 1942; launched on 7 November 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Harold C. Train; and commissioned on 1 November 1944. Her first captain was Lieutenant Commander Edward D. Spruance, son of World War II admiral Raymond Spruance.

World War II

After completing her shakedown cruise off New England, she began her first war patrol in Japanese waters on 1 April 1945. Ten days later, she avoided two torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarine. On 1 May Lionfish destroyed a Japanese schooner with her deck guns. After a rendezvous with the submarine USS Ray, she transported B-29 survivors to Saipan and then made her way to Midway Island for replenishment.

On 2 June she started her second war patrol, and on 10 July fired torpedoes at a surfaced Japanese submarine, after which Lionfish‍ '​s crew heard explosions and observed smoke through their periscope (the Submarine I-162 was undamaged). She subsequently fired on two more Japanese submarines. Lionfish ended her second and last war patrol performing lifeguard duty (the rescue of downed fliers) off the coast of Japan. When World War II ended on 15 August she headed for San Francisco and was decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard on 16 January 1946.

Post World War II

Lionfish was recommissioned on 31 January 1951, and headed for the East Coast for training cruises. After participating in NATO exercises and a Mediterranean cruise, she returned to the East Coast and was decommissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 15 December 1953.

In 1960, the submarine was placed in service, but not recommissioned, as a reserve training submarine at Providence, Rhode Island.

Museum ship

In 1971, she was stricken from the Navy Register. In 1973, she began permanent display as a memorial at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts, where she is one of the museum's most popular exhibits.

As Lionfish was never converted to a GUPPY configuration, she is one of the preserved American World War II-era submarines with "as built" configuration. Because of this remarkable state of preservation, she was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[6]

In popular culture

The submarine is featured on the DVD case of the 2007 Ubisoft game Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific.

Lionfish served as a filming location for the film Subconscious,[7] in which the submarine portrays a fictional version of itself in a supernatural/science-fiction plotline taking place in both the years 1943 and 2014.


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l  
  3. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261–263
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  6. ^ "MACRIS inventory record and NRHP nomination for USS Lionfish". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2015-02-25. 
  7. ^ "Subconscious". Subconscious Film. 
  • "National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form – Accompanying Photos" (pdf).  

External links

  • Battleship Cove
  • USS Lionfish Photos on board the Submarine USS Lionfish SS-298 in Fall River, MA
  • [2] - featuring the actual USS Lionfish as the on location filming set.
  • (SS-298)LionfishUSS at Historic Naval Ships Association
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