USS Burrfish

Career (US)
Name: USS Burrfish (SS-312)
Builder: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine[1]
Laid down: 24 February 1943[1]
Launched: 18 June 1943[1]
Commissioned: 13 September 1943[1]
Decommissioned: 10 October 1946[1]
Recommissioned: 2 November 1948[1]
Decommissioned: 17 December 1956[1]
Recommissioned: 17 January 1961[1]
Decommissioned: 11 May 1961[1]
Struck: 31 July 1969[2]
Fate: Transferred to Canada, 11 May 1961[1]
Career (Canada) Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Naval Ensign of Canada.svg
Name: HMCS Grilse (SS-71)
Acquired: 11 May 1961
Fate: Returned to the U.S. Navy and sunk as a target off San Clemente Island, California, 19 November 1969
General characteristics
Class & type: Template:Sclass/core diesel-electric submarine[2]
Displacement: 1,526 tons (1,550 t) surfaced[2]
2,391 tons (2,429 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]

4 × Fairbanks-Morse Model 38D8-18 9-cylinder opposed-piston diesel engines driving electrical generators[2][3]
2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries[4]
4 × high-speed Elliott electric motors with reduction gears[2]
2 × propellers[2]
5,400 shp (4.0 MW) surfaced[2]

2,740 shp (2.04 MW) submerged[2]
Speed: 20.25 knots (38 km/h) surfaced[4]
8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[4]
Range: 11,000 nmi. surfaced at 10 knots
(20,000 km at 19 km/h)[4]
Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged[4]
75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[4]
Complement: 10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[4]
Armament: 10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
 (six forward, four aft)
 24 torpedoes[4]
1 × 5-inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun[4]
Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

USS Burrfish (SS/SSR-312), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the burrfish, a swellfish of the Atlantic coast. After World War II she was loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy where she served as HMCS Grilse (SS-71) from 1961 until 1969.

Burrfish was launched 18 June 1943 by Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine, sponsored by Miss Jane Elizabeth Davis, daughter of Senator James J. Davis from Pennsylvania, and commissioned 14 September 1943, Commander William B. Perkins, Jr. in command.

Burrfish's war operations extended from 2 February 1944 to 13 May 1945 during which period she completed six war patrols, sinking one 5,894-ton Japanese tanker on 7 May 1944, one 7,500-ton cargo ship on 27 October 1944, and, along with the USS Ronquil, a 200-ton patrol boat on 17 November 1944. Her operating area extended from the Western Caroline Islands to Formosa and the waters south of Japan. During her third war patrol the ship accomplished several special missions, conducting reconnaissance of the beaches of Palau and Yap where landings were planned.

Burrfish arrived at Pearl Harbor from her last war patrol 13 May 1945. On 16 May she was ordered to return to the United States for major overhaul and arrived at Portsmouth Navy Yard on 19 June. On 12 October 1945 she reported to New London, Conn., for inactivation and was placed out of commission in reserve on 10 October 1946.

On 2 November 1948 Burrfish was recommissioned and assigned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for conversion to a radar picket submarine. Her designation was changed to SSR-312 on 27 January 1949 and her conversion was completed in November 1949.

Burrfish returned to duty with the active fleet 7 February 1950 and was assigned to Submarine Squadron 6 at Norfolk. Between February 1950 and June 1956 she completed three tours with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean; participated in several major type and inter-type exercises; and operated along the eastern seaboard as a radar picket ship.

On 5 June 1956 Burrfish sailed from Norfolk to New London where she reported for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve 17 December 1956 and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

HMCS Grilse (SS-71)

The submarine was recommissioned on 17 January 1961 as SS-312, decommissioned on 11 May 1961, and loaned to Canada, where she was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Grilse (SS-71). She was returned to US Navy custody and struck from the Naval Register, on 19 July 1969. Burrfish was sunk as a target off San Clemente Island, CA., on 19 November 1969.


Burrfish received five battle stars for her World War II service.


  • This article incorporates text from the here.

External links

  • Photo gallery of Burrfish at NavSource Naval History

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