USS SALMON (SS-573)
dp. 2460 tons (surf.), 3160 tons (subm.); l. 350.5'; b. 29.1';
s. 20.5k (surf.), 10k (subm.); td. 400'; a. 6-21" tt. fwd.;
cpl. 10 officers - 85 enlisted men; cl. "SAILFISH"
Keel laid down by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 10MAR54;
Launched: 25FEB56; Sponsored by Mrs. Albert M Bontier;
Commissioned: 25AUG56 with LCdr Robert R. Hale in command;
Decommissioned and struck from the Navy List 1OCT77;
Converted to shallow water sonar target and sunk south of Long Island, NY.
USS SALMON(SS-573), the second of a class of two radar-picket submarines and the largest and most powerful conventional-powered submarine built after WWII, conducted her shakedown cruise between 19 February and 10 May 1957, ranging from Newport, RI, to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She departed Kittery for the west coast in late May, transited the Panama Canal on 3 July; visited Callao, Peru; and proceeded to San Diego, CA, arriving on the 25th.
SALMONconducted local operations in southern California waters, as a unit of SubDiv33, until she began her first western Pacific deployment on 23 September. She sailed via Pearl Harbor and Midway to join the 7th Fleet off southern Japn on 19 October. For the remainder of the year, she participated in fleet training exercises and special operations, with port calls at Yokosuka, Japan; Hong Kong, BCC; Manila and Subic Bay, Philippines; and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.SALMONdeparted Yokosuka on 31 March 1958 and returned to San Diego on 19 April.
Resuming local operations,SALMONremained in the San Diego area for the rest of the year. From 6 January 1959 until 30 May, she underwent overhaul and limited conversion at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA. Giving up a large radome from her superstructure, she gained instrumented missile guidance capability and improved, longer range sonar.SALMONthen prepared for her second WesPac deployment.
SALMONdeparted San Diego on 17 July and sailed to Pearl Harbor where her crew received missile guidance training, then proceeded to Japan and joined the 7th Fleet on 21 August. She operated with the fleet in Allied training exercises, provided services for other 7th Fleet surface and subsurface units for training purposes, and made visits to various ports, before returning to San Diego on 14 February 1960.
Through 1960 and 1961,SALMONoperated from San Diego with occasional visits to San Francisco; Astoria, OR; Tacoma and Port Angeles, WA; and Esquimault, British Columbia. On 1 March 1961, she ws reclassified SS-573; and, on 1 November, she was reassigned to SubDiv52.
On 1 June 1962,SALMONdeparted San Diego for her third WesPac deployment. She visited Papeete, Tahiti, from 13 to 16 June, then proceeded to Yokosuka for duty with the 7th Fleet. She subsequently operated with ASW hunter-killer groups in fleet exercises and often engaged in free-play battle problems with individual surface units. During this deployment, she visited Hakodate and Sasebo, Japan; Naha, Okinawa; and Hong Kong, BCC.SALMONreturned to San Diego on 20 December and became flagship of SubFlot1; and, in addition to that distinction, was awarded the Golden "E" for excellence in battle efficiency for the past five consecutive years, which rated her as the leading submarine of her division.SALMONwas the first submarine to earn a Golden "E" and was to better that record by winning hashmarks signifying retention of that status during 1963 and 1964. On 3 June of the latter year, she put into the San Francisco Naval Shipyard to undergo FRAM II conversion. Departing the yard on 19 April 1965, as a modernized Guppy III, she moved to the Puget Sound, WA, area for evaluation and sound tests. She then returned to San Diego, to resume local operations, on 4 May.
SALMONcommenced her fourth WesPac deployment on 23 August. She joined SubFlot7 of the 7th fleet on 14 September and conducted operations in Japanese and southwest Pacific waters until returning to San Diego on 20 April 1966.SALMON's fifth deployment to the western Pacific was from 20 March to 4 October 1967. During this tour, she provided services to 7th Fleet units operating off Vietnam in support of operations to counter communist agression in southeast Asia. In September, she rendezvoused withUSS ULYSSES S. GRANT(SSBN-631) andUSS KAMEHAMEHA(SSBN-640) somewhere in the Pacific to act as a simulated target sub for training in anti-submarine tactics.
Through the spring of 1968,SALMONunderwent overhaul at San Francisco in preparation for support of the DSRV (Deep Submergence Recovery Vehicle) program, to evaluate submarine rescue and salvage equipment at extreme depths. On 1 June, she was redesignated AGSS-573 for her role as mother sub and underway submerged launching and recovery platformfor the experimental mini-subs. However, delays in the program resulted in her return to San Diego for local operations, following preliminary trials at Puget Sound. She subsequently sailed on 25 October for her sixth WesPac deployment.
In November,SALMONvisited Yokosuka and Hong Kong. From 4 to 19 December, she conducted special operations off the coast of Vietnam; and, from 26 December 1968 to 10 January 1960, she participated in SEATO exercises out of Sangley Point in the Philippines. She then returned to Yokosuka and then proceeded to Sasebo for special operations before returning to the United States on 5 April.
SALMONarrived at San Diego on 25 April and conducted local operations for the remainder of the year. She resumed her former designation of SS-573 on 30 June. On 3 January 1970, she departed San Diego for her seventh WesPac tour. In February, she conducted type training in the Philippines withUSS HARDER(SS-568) and her sister sub,USS SAILFISH(SS-572). From there, she visited Buckner Bay, Okinawa; Bangkok, Thailand; Sasebo, Yokosuka, and Kobe, Japan; and Hong Kong, BCC. She returned to San Diego on 27 June and resumed local operations. She remained so employed for the rest of 1970 and throughout 1972.
SALMONdeparted San Diego on 17 February 1972 on her eighth deployment to WesPac. In April, she rescued survivors from the Japanese coastal freighter, Koei Maru #2 which sank about 30 miles south of the entrance to Tokyo Bay. In July, she joined units of the Royal Australian Navy and Air Force in an anti-submarine warfare exercise.SALMONdeparted Pago Pago on 13 August and re-entered San Diego on the 26th.
She remained on the west coast for the remainder of 1972 and for the first five and one-half months of 1973. On 16 June, she headed west for what was to have been her ninth WesPac deployment. Upon her arrival in Pearl Harbor, the deployment was cancelled due to damage to her number three and number four main engines. On 10 August, she sailed back to San Diego to prepare for overhaul.SALMONentered Mare Island on 17 November and commenced overhaul nine days later.
SALMONwas decommissioned and struck from the Navy List on 1 October 1977.
In 1992SALMONwas converted to a shallow water sonar target and sunk near Hudson Canyon, south of Long Island as a bottom target on 5 June 1993 and remains there to this day.