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1943 U.S.S. Piranha SS-389 Submarine Launching Souvenir Tag
Item #k738
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1943 U.S.S. Piranha SS-389 Submarine Launching Souvenir Tag
U.S.S. Piranha   SS-389   Submarine   Sub   Portsmouth   Naval   Shipyard   Kittery   Maine   Portsmouth   New Hampshire   United States   U.S. Navy   Ship   Military   Sailor   Serviceman   Veteran   World War II   WWII   War   Nautical   America   American   Americana   Patriotic   Advertising   Premium   Paper   Ephemera   Nostalgic   History   Historic   Home Front
The picture below shows a larger view of this 1943 U.S.S. Piranha SS-389 Submarine Launching Souvenir Tag. This launching badge is believed to have been saved by a Portsmouth Naval Shipyard worker. It was found in New Hampshire with many others dating from 1943 to 1944 when many ships and submarines were built and launched to do battle in World War II. They had been hidden away since the 1940s until 2015. The submarine was launched from The Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard in Kittery, Maine.

This cardboard tag has its original black cord attached, but it may have been shortened. It is imprinted in black and red on a silver background. The back side is identical. It pictures a United States Navy Submarine and it is marked as follows:


The tag measures 1-3/4'' wide. It appears to be in mint condition as pictured.

Below here, for reference, is some historical information on the U.S.S. Piranha SS-389 submarine:

U.S.S. Piranha (SS-389)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Builder: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine
Laid down: 21 June 1943
Launched: 27 October 1943
Commissioned: 5 February 1944
Decommissioned: 31 May 1946
Struck: 1 March 1967
Fate: Sold for scrap, 11 August 1970

General characteristics
Class & type: Balao class diesel electric submarine
Displacement: 1,526 tons (1,550 t) surfaced, 2,391 tons (2,429 t) submerged
Length: 311 feet 6 inch (94.95 m)
Beam: 27 feet 3 inch (8.31 m)
Draft: 16 feet 10 inch (5.13 m) maximum
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks Morse Model 38D8 10 cylinder opposed piston diesel engines driving electrical generators, 2 - 126 cell Sargo batteries, 4 high speed Elliott electric motors with reduction gears, two propellers, 5,400 shp (4.0 MW) surfaced, 2,740 shp (2.0 MW) submerged
Speed: 20.25 knots (38 km/h) surfaced, 8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged
Range: 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged, 75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 feet (120 m)
Complement: 10 officers, 70 - 71 enlisted
Armament: 10 - 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, 6 forward, 4 aft, 24 torpedoes, 1 - 5 inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun, Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

The U.S.S. Piranha (SS-389/AGSS-389), a Balao class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the piranha. Piranha was laid down 21 June 1943 by Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine; launched 27 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. William S. Farber; and commissioned 5 February 1944, Lieutenant Commander Harold E. Ruble in command. Piranha conducted six war patrols during World War II, receiving 5 battle stars. She was scrapped in 1970.

World War II
After East Coast training, Piranha departed Key West 3 April 1944 for the Panama Canal and her base, Pearl Harbor, arriving 18 May for final training. With Guardfish (SS-217), Thresher (SS-200), and Apogon (SS-308), she made her first war patrol between 14 June and 8 August. The coordinated attack group prowled waters west and north of Luzon, striking fiercely and with notable success at Japanese convoys. Piranha's victims were Nichiran Maru, sunk 12 July, and Seattle Maru, sunk four days later. Several times attacked by enemy aircraft and dodging surface patrol craft, Piranha returned safely to Majuro.

For the first part of her second patrol, Piranha joined 9 other submarines in offensive reconnaissance covering the Third Fleet during the assault on Peleliu, patrolling 30 August to 25 September. When Peleliu, deemed essential for the liberation of the Philippines, had been seized, Piranha's group dissolved and she searched for targets westward along the 20th parallel, engaging an enemy patrol craft 9 October. She endured a heavy depth charge attack, but outsmarted the patrol vessel, returning to Pearl Harbor 23 October.

During her third war patrol, again with an attack group, besides seeking worthwhile targets in the East China Sea 19 November to 13 January 1945, Piranha served as lifeguard during B-29 strikes on Ky?sh?. She scored two hits on a merchantman 8 January {No.2 Shinto Maru}, only to be driven off by an escort without being able to regain attack position.

Refitted at Guam, Piranha sailed 11 February for her fourth war patrol, a classic exhibition of submarine versatility. With her attack group she sought targets on the convoy lanes from Luzon to Formosa and Hong Kong. She spent 17 days on lifeguard during airstrikes on Formosa, on 27 February sinking a junk presumably serving as aircraft spotter.

She was foiled by a large fleet of fishing junks from making a rapid approach on a convoy reported leaving Hong Kong 5 March. Daringly resorting to an ancient ruse of naval warfare, she improvised a Japanese naval ensign and ran it up. The deception was successful, and she threaded her way through the fishermen at flank speed, but was unable to locate the convoy.

Piranha bombarded Pratas Island 26 March with 100 - 5 inch (130 mm) shells. Three times during this patrol, which concluded with 10 days off Wake Island, the submarine successfully maneuvered to avoid hits from attacking aircraft. She returned to Midway to refit 21 April - 17 May, then sailed for patrol, lifeguard, and bombardment at Marcus Island 22 May - 31 May. Here she was attacked several times by shore batteries. After refueling at Saipan, Piranha sailed to complete this patrol off Honsh.

With the decimated Japanese merchant marine hugging its own coast, Piranha was frequently frustrated by shallow water and omnipresent escorts in her attacks. Hair-raising encounters with submarine chasers and aircraft were rendered infinitely more dangerous by being fought so close offshore, where she had little water depth for maneuver. Her persistence and courage paid off; she heavily damaged a freighter 14 June, sank a coastal tanker and destroyed a trawler laden with oil drums by gunfire 17 June. Two more trawlers fell to her gun 23 June. Though slightly damaged when their escort retaliated with depth charges, Piranha returned safely to Pearl Harbor 10 July.

End of war and fate
Her sixth and last war patrol lasted 14 hours; she had sailed from Pearl Harbor 14 August and was ordered back when hostilities ended the next day. Returning to San Francisco 11 September, Piranha decommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard 31 May 1946. There she lay in reserve, redesignated AGSS-389 on 6 November 1962, until stricken from the Naval Register 1 March 1967 and sold for scrap.

Piranha received 5 battle stars for World War II service.

Click on image to zoom.
1943 U.S.S. Piranha SS-389 Submarine Launching Souvenir Tag

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