The story

Bass SF-5 - History

Bass SF-5


Bass is an edible, spiny-finned fish.


(SF-5: dp. 2000; 1. .34116"; b. 27'7"; dr. 15'11"; s. 181
k.; cpl. 56; a. 1311, 6 21" TT.; cl. B)

The first Bass (SF-5) was launched as V-2, 27 December 1924 by Portsmouth Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Douglas E. Dismukes, wife of Captain Dismukes; and commissioned 26 September 1925, Lieutenant Commander G. A. Rood in command.

V-2 was assigned to Submarine Division 20 and cruised along the Atlantic coast and In the Caribbean through November 1927 when the Division sailed for San Diego, arriving 3 December 1927. V-2 operated with the Beet on the west coast, in the Hawaiian Islands, and in the Caribbean until December 1932. V-2 was renamed Bass 9 March 1931 and in April was assigned to Division 12. On I July 1931 her designation was changed from SF-5 to SS-164. On 2 January 1933 she was assigned to Rotating Reserve Submarine Division 15, San Diego. Bass rejoined the fleet again in July 1933 and cruised along the west coast, in the Canal Zone, and In the Hawaiian Islands until January 1937. She then departed the west coast and arrived at Philadelphia 18 February 1937 where she went out of commission In reserve 9 June.

Bass was recommissioned at Portsmouth, N. H., 5 September 1940 and assigned to Submarine Division 9, Atlantic Fleet. Between February and November 1941 she operated along the New England coast and made two trips to St. Georges, Bermuda. She arrived at Coco Solo, C. Z., 24 November and was on duty there when hostilities broke out with Japan.

During 1942 Bass was attached to Submarine Division 31, Squadron 3, Atlantic Fleet. Between March and August, while based at Coco Solo, she made four war
patrols In the Pacific, off Balboa. On 17 August 1942, while at sea, a fire broke out in the after battery room and quickly spread to the after torpedo room and starboard main motor, resulting in the death of 26 enlisted men by asphyxiation. The following day Antaeus (AS-21) arrived to assist the submarine and escorted her into the Gulf of Dulce, Costa Rica. Both vessels then proceeded to Balboa.

Bass remained In the Canal Zone until October 1942 when she departed for Philadelphia, arriving on the 19th. After undergoing repairs at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Bass proceeded to New London, Conn., where she conducted secret experiments off Block Island in December 1943. She was again in Philadelphia Yard for repairs from January to March 1944. During the remainder of the year she was attached to Submarine Squadron 1, Atlantic Fleet, and operated out of New London In the area between Long Island and Block Island. Bass was decommissioned at the Submarine Base, New London, 3 March 1945 and "destroyed" 12 March 1945.

USS Bass (SS-164)

USS Bass (SF-5/SS-164), a Barracuda-class submarine and one of the "V-boats", was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bass. Her keel was laid at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched as V-2 (SF-5) on 27 December 1924 sponsored by Mrs. Douglas E. Dismukes, wife of Captain Dismukes, and commissioned on 26 September 1925, Lieutenant Commander George A. Rood in command. Like her sisters, Bass was designed to meet the fleet submarine requirement of 21 knots (39   km/h) surface speed for operating with contemporary battleships.

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USS V-2 SF-5

This cover was cancelled aboard the submarine USS V-2 on 6 April 1931 with a Type 3 cancel at San Diego, CA. V-2 was built at Kittery, Maine, given the hull designation SF-5 and was commissioned on 26 September 1925. SF stood for Fleet Submarine, a larger, more powerful submarine than the S boats currently in service. They were in part modeled after the German U-boats of World War I and were designed with long endurance in mind. Unfortunately the performance of these early fleet submarines was mediocre and did not attain their design speed on the surface or while submerged. V-2 was renamed BASS on 9 March 1931, less than a month before this cover was cancelled. She was also given a new hull designation on 1 July 1931 to SS-164, the designation change being made for all submarines. Bass was decommissioned on 3 June 1937. Sister ships BARRACUDA and BONITA (ex-V-1 and V-3) were also decommissioned in the first half of 1937. The class had served its purpose as the evolution of design continued. On 5 September 1940 she was recommissioned and was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. BASS was then decommissioned on 3 March 1945 and was sunk as a target Southeast of Block Island, RI, in 155 feet of water on 12 March 1945.

This Type 3 cancel, dated 6 April 1931, franks a Scott # 599 2 cent carmine Washington (544), type I stamp. On the reverse side of this cover we see the machine cancel of San Diego on 7 April 1931. It is also cancelled on the reverse with a duplex hand stamp at Port au Prince, Haiti on 19 April 1931, indicating it took 12 days by surface mail from San Diego to Haiti.

This cover is addressed to Lt. Comdr. F. E. Locy (MC) U.S. Navy, at the U. S. Marine Brigade at Port Au Prince, Haiti. Dr. Francis Eastman Locy was the originator of the Locy system of classification of naval postmarks and is referred to as the “dean of naval cover collecting.” In September of 1929 he was on duty in Haiti with the First Brigade U.S. Marines. Shortly after that he entered League Island Hospital as a patient and passed away on 28 August 1932 following several unsuccessful operations. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

This cover is stamped on the reverse by Chester Knowlson. He is USCS # 1444, ANCS #352 and was also Registered Cachet Director # 181 and belonged to the Stephen Decatur Chapter. He would serve as USCS President in 1941 for a short period before being called back up to active duty in the Navy. Knowlson purchased Dr. Locy’s collection in an auction on December 9, 1938 and stamped the covers with his stamp to show ownership.

Bass SF-5 - History

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Bass, in zoology, any of a large number of fishes, many of them valued for food or sport. The name bass covers a range of fishes, but most are placed in three families of the order Perciformes: Serranidae, including approximately 400 species of sea bass and grouper Moronidae, sometimes considered a subfamily of the Serranidae and containing about 6 species, such as the striped and European basses and Centrarchidae (sunfishes), including the large and smallmouth basses, prized by fishermen.

Many other fishes are also known as bass among them are the channel bass, a drum the rock bass, a sunfish and the calico bass, a crappie.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Richard Pallardy, Research Editor.


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New England/Mid-Atlantic

New England and the Mid-Atlantic, including the Chesapeake Bay, have a long and storied history of fishing. It began with the Native American tribes who celebrated annual fish runs, and continued with colonial settlers, whalers, and the modern fishing fleet.

Fishing still defines our culture today, with lobsters, sea scallops, crabs, and a variety of fish filling our menus and attracting tourists from all over the world. New Bedford, Massachusetts, is consistently among the highest value ports in the United States, thanks to the lucrative scallop fishery. Recreational fishing is a popular pastime, contributing billions to our economy. Many fishermen still fish in the same places and for the same species as their ancestors hundreds of years ago.

We are also dedicated to conserving, protecting, and rebuilding endangered and threatened marine and anadromous species in rivers, bays, estuaries, and marine waters off New England and the Mid-Atlantic. Our work helps ensure the survival of protected marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish for future generations.

Our work to maintain sustainable fisheries and protect marine life is a joint effort of the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and Northeast Fisheries Science Center, offering sound science to help inform management decisions in an ever-changing environment. To find out more about our work, read our 2020-2023 New England and Mid-Atlantic Regional Strategic Plan.

Bass SF-5 - History

Until July 1920, U.S. Navy Submarines did not officially have "SS" series hull numbers. They were, however, referred to by "Submarine Number" (or, more properly, "Submarine Torpedo Boat Number"), with that number corresponding to the "SS" number formally assigned in July 1920, or which would have been assigned if the "boat" had still been on the Navy list. For convenience, all of these submarines are listed below under the appropriate numbers in the "SS" series.

Beginning in the later 1940s, submariness converted or built for several specialized functions received modified designations, including SSA (cargo submarine), SSAG (miscellaneous auxiliary submarine), SSBN (ballistic missile submarine, nuclear powered), SSG (guided missile submarine), SSGN (guided missile submarine, nuclear powered), SSK (antisubmarine submarine), SSN (submarine, nuclear powered), SSO (submarine oiler), SSP (submarine transport), SSR (radar picket submarine), SSRN (radar picket submarine, nuclear powered), AGSS(miscellaneous auxiliary submarine), AOSS (submarine oiler), ASSA (cargo submarine), ASSP (transport, submarine) and IXSS (unclassified, submarine). With a few exceptions, submarines with these expanded designations were numbered in the original SS series. Many of the special-purpose submarines were redesignated after a few years.

Before, during and after World War II, other submarines were given designations that were based on specialized functions within the submarine ("S-") type, but were numbered separately from the SS series and will be treated on other Online Library pages. These included SF (fleet submarine) SM (mine laying submarine) SST (target and training submarine) some SSK (antisubmarine submarine) and a few SSN (submarine, nuclear powered).

This page, and those linked from it, provide the hull numbers of all U.S. Navy submarines numbered in the SS series, with links to those "boats" with photos available in the Online Library. It also lists in chronological sequence the one submarine that did not have a number.

See the list below to locate photographs of individual submarines.

If the submarine you want does not have an active link on this page, contact the Photographic Section concerning other research options.

Left Column -- Unnumbered
Submarines and
Submarines numbered
SS-1 through SS-77:

    Plunger (built under an 1895 contract, but not accepted for service)

List of site sources >>>