USS Catfish (SS-339)

Catfish during a deployment to the Far East in 1956. The enlarged sail from the GUPPY II conversion is obvious. US Navy photo.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

This is the USS Catfish (SS-339), a Balao-class submarine laid down in January, 1944, and commissioned 19 March, 1945. She began her first war patrol on 8 August, 1945, and so was only a week out when Japan surrendered. She continued service in the Pacific, and underwent GUPPY II conversions in 1948-49. After seeing brief service in Korea, Catfish operated from San Diego until 1 July, 1971, when she was decommissioned and sold to Argentina. Recommissioned as the ARA Santa Fe (S-21), she saw extensive use early in the Falklands War, landing divers to mark the invasion beaches at Yorke Bay, and patrolling against the approaching Royal Navy. In April, she was tasked with transporting a detachment of marines to South Georgia island. While en route on 23 April, she was depth charged and strafed by RN ships and helicopters. Damaged too much to submerge, she was beached on South Georgia and abandoned. The RN scuttled her in deep water, 10 February, 1985.