Monday, December 9, 2013

USS Burrfish aka HMCS Grilse--A Two-Navy Warrior (Part 8)

The storied career of the American submarine USS Burfish continued after her sterling World War II patrols. Immediately following the end of hostilities in 1945, she was consigned to the Reserve fleet, but in 1948 she took on new life as a radar picket submarine, and redesignated SSR-312.
Her complement then included 12 officers and 82-90 chief petty officers and crew. Her armament had been reduced to 4 21"torpedo tubes and one 40 mm antiaircraft gun. In addition, she now boasted a snorkel mast, and so able to charge her batteries without surfacing.

From 1950 to 1956, Burrfish performed as a radar picket, often in the Mediterranean, as well as in the waters off the east coast of the US and the Arctic.

Nineteen sixty was a momentous year for Burrfish. She had recently emerged from another extended stay in mothballs with the reserve fleet, Once again undergoing conversion, she reverted from radar picket to fleet-type submarine, at the bargain-basement cost of $900,000. In January 1961 her designation changed form SSR-312 to SS-312, officially becoming once again a diesel-powered attack submarine.

Five months later, on May 11th 1961, USS Burrfish decommissioned and became Her Majesty's Canadian Submarine Grilse, SS-71, in the Royal Canadian Navy.
Great years lay ahead, for her and her Canadian crew.

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