USS Diodon (SS-349) Home Port

Updated 07-07-17


Dives to Date
since 09-27-01

A view into history with a USN Submarine and its crew

Welcome to the USS Diodon site - dedicated to the USS Diodon (SS-349), and her fine crews over the years from her birth to her demise to razor blades. 

Bless those who serve beneath the deep, Verse 2 of Submariner Version of Navy Hymn: Through lonely hours their vigil keep. May peace their mission ever be, Protect each one we ask of thee. Bless those at home who wait and pray, For their return by night or day.

The Seventh verse of the Navy Hymn is for Submariners: Lord God, our power evermore, Whose arm doth reach the ocean floor, Dive with our men beneath the sea, Traverse the depths protectively. O hear us when we pray, and keep Them safe from peril in the deep.

Name: USS Diodon
Builder: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[1]
Laid down: 1 June 1944[1]
Launched: 10 September 1945[1]
Commissioned: 18 March 1946[1]
Decommissioned: 15 January 1971[1]
Struck: 15 January 1971[1]
Fate: Sold for scrap, 12 May 1972[1]

New 07-07-17

General characteristics
Class and type: Balao-class diesel-electric submarine[2]
1,526 tons (1,550 t) surfaced[2]
2,424 tons (2,463 t) submerged[2]
Length: 311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)[2]
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[2]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[2]
4 × General Motors Model 16-278A V16 diesel engines driving electrical generators[3][4]
2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries[5]
4 × high-speed General Electric electric motors with reduction gears[3]
two propellers [3]
5,400 shp (4.0 MW) surfaced[3]
2,740 shp (2.0 MW) submerged[3]
20.25 knots (38 km/h) surfaced[6]
8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[6]
Range: 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)[6]
48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged[6]
75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[6]
Complement: 10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[6]
10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
6 forward, 4 aft
24 torpedoes[5]
1 × 5-inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun[5]
Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

New 07-07-17
General characteristics (Guppy II)
Class and type: none
1,870 tons (1,900 t) surfaced[7]
2,440 tons (2,480 t) submerged[7]
Length: 307 ft (93.6 m)[8]
Beam: 27 ft 4 in (7.4 m)[8]
Draft: 17 ft (5.2 m)[8]
Snorkel added[7]
Batteries upgraded to GUPPY type, capacity expanded to 504 cells (1 × 184 cell, 1 × 68 cell, and 2 × 126 cell batteries)[7]
4 × high-speed electric motors replaced with 2 × low-speed direct drive electric motors[7]
18.0 knots (20.7 mph; 33.3 km/h) maximum
13.5 knots (15.5 mph; 25.0 km/h) cruising
16.0 knots (18.4 mph; 29.6 km/h) for ˝ hour
9.0 knots (10.4 mph; 16.7 km/h) snorkeling
3.5 knots (4.0 mph; 6.5 km/h) cruising[7]
Range: 15,000 nm (28,000 km) surfaced at 11 knots (13 mph; 20 km/h)[8]
Endurance: 48 hours at 4 knots (5 mph; 7 km/h) submerged[8]
9–10 officers
5 petty officers
70 enlisted men[8]
Sensors and
processing systems:
WFA active sonar
JT passive sonar
Mk 106 torpedo fire control system[8]
10 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
(six forward, four aft)[8]
all guns removed[7]

New 07-07-17

USS Diodon (SS-349)
1 June 1944 to 15 January 1971

Diodon was decommissioned on 15 January 1971 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. It was sold for scrapping on 12 May 1972.

A Sailor's Christmas

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
'Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.

They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.

A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.

This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."

"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear."

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.

The Sailor say's to our country "be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night."

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"


Submarine, USS Diodon, SS 349, Keel Laid, Jun 1, 1944

USS DIODON SS-349 Naval Cover 1944 SPADER Cachet



Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 10:56 PM
Subject: Postal cover from USS DIODON SS349

Going through some files and found this postal cover form the Diodon. Thought someone might want to have it. My first boat was the Theodore Roosevelt SSBN 600 Gold. Never saw any postal covers from any of my boats. It is an interesting item.

David Franks

"When the people fear their government, there is Tyranny; When the government fears the people, there is Liberty." Thomas Jefferson

(New 05-22-14)

SS349 decommsionnsed

Clipping from Mare Island Naval Shipyard 29, Jan. 1971 edition of the Grapevine showing the decommissioning ceremonies aboard Diodon (SS-349) at the yard.
Photo courtesy of Darryl Baker.

(New 06-04-11)

From: Bill Weber []
Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 10:54 AM
Subject: Do you know the whereabouts of Tom Voekel

 Hi James,

Tom Voelkel was on the Diodon with me 1969 through decommissioning. He stood up for my wedding but I have had no contact with him since!

He is pictured on the after deck of the decommissioning photo you have posted. Wondering if you have any contact info for him?


Bill Weber

Luxury Bath/Mobility Remodelers
Office: 708-447-4647
Mobile: 630-878-9368

(New 05-27-13)

Last known picture of the USS Cusk

The Cusk is shown in mothballs at Mare Island. This picture was taken

30 April 1971, two years after her decommissioning and one year before

she was sold for scrap. Other boats shown to the to right of the Cusk

are the USS Rock (SS-274), USS Bashaw (SS-241), USS Spinax

(SSR-489), USS Pomodon (SS-486), USS Medregal (SS-480), and

USS Diodon (SS-349)

(Photo courtesy of website)

(New 12-26-12)


A U.S. Navy Grumman S2F-3 Tracker assigned to Carrier Anti-Submarine Air Group 57 (CVSG-57) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CVS-12) flying over the submarine USS Diodon (SS-349). Hornet, visible in the right background, was deployed to the Western Pacific from 6 June to 21 December 1962.
New 1


USS Cusk Moored inboard of USS Diodon at Ballast Point in San Diego
New 1

Bobby Manuel Sr Hey Jim, could you let the Diodon site know that I have the commissioning plaque for the Diodon. I bring it to reunions.


Diodon Commissioning Plaque


If you served on the Diodon, or know someone that served on the Diodon, please notify me through

Jim Santos, your Diodon and Crew Historian and Web-Master If we don't have your email address, please notify me.  


Thank you.
Please send me a message. I  will reply to your email and let you know where to email me or land wise mail me your stories & photos.

 Green Board, DBF & God Bless and Protect America!!!

United We Stand
od Bless America
od S
ave America

Go to One Page Diodon Home Port
without Frames format

Go to web-master's main site page for Subs, Submariners, Torpedoman's Mates, Veterans Information

Jim Santos, Your Historian & Web Master


Web-Master's USNR and USN active duty on USS Diodon (SS-349)
(Updated 06-01-12)

I am your Web Master, and self-appointed Historian for the old and gone USS Diodon  (SS-349) and her fine crews.  I am the Web-Master for the Torpedoman's Association, as well.

Torpedoman's Mates in Action - Stories & Photos

Your Web Master's Navy & Coast Guard Reserves Service Ranks and Years

Navy schools attended:
· SP/SG Submarine School Reserve (Jun 65 to Aug 65)
· Basic Electricity Electronics Prep (BEEP) School, NTC San Diego, CA 6 weeks
 accelerated pace
(Jun 66 to Aug 66)

· Torpedoman’s Mate “A” School, Fleet ASW School, San Diego, CA 8 weeks – first in class
(Aug 66 to Sept 66)

Torpedoman’s Mate

Torpedoman's Mat

SR to TM2(SS) USN Submarine Reserve 6-12-65 to 6-12-71

 Qualified in Submarines on USS Diodon (SS-349) under the Yellow Sea on August 15, 1967

Click above for larger image

Submarines Your Web Master served on


The Fleet Type Submarine (Navpers 16160 & Others)
Web-Master's Note:  Navpers 16160 is the very text I studied in USNR SP/SG School at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard during 6 weeks in the Summer of 1965 

Here is my reserve training boat, USS Dentuda, SS-385. on which  I studied SS qualification training in her insides in USNR Submarine Reserve Unit 12-31 at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard from June 1965 until I went to SP/SG training school there and there after until I attended BEEP and TM A Schools and continued with SS qualification training in her insides until I was assigned to active duty.

USS Dentuda SS-385
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, CA

(Dentuda pulling into Hunters Point, 1946 - Courtesy Larry Derouin)

Dentuda was decommissioned 11 December 1946 and stationed in the 12th Naval District (HUNTER's POINT NAVAL SHIPYARD) for use as a Naval Reserve Training Boat. Dentuda was stricken and sold for scrap February 12, 1969 to Zidell Explorations of Portland Or. for $55,459.00 .

Note: Assigned to JTF 1 as a test vessel for Operation "Crossroads," Dentuda returned to Pearl Harbor 14 February 1946, and on 22 May sailed for Bikini Atoll. She underwent both atomic weapons tests with her crew safely away from their submarine, and returned to Pearl Harbor 6 September. On 7 October she got underway for Mare Island Naval Shipyard, arriving 14 October. She was decommissioned 11 December 1946 and stationed in the 12th Naval District for the training of members of the Naval Reserve.


After graduating from USN Submarine Reserve SP/SG Submarine School at Hunter's Point, San Francisco Naval Shipyard in the Summer of 1965. I was assigned to attend the Basic Electricity/Electronics Prep (BEEP) School (1600 to 0100 hrs, Monday through Friday) for 6 weeks and Torpedoman Mate's "A" (TMA) School for 8 weeks in San Diego in 1966 as a SN(SG) - Seaman, Submarine School Graduate.   Had 5 weeks more of electronics (had to build a working Superheterodyne Radio Receiver) , and 3 weeks of weapons, torpedoes and mines.  I graduated First in the Class.

Before going to those schools, I got a copy of the manual, typed in the text with a typewriter and hand drew some of the drawings to highlight them for better study. Here are some of them below on the hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Submarine Torpedo Tubes Pneumatic and Hydraulic Operational Sequences

After BEEP School and TMA School completion, my designation was TMSN(SG), Torpedoman's Mate striker, Seaman, Submarine School Graduate. While serving on USS Diodon (SS-349), I qualified on submarines as TMSN(SS) and passed my 3rd class Service Wide Exam and became TM3(SS).

USS Diodon (SS-349) Submarine History Page for 1967 - I came aboard her and Qualified in Submarines during a WEST PAC deployment that year

Here is your Web-Master on USS Diodon (SS-349) in September 1967 in Hong Kong, BCC.  That is an Australian frigate's bow seen in the background.  Got my dolphins in August 1967 while on 55 day submerged patrol.






USS Diodon (SS-349) Submarine History Page for 1968 - I served aboard her until October that year

While aboard Diodon, I later took the Service Wide Exam and passed the exam for TM2(SS), but picked up the advancement in rank after I was separated from active duty and returned to Reserve duty. 

I returned home in October 1968 from the USS Diodon (SS-349) in San Diego and USNR Sub-Div 12-31 had closed and I was then attached to USNR Sub-Div 12-9 at the Alameda Navy and Reserve Training Center with the USS Parche (SS-384) there as the reserve station boat.


After World War II, the USS Parche served as a target ship for Operation Crossroads, the atomic tests at Bikini Atoll. She survived both the aerial bomb and the underwater bomb, and she underwent decontamination before heading to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California. The submarine was decommissioned on December 10, 1946, and she was reclassified as an auxiliary submarine, AGSS-384, on December 1, 1962 to serve as a Naval Reserve Training Submarine. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on November 8, 1969 and sold for scrap on June 18, 1970. The USS Parche received five battle stars and two Presidential Unit Citations for her service in World War II



This photo was taken, as I recall, on board one of those covered Coaxain's Boats.

This was just after i had completed a week end working in the Torpedo Shop on the Sub Tender USS Sperry or USS Nereus.

Another Reservist from my Submarine Reserve Unit, TM2(SS) Ruiz. I believe, snapped this photo.  He was a photographer by trade, as I recall.

He took the photo as we were returning to shore from the tender, which was moored out in the water at Fort Roscrans, Ballast Point Submarine Base, San Diego, California.


the hell of vietnam
A Video
(New 03-12-11)

Tet Offensive & Khe sahn vietnam war footage

(New 01-31-10)

Tet Offensive - Chapter 1

January 31, 2011, marks the 43rd anniversary of the Tet Offensive, a surprise attack by the North Vietnamese that took place on the first day of the Vietnamese new year -- a day that had been expected to be a quiet religious holiday. NavyTV is airing two episodes of the documentary series "Virginians At War," which feature vintage film footage taken during some of this historic event and first-person accounts from Virginia veterans of the Offensive. Above is Chapter 1, click here for Chapter 2.

(New 02-27-11)

Tet Offensive - Chapter 2


Reality and Perception / Why We Fought
Avg. Rating: 5.00

(New 02-27-11)

Good Read Especially Vietnam Vets & Era Vets!
I am forwarding this excellent essay on the Vietnam experience- authored by Sen. Jim Webb(D-Va.), His contrast of the Vietnam military with the WWII "greatest generation" military is  fascinating- especially the point that it was the 'greatest generation' who sent us to 'Nam.
I am personally one of those vets who believed the war was worth fighting and one which we could have won if permitted to do so.
Heroes of the Vietnam Generation
By James Webb

(New 01-01-11)



Port Securityman

PS3 E4 to Senior Chief E8


Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay

October 2, 1978 – January 01, 1997 (18 years 3 months)


Served as 
District 11; ASSISTANT TRAINING OFFICER for 95 people; 
– designed and taught multiple classes which resulted in very many of my shipmates passing their End off Course Examinations on their first try. 
MARINE INVESTIGATOR: performed investigations of marine accidents; 
MARINE INVESTIGATIONS DEPARTMENT HEAD: managed and scheduled 9 Marine Investigators doing marine accident investigations;
CERTIFIED MARINE SAFETY BOARDING OFFICER: regulatory application, enforcement and interpretation of 33CFR, 46CFR, 49CFR, IMO, U.S. Codes and U.S. Codes Annotated experience. Was the first USCGR member to obtain this certification. Designed and published Marine Safety Boarding Officer hand book

· CERTIFIED MARINE INVESTIGATOR: regulatory application, enforcement and interpretation: 33CFR, U.S. Codes and U.S. Codes Annotated

USCGR Schools attended
· Instructor Training (first in class) (2 weeks) 
· Port Securityman Basic (first in class) and Advanced Schools (4 weeks).
· Marine Environmental Response Basic (first in class) and Advanced Schools (4 weeks) & HAZWOPER course (2 days)
· Reserve Senior Petty Officer Leadership and Management (first in class) (2 weeks)

 (New 11-12-13)

PSCS James R. Santos, USCGR ret. cpo anchorcoastguard chief This CPO Ring Site is owned by
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My Generation - Your Web Master
Updated 07-08-11

    The Sailor's Creed

    I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage, and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

    USS Diodon conversion to GUPPY II

    USS Diodon conversion to GUPPY IIA

    Both above added 09-09-05

    Notices & E-mails

    Did Electricians Mate William Henry Roberson serve on the Diodon?
    (New 07-23-06)

    Do you have any information on Donald R. Wiltse who served on Diodon around 1955-1958?
    (New 09-20-06)

    What was the name of the kid that stole a tug from the tug port and pulled Diodon away from the pier
    (New 09-07-06)

    Vern Grubbs looking for James Jones
    (New 03-27-06)

    2007 Subvets National Convention-Important Information

    Thomas David Clifford served on Diodon at sometime

    Louis Mercier wants to contact Joe Rinaldi and Raford Malone

     Charlie Baltz Diodon Shipmate on Eternal Patrol

    (New 01-15-12)

    Robert Gagetta Diodon Shipmate passed away 11-14-09
    (New 01-02-12)