- Historic Sites
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USS SILVERSIDES was commissioned in the U.S. Navy on December 15, 1941, just eight days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She left for the first of her 14 war patrols on April 30, 1942. SILVERSIDES served with the Pacific Fleet in the empire waters along the coast of Japan, the East China Sea. SILVERSIDES also patrolled key enemy shipping routes around the Marinanas, Carolinas, Bismark Archipelago, and along the Solomon Island to guadalcanal. Her mission was to stop raw materials and supplies such as oil, bauxite, rubber, coal, food, and iron ore from going to Japan. SILVERSIDES sank 23 ships and damaged 14 ships. She ranks third highest among all World War II U.S. submarines in ships sunk, totaling 90,080 tons. None of the boats scoring more sunk or tonnage sunk exists today, leaving SILVERSIDES as the nation's most famous surviving submarine. For outstanding and aggressive performance, SILVERSIDES was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for four patrols, the highest award given to Navy ships, and twelve Combat Insignia Battle Stars for successful patrol runs. POST WAR SERVICE: After WWII ended, SILVERSIDES proceeded to New York via the Panama Canal. In 1947, SILVERSIDES made her way up the Mississippi and arrived in Chicago where she served as a reserve training vessel until 1969. In 1972, SILVERSIDES was scheduled to be scrapped. Gasps of concerns arose in the city and the Great Lakes Navy Association was formed. The group represented and a comprehensive restoration plan to the U.S. Navy and was granted caretaker of the boat in July 1973. SILVERSIDES was designated a National Historic Landmark in October 1972.
Builder: Mare Island Shipbuilding Yard in Vallejo, California Basic Dimensions: 312 feet long by 27 feet in the beam Displacement: 1525 tons surfaced and 2410 tons submerged Top Speed: 21 knots surfaced and 9 knots submerged Standard Compliment: 8 officers, 72 enlisted men