Wednesday, 06 October 2010

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The name, USS Bonefish (SS-223), the 51st of 52 submarines lost in World War II was assigned to Washington State by the United States Submarine Veterans of WWII. (Each state was assigned a lost submarine name, except California and New York, who were assigned two each.) Bonefish was lost with all hands (85) on June 18, 1945.

Bonefish Bio

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 25 June 1942, at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT.; Launched, 7 March 1943; Commissioned USS Bonefish (SS-223), 31 May 1943; Final Disposition, sunk on 8th patrol by Japanese warship in Toyama Wan, west coast of Honshu, 18 June 1945, all hands lost.; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown). Bonefish received five Navy Unit Commendations and seven battle stars during World War II.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 Officers 54 Enlisted; Operating Depth, 300 ft; Submerged Endurance, 48 hrs at 2 kts; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel electric reduction gear with four General Motors main generator engines, HP 5400, Fuel Capacity, 97,140 gals., four General Electric main motors, HP 2740, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin propellers.

Bonefish, The  Parade Float


In 1982, Lockwood Chapter WWII Subvet Ken Martinson designed and constructed the Bonefish conning tower at his home on Camino Island. A rented flat bed trailer was used to make Bonefish’s first show in the 1982 Auburn Veterans Day Parade. WWII Subvet and USSVI Bremerton Base Holland Club, National & base Life member Paul Christofferson gave his home made trailer up for a permanent carriage for Bonefish.


WWII Subvet Howard Bryson improved, maintained and towed the Bonefish in many parades around Western Washington. In 1997, WWII Subvet and USSVI Seattle Base Holland Club, National & base Life member John Baker and USSVI Bremerton Base Holland Club, National & base life member Jim Foote moved the Bonefish into the Granite Falls High School shop for an overhaul arranged by WWII Subvets State Commander Ed Kichgessner.


Upkeep of the float was then taken on by USSVI Bremerton Base. In 2002, the NW CPOA took on maintenance and installed a cover to keep Bonefish dry. In 2007, a complete overhaul of the float was conducted by the Bangor IMF First Class Petty Officer’s Association under direction of the NW CPOA.


Coming out of that overhaul, USSVI associate life member Sam Swenson took responsibility for maintenance and improvements. New electrical wiring and rear fold up steps have been installed. A PA system was purchased for audio character.  Other improvements are forth coming as preparations are  made for the 2008 parades and future events.

From whence we came!

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