US Submarines ~ Pre WWI Submarines ~ WWI Submarines ~ Post WWI Submarines ~ 1920's Submarines ~ 1930's Submarines ~ Submarines in 1940
A - F Boats G - O Boats R - V Boats Fleet Boats More Sub Stuff PigBoats.COM Contact Donate  

USS Gar SS 206

USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206 Builders plaque
USS Gar SS 206 Builders plaque
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 keel laying
USS Gar SS 206 keel laying. December 27, 1939
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206 in frame. April 1, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206 in frame. April 1, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206 in frame. June 27, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206 in frame. September 26, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206
USS Gar SS 206 in frame. September 28, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940. Ballast tank flood port.
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940 Down the ways
USS Gar SS 206 Down the ways, November 7, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
USS Gar SS 206 launch Day November 7, 1940
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 January 3, 1941
USS Gar SS 206 January 3, 1941. USS Grampus in the background.
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 January 3, 1941
USS Gar SS 206 January 3, 1941. USS Mackerel SS 204 on the right.
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 March 30, 1941
USS Gar SS 206 March 30, 1941. USS Grampus in the background.
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar SS 206 March 30, 1941
USS Gar SS 206 March 30, 1941. USS Grampus in the background.
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
Hold Mouse Over Image
To Scroll the Image Use Mouse Wheel

USS Gar SS 206 photographed at Mare Island after her ninth war patrol. The date is November 20, 1943. Changes and modifications to her external appearance have been outlined by the yard. Mare Island is the only shipyard during the war to do this.

Photo From the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


Hold Mouse Over Image
To Scroll the Image Use Mouse Wheel

This close up show three changes to Gar. They are not always self explanatory. The top one with the large circle may indicate the change or addition of a gun mount on the forward gundeck or perhaps to the door in the front of the conning tower fairwater.

The second is an an addition or change to a topside sound head seen in front of the brow to the sub from the dock. The horizontal head is seen here in its stowed position. It could be rotated by a sound operator manually inside the submarine to obtain a bearing on a sound relative to the submarine..

The third change seems to be the hinging of the torpedo handling mast and boom, probably to reduce underwater drag or to lessen the chance of snagging mine cables.

Photo From the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


Hold Mouse Over Image
To Scroll the Image Use Mouse Wheel

A view from aft of the Gar at Mare Island. The date is November 20, 1943.

Photo From the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


Hold Mouse Over Image
To Scroll the Image Use Mouse Wheel

This close up shows some battle damage needing repair or replacement. The deck plates on either side of the Engineroom hatch have been badly warped, possibly by depth charges. The concussive force bending the plates. A ready locker for ammunition has been added or repaired in the aft end of the conning tower fairwater.

Other changes show the addition of brackets and insulators for the aft radio antennas on the side of the conning tower fairwater. Also the addition or changes to the radio mast aft is indicated.

Like the one on the foredeck the aft torpedo handling mast and boom have been hinged to fold to the deck. The after messenger buoy has been removed for work or replacement.

Photo From the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


USS Gar SS 206 second war patrol
USS Gar SS 206 recovering pilots while on eleventh war patrol..
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar mascot
USS Gar mascot with the name "Garbo".
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum
USS Gar mascot's pups
Garbo's pups being held by CMoM James Ellis.
Photo courtesy of The US Navy Submarine Force Museum

Garbo was the perfect submarine mascot. A mongrel puppy so small she could be concealed in a sailor's white hat, she came aboard the USS Gar (SS 206) in Hawaii about the time of the boat's tenth war patrol. She and the crew took an immediate liking to each other, and she remained on board for the rest of the Gar's fifteen war patrols. The puppy made her home in the forward torpedo room. Whenever the sub got under way, Garbo stationed herself all the way forward on the bullnose and barked.

Once each patrol she toured the Gar from stem to stern; as she arrived in each compartment, the crew there would come to attention. "She owned the boat and knew it," recalled Motor Machinist Mate Second Class Jim Bunn.

Garbo earned the combat submarine insignia that she wore on her collar, along with a star for each successful patrol she made on the Gar. Under the heaviest depth charge attacks, when the gauges were leaking, light bulbs breaking, and fires breaking out, Garbo remained as playful as ever. Bunn said, "She should have gotten a medal for keeping our spirits and morale up when we needed it most." Anyone was welcome to pet her, but only the skipper, Lt. Cmdr. George Lautrup, Jr., and the cook, Red Balthorp, could pick her up. The skipper would put her on his shoulder and carry her up the ladder to the bridge at night for fresh air.

One night while the Gar was running on the surface during a war patrol in the Palau Islands, Garbo stepped off the cigarette deck and vanished into the darkness. The C.O. Immediately began a dog overboard search. With the boat making frantic circles in enemy waters, a lookout finally spotted the mascot below the bridge, safe on the main deck.

Between patrols, Garbo stayed with the crew at their hotel in Pearl Harbor. She joined in the ship's parties, and like some of her two-legged shipmates, she didn't know her limit. After lapping up too much beer, she tended to blunder into furniture.

Garbo gave birth to two pups while the sub was en route to Ulithi; the father belonged to the USS Tambor (SS 198). The Gar's crew traded the pups to other submarines for cases of beer. At the end of the war, when the Gar returned to the States, Chief Motor Machinist Mate Jim Ellis took Garbo home with him.

Excerpted from Sea Dogs by WILLIAM GALVANI

Previous PageNext Page

Read / Sign our Deck Log

Tambor Class Cutaway and Specifications

Holland | A-Boats | B-Boats | C-Boats | D-Boats | E-Boats | F-Boats |
| G-Boats | H-Boats | K-Boats | L-Boats | M-Boats | N-Boats | O-Boats |
| R-Boats | S-Boats | T-Boats | V-Boats |Simon Lake Subs| The Fleet Boats |
| Wilkins-Ellsworth Expedition | Home |

Page created by:
Ric Hedman
1999 - 2009
PigBoats.COM

Mountlake Terrace, WA
webmaster at pigboats dot com
The author is a Member of The HTML Writers Guild
The HTMLWriters Guild