From PigBoats.COM

Sturgeon about the hit the water for the first time, March 15, 1938 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA. If you look closely at the viewing platform, the official party has gathered and the boat's sponsor is in the motion of breaking the traditional bottle of champagne onto her bow. This makes this photo mere seconds before her slid begins.

In the left foreground is a Chief Musician that seems to be directing the Navy Band. A microphone is set up behind him to pick up the band music for broadcast to the area.

The coil of chain, at the right, is to slow the boat as it enters the water, preventing it from drifting too far in the Napa River. One end of the chain is attached to the boat and it uncoils as the boat slides. There is another coil on the other side of the boat.

U.S. Navy photo.

A fine starboard bow view of Sturgeon after her commissioning and probably during her trials voyage to South America. A commissioning pennant is flying from her radio mast. For some reason her S6 class identifier has been painted out on the fairwater and bow. Why is not known, and it is possible that the identifiers were edited out after the photo was taken. Note that on the fare left her name can just barely be seen on the aft superstructure.

In this photo Sturgeon still retains the two long wire antenna stanchions on either side of her bridge. A search/signal light is mounted on the port stanchion. These were later removed in future upgrades of the submarine.

U.S. Navy photo.

Sturgeon moored pier-side, quite possibly in San Diego but that is uncertain as there is not enough background for identification. It appears to be a public pier with the presence of a man in a suit and wearing a straw hat. The time frame probably circa 1939 since the submarine is now wearing her hull number instead of the S6 identifier. Below the numbers and just below the handrail a boat hook is attached to the side of the fairwater.

The large line draped over the rail and snaking across the deck in most likely a shore power cable supplying electricity to the submarine. Forward of the conning tower fairwater, laying on the deck is the boom used for lifting the liberty launches from under the deck and loading torpedoes.

Several deck wrenches are clipped to the side of the fairwater as are two benches for crew to sit on. Sturgeon's bell hangs from a bracket. This part of the deck was designated as the "quarterdeck" where formal events were held. Though in this case the boarding gangway is forward of the conning tower fairwater making that area the quarterdeck at this time.

The boat next to her is unidentified, but it is an Electric Boat design sub of the Shark or Perch groups of the Porpoise-class.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

A still from the 1939 MGM movie "Thunder Afloat" starring Wallace Beery. Sturgeon was used throughout the movie. This shows one of her dramatic surfaces.

Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Sturgeon during a comprehensive overhaul at Hunter's Point in San Francisco, April 23, 1943 The boxes on deck are part of a stability inclining experiment designed to determine metacentric height, a key factor in stability.

U.S. Navy photo.

A second view of Sturgeon during the 1943 overhaul. Both ends of her conning tower fairwater have been cut down, but she retained the some of the windows in the new bridge fairwater. SJ and SD radars have been added to the periscope shears. Mk 5 20 mm gun mounts have been installed on the new gun decks with rectangular shields. Many of the boats quickly discarded the shields because they got in the way. Her 3"/50 caliber deck gun has been moved forward. Note the row of half-moon shaped limber holes added to the superstructure, an expedient to make the boats dive faster.

U.S. Navy photo.

Four views of Sturgeon upon the completion of the 1943 overhaul at Hunter's Point and Mare Island in San Francisco. The photos are dated May 3, 1943. In the bottom two photos note that the gun shields for the 20 mm guns have already been removed.

U.S. Navy photos.

Return to the Salmon/Sargo class page | Return to the Submarine Classes page

Page created by:
Ric Hedman & David Johnston
1999 - 2023 - PigBoats.COM©
Mountlake Terrace, WA, Norfolk, VA
webmaster at pigboats dot com