From PigBoats.COM

A photo taken just after the launch of the Searaven into the Piscataqua River at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine on June 21, 1939.

She is seen here with a tug taking her in tow for her trip to the fitting out docks. Both civilian and Navy personnel are seen on the decks of the Searaven.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Closeup of Navy personnel on the bow of the Searaven. Most likely pre-commissioning crew members. June 21, 1939.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Closeup of Navy officers and civilians on the deck of the Searaven. The officers may be a combination of yard and pre-commissioning personnel who rode the submarine down the ways.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Searaven launched with yard personnel on the deck. Before WW II most subs were launched with little or no Navy personnel involved since the submarines were the responsibly of the construction yard to test and prove before Navy acceptance and commissioning.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Searaven moored to the fitting out dock at the Portsmouth Navy Yard shortly after her launch. The launch bunting and accoutrements have been removed and work has immediately begun. Wooden scaffolding has been constructed on and around the hull to help facilitate the workmen with their jobs. In this case the scaffolding is around the opening for the mine cable cutting gear. She will be commissioned on October 2, 1939.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Searaven on her sea trials in the Atlantic, summer of 1939. She is likely at full speed, giving the engines and electrical plant a thorough workout.

Photo 19-N-21879 courtesy of the NHHC.

Searaven shown post war in late 1945 in the reserve fleet at Mare Island. She received a full suite of upgrades and modifications like her sisters, but did not see post war service because of her limited capabilities compared to the Balao and Tench-class boats.

Photo 19-N-93359 courtesy of the NHHC.

This photo was taken at Mare Island in the late fall of 1946 time frame. In the background is seen the recently mothballed submarines that helped win WW II. The photo is not distinct enough to make identifications of any specific submarines.

In the foreground are three submarines, two of which are slated for decommissioning on December 11, 1946. The submarines are, left to right; USS Dentuda (SS-335), she will not decommission until 1967. The middle submarine is the Searaven, and the sub on the right is the USS Tuna (SS-203).

All the submarines are still in commission, evident by the 48-star Union Jacks flying from the bows. The deck guns have been removed except for the 40 mm on the front of the Dentuda's conning tower fairwater.

If you look closely at the decks of the Searaven and Tuna just forward of the conning tower fairwaters the boat shaped covers of the deck hatches once used to store the ship's boats. Pre WW II submarines carried two small craft used to ferry men and supplies to shore and other vessels. Once the war started these were considered not necessary and the boats were removed.

On the fore deck of the Tuna an emergency messenger buoy can be seen with the domed top just to the right of the Jack Staff. There is one on the deck of the Searaven also, but it has a flat top and is harder to see. The one on the Dentuda is much easier to see.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

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