Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mk 48 Torpedo -- Not Just For Skimmers

All submariners enjoy seeing a surface ship blown in half by a well-placed torpedo, but sometimes we forget that the Mk 48 is also effective against submarines. Poking around the 'net looking for information on the Navy's recently-released 5 year SINKEX plan, I found (here, here, here, and here) video of the torpedoing of USS Sailfish (SS 572) by my old boat USS Topeka (SSN 754) in May 2007. All the videos I found were in a .wmv format, so I uploaded it to YouTube for ease of viewing:

Personally, I think that being the target of a SINKEX is one of the most honorable ways for a retired warship to end her life -- she helps train the next generation of Sailors, and provides a home to marine life.

Back to the Navy scrapping list, the only surprise I saw is that they expect to scrap USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) within the next five years; she's still in commission, so it'll be a rush job (considering some of the other boats coming up for scrapping have been decomm'd since the mid-'90s).

(Non-sub related postscript: While I was uploading the video to YouTube, I figured I might as well post the old video of my cat Hercules molesting blankets.)


Anonymous ex721elt said...

A Shipmate from my local USSVI base was committed to the sea aboard the Sailfish during her sinkex - he was an old TMC(SS) & a WWII vet - they could find no better send-off for a crusty old Torpedoman - Jim, Rest Your Oars.

2/25/2008 6:35 AM

Anonymous Rich said...

Oddly enough, and yet not surprising I find Hurculese the blanket molesting cat quite funny.

I have been on Active Duty for 11 days now with mostly skimmers and realized why I got out. Wish I could do my tour on a boat. Oh well, the CO/XO both have fish.


2/25/2008 6:10 PM

Blogger Jay said...

Pretty impressive shipmate. At least submerged, death would be instant.

2/25/2008 10:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too interesting but ¿what is the difference between one submarine "quiet" in the sea's surface and other surface vessels, like a small destroyer? I think that's stupid to destroy a WWII SSK with a modern MK48 torpedo. I think that a sub of the WWI is most useful as Museum....

2/26/2008 6:26 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Wasn’t there an admiral or so recently...who implied the Mk 48 is obsolete?

2/26/2008 10:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clarification for Anon comment. USS Sailfish SS 572 was commissioned in 1955 as a high speed SSR, a Radar Picket Submarine along with USS Salmon SS 573. Both lost their SSR function by 1960 and reverted to straight SS configuration. Both boats could make 25 knots at full speed on the surface. They had 4 Fairbanks Morse 12 cylinder Diesel engines. With the loss of their SSR function and removal of the CIC and associated equipment and electronics and down sizing of the crew they were quite roomy and comfortable for diesel boats.

As a side note, Sailfish's Steam Torpedo Tools are now in the custody of the museum submarine USS Pampanito SS-383 moored at Pier 43 in San Francisco. I had the pleasure of inventorying, cleaning, and using them on several of the MK 14 Mod 5 torpedos onboard Pampanito when I worked on her as a part time deck hand in 2003. Most of Pampanito's torpedos are in relatively good shape and two still had residual air charges in the air flasks, probably to keep the bulkheads in on their seats.


2/28/2008 3:03 PM

Blogger Cameron said...


2/29/2008 2:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another after thought comment from DBFTMC(SS), I believe that USS Trout SS-566 is the last Diesel Boat left for "Target Services". I think she is still around some where. Several years ago she was in Key West FLA and belonged to NavAir for use as a mobile target. I believe she has been moved, don't believe she has been disposed of yet.

Thats it guys, no more submarine targets to shoot......

3/02/2008 2:17 PM

Anonymous Don Byle said...

The Sailfish was my home for two and a half years (1963-1965). I was sad to see her destroyed, but was relieved that she was in her final resting place after many years of rusting in Washington. May God bless my shipmates and all those who were privileged to call her our home.

11/01/2009 1:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent 4 years on that boat. Wierd feeling watching her sink like that.

11/18/2009 9:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

diesel boats forever! i spent 2 years on this boat.11970-1972. It was fantastic. Im sorry they couldnt make it a museum for every one to see. Many fond memories,a few close calls, but Sailfish ss572
is the BEST

6/11/2010 11:28 PM

Anonymous Wayne Fordham said...

Wayne Fordham says: Sorry to see her go down, but did have the pleasure to seeing her in Bremerton 3 times 1992, 1993, 1994. Served with her and Don Byle from 1963 to 1966.

5/04/2011 8:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

40Everytime I see this video I get close to tears. She was my home for close to three years from Nov. 1959 to June 1962.

1/13/2013 3:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

DBF my home too for a couple of years 1970-1972. I can still hear those diesels pounding during our snorkle times.

1/23/2013 11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I built MK 48's. Did two tours in Groton and one in Yorktown.

Served from 1980 - 2000

Even made the Undersea Weapons Digest when I was a TM3


5/28/2013 6:30 PM


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