USS Piper ( SS-409) on high seas

Source: Jimmy " Crash " Evans

Special Covers Launching Ceremony 26 June 1944

Source: R. Saxe

Special cover 10000th Dive 16 March 1961

Source: Jimmy " Crash " Evans


View Website USS Piper ( SS-409)


PIPER (SS-409), ex-AWA, was laid down 15 March 1944 by the U.S. Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.; launched 26 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Charles W. Wilkins, wife of Captain Wilkins; commissioned 23 August 1944, Commander B.F. McMahon, in command.

Although built late in World War II, PIPER completed three successful war patrols before the cessation of hostilities, operating as a life guard for plane strikes and as an advance picket for fast carrier tasks forces.

On 1 July 1957, Rear Admiral C. W. Wilkins, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, selected PIPER as his Flagship. His wife had christened PIPER at her launching in 1944. In September PIPER sailed for an eight week NATO exercise in the North Atlantic. In 1958, after completing almost a full year as Flagship of the Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, PIPER was relieved by SEAWOLF (SSN-575).

In the fall of 1962 PIPER was deployed in the Caribbean area during the Cuban Missile Crisis. PIPER commenced another Mediterranean deployment 8 October 1963. She transited the Suez Canal to Karachi, Pakistan to participate with the Navies of the CENTO nations in exercise Midlink VI and returned to the Mediterranean early in December for operations with the 6th Fleet before returning to New London 1 February 1964.

On 22 March 1967, PIPER's main storage battery had deteriorated to the extent that the ship was restricted to surface operations. At this time PIPER had made 13,724 dives, a record for commissioned submarines. On 10 May, PIPER entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for deactivation. On 15 June, PIPER was reclassified to AGSS-409, an auxiliary submarine, and the next day she was placed "out of commission, special," and replaced submarine CERO (SS-225) as the Detroit, Mich., Naval Reserve Training submarine.

PIPER received four battle stars for service in World War II.

Source: A. Toppan



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