USS Corvina

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USS Corvina SS-226
United States
BuilderElectric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[1]
Laid downSeptember 21, 1942[1]
LaunchedMay 9, 1943[1]
Sponsored byMrs. R. W. Christie
CommissionedAugust 6, 1943[1]
FateSunk by Japanese submarine I-176 south of Truk Lagoon, November 16, 1943[2]
General characteristics
Class and typeGato-class diesel-electric submarine[2]
  • 1,525 long tons (1,549 t) surfaced[2]
  • 2,424 long tons (2,463 t) submerged[2]
Length311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)[2]
Beam27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[2]
Draft17 ft (5.2 m) maximum[2]
  • 21 knots (39 km/h) surfaced[3]
  • 9 kn (17 km/h) submerged[3]
Range11,000 nmi (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 kn (19 km/h)[3]
  • 48 hours at 2 kn (3.7 km/h) submerged[3]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth300 ft (90 m)[3]
Complement6 officers, 54 men[3]

USS Corvina (SS-226), a Gato-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the corvina.[7]

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Corvina′s keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, on September 21, 1942. She was launched on May 9, 1943, sponsored by Mrs. LaRene P. Christie, wife of Rear Admiral Ralph. W. Christie, commander of submarine operations in Fremantle, Australia, and commissioned on August 6, 1943.

Service record[edit]

Clearing New London, Connecticut, on September 18, 1943, Corvina arrived at Pearl Harbor on October 14. She put out from Pearl Harbor on her maiden war patrol November 4, topped up her fuel tanks at Johnston Island two days later, and was never heard from again.

Her assignment had been a dangerous one: to patrol as closely as possible to the heavily guarded stronghold of Truk and to intercept any Japanese sortie endangering the forthcoming American invasion of the Gilbert Islands. Japanese records report that Japanese submarine I-176 launched three torpedoes at an enemy submarine south of Truk on November 16, claiming two hits which resulted in the explosion of the target.[8] Her loss with her crew of 82 was announced March 14, 1944, making Corvina the only American submarine to have been sunk by a Japanese submarine in the entire war.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

Reference is made to the loss of the Corvina in the 1951 John Wayne film Operation Pacific. In the film, the fictitious Gato-class sub USS Thunderfish makes an impromptu rendezvous with the Corvina after the Corvina had reported problems on Number 4 Main Engine. The subs exchange engine parts and the captains also exchange films, John Wayne offering George Washington Slept Here, and the Corvina's captain offering "a submarine picture", later revealed to be the 1943 film Destination Tokyo. Later, while the crew of the Thunderfish are watching Destination Tokyo, John Wayne is shown trying to figure out torpedo explosions reported by the sub's sonar operator. The following day, the Thunderfish comes across wreckage, and discovers the case containing George Washington Slept Here, revealing that the Corvina had been sunk. The Thunderfish's radar then reports a single contact, and the sub submerges. John Wayne discovers "one I-type Jap submarine" while looking through the periscope. The Thunderfish then engages, torpedoes, and sinks the Japanese sub, avenging the loss of the Corvina.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 271–273. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
  3. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305-311
  4. ^ a b c d e Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 270–280. ISBN 978-0-313-26202-9. OCLC 24010356.
  5. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 p. 261
  6. ^ a b c U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  7. ^ "USS Corvina". Wrecksite. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Corvina (SS 226)". Navy Department Library. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Boyd, Carl; Yoshida, Akihiko (1995). The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II. Naval Institute Press. p. 236. ISBN 9781557500151. Retrieved January 21, 2014.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 5°5′N 151°10′E / 5.083°N 151.167°E / 5.083; 151.167