US Sub Lost During Cold War Discovered

by Michael Satterfield 

The "Lost 52 Project" created by veteran ocean explorer and Tiburon Subsea CEO Tim Taylor has found the wreckage of the  USS Stickleback (SS 415).  The Stickleback was lost 62 years ago in nearly 11,000 feet of water and is one of four submarines lost during the Cold War. Since launching the project in 2011, Taylor and his team have discovered six U.S. submarines utilizing pioneering robotic autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely operated vehicles, with the aid of advanced photogrammetry imaging technology.

The WWII era submarine Stickleback was commissioned on March 29, 1945, and was deployed to Guam to began her first patrol in August. But shortly after that first deployment, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it was believed the war would end shortly. Just two days into that patrol the cease-fire was ordered. Other than a few rescues while at sea the Stickleback didn't see any action before returning to San Francisco for the Third Fleet parade on September 28th. before being decommissioned and placed in reserve in June of 1946.

In 1951, the Stickleback was recommissioned and decommissioned twice in the early 1950s, the second time would see the submarine supporting the Korean war and conducting intelligence-gathering operations against the Soviet Union. On May 28th, 1958 the USS Stickleback was participating in an antisubmarine warfare exercise when the ship lost power and added emergency buoyancy ballast to ascend to the surface. Upon surfacing the USS Stickleback was struck by the destroyer escort USS Silverstein (DE 534).

Thankfully there were no fatalities and the crew was rescued by other Navy ships who also attempted to save the Stickleback, but all compartments flooded, and Stickleback sank in 1,800 fathoms of water. Stickleback is the third submarine to be discovered of the four US Navy submarines lost since the end of World War II. USS Cochino (SS 345), USS Thresher (SSN 593), and USS Scorpion (SSN 589) were also lost during the Cold War.

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