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  USS Plaice SS-390 (Bahia S-12)
Balao class submarine

1,526 Tons (surfaced)
2,391 Tons (submerged)
311.6' x 27' 3" x 16' 10"
10 x 23" Torpedo Tubes
with 24 torpedoes
1 x 5" deck gun
1 x 40mm gun
1 x 20mm cannon

Ship History
Built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Laid down July 14, 1943. Launched November 15, 1943 sponsored by Miss Eleanor Fazzi. Commissioned February 12, 1944 with Lieutenant Commander Clyde B. Stevens in command.


Sixth War Patrol
On July 18, 1945 departed to patrol the East China Sea but had no enemy contacts.

On August 11, 1945 in the Sea of Japan she spotted a small boat in her periscope and surfaced a mile away at 9:30am. The boat started its engine and motored toward the submarine observed the figures aboard through binoculars. Unaware of their identity, the crew manned the deck guns. As the boat approached, the submarine fired three warning shots. Aboard, the boat crew frantically fired flares while one waved a yellow tarp. Spotting the "Goodyear" logo on the yellow tarp, the submarine crew realized they were friendly and rescued the five crew of B-25J Mitchell 44-30993 that ditched the previous day. One of the crew was injured and given morphine and went to the sick bay. Before departing, the submarine crew sank the Higgins boat with gunfire.

On August 12, 1945 in the morning, a g PBM Mariner landed next to the submarine to fly the crew back to its seaplane tender off Okinawa. Afterwards, Plaice continued her patrol until the end of the Pacific War then proceeded to Midway arriving August 24, 1945.

Plaice continued to operated in the Pacific until November 1947 when placed out of commission, in reserve at Mare Island. On May 18, 1963 reactivated to be readied to be loaned to Brazil as part of a Military Assistance Program.

On September 7, 1963 at Pearl Harbor turned over to Capitão-de-Fragata Abílio Simões Machado. Commissioned in the Brazilian Navy as Bahia (S-12). At the Brazilian Navy Arsenal in Rio de Janeiro, the submarine was modified with a new conning tower and periscope guide. These modifications increased her submerged speed by one knot and made the submarine more quite.

During the Cold War, Bahia took part in UNITAS naval exercises and assisted in surveillance in the South Atlantic Ocean. She logged 140,503 nautical miles and 2,863 hours submerged during 836 days at sea. Her loan to Brazil was extended beyond the original five-year term.

On January19, 1973 decommissioned and sold to Technology Museum of São Paulo which planned to tow the submarine to Santos, Brazil for conversion into a museum. Instead, after a ceremony on March 27, 1973 scrapped in Brazil.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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