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21 Oct 1943

The submarine Bugara's keel was laid at the Electric Boat Company shipyards in Groton, Connecticut.

Note: "Bugara" is the name of a Pacific Rainbow Perch.




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2 July 1944

Launched - Sponsored by the wife of Captain Lyman S. Perry.


Bugara's Launch

Bugara began life as a "thick-skinned" Balao Class submarine. That is, her pressure hull was 3/16-inch thicker than her predecessor, the Gato. That extra thickness allowed Bugara to dive 100 feet deeper than Gato.

15 Nov 1944

Commissioned - Commander Arnold F. Schade was her first commander. Note: Schade first tasted command in 1943 when he was XO on USS Growler (SS-215). This was the famous incident where Growler's captain, LCDR Howard W. Gilmore was wounded and disabled on deck. Gilmore gave the command, "Take her down!", to escape a Japanese torpedo boat. Gilmore sacrificed his life in that episode and won the Congressional Medal of Honor. In the 1960s, Schade was a Vice Admiral and served as Commander Submarine Forces, Atlantic. In this capacity, he is mentioned several times in "Blind Man's Bluff”, a book by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew.

25 Dec 1944

Departed for war in Pacific




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Jan 1945

Torpedo practice in Panama Bay.

21 Feb 1945

Commenced war operations. Bugara engaged in three war patrols in the Flores, Java and South China Seas, and the Gulf of Siam.

The first two war patrols Bugara made in the Pacific were uneventful. However, her third patrol, in July and August, has been described as one of the most colorful patrols of the war. (See the following entry.)

3 Jul 1945

Commenced third war patrol: In just 15 days in July and August, Bugara thoroughly disrupted the junk trade on the Bangkok-Singapore route in the Gulf of Siam. With her deck guns, she destroyed 12 junks, 24 schooners, 16 coasters, 3 sea trucks and one naval auxiliary, totaling 5284 tons. All except for two of these vessels were boarded and their native crews put safely ashore with their personal belongings. Bugara received three battle stars for her WWII service and Commander Schade was awarded the Bronze Star medal.

At 06°40'N, 10F51'E, while dealing with one of the schooners, a lifeboat sank, fouling and damaging Bugara's port screw. Later, Bugara happened across Malay pirates attacking a Japanese schooner, manned by a Chinese crew, enroute to Singapore , 06°21'N, 101°15'E. The brigands fled upon Bugara's approach. After taking off the Chinese crew (who were grateful for the submarine's timely arrival, the Malay cutthroats having already killed two crewmen) and sinking the schooner, Bugara pursued the pirates and destroyed them. Later, Bugara's divers, working in the dark, repaired the screw damaged earlier in the day. Note: from the Malaya Historical Group.

17 Aug 1945

While Bugara was on her third patrol, World War II ended and she was ordered to Fremantle, Australia . After a short period of recreation for the crew, Bugara departed for Subic Bay in the Philippine Islands where she joined other units of her squadron. For the remainder of 1945, she operated in the Philippine area.




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Jan 1946

Departed from the Philippines for San Diego, stopping briefly at Pearl Harbor. After arriving in San Diego, Bugara was granted a three month period of rehabilitation and leave, during which many of the men and officers were discharged from the navy or ordered to other duty in the Submarine Force.

Mar 1946

Commander F. A. Greenup, USN, assumed command.

May 1946

Returned to Pearl Harbor.

28 May 1946

Bugara sank Ex-Japanese submarine HIJMS I-14 in test of Mark 10-3 exploder. This took place near Pearl Harbor at 21° 13'N, 158°08'W. Note: From Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp, www.combinedfleet.com/I-14.htm. Their source was Wright, Christopher C., Ed. The U. S. Navy's Operation of the former Imperial Japanese Navy Submarines I-14, I-400 and I-401. Toledo, Ohio: Warship International, Vol No. XXXVII, No. 4, 2000.

Summer 1946

Entered Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for routine overhaul.

Fall 1946

Made a training cruise into the Bering Sea, stopping at the ports of Seattle and Portland before returning to Pearl Harbor.

4, 5 Nov 1946

While in the Bering Sea, Bugara was a key player in a search and rescue mission. A vicious storm whipped the area. The Army reported that one of their BSPs (Self-Propelled Barges) had come loose. It was adrift with three stranded crew members. A Navy PB Y-5 A spotted the barge. It was low in the water but its crew appeared OK. The PBY dropped a raft and radio into the water but the barge crew was unable to retrieve it. When the PBY lost contact with the barge - the weather was real pea soup - it radioed a suggested heading to Bugara. Then, after the barge had been drifting for two days, Bugara spotted it. She radioed, "We have spotted the barge." (pause) "The water is almost to the top of her gunnels." (pause) "We are closing. The seas are moderating." (pause) "We are taking three exhausted men aboard." Note: This story about Bugara and the barge was told by Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. on a website "http://www.daileyint.com/flying/flywar9.htm".




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Summer 1947

Bugara, in company with USS Bergall (SS-320) and USS Brill (SS-330) made a coordinated training attack on USS Iowa (BB-61). The submarines intercepted the battleship as she made a high-speed run through the Alenuihaha Channel between the islands of Maui and Hawaii. Although the battleship enjoyed land-based air cover and made several radical course changes in an attempt to throw off the pursuers, the submarines still achieved four "successful" attacks.

Oct 1947

Commander Charles R. Gebhardt, USN, assumed command. Note: Commander Gebhardt, a veteran of submarine patrols in the Pacific, held the Bronze Star medal for services during the fourteenth war patrol of the submarine Narwhal.

Participated in the Navy Day exercises at Stockton, California.

Nov 1947

Took part in the fleet exercises off the coast of Southern California under Commander First Task Fleet.

13 Nov 1947

Suffered minor collision with destroyer USS Orleck (DD-886).

20 Nov 1947

Entered the San Francisco Naval Shipyard for her second Navy Yard overhaul




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19 Mar 1948

Completed overhaul.

27 Mar 1948

Departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor.

7 Apr 1948

Reported to Commander Submarine Squadron Five for duty. For six weeks she engaged in training exercises, rendering service to other units of the Navy, and in a short Naval Reserve training cruise to the island of Kauai.

21 May 1948

Departed Pearl Harbor on a simulated war patrol that took her to Melbourne, Australia ; Guam; Buckner Bay, Okinawa; Tsingtao, China , and Yokosuka, Japan . Enroute to Australia , she was diverted to Tutuila, Samoa, to disembark a member of the crew who required hospitalization.

31 May 1948

Stopped at Pago Pago and departed same day.

9 Jun 1948

Arrived Melbourne. After only a short time, Bugara departed for Perth for four days of royal entertainment and hospitality.

22 Jun 1948

Departed Perth for Guam.

4 Jul 1948

Arrived Guam. Remained in Guam for two weeks for repairs

16 Jul 1948

Commenced one week of services to surface ships and aircraft around Guam.

22 Jul 1948

Departed Guam for Pagan Island where she conducted shore bombardment, and landed stores and personnel for the Marines stationed there.

27 Jul 1948

Arrived Yokosuka, Japan .

9 Aug 1948

Typhoon struck the coast of Okinawa where Bugara was conducting anti­submarine exercises. In company with ships of Destroyer Squadron One, Bugara proceeded south to avoid the storm.

10 Aug 1948

Set course for Midway Island.

19 Aug 1948

Arrived Midway Island. After a brief stay, sailed for Pearl Harbor.

24 Aug 1948

Received a typical Hawaiian welcome as she arrived in Pearl Harbor.

Throughout the remainder of 1948, Bugara engaged in local operations out of Pearl Harbor where she provided services to many ships and aircraft in the area.




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For the first half of 1949, Bugara engaged in local operations out of Pearl Harbor.

6 Jul 1949

Lieutenant Commander F. J. Coulter, USN, assumed command.

13 Aug 1949

Sailed to Mare Island, California, where she commenced her third Navy Yard overhaul




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3 Jan 1950

Completed yard overhaul and returned to Pearl Harbor where she engaged in local operations until September.

15 Jun 1950

Lieutenant Commander H. J. Smith, USN, assumed command.

Sep 1950

Departed for Far East to support United Nations Forces in the Korean Campaign.

12 Oct 1950

Bugara's stay in the Far East was cut short due to damages suffered in Yokosuka, Japan. While tied up in a nest outboard USS Pickerel (SS-524), a frigate maneuvering in the harbor rammed Bugara, rupturing a fuel tank and putting a five-inch dent in the pressure hull. Bugara had to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Note: This episode of Bugara being rammed by a frigate is mentioned briefly in the book, "Submarine Commander: a Story of World War II and Korea", by Paul R. Schratz.




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Jan 1951

After spending Christmas at home, Bugara once more departed for the Far East where she supported United Nations Forces.

27 June 1951

Returned to Pearl Harbor and entered the Naval Shipyard for her fourth overhaul. During this overhaul, Bugara received the Fleet Snorkel conversion. This was the first such conversion undertaken by the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Note: Fleet Snorkel is a special class of boat, sometimes considered a GUPPY (Greater Underwater Propulsion Power). Their deck guns were removed. However, they retained their fleet bows, superstructures and decks. They received the distinctive streamlined sail of the conversion yard (in Bugara's case, the "Electric Boat" sail). They were equipped with snorkel induction and exhaust masts, and they received an ECM mast. They kept their original electrical system including the two batteries (most with closed cell ventilation) and four engines. The auxiliary engine was removed to make room for two air conditioning plants. Most had AN/BQR-2 passive sonar in a chin mount, operated from a space under the galley (formerly the magazine).

Pre-1951 Balao Configuration

Post-1951 Fleet Snorkel Conversion


15 Nov 1951

Completed yard overhaul and resumed local operations in Pearl Harbor area.




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May 1952

Departed on a cruise to Port Angeles, Washington, visiting Seattle, Portland and Esquimalt (British Columbia).

28 Jun 1952

Returned to Pearl Harbor and resumed local operations.

5 Sep 1952

Lieutenant Commander M. Godek, USN, assumed command.




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Bugara was training near Pearl Harbor with USS Whitehurst (DE-634), a Buckley class destroyer escort. Bugara came to periscope depth and briefly spotted the numbers "634" bearing down on her at about 15 knots. Then, the collision occurred. Rick Farris was a Bugara crewman at the time and related this story. "I was onboard, alone on 'motor room' watch when the Bugara Incident occurred. When we were hit, there was a loud ongoing crashing sound, as the DE Whitehurst passed over. A few very anxious minutes then ensued. The impact caused the boat to roll severely, take a steep down angle, and plunge deeper - giving every indication a forward compartment had flooded and we were headed for the bottom, 9600 feet below. Even the old, salty WW 2 vets on board were highly impressed!! Finally, 'control' stopped the downward movement, and we eventually surfaced without difficulty. Damage was fairly serious. The small 'pump room' flooded, both scopes required replacement, the upper half of the sail and shears needed extensive repairs, etc. We were in the yard several weeks and the cost was, I'm sure, substantial."

USS Whitehurst (DE-634)

Damage to Bugara's Sail and Periscopes

Note: For a more detailed description of the Whitehurst-Bugara collision, visit the website http://hometown.aol.com/crowmax/Bugara.html. Pictures and story were borrowed from this website.

Another site: http://usswhitehurst.org/Bugara.htm

25 Feb 1953

Lieutenant Commander L. H. Rathbun, Jr., USN, assumed command.

22 Jun 1953

Entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for regular overhaul.

23 Oct 1953

Completed overhaul and departed for Puget Sound area, remaining there for two months.

23 Dec 1953

Returned to Pearl Harbor.




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6 Apr 1954

Departed for the Western Pacific for her fifth cruise into that area. This trip would include stops at Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Yokosuka, and a 30-day deployment to the north. War hero, Richard O'Kane - recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in WWII and a rear admiral in 1954 - came aboard to see Bugara off on its way to the north. Note: The description of Bugara's 1954 WestPac deployment was provided by Denny Kerton, QM2(SS), who rode Bugara between 1953 and 1955.

8 Oct 1954

Returned to Pearl Harbor.




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16 Feb 1955

Lieutenant Commander George O. Bennett, USN, assumed command.

26 May 1955

Entered the Naval Shipyard at Pearl Harbor for her sixth regular overhaul. During this overhaul, extensive changes were made in the ship to provide greater habitability for the crew.

30 Nov 1955

Upon completion of overhaul, Bugara departed for San Diego, California, her new home port. She reported for duty as a unit of Submarine Squadron Three.




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Rendered many services in the San Diego area and participated in several fleet exercises along the coast.




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1 Feb 1957

Departed on her sixth cruise to the Western Pacific.

3 Mar 1957

Lieutenant E. R. Ettner, USN, assumed command.

After participating in various exercises with the Seventh Fleet, Bugara returned to San Diego for intensive fleet exercises.

5 Nov 1957

Commenced seventh overhaul, this time at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard.




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19 Mar 1958

Completed overhaul and returned to San Diego for local operations.

21 Apr 1958

Bugara shot a practice torpedo at the USS Yarnall (DD-541), a Fletcher Class destroyer. The torpedo was set to run at 30 or 40 feet. It was supposed to go under the destroyer. However, the torpedo was actually running at about 10 feet and ended up hitting the destroyer on the port bow. Yarnall's skipper, CDR Easton, communicated, "We've been hit and are taking on water". Bugara's skipper offered assistance. Yarnall's captain replied, "You can go to hell!" (CDR Easton was not at all happy. On 10 April, he had received orders to decommission Yarnall. Now, eleven days later, his precious ship was holed.)

San Diego Newspaper Story
Yarnall limped back to San Diego with two compartments flooded. She was taken right into a floating drydock repairs. Note: This story about USS Yarnall was provided by Joseph F. Stefan, a sonarman on Bugara and was on sonar watch at the time of the torpedo incident.

USS Yarnall (DD-541)

USS Yarnall's Port Bow

Aug 1958

Sailed to Puget Sound area - Naval Torpedo Station Keyport and then to Seattle for the local celebration called SEAFAIR.

Dec 1958

Lieutenant Commander Q. R. Schulz, USN, assumed command.




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7 Jan 1959

Departed San Diego for her seventh cruise to WestPac. During this cruise, the following ports were visited: Buckner Bay and Naha, Okinawa; Subic Bay and Manila, the Philippines; Hong Kong, and Yokosuka Japan.

2 Jul 1959

Returned to San Diego.

14 Aug 1959

Visited Long Beach for three days of submarine reserve training cruises.

24 Oct 1959

Visited San Francisco for three days.




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11 Apr 1960

Departed for Puget Sound area to render services and to visit ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, Washington; and Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.

May 1960

Lieutenant Commander L. D. Marsolais, USN, assumed command.

25 May 1960

Departed Puget Sound enroute to San Diego with a two-day stopover in San Francisco.

12 Jun 1960

Arrived in San Diego, commencing local operations.

Jul 1960

Participated in exercises Meadowlark and Uppercut.

Aug 1960

Conducted local operations out of San Diego.

24 Sep 1960

Departed San Diego enroute to San Francisco.

26 Sep 1960

Commenced routine overhaul at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard.




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Awarded Battle Efficiency "E" as the outstanding ship in Submarine Division Thirty-One for fiscal year 1961. She also received the Fire Control Efficiency Award presented for excellence in fire control and weapon performance.

2 Feb 1961

Completed overhaul and departed San Francisco for Naval Torpedo Station, Keyport, Washington, for a shakedown cruise and fire control checks. Recreational visits were made to Port Angeles, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia.

13 Feb 1961

Departed Vancouver for San Diego.

17 Feb 1961

Arrived San Diego and commenced refresher training.

5 Jul 1961

Departed for WestPac for operations with the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

17 Dec 1961

Returned to San Diego for holiday leave.




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For a second consecutive year, Bugara was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" as the outstanding ship in Submarine Division Thirty-One for fiscal year 1962. She was also repeated on the Fire Control Efficiency Award.

1 Jan 1962

Commenced local operations in the San Diego area.

26 Apr 1962

Departed for Seattle

30 Apr 1962

Arrived Seattle for five-day stay and participation in the Century 21 Exposition.

The seven boats visiting Seattle (left to right, front to back): Barbel, Blueback, Bugara, Charr, Diodon, Caiman, Salmon (the last two in the channel).

5 May 1962

Departed Seattle for San Diego.

30 May 1962

Placed in interim dry docking at San Diego.

18 Jun 1962

Left dry dock.

23 Jun 1962

Lieutenant Commander H. B. Johnson, USN, assumed command.

Nov 1962

Departed San Diego for a three-week trip to Pearl Harbor.

29 Dec 1962

Departed for seven weeks in Puget Sound area.




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20 Feb 1963

Returns to San Diego from Puget Sound. Following a three-week upkeep, Bugara commenced local operations in the San Diego area.

22 July 1963

Commenced overhaul period at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington. Note: Don Walsh, Bugara's XO at the time, said this evolution was the first submarine overhauled by the Bremerton shipyard. It was a trial run for their working on nuclear submarines. (Three years earlier, in 1960, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard dove to the bottom of Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench - this in the Trieste. This is the deepest part of the ocean floor at more than 35,000 feet. These are the only two men to ever accomplish this feat.)




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11 Feb 1964

Completed overhaul.

16 Apr 1964

Departed for WestPac and duty with the U.S. Seventh Fleet. During this time, she visited Cebu City and Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong, and Yokosuka, Japan, rendering ASW services to every major ASW force in the Western Pacific.

Bugara became the first American submarine to patrol Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed in the U.S. Congress. Note: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution resulted from a battle between Soviet built PT boats and the American ships USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy. The resolution resulted in significant escalation of US activities in the Vietnam War.

Jul 1964

Lieutenant Commander Len A. Stoehr, USN, assumed command.

22 Oct 1964

Returned to San Diego and commenced local operations.




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Jun 1965

Departed for San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, Hunter's Point Division, for a battery renewal.

Fall 1965

Departed for WestPac. Enroute, Bugara stopped at Pearl Harbor where she was completely outfitted with the Steinke Hood device for emergency escapes.

15 Nov 1965

Bugara came of age. She celebrated her twenty-first birthday by making her 6000th dive.

Late 1965

Ended 1965 in Subic Bay, the Philippines.




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Completed her Seventh Fleet tour, and visited Perth and Geraldton, Australia -this during the Coral Sea Celebration. It was on this leg of the deployment that Bugara passed through the Lombok Strait near Bali, Indonesia. This is the location believed to be the resting place of Bugara's sister ship, USS Bullhead (SS-332). Commander Stoehr and the crew conducted a solemn ceremony and laid a floral wreath on the water for the 84 Bullhead crew members lost in August 1945.

Commander Len Stoehr with Bullhead Wreath

May 1966

Lieutenant Commander Grafton S. "Whitey" Platt, USN, assumed command.


Bugara "tied the knot" by doing surfaced and submerged 360° turns at the Equator and the 180th meridian.

October 1966

Commenced overhaul at San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, Hunter's Point Division.




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Bugara was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E".

Note: Former Bugara officer, Gary Young, is writing a book on management techniques. In his book, he devotes a chapter to the Operational Readiness Inspection that won the "E" for Bugara. The chapter describes Whitey Platt and his management style. In it, he describes how Platt passed a lot of authority to his officers to make decisions in their departments that they were better suited to make than he was. The result, along with some luck and a bit of creative strategy, won the "E" with the highest score ever garnered by a submarine.

April 1967

Completed overhaul.

11 Jul 1967

Bugara fired a Mark14-5 warshot torpedo, sinking the Ex-USS Currier (DD-700). Bugara's torpedo racked Currier directly under her bridge, severing her keel and leaving her bow sagging as the end neared.

USS Currier (DD-700)

Oct 1967

Departed from San Diego for WestPac deployment and service in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam. Ports included: Pearl Harbor; Yokosuka, Japan; Buckner Bay, Okinawa; Kaohsiung and Keelung, Taiwan; Manila and Olongapo, P.I.; Bangkok, Satahib and Ko Sumui, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

Made brief stop at Midway Island to hospitalize a crew member.

10 Nov 1967

Arrived Yokosuka, Japan for 7 day upkeep.

Fall 1967

Provided services to aircraft from Iwakuni, Naha and Sangley point. Surface ship services included two American destroyers, PC from the Japanese maritime Self Defense Force and destroyers of the Taiwan navy.

Encountered typhoon in the East China Sea.

In the Gulf of Tonkin, Bugara had been trailed for several days by a small Soviet intelligence trawler. At one point, the trawler made menacing advances on Bugara, playing "chicken" with her. Two destroyers (one of which was USS Orleck - DD-886) came to Bugara's aid. Situation returned to normal and the trawler continued to trail Bugara. This event was chronicled by an NBC camera crew and presented on the Huntley-Brinkley national news.

In waters around Taiwan, Bugara surfaced near a Taiwanese gunboat. Bugara's numbers were painted out and she was not flying her colors (due to her activities in the Gulf of Tonkin). The gunboat leveled her guns on Bugara demanding that she identify herself.

On the island of Ko Sumui in the Gulf of Siam, Bugara crew members spent a day building a basketball court for the local children.

14 Dec 1967

Arrived in Manila, P.I. for 3 days stay. Continued on to Subic Bay for yard upkeep over the Christmas holiday.




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Won Edward F. Ney Memorial Award for excellence in food service in small-craft category.

23 Jan 1968

In one day, enroute from Vietnam to Subic Bay, Bugara went from high alert to relaxed sailing and back to high alert again. It was on this leg of deployment that she received word that North Korea had captured the USS Pueblo.

Apr 1968

Lieutenant Commander E. Fenn Shrader, USN, assumed command.

May 1968

Returned to San Diego.

Spent time in a floating dry-dock at the National Shipyard to repair damage done by a whale to the chin-mounted AN/BQR-2B sonar.


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Hit by a practice MK 44 torpedo shot by a US destroyer. The torpedo failed to shut down as it was expected to. It caused a big hole in Bugara's aft superstructure. The torpedo was never recovered. Months later the transducer and nose of the torpedo were found in a space below the after torpedo tubes.

At one point while in the Gulf of Tonkin, packing around a sonar cable in the superstructure was leaking. Normally, the repair was a shipyard task. That would mean at least a full week away from duty station as Bugara would need to travel to Subic Bay and back for the repair. Instead, Bugara pulled into Danang Harbor and the crew repaired the leak.

Jan 1969

Departed San Diego for WestPac.

4 Feb 1969

Arrived Pearl Harbor for a 4 day stay.

26 Feb 1969

Arrived Subic Bay, P.I. for 3 day stay.

16 Mar 1969

Arrived Kaohsiung, Taiwan for 2 day stay.

12 Apr 1969

Arrived Manila, P.I. for 2 day stay.

18 Apr 1969

Arrived Subic Bay, P.I. for 10 day yard work.

2 May 1969

Arrived Kaohsiung, Taiwan for 3 days of local operations.

9 May 1969

Arrived Hong Kong, British Crown Colony for 6 day stay.

17 May 1969

Arrived Subic Bay, P.I. for 4 days yard work.

22 May 1969

Arrived Manila, P.I. for 5 day stay.

3 Jun 1969

Bugara was involved in SEATO exercise "Sea Spirit" near the Philippines. During the night, Bugara snuck up on the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and lobbed flares up at them indicating that Melbourne had been caught. The surprised ships started flailing about trying to elude Bugara. In so doing, Melbourne cut through the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754), sinking the forward section of the destroyer and drowning seventy-three sailors berthed there.

5 Jun 1969

Arrived Satahib, Thailand for 1 day stay.

6 Jun 1969

Arrived Bangkok, Thailand for 5 day stay.

30 Jun 1969

Reclassified as AGSS-331 indicating that she was no longer a combat submarine. This was an administrative move by the Navy to bring its number of combat submarines within authorized limits. No modification was made to Bugara to achieve this new classification. (Three months later, Bugara was reclassified again as SS-331.)

7 Jul 1969

Arrived Yokosuka, Japan for 13 days of yard work before sailing for Pearl Harbor and San Diego.

1 Oct 1969

Reclassified SS-331.

6 Oct 1969

Arrived Port Angeles, Washington for 5 days of local operations.

16 Nov 1969

Entered San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, Mare Island Division for 28 days of yard work.

Late 1969

Bugara made her 7000th dive.




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May 1970

Lieutenant Commander S. W. Adams, Jr., USN, assumed command

1 Oct 70

Decommissioned and struck at Mare Island, California. Remained in mothball status at Mare Island until May of 1971.




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1 Jun 1971

Ex-US S Bugara sank in a towing accident in the Strait of Juan de Fuca about 4 miles NW of Cape Flattery, Washington. No one was injured and no lives were lost.

Bugara was being towed to Washington for use as a target of a new weapon system. Her stern was dragging. The tow boat crew noticed it as she was slowing progress. Then, Bugara reeled up with her bow, vertical and perpendicular to the water. It was obvious that she had flooded at the stern. The tow boat crew had to hustle to cut away the lines that were attached to Bugara. Luckily, they were successful and Bugara sank alone into the Pacific.

The Navy sent a reserve ship out from Tacoma to find the sunken hulk. later, DevGroupOne sent out a deep diving robot and filmed the Bugara on the ocean floor.

Note: This story was provided by former Bugara officer, John Norris.

Sub hulk sinks

TACOMA (AP)-A submarine hulk; under tow from Navy testing operations in the Pacific sprang a leak and sank as it entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca Tuesday.

The USS Uhlman, Naval Reserve* destroyer stationed in Tacoma, steamed out under special orders early Wednesday to pinpoint and track the sunken sub.

The hulk was identified as the ex-USS  Bugara.     


Submarine found

SEATTLE (AP) - The derelict submarine Bugara has been found on the ocean floor, about a mile east of where she sprang a leak and sank June 1 while under tow four miles northwest of Cape Flattery, the 13th Naval District has announced.


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September 2008

In September 2008 Ex-USS Bugara was surveyed by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer during her shakedown cruise to test her newly installed multibeam sonar system. Read more. Image courtesy of Bathymetric Research.

August 2017

In August 2017, Ex-USS Bugara will be surveyed as part of a larger expedition by NautilusLive. Read more.


Diesel boats forever.