USS Ling (SS-297)
Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine
The USS Ling was based on an improved series of Balao-class submarines.
Authored By: JR Potts, AUS 173d AB | Last Edited:
The Ling (SS-297) is a late model Balao-class and was the result of an improved Gato-class submarine of which 77 were produced. A major difference between the two boats was an improved pressure hull in the Balao class having 7/8 inch steel plates instead of the 5/8 inch used in the Gato class. Improvements in the 1,500 ton sub was the hull construction increased the test depth of this class to 400-feet as opposed to 350-feet in the Gato class and fuel capacity was significantly increased which improved patrol radius. The change was in the Navy philosophy to take the fight to the enemy, more of everything was needed, weapons, fuel and food for the crew so the boat could range over the largest battle field of WW II, the Pacific Ocean.
Additional advances in the USS Ling new sophisticated electronic gear for detecting targets, a Torpedo Data computer (TDC) for working out and setting torpedo firing angles, new Mark 18 electric torpedoes, and a Bathythermograph for detecting cold water layers, or thermoclines, under which the boat could slip to deflect enemy sonar pings and make the Ling hard to detect. These technological advances gave the BALAO class a level of reliability and battle survivability that had never been experienced by submarines up to that time. There were eight waterproof compartments in addition to the conning tower. They were equipped with four engine rooms, diesel-electric reduction gear, one auxiliary generator, four electric motors generating 2,740 hp when submerged driven by two 126-cell batteries. Submerged endurance was 48 hours at 2 knots. Cruising range was 11,000 miles on the surface at 10 knots with 116,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Patrol duration was 75 days. The total boats actually completed are in dispute by the five shipyards, making the Balao-class the most quantitative class of submarines ever built. They were built at Portsmouth, Manitowoc, Electric Boat, Mare Island, and Cramp Shipbuilding.
The Ling made one war patrol in the Atlantic and was the last Balao fleet boat to patrol US shores in the war. She was decommissioned on 10/26/46 and was laid up, moth balled, in the Atlantic fleet. In 1960 she was reactivated into the Naval Reserve training fleet berthed at Brooklyn New York. On 28 June 1972 the USS Ling was placed on permanent display as a memorial at Hackensack, New Jersey in the care of the New Jersey Naval Museum having tours on weekends.