argentinian Argentinian Navy (Armada Argentina) ARA Santa Fe (S-21) [+1982]
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general
nationality argentinian
purpose war
type submarine
subtype/class Balao class submarine (am.)
Balao class submarine (am.) Lagarto USS (SS-371) (+1945)
propulsion diesel and batteries
date built 1945
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 2414  disp (subm)
dimensions 95 x 8.4 x 4.9 m
material steel
engine 4 × diesel engines driving electrical generators (Fairbanks-Morse or General Motors), 2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries, 4 × high-speed electric motors with reduction gears or 2 × low-speed electric motors
armament 10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes (six forward, four aft), 24 torpedoes, 1 × 5-inch (127 mm)/25 caliber deck gun, Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
power 5400  s.h.p.
speed 20.25  knots
about the loss
cause lost scuttled
date lost 10/02/1982  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
builder
Electric Boat Co., Groton
last owner
[1]Argentinian Navy (Armada Argentina)
ARA Santa Fe (S-21) [+1982]
period 1971 ~ 1982
prev. owners
[2]Us Navy - United States Navy
USS Catfish (SS-339)
period 1945 ~ 1971
captain
complement 81
about the wreck
depth (m.) 273 max. / -- min. (m)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 29/05/2010
last update Lettens Jan
last update 15/07/2011
 
  Position  
 
Lettens Jan15/07/2011
latitudeUK hydro member
longitudeUK hydro member
AISUK hydro member
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
ref. used
 UK Hydrographic Office
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  copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: UK Hydrographic Office copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 
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  History  
 
Allen Tony18/10/2007The submarine was built during the Second World War by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut and was launched on November 19, 1944. Commissioned into the US Navy as USS Catfish (SS-339), the submarine entered service in March 1945. As Catfish the submarine took part in the closing stages of the Pacific war against Japan. Afterwards she served in the US 7th fleet in the Pacific Ocean seeing service in the Korean War.

In 1971, Catfish was decommissioned and sold to Argentina where she was renamed the ARA Santa Fe. In 1982, the Santa Fe took part in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas or the Malvinas War) alongside the ARA San Luis, the only two submarines in the Argentine Navy. The Santa Fe supported the Argentine invasion by landing tactical divers on Yorke Bay, who marked the beach for the main amphibious force and seized the lighthouse. ...

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Mandelblatt Jim07/11/2011SANTA FE was moved from the whaling jetty in Grytviken in July of 1982 to a location a few miles away off Hestesletten in Moraine Fjord. The submarine still had munitions, warshot torpedoes and a full load of fuel and oil aboard. Due to the depth charging on 25 April 1982, some of the battery cells were cracked, creating chlorine gas inside.

Later in March 1983, the submarine was being moved but the towing party had to seek shelter in King Edward Cove from a storm. At this point, the submarine began taking on water and sunk in the bottom of King Edward Cove.

She stayed there until 11 February 1985, when the wreck was raised. After stabilizing the wreck for towing out to sea, SANTA FE was towed out to sea on 21 February 1985 but when she was about 12 miles out from the mouth of Cumberland Bay, the wreck lurched to starboard and started taking on water again. She heeled over more to starboard and began to sink, thus parting the tow line. SANTA FE sank at approx. 54°08’ S 36°19’ W
Lettens Jan29/05/2010USS Catfish was sold to the Argentinian Navy in 1971. She was damaged beyond repair during the Falkland War in 1982 by the British and scuttled in Grytviken Sound, South Georgia.
Lettens Jan04/04/2013UK hydro member
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 UK Hydrographic Office


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About Builders
 Electric Boat Co., Groton
Electric Boat (EB) was founded in 1899 to build and promote John P. Holland's design of submarine, in direct competition with Simon Lake's Lake Torpedo Boat Company. In its first 25 years, it contracted with the US Navy for at least 85 submarines but subcontracted the actual construction. EB expanded its capability for the WWII effort, with the aid of $13mm from the Navy. After the war it continued as the world's leading submarine builder, which it remains today. It is owned by General Dynamics.

In addition to building submarines at Groton, EB established two subsidiaries during World War I. The Submarine Boat Company, in Newark NJ, was one of the three large builders of emergency cargo ships for the U.S. Shipping Board: it closed at the end of the war. The Electric Launch Company, (ELCO), in Bayonne NJ, built sub chasers for the Navy: it continued after the war, building recreational launches, and then built almost 400 PT boats in WWII. ELCO continues today, but under different ownership.


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  History  
 
Allen Tony18/10/2007The submarine was built during the Second World War by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut and was launched on November 19, 1944. Commissioned into the US Navy as USS Catfish (SS-339), the submarine entered service in March 1945. As Catfish the submarine took part in the closing stages of the Pacific war against Japan. Afterwards she served in the US 7th fleet in the Pacific Ocean seeing service in the Korean War.

In 1971, Catfish was decommissioned and sold to Argentina where she was renamed the ARA Santa Fe. In 1982, the Santa Fe took part in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas or the Malvinas War) alongside the ARA San Luis, the only two submarines in the Argentine Navy. The Santa Fe supported the Argentine invasion by landing tactical divers on Yorke Bay, who marked the beach for the main amphibious force and seized the lighthouse.

Later she departed from the islands and stayed on station in the nearby area as a large British task force approached the South Atlantic. On April 23 the Royal Navy ships, HMS Brilliant; HMS Antrim; HMS Plymouth; and the ice patrol boat HMS Endurance were sent to retake the island of South Georgia with a detachment of Royal Marines and Special Boat Service commandos.

The threat of Santa Fe forced the British ships to keep a distance as they landed troops on the island. However on April 25 the Santa Fe, after a successful supply mission to the island, was spotted by a Westland Wessex HAS.Mk.3 anti-submarine helicopter from HMS Antrim, and attacked with depth charges. HMS Plymouth launched a Westland Wasp HAS.Mk.1 helicopter, and HMS Brilliant launched a Westland Lynx HAS.Mk.2.

The Lynx attacked the submarine with a Mk 46 torpedo, and also strafed it with its pintle mounted 7.62 mm L7 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). The Wessex also fired on the Santa Fe with its GPMG. The Wasp from HMS Plymouth as well as two other Wasps launched from HMS Endurance fired AS-12 air-to-surface anti-ship missiles at the submarine scoring hits. Santa Fe´s men attempted to fight off the attack by firing their machine guns and an old Bantam antitank missile on the aircraft, but the Argentine boat was damaged badly enough to prevent her from submerging or even from sailing away.

The crew abandoned the tilted submarine at the jetty at King Edward Point on South Georgia and surrendered, along with the Argentine garrison, to the British forces. Whilst under guard on the submarine by a British Royal Marine, engineer Petty Officer Felix Artuso was shot dead in the mistaken belief that he was trying to sabotage the vessel.

He is now buried in Grytviken Cemetery. Later on booby traps were disabled and removed. Considered worthless as a war prize, because she was non-standard, too expensive to repair, and obsolete, Santa Fe was scuttled by the British.
 
 
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