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The Bergall through the years

The USS Bergall was a new design for the era. As a Balao design, with a thicker and tougher hull than the earlier Gato class, she was able to dive to greater depths than the older Gato design and although looking quite similar to the older design, this secret enabled her class to go below the normal depth charge depth that the Japanese had discovered to use on the older boats. She was 'born' with only one 5" deck gun, mounted on her aft deck, but soon after her second patrol she was outfitted with a second 5" gun mounted on her forward deck and was fully ready for the smaller enemy vessels that didn't warrant the cost of a torpedo. Her war patrols were in and about the area east and north of Borneo between Indochina (now Vietnam) and the Philippine Islands.

When the Japanese surrendered, the Bergall was at Groton for factory repair of her aft section that had been damaged by a mine on her last patrol and after repair she was returned to the Pacific Fleet and stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Here's a shot of her in 1946. She carried her guns until '48 when she was brought into Pearl for overhaul.

In 1948 she headed to Guam and a few islands on her way. In Guam, the crew found Marines guarding a large arsenal of old Japanese rifles and swords. Quite a few of the guys got a rifle and sword that they carried back with them.

Tied to the pier, her upper deck guns pointing at the sky, she awaits her crew to return.  (Guam pictures courtesy of SSGT Harold Ryan, USAF, Ret.)

In 1949 she had her guns removed and the mounts capped.

Just before conversion, here's the old girl transiting Havana on her way to New London in 1951.   Just earlier, in Pearl, her deck guns were removed and plates secured over the gun mounts. The rear mount was permanently secured while the forward mount hole was able to be removed. (Watch your step on the forward deck at night in the dark!).

Here's a shot from 1950 and still shows covers secured over the deck mounts for the guns and you can see that her conning tower has been updated and the cigarette deck cleaned up as well. She was ordered to New London under the base command of Johnny Hyde (CINCOM). Johnny got his boat back!

Here's a shot from 1954 with the Fleet Snorkel conversion.   Makes you wonder if they had they same guys standing in the same places on purpose, huh?

In late 1951 she was selected to be converted to a GUPPY class boat. Guppy meant "greater underwater propulsion" because a fiberglass sail was mounted over her conning tower and greatly reduced the drag when submerged. The "full Guppy" conversion involved a modified bow but the Bergall received all modifications except the bow mod which made her a "Fleet Snorkel".

Here's a shot of her from around '52 before she had been refit with installation of the special electronics for boats doing the snooping stuff in Uncle Joe's back yard.

A shot of " from about 1954

In her 1957 configuration (note the new sonar domes and the Battle "E" award above the boat's number on the sail!).

There were two boats the US was considering giving to Turkey but they both had full Guppy conversions. The Bergall was chosen because the US wanted to give the Turks snorkel capability but did not want to give away a sub that had the full guppy conversion. As the Bergall kept the WWII "fleet" bow, she was selected.   Here she is shown with her new sonar domes.   The large one is for the BQR-3 passive sonar and the smaller for the BQS-3 single ping sonar system.   The BQS-3 was the collision avoidance / last-range-and-bearing-before-firing active sonar.   The BQR-3 passive sonar hydrophone system inside the squat, low dome topside, consisted of a 'line-type' array; two very sensitive elements positioned at the ends of a 40-inch T; the top of the T was the two elements, the leg of the T protruded into the hull directly above sonar, where the T was physically rotated, thus conducting the  passive sweep.

In the last part of 1958, she was loaned (and later sold) to the Turkish Navy.   In the refit to make her ready for the transfer, many of her instruction and identification plates were swapped for those in Turkish.   They also removed many of the habitability items such as the ice cream maker and the microwave.   Imagine... a microwave on the old girl!   When transferred to Turkey she was renamed Turgutreis (S-342) and began her service with the Turkish Navy. She served in many of the Turkish military maneuvers and exercises and also during the Greek-Cypriote war.   Here is the old girl returning from a mission...

The TCG TURGUTREIS remained in active service till 4/5/1983.    After that time the ex-TCG TURGUTREIS served as a charging boat in Golcuk Naval Shipyard under the name " TCG CERYAN BOTU-6".   She continued this duty until her last decommissioning in 1996. Other active boats had been using her to charge their batteries in Golcuk Submarine Base in Turkey. Some of her parts were uninstalled to keep other Guppy boats active and in so doing she was giving her blood to keep her sisters alive. TCG CERYAN BOTU-6 remained in this duty until 1996. In 1996, the tired Bergall was relieved of this boring duty and joined the waiting-to-be-scrapped list.    In April of 2000 she was bought by a Turkey metal salvage company and she said her last good-bye to the sea that she loved and served so well...


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