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USS Harder (SS 568)

- decommissioned -

no coat of arms

USS HARDER was the sixth and final TANG - class Diesel submarine and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on February 20, 1974, the HARDER was transferred to the Government of Italy the same day. The HARDER subsequently served in the Italian Navy as INS ROMEO ROMEI (S 516) until eventually decommissioned in 1988.

General Characteristics:Keel laid: June 30, 1950
Launched: December 3, 1951
Commissioned: August 19, 1952
Decommissioned: February 20, 1974
Builder: Electric Boat Corporation, Groton, CT.
Propulsion system: three diesel engines (4,500 HP), two electric motors (5,600 HP)
Propellers: one
Length: 287 feet (87.5 meters)
Beam: 27.2 feet (8.3 meters)
Draft: 17 feet (5.2 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 2,050 tons     Submerged: approx. 2,260 tons
Speed: Surfaced: approx. 20 knots     Submerged: approx. 17 knots
Armament: eight 533 mm torpedo tubes
Crew: 8 Officers, 75 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS HARDER. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS HARDER:

August 1953east off Ireland
USS HARDER breaks down off the east coast of Ireland and is subsequently towed back to New London, CT, by the USS TRINGA (ASR 16).

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History of USS HARDER:

USS HARDER was laid down by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn., 30 June 1950; launched 3 December 1951; sponsored by Mrs. Elay Logan Cole; and commissioned 19 August 1952, Comdr. R. B. Laning in command.

After shakedown out of Newport, R.I., HARDER made a 1,000-mile submerged passage from New London, Conn. to Nassau, Bahamas, while snorkeling. She then engaged in tests out of New London to evaluate fast attack type submarines. As a TANG - class attack boat, HARDER belongs to the first new type of submarine built after World War II. Her design, which incorporates many of the lessons learned in wartime operations, includes a snorkel breathing apparatus, a stronger pressure hull, and more powerful engines.

HARDER began fleet operations out of New London in June 1953. During the next several years she carried out a schedule of training and readiness operations with ships of the Atlantic Fleet and Allied NATO nations operating from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean, she engaged in sonar evaluation tests, supported ASW tactical exercises, and participated in submerged simulated attack operations. In March 1959, she participated in SUBICEX during which she cruised 280 miles beneath the ice packs off Newfoundland, further than any conventionally powered submarine had previously gone.

After completing a 3 month advanced submarine exercise in the Atlantic, HARDER changed her home port to Charleston, S.C., where she arrived 17 November and joined Submarine Squadron 4. She continued operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean for more than a year, then departed Charleston 24 May 1961 for deployment off the western coast of Europe and in the Mediterranean. After reaching Bremerhaven, Germany, 9 June, she supported ASW operations with ships of the Federal German Navy. The following month she steamed via Holy Loch, Scotland, and Rota, Spain, to the Mediterranean where she supported peace-keeping operations of the mighty 6th Fleet. HARDER returned to Charleston 28 August.

Training exercises and tests evaluating ASROC and other ASW systems kept HARDER busy until she entered Charleston Naval Shipyard for overhaul in October 1962.

Ready for action in April 1963, she operated along the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean for the next 2 1/2 years polishing her underwater warfare tactics and operating with destroyer type ships as they worked on ASW exercises.

HARDER again entered Charleston Naval Shipyard 22 October for a thorough overhaul and modernization in which she received an 18-foot extension to her hull, a redesigned superstructure, new engines as well as improved electrical and electronic equipment. Modernization was completed early in 1967.

After 7 more years of service, the HARDER was decommissioned on 20 February 1974 and was sold to Italy the same day.

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