Built in 1944, the USS Torsk is a fleet-style submarine designed specifically for World War II. Conflict erupted after December 7, 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, an American naval base in Hawaii. In response to the attack, the United States declared war. Divided by the Pacific Ocean, the two countries relied on maritime vessels to move troops and to attack enemy ships.
Submarines were essential during World War II as they stealthy sank enemy warships and other vessels. By attacking Japanese commercial and military vessels, American submarines stopped essential supplies from reaching Japan. This included food, oil, and other raw materials.
A Tench class submarine, the USS Torsk was strongly built and could dive to a depth of 400 feet. Only ten Tench class submarines were constructed in time to serve in World War II, including the USS Torsk. Over 300 feet long, this vessel carried 8 officers and 74 enlisted crew. The submarine could shoot up to 24 torpedoes, making her a formidable adversary. During World War II, the vessel sank a total of three Japanese ships and was awarded two battle stars for her service.
Now a National Historic Landmark, the USS Torsk is located at Pier IV in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The vessel is cared for by the Baltimore Maritime Museum and is open to the public.
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