USS Raton


Panama Canal Transit


My nephew, Jimmy Lee Slover narrates this video, which was taken around 1957-58 by my brother, James M. Slover. Jimmy Lee transcoded the video from 8mm movies. 

After viewing the video, take a minute to read "My Behind the Locks Panama Canal Inside Story" where I detail some little known facts about the Canal and its operation.

USS Raton (SS/SSR/AGSS-270), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the raton, a polynemoid fish inhabiting semitropical waters off the Pacific coast of America.

Raton (SS-270), an attack submarine, was laid down 29 May 1942 by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wisc.; launched 24 January 1943; sponsored by Mrs. C. C. West and commissioned 13 July 1943, Lt. Comdr. J. W. Davis in command.

Following training in Lake Michigan and at Coco Solo, C.Z., Raton sailed for the southwest Pacific 19 September 1943, and upon arriving at Brisbane, Australia, on 16 October, joined Submarine Force, 7th Fleet.

The Raton went on eight war patrols from October, 1943 to July, 1945

After being placed in reserve in the fall of 1948, Raton was decommissioned at New London, Conn., on 11 March 1949. She remained in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at New London until July 1952 when she was towed to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for conversion to a radar picket submarine. Redesignated SSR-270 on 18 July 1952, she was recommissioned 21 September 1953, Cmdr. J. K. Wills in command.

Departing Philadelphia on 8 December, she underwent training for several months in the Norfolk area. Ordered to the Pacific, she arrived at San Diego on 7 March 1954 via the Panama Canal.

The submarine spent the next year in local operations, before departing from San Diego on 11 May 1955 for a 6-month deployment to WestPac. She returned to San Diego on 6 November 1955. Prior to and following her second 7th Fleet deployment, 13 May 1957 – 8 November 1957, SSR-270 trained in exercises off the Pacific coast.

After overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, from 7 July to 24 November 1958, and underway training, the submarine deployed to the 7th Fleet from early March 1959 to mid-November, participating in operations with SEATO and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

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