Diesel Fast Attack Submarine


The USS HARDER, which was the sixth of the "Tang" Class submarines launched, was built at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamic Co., Groton, CT, Keel laid down by 30JUN50; and Launched: 3DEC51; Sponsored by Mrs. Philip P. Cole; the widow of Lieutenant S.M. Logan, USN who was the Executive officer of the original HARDER when lost during World War II. Commissioned: 10AUG52 with Cdr Richard B. Laning in command; Harder were built to a length of 277 feet and with the FM engines as initial installation.

Harder operated out of New London after her commissioning.  In June 1953, LCDR F.A. Andrews, USN assumed command.
Harder began fleet operations out of New London in June 1953. Shortly thereafter Harder departed for the British Isles. During this voyage, she experienced mechanical difficulties with her then-experimental Fairbanks type 3 engines. In August 1953, her engines broke down completely off the east coast of Ireland. She was taken under tow by USS Tringa and endured the longest tow in submarine history, 2100 miles (3400 km) across the Atlantic to New London, Connecticut.

After shakedown out of Newport, Rhode Island, Harder made a 1000-mile (1600-km) submerged passage from New London, Connecticut, to Nassau, Bahamas, while snorkeling. She then engaged in tests out of New London to evaluate fast attack type submarines.

In 1959, she participated in SUBICEX where the cruised some 280 miles under the Arctic Ice pack, further than any conventionally powered submarine had previously gone.   After completing a three-month advanced submarine exercise in the Atlantic, Harder changed her homeport to Charleston, South Carolina, where she arrived 17 November and joined Submarine Squadron 4. She continued operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean for more than a year, and then departed Charleston 24 May 1961 for deployment off the western coast of Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea. After reaching Bremerhaven, Germany, on 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 Sea where she supported peace-keeping operations of the 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 Sea for the next 2� years polishing her underwater warfare tactics and operating with destroyer-type ships as they worked on ASW exercises.

In 1967 Harder again entered Charleston Naval Shipyard on 22 October for a thorough overhaul and modernization in which she received an 18-foot hull extension to accommodate the new PUFFS passive sonar system, a redesigned superstructure, new engines as well as improved electrical and electronic equipment. Modernization completed early in 1967.

 Harder rejoined the fleet, changing homeport to San Diego, California. In 1969 Harder departed for WestPac deployment, which included time in Korean waters after the Pueblo incident. Harder resumed a schedule of annual six-month WestPac deployments, which she continued into 1972.

Decommissioned: 31JAN73; Struck from the Navy List 20FEB74; Harder was sold to Italy where she served in the Italian Navy from 22 February1974 to 31 May 1988 as the Romeo Romei (S-516). The Italian Navy put her out of commission and was then scrapped.



Displacement 2050 tons (surf.), 2700 tons (subm.);
Length 286'; Diameter. 27'3";
Speed. 15.5k (surf.), 18.3k (subm.);
Test Depth 700';
Armament 6-21" tt fwd., 2-21" tt aft.;
Complement  8 officers - 75 enlisted men; Class "TANG"


( 1974 - Smg. "R.Romei" 516 - Philadelphia USA )

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