USS Squalus Memorial
The story of the Squalus rescue is one of the most dramatic in Seacoast history and the only successful submarine rescue in naval history. Built in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1939, Squalus sank mysteriously in 240 feet of cold Atlantic water on a test dive off the Isles of Shoals. Twenty-six men from our Shipyard drowned when the engine room flooded. Thirty-three men survived when a diving bell invented by “Swede” Momson made a series of daring rescue attempts. The Squalus was eventually floated, rebuilt and recommissioned as the USS Sailfish. Later the conning tower was removed and turned into this memorial at PNS. Unfortunately, it is rarely open to public view and restricted currently to military personnel. In 2001 the story of the Squalus was adapted from a book by Peter Maas into the TV movie “Submerged”, filmed in Malta. The film by NBC is in limited TV release and currently no available on video.