USS Balao (SS/AGSS-285) was the lead ship of the United States Navy’s Balao-class submarines during World War II. Balao’s keel was laid down on 26 June 1942 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 27 October 1942, sponsored by Mrs. Jane Aylward, wife of Lieutenant Commander Theodore C. Aylward, commissioned on 4 February 1943, Lieutenant Commander Richard H. Crane in command; and reported to the United States Pacific Fleet.
There were 120 of these boats were built during and after World War II, commissioned from February 1943 through September 1948, with 12 commissioned postwar. This was the most numerous US submarine class. Nine of the 52 US submarines lost in World War II were of this class, along with five lost postwar, including one in Turkish service in 1953, one in Argentine service in the Falklands War of 1982, and one in Peruvian service in 1988. Also, Lancetfish flooded and sank while fitting out at the Boston Naval Shipyard on 15 March 1945. She was raised but not repaired, and was listed with the reserve fleet postwar until struck in 1958. Some of the class served actively in the US Navy through the middle 1970s, and one (Hai Pao ex-Tusk) is still active in Taiwan’s Republic of China Navy.
USS Balao has a length of 311 ft, a beam of 27 ft, and a gross tonnage of 2,414, She has installed 4 V16 diesel-electric engines and two propellers propulsion system which enables the ship to achieve a speed of 20.24 knots surfaced and 8.75 kn submerged. Balao was able to operate in the range 13,000 miles surfaced, submerge 400f deep, and 75 days on patrol. She normally carries 10 officers and 70 crewmembers