USS S-37

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Condition Zebra - Common - 20/40


The USS S-37 (SS-132) was an S class submarine in the United States Navy. She was commissioned in July 1923.
However, her service would soon start with a bang. Literally.

On October 10th, 1923, while recharging its batteries, the submarine was rocked by a sudden explosion from it's battery compartment. Two men were killed, but fighting hard, the crew were able to save their ship. S-37 went for repairs October 25th. S-37 was a regular participant in the Fleet Problem exercises and made subsequent voyages to the China coast. However tensions were mounting there so future trips were cut short.

When World War II broke out, S-37 was stationed in Manila. By this time the S-class subs were nicknamed "Sugar boats" as they were old and nearing the end of their service life. She would later go on several war patrols until she came upon a convoy. However, her slow speed made it impossible to get the transports, so the sub daringly went for the destroyer escorts. Sizing up a destroyer, the S-37 fired torpedoes, striking and sinking the Japanese destroyer Natsushio in February 1942. Despite being depth charged, S-37 escaped.

S-37's subsequent war patrols were plagued with mechanical breakdowns, including faulty torpedoes, and even an oil leak.

After the disastrous Battle of the Java Sea, S-37 came upon the scene and began rescuing survivors. Unable to hold all of them, she radioed their position to other Allied vessels.

More patrols spelled the same thing, mechanical difficulties.

In April, 1942, the S-37 found a lone merchant escorted by subchaser. S-37 promptly got into position and fired, sinking the Japanese transport Tenzan Maru. She also eluded the Maru's escort. This would be the S-37's final ship sunk for the remainder of the war.

After a badly needed refit, the S-37 was sent in support of the Guadalcanal campaign. While on patrol, the only hit it would make was on another destroyer, but it escaped.

Returning to Pearl Harbor, the sub was reemployed as an antisubmarine warfare training ship in 1943.
In 1944, she was decommissioned and sunk as a target hulk for aerial bombing.

The S-37 conducted six war patrols in all.


Typically the USN gets the very finest units of their type in the game. S-37 is not one of those units; in fact it is downright disgraceful. Some of the weakest torpedoes around are paired with one measly hull point to produce one anemic, vulnerable sub. But it gets worse! If any destroyer is harassing this sub, it can't even attack! This implies that even a Type 13 Subchaser could completely shut it down, and may even have a real shot at sinking it. Ignore this unit when fleet building: if you want a sub, don't be cheap and pay up for USS Barb or USS Archerfish.

Probably the weakest allied sub out there, it still has it merits. At a measly 8 points, there's very little use for it. Use it for long range games to spot the enemy, just don't expect it to be able to fire back at the enemy. There are some strategies of bringing in multiple S-37s in order to overwhelm the enemy.

Edit (from HushPuppy): With the release of Set V, go with the soviet S 13, which provides the same stats without Worn-Out Boat and an extra hull.

Tincancaptain: (after Condition Zebra)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ahhh, Worn-Out Boat, at least Casabianca is no longer the worst sub in the game. 9.5/10 for being such a good punch line.

Plastic Figure Notes:

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