Fascinating Photos of San Francisco Snapped Through a Navy Submarine Periscope in 1951_2Q

In 1951, a diesel-powered US Navy submarine called the U.S.S. Catfish passed under the Golden Gate Bridge and did a short tour of San Francisco Bay. While there, the crew decided to snap some photographs of San Francisco through its periscope.

The photographs were rediscovered by Bill Van Niekerken, the library director at the San Francisco Chronicle, in the newspaper’s photo morgue. Writer Peter Hartlaub then gathered the photographs together and posted them to an online gallery.
The U.S.S. Catfish had been stationed in San Diego, but came up to Northern California on this occasion to pick up a couple of reservists for a training exercise. It spent roughly an hour traveling from a point five miles out from the Golden Gate Bridge to a berth at Treasure Island, snapping photos of sights along the way.
The photographs, which all have crosshairs, show the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, and various well-known landmarks:

Jan. 21, 1951: The U.S.S. Catfish submarine enters the San Francisco Bay, on a maneuver away from its post-World War II home in San Diego. This is a periscope view of Alcatraz, while it was still a federal prison, and just four years after Al Capone died.
Note the Mt. Davidson cross in the distance, at a time when Dirty Harry was just a teen screwing around near Potrero Hill.
A 1951 submarine view of the Palace of Fine Arts, more than 20 years before the birth of the Exploratorium. The U.S.S. Catfish was pre-nuclear, but it had 10 tubes with 21-inch torpedoes. Enough firepower to take out almost every bar in the Marina District
Ghirardelli Square as seen by the U.S.S. Catfish. This view hasn’t actually changed that much.
A clear submarine view of St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus.
A nice view of the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Russian Hill in 1951.
Coit Tower, with the Bay Bridge in the background.
A closer look at Alcatraz.
Treasure Island, looking over at the cantilever side of the Bay Bridge.
Passing by a ship on the way through the Golden Gate Bridge.


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