Sampling Clandestine Ops: Which Submarines?
(June 1940) "The number 'O-13' is clearly visible on the conning tower in the photograph in Watts’ book, but may later have been painted out. (For some reason which is not clear to me at the moment, O-13 had her pennant number changed to N-13, and this is the number she was displaying when she left Dundee for her last patrol)." -Miltiades Varvounis
( 1960) "We welded straps over each hatch except for the conning tower hatch. We painted out our hull numbers and we loaded the showers with garbage weights, cut up electrical conduit, and removed the fuses from all the heaters. We filled the torpedo rooms with eggs and potatoes and all the rest of what ever we could pack in... I saw a Russian soldier with a gun over his shoulder marching along in the snow and thought how dumb we both were, him doing what he was doing and me out here looking at him freezing my ass off too. GEE, were we inside the “three” mile limit to be able to see something that close? " -Art Clement TMCS SS DV, USN RET
(December 1966) "When a submarine is commissioned it has the hull number painted on either side of the sail and the bow. The ship name is on either side of the stern (drawing at left). These look nice but are not practical. As soon as possible, the bow and stern markings are painted out. If the sub is not going to be on operations for a while or for special occasions the hull numbers are painted on the sail. When on operations there are no hull markings. The older location on the sail were on the lower aft sides. The newer location is the top center of each side." - Jerry Uffelman, former IC1(SS)
(December 2005) "Anyway, I'm sure she and her crew did a great job, but I will offer them one piece of advice: next time, don't bother with those things that appear to be some sort of two-sided-stickie-tape-held-up numbers on the sail -- they look kinda tacky." -Bubblehead retired submarine officer