Canopus, U.S. Submarine Tender

Photograph of Canopus with division of submarines

National Archives # 80-G-1014615



7750 tons standard


373'8" by 51'6" by 16'4"
113.89m by 15.70m by 4,87n

Maximum speed      

12 knots




2 5"/38 dual-purpose guns
4 3"/50 AA guns

Canopus was completed in 1922 for the U.S. Navy as a submarine tender. She spent most of her career in the Far East, serving as the flagship for all submarines in the Asiatic Fleet. She was anchored off Cavite when war broke out.

Canopus was moved to Manila and put under camouflage, but was ordered to Mariveles on December 24 as Japanese troops marched on the city. There she was badly damaged by a direct bomb hit during an air raid. Her captain chose to remain on station, setting out smudge pots and leaving topside damage unrepaired to give the impression that the ship was derelict. This apparently fooled the Japanese, who did not attack the Canopus again. At night, the ship's machine shops were hard at work supporting the Army on Bataan.

When Bataan finally fell, Canopus was scuttled, since it was felt that there was no hope of her successfully running the Japanese blockade.


Blair (1975)

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