Sunken Submarine Found off Portland, Maine

US Submarine S-21 sunk in WW II has been discovered off the coast of Maine by research divers, Joe Cushing of and Bill Lussier.

Local research divers Joe Cushing of Strafford, NH and Bill Lussier of Eliot, Maine, have located the US Submarine S-21 (SS-126), sunk for testing purposes in WW II.  Following three years of archival research, interviews and magnetometer surveys they had narrowed the search area to what they considered manageable enough to solicit the services of Garry Kozak, a side scan sonar expert who specializes in shipwreck location.  Kozak is considered the best in the industry and has worked with such people as Bob Ballard of Titanic fame and the Dirk Pitt author Clive Cussler.  The S-21 (SS-126) was built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation at Quincy Massachusetts.  It was commissioned into the US Navy on 18 August 1921.  At 220 feet long with a compliment of four officers and thirty-four enlisted men the submarine was designed for coastal and harbor defense.  The submarine operated off the East coast from commissioning until the start of WW II.  The submarine then provided defense in the Pacific around the approaches to the Panama Canal.  In 1942 the submarine was decommissioned and transferred to the Royal Navy and became Her Majesty’s Submarine (HMS) P553.  The submarine was then returned to the US Navy in 1944 and stored at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.  In March of 1945 the submarine was towed north and sunk as a test target off the Maine Coast. The submarine S-21was located on October 5, 2008 after several hours of searching.  It is lying on its port side and has heavy damage to the center section.  The bow with the torpedo tubes is intact and these can be clearly seen in the sonar image.  The stern is also relatively intact. 

For more information contact Joe Cushing:    E-mail:

For Undersea Search & Survey assistance:



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