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The Fleet Type Submarine Online
Submarine Sonar Operator's Manual

Submarine Sonar Operator's Manual Cover

Submarine Sonar Operator's Manual, Navpers 16167, is one of a series of submarine training manuals that was completed just after WW II. The series describes the peak of WW II US submarine technology.

In this online version of the manual we have attempted to keep the flavor of the original layout while taking advantage of the Web's universal accessibility. Different browsers and fonts will cause the text to move, but the text will remain roughly where it is in the original manual. In addition to errors we have attempted to preserve from the original (for example, it was H.L. Hunley, not CS Huntley), this text was captured by optical character recognition. This process creates errors that are compounded while encoding for the Web. Please report any typos, or particularly annoying layout issues with the Mail Feedback Form for correction.

Our thanks to IKON Office Solutions (now Ricoh USA http://www.ricoh-usa.com) for scanning services.

Richard Pekelney

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NavPers 16167
Produced for ComSubLant by Standards and Curriculum Division Training, Bureau of Naval Personnel. Submarine Sonar Operator's Manual
June 1944

This is one of a series of Submarine
Training Manuals. The series includes:
1. The Fleet Type Submarine NavPers 16160
2. Submarine Main Propulsion Diesels NavPers 16161
3. Submarine Electrical Installations NavPers 16162
4. Submarine Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Systems NavPers 16163
5. Submarine Distilling Systems Navpers 16163A
6. Submarine Air Systems NavPers 16164
7. Submarine Periscope Manual NavPers 16165
8. Submarine Trim and Drain Systems NavPers 16166
9. Submarine Sonar Operator's Manual NavPers 16167
10. Submarine Underwater Log Systems NavPers 16168
11. Submarine Hydraulic Systems NavPers 16169
12. Torpedo Tubes, 21-Inch submerged, Mks 32 to 39 O.P. 1085

As a sonar operator, you will have a most important job. On a patrol in enemy waters the lives of your shipmates may be in your hands.

You must know your gear and what it can do. You must be able to recognize and interpret the sounds that you hear. You must be able to operate the controls the way you drive a car - automatically without thinking.

Most of these things you cannot learn from books. Only long hours of practice on the gear itself will make you proficient. There is, however, a certain amount of background knowledge which will prepare you to make the most of your practice time.

This manual supplies that background knowledge. It is all solid meat. You can well afford to know every bit of it by heart. Study it thoroughly from cover to cover.

The manuscript for this publication was prepared by Columbia University Division of War Research, at the U. S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, Fort Trumbull, New London, Connecticut. Illustrations were prepared by the U. S. Naval Training Aids Development Center.


Chapter 1. Sonar Gear 1
Chapter 2. Bearings: Relative and True 7
Chapter 3. Sound in Water 11
Chapter 4. Sonic Listening 15
Chapter 5. Supersonic Listening 27
Chapter 6. Single-Ping Echo-Ranging 39
Chapter 7. Standing a Sonar Watch 45
Chapter 8. Correct Reporting 47
Chapter 9. Echo-Sounding 51
Chapter 10. The SBT and the TDC 53
Appendix Definitions 57

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Version 1.13, 5 July 07