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USS Sennet (SS-408)

USS Sennet was a Balao-class submarine, a ship of the United States Navy named for the sennet, a barracuda. Sennet was laid down on 8 March 1944 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, launched on 6 June 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Roscoe W. Downs, commissioned on 22 August 1944, Commander George E. Porter in command. Sennet was fitted out by 18 September, she held training exercises and torpedo-tube testing off the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island until 22 October. The submarine tested mines and torpedoes for the Mine Warfare Test Station, Solomons Island, Md. On 11 November, Sennet proceeded to the operations area off Balboa, C. Z. and conducted further training exercises. The submarine departed Balboa on 29 November for Pearl Harbor and arrived there on 16 December 1944. Sennet's topside armament was increased to two 5-inch guns, two 40 millimeter guns, three.50 caliber machine guns before departing Pearl Harbor for her first war patrol on 5 January 1945. Sennet patrolled north of the Bonin Islands until 28 January.

She scored no hits. The following week, the submarine damaged another. Sennet refitted at Saipan from 31 January to 7 February, when she began her second war patrol off southern Honshū, Japan. On 13 February, two 300-ton picket boats were sunk by the combined gunfire of Sennet and Lagarto. Three days the submarine attacked enemy minelayer the Nariu with an offset spread of torpedoes from her stern tubes went deep to 200 feet. Two torpedoes were heard to explode. While going deep, Sennet was rocked hard by two aircraft bombs; the submarine surfaced an hour and saw a large oil slick and 40 Japanese clinging to debris but no trace of the Nariu which had sunk. Sennet was refitted by Apollo in Guam, 9 March -- 2 April. Patrolling off Honshū again from 3 April to 16 May, she was twice straddled by torpedoes fired from patrol boats while she was surfaced off Miki Saki on 16 April. Three days the submarine torpedoed and sank the cargo ship Hagane Maru. On 22 April, Sennet attempted to save a P-51 pilot who had bailed out near her but the man went under only 100 feet from the ship.

Attempts to find him were in vain. A repair ship was attacked on 28 April with two electrical torpedoes; the first the second hit under the mainmast. Hatsushima sank by her stern. On 1 May, Sennett fired five steam torpedoes at an Asashio-class destroyer but it maneuvered and avoided them. At the end of this patrol, the submarine sailed to Pearl Harbor for leave. Sennet's most profitable patrol was from 1 July to 9 August in the Sea of Japan. During the patrol, she sank one passenger-cargo ship, two cargo ships, one tanker totaling 13,105 tons; when the war ended in the Pacific, Sennet was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and operated from New London, Conn. In June 1946, she was reassigned to Submarine Squadron 6 at Balboa, C. Z. From 10 December 1946 to 13 March 1947, Sennet participated in Operation Highjump, the third Byrd Antarctic Expedition. Sennet used the first basic under-ice sonar to establish the feasibility of United States under-ice operations. Sennet operated from Balboa until 1949 when she was assigned to operate from Key West, Fla. as a unit of Submarine Squadron 12.

The ship conducted training for submarine and antisubmarine personnel at Key West and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 1951, Sennet was converted to a Fleet Snorkel submarine at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and returned to her homeport. On 4 November 1954, Sennet departed Key West on her first deployment to the Mediterranean and service with the 6th Fleet. From her return on 30 January 1955 until 1 August 1959, the submarine conducted training and fleet operations with her squadron. On 1 August, Sennett was reassigned to SubRon 4 and stationed at Charleston, S. C. For the next nine years, the submarine operated from Charleston with the Atlantic Fleet, she operated along the east coast, in the Caribbean, in the Atlantic with her squadron until mid-1968. In November 1968, the submarine was found unfit for further Naval service. Sennet was struck from the Navy list on 2 December 1968. On 18 May 1973, her hulk was sold to Southern Scrap Material Co. Ltd. New Orleans, La. Sennett received four battle stars for World War II service.

Photo gallery of Sennet at NavSource Naval History USS Sennet website

Ball Square

Ball Square is a neighborhood in Somerville, but extending into Medford, at the intersection of Boston Avenue and Broadway, located between Powder House Square and Magoun Square. It is a residential area with a handful of shops and restaurants along Broadway. Located on the edge of the neighborhood surrounding Tufts University, Ball Square contains a mix of businesses serving the student and academic populations as well as those reflecting the more blue-collar neighborhoods to the east; these establishments include Kelly's Diner, Sound Bites, Ball Square Cafe, all popular for breakfast. The Brown School, opened in 1900, is located on Willow Avenue and serves the neighborhood's children from kindergarten to sixth grade. Ball Square was the site of the storied Willow Jazz Club. In the 1990s, a fire destroyed several commercial businesses on Broadway, as those businesses were replaced, an economic transformation began that continues today, with long-time businesses such as Lyndell's Bakery, which dates to the 19th century, along the same stretch as Ball Square Fine Wines and Liquor, a high-end wine shop, Salon Cu and Lindsay Griffin, hair salons.

Ball Square is a planned stop on the Green Line as part of the MBTA's anticipated extension of the surface rail line. Ball Square was named for John Nichols Ball. Following in the path of his uncle, John opened an insole factory in 1883 at 686 Broadway, between Josephine and Rogers Avenues. A respected business man John took up politics in 1895; that year, he began his term as a member of Somerville's Common Council. In 1897 he was elected to the Somerville Board of Aldermen and by the next year served as Board President. John was discussed as a potential Republican candidate for mayor. Instead, he chose to enter state politics, running as Representative for the 7th Middlesex District in 1900. John was well liked enough in his first term that he was reelected to the House in 1901, his burgeoning political career was cut short, however, by his death that October at age 56. A guide to bars and shops in Ball Square