Photos from the Howard Finch collection, 1946–1949

When first commissioned, the Irex's superstructure resembled that of other boats of the Tench class, and is here seen shortly after commissioning, perhaps in Key West in 1946. Note the precarious lookout positions, the semi-enclosed after “cigarette deck” with the 40mm. cannon, which was like the chin mounted cannon under the bridge. Not seen in this shot is the 5"aft deck gun.

[ The Irex in about 1946 ]

To accommodate a snorkel, the scope and the new snorkel mast were enclosed within a streamlined “sail” in 1947, with a bulbous area near the top to accommodate the rotating radar antenna. At the time, the aft 40mm cannon was removed, although the “cigarette deck” remained. The lookouts were now protected by the bridge enclosure. The 5" deck gun and the forward 40mm. cannon remained. The new sail is seen in the photograph below from the Finch collection, early '50s.

[ The new metal sail ]

Subsequent to this photo, a new metal sail was installed that removed the chin mount gun and was wide enough in its mid section to accommodate the radar antenna. The cigarette deck remained. Finally in about 1958, a lighter sail made of fiberglass was introduced.

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