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The O-Boats

Unknown O boat makes a static dive dockside.
Unknown O boat makes a static dive dockside.
An other O boat is tied up to the pier in the background.
Possibly Portsmouth or the Fore River Shipyard in the background.



The following PDF Files are the Qualification Notebook of Robert E, Fretz MM3. He was qualifying aboard the USS O-1. The exact date is unknown but circa 1920 is likely. The book has been scanned by weeks to allow for faster loading. These files are not for downloading or distribution. The digitization and images of this notebook are Copyright by Ric Hedman. The notebook is in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman.

QUALIFICATIONS, WEEK #1



Six "O" boats moored to tender USS Camden AS 6.
Camden was the former German cargo ship SS Keil.
Photo is post Feb. 1919
O-10 and O-8 are shown as the outboard two boats.


USS O-1 in dry dock
USS O-1 SS 62 in dry dock

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Original Drawing In The Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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High Pressure Air
Original Drawing In The Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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Trim and Drain System
Original Drawing In The Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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USS O-2 keel laying on July 27, 1917 at Bremerton, Washington. One of 2 O class subs to be built by Governments yards, the other being the O-1 layed down at Portsmouth, NH. The other O Class were to be built by Electric Boat and Lake yards.

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 on launch day May 24, 1918 at Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. Notice that she is being launched without shafts or props and no stern planes or rudder. From the lighting in the photo it seems to be a late afternoon launch.

The submarine in frame on the right in the photo is the USS H-9, one of five "H" class submarines being assembled at the same time at the ship yard. These subs had been intended for the Russian Navy and had been built in Canada but the Russian Revolution halted the sale. The US Navy bought them and had them sent to Bremerton for assembly.

You can also see that it is a bit of a rainy day with a lot of the spectators using umbrellas. If you look at the water under the slipway you can see the rings from the rain hitting the water. The ropes that seem to attach the submarine to the cradle are really to prevent the blocking from floating away once the submarine is floating on its own. The cradle and blocking will be used for the next vessel needing them.

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 on launch day May 24, 1918 at Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. Notice that she is being launched without bow planes and some super structure plating missing. Also the torpedo tube bow cap is missing, it should be visible just behind the bunting on the top left. The bottom of the submarine is covered with chalk notations about construction and where to drill. Bisected by the second vertical brace is the Fessenden Oscillator used for underwater communication and identification. From the lighting in the photo it seems to be a late afternoon launch.

The submarines in frame on the left in the photo are the USS H-4 and H-8 with the workman on top, two of five "H" class submarines being assembled at the same time at the ship yard. These subs had been intended for the Russian Navy and had been built in Canada but the Russian Revolution halted the sale. The US Navy bought them and had them sent to Bremerton for assembly.

You can also see that it is a bit of a rainy day with a number of the spectators wearing raincoats. A rain slick can be seen on the planking under foot on the right. The ropes that seem to attach the submarine to the cradle are really to prevent the blocking from floating away once the submarine is floating on its own. The cradle and blocking will be used for the next vessel needing them.

US Navy Photo

USS O-2
Seen under the hull of the USS O-2 are the submarines H-4 (left) and the H-8 (right) in frame with a workman sitting on the frames of the H-8 to watch the launch of the O-2. Barely seen are two other workman to the right seen partly through the last opening. One is seen standing below and to the left slightly of the one sitting.
Part of a US Navy Photo

USS O-2
Close-up of the chalk marks on the bottom of the O-2. It seems that an inspector has been checking the rivets and seams prior to launch.
Part of a US Navy Photo

USS O-2
Close-up of the Fessenden Oscillator used for underwater communication and identification. This unit was a predecessor to the what became known as SONAR. Invented by Canadian born Reginald Fessenden, who later became a naturalized American citizen, in 1912 as the first of the successful underwater listening devices.
Part of a US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 down the ways on launch day May 24, 1918 at Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. Notice that she is being launched without bow planes and some super structure plating missing. Also the torpedo tube bow cap is missing. The submarines sponsor, Mrs Francis T. Chew, can be seen atop the launch platform in the top left of the photo. From the lighting in the photo it seems to be a late afternoon launch and the sun has finally broken through as evidenced by the shadows on the submarines hull. The ropes that seem to attach the submarine to the cradle are really to prevent the blocking from floating away once the submarine is floating on its own. The cradle and blocking will be used for the next vessel needing them.

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 in the water three days after her launching at Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. Here her fitting out has begun. The stern is to the left in the photo and bow to the right. Her stern is still light due her not having shafts, props or rudders or stern planes. Her bow is still missing the superstructure plating and bow cap. On the top of the hull can be seen her Main Induction piping to bring air to her diesel engines and to the left of the gangway plank and her bridge access trunk to the right of it.

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 in the water three days after her launching at Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. Here her fitting out has begun. The stern is to the left in the photo and bow to the right. Her stern is still light due her not having shafts, props or rudders or stern planes. Her bow is still missing the superstructure plating and bow cap. On the top of the hull can be seen her Main Induction piping to bring air to her diesel engines and to the left of the gangway plank and her bridge access trunk to the right of it. Workmen can be seen on her decks and on the dock.

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 in the water three days after her launching at Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. Here her fitting out has begun. The stern is to the left in the photo and bow to the right. On the top of the hull can be seen her Main Induction piping to bring air to her diesel engines and to the left of the gangway plank and her bridge access trunk to the right of it. Workmen can be seen on her decks and on the dock. At the waterline you can see her starboard rubbing strake placed at the widest part of her hull. It is placed there to protect the hull from damage from rubbing against docks or other vessels. When the sub is fully fitted out this strake would normally be many feet under water.

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 SS 63 diving The USS O-2 was used in the design by William C. Eddy, then a cadet, for the crest for the Naval Academy class of 1926.
Capt. Eddy's story: Here

US Navy Photo

"Back in 1922, I was on the Class Crest Committee and, using a 'bows on' photo of  the (submarine) 'O-2' and adding two dolphins rampant, I came up with a design of the '26 class crest. About two years later, George Meale of Bailey, Banks and Biddle, mentioned that the submarine service was looking for a design for "Submarine Wings" to denote qualification in Submarines.
Using my original sketches of the '26 crest, and flattening out the dolphins, we came up with the present submarine insignia which was adopted by the Navy.
George gave me what purported to be the first dolphins struck from the dies, which I gave to my mother.
I was very proud to reclaim this original dolphins after qualifying in the '35 boat'. The class might be interested in the tie-in between the '26 crest, the O-2, and the present Dolphins." 
Original Sketch by Wm. Eddy

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USS O-2 SS 63 diving The USS O-2 was used in the design by William C. Eddy, then a cadet, for the crest for the Naval Academy class of 1926.
Capt. Eddy's story: Here

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 SS 63 diving The USS O-2 was used in the design by William C. Eddy, then a cadet, for the crest for the Naval Academy class of 1926. Capt. Eddy's story: Here

US Navy Photo

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USS O-2 SS 63 on the surface after diving.

US Navy Photo

USS O-2 and USS V-4 (Argonaut) in dry dock
USS O-2 and USS V-4 (Argonaut) in dry dock, March 29, 1928.
Dry dock is flooding through openings in dry dock doors, at rear.


USS O-3 SS 64
USS O-3 SS 64

USS O-4 SS 65
USS O-4 SS 65

USS O-5 at Cocosolo, Panama
USS O-5 and mystery sub at Coco Solo, Panama 1923.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

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On October 5, 1918 a battery explosion ripped through the battery compartment of the USS O-5. Lt.(jg) William Joseph Sharkey was killed and the Commanding officer LCdr. George A. Trever was hospitalized with injuries. He died nine days later from these injuries.

Lt.(j.g.) William Joseph Sharkey was born in Auburn, N.Y., on 20 March 1885. He attained the enlisted rate of Chief Gunners Mate during his naval service, he was subsequently appointed to the rank of Ensign on 15 March 1918 and was assigned to the submarine USS O-5. He was later promoted to Lt.(jg) while aboard the submarine. On 5 October 1918, Sharkey died trying to prevent a battery explosion after fumes were reported in the after battery room.

Sharkey and the Captain, LCdr. George A. Trever, were proceeding into the compartment just as the battery exploded from a build up of hydrogen gas. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, on the recommendation of Cmdr. Chester W. Nimitz, who was a friend of Lt.(jg) Sharkey. Also killed in the explosion was EM/2c James L. Still.

The destroyer USS Sharkey (DD-281) was named in his honor, the ships sponsor was Mrs. Mary E. Sharkey. Also, at the Naval Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, a theater named in honor of Lt.(jg) Sharkey. It is believed that Cmdr. (later Fleet Adm.) Chester W. Nimitz, the first commanding officer of Pearl Harbor Naval Submarine Base, named the theater in honor of his friend Lt.(jg) William Sharkey.



Navy Cross Awarded posthumously for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade William Joseph Sharkey, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service on board the U.S.S. O-5, at the Navy Yard, New York 6 October 1918. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Sharkey called the attention of his Commanding Officer to the fact that the batteries were gassing, and together with his Commanding Officer started forward in the Submarine when the battery exploded and Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Sharkey was killed, his head being crushed.




(The following from Wikipedia):
George Arthur Trever (11 June 1885 – 14 October 1918) was an officer in the United States Navy in the early 1900s.

Born in Waupun, Wisconsin, Trever was appointed to the Naval Academy in May 1905 and graduated on 4 June 1909. He spent the years prior to his commissioning in cruises in Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4); Princeton (Gunboat No. 13); and Annapolis (Gunboat No. 10). Receiving the single gold stripe of an ensign while serving in Rowan (Torpedo Boat No. 8) on 5 June 1911, Trever assumed command of that vessel later that month. In September 1912, he was transferred to Farragut (Torpedo Boat No. 11); and he commanded her until early 1914, when detached to report on board Cheyenne (Monitor No. 10).

Following his tour in Cheyenne, newly promoted Lt. (j.g.) Trever was ordered to H-1 (Submarine No. 28), then attached to the Pacific Fleet. After a two-year tour of duty commanding H-1, he reported for duty at the Mare Island Navy Yard. In the spring of 1917, Trever reported to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, to supervise the building of N-1 (Submarine No. 53), then on the ways at the Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, Seattle, Washington. N-1 was commissioned on 26 September 1917 and operated put of Puget Sound until transferred to New York late in the year for patrol duties in the Atlantic.

In May 1918, Trever was ordered to the Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, to assist in fitting out O-5 (Submarine No. 66). He assumed command of the new O-boat on 9 June 1918 and received the temporary rank of lieutenant commander on 1 July 1918.

On 5 October 1918, during post-commissioning trials, a battery explosion occurred on board O-5, in which Trever was injured and Lt.(jg) William Joseph Sharkey and EM/2c James L. Still were killed. Nine days later, at the naval hospital, Brooklyn, New York, on 14 October 1918, Lt. Comdr. George A. Trever died as a result of the severe and multiple injuries suffered in the shipboard tragedy.



Navy Cross Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander George Arthur Trever, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. 0-5, operating against enemy submarines off the Atlantic coast of the United States during World War I.


Photos Provided by US Navy and On Eternal Patrol
Partial information provided by Sharkey's Grand son Douglas Chartier


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Salvage of the USS O-5 off Panama 31 hours after sinking and the rescue of Henry Breault and Chief Lawrence T. Brown. They are seen exiting the submarines torpedo loading hatch which has just slipped back under water. The sub was lifted to the surface by the derrick barge US Ajax which had made a its own heroic transit of the canal which was hampered by mud slides to make it in time to rescue the last two men alive in the O-5. Lost in the sinking were; Clyde Edward Hughes, Motor Machinist's Mate, First Class, Thomas Theodore Metzler, Fireman, First Class and Fred C. Smith, Mess Attendant, First Class. Details about Medal of Honor receipient Henry Breault. More about the collision HERE.

US Navy Photo

Clyde Edward Hughes

Clyde Edward Hughes as seen in a chalk portrait. This image of Hughes is in the possession of John Knight, his grandnephew. Hughes was lost when the Submarine O-5 was rammed by a ship, the SS Abangarez, and sunk near the entrance to the Panama Canal, October 28, 1923.

Image courtesy of Charles Hinman of On Eternal Patrol

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April 4, 1924 President of the United States Calvin Coolidge, has just presented the Congressional Medal Of Honor to Torpeomans Mate 2 Henry Breault in a ceremony on the White House lawn. Henry Breault poses for the camera wearing the Congressional Medal Of Honor. Several Navy Admirals look on in the background.

US Navy Photo

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The USS O-5 during the salvage operation after the rescue of Henry Breault TM2 and Chief Lawrence T. Brown. The derrick barge US Ajax was used to raise the sunk O-5 to get the men out of the sub and also used during the salvage operation as seen above.
Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman


USS O-6 SS 67
USS O-6 SS 67
While patrolling off the American coast during WW I a British convoy captain sighted the O-6 and opened fire on her. The Capt., Lt. C.Q. Wright, jr., dove but the O-6 was hit by six shells damaging the conning tower and foreward ventilator and leaked very badly. The O-6  resurfaced and was hit several more times before she could identify herself as an American submarine.

USS O-7 SS 68
USS O-7 SS 68 date of photo unknown.

USS O-7 SS 68
USS O-7 SS 68. Detail of con and men. Some appear to be civilians.

Harold
Harold "Frenchy" Blair

"Spick" Carroll


Chief Gunnersmate Simmons
Chief Gunnersmate Simmons

"Swede" Hanson

US Navy Photos




USS O-7 with O-3 and R-26
Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman


Living conditions were crude on the "O" boats as related in this narrative.
Remembrances of the O-7 by John Surprenant, Retired
SN to QMCS '43=58; Ensign to LCDR 59-73

USS O-7 SS 68, USS Tirante SS 420,  USS Greenfish SS 351, 
USS Grouper SS 214, USS Burfish SS312. USS Barb SS 220, 
USS Odax SS 484, USS George Washington SSBN 598. 
USS Proteus, USS Canopus plus some Destroyer and tanker duty as well as two tours at Sub School,
===================================================
I was assigned to the O-7 coming out of sub school and waiting for a fleet boat. I was a TMSN out of torpedo school but decided I wanted to be a quartermaster and changed over. 

The CO was a CDR. Latham who had been skipper of Tautog, (USS Tautog SS 199), and while I was on board was relieved by LCDR Schatch (sp) The C.O.B., (Chief Of the Boat), was a TMC named CORSEY and I remember the leading QM was named McMILLAN.

While on board I received a set of orders to USS ESCOLAR, SS 294 which was coming through New London but I was on leave and they took another QM3 from another O boat. ESCOLAR was lost on her first patrol. I later caught USS TIRANTE SS 420 with skipper George Street who won the Medal of Honor.

The most thrilling thing about being a QM on board an O boat was opening that single dog hatch with pressure in the boat while surfacing.

O-7 operated as a school boat for sub school students. We did daily ops out of New London most of the time. Once in awhile we did an op up to Casco Bay Maine. With our rather primitive water, heat, berthing etc., it was an adventure. For two weeks you never took your foul weather gear off—and there were no showers. Berthing as I remember was all hands hot bunking which did not really matter as you were fully clothed anyway. Test depth as I remember was 170 feet and our CO CDR Latham tried it one time. We blew a couple of salt water connections and some zerk fittings flew out of the periscope grease connections.

I wish now that I appreciated the risk involved in that but I relived it when my TIRANTE skipper took us to 670 feet on a 400 foot test depth boat.

Some remembrances are the difficulty in opening the ballast tank flood valves-as a robust 18 year old 130 lb. sailor-I could barely do it.

The "conning tower" was really a tube from the control room to the bridge. When we surfaced it acted as a conduit for all the air in the boat and for the QM it was like being shot out of a canon. 

The after battery was also the messroom--no tables or seats-you got your chow on a tray and hunkered down and ate it--of course the engine room WT door was completely visible as was the hopper, (The Toilet Commode), right next to it—if your timing was right you could watch a guy doing his business while you ate your lunch. 


USS O-8 SS 69
USS O-8 SS 69
USS O-8 as a training submarine at Sub Base New London during World War II.


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The USS O-8 seen here in the early 1920's. The photo could be taken during the summer months as signified by the wearing of white uniforms or perhaps taken at Panama while she was stationed there from 1924 to 1928.

The activity on deck seems to be centered around the forward hatch where crew look to be entering the submarine or be lowering or lifting something through the hatch. There is an officer at the left edge of the grouping. One crew member has his posterior pointed at the camera and he seems to be cleaning or doing maintenance around the 3"/23 deck gun.

The submarine is part of SubDiv 8 as noted in the symbol on the side of the bridge fairing.

Image from an Original Negative in the Private collection of Ric Hedman


USS O-8 SS 69
USS O-8 SS 69
The object on the deck the men are standing around is the
3"/23 deck gun retracted into its below deck housing in a vertical position as shown here.

USS O-8 SS 69
USS O-8 and an other "O" boat inside the Panama canal.

USS O-8 SS 69
USS O-8 SS 69

USS O-8 in Dry Dock
USS O-8 SS 69 in drydock.
The arrangement at the bow is lashings holding the anchor in place
away from the hawshole while work is being done in that area.
The #2 torpedo tube outer door & shutter is open
Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

O-boats
O-8 and two other unidentified sub moored Sub Base New London, circa 1920.
Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

O-boats
O-8 heading down river from the Sub Base New London, circa 1920.
Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

O-boats
Two "O" boats in dry dock. The closest one is probably the O-8.
Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-8 moored to a tender
USS O-8 moored to a tender. Two other O-boats moored inside her to tender Camden.
Possibly WW I time frame since boats have deck guns.

USS O-9 SS 70
USS O-9 SS 70

USS O-9 at Coco Solo, Panama 1923

USS O-10 SS 71
USS O-10 SS 71
Looks like the sub is preparing to dock.
The vessel in the background could be one of the early
submarine rescue ships.
Early Sub Rescue Ship
Early Sub Rescue Ship. It could be one of four such vessels.
Chewink, Mallard, Ortolan or the Widgeon

USS O-10 SS 71
USS O-10 SS 71

USS O-10 moored to tender
USS O-10 moored to tender Camden. Two other boats moored inside her.
Possibly WW I time frame since boats have deck guns.

USS O-10 SS 71
USS O-10 SS 71

USS O-11 SS 72
USS O-11 SS 72

CocoSolo Submarine Base
US Submarine base at Coco Solo, Panama 1923.

The R-26 is in the background with the white tarp over her fore deck. The Submarine Chaser in the background is SC 285 which can be seen in the O-5 rescue photo above.

The O-3 & O-7 are in front of the R -26. The O-9 is next closest to the camera. The two boats in the foreground are the USS O-5 and a mystery "O" boat. The O-5 reported to Coco Solo in January of 1923 and she sank Oct 18, 1923 with the loss of 2 lives.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 date of photo unknown.
I count 38 men topside, normal crew size would have been 29.
Location unknown.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 date of photo unknown.
35 men can be seen in this close up.
Location unknown.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1921.
The men are topside for a crew photo.
Onlookers are standing by dockside. It appears that the duty officer is
aft by the conning tower talking with a woman. He is wearing a sidearm.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1921.
Crew photo close-ups.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1921.
Crew photo close-ups.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1921.
Duty Officer with sidearm talking to lady visitor.
Torpedo loading hatch with built in loading skids is raised.
Behind is the 3"/50 deck gun in its raised position. The round disk is the flash guard.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside for a photo shoot.
Lapstrake dingy is lashed to the side of the conning tower.
At the bottom of the photo is a list of names. There are only 24 names and 33 crew shown in the photo.
They are:
Morris, Swango, Satterfield, Dooley, Longfield, Lyons, White,
Coody, Burdick, Bingo, Clark, Merrill, Linder, Bower, Cherry,
Packard, Karp, Weigh, Thomas, McCarthy, Burton, Beckler, Ambroio, Elliot

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside on the O-12 for a photo shoot.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside on the O-12 for a photo shoot.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside on the O-12 for a photo shoot.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside on the O-12 for a photo shoot.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside on the O-12 for a photo shoot.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73
USS O-12 SS 73 circa 1920.
Crew topside on the O-12 for a photo shoot.

Photo from the Private collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-12 SS 73; USS O-14 SS 75; USS O-13 SS 74 and USS O-15 SS 76
USS O-12 SS 73; USS O-14 SS 75; USS O-13 SS 74 and USS O-15 SS 76
Shown here on April 8, 1924, just two months before they were all decommissioned.
The O-12 was sold to the Wilkins-Ellsworth Trans Arctic Submarine Expedition.
Wilkins renamed the O-12 Nautilus for this expedition. Wilkins was trying to surface
at the North Pole but mechanical difficulties made that impossible. Another
Nautilus was to pass under the pole 25 years later But the first surfacing at
the pole was to be the USS SKATE(SSN-578) 28 years later. The O-12 was used
in this first attempt in 1931 and then was scuttled near Bergen, Norway in a fjord.
She was rediscovered in 1985 in about 1100 feet of water.
Position: N 60-26-15 / E 05-16-00

A cozy place
If you look at the picture just above this one you will see
these two men in the bow plane opening of the O-15.
(thanks to Kenneth Henry ENCS(SS) for these two pictures)

A cozy place
The USS O-12 shown here in her decommissioned state at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Moored to the right in the photo is most likely the ex-USS Tonopah or Cheyenne. Both had been used as submarine tenders.

She was decommissioned 17 June 1924 and was placed in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Struck from the Naval Register 29 July 1930, she transferred to the United States Shipping Board for conversion by the Philadelphia Navy Yard for use on the Sir Hubert Wilkins Arctic Expedition of geophysical investigation.

After use by Lake and Dannenhower, Inc., of Bridgeport, Conn., for the Wilkins-Ellsworth Arctic Expedition, during which the submarine bore the name "NAUTILUS," O-12 was returned to the Navy Department. She was sunk 20 November 1931 in a Norwegian fjord.

Photo provided by the late Rick Larson MMCM (SS) (ret.)


Former USS O-12 now Nautilus
Former USS O-12 now Nautilus diving
View of Nautilus (ex-O-12) from deck of Navy Ship
View of Nautilus (ex-O-12) from deck of Navy Ship, 1931
Former USS O-12 now "Nautilus" on sea trials 5/25/1931 (top) and 5/15/1931 (bottom). You can see in the top and bottom photos that the original hull has been extended to bring the freeboard up to more than double the original height. The reason for this isn't clear at this time.  In the bottom picture the bow is to the right side of the photo as the boat slips beneath the surface.

USS O-13 surfacing
USS O-13 SS 74 coming to the surface after a 90 foot test dive off Guantanimo Bay, Cuba, March 3, 1919.

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The USS O-15 seen in what most likely is the Panamanian waters off Coco Solo around the early 1920's. She had a short active service life. She was commissioned on August 25, 1918 and was decommissioned on June 11, 1924 and scrapped in 1930. The Lake built submarines of the R and O class had many problems and were deemed too problem prone and decommissioned by the Navy.

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The USS O-15 underway on June 28, 1919, "Peace Day", (the day Germany Signs Treaty of Versailles), at the Philidelphia Navy Yard. On the bridge, aft, is Lt Sifrein Fontaine Maury, the Commanding Officer. The other officers and men are not identified except for the man all the way forward with the heaving line in his hands. That is Seaman 1/c George V. Peterson, a cook striker.

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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This is a second photo taken moments after the above photo. The USS O-15 underway on June 28, 1919, "Peace Day" at the Philidelphia Navy Yard. On the bridge, aft, is Lt Sifrein Fontaine Maury, the Commanding Officer. The other officers and men are not identified except for the man all the way forward. He is Seaman 1/c George V. Peterson, a cook striker.

In the background are seen are a number of battleships. The one closest to the camera at the right side of the photo is the USS New Hampshire BB 25. Also in the background just to the right of the conning tower is the destroyer USS Decatur (DD-5) and further to the right just past the battleships and sticking out behind the stern of the cargo ship is the bow of the USS Dale (DD-4). Stern to the camera is the USS Partridge (AM-16).

A Copy of this Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman Courtisy of Gearge Petersen, grandson of George Petersen.

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The conning tower and stern of the O-15 is seen here with officers and crew. The man aft on the bridge is the commanding officer, Lt. Sifrein Fontaine Maury, (Grandson of Matthew Fontaine Maury the famed "Pathfinder of the Seas" and "Father of Modern Oceanography and Naval Meteorology"), Note that the submarines commissioning pennant is wrapped around the #2 periscope. The man to the right on the bridge is the helmsman and has the ships wheel in front of him. On the deck the 3"/23 caliber deck gun is raised. To the right of the conning tower and bridge in the background is the USS Decatur (DD-5).

A Copy of this Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman Courtesy of George Petersen, grandson of George Petersen.

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Crew of the O-15 standing on deck looking at the camera. In the center background, just to the left of the stern of the ship, can be seen the bow of the USS Dale (DD-4). To the right of the conning tower and bridge in the background is the USS Decatur (DD-5). The man all the way to the right is Seaman 1/c George V. Peterson, a cook striker.

A Copy of this Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman Courtesy of George Petersen, grandson of George Petersen..

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The second man from the left is Seaman 1/c George V. Petersen, cook striker. The o-15 is just passing the stern of the USS Partridge (AM-16) and running up the starboard side of the battleship USS New Hampshire BB-25.

A Copy of this Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman Courtesy of George Petersen, grandson of George Petersen.

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The USS O-15 in the background of what is most likely a posed photo of a sailor taking a drink from a coconut. Since the only vessel with clear identification is the O-15 we are assuming the man is a crew member of that vessel. The location is identified on the photo as being Coco Solo, Panama and the time frame could be any time circa 1920 to 1923. The ASR behind the man is probably the USS Falcon.

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

USS O-16 SS 77
USS O-16 SS 77 date of photo unknown.
I count 70 men topside, normal crew size would have been 29.
Location unknown.

USS O-16 SS 77
USS O-16 SS 77 date of photo unknown.
I count 31 men alone in this close up.
O-16 can be seen on the side of the conning tower behind the men
Location unknown.

USS O-16 SS 77
USS O-16 SS 77 wearing a version of camouflage "dazzle paint" that was tested using her.

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