Lost Boats

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It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died...rather we should thank God that such men lived...

~ George S. Patton

 

All U.S. Navy submarines lost from all causes, ordered by date lost, oldest first. To view lost submarines by month for USSVI base meetings, use the appropriate links at the bottom of this list.

 

LOST WITH ALL HANDS - 25 MAR 1915

Lost on 25 MAR 2015 with the loss of twenty-one officers and men.

She foundered 1.5 miles off of Honolulu after acid corrosion of the lead lining of the battery well let seawater into the battery compartment, which resulted in loss of ship's control.

She was raised in August 1915.

The remains of USS F-4 were buried as fill in a trench off the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, HI.

LOST WITH ALL HANDS  SAVE 3 - 17 DEC 1917

The USS F-1 (ex-CARP) (SS 20) sunk on 17 DEC 1917 with the loss of nineteen officers and men after a collision with the USS F-3 (ex-PICKEREL) (SS-22)) off San Clemente, CA.

While maneuvering in exercises at sea, F-1 and F-3 collided, the former sinking in 10 seconds, her port side torn forward of the engine room.

Nineteen of her men were lost, while 3 others were rescued by the submarines with whom she was operating.

LOST WITH FOUR HANDS - 12 MAR 1920

Lost on 12 MAR 1920 with the loss of four men, including the Commanding Officer, LCDR James R. Webb, as they tried to swim to shore after grounding on a shoal on Santa Margarita Island off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.

USS VESTAL (AR 4), pulled USS H-1 off the rocks in the morning of 24 MAR 1920, only to have her sink forty-five minutes later in fifty feet of water.

The USS H-1 was originally named the USS SEAWOLF.

LOST WITH nO LOSS OF LIFE - 01 SEP 1920

Lost when a practice dive went wrong.

Water unexpectedly entered the submarine through the main air induction system pouring into the control room, engine room, torpedo room, and the motor room.

She sank bow-first, with her stern showing above the water.

In a dramatic adventure, her exhausted crew was rescued during the next few days.

Salvage attempts were unsuccessful, and the USS S-5 settled to the bottom and was abandoned.

LOST WITH 3 HANDS, 26 SAVED - 11 OCT 1923

Sunk with the loss of three men when rammed and sunk by SS Abangarez off the Panama Canal.

LOST WITH ALL HANDS SAVE 3 - 25 SEP 1925

Lost on 25 SEP 1925 with the loss of 33 officers and men when it was struck by the merchant steamer SS City of Rome off Block Island, NY.

Only three survivors of the 36 men on board the ill-fated submarine were recovered.

LOST WITH ALL HANDS - 17 DEC 1927

Sunk with the loss of 40 officers and men after a collision with the Coast Guard's USS PAULDING (CG 17), formerly a US Navy destroyer (ex-DD 22).

Salvaged in 1928 and recommissioned.

LOST WITH 26 HANDS, 33 SURVIVORS- 23 MAY 1939

On 23 MAY 1939, USS SQUALUS suffered a catastrophic valve failure during a test dive off the Isle of Shoals. Partially flooded, the submarine sank to the bottom and came to rest keel down in 240 feet of water.

Commander Charles Momsen and Navy divers on USS FALCON (ASR 2) rescued thirty-three survivors use the diving bell he invented. Twenty-six men drowned in the after compartments.

Later USS SQUALUS was raised and recommissioned as USS SAILFISH. In an ironic turn of fate, USS SAILFISH sank the Japanese aircraft carrier carrying surviving crew members from USS SCULPIN, which had located USS SQUALUS after sinking in 1939.

USS SAILFISH was sold for scrapping to Luria Brothers of Philadelphia, PA.

Her conning tower stands as a memorial to the lost crew of USS SQUALUS at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME. 

 

LOST WITH aLL HANDS - 20 JUN 1941

Lost on 20 JUN 1941 with the loss of 33 officers and men when it sank off Isle of Shoals, fifteen miles from Portsmouth, NH.

USS O-9 submerged at 0738 to conduct deep submergence tests and the boat did not surface thereafter but was crushed by the pressure of the water at a depth of 402 feet.

LOST WITH 4 MEN - 25 DEC 1941

Severely damaged on 10 DEC 1941 while tied up in Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines, during a Japanese air attack with the loss of four men.

The destruction of the Navy Yard made repairs of the severe bomb damage impossible, and USS SEALION was ordered destroyed

To prevent her from falling into enemy hands, she was scuttled in-place at Cavite in Manila Bay.

All salvageable equipment was taken off, depth charges were placed inside, and the explosives were set off to prevent her from being made useful to the enemy.

One other USS SEALION crewman was later captured and died in POW camp.

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U.S. Naval Institute News

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