USS F-4 (SS-23)

USS F-4 (SS-23)

USS "F-4" (SS-23) was a F-class submarine. Her keel was laid down by the Moran Brothers Company of Seattle, Washington. She was originally named "Skate", making her the first ship of the United States Navy named for the skate. She was renamed "F-4" on 17 November 1911. She was launched on 6 January 1912 sponsored by Mrs. M.F. Backus; and commissioned on 3 May 1913, Lieutenant (junior grade) K.H. Donavin in command.

Joining the First Submarine Group, Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, "F-4" participated in the development operations of that group along the west coast, and from August 1914, in Hawaiian waters. During submarine maneuvers off Honolulu, Hawaii, on 25 March 1915, she sank in 51 fathoms (93 m), 1½ miles (3 km) from the harbor. Despite valorous efforts of naval authorities at Honolulu to locate the missing boat and save her crew, all 21 perished. "F-4" was the first commissioned submarine of the United States Navy to be lost at sea.

A diving and engineering precedent was established with the Navy's raising of the submarine on 29 August 1915. Courage and tenacity marked the efforts of divers who descended to attach cables to tow the boat into shallow water, while ingenuity and engineering skill characterized the direction of Naval Constructor J.A. Furer, Rear Admiral C.B.T. Moore, and Lieutenant C. Smith who accomplished the feat with the aid of specially devised and constructed pontoons.

The investigating board subsequently conjectured that corrosion of the lead lining of the battery tank had permitted seepage of sea water into the battery compartment and thereby caused the commanding officer to lose control on a submerged run.

"F-4" was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 31 August 1915.

In 1940, the remains of "F-4" were buried as fill in a trench off the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor.

Plans for the F-Class submarines of the US Navy.

References

External links

* [http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-f-4-23.htm On Eternal Patrol: USS "F-4"]


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