USS R-12 (SS-89)

USS R-12 (SS-89)

USS "R-12" (SS-89) was an "R"-class coastal and harbor defense submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy, Massachusetts on 28 March 1918. She was launched on 15 August 1919 sponsored by Miss Helen Mack, and commissioned at Boston, Massachusetts, on 23 September 1919 with Lieutenant F. J. Cunneen in command.

"R-12" remained at Boston, Massachusetts, until she headed down the coast on 11 March to New London, Connecticut, whence she operated until the end of May. She then continued south to Panama; transited the Panama Canal at the end of June; arrived at San Pedro, California, in July; and with the hull classification symbol SS-89, departed the California coast for Pearl Harbor at the end of August. Arriving 6 September 1920, she remained in Hawaiian waters, with occasional exercises on the West Coast and off Johnston Island until 12 December 1930. On that date "R-12" got underway for the East Coast and returned to New London, Connecticut, on 9 February 1931. She conducted exercises with Destroyer Squadrons of the Scouting Force into the spring, then following overhaul trained personnel assigned to the Submarine School. On 27 September 1932, she departed New London for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where, after decommissioning on 7 December 1932, she joined other R-boats berthed there in the Reserve Fleet.

Some seven and a half years later, on 1 July 1940, "R-12" recommissioned in ordinary and shifted to New London to complete activation. Recommissioned in full 16 October 1940, she sailed for Panama on 10 December, arrived on 23 December, and into October 1941, patrolled the approaches to the Panama Canal. On 31 October, she returned to New London and for the next three months operated off the New England coast. In February 1942, she commenced patrols to the south and for the next year operated primarily from Guantanamo Bay and Key West, Florida. During March and April 1943 she was back at New London, then in May she returned to Key West, Florida, where she trained submariners for the remainder of her career.

Shortly after noon on 12 June 1943, "R-12", while underway to conduct a torpedo practice approach, sounded her last diving alarm. As she completed preparations to dive, the forward battery compartment began to flood. The collision alarm was sounded and a report was made that the forward battery compartment was flooding. Orders were given to blow main ballast, but the sea was faster. In about 15 seconds "R-12" was lost. The commanding officer, two other officers, and three enlisted men were swept from the bridge as the boat sank and were rescued. Forty-two lives were lost. "R-12" was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 6 July 1943.


References

U.S. Naval Submarine School, "Submarine Casualties Booklet" (New London, Connecticut, 1966)

External links

* [http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-r-12-89.htm On Eternal Patrol: USS "R-12"]


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