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The E-Boats

USS E-1 with retreived torpedo
USS E-1 with retrieved torpedo.
Time was that submarines had to retrieve their own practice torpedoes
after they had fired them. Later, torpedo retrieving boats were built and used
for this since so much time was involved with retrieval at sea.

USS E-1 coming along side
USS E-1 coming along side with retrieved torpedo. She is mooring up to
possibly a "K" class submarine. Location is unknown but the E-1 seems to
have been in squadron or flotilla 21 since that is the numbers on the side of
her conning tower fairwater. These numbers were written over under so were
not confused with hull numbers that were sometimes painted there.

Submarine E-1
USS E-1 SS 24
The USS E-1 was sent to the Azores to join a flotilla of K boats during WW I.

Sub E-1
USS E-1 followed by her sister ship the USS E-2

Sub E-1 Captain Lt. Eric Barr
USS E-1 Captain, Lt. Eric Barr and crew member on patrol off the Azores during WW I.

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USS E-1 October 14, 1912. During the Presidential Review of 1912 on the Hudson River, New York City. The crew is "manning the rails" as they pass in review with the upper Manhattan skyline in the background.

Library of Congress Photo


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The USS E-1 seen here at an unidentified location most likely circa 1912 to 15. Six days after commissioning, E-1 sailed from Boston for Norfolk via Newport and New York. Off the Virginia Capes, she underwent tests through April. Her engines were overhauled at New London, and she began operations off southern New England. On 28 September, she arrived at New York Navy Yard for alterations, repairs, and installation of a Sperry gyrocompass, for which she became a pioneer underwater test ship. She also experimented with submerged radio transmission.

E-1 continued important experimental development and training with the Atlantic Fleet for the next 5 years until 4 December 1917, when she left Newport for the Azores and different duty. From 12 January 1918, she patrolled between Ponta Delgada and Horta, protecting the islands from German attack and use as a haven by U-boats. She returned to New London, 17 September. After overhaul, E-1 trained new submariners and tested experimental listening gear.

From An Original Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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The USS E-1 seen here in a close-up at an unidentified location most likely circa 1912 to 15. Five crew are on the deck and three are on the bridge. Behind the number 2 periscope is the ships air whistle.

From An Original Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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Crew close-ups USS E-1 October 14, 1912. During the Presidential Review of 1912 on the Hudson River, New York City. The crew is "manning the rails" as they pass in review with the upper Manhattan skyline in the background. There appears to be two chiefs and an officer on the bow.

Library of Congress Photo


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Crew close-ups USS E-1 October 14, 1912. During the Presidential Review of 1912 on the Hudson River, New York City. The crew is "manning the rails" as they pass in review with the upper Manhattan skyline in the background. On the bridge are the helmsman and the Commanding Officer. A chief is standing fourth man from the right.

Library of Congress Photo


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Crew close-ups USS E-1 October 14, 1912. During the Presidential Review of 1912 on the Hudson River, New York City. The crew is "manning the rails" as they pass in review with the upper Manhattan skyline in the background. There appears to be a stiff wind blowing up the river by the condition of the flag. Note the flow of cooling water coming from the port diesel engine exhaust.

Library of Congress Photo


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USS E-1 and E-2 circa 1912. We are unable to know which submarine is which. Location is unknown but it does seem to be a lot of open water and very breezy. From the dress of the men it is possibly around summer. The closest man on the right side seems to be reading a magazine.

Phote provided by Mike Mohl at Navsource


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USS E-1 and E-2 shown on May 10, 1915. (the side of the D-2 can be seen to the right and the USS Tonopah, Monitor #8, is on the left) The view is on the upper westside of New York city and the moorage is at the 135th Street piers. They were part of the Presidential Review for President Wilson along with much of the Atlantic Fleet.

Library of Congress Photo


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USS E-1 at Ponta Delgada in the Azores on January 20, 1918. As far as I know this is one of the only photos of the USS E-1 on station in WW I. She was the smallest of the US submarines to deploy overseas. Once reaching the Azores it was discovered that the typical US peacetime bridge structures made of piping and canvas were woefully inadequate and time consuming to erect and take down. Versions of the chariot bridges used by both Britain and Germany was adopted. The results of that can seen here. All US submarines adopted a version of the chariot bridge in short order. The submarines remaining in the US did not until after the war. One of the men on the bridge is most likely Lt Eric Barr, Captain of the E-1.

Note the intricate camouflage design on the unidentified ship behind.

Photo From The Private Collection of Ric Hedman


USS E-1 & E-2
From the back to front, USS E-1 & E-2 USS L-10 & L-4
Sept 10, 1920, Newport News, VA

E-1
Conning Tower with the USS E-1 name painted on it behind sailor.
The sailor is really on the deck of the USS L-10 moored in front of the E-1

USS E-1 & E-2
Conning Towers of the USS E-2 & E-1 left to right.
Men in foreground are on the USS L-10 and L-4

Bridge USS E-1
Bridge USS E-1. Photos taken Sept 10, 1920 at Newport New, VA

Crew, USS E-1 Sept 10, 1920
Crew, USS E-1 Sept 10, 1920

Crew, USS E-1 Sept 10, 1920
Crew, USS E-1 Sept 10, 1920

Crew, USS E-1 Sept 10, 1920
Crew, USS E-1 Sept 10, 1920

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USS E-1 seen from a aerial view. The photo is taken prior to July 17, 1920 since she is not wearing the number 24 on her conning tower fairwater. She was assigned the designation SS 24 on that date.

This photo is notated as being a "speed run" and it can be seen she is turning a fair clip through the water. The crew on the bridge seem to be, on the left side, two chiefs and an officer. Behind the periscope is the helmsman and another enlisted man on the right side of the bridge. On deck are men readying the sub for mooring, probably at the Sub Base, New London. Mooring lines are coiled on deck and the man closest to the bow seems to be wetting down a heaving line. It can be seen trailing down the side of the sub and into the water. Next to his feet is another 'heevy' coiled for throwing. Its weighted "monkey fist" can be seen just to the side of the lifeline stanchion.

Interesting to note is that the signal yardarms attached to the #2 periscope seem to be portable in nature and are perhaps unclamped before diving.

This photo had some condition issues and we've had to do some restoration on it.

News service Photo From The Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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USS E-1 seen from a aerial view. The photo is taken after July 17, 1920 since she is wearing the number 24 on her conning tower fairwater. She was assigned the designation SS 24 on that date.

The E-1 was placed in commission, in reserve, on March 20, 1920 and she arrived at the Norfolk on April 22, 1920, probably doing some training duties while berthed there. While at Norfolk she received her SS designation. Then, she was placed in commission, in ordinary on July 18, 1921, and on September 17, 1921 sailed for Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned October 20, 1921 and sold for scrap on April 19, 1922.

This photo may have been taken on her last voyage to Philadelphia and the reason for the photo being taken. There appears to maybe be some civilians aboard, maybe old crew members. A shadow can be seen on the foredeck possibly from the wing of an aircraft or blimp.

This photo was in bad shape and I've had to do a lot of restoration on it.

News service Photo From The Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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Close up of the USS E-1 seen from a aerial view. Crew members and what appear to be civilians are seen on the deck. The Captain or Officer of the Deck can be seen on the Port or right side of the bridge. You can probably notice all the Newspaper touch-ups done to the photo to enhance its reproduction in a printed medium.

This photo was in bad shape and I've had to do a lot of restoration on it.

News service Photo From The Private Collection of Ric Hedman


USS E-2
USS E-2 SS 25

Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920
Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920

Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920
Four Crewmen of the USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920.
Men behind are standing on the deck of the E-1.
Chief on left is on the deck of the L-10


USS E-2 crew

Crewmen of the USS E-2 pose for the camera. circa, WW I
The man on the far right side of photo on the deck level with the beard is Robert D. Greene, Electricians mate, of Weymouth, MA.

The man on the lower left with the bare feet has been identified by his grandson, Daniel Sweeney, as "Daniel J Sweeney" and stated that "...he kept the log..." probably meaning he was a Quartermaster who was tasked with helping navigate the submarine and keep the logbooks up to date.


On June 26, 1919 the E2 dove for a three hour submerged run at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Robert Greene was the switchboard operator on the dive.

An angle was ordered for the boat by the Captain and a 10 degree dive angle was placed on the boat. After the periscope had been submerged for 41 seconds the captain order the dive checked at 45 feet.

The captain asked how much power was being used by the battery and Greene responded 850 Amps on a side. The E2 was running a bit heavy forward but a good trim all-in-all.

The crew was upbeat about the dive. Many of the crew were relaxing and napping. The E2 was traveling at 9 knots at 45 feet. At 7:40 PM, an hour and a half after the dive, there was a grating crash as the E2 hit bottom.

Reports say that the canvas covered wooden grating floor of the forward torpedo room heaved up and a hiss of high pressure air ensued. The bottoming had crushed the hull and ruptured several lines from the #3, #4, & #5 high pressure air flasks.

The hull was filling with that high-pressure air. E boats had no interior bulkheads and watertight doors that could contain the air and the crew realized that the high pressure could become deadly. The captain ordered that the mid ballast tanks be blown and this was done.

As the extreme pressure in the boat rose eardrums were bursting and almost every man was in agony by the time the boat began to raise to the surface. A crewman climbed into the conning tower access and was ready to crack the bridge hatch once the boat reached the surface.

Once the hatch cleared the surface he managed to crack the hatch and the high-pressure air began to escape with a hissing screech. The mans' shirt was torn from his body do to the force of escaping air and he was lifted off his feet that were on the ladder rungs. The man who opened the hatch held on to the hatch to keep it from opening too far.


Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member
USS E-2 crew
Crewmen of the USS E-2 pose for the camera. circa, WW I
Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member
USS E-2 crew
Crewmen of the USS E-2 pose for the camera. circa, WW I
Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member
USS E-2 crew
Crewmen of the USS E-2 pose for the camera. circa, WW I
Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member
USS E-2 crew
Crewmen of the USS E-2 pose for the camera. circa, WW I
Electrician Robert D. Greene is in the lower right corner of the photo.

Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member
USS E-2 crew
Crewmen of the USS E-2 pose for the camera. circa, WW I
Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member
USS E-2 crew

This crewmen has been identified, by his grandson Daniel Sweeney, as "Daniel J Sweeney" and stated that "...he kept the log..." probably meaning he was a Quartermaster who was tasked with helping navigate the submarine and keep the logbooks up to date. Poses for the camera as a crewman of the USS E-2. circa, WW I.


Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920
Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920

Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920
Crew, USS E-2 Sept 10, 1920

Submarine E-2
USS E-2 followed by her sister ship the USS E-1

USS E-2
USS E-2

USS Sturgeon (E-2)
USS Sturgeon (E-2) running at speed

USS E-2 with crew on deck
USS E-2 with crew on deck. I count 20 men.

Length 135'
Beam 15'
Disp. Sur. 287 tons
Disp. Sub. 342 tons
Test Depth 200'
Crew 20
Armament 4 18" Torp Tube

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