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The K-Boats

A K class boat
An unknown "K" class submarine

K class boats moored NYC may 10, 1915

Four K-Class submarines, the USS K1 & K-2 and K-5 & K-6, in no particular order, moored at the 135th Street piers in New York City as part of the Presidential Review for President Wilson with the Atlantic Fleet on May 10, 1915. In the background anchored in the Hudson River is the battleship Rhode Island BB 17. An unidentified Monitor is seen to the right in the background. The Monitor in the forground is the USS Tonopah acting as the submarine tender for the submarines participating in the revieue.

Library of Congress Photo


K class boats moored NYC may 10, 1915

Four K-Class submarines, the USS K1 & K-2 and K-5 & K-6, in no particular order, moored at the 135th Street piers in New York City as part of the Presidential Review for President Wilson with the Atlantic Fleet on May 10, 1915. The crowds courious about these underwater craft take time to look them over.

Library of Congress Photo


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These are "K" class submarines moored on the south side of the 135th Street piers in New York City as part of the Presidential Review for President Wilson with the Atlantic Fleet on May 10, 1915. There actually 4 submarine in this photo but of the two other there is only portions of the after superstructure seen on the left side of the photo. On the left side of the picture the cage mast and two funnels of the Battleship Rhode Island can be seen.

Seen through the bridge structure of the right hand boat you can see the large side on the hillside proclaiming " Palisades Amusement Park". Underneath it says "Surf Bathing" and half hidden on the left side of the conning tower fairwater at the river's edge is a sign that says "Warner's Sugar".

On the right side of the photo a person can be just seen walking down the gangway carrying an old fashioned leather satchel. On the gangway between the two boats a sailor is seen walking carrying something unidentifiable in his left hand. He seems totally unconcerned about walking on this 2" by 12" plank with no railings between the boats.


The Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


A detail from the above photo shows the K-2, the boat on the left. She has a 4 over 2 on the periscope shears. The 4 K-Boats were from the 4th Division, Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla in Newport, R.I. All submarines in that division had a '4' over a hull number for division and boat identification.


The Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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This snapshot of a K-class submarine surfacing from a dive was taken in a harbor. There is very little to say where this action is taking place but the structure on the right suggests that this may be San Francisco Bay and the building to the right is Fort Point over which the Golden Gate Bridge is built.

Four K class submarines were built on the west coast. The K-3 at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, the K-4 at Seattle Construction and Dry Dock in Seattle and the K-7 & K-8, again, at Union Iron Works. The suggestion this may be the K-3 comes from a few photos showing the K-3 with taller periscope shears plating as seen here but,again, that changes for various boats of the class over time.

We'd be happy if someone could positively identify the background


The Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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This photo of three K-class submarines was taken at Tampa, Florida circa 1915/16 time frame. All three of these boats left for the Azores on October 12, 1917 and arrived there on October 27, 1917. The canvas bridge weather cloths were quickly discarded in favor of the metal "chariot bridges" in use by the British and Germans. A structure designed by the reality of war and the need to submerge fast.


Photo courtesy of the John Hayward Family Photo Album


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All 8 K-Class submarines moored together post World War I in a large nest.
The USS K-5 is being painted so its numbers aren't shown between K-3 and K-8.
Prior to WW I US subs had a pipe and canvas bridge structure. Once the
boats reached the WW I operating areas this was proved to be very impracticable
and was replaced by the "chariot bridge" used by the European submarines that
allowed quick diving without dis-assembly of the bridge structure.
Photo courtesy of Rick Larson



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USS K-1, K-2, K-6 moored post World War I in a large nest that contained all eight K boats.
Prior to WW I US subs had a pipe and canvas bridge structure.
Once the boats reached the WW I operating areas this was proved to be very impracticable
and was replaced by the "chariot bridge" used by the European submarines that allowed quick diving without dis-assembly.
Photo courtesy of Rick Larson

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USS K-2, K-6 K-4 & K-7 moored post World War I in a large nest that contained all eight K boats.
Prior to WW I US subs had a pipe and canvas bridge structure.
Once the boats reached the WW I operating areas this was proved to be very impracticable
and was replaced by the "chariot bridge" used by the European submarines that allowed quick diving without dis-assembly.
Photo courtesy of Rick Larson

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USS K-3, K-5 (being repainted)& K-8 moored post World War I in a large nest that contained all eight K boats.
Prior to WW I US subs had a pipe and canvas bridge structure.
Once the boats reached the WW I operating areas this was proved to be very impracticable
and was replaced by the "chariot bridge" used by the European submarines that allowed quick diving without dis-assembly.
Photo courtesy of Rick Larson

McKennon
Photo provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon

Story provided here is a true account written by
Norman McKennon after World War I was over.

Adrift on a Disabled Submarine©
By Norman A. McKinnon
Copyright 2002 by Grandson, Cliff Leverette

The U.S.S.K-2, an American Submarine, based at Punta Del Gada, in the Azores, slowly nosed its way, out from behind the breakwater and out through the nets. She was homeward bound to get new batteries and have her two Diesel engines repaired.

I was one of her crew. It was late in October, 1918. The crew was happy at the prospect and eager to leave as the influenza was very bad in the Azores and a quarantine was on. It would take us about ten days to get to Bermuda and about three more to make Philadelphia. Everything was working smoothly and our crew of thirty men were enjoying a pleasant voyage as the ocean was quiet.

However, the Captain was worried as the Chief Quartermaster Lucas seemed to be suffering form a bad headache. The following morning Lucas was very sick with the flu. There was not a doctor aboard and none nearby. The Captain ordered every man to take C.C. pills every morning and when not on duty to go out on the deck for all the fresh air he could get. The air was foul in the submarine, from battery gas, engine fumes, etc.

The Captain ordered the engine full speed, altho [sic] the Chief Engineer warned they could not stand much. But the next morning Lucas was awfully sick and three or four men were not feeling well. So the Captain ordered the speed to be kept up.

Shortly before reaching Bermuda, Lucas became delirious and taking care of him became a problem. The the Starboard engine broke down. But we made Bermuda and Lucas was taken to a hospital.

Taking on a supply of fresh water and fuel oil, the Captain decided to make a quick trip to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. None of the other men were very sick. So the K-2 eased out of the harbor. We were accompanied by the Prairie, a supply ship, and bound for "Philly." Everyone was happy until late that afternoon, when a radio message was received stating that the Chief Machineist's Mate's wife and baby had died in Philadelphia of the flu.

The message was garbled and we did not know whether it said baby or babies, as he had a couple. Of course, he was distracted.

The Captain ordered "Full Speed". Would that the other engine stand up? The batteries were dead. One hundred twenty big ones, but they were so dead that we could not get enough electricity for our electric stove to even have coffee, so we ate hard tack, drank water, and ate canned peaches.

The following morning the last engine quit. It could not be repaired, so we semaphored to the Prairie for aid. She came to our aid and we were soon being towed along at the end of a big steel cable attached to the Prairie.

A storm soon came up. It was one of the Cape Hatteras famous storms. The waves became higher and higher. It rained hard and the lighting was terrific.

Then there was a snap and we began to roll from side to side. A voice from the conning tower said "Steel Cable has parted". We had gotten on one side of a great wave and the Prairie on the other and the strain had been too great for the cable. The Prairie semaphored that she would stand by us until the storm abated. We were all relieved to hear that as while we were able to receive radio messages, we could not send any.

We were in the path of coastline ships, also, and there was danger of our being run down.

About noon the Prairie notified us that her cargo was shifting and that she must leave us. She sent out messages stating our position and the Revenue Cutter Shonomish answered, from a great distance, saying she was on her way to our aid.

It was with great regret that we watched the smoke of the Prairie fade away. It was a great ocean and the submarine was awfully small, and disabled.

The waves seemed to get higher and higher. First we were on top a mountain, then down in a valley. Only two men were allowed on the conning tower bridge. Crouched down and protected by the framework around the periscope, the two would get fresh air, and smoke cigarettes.

The waves smashed wildly at the submarine, but she was like a bottle with a cork in it. Sometimes as we watched from the trough of a wave, it seemed like that towering wave would bury us deep, but we would roll right up it.

Inside misery reigned supreme. The air was foul, from battery gas and oil fumes. The ship was rolling about 54 degrees. In fact so badly that, at night the sailors had to fix ways to keep from being thrown out of their bunks. I was lucky. I had the only hammock. Also, seasickness, and of course the flu, was with us.

The Captain would have the two men on the bridge relieved every 15 to 30 minutes. They would wait until the right time, yank open the hatch and let two men relieve them, being careful not to let any salt water in. The salt water would make chlorine gas, if it got to the batteries. Our pumps were useless as we had no power. We could not submerge because we could not blow the tanks to come up, if we went down.

Night came on and I was ordered to put a light on the periscope. I did but believe me I was glad when I got down. One of the boys held my legs. The waves smacked us both, but we had on rubber clothes. But the light was necessary because we were in the path of coastline shipping and also for the Shonomish to see.

Going below, I found most of the men seasick. Only a few ate supper. I ate considerable hard tack and lots of canned peaches, of which I was very fond.

About eight o'clock, I was ordered to listen in on the radio, or wireless telegraph. Picking up Arlington, Va., where there was a large radio station, I began copying the whistling dots and dashes. The static was awful and every time the waves hit our antenna, it was impossible to hear at all. Arlington was giving out war "Communiques" and lots of Code.

My messages were badly garbled as I could not hear very well and the submarine rolled so I had to hold the condenser knobs, etc., to keep on the station.

About ten o'clock I got terribly seasick. The rolling waves, the stuffy air, and the beautiful delicious peaches, were too much for me. My copying had been bad enough before, but now it was awful. In disgust the Captain told me to "turn in."

All night it was a madhouse. Men rolling and tossing and falling out of bunks or nearly so. The lights were dim, because the batteries were bad, and the air blue sometimes because the oxygen was being used up. We cast longing eyes at the oxygen tanks, but they were for a worse emergency than this.

We did not sleep much. Would the Revenue Cutter find us? Day dawned and a cry was heard from the men on watch. "There she is! Away up on that mountain of water."

She sent us a message that she would tow us in, after the Ocean quieted. The storm continued for a while. It was forty hours in all before it got quiet enough to open the conning tower hatch.

After the storm, it was a big job to get a towline. The Shonomish steamed by and tossed us a line but it missed us. Again they tried to get a line to us and again. They had to come close and there was great danger that we would crash. Finally we got the line.

Then our boatswains mate and several of the other sailors fastened ropes around their naked bodies and around the steel line than ran from the conning tower to a post, and on the bow of the submarine, and going out they fastened the towline. At times the bow went under until they were submerged up to their necks. It was a risky job but they made it.

Coming up on the bridge, they put on their clothes, which they had taken off because there was no way to dry out wet clothes. Then the Captain passed them a good part of his personal supply of "Cognac", which he was hoping to bring home. But his men were nearly frozen and he was a real fellow.

The waves were pretty high but the Shonomish signaled that they were ready so we went to our stations. But alas, at the first real pull the cable parted. We were all disgusted. Our Captain decided to wait a few hours and then try again.

Late in the afternoon, "Rosy" the boatswains mate and the same men went out again to fix the towline. They did and also finished the Cognac.

This time the cable held. All night long and the next day we were towed astern. A big British warship saw us, and left immediately, sending out submarine warnings. Two seaplanes came out to meet us and circled. Their machine guns and bombs looked nasty. We waved our flag and cheered. They looked disappointed.

Early the following morning, we were in the Delaware river and our submarine was brought up along side the Revenue Cutter and lashed bow to bow and stern to stern. Everything seemed safe now so our Captain; the second in command, and most of the men went aboard the Shonomish for a bath, shave, and hot coffee and hot food.

We were near Wilmington, Delaware. Ensign Wiker was left on board, along with a Machinists mate, a seaman, an electrician, myself and the negro servant, who was pressing the Captain's uniform while the Captain took a bath over on the Cutter.

As we went up the river, I was engaged in scrubbing up around my wireless set. I was thinking "Hot coffee, hot food and a bath. Wish my relief would hurry". Suddenly, Boom! Cries from the officer in the conning tower. Our sub lurched violently upsetting me and my bucket of water. The negro and the Captain's uniform landed in a pile. Boom! and the submarine righted itself. It seemed to have turned nearly over.

Making a dive for the hatch, I beat the negro to the deck. We were nearly on the rocks!

The front bowline had parted, followed by the smaller ones. The rear one had held and we started to turn over when an old timer cut the lines with an axe or released it some way, righting us. Away off to our left was the Shonomish making a circle, coming back to get us. Would she make it before we got on those nasty looking rocks? Well, it sure didn't look like it.

Wiker ordered the electrician to start the electric motors, and he reversed the engines. But it was a long shot! Our batteries were dead. The electrician, however, threw the switch and to our delight the motors started. The propellers turned. We started backward. But in just a few moments the electricity died. However, the motors had done just enough to give the Shonomish a chance. "Here she comes". shouted Wiker, "grab those lines and fasten them".

The Shonomish was still twenty feet away when our big boatswains mate, "Rosy", gave a running jump and landed on our deck. At the same time the lines were thrown from the cutter and caught by us and wrapped around the stanchions, etc. They tightened and held.

We were slowly pulled back and soon were fastened to the Shonomish, but with plenty more ropes. Our Captain had followed "Rosy", and then the men came on board. None of us were permitted off the submarine again until late that afternoon when we went into Dock at League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa.

Most of our men got shore leave at once. I had to stay on board. My watch was from four to eight A.M. As I was walking post, I heard the first whistles sounding the signing of the Armistice, November 11, 1918.

Story provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon
The Story is Copyright by Cliff Leverette 2002

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The USS K-1 being launched on September 3, 1913 from the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. Albert Ware Marshall. Originally contracted as the USS Haddock but the name was changed while under construction on November 17, 1911 to K-1 moving all US submarines away fron a name to a Class and Number system like the European countries were doing. On top of the Bridge fairwater can be seen the steering pedestal. Right where the hull meets the water at the bow the bottom mounted mushroom anchor can just be seen getting wet for the first time.

US Navy Photo

USS K-1
USS K-1 (ex-Haddock) SS 32
The K-1, K-2, K-5 & K-6 were sent to the Azores during WW I
and made war patrols from there. They were joined by the USS E-1 later.

The USS K-1 shortly after her arrival at Horta, Faial, in the Azores in late October 1917. The submarine had yet to have the 'chariot bridge' installed. The pipe and canvas bridge structures used in the peacetime waters off the US proved to be impracticable in a wartime setting so following the European lead the chariot bridge structures were added.
Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman
Thanks to Mike Amaral for correcting the location.

Close up of the USS K-1 shortly after her arrival at Horta, Faial, in the Azores.

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman
Thanks to Mike Amaral for correcting the location.

Close up of the USS K-1 bridge with officers and chiefs shortly after her arrival at Horta, Faial, in the Azores.
Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman
Thanks to Mike Amaral for correcting the location.

Another shot of the USS K-1 shortly after her arrival at Horta, Faial, in the Azores in late October 1917. The submarine had yet to have the 'chariot bridge' installed. The pipe and canvas bridge structures used in the peacetime waters off the US proved to be impracticable in a wartime setting so following the European lead the chariot bridge structures were added.
Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman
Thanks to Mike Amaral for correcting the location.

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The USS K-1 see at Key West, Fla in April 1920as she and a number of other submarines made a Panama and Caribbean cruise. The submarine in the foreground is thought to be the USS O-15 as the the photo taker, George Peterson was assigned to that submarine as a cook striker. The sub on the left is unidentified.

The diaginal mark seen just under the K-1 bow is not a photo defect. It is an insulator attached to the aft stanchion and to the wire antennas running to the spreaders on the telescoping radio mast. If you look closely you can faintly see the wires.

Clothing has been washed and is set ot to dry on a guy wire running the length of the deck.

Photo in the Private Family Collection of George Peterson grandson of George Peterson


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USS K-2 in WW I Camouflage. Photo taken at Key West, Fla. circa 1917. This boat and others were used to test W.W.I camouflage schemes at Key West in the pre US involvement in WW I. Three types of stripes were used. Small, Medium and Large. All made the boats more visible and it was decided that gray was a good color to blend in with the seas.

From a Photo Negative in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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Close up from the above photo showing the two line handlers with heevies in their hands. Laying on the deck is the unrigged radio mast, also painted up in stripes. On the hull below the man in the center of the image you can just see "K 2" in raised letters.

From a Photo Negative in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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Another close-up of the K-2, this showing another line handler just forward of the conning tower fairwater and on the "bridge" are, most likely, the CO and XO and lookout and helmsman. Sitting on the deck are other members of the crew getting some air and ready to help in line handling. One man is looking right at the cameraman and smiling.

From a Photo Negative in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


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The K-2 crew sitting on deck waiting to handle lines when needed. A group of men are working on something on deck to the right. On the right another man is standing with the two halves of a heevy at the ready in his hands. On the deck is the after radio mast. Seen center photo on the hull is some sort of bracket hinged to the hull.

From a Photo Negative in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman


USS K-2
USS K-2 SS 33 (ex-Cachalot)
Location unknown. Circa 1920's

USS K-2 bow heading home after the War
Bow of USS K-2 on the homeward journey from the Azores after the end of WW I.
Photo provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon who served aboard the K-2

Homeward bound pennant
The Homeward Bound Pennant being raised on the K-2
Photo provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon who served aboard the K-2

K-2 moored to the USS Tonopah, Azores
USS K-2 moored to the dock next to the tender USS Tonopah in the Azores.
Photo provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon who served aboard the K-2

Three K-boats moored dockside
Three K-boats moored to the dock in Punta del Gada, Azores.
Crews are at quarters and the men are being dismissed one at a time to go ashore.
One man on the first boat is about to step onto the gangplank.
Photo provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon who served aboard the K-2

Man going ashore
Man going ashore after being dismissed from quarters.
Photo provided by Cliff Leverette, grandson of Norman McKennon who served aboard the K-2

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Three of the "K" Class submarines moored in San Diego, Calif. circa 1914. It is known that the USS K-3, K-4, K-7 and K-8 were West Coast submarines at this time frame. Which of these 4 submarines these are can't be determined from this photo. The location of San Diego is certain because of the presence of the side wheel ferry steamer Ramona in the right background. The Ramona plied the San Diego Harbor waters from 1903 to 1932.

It is known that this is a pre WW I photo due to the pipe and canvas bridge weather covers. These were almost totally replaced during the First World War by the steel Chariot Bridge that afforded better protection from seas and quicker diving since they did not need to be disassembled.

National Archives Photo


USS K-3 heading out
USS K-3 heading out with crew on deck. circa 1915

USS K-3 heading out
USS K-3 heading out with crew on foredeck. circa 1915

USS K-3 heading out
USS K-3 heading out with crew on aft deck. circa 1915

USS K-3 heading out
USS K-3 heading out with crew on aft deck. circa 1915

USS K-3 heading out
USS K-3 heading out with crew on aft deck. circa 1915

USS K-3 heading out
USS K-3 heading out with crew on bridge. circa 1915

USS K-7, USS K-8, USS K-3
Left to right; USS K-7, USS K-8, USS K-3 in San Diego Harbor

USS K-4 SS 35 on launch day, March 19, 1914
USS K-4 SS 35 on launch day, March 19, 1914
Seattle Construction & Dry Dock yards, Seattle Washington.

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer Newspaper March 15, 1914

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On August 29,1921 the USS K-4 (SS-35) was rammed by the schooner Con Rien while submerged off Block Island, the schooner's bow was crushed and it sank soon after. The Captain and crew of 5 was taken off by K-4 and taken to the submarine base at New London, where they landed on September 1. From there the crew were transported by rail to Boston where they were sent on to Yarmouth on the steamer Prince George.

The schooner Con Rien, 299 tons, was built in 1919 at East LaHave on the LaHave River, Lunenburg, NS, Canada. She was one of 13 schooners launched that year from the East LaHave shipyards. ‎

Original Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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A side view of the damage to the USS K-4. On August 29,1921 the USS K-4 (SS-35) was rammed by the schooner Con Rien while submerged off Block Island, the schooner's bow was crushed and it sank soon after. The Captain and crew of 5 was taken off by K-4 and taken to the submarine base at New London, where they landed on September 1. From there the crew were transported by rail to Boston where they were sent on to Yarmouth on the steamer Prince George.

Original Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


USS K-4  SS 35 (ex-Walrus)
USS K-4 SS 35 (ex-Walrus)under way circa 1914 along the California coast.

USS K-4  SS 35 (ex-Walrus)
USS K-4 SS 35 (ex-Walrus)Bow detail with crewman, under way circa 1914 along the California coast.

USS K-4  SS 35 (ex-Walrus)
USS K-4 SS 35 (ex-Walrus)Fordeck detail with crewman, under way circa 1914 along the California coast.

USS K-4  SS 35 (ex-Walrus)
USS K-4 SS 35 (ex-Walrus)Conning Tower detail with crewman, under way circa 1914 along the California coast.

USS K-4  SS 35 (ex-Walrus)
USS K-4 SS 35 (ex-Walrus)Aft deck detail with crewmen, under way circa 1914 along the California coast.

USS K-5
USS K-5 SS 36

USS K-5
USS K-5

USS K-5
USS K-5 in WW I "Dazzle paint"
Photo courtesy of Dave Snyder

Chief Engineer K. J. McLaughlin of the USS K-5 and crew
Chief Engineer K. J. McLaughlin of the USS K-5 and crew
Photo courtesy of Rick Larson

USS K-5
USS K-5 coated in ice at Annapolis, MD. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5
USS K-5 coated in ice at Annapolis, MD. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 chiefs
Two USS K-5 chiefs on the fore deck.
One must have the duty and the other getting ready to go ashore. circa, 1920's

Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 crew at sea
Some crew on the after deck of the USS K-5 while at sea. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 crew close-up
Close-up of some crew on the after deck of the USS K-5 while at sea. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 radio set
The USS K-5 radio set. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 electrical switchboard
This is the USS K-5 electrical panal switchboard. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 galley stove
This is the USS K-5's galley stove and to the right hand edge the sink.
To the left edge of the photo you can see the electrical switchboard cabinet. circa, 1920's

Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 after battery compartment
USS K-5 after battery compartment. It is not clear what direction we are looking.
A grinding wheel and bench vice can be seen in this photo.
A compressed gas bottle is strapped to the bulkhead. circa, 1920's

Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 engineroom
USS K-5 engineroom looking aft.
Bare light bulbs have over powered the film.
At the bottom center of the photo you can see the door to the motorroom. circa, 1920's

Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 motorroom compartment
USS K-5 motorroom looking fwd into the engineroom.
Throught the door at the fwd end of the engineroom you can see the bridge access ladder. circa, 1920's

Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

USS K-5 with retrieved torpedo on deck
USS K-5 with retrieved torpedo on deck. circa, 1920's
Original Photo in the collection of Ric Hedman

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The USS K-5 hauled out on the marine railway at Key West, Florida circa 1919. Four crew are poising around the bow. The K-5 shows the improvements made to her with her WW I service such as the Fessenden Oscillator seen as the large disk, seen just above the right shoulder of the man at the bottom. Also seen on deck are the "C" and "J" tube sound listening gear for detecting ships and submarines, an early form of a sonar.

Photo courtesy Monroe County Library Collection


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Starboard side view of the USS K-5 hauled out on the marine railway at Key West, Florida circa 1919. You can see that her WW I chariot style bridge structure has now been totally wrapped around the bridge and periscope shears.

Photo courtesy Monroe County Library Collection


USS K-6
USS K-6

USS K-6
USS K-6

USS K-6 bridge detail
USS K-6
USS K-6 in WW I Camouflage
USS K-6 in WW I Camouflage. Photo taken at Key West, Fla. 1917.
Another view. Looks like the crew is doing normal in port upkeep.

USS K-6 in WW I Camouflage conning tower close-up
USS K-6 in WW I Camouflage. Photo taken at Key West, Fla. 1917.
Close-up shows crewman working on the port side of the periscope shears.

USS K-6 crew close-up
USS K-6 in WW I Camouflage. Photo taken at Key West, Fla. 1917.
Close-up of some crew on the pier and bow of the K-6.

USS K-7 bridge detail
USS K-7 moored to a tender. Crew getting some air.
You can see the railing of the tender and some deck in the foreground.

USS K-7 and other boats crews
USS K-7 and other boats crews. There are 3 other submarines in this
photo though which boats they may be it can't be discovered at this time.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

part of K-7 crew
Part of K-7 crew, bridge detail.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Part of K-7 crew
Part of the K-7 crew detail.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Part of the K-7 crew
Part of the K-7 crew detail.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Crews and yard workers from other boats, most likely K-boats
Crews and yard workers from other boats, most likely K-boats
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

K and N boats
Group photo of 3 K class submarines and 2 N class submarines.
Left to right are:
USS N-1, USS N-2, USS K-8, USS K-4 & USS K-7
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Torpedo Loading Hatch USS K-7
Torpedo Loading Hatch USS K-7. The front hatch is the one leading to the torpedo room. The square hatch lifted just forward of the sail is the deck fairing over the round torpedo loading hatch which lifted at the forward end of the square opening.

USS K-8
USS K-8. Manning the rails, WW I time frame.

USS K-8 bridge detail
USS K-8
USS K-8 in dry dock
USS K-8

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The USS K-8 on the surface off Lahaina Roads on Maui circa 1916, Territory of Hawaii. The crew is in the midst of washing clothing and generally relaxing. There is a crude diving board made from the ships gangplank rigged. The shadow can be seen running diagonally on the hull in front of the conning tower. A crewman can be seen running out the plank to dive in the warm waters.

In the background is the island of Maui. The submarine division numbers are on the side of the periscope shears and they are a "3" over a "4" making the K-8 part of Submarine Division 3 and in the 4th position within the division.

Thanks to Tracy White for the location identification.

Original Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


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The USS K-8 on the surface off Lahaina Roads on Maui circa 1916, Territory of Hawaii. The crew is in the midst of washing clothing and generally relaxing. There is a crude diving board made from the ships gangplank rigged. The shadow can be seen running diagonally on the hull in front of the conning tower. A crewman can be seen running out the plank to dive in the warm waters.

In the background is the island of Maui. The submarine division numbers are on the side of the periscope shears and they are a "3" over a "4" making the K-8 part of Submarine Division 3 and in the 4th position within the division.

Thanks to Tracy White for the location identification.

Original Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman


Part of K-8 & crew
USS K-8 in San Pedro harbor circa 1920.

Part of K-8 & crew
USS K-8 crew on back deck with boxes of supplies of some sort.
Location is San Pedro harbor circa 1920.


USS K-8 card with notes
USS K-8 card with notes. The second ship from the left in the background is:
#1: "Our old USS St. Louis, the Queen of the Atlantic Ocean."
#2: "The old USS Alert as submarine tender."
#3: "The USS 39 and her crew with their submarine experience.
They are going to make - Huns pay for that party with interest."
The very bottom of the card says, "Very sincerely yours till the war is over."
Dated: 6/9/1917

Photo courtesy of Jim Flanders

4 K boats along side a tender
WW I, 4 K-boats along side the tender USS Cheyenne, former Monitor #10, serving as flagship and tender for Division 3, Flotilla 1, Submarine Forces, Atlantic Fleet.


John G. Cooper shown in his Navy Electrical School graduation photo taken September 25, 1917. The Electrical School was held at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. John Cooper served as an Electrician aboard the submarine tender USS Cheyenne and the submarine USS K-8 during WW I.

Photo provided by Gary Light, John G. Coopers, grandson.

John G. Cooper shown in his Navy Electrical School class graduation photo taken September 25, 1917. John Cooper in in the center of the photo image looking slightly to his right. The Electrical School was held at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo provided by Gary Light, John G. Coopers, grandson.

The Navy Electrical School graduating class photo taken September 25, 1917. John Cooper is the 4th man from the left in the third row, the first man in that row is in all whites. The Electrical School was held at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo provided by Gary Light, John G. Coopers, grandson.

K boats along side a tender

4 K-boats moored alongside Navy pier 5A in Honolulu Harbor. The vessel identifications are not readable in this image. The Sand Island lighthouse can be seen in the background. The ship is a unidentified and moored at Navy pier 5. The K boats were sent to Hawaii to replace the F class submarines. The same ships that towed these submarines to Hawaii towed the F boats back to the mainland. I estimate this photo to be circa late 1915 or early 1916.

Navy Photo.

Unknown K boat
Unknown "K" boat backing out of a slip at New London sub base.

USS K-1, 2, 6, 5
USS K-1, USS K-2, USS K-6 & USS K-5 prior to going to Europe
after the US entered WW I. Battleship USS Florida is seen at rear.

Four K-Boats in dazzle paint. WW I time frame. Boat on right is the USS K-8.
Just inboard of her is the USS K-5, the other boats are unknown. The tender is the Tallahassee.
"Dazzle Paint" was an attempt in camouflage of vessels. The regular patterns just
made the boats stand out more rather than break up the lines as intended.

Close up of the conning tower dazzle paint. The periscope shears are
marked in a similar fashion as boats are today.

Close up of the conning tower dazzle paint.

Close up of the bows and hull dazzle paint.

Close up of the bows and hull dazzle paint.
It was wash day on one of the submarines.
Some crew can be seen on deck of the K-8

Unknown K running on the surface
Unknown K running on the surface
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Crew relaxing on the stern while underway
Crew relaxing on the stern while underway
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)
K-boat Crew enjoying a swim call. A few crew look to be in the nude.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Swim call, bow planes rigged out for a diving board.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

Lookouts on the bridge
Lookouts on the bridge.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

View looking aft from the bridge.
View looking aft from the bridge.
Photo provided by Rick Larson MMCM (ret.)

View looking aft from the bridge.
The photo is the after port corner of control room of either a K Class boat
or an L Class boat looking aft. Given the cleanliness and relative lack of
clutter I would have to say it was a builder's photo of a K Class. There
were a bunch of photos of this class taken. The aft port corner of control
on both classes are identical. The panel is the main motor control (fore
runner of the cubicle). The slanted bit in the top is the cover over the
chain drive from the stern plane motor to the stern planes. The stern plane
motor would have been to your right in the photo. The book is for recording
the the bells or changes in speed commands from the Officer of the Deck ( OD ).

Thanks to Jim Christley for identifying this photo.
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This photo was in the "Evening Public Ledger" in Philadelphia on Saturday June 29, 1919 showing at least 4 submarines in Philadelphia Navy Yard League Island dry dock. What subs these are would be only speculation but records show that the USS K-7 and K-8 were dry dock there for extensive overhauls as well as the K-1 and K-5. Based on another photo I have seen the USS K-5 could be the boat on the left in this photo. In total there were up to 11 submarines in the dry dock at one time in 1919.
Photo courtesy of Mike Mohl/Navsourse


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