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USS S-4 Salvage Photos

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USS S-4 hanging from pontoons after being lifted from the sea floor off Provencetown, Mass on March 17, 1928 and towed to the Boston Navy Yard for dry-docking.

US Navy Photos

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USS S-4 hanging from pontoons after being lifted from the sea floor off Provencetown, Mass on March 17, 1928 and towed to the Boston Navy Yard for dry-docking. Note the Flags on the tugs are flying at half mast. There is also a half mast flag placed on the conning tower of the S-4 carrying her lost crew to the dry dock.

US Navy Photos

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USS S-4 on March 17, 1928 a half mast flag placed on the conning tower of the S-4 carrying her lost crew to the dry dock.

US Navy Photos

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March 17, 1928, the USS S-4 is eased into the dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard. A flag at half mast is on the conning tower of the S-4 for her lost crew still inside.

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March 17, 1928, the USS S-4 is eased into the dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard. Workmen are postioning large braces to either side of the S-4 conning tower. A half mast flag is on the conning tower of the S-4 for her lost crew still inside.

US Navy Photos

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On the USS S-4 workmen beginning the process of pumping out the submarine. On the raft in the background a diver is emerging from the water after inspecting the placement of the keel on the keel blocks. His helmet rest at the feet of the man with his hands in his pockets. A manual pump for delivering air to the diver is at the other end of the raft with the men to turn it clustered around it.

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On the USS S-4 workmen begin the process of pumping out the submarine. Drain and air hose are being led into the hull. The deck gun is pointed to the port side. Probably to allow access to the deck for the workmen.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis.

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The USS S-4 finally resting on her keel blocks and the dry dock is still is being pumped down. Deck hatches have been opened. Some sort of pumping using the subs systems is going on as seen by the bubbling water on the port quarter. Maybe using the subs high pressure air system to blow ballast tanks and trim tanks dry.

US Navy Photos

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Workmen and officials in scows getting a close look at the damage. Air hoses and, no doubt, electrical cables are led to the submarine by resting them on a piece of hull plate turned out at ninety degrees to the hull. The submarine has finally come to rest on her keel blocks.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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Air hoses and, no doubt, electrical cables are led to the submarine electrical cables are led to the submarine by resting them on a piece of hull plate turned out at ninety degrees to the hull.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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A clear view of the hole with the hoses and cabling removed. Scratches running at an angle where the bow of the Paulding ran up over the hull are visible above the hole.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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Another view of the hole with the hoses and cabling removed. Scratches running at an angle where the bow of the Paulding ran up over the hull are visible above the hole. The bilge keel has been broken in several place from the lifting chains and cables.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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Looking at the S-4 from the Port side. Damage to the decks can be seen as well as damage to the fairwater on the front of the conning tower where the ammunition passing hatch is from the lifting chains and lifting pontoons. This can be seen just above the letter "S" on the fairwater.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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A closer look at the damage to the fairwater on the front of the conning tower where the ammunition passing hatch is from the lifting chains and lifting pontoons.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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A view of the deck after the 4"/50 caliber deck gun has been removed. The damages to the deck and superstructure in the area of the hole, (to the left in this photo), is clearly seen. At the right side is a large electrical pump that is in use pumping water from the hull. The stretchers for the radio antennas are bent to port as is the periscope. The two massive poles bracing the submarine upright are seen running to each side of the photo. Portable lighting has been set up to allow work into the night and provide a safe area for walking due to all the damage.

Image provided courtesy of the Stephen B. Luce Library, SUNY Maritime College, Papers of John S. Baylis via Joe Williams.

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The hole made by the USCGC Paulding in the starboard side of the USS S-4 is being inspected by a couple of yard workers. The man on the left looking in the hole is standing on a piece of hull plate bent out from the collision. Up on deck the damage caused by the collision and recovery efforts can be seen. To the far right up on deck water can be seen fountaining up behind the man in the topcoat and fedora hat.

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The hole made by the USCGC Paulding in the starboard side of the USS S-4 is being inspected by officials on a small raft. On the larger raft a diver is over the side doing some work or inspection and the men are tending the pump and turning the handle to deliver air to the diver.

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The hole in the USS S-4 made by the USCGC Paulding can be clearly seen in this photo. Also seen are the crop marks made by a newspaper editor, in white paint, to show what part of the photo they wanted to use in the paper. Water from the pumping process can be seen shooting over the side under the gangway.

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The hole in the USS S-4 made by the USCGC Paulding can be clearly seen in this photo. The dry dock is finally almost pumped free of water. Yard and Navy personnel can be seen on and under the submarine.

The long sausage looking object on the hull below the waterline beneath the bow planes is a MV sonar, a replacement for the earlier Y-tube mounted on the main deck forward. It was a line array of 12 microphones and was electronically steered. A duplicate array was on the port side.
(Thanks to Dave Johnston DCC (SS/SW) for the identifacation of this.)

US Navy Photos

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Come to inspect the USS S-4 are Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur and Captain Ernest King center in the photo. Rear Admiral Philip Andrews, Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard is on the far left and Lieutenant Henry Hartley on the far right.

US Navy Photos

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Inspecting the USS S-4, Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur boards the submarine. Rear Admiral Philip Andrews, Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard is on the far left followed by Captain Ernest King boarding behind the Secretary. The Captain at the foot of the gangplank, awaiting Secretary Wilbur, is probably James D. Willson, Commander of the Receiving Ship at Boston.

US Navy Photos

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Inspecting the USS S-4, Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur stands on the pressure hull of the submarine talking with Rear Admiral Philip Andrews, Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard. Captain Ernest King, Captain James D. Willson Commander of the Receiving Ship at Boston and Lieutenant Henry Hartley talk at the left. The size of the hole can be seen below Secretary Wilbur.

US Navy Photos

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Inspecting the USS S-4, Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur stands on the pressure hull of the submarine talking with Rear Admiral Philip Andrews, Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard. Admiral Andrews appears to be holding something in his hand and showing it to Secretary Wilbur.

US Navy Photos

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In dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, circa 19-20 March 1928, after salvage. The original caption reads: "In memory of the historic crew. A huge cross of roses, the gift of workers at the Boston Navy Yard, is tied to the periscope of the ill-fated submarine S-4, after the eight bodies were removed from the undersea craft which is now in drydock at the Boston Navy Yard." Two men are seen attaching the roses to the periscope. Note the depth marking stick placed just forward of the submarine's fairwater during salvage operations.

US Navy Photos

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"Miss Fennell, sister of Machinist's Mate 1st Class John Joseph Fennell, who lost his life when S-4 was sunk, watches as the submarine rests in dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 20 March 1928."

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"Miss Fennell, sister of Machinist's Mate 1st Class John Joseph Fennell, who lost his life when S-4 was sunk, watches as the submarine rests in dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 20 March 1928." Other family members or members of other crew families can be seen in this photo also. Note the arm bands.

US Navy Photos

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Removing the first torpedo from her Torpedo Room, while she was in dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, on 20 March 1928. The S-4 was capable of carrying 14 of these 21 inch X 16.25 foot MK10 steam torpedoes.

The long sausage looking object on the hull below the waterline beneath the bow planes is a MV sonar, a replacement for the earlier Y-tube mounted on the main deck forward. It was a line array of 12 microphones and was electronically steered. A duplicate array was on the port side.
(Thanks to Dave Johnston DCC (SS/SW) for the identifacation of this.)

US Navy Photos


Inside Photos


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Interior of the Battery Room, looking aft and to port, 23 March 1928. Taken while she was in dry dock at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, after being salvaged off Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she had been sunk in collision with USCGC Paulding on 17 December 1927.

The irregular object running the length of the compartment, just above the lockers on the right (port) side, is the collapsed ventilator duct through which water entered the Control Room. Into this duct water forced the curtain and flag, which clogged the valve on the after side of the bulkhead, preventing it from closing. It was this water which forced the abandonment of the Control Room.

S-4 flooded through a hole, made by Paulding's bow, in the forward starboard side of the Battery Room.

The white object running at an angle down and to the left is the support for the center two rows of bunks.

US Navy Photos

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Interior view of the hole in the starboard side of her Battery Room, made when she collided with USCGC Paulding off Provincetown, Massachusetts, on 17 December 1927. Photographed at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 23 March 1928.

A portion of Paulding's bow can be seen protruding through the hole, which is 2 1/2 feet in length and one foot in height. The hole appears to have been packed with clothing to stem the flooding.

US Navy Photos

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View in the Torpedo Room, where six men died a lingering death after the submarine was sunk in collision with USCGC Paulding off Provincetown, Massachusetts, on 17 December 1927. This view looks aft at the door into the Battery Room, showing the door tightly dogged. The door itself was tight, but the glass deadlight leaked, as is shown by the rubber sheet held in place by a pinch bar and wooden wedges, placed there by the trapped men. Photographed while S-4 was drydocked at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 20 March 1928.

The six men in this compartment were;

Lieutenant Graham N. Fitch
Torpedoman's Mate Russell A. Crabb
Seaman Joseph L. Stevens
Seaman George Pelnar
Torpedoman's Mate Roger L. Short
Torpedoman's Mate Frank Snizek

As the trapped men used the last of available oxygen in the subs torpedo room, a diver placed his helmeted ear to the side of the vessel and received this morse-coded message, “Is … there … any … hope?” There was to be no reason for hope of rescue and all six died.

As a result of these first sinkings the doors used in submarines were redesigned smaller and heavier and hulls were retrofitted with these over time. New submarines were designed with the smaller doors.

US Navy Photos

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A letter written by Torpedoman Roger Leslie Short when he realized that he may not survive the sinking of the S-4.

The letter says: "In case of my death Please send entire contents of box to my mother Mrs (unreadable) Short 804 (unreadable) Spring St. Booneville, Mississippi. By Roger L. Short U.S.N.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
Short Photo Courtesy of On Eternal Patrol

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Seaman George Pelnar left this message on where to send his body when and if it was recovered. The address listed is; "5609 S, 19th St., Omaha, Neb". Seaman George Pelnar had only been aboard for 21 days at the time of sinking.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


Walter Bishop

Henry Handy Brown

Charles Frederick Burrell

Charles Beresford Calcott

William Franklin Callaway

Graham Newell Fitch

Charles A. Ford/Civilian Observer

Daniel Michael Galvin

Dewey Victor Haney

Aaron A. Hodges w/ Uncle

Roy Kehlor Jones / CO

Joseph Alfred McGinley

John Joseph Powers

Roger Leslie Short

Frank Snizek

Joseph William Sternman

Joseph Leighton Stevens

Donald Weller

There were 22 other crew that we don't have images for. If you have photos of these missing men please contact On Eternal Patrol or this web page with this information.

Other lost Crew with no photo:

Clarence Ferdinand Bethke
Earl Welsh Boone
Elmer Lyfford Cash
Russell Archibald Crabb
William Dempsey
Robert William Diefenbach
John Joseph Fenell
Donald Fred Goering
Peder Haaland
Buster Harris
Arthur Frederick Hodges
Paul Richard Kempfer
J. H. Long
Fred Henry O'Shields
George Pelnar
Rudolf James Rose
Alfred Eugene Seaton
Carl Bernice Strange
Mariano Tedar
Carl Harold Thompson
Walter Ross Tolson
James Johnson White

Photos Courtesy of On Eternal Patrol.

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