US Submarines ~ Pre WWI Submarines ~ WWI Submarines ~ Post WWI Submarines ~ 1920's Submarines ~ 1930's Submarines ~ Submarines in 1940
A - F Boats G - O Boats R - V Boats Fleet Boats More Sub Stuff PigBoats.COM© Contact Donate  

Trans Arctic Submarine Expedition

The following images and information is from the Sunday March 1, 1931 edition of the
Syracuse American News Paper. I have not been able to find out of this paper still is
in publication. I can find no reference to it on the web or in phone books. It may have
been absorbed by another paper or just gone out of business as many papers have.

Page 1 Page 2    Page 3 Page 4

The Wilkins-Ellsworth Trans Arctic Submarine Expedition obtained the former USS O-12 from the United States Navy and renamed her Nautilus. With the help of submarine inventer and designer Simon Lake, modified the boat for its proposed under ice mission. The under-taking was a failure ultimately and the submarine was scuttled in 1100 feet of water near Bergan Norway. She was rediscovered by a Norwegian dive team in 1985 and a planned recovery has been discussed over the years.

Equipped to dare an unknown sea-
The remarkable cross-sectional view of the Nautilus prepared from engineer's diagrams provided by Simon Lake, noted submarine builder and designer of many of the unique devices carried by the vessel to safeguard her beneath the Arctic pack.
This shows the submarine as she would appear raised against the pack with the runners of her 'sled deck' imbedded in its under side to to hold her stationary while she uses her ice drills to reach the surface and get air or put men on the flows' surface for scientific research.

Nautilus in cross section.
Sectional close-ups starting with the bow  will follow. The article had items numbered so
I will use their systems in pointing out the different features of the submarine. The original
deck line of the former USS O-12 can be seen sweeping from the bow towards the stern
about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the vessel.


Bow section close-up
Bow section close-up.
Original deck line of the O-12 can be seen just under the bowsprit
Listed Items by numbers
1. Hydraulic cushioning bowsprit to telescope gently in collisions with ice.
2. Mushroon type anchor
3. Anchor Windless
4. Diving compartment
5. Exit door through which divers can emerge from the vessel under water
6. Air lock through which divers can enter diving compartment
19. Water ballast compartment
20. Forward trim compartment
44. Steel and concrete reinforced bow, giving boat a "hard nose" to prevent damage in collisions

Moving aft from bow.
7. Scientific staff's living quarters and laboratory
8. Scientists deck cabin, (This and all other deck compartments can be occupied only when vessel is on the surface)
9. Hatchway between scientists deck cabin and laboratory
10. Elevating conning tower with ice drill on top to cut through icepack to surface; tower is hollow, 28 inches in diameter; when raised provides hatchway through which men can climb to surface.
11. (see next picture)
12. Officers and crews' living quarters and mess
13. Air lock and exit hatchway providing means of egress to deck for divers when vessel is submerged
14. Deck compartment for use of divers
16. Forward battery compartment (60 cells of 120 cell battery fixed below deck here)
17 & 18. Fuel and water ballast compartments

Elevating conning tower
Elevating conning tower showing crewman exiting through tube on to ice.
11. Position of conning tower when raised through ice.

Control room
Control room
15. Deck storehouse
21. Central control compartment, "pilot house" of vessel
22. Old fixed conning tower protected from collision with ice by runners of 'sled deck' above it.
23. Pereiscope (has'jack knife' section to raise above deck for use on surface)
24. Extensible air intake tube topped by ice drill, (can be extended to drill through 100 feet of ice)
25. (arrow at picture bottom) Main ballast compartment

Crews quarters
Crews quarters
26. Additional crews quarters
27. (left arrow at bottom) After battery compartment (remaining 60 cells 120 cell battery)
28. Crews' deck quarters
29. Hydraulic cushioned guide arm (raises to serve as trolley-like feeler against ice)
30. Piston for raising guide arm to 30 degree angle
34. (right arrow at bottom) Fuel and ballast tank

Engineering spaces
Engineering spaces
31. Engine room
32. Main Engine
33. (Arrow at bottom) Fuel and ballast tank
35. Deck workroom

Motor room
Motor room
36. Motor room
37. Engine exhaust compartment
38. Extensible exhaust tube with ice drill on top
39. Motor generator
40. Air compressor

Stern section
Stern of boat
41. After trim tank
42. One of twin propellers
43. Rudder

Page 1 Page 2    Page 3 Page 4

Read / Sign our Deck Log

Holland | A-Boats | B-Boats | C-Boats | D-Boats | E-Boats | F-Boats |
| G-Boats | H-Boats | K-Boats | L-Boats | M-Boats | N-Boats | O-Boats |
| R-Boats | S-Boats | T-Boats | V-Boats |Simon Lake Subs| The Fleet Boats |
| Wilkins-Ellsworth Expedition | Home |

Page created by:
Ric Hedman
1999 - 2009©

Mountlake Terrace, WA
webmaster at pigboats dot com
The author is a Member of The HTML Writers Guild
The HTMLWriters Guild