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Scaffolding being erected at Mare Island Navy Yard, Building Ways #2, Vallejo, California, April 14, 1927 in preparation for the start of construction for the V-6. The scaffolding in which the V-6 will be built is almost complete, even including the cofferdam around the stern since this portion extends down to the water level at the foot of the ways. You can see the water lifting pump and hoses to keep the cofferdam area water free at the photo's bottom.

Click here for a large collection of V-6 construction & launch day photos

U.S. Navy photo courtesy Darryl Baker

V-6 in drydock at Mare Island with S-22 (SS-127), approximately July/August 1930, undergoing some post-commissioning work. Historian Darryl Baker has stated "V-6 was in overhaul from July 1 to 15 October 1930; S-22 in overhaul from 6 April to 29 July 1930; and Aaron Ward (DD-132) (behind V-6) was in overhaul from 31 May to 8 August 1930." Note the tremendous difference in size between the two boats.

Photo in the private collection of Rid Hedman.

Another view of the same scene above in the summer of 1930. The dry dock is being flooded.

Photo in the private collection of Rid Hedman.

V-6 awaiting the beginning of her acceptance trials from the builder. The photo was taken as dawn was breaking January 24, 1931.

It appears that the V-6 has an oil fired boiler or furnace in her engine room, similar to V-4, as indicated by the heavy black smoke coming from a stack in her after deck. As far as we can tell this is the only photo known to show this feature on V-6. It doesn't seem to be mentioned in any literature about her.

All her running lights and anchor lights seem to be lit and reflecting in the calm pre-dawn waters. The dateline is Seattle, Washington so this may be Puget Sound. The photo is a bit fuzzy probably since the photo was taken from a small boat in the water near the V-6, maybe even from one of her own boats. One of them is seen in the water by the bow planes.

Original Newsreel photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

An early photo of V-6, likely in late 1930 or early 1931. The location is unknown because it looks like this photo has been edited for newspaper use, with the background removed.

Original Newsreel photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

V-6 was renamed Nautilus on February 19, 1931 and redesignated at SS-168. Following commissioning the boat was ordered to the east coast to undergo deep diving tests. She undertook a 5,500 mile trek from the Pacific coast to the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She is seen here on April 1, 1931 just after she had finished mooring. She had been engaged in diving tests off York Beach, Maine in the previous weeks. She was to later travel to New York City.

Newspaper Wire photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Nautilus takes a tour around New York Harbor on her way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard on an unusually chilly April 8, 1931. She was fresh from her record making deep dive of 336 feet off Portsmouth, NH and was now enroute to Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii where she became the flagship of Submarine Division 12.

The building in the background is the old St. Georges Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. It burned to the ground in 1946. According to retired Navy Commander Gerald Levey USN, a native of New York; "The ferry terminal is definitely the St George terminal, The ferry, (to the left of the building, twin stacks), is one of the five Dongan Hills class built in 1931. You can date the photo between 1931 and 1946 when the old terminal burned to the ground. It is a rare photo as the three definitive books on the Staten Island Ferries have no decent photos of that terminal as seen from an approaching ferry."

The truly massive size (for a submarine at least) of the 6"/53 caliber guns is very evident in this photo. These were the largest guns ever mounted on a USN submarine.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

A fine shot of the Nautilus steaming past the seaplane tender USS Wright (AV-1) and the Navy's first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV-1). This is at an unknown west coast port, and was taken during fleet maneuvers in April, 1932. The Langley's boilers are lit off and smoke is coming out of one of her folding funnels. To clear the decks for airplane operations the funnels would fold out sideways to the hull. The Langley's hanger deck was open to the elements.

Various crew are on deck aboard Nautilus and it is unclear if she is heading to sea or returning. There isn't any obvious line handling activity going on.

Original photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Nautilus (left) with Argonaut (SM-1) (right) along with what is likely Narwhal (SS-167) (far right) sometime in 1932 at a west coast port, possibly San Francisco. The slits in the bow of both Nautilus and Argonaut are for the retracted mine cutting gear.

U.S. Navy photo

A fine photo of Nautilus, Dolphin (SS-169), and S-20 (SS-125) at a west coast port, possibly San Diego, approximately 1934. Nautilus has one of her two small boats hauled out of its enclosure below the main deck, likely for maintenance, as it could not be launched with Dolphin alongside. Note: Just above the name on Nautilus' bow is the Navy's Battle Efficiency "E" (for "Excellence") that she had been awarded for that years training exercises.

Original photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Nautilus seen underway in the Pacific, August 17, 1935. This photo was likely taken from her sister boat Narwhal. The huge size of the 6"/53 caliber guns is very apparent in this photo.

Original photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Nautilus moored at Naval Station San Diego, approximately 1935-1936. There looks to be a submarine rescue vessel (ASR) moored behind her. In the left middle background a Clemson-class destroyer is anchored. In the center background the anchored submarine tender USS Holland (AS-3) with the Narwhal (SS-167) moored alongside. It was somewhat unusual for submarines to moor to a pier in San Diego at this time. They normally moored to their tender out in the harbor like Narwhal has.

Original photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

This photo of Nautilus was likely taken at the same time as the one above, and shows her moored in San Diego approximately 1935-1936. Moored ahead of Nautilus is a Farragut-class destroyer. In the right background is the transport USS Henderson (AP-1). The Henderson was a wide ranging and well-known member of the fleet. She made frequent runs from the mainland to Hawaii and to Asiatic Fleet locations. Many old hands of the Pacific Fleet units made their first runs to their new duty stations onboard the Henderson. She became a fixture of the interwar Navy and was fondly remembered by many sailors.

Original photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

An overhead view of Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, July 28, 1942. Floating drydock YFD-2 is at left, with USS Alywin (DD-355) inside. Small drydock in center holds USS Growler (SS-215) and USS Nautilus (SS-168). USS Litchfield (DD-336) and an ARD floating drydock are in Drydock # 2, in right center. Drydock # 1, at right, contains the heavily damaged and recently salvaged USS West Virginia (BB-48). Submarines partially visible alongside 1010 Dock, in the extreme upper right, are USS Trout (SS-202) and USS Pollack (SS-180).

U.S. Navy photo

Nautilus' crew conducting a stores loading "party", December 11, 1942 in preparation for her fourth war patrol. The location is Submarine Base Pearl Harbor. The man in the left foreground is carrying two cases of Corn Flakes. The next man is carrying a case labeled Durkees and could contain almost any of their products but possibly pickles or salad dressing.

Barely visible in the photo is a large section of deck that has been removed to gain access to the systems in the free flood area. The sections removed can be seen on the pier to the right and above the gangway.

US Navy Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

Nautilus taking on previsions for departing Pearl Harbor 11 December 1942 prior to her fourth war patrol. The following is an excerpt from her patrol report: "During her fourth patrol, conducted in the Solomons 13 December 1942 to 4 February 1943, NAUTILUS rescued 26 adults and 3 children from Toep Harbor (31 December-1 January), then added the cargo ship YOSINOGAWA MARU to her kills and damaged a tanker, a freighter and a destroyer. On 4 February, she arrived at Brisbane, disembarked her passengers, and sailed for Pearl Harbor." Toep Harbor is on Bougainville Island in the northern Solomons.

US Navy Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

Two Chief Petty Officers, an Officer, and an enlisted man, veterans of all 14 of her war patrols, looking down from Nautilus' bridge, pointing out her fine war record. This was on the occasion of Nautilus' decommissioning, June 30, 1945 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

From left to right are Chief Motor Machinist's Mate Joseph V. Goodman of Linville Falls, NC., Ensign John H. Sabbe of Portland, OR., Electrician's Mate 1st Class Robert L. Hyde of Canonga Park, CA., and Chief Gunner's Mate Myles R. Banbury of Portland, OR.

US Navy Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

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