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The USS Adder (Submarine No. 3) is shown here (middle) with Moccasin (Submarine No. 5) in the background, and in the foreground another A-class submarine. The location is not known for sure, but is probably the Holland facility in New Suffolk, NY. The date is approximately 1903-1904.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Adder under tow, most likely on Long Island Sound enroute to New Suffolk on Great Peconic Bay where Holland/Electric Boat Company had its first offices. Adder was built at the Crescent Shipyard owned by Lewis Nixon, who was a subcontractor for John Holland. The tow cable can be seen on the right side of the photo. The three men on deck are Electric Boat employees. The man in the center has the topside helm or steering wheel in his hands and is no doubt keeping the submarine steady on a course and stopping it from tracking back and forth as it is being towed. Swamping was a constant danger to these early boats while they were on the surface.

Library of Congress photo.

A closeup of the photo above, showing the Electric Boat employees riding the Adder to the facility at New Suffolk. This shows the original design for the conning tower and fairwater. It would be quickly modified as it sat too low to the water and was easily swamped. Periscopes would not be fitted for several years.

Library of Congress photo.

Below is the crew muster list for the USS Adder (Submarine No. 3) for April 15, 1910:

Crew Muster April 15, 1910
Howell, James B. - Ensign - age 24 - Born: Wyoming
Callan, James - GM 1c - age 27 - Born: District of Columbia
Chrisholm, Archibald - CEM - age 22 - Born: Virginia
Coleman, Newton H. - EM 2c - age 25 - Born: Tennessee
Chittenden, John W. - MM 2c - age 24 - Born: New York
Harragan, Stephen M. - CMM - age 29 - Born: Alabama
Lindley, Frederick M. - MM 2c - age 26 - Born: Indiana
Landis, Thomas E. - EM 1c - age 25 - Born: North Carolina
Mathis, Edward P. - EM 1c - age 26 - Born: Iowa
Prather, Henry L. - CGM - age 27 - Born: Missouri
Rodane, John J. - GM 1c - age 30 - Born: Pennsylvania
Schultz, Charles H. - MM 1c - age 24 - Born: Texas

Thank you to Linda Talbott of the US GenWeb Census Project® for providing this information.

A-2 is seen here off Cavite in Manila Bay, Philippines, circa 1912. Adder had been renamed A-2 in 1911. The whole crew Commanded by LT. James McClees Murray, is on deck for this photo and looking remarkably tidy compared to many photos from this time frame. The crews had little or no hygiene facilities and oil and grease was almost everywhere.

This photo shows A-2 heavily modified from her original form shown in the photos above. She has a greatly expanded fairwater around her taller conning tower, two fixed height periscopes have been installed, and she has a temporary false bow intended to smooth water flow while surfaced.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

A closeup of the photo above showing the crew's faces. Two officers, the Captain is LT. James McClees Murray and an unknown officer, stand on a removable bridge, with one Chief and the rest of the crew on deck. The two men on the right have their hands resting on the Allied Signal Bell.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

James McClees Murrayas a Midshipman
James McClees Murrayas a Midshipman

James McClees Murray was the 9th Commanding Officer of the submarine Adder, from Nove 1, 1910 to June 4, 1913. He later transferred his Naval interest to the brand new Aviation side of the Navy and became very well known. Sadly on February 16, 1914, while making demonstration flights over Pensacola Bay his airplane malfunctioned and dropped 800 feet into the bay killing the daring pilot.

United States Naval Academy Yearbook Photo 1907

A well known Navy photo of a sailor loading a torpedo into the A-2 at Naval Station Cavite, Philippines, circa 1912. This weapon is a Whitehead 18-inch Mark 3 torpedo, the first to have a gyroscope that greatly improved accuracy. The torpedo is loaded tail first since there wasn't enough room in the hull the slide the "fish" in nose first. These early submarines were one huge compartment inside. This shows good details of the torpedo loading hatch and its locking arrangement and gasket seal.

Photo NH 90188 courtesy of the NHHC.

Another view of the scene above as A-2 is loading a Mark 3 torpedo while on Naval Station Cavite in 1912. Notice the trolley in the right foreground that brought this torpedo to the pier side. A crane on the dock has hoisted the torpedo from the pier to the submarine for loading.

U.S. Navy photo.

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