F-1

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The F-1 was moored to a buoy off Watsonville when she was struck with a large wave. The Mooring line parted and the sub drifted into the pier before being washed ashore before the crew could get the vessel under control.

(Newspaper Story) PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, OCT 12, 1912
Watsonville, CA Oct 11, 1912
Gustave August Schroeder of Milwaukee and T. James Turbett of Newark, N. J., seamen on board the United States submarine F-1, were drowned today when a great wave swept over the little craft, which later went aground near port Watsonville.

The extent of the damage to the submarine has not been determined. Low tide left it upright in the sand in three feet of water. The F-1 is the holder of the world's record for submarine diving, having gone down 283 feet in San Francisco Bay, September 5, 1912. She was christened the Carp, and was renamed November 17, 1911. She was in command of Lieutenant James B. Howell.

Schroeder and Turbett were on watch at daybreak with a third seaman when a rising sea tore the submarine from its moorings to a buoy. Before the seamen could get control of the steering gear the deck was engulfed in a wave and Schroeder and Turbett were carried overboard.

The third seaman saved himself, by grasping the railing. He was badly bruised and almost drowned when rescued a few moments later by his comrades. The body of Turbett was washed ashore late today, Schroeder's body has not been recovered.

The thirteen remaining members of the crew worked for six hours to save the craft from being beached, but had to abandon her, and a few minutes later rammed her nose into the sand, A tug will convey her to Mare Island Navy Yard for repairs. There is about three feet of water in her hold, but she is believed to be seaworthy.

The submarine was refloated a few days later on October 18 and towed to Mare Island for repair.

An Original Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman
This is one half of an original unpublished stereo photo. The other half was not in as good a condition as this half.

A port quarter view of the F-1 aground off Watsonville, CA. on October 11, 1912. This photo has been misidentified by other sources as the H-3 (Submarine No. 30) aground off Point Sur, CA.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

Another port side view of F-1 aground off Watsonville, CA. on October 11, 1912. They were lucky that only a moderate sea was running and the bottom was sandy. Anything else and the boat could have been destroyed.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

An interesting post card written by an F-1 crewmember in March of 1913. The card reads exactly as follows, misspellings and all:

San Dieago, Cal. March 1- 1913

Dear Dave

I tried to get out to see you before I left but as I shipped on the 13 - and at 10:PM I left for here - am asigned to the US Submarine F-1 for instructions 6 mon school. And if I make good a rate and one dollar a dive. Don't forget to write to a fellow ocasionally. Give my regards to the folks and many of my Best Wishes to Sis.

Your old Shipmate

J G Messary

Image in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

This photo shows the F-1 in drydock at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, circa March of 1914. The men on the deck comprise about 1/3 of the crew. Tentative identifications have been made for three of the men.

On the left is a Chief Petty Officer. He is believed to be Chief Gunners Mate Dudley Strough.

The man standing second from the right is believed to be Electricians Mate 1st Class Ray Elsworth Scott.

The Chief seated in the center is thought to be CMM John Peter Albert Messang.

These three men are known to have died in the sinking of the F-1 when she was rammed by the F-3 on Dec 17, 1917. The other men are yet to be identified. The submarine in the dock with the F-1 should be the F-2.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

F-1 is seen moored in Honolulu in 1915. Sand Island is in the far background.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

F-1 on the way to California from Hawaii under tow, November 5, 1915. A boat from the USS Maryland (Armored Cruiser No. 8) is bringing supplies to the sub. This was a routine that happened every few days during the tow. The tug USS Iroquois (Fleet Tug No. 46), towing the F-2, is standing by in the background. The remaining F-boats were ordered back to the mainland after the F-4 sank.

Photo courtesy of the USS Bowfin Museum and Park.

F-1 under tow to California from Hawaii, November 5, 1915. She was under tow by the collier USS Nanshan. They had encountered a problem with the towing gear and were hove to and fixing the problem.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

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