Holland Photo Montage
There are two significant dates in the birth of the United States Submarine Service.
The first is the one most people know about is April 11. On that date in 1900 the US Navy concluded the purchase of the the Holland VI submarine torpedo boat from the Holland Torpedo Boat Company. This is the date acknowledged by the Navy and most people as the birth date of the United States Submarine Service.
The second and lesser known date is October 12. On this day in 1900 the Navy had concluded all acceptance trials and commissioned her as the USS Holland into the Navy.
The photo montage at left shows selected images from her short but significant life.
The first photo in the upper left is captioned: 'The Holland launch from the Lewis Nixon Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey, May 17, 1897 amid much fanfare, bells ringing and ships whistles blowing and she slides into Arthur Kill waters. She is flying a 45 star flag donated by Lewis Nixon. Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico had not been admitted to the Union yet and Alaska and Hawaii were still 60 years away from admission.'
The photo just under the launch photo shows the Holland on some of her first sea trials. It is captioned: 'The Holland with crew bringing lines from the tug George P. Roe for her tow out into Raritan Bay. ' where she made her first trial dive that lasted almost an hour in length and ran a looping course of several miles and making a longer dive than the Navy requirements. The Navy was only mildly impressed but around the world other countries were taking notice and making offers to buy the submarine.
The next photo to the right of these two shows the first crew of the Holland. The caption shows they are: 'In the center of the picture is Lt. Harry H. Caldwell, Commanding Officer. Starting at the lower left of the picture and going clockwise are;
William H. Reader, Chief Gunner's mate; though there was no naval position of 'Chief Of The Boat' he is acknowledged as the first submarine C.O.B.
Augustus Gumpert,Gunner's mate;
Harry Wahab, Gunner's mate First Class;
O. Swanson, Gunner's mate First Class;
W. Hall, Electrician's mate Second Class;
Arthur Callahan, Gunner's mate Second Class;
Barnett Bowie, Chief Machinist's Mate.'
The upper right corner photo shows the Holland after a haul out and paint job. She is a commissioned vessel in this photo as she has both the US Flag but also the Union Jack flying from her bow.
The Second Row, starting from left to right are captioned: 'USS Holland tied to a pier, most likely at the base at New Suffolk, Long Island. Several crew are on the pier. The second man from the left appears to be Chief of the Boat, William H. Reader, Chief Gunner's mate. The other man is unknown. Moored on the other side of the pier is a motor torpedo boat. On her stern, just below her name plaque is the opening for her after dynamite gun that was removed prior to acceptance by the Navy. A hand hold has been placed over the opening.'
The center photo carries the caption: 'The Holland entering the dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, October 1901. She is sharing the dry dock with the Russian Battleship Retzvian. Retzvian had been built for the Tzars Navy by the United States. Retzvian was sunk at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War.'
The far right photo in this row has a caption that says: 'The ex-USS Holland hauled out at Norfolk ship yard. The Holland was decommissioned and struck from the rolls on November 21, 1910. The men in the photo are in dress whites making this photo taken after Memorial Day, probably in 1911 since there isn't much taken from the Holland. Just a few panels. The fairing in the bow and the fairing that surrounded the the conning tower is gone as well.'
The technology that created the Holland had rendered her obsolete in 10 years and her useful life was over.
The bottom row, left to right shows her twilight years. At the left: 'The stripped out hulk of the former USS Holland sits high in the water. Decommissioned on November 21, 1910 she was sold for scrap on June 18, 1913. On board, from left to right, it is believed the men are Richard O. Williams, Harry Wahab and Charles A. Morris, John Hollands Supervising Engineer for the construction of the Holland. The other men are believed to be workmen. Interesting to note that by 1915 the Holland was thought to have been Hollands 9th submarine not the 6th. She sat on dry land in Patterson, NJ until 1932 before going to the scrappers.'
The center photo: 'The Holland has just been hauled out of the water for the last time and place on a rail car. The man highest on the hull is unidentified as are all others with the exception of Harry Wahab who is seated in the center foreground of the grouping. The small boy could belong to any of the men shown here. The signs pasted to the hull are unreadable.'
The last photo: 'May, 25, 1917 the Holland is lifted from a barge on its way to the Bronx International Exposition. Sign reads:'Old Holland #9; Daddy Of All Submarines; (unreadable words); Bronx International Exposition Grounds; 177st Subway Station & Bronx River'. Again, the misunderstanding about what build number the Holland was. The Holland was Hull #6 not #9 in his building program and was the one the Navy bought. The Holland was to remain at this spot, as a derelict hulk until 1932 purchased by the Harlem Metal Corporation for $100 and cut up for scrap.
The following is a partial list of the commanding officers of the Holland complied by Ron Reeves
Oct. 12, 1900 - Lieut Harry H. Caldwell today placed this boat in commission
Nov. 25, 1902 - Lieut Arthur McArthur III assumes command of USSTB Holland
May 05, 1903 - Lieut. Arthur MacArthur III detached from Holland and ordered to New Suffolk, Long Island. Holland put under command of Gunner Owen Hill, USN
Nov. 01, 1904 - E. Swanson, Acting Gunner relived Ensign Owen Hill USN as CO
Oct. 12, 1905 - Comdg Officer, Actg Gunner E. Swanson received Bureau of Navigation orders detaching him from Command of the USSTB Holland
Oct. 16, 1905 - Actg Gunner E. Swanson, USN turned boat over to Harry Wahab, Ch G.M. on leaving ship. 11:30 am Swanson’s orders were revoked.
Photos are a combination of US Navy Photos and Original Photos in the Private Collection Of Ric Hedman
Page created by:
Ric Hedman & David Johnston
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