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O-8 and two other O-class boats moored together at a snowy Submarine Base New London, CT., approximately 1920.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

O-8 headed southbound down the Thames River, approaching the U.S. Route 1 bridge. Date is not known for sure, but it is approximately 1920.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

O-8 seen here in the early to mid 1920's. The photo could be taken during the summer months as signified by the wearing of white uniforms or perhaps taken at Panama while she was stationed there from 1924 to 1928.

The activity on deck seems to be centered around the forward hatch where crew look to be entering the submarine or be lowering or lifting something through the hatch. There is an officer at the left edge of the grouping. A second group of sailors are gathered around the 3"/23 caliber gun and appear to be doing cleaning or maintenance.

The submarine is part of Submarine Division 8 as noted in the symbol on the side of the bridge fairing.

From an original negative in the private collection of Ric Hedman

Two of the O-8's officers on the forward deck, standing around the retracted 3"/23 caliber deck gun. Location is unknown but is likely off the New England coast in the ealy 1920's. This photo gives a very good view of the configuration of the gun when it was retracted. The watertight tub that the gun retracted into went down through the superstructure and into the pressure hull in the forward battery compartment. The muzzle end of the gun was closed off by a tampion to protect the corrosion sensitive barrel liner. The round gun shield also acted as the top of the gun tub, sealing off the breech and the elevation and training mechanisms and keeping them dry.

Above the men's heads is the horn for the air whistle, the ship's bell, and the forward navigation light.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

Two views of the O-8 in drydock with other O-class submarines, possibly in Philadelphia, early 1920's. In the left photo O-8 has the bow cap rotated to the #1 and #3 tube position, as if they were going to fire a torpedo from those tubes. Here it is being done for maintenance purposes. In the right photo the boats are being prepared for painting, with large sections of the old paint having been chipped off to prepare the surfaces for the new application.

Photos in the private collection of Ric Hedman

O-8 at sea, location and date unknown, but possibly off Panama in the mid 1920's.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

A very interesting photo of O-8 and two of her sisters moored to a buoy in Gatun Lake, in the middle of the Panama Canal, approximately 1925. The famous Gatun Dam can be seen in the background, with the hydroelectric power station building on the right. The dam is the centerpiece of the canal, holding back the mighty Chagres River and providing water for the 21-mile-long lake as well as for the majority of the rest of the canal. It also provides power to operate the locks as well as for the needs of the surrounding population.

USN photo thanks to Jim Kurrasch via Navsource.org

O-8 and two sister submarines moored to the submarine tender USS Camden (AS-6). The location and date are unknown, but it is possibly the Panama area in the mid 1920's.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

This photo is dated December 13, 1930 and shows the O-8 diving someplace in the New England area. There is a bit of low land visible in the background. The location could be Long Island Sound as the O-8 was based out of Submarine Base New London at the time. It might also be off Provincetown, Cape Cod where the Navy kept an underwater trial course, a "measured mile". By this date her duty in Panama was complete and she and her sisters had returned to U.S. waters.

The submarine is traveling from right to left. A bit of "bow wave" can be seen at the left edge of the bridge fairing. The "A" frame carrying the long wire antenna over the bridge is always on the forward side of the periscopes.

In February 1931, a few months after this photo, O-8 sailed to Philadelphia in preparation for decommissioning. The Navy was doing its best to comply with the terms of the London Naval Treaty, which limited the tonnage of submarines any signatory navy could possess. O-8 was formally decommissioned there on May 27, 1931. She was moored the Navy Yard at League Island in the Delaware River in reserve status until the threat of World War II caused a recall to active service. O-8 was pulled out of reserve, reconditioned and refitted, and recommissioned on April 28, 1941. In June she returned to the Submarine School in New London to train students there until war's end.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

O-8 seen in the Thames River near Groton, CT. during WWII. Her deck gun had been removed and she received the post S-4 sinking safety modifications that included forward and aft rescue/marker buoys, hatch seating surfaces for a McCann Rescue Chamber, and an additional escape hatch in the motor room. She also sported a new circular platform on the aft end of the fairwater. A machine gun could be mounted there.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

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