USS R-4 (SS-81)

Last updated
USS R-4 (SS-81).jpg
USS R-4 in the 1920s.
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Name: USS R-4
Ordered: 29 August 1916
Builder: Fore River Shipbuilding, Quincy, Massachusetts
Laid down: 16 October 1917
Launched: 26 October 1918
Commissioned: 28 March 1919
Decommissioned: 18 June 1945
Struck: 11 July 1945
Fate: Sold for scrap, January 1946
General characteristics
Type: R class submarine
Displacement:
  • 569 long tons (578 t) surfaced
  • 680 long tons (691 t) submerged
Length: 186 ft 2 in (56.74 m)
Beam: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Draft: 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
Speed:
  • 13.5 knots (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph) surfaced
  • 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) submerged
Complement: 34 officers and men
Armament:

USS R-4 (SS-81) was an R-class coastal and harbor defense submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down on 16 October 1917 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched on 26 October 1918 sponsored by Mrs. Albert W. Stahl, and commissioned on 28 March 1919 with Lieutenant Palmer Hall Dunbar, Jr. in command.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Quincy, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Quincy is the largest city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of Metropolitan Boston and one of Boston's immediate southern suburbs. Its population in 2014 was 93,397, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. Known as the "City of Presidents," Quincy is the birthplace of two U.S. presidents—John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams—as well as John Hancock, a President of the Continental Congress and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries old naval tradition.

Contents

Service history

After outfitting at Boston Navy Yard, R-4 joined Submarine Division 9 of the Atlantic Fleet at New London, Connecticut on 12 August 1919. She sailed 4 December 1919 for Norfolk, Virginia, and winter operations in the Gulf of Mexico from 21 January to 14 April 1920. R-4 later returned to New England on 18 May for four months of maneuvers with her division. Given hull classification symbol SS-81 in July, she arrived at Norfolk on 15 September for an overhaul lasting until April 1921.

New London, Connecticut City in New London, Connecticut

New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States, located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut. It was one of the world's three busiest whaling ports for several decades beginning in the early 19th century, along with Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture. The city subsequently became home to other shipping and manufacturing industries, but it has gradually lost most of its industrial heart.

Norfolk, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803; in 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.

Gulf of Mexico An Atlantic Ocean basin extending into southern North America

The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. The U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida border the Gulf on the north, which are often referred to as the "Third Coast", in comparison with the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

R-4 deployed to the Pacific Ocean on 11 April 1921, transited the Panama Canal on 28 May, and arrived at her new base, San Pedro, California, on 30 June. She participated in war games with the battle fleet in the Gulf of Fonseca from 5 February to 6 April 1923, returning to San Pedro with Camden (AS-6) on 10 April. R-4 was transferred on 16 July with Division 9 and Canopus (AS-9) to Pearl Harbor where she remained for the next eight years engaged in training and operations with fleet units. On 12 September 1925 R-4 under the command of Lt. Donald R. Osborn, Jr, (USNA class of 1920) rescued John Rodgers and his crew, who had just failed to make the first aerial crossing of the Pacific from California to Hawaii, off the coast of Kauai.

Panama Canal Large artificial waterway in the Republic of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

The Panama Canal is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 34 m wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, post-Panamax ships, capable of handling more cargo.

Gulf of Fonseca bay

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USS <i>Camden</i> (AS-6)

USS Camden (AS-6) was the first ship of the United States Navy to bear the name Camden, after Camden, New Jersey the city that lies on the Delaware River across from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

R-4, ordered back to the Atlantic with Divisions 9 and 14 on 12 December 1930, transited the Panama Canal on 18 January 1931, and arrived on 9 February at New London. She was soon assigned to Division 4 and served as training ship for the next ten years on rotating duty between the New London Submarine School and the Yale University NROTC unit. An interesting incident took place during this assignment: according to one enlisted man (trainee), the submarine became stuck in the winter ice on the river and the trainees had to walk back to base. In 1940 and 1941, Lieutenant Glynn R. Donaho, a future vice admiral, was her commanding officer.

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.

Glynn R. Donaho United States admiral

Glynn Robert Donaho, nicknamed "Donc", was a U.S. Navy officer known principally for his exploits as a submarine commander during World War II, for which he received the Navy Cross four times, the Silver Star twice, and the Bronze Star. Donaho was born in George, Texas. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1927.

R-4 departed New London on 26 May 1941 for Key West, Florida, and patrol duty in the Florida Straits with Division 12. Back at New London for the first two weeks in July, she returned to Key West at midmonth and until March 1945 alternated duties for the Fleet Sonar School with patrols in the Florida Strait and the Yucatán Channel.

The Fleet Sonar School was a United States Navy facility located at Naval Station Key West, Florida for the training of Service personnel in Sonar techniques and equipment, and Anti-submarine warfare.

Yucatán Channel strait between Mexico and Cuba

The Yucatán Channel or Straits of Yucatán is a strait between Mexico and Cuba. It connects the Yucatán Basin of the Caribbean Sea with the Gulf of Mexico. It is just over 200 kilometres (120 mi) wide and nearly 2,800 metres (9,200 ft) deep at its deepest point near the coast of Cuba.

At Port Everglades, Florida, from 11 March to 15 April 1945, R-4 returned to Key West to prepare for inactivation. On 1 June she was withdrawn from active duty and on 4 June she got underway for Philadelphia. Escorted by SC-1001 she arrived at Philadelphia on 8 June, decommissioned on 18 June and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 July. The following January, 1946, she was sold for scrap to the North American Smelting Company.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

The Naval Vessel Register (NVR) is the official inventory of ships and service craft in custody of or titled by the United States Navy. It contains information on ships and service craft that make up the official inventory of the Navy from the time a vessel is authorized through its life cycle and disposal. It also includes ships that have been removed from the register, but not disposed of by sale, transfer to another government, or other means. Ships and service craft disposed of prior to 1987 are currently not included, but are gradually being added along with other updates.

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