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USS Holland (SS 1), 1900.
USS Holland (SS 1), 1900.

Eight Things to Know about U.S. Navy’s First Submarine

116 years ago today on April 11, the U.S. Navy’s submarine force was born when we bought our first commissioned submarine.

USS Holland (SS 1), 1900.
USS Holland (SS 1), 1900.

 

Test your knowledge about USS Holland (SS 1) with these eight things that you may not know from U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command:

  1. The first commissioned submarine accepted by the U.S. Navy, USS Holland (SS 1), was designed by John Philip Holland. In 1875, his first submarine designs were submitted for consideration by the Navy, but turned down as unworkable.
  2. Holland continued to improve his designs and worked on several experimental boats prior to his successful efforts with the privately built Holland launched in 1898. This was the first submarine having power to run submerged for any considerable distance. She was purchased by the Navy after rigorous tests, and six more of her type were ordered.
Simplified inboard profile drawing, published in Scientific American, Volume 45, January-June 1898. (U.S. Navy photo)
Simplified inboard profile drawing, published in Scientific American, Volume 45, January-June 1898. (U.S. Navy photo)

 

  1. The first Holland was launched by Crescent Shipyards, Elizabeth, N.J., in 1898.
  2. It was commissioned Oct. 12, 1900, with Lt. Harry H. Caldwell in command.
  3. On Oct. 16, 1900, Holland left Newport under tow of tug Leyden for Annapolis where she trained Naval Academy midshipmen as well as officers and enlisted Sailors ordered there to receive training in preparing for the operation of other submarines being built for the Fleet.
  4. Holland proved valuable for experimental purposes in collecting data for submarines under construction or contemplation. Her 166-mile surface run from Annapolis to Norfolk, Jan. 8-10, 1901, provided useful data on her performance underway over an extended period.
  5. Except for the period from June 15 to Oct. 1, 1901, which was passed training personnel at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I., Holland remained at Annapolis until July 17, 1905, as a training submarine.
  6. Holland finished out her career at Norfolk. Her name was struck from the Navy Register of Ships, Nov. 21, 1910.

Now that you know about SS-1, watch what makes today’s Silent Service a frightening adversary.

 

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