Tuesday, September 13, 2011

USS T-1 (SS-52) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Pictured here is the cruiser-type submarine USS T-1 undergoing repairs at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, 1921. Launched in 1918 and commissioned in 1920, the boat was the U.S. Navy's first attempt to build this type of boat.  On paper, she was a technological wonder.  She displaced over 1,000-tons, had good speed (c. 20 knots), eight torpedo tubes, and had good endurance (c.3,000 nm cruising range @ 18knots). T-1 and her sister boats T-2 and T-3 formed Submarine Division 15 and were based at Naval Operating Base Hampton Roads.

In the museum's collection is a picture of a member of this class at the Yard in 1923.

The project was not a success as all three boats had critical issues with their twin-screw propulsion system. Additionally, the Navy could never settle on the boat's name. First the Navy called her Schley, then AA-1, then SF-1, and then finally settled on T-1. However, like many new ship designs with state of the art technology, the boats served as a platform for better submarine designs in the future.

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