The Navy's use of monitors was a creative idea to give purpose to ships that never really should have been built in the first place. There were still a few holdouts who believed that steel-hulled monitors with battleship-type guns had a major battle role in the U.S. Navy. It soon became clear that the vessels were too slow and too unseaworthy to be of use out in the open ocean. However, their extremely low free board (a characteristic of all monitors) made them useful supply and ordnance tenders to submarines. As the Navy had yet to build dedicated submarine tenders, the monitors filled the role wherever submarines were to be found.
|USS K-5 (SS-36) at anchor in Hampton Roads|
|USS K-6 (SS-37) at anchor in Hampton Roads|
|USS L-1 (SS-40) at anchor in Hampton Roads|