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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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H-l

 

(SS-28: dp. 358 (n.) 467 t.; l.150'4" ; b. 15'10; dr. 12'5" s. 14 k.; cpl. 25 ; a. 418" tt.; cl. H-l)

 

H-l, (SS-28), originally Seawolf and renamed 17 November 1911, was built by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco; launched 6 May 1913; sponsored by Miss Lesley Jean Makins; and commissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard on 1 December 1913, Lt. Henry M. Jensen in command.

 

The new submarine was attached to the 2d Torpedo Flotilla, Pacific Fleet, and operated along the West Coast out of the submarine base at San Pedro. On various exercises and\patrols she travelled the coast from Los Angeles to lower British Columbia, often in company with H-2 and sometimes H-3.

 

Sailing from San Pedro on 17 October 1917, she reached New London 22 days later via Acapuleo, Balboa, Key West, Charleston and Philadelphia. For the remainder of the war, she was based there and patrolled Long Island Sound, frequently with officer students from the submarine school on board.

 

H-l and H-2 sailed for San Pedro on 6 January 1920, transiting the Panama Canal 20 February via Norfolk, Key West and Havana. On 12 March 1920, as H-l made her way up the coast, the submarine went aground on a tricky shoal off Santa Margarita Island, Oalif. Four men, including the commanding officer, Lt. Comdr. James R. Webb, were killed as they tried to reach shore. Vestal, a repair ship, pulled H-l off the rocks in the morning of 24 March, only to have her sink 45 minutes later in some 50 feet of water. Salvage was abandoned. Her name was struck from the Navy List 12 April 1920, and her hulk sold for salvage scrap in June 1920.