(88-42: dp. 450 (surf.), 548 (subm.); l. 167'5"; b. 17'5"; dr. 13'7"; s. 14 k. (surf.), 10.5 k. (subm.); cpl. 28; a. 1 3", 4 18"tt.; el. L-1)
L-3 (SS-42) was laid down 18 April 1914 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 15 March 1915; sponsored by Mrs. Lew Morton Atkins; and commissioned 22 April 1916, Lt. (jg.) D. J. Friedell in command.
Assigned to the Atlantic Submarine Flotilla, L-3 operated along the Atlantic coast from New England to Florida, developing new techniques of undersea warfare, until April 1917.
Following America’s entry into World War I, the submarine protected Allied shipping lanes to the European countries. Departing New London, Conn., 27 November, L-3 sailed for the Azores via Bermuda arriving Ponta Delgada 13 January 1918. One month later she was dispatched to the British Isles for patrol duty out of Berehaven, Bantry Bay, Ireland. L-3 and her sister subs were effective in reducing Allied shipping losses from German U-boat attacks.
Remaining in United Kingdom waters throughout the war, L-3 departed Portland, England, 3 January 1919 for the United States, arriving Philadelphia 1 February. For the next 2 years the submarine operated along the east coast, performing valuable experiments and developing submarine warfare tactics. L-3 was placed in commission in ordinary 1 June 1921 at Philadelphia and returned to full commission 26 January 1922. After operations out of New London, Conn., for 14 months, the submarine arrived Norfolk 21 April 1923. L-3 decommissioned at Hampton Roads, Va., 11 June 1923. She was scrapped, and her material was sold 28 November 1933 in accordance with the London Treaty for the limitation of naval armament.