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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data
Photo #: NH 85276 (extended caption)
C-Class submarines in the Gatun Locks, Panama Canal, circa
Photograph printed on a color-tinted postal card, prior to World
The submarine present include (in no particular order): USS C-1
(submarine # 9); USS C-2 (submarine # 13); USS C-3
(submarine # 14); USS C-4 (submarine # 15); and USS C-5
(submarine # 163).
See below for the text of official correspondence that may have
been prompted by this photograph.
Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN(MSC), 1975
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 108KB; 740 x 520 pixels
Text of correspondence found in National Archives' Record
Group 80, Entry 19, Box 1415, File 27219 (126), Secretary of the
Navy correspondence files, 1912-1926:
# 1. Letter from the Bureau of Construction and Repair,
Washington, D.C. (No. 15284-A.24(S) 17693-E.359 (4/29), dated
(by rubber stamp) Apr. 3 1914:
To: Navy Department (Material).
Subj: - SUBMARINES - Information regarding to be held confidential.
Reference: (a) Dept.let.Aug.23/12, # 2725-229 (C&R 17693-E.359)
1. In the issue of the BALTIMORE AMERICAN of Tuesday 24
March 1914 the Bureau noticed a picture of the five submarines
of the "C" Class in dry dock in one of the Panama Canal
locks. In view of the fact that pictures of submarines are not
to be made without authority and are to be held confidential,
the Bureau took the matter up with Underwood & Underwood, of
New York, who state that they purchased the film negative from
a man who sent it along with others from Panama. In their letter
they also state that there is hardly a day passes that they are
not offered photographs of negatives of scenes of the Panama
2. As the Department's instructions regarding the taking
of photographs of submarines do not seem to be known in the Canal
Zone, it is recommended that the Navy Department take up with
the War Department the advisability of issuing instructions to
the canal authorities that pictures of submarines are not to
be taken without proper authority.
# 2. Endorsement to the above, by Bureau of Navigation,
dated May 15, 1914:
To: The Department (Material).
Subject: Submarines; information regarding to be held confidential;
picture of C class in drydock in Panama Canal.
1. Returned. All commanding officers of vessels as well
as other officers are furnished with a general order covering
the photographing of vessels, and it is not thought that that
any authorities on the Canal Zone would direct that photographs
of vessels be taken that were objected to by the responsible
officers of the vessels. It is considered that this is a matter
that will properly adjust itself under existing general and special
orders without taking the matter up with the War Department.
signed: "Brittain, Acting"
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25 November 2003