Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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USS S-48 (SS-159), 1922-45

USS S-48 was launched on February 26, 1921, at Lake Torpedo Boat Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  On December 7, during a dive off Penfield Reef, a manhole plate in one of the aft ballast tanks was left unsecured and she sank in 60 feet of water.  Raised 13 days later, the submarine was repaired and commissioned on October 14, 1922, operating off the eastern coast for the next two years.   On January 29, 1925, S-48 grounded off the New Hampshire coast during a snowstorm and the resulting bad weather.   The crew was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.  Salvaged, the submarine was repaired and recommissioned on December 8, 1928, serving off the eastern coast of the United States and the West Indies until decommissioned in September 1935.   Due to the outbreak of World War II, S-48 was recommissioned on December 10, 1940.  Homeported out of New London, Connecticut, she provided services to submarine and anti-submarine warfare training commands until August 29, 1945, when she was decommissioned.  S-48 was sold in January 1946 for scrapping. 

A model of S-48 can be found In Harm's Way (Pacific Section) at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.   

Image:  NH 108454S-48 (SS-159), April 15, 1929.  NHHC Photograph Collection.