Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS G-1 (SS-19 1/2) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS G-1 (SS-19 1/2) 

After fitting out in New York, USS G-1 proceeded to the Naval Torpedo Station, Rhode Island, arriving there on 30 January 1913. Attached to the Atlantic Submarine Flotilla, G-1 spent the next year and a half conducting dive training and torpedo firing exercises in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. In preparation for her final acceptance trials in October 1913, the boat made a record dive of 256 feet in Long Island Sound. Financial considerations led to G-1 being put in reserve at New York on 15 June 1914.

USS G-1 was placed in full commission at New York on 6 February 1915, Lt (jg). Joseph M. Deem in command. In company with submarine USS G-2, tender Fulton (Submarine Tender No. 1) and tug Sonoma, USS G-1 sailed south for Norfolk on 25 March. After a short period at Norfolk for repairs, the division cruised south to Charleston, South Carolina, mooring there on 17 April. Heavy seas encountered during this coastwise passage caused the two G-class submarines to roll heavily, spring oil leaks, and pop engine rivets.

On 4 December, while the crew of USS G-1 was charging batteries, a circulating pump broke down and severely overheated the port engine. That mishap, combined with a steering gear overhaul at New York, kept ship’s force busy in the yard for the next thirteen months. Once there, USS G-1 began her new career as an experimental and instructional submersible. She acted as a schoolship for the newly established Submarine Base and Submarine School at New London, playing an important role in training officers and men of the newly expanded submarine force.

With German U-boats reported off the coast in June 1918, the submarine spent two four-day periscope and listening patrols off Nantucket as a defense screen for shipping. Following the end of the war, USS G-1 conducted daily operations with enlisted students in connection with the Listener and Hydrophone School at New London. In August 1919, after a failed inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey, the boat was laid up at New London in preparation for disposal. Towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 30 January 1920 she was stripped of useful material and decommissioned on 6 March. She was designated as a target for depth charge experiments under the cognizance of the Bureau of Ordnance on 9 June.

Towed back to Narragansett Bay by USS Grebe (AM-43) in May 1921, the minesweeper made eight experimental depth charge attacks on ex-USS G-1 while the boat lay off Taylor's Point on 21 June. Damaged and flooded by those explosions, the battered submarine settled to the bottom in 90 feet of water. Several attempts to raise her failed and the wreck was officially abandoned. USS G-1 was struck from the Navy List on 29 August 1921.

For a complete history of USS G-1 please see its DANFS page.