Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC

USS K-6 (SS-37)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS K-6 (SS-37)

USS K-6 (Submarine No. 37) was laid down on 19 June 1912 at Quincy, Mass., by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co. under a subcontract from the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; launched on 26 March 1914; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Gaines Roberts, wife of Naval Constructor Thomas G. Roberts; and commissioned on 9 September at the Boston (Mass.) Navy Yard, Lt. Joseph O. Fisher in command.

USS K-6 ’s initial assignment was to the Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, on 14 September 1914. Several weeks later, that assignment changed to the 4th Division, Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, with the division’s standup on 4 October. She cleared the Boston Navy Yard on 16 November 1914. USS K-6  joined her division at Newport, R.I. later that day for shakedown and training. 

USS K-6  stood out from the New York Navy Yard on 27 January 1916. Arriving at Charleston on 31 January, she shifted to and docked at the Charleston Navy Yard on 1 February. She remained there for a month, undocking on 1 march and clearing for a return to Pensacola. Touching at Key West (8–11 March), she reached Pensacola on 15 March. Much as she did the preceding year, USS K-6  conducted underwater warfare training with her fellow submarines off Pensacola. After a month of operating based from Key West, USS K-6  sailed on 22 January 1917 and reached the Dry Tortugas, Fla. (22–26 January), before returning to Key West on 27 January. Departing on 4 February for Pensacola, she transited via Tampa (5–11 February) and reached on 12 February. 

USS K-6 departed New London, proceeding down the Thames River, on 12 October 1917, in company with Bushnell (Submarine Tender No. 2), K-1; K-2, and K-5. Passing through the Cape Cod Canal, the vessels rendezvoused with the protected cruiser Chicago (flagship Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet) at Provincetown, Mass. For the duration of the war, USS K-6 conducted a routine of patrol cruises to protect Allied shipping and to deny the use of the Portuguese archipelago as a base for U-boats or as a haven for German surface raiders. These patrols were to be interspersed with periods of refit, repairs, and replenishment.

With war’s end, USS K-6 sailed for the United States on 21 November 1918 and arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard via Bermuda on 13 December. After post-deployment overhaul, USS K-6 proceeded to New London on 28 May 1919, to resume development of underwater warfare practices and conduct tactical operations along the New England coast. Four days later, on the 25th, that division was placed into an inactive status and on 7 July, all the submarines in the division were made available for all authorized yard work. While in this status, on 17 July 1920, USS K-6 was re-designated (SS-37) as part of a Navy-wide administrative re-organization.  She was later assigned to a homeport at Key West. With orders dated 27 January 1922, USS K-6 (SS-37) and the other boats of Division Five reported to Commander, Submarine Base, New London. Arriving at Submarine Base, Hampton Roads from New London on 21 March 1923, USS K-6 (SS-37) decommissioned on 26 May.

For a complete history of USS K-6 (SS-37) please see its DANFS page.