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USS L-11 (SS-51)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS L-11 (SS-51)

USS L-11 (SS-51) was laid down on 17 February 1915 at Quincy, Mass., by Fore River Shipbuilding Co. as a sub-contractor for Electric Boat Co.; launched on 16 May 1916; sponsored by Miss Mary Richards Latimer; and commissioned at the Boston (Mass.) Navy Yard on 15 August 1916, Lt. (j.g.) Worrall R. Carter in command.

USS L-11 (SS-51), upon her commissioning, was assigned to Division Six, Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet. She cleared the Boston Navy Yard for trials and maneuvers on 19 August 1916, and made her return on the 27th. Getting underway again on 9 September, she proceeded to Newport, R.I. (10 September–18 October). After this time in the waters of New England, she transited southward stopping along the Atlantic seaboard at Tompkinsville [Staten Island], N.Y. (19–20 October); Hampton Roads, Va. (22–23 October); Rappahannock Spit, Va. (23–24 October); Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va. (24–27 October) before returning to the Boston Navy Yard on 30 October. 

During the time the submarine conducted training, relations between the U.S. and Germany had become strained by the latter’s resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare on 1 February 1917. As the result of these heightened tensions, USS L-11 (SS-51) was ordered to proceed to Hampton Roads. Departing Pensacola on 27 March, she transited via Key West (30–31 March) and stood in through the Virginia capes to Hampton Roads on 5 April. The following day, the same day the U.S. declared war on Germany, the submarine shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard.

Following a period of repair, USS L-11 (SS-51) got underway to conduct a patrol of the Azores (3–6 January 1918) to deny German U-boats or surface raiders use of the archipelago as a refuge. At the conclusion of the mission, the boat returned to Base No. 13 and secured alongside USS Bushnell. After another patrol, the boat arrived at Queenstown for refit on 2 June. With the work completed, USS L-11 (SS-51) stood out from Queenstown on 24 July, bound for Berehaven they reached later that day. She was underway again on patrol four days later. USS L-11 (SS-51) reported sighting an enemy submarine at 6:15 p.m. on 29 September 1918, but did not fire upon the boat. USS L-11 (SS-51) continued her ASW patrolling duties to the war’s end with the Armistice of 11 November.

On 16 November 1920, the Office of Naval Operations issued orders directing that USS L-11 (SS-51) be prepared for transfer to the Submarine Repair Division at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 27 January 1921 and placed in an inactive status. USS L-11 (SS-51) decommissioned at Hampton Roads on 28 November 1923. She was later towed in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 23 September 1924. USS L-11 (SS-51) remained there through her being stricken from the Navy list on 18 December 1930 and subsequently being sold for scrap on 28 November 1933.

For a complete history of USS L-11 (SS-51) please see its DANFS page.