Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS A-7, ex-USS Shark (SS-8)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections including photographs of USS A-7, ex-USS Shark (SS-8). 

The submarine torpedo boat USS A-7 was originally laid down as Shark (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 8) on 11 January 1901 at Elizabethport, N.J., by the Crescent Shipyard of Lewis Nixon, a subcontractor for the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Co. of New York; launched on 19 October 1901; and sponsored by Mrs. Walter Stevens Turpin, wife of Lt. Comdr. Walter S. Turpin, an officer on duty at Crescent Shipyard. Built with a hull of manganese bronze, Shark was equipped and outfitted at the Holland yard at New Suffolk, N.Y., and was commissioned there on 19 September 1903, Lt. Charles P. Nelson in command.

Over the next several years, the submarine torpedo boat operated out of Cavite, interspersing training with periodic upkeep and repair work. On 17 November 1911, Shark was renamed USS A-7.

During World War I, USS A-7 and her sister ships based at Cavite, and carried out patrols of the entrance to Manila Bay. In the early spring of 1917, Lt. (j.g.) Arnold Marcus assumed command of USS A-7. On 24 July 1917, shortly after the submarine torpedo boat's engine had been overhauled, gasoline fumes ignited and caused an explosion and fire while in the course of a patrol in Manila Bay.

Placed in ordinary at Cavite on 1 April 1918, USS A-7 was decommissioned as of 12 December 1919. Given the identification number SS-8 on 17 July 1920, USS A-7, initially advertised for sale in the 16th Naval District, was subsequently authorized for use as a target in 1921. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 16 January 1922.

For a full history of the USS A-7 , please see its DANFS page.