Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS G-2 (SS-27)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS G-2 (SS-27)

Submarine No. 27 was laid down on 20 October 1909 at Bridgeport, Conn., by the Lake Torpedo Boat Co.; renamed USS G-2 (SS-27) on 17 November 1911; launched on 10 January 1912; sponsored by Miss Marjorie F. Miller; towed to the New York Navy Yard after the termination of the Lake contract on 7 November 1913; and commissioned on 1 December 1913, Lt. (j.g.) Ralph C. Needham in command.

Departing New York under tow of submarine tender Ozark (Monitor No.7) the submersible torpedo boat arrived at the torpedo station, Newport, Rhode Island, on 28 February 1914. Attached to the Atlantic Submarine Flotilla, USS G-2 (SS-27) spent the next five months conducting dive training and engineering exercises with G-1 in Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. USS G-2 (SS-27) was placed in full commission at New York on 6 February 1915, Lt (jg). Ralph C. Needham in command.

On 18 May, USS G-2 (SS-27) joined other warships and passed in review before President Woodrow Wilson, who looked on from the yacht Mayflower. The boat then sailed to Nantucket, to participate in a war problem off Block Island, before unloading her torpedoes at Newport on 25 May. Six months later, USS G-2 (SS-27) shifted to the Lake Torpedo Boat Company yard for completion, receiving new diving rudder gear, hydroplanes, electrical wiring and a new crankshaft. This yard work required extensive alterations and the boat did not return to service until convoyed to New London by USS Sunbeam II (SP-42) on 28 June 1917.

Shifting back to New London on 20 October, USS G-2 (SS-27) combined work on sound detection devices with training for the newly established Submarine School off Block Island and in Long Island Sound. During seven months of operations, she experimented with magnetic detectors and dragging devices and tried out new periscopes and other submarine equipment. 

Decommissioned on 2 April 1919, tUSS G-2 (SS-27) was designated as a target for testing depth charges and ordnance nets in Niantic Bay, Conn. Tragically, during inspection by a six-man maintenance crew on 30 July 1919, the boat suddenly flooded and sank at her moorings in Two Tree Channel near Niantic Bay. She went down in 13 1/2 fathoms, drowning three of the inspection crew. Too deep and too old to salvage, the submarine was struck from the Navy List on 11 September 1919.

For a complete history of USS G-2 (SS-27) please see its DANFS page.