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USS K-5 (SS-36)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS K-5 (SS-36)

USS K-5 (Submarine No. 36) was laid down on 10 June 1912 at Quincy, Mass., by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co. under a subcontract from the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; launched on 17 March 1914; sponsored by Mrs. Warren G. [Julie] Child, the wife of Lt. Warren G. Child, an officer on duty at the shipyard; and commissioned at the Boston (Mass.) Navy Yard on 22 August, Lt. (j.g.) Holbrook Gibson in command.

USS K-5 received orders assigning her to the Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, on 14 September 1914. Those orders were amended on 9 October when she received orders assigning her to the newly-organized Fourth Division, Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet. The submarine departed the Boston Navy Yard on 16 November. Initially, bound for the Torpedo Station at Newport, R.I., she arrived later that day and then departed on 19 November for the Submarine Base, New London, Conn. where she joined the Fourth Division. 

USS K-5 cleared the New York Navy Yard on 19 January 1915 and arrived at Charleston, S.C., on 23 January. Getting underway again on 26 January, the boat proceeded to Key West, Fla. (29 January–5 February) and Tampa, Fla. (6–7 February) in advance of reaching Pensacola, Fla. on 9 February. USS K-5 operated in the waters of Narragansett Bay until 20 June, when she sortied from Newport and reached the New York Navy Yard, where she docked for overhaul the following day. The submarine remained at the yard until 2 October, when she undocked and cleared for Newport. Arriving at her destination the next day, she departed on 4 October for maneuvers and training. Returning to Newport (10–31 October), she proceeded back into the New York Navy Yard. Reaching on 1 November, she remained there through the year’s end.

After a time in port at Philadelphia (12–16 September 1916), USS K-5 conducted engineering performance runs off New London (19–20 September) before conducting a series of torpedo practices in the waters of the Long Island Sound (20 September–11 October). Afterward, she returned to New London on 11 October to conduct crew training until 31 October. As USS K-5 conducted her training, relations between the U.S. and Imperial Germany became strained pursuant to the latter’s resumption of its unrestricted submarine warfare campaign on 1 February 1917. As a result, Atlantic Fleet assets were being consolidated along the east coast in the anticipation of the outbreak of war. 

USS K-5 later returned to Key West where she collided with the tug John L. Lawrence (S. P. 838) on 12 September. Both were reported as uninjured, but K-5 docked at Key West for construction on 15 November. 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, USS K-5 was designated SS-36 as part of a Navy-wide administrative reorganization. The boat departed Key West for Philadelphia on 12 June 1920, arriving on the 17th for overhaul. She then received orders on 21 June re-assigning the homeport of her division, Submarine Division Three, from Key West to Philadelphia. With orders dated 27 January 1922, USS K-5 (SS-36) and the other boats of Division Five reported to Commander, Submarine Base, New London. While underway on 18 March, K-5 crossed astern in too close a proximity to the Bartlett Reef (Conn.) Light Vessel and dragged across the latter’s moorings. USS K-5 (SS-36) continued operations in the Chesapeake Bay, then decommissioned at Submarine Base, Hampton Roads on 20 February 1923. Taken in tow to Philadelphia on 13 November 1924, she was stricken from the Navy List on 18 December 1930.

For complete history of USS K-5 (SS-36) please see its DANFS page.