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USS L-9 (SS-49)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS L-9 (SS-49)

USS L-9 (SS-49) was laid down on 2 November 1914 at Quincy, Mass., by Fore River Shipbuilding Co. as a subcontract for Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; launched on 27 October 1915; sponsored by Miss Heather P. Baxter; and commissioned at the Boston (Mass.) Navy Yard on 4 August 1916, Lt. (j.g.) Percy T. Wright in command.

The day following her commissioning, on 5 August, USS L-9 (SS-49) was assigned to Division Six, Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, and her commander was ordered to report to the Commander, Submarine Force on board the monitor USS Ozark (Monitor No. 7) at the Boston Navy Yard. USS L-9 (SS-49) initially operated in the waters off New England conducting shakedown. By December, she had moved to the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., to undergo preparations for her cruise to Florida and annual fleet exercises in Cuban waters.

USS L-9 (SS-49) departed Pensacola on 1 April and made her way via Key West to the Norfolk Navy Yard. While USS L-9 (SS-49) was en route, the U.S. declared war against Germany on 6 April and entered World War I. The submarine lay at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 7 April, and the next day shifted to Hampton Roads, Va. Two days later, on 10 April, she departed bound for Submarine Base, New London, Conn. Arriving on the 12th, she commenced transferring submarine equipment to the base from USS Ozark. 

USS L-9 (SS-49) completed her yard work and undocked on 16 October 1917. She was, however to remain at the Boston Navy Yard until all repairs and alterations recommended by the Trial Board were completed. It was also noted that the boat “should be given to fire all torpedoes and to standardize over a measured mile at low speeds submerged.” On 28 October, she was directed to proceed via the Cape Cod Canal to Newport, R.I., in company with USS L-10 (Submarine No. 50) and USS L-11. L-9 stood at Hampton Roads awaiting repairs on New Year’s Day 1918. She finally departed the Submarine Base at Hampton Roads on 11 January. She was bound for Ireland via Bermuda and the Azores.

USS L-9 (SS-49) arrived at Queenstown to undergo refit alongside USS Melville (Destroyer Tender No. 2) at the Haulbowline Dockyard on 6 May 1918. That work was completed by 11 June at which time the submarine cleared the yard and returned to Berehaven to resume her patrols.  After the Armistice, USS L-9 (SS-49) shifted from her base at Berehaven and operated from Portland, England, until she cleared on 3 January 1919 for the United States. Steaming via the Azores and Bermuda, the submarine reached the Philadelphia (Pa.) Navy Yard on 1 February. Upon entering the yard, she underwent post-deployment overhaul and repairs. When completed, USS L-9 (SS-49) cleared Philadelphia and shifted to her new homeport at the Submarine Base, headquartered on board Eagle 17, Hampton Roads.

During this period, on 17 July 1920, she was redesignated SS-49 as part of a Navy-wide administrative re-organization. Despite her operational assessment, L-9 was placed in reduced commission at New London, on 1 May 1922 along with L-2, L-3, L-11, N-1 (SS-53), N-2 (SS-54), and N-3 (SS-55). Just over a week later, on 9 May, L-9 was assigned to Submarine Division Zero at New London. USS L-9 (SS-49) was decommissioned at Submarine Base, Hampton Roads on 4 May 1923. She was towed to Norfolk Navy Yard, Newport News, Va. for drydocking on 26 August 1924. After clearing the yard, she was towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, arriving on 4 November. USS L-9 (SS-49) was stricken from the Navy list on 18 December 1930, and was scrapped on 28 November 1933.

For a complete history of USS L-9 (SS-49) please see its DANFS page.