Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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A-3 (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 4)

1903-1922 

(Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 4: dp. 107; l. 63'10"; b. 11'11"; dr. 10'7"; s. 8 k. (surf.), 7 k. (subm.); cpl. 7; a. 1 18" tt.; cl. Plunger)

The submarine torpedo boat A-3 was originally laid down as Grampus (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 4) on 10 December 1900 at San Francisco, Calif., by Union Iron Works, a subcontractor for the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Co. of New York; launched on 31 July 1902; sponsored by Mrs. Marley F. Hay, wife of the Superintendent of Construction at Union Iron Works; commissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 28 May 1903, Lt. Arthur MacArthur, the older brother of future General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, in command.

Over the next three and a half years, Grampus operated out of the San Francisco area, principally in training and experimental work. During that time, on 18 April 1906, men from her crew participated in relief efforts which followed the devastating earthquake and fire in the city of San Francisco. Decommissioned at Mare Island on 28 November 1906, Grampus remained inactive until recommissioned on 13 June 1908. Subsequently assigned to the 1st Submarine Division, Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, in January 1910, and to the Pacific Fleet in March 1911, the submarine torpedo boat operated locally off the California coast until assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet on 28 June 1912. Toward the end of that period of active service, on 17 November 1911, Grampus was renamed A-3.

The submarine torpedo boat remained inactive, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, into 1915. On 16 February 1915, she was hoisted on board the collier, Hector, which sailed soon thereafter for the Philippine Islands with A-3 and her sistership, A-5 (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 6) (ex-Pike), as deck cargo. Hector arrived at Olongapo on 26 March 1915, and launched A-3 on 10 April.

Commissioned at Olongapo a week later, on 17 April 1915, A-3 was assigned to the First Submarine Division, Torpedo Flotilla, Asiatic Fleet, and remained in active service with that unit until decommissioned at Cavite on 25 July 1921. During World War I, A-3 patrolled the waters off the entrance to Manila Bay. On 17 July 1920, she was given the identification number SS-4.

Dismantled and used as a target by ships of the Asiatic Fleet, A-3 was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 16 January 1922.

Published: Wed Aug 31 21:38:31 EDT 2016