Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Boats-Ships--Submarine
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  • World War I 1917-1918
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K-1 (Submarine No. 32)

1914–1923

(Submarine No. 32: displacement 392 (surface), 521 (submerged); length 153'7"; beam 16'8"; draft 13'1"; speed 14 knots (surface), 10.5 knots (submerged); complement 28; armament 4 18-inch torpedo tubes; class K-1)

Haddock (Submarine No. 32) was laid down on 20 February 1910, at Quincy, Mass., by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co. as a subcontract for the Electric Boat Co.; on 17 November 1911 was renamed K-1; launched on 3 September 1913; sponsored by Mrs. Albert Ware Marshall; commissioned at Boston (Mass.) Navy Yard on 17 March 1914, Lt. (j.g.) Elwin F. Cutts in command.

K-1 was initially assigned to duty with the 3rd Submarine Division, Submarine Flotilla, Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet on 18 March 1914. She departed Boston on 5 June and proceeded to the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., where she arrived the next day. She cleared the yard on 4 July and proceeded to Newport, R.I, reaching that same day. Over the following weeks, she operated from Newport in the waters off Rhode Island and Massachusetts until departing on 14 August bound for the New York Navy Yard. She entered the yard the next day and remained there until 2 October, when she cleared and proceeded up the Thames River to Groton, Conn., mooring later that same day. On 9 October, the boat detached from the 3rd Submarine Division, Submarine Flotilla, Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet for re-assignment to the newly-organized 4th Division.

K-1 cleared Groton on 14 October 1914 and proceeded to Newport. Arriving that same day, she departed the next for New London, Conn. where she arrived that evening. The submarine remained there until 8 December, when she got underway for a two-day cruise before returning to New London. She then departed later on the 10th and stood in to the New York Navy Yard on 13 December, remaining there into the new year.

The submarine cleared New York on 19 January 1915 for underwater development training out of Key West, Fla. Proceeding via Charleston, S.C. (23–26 January), the boat raised Key West on the 29th. While based in Florida, she made a visit to Tampa, Fla. (6–7 February) and conducted training in the waters off Pensacola, Fla. (9 February–23 April). Having returned to Key West on 27 April, she was underway again on 1 May bound for the North River anchorage in the Hudson River off New York City. Arriving on the 6th, she remained until 18 May, when she departed to conduct maneuvers while en route to Newport. Arriving on 19 May, she operated in the Narragansett Bay until 20 June, when she set a course for a maintenance availability at the New York Navy Yard. Arriving on 21 June, the submarine entered the yard and underwent maintenance into the fall. Clearing the yard on 3 October, she proceeded to Newport. While en route, she conducted trials and training and made her arrival on 11 October. She continued to operate off Rhode Island until 31 October, when she got underway to return to the New York Navy Yard. Reaching on 1 November, the boat again docked in the yard. She would remain there into January 1916.

K-1 stood out from the New York Navy Yard on 27 January 1916. She was bound for Key West via Charleston (31 January–1 February) and stood in to Key West on 4 February. After two days, she cleared for Tampa (7–14 February) en route to Pensacola, where she arrived on the 16th. As she did the preceding year, K-1 conducted training based from Pensacola until 26 April. Departing the Florida panhandle, she proceeded via Key West (28–30 April) to Hampton Roads, Va. Arriving on 4 May, she remained until the 13th, then departed for the New York Navy Yard.

K-1 entered dry dock at the New York Navy Yard on 14 May 1916 and underwent overhaul to 3 August, when she cleared the yard for New London, Conn. From this base she conducted submerged training (4–8 August) in advance of joining the Atlantic Fleet to conduct maneuvers off Great Salt Pond, R.I. She then returned to New London to conduct oscillator tests (12-16 August). Underway again she was in Narragansett Bay (16–19 August) where she visited the Torpedo Station at Melville, R.I. and Newport, R.I. before returning to New London (19–21 August) Clearing that station, she rejoined the fleet for exercises off New Jersey (22–24 August) and Rhode Island (26–27 August) before visiting Cold Spring Inlet, N.J (28–31 August). The submarine then refueled at the Philadelphia [Pa.] Navy Yard (1–3 September) and then returned to Cold Spring Inlet to conduct training with a motor boat patrol (3–12 September). After a return to Philadelphia (12–16 September), the submarine made engineering performance runs at New London (19–20 September) then conducted torpedo proving practices at Block Island, R.I. (20-28 September). After a torpedo turn-in at the Torpedo Station at Melville, R.I., K-1 returned to Block Island for additional torpedo practice (29 September–9 October). Moving in Long Island Sound to Gardiner’s Bay, N.Y., she conducted her first preliminary Torpedo Practice (9–11 October) and then made her return to New London for additional crew training (11-29 October). K-1 then proceeded to the New York Navy Yard and docked for overhaul through 9 January 1917.

K-1 cleared the yard on 9 January 1917 bound for Hampton Roads. Upon her arrival, she took on supplies and completed additional repairs (11–14 January). Standing out through the Virginia capes, the submarine was en route to the Gulf of Mexico. After a visit to Key West, Fla. (20–22 January), she shifted to Dry Tortugas, Fla. (22–26 January) to conduct torpedo proving practice. Proceeding to Key West on the 26th, she departed that same day and conducted a patrol cruise to 5 February, when she arrived at Tampa, Fla., and remained there until 11 February. She then transited to Pensacola, Fla. to train her crew and conduct tactical exercises (12-17 February). The boat shifted to Mobile, Ala., (17–21 February) for liberty and recruiting activities. She then returned to Pensacola, where she conducted submerged training and tactical problems with other boats of the Submarine Force (21 February–27 March).

During this time tensions between the U.S. and Imperial Germany heightened as a result of 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. K-1 departed Pensacola on 27 March and proceeded via Key West (29-31 March) to Hampton Roads, Va., reaching on 5 April. The next day, the U.S. declared war on Germany and the submarine shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va. After oiling, she cleared Norfolk and proceeded north to the New York Navy Yard (11–24 April) before moving on to New London, Conn. (Base No. 22) to train her crew (24 April–8 May). Clearing New London on 8 May, she returned to the New York Navy Yard.


Submarines K-6, K-2, K-5, and K-1 at the 135th Street Pier, New York, N.Y., 1915. (Naval History and Heritage Command NH 2014.55.01)
Caption: Submarines K-6, K-2, K-5, and K-1 at the 135th Street Pier, New York, N.Y., 1915. (Naval History and Heritage Command NH 2014.55.01)


K-1 underway, circa 1916. Photographed by O.W. Waterman, Hampton, Va. (Collection of Cmdr. Haines H. Lippincott. Donated by Rhoda A. Lippincott, 1973, Naval History and Heritage Command NH 99399)
Caption: K-1 underway, circa 1916. Photographed by O.W. Waterman, Hampton, Va. (Collection of Cmdr. Haines H. Lippincott. Donated by Rhoda A. Lippincott, 1973, Naval History and Heritage Command NH 99399)

While K-1 underwent overhaul, Vice Adm. William S. Sims, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in European Waters, in June 1917, cited British success in using submarines as submarine hunter-killers in antisubmarine warfare (ASW). The Allied submarines, with their lower profiles, could approach U-boats more stealthily than larger surface patrol vessels. On 2 July, Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, ordered the twelve most suitable submarines on the Atlantic coast be fitted out for duty in European waters. K-1 was selected for this duty and was fitted out for distant service.

K-1 received her movement orders on 25 September 1917. In advance of her deployment to European waters, she was to conduct a training run up the Long Island Sound and then return to the New York Navy Yard for an inspection of her engines. With that run and inspection completed, she cleared the New York Navy Yard and returned to Submarine Base, New London on 1 October.

K-1 departed New London, proceeding down the Thames River, on 12 October 1917, in company with Bushnell (Submarine Tender No. 2), K-2 (Submarine No. 33), K-5 (Submarine No. 36), and K-6 (Submarine No. 37). Passing through the Cape Cod Canal and the vessels rendezvoused with the protected cruiser Chicago (flagship Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet) at Provincetown, Mass. The force stopped at Halifax, Nova Scotia (15–16 October) en route to the Azores, where it arrived at Ponta Delgada (Base No. 13) on the 27th. K-1 received orders to operate from Ponta Delgada and conduct patrol cruises off the Azores in conjunction with her sister K-boats and the yet to arrive E-1 (Submarine No. 24). These boats were designated the 4th Division, Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, while the L-boats based in Ireland were designated the 5th Division. For the duration of the war, she conducted a routine of patrol cruises in Azorean waters to protect shipping and to deny the use of the Portuguese archipelago as a base for U-boats or as a haven for German surface raiders interspersed with periods of refit, repairs, and replenishment. On 21 April 1918, K-1 departed for Horta, Azores, to replace E-1 in that sector. Arriving the next day, she conducted her designated patrolling until relieved. She then made her return to Ponta Delgada on 1 May. In spite of these patrols, the submarine never made a reported contact with an enemy U-boat.

With the Armistice and the cessation of hostilities on 11 November 1918, the submarine departed the Azores in company with Chicago, Arctic (S. P. 1158), and K-6. Transiting via Bermuda (7-9 December), all arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 13 December. During post-deployment overhaul it was noted on 14 December, that both K-1 and K-6 were available for re-engining. K-1 underwent maintenance into spring 1919.

With the completion of her overhaul, K-1 cleared the Philadelphia Navy Yard and with orders to return to and be based from New London, she resumed coastal operations. On 26 August 1919, K-1, K-2, K-6, and Eagle Boat No. 25 received orders to proceed to Key West and report to Commander, Seventh Naval District, in order to assume station duties based from there. They departed on 8 September with instructions to proceed via Hampton Roads; Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Brunswick, Ga.; and Jacksonville, Fla. These orders were amended and she made a visit to the Philadelphia Navy Yard en route. Having operated from Key West, K-1 received orders on 26 April 1920 dispatching her to the Section Base, Cape May, N.J. and from there to the Philadelphia Navy Yard with the other K-boats for the installation of a new main motors. All proceeded north from Key West on 20 May. While en route, she received amended orders and all proceeded directly to Philadelphia. Upon their arrival, all were re-assigned to the Repair and Reserve Submarine Division and were to be placed in reserve until repairs were completed and sufficient crewmembers made available. The submarines arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 7 July. Ten days later, on 17 July, K-1 was designated SS-32 as part of a Navy-wide administrative re-organization. The boat entered dry dock on 12 October.


K-Class submarines, circa 1920s. Present are K-7, K-1, K-5, K-3 in the foreground with K-2, K-8 & K-4 beyond. Note semaphore flags. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph S-551-B.01)
Caption: K-Class submarines, circa 1920s. Present are K-7, K-1, K-5, K-3 in the foreground with K-2, K-8 & K-4 beyond. Note semaphore flags. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph S-551-B.01)

On 15 January 1921, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OpNav) directed K-1 to report to the Submarine Base, Hampton Roads. That order was amended to enable additional work to be completed. OPNAV, on 4 February, issued orders detaching the K-boats from Submarine Division 3 and assigning them to Submarine Division 5 at Hampton Roads. The submarine’s assignment changed again on 9 May when she was assigned as part of the Division 5 contingent to the Special Submarine Squadron with units from Division 8 and Division 15. The squadron consolidated at Provincetown (15 June–2 July). K-1 conducted tactical attack training exercises with Division 5 and its tender Bushnell (5–16 July) in advance of conducting joint maneuvers off Provincetown (18–23 July). After these maneuvers, she returned to her operating base at Gloucester, Mass. to conduct overhaul (25–30 July).

The division then conducted rehearsals and battle practice (1–6 August 1921) before rehearsing for and conducting Ready Torpedo Practice (8–13 August). She then conducted rehearsals and Battle Practice Z (15–20 August) before returning to her operating base for overhaul (22–27 August). The squadron then operated with a Destroyer Division conducting joint maneuvers (29 August–3 September) and then engaged in experimental torpedo practice with the divisions acting in concert while the destroyers conducted depth charge practice (5–10 September) before conducting engineering runs while en route to Hampton Roads (12–17 September). The squadron then engaged in target practices in the Chesapeake Bay (19 September–1 October). After the completion of the exercises, K-1 reported to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for urgent repairs. On 2 December, K-1 detached from the Special Submarine Squadron and was re-assigned to Division 5. With her repairs completed, K-1 cleared the Philadelphia Navy Yard under tow of the fleet tug Kalmia (AT-23) on 6 December to the Submarine Base, Hampton Roads, where she remained through the end of the year.

K-1, with the new year, received orders on 12 January 1922, to proceed under tow of Wandank (AT-26) back to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for installation of a main battery. That movement was actually made under the tow of the mineswwper Teal (AM-23). On 7 March, she received orders to report to Submarine Base, New London, to rejoin Division 5 whence she operated into the autumn of 1922.

K-1 arrived at the Submarine Base Hampton Roads, on 1 November 1922 and remained there until she decommissioned, entering dry dock on 29 January 1923 to prepare for decommissioning, that occurred on 9 March 1923.

Kewaydin (AT-24) towed the decommissioned submarine to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 15 September 1924. Ultimately, K-1 was stricken from the Navy list on 18 December 1930 and sold as scrap on 25 June 1931.

Commanding Officers Dates of Command
Lt. (j.g.) Elwin F. Cutts 17 March 1914–23 September 1914
Lt. (j.g.) Lucius C. Dunn 23 September 1914–26 July 1916
Lt. (j.g.) George L. Dickson 26 July 1916–23 June 1917
Lt. (j.g.) James R. Webb 23 June 1917–17 January 1918
Lt. Eric L. Barr 17 January 1918–16 September 1918
Lt. Sifrein F. Maury 16 September 1918–23 December 1918
Lt. Lloyd J. Wiltse 23 December 1918–2 July 1920
Lt. Charles W. Weitzel 2 July 1920–9 December 1921
Lt. (j.g.) Peyton S. Cochran 9 December 1921–23 October 1922
Lt. (j.g.) Eric M. Grimsley 23 October 1922–16 January 1923
Lt. James D. Jacobs 16 January 1923–9 March 1923


Christopher B. Havern Sr.; Commanding Officers List researched and compiled by Kathryn Sullivan

21 September 2018

Published: Mon Sep 24 10:57:16 EDT 2018