.(Submarine No. 48: displacement 456 (surfaced), 524 (submerged); length 165'; beam 14'9"; draft 13'3"(mean); speed 14 knots (surfaced), 10.5 knots (submerged); complement 28; armament 1 3-inch, 4 18-inch torpedo tubes; class L-5)
L-8 (Submarine No. 48) was laid down on 24 February 1915 at Portsmouth, N.H., by the Portsmouth Navy Yard; launched on 23 April 1917; sponsored by Miss Nancy Gill, daughter of Lt. Charles C. Gill, U.S. Navy, and granddaughter of Rear Adm. William L. Howard, U.S. Navy; and commissioned on 30 August 1917, Lt. James Parker, Jr., in command.
Following training operations along the east coast, L-8 prepared for European service. Departing Charleston, S.C., on 20 October 1917, the submarine steamed for the Azores to join Submarine Division 6. She arrived Bermuda on 13 November, two days after the end of the Great War, and received orders to return to the U.S.
After exercises and visits to Caribbean and Central American ports, L-8 arrived at San Pedro, Calif., on 13 February 1919 to join the submarine flotilla on the west coast. Remaining there from 1919 to 1922, during which time she was redesignated from Submarine No. 48 to SS-48 on 17 July 1920, she participated in the development of new torpedoes and detection equipment.
Following a period of commission in ordinary [a decommissioned status] early in 1922, L-8 departed San Pedro on 25 July 1922 for the Atlantic, arriving at Hampton Roads, Va., on 28 September. The submarine decommissioned there on 15 November 1922.
Stricken from the Navy List on 25 March 1925, ex-L-8 was expended as a target in magnetic influence torpedo exploder tests off Newport, R.I. on 26 May 1926, the only such destructive test conducted in 19 years of pre-World War II magnetic influence torpedo exploder development
Updated, Robert J. Cressman
10 May 2020