Plunger-class submarine

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USS Plunger S2-1.jpg
USS Plunger (SS-2)
Class overview
Builders: Electric Boat (design)
Crescent Shipyard (SS-2, -3, -5, -7, -8)
Union Iron Works (SS-4, SS-6)
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: USS Holland (SS-1)
Succeeded by: B-class submarine
Completed: 7
Retired: 7
Preserved: 0
General characteristics
Type: Training ship
Displacement: 107 tons
Length: 63 ft 10 in (19.46 m)
Beam: 11 ft 11 in (3.63 m)
Draft: 10 ft 7 in (3.23 m)
Propulsion:

1 × Otto gasoline engine, 160 bhp (120 kW)
1 × Electro Dynamic electric motor, 150 bhp (110 kW)
60-cell battery

1 shaft
Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) (surfaced)
7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) (submerged)
Test depth: 19 m (62 ft)
Armament: One 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tube (5 torpedoes)

The Plunger class was an early class of United States Navy submarines, used primarily as training vessels for the newly formed "silent service" to familiarize navy personnel with the performance and operations of such craft. They were known as the "A-class" after being renamed to A-type designations (A-1 through A-7) on 17 November 1911. All except Plunger ended up being stationed in the Philippines, an American possession, prior to the outbreak of World War I. They were shipped there on colliers (coal-carrying ships). In some instances, this class of submarines is referred to as the Adder-class submarine, as USS Adder was the first boat of the class to be completed.[1]

History[edit]

The Plunger-class submarines were built at the beginning of the twentieth century largely as experimental vessels. This class of submarines was built at two different locations on both coasts of the United States. The five East Coast boats were based at New Suffolk, New York along with USS Holland (SS-1) until 1905, allowing New Suffolk to claim itself as the first submarine base in the United States.[2] They were given alphanumeric hull classification symbols (SS-2, SS-3, etc.) on 17 July 1920, after all but Grampus (SS-4) and Pike (SS-6) had been decommissioned. All of the Plunger-class ships were decommissioned by 1921 and used as targets. They were stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 16 January 1922 and sold for scrap.[3]

Boats[edit]

USS Plunger (SS-2) / A-1
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 2, SS-2 USS Plunger;0800206.jpg
Builders: Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey
Laid down: 21 May 1901
Launched: 1 February 1902 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 19 September 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 24 February 1913 (List)
Fate: Sold for scrap 26 January 1922
Operations: Torpedo testing, training, Theodore Roosevelt tour
USS Adder / A-2
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 3, SS-3 USS Adder (SS-3).jpg
Builders: Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey
Laid down: 3 October 1900
Launched: 22 July 1901 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 12 January 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 12 December 1919 (List)
Fate: Sunk as a target ship
Operations: Torpedo testing, training, peace time patrol
Plunger, Adder, Moccasin, Porpoise, and Shark.
USS Grampus / A-3
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 3, SS-4 USS Grampus (SS-4).jpg
Builders: Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California
Laid down: 10 December 1900
Launched: 31 July 1902 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 28 May 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 25 July 1921 (List)
Fate: Struck 16 January 1922 and sunk as a target ship
Operations: San Francisco earthquake of 1906 relief efforts
A 1912 view of the breech of the sole torpedo tube of USS Moccasin / A-4. Two torpedoes are on wooden skids in the foreground. The skids slid across the deck for loading.
USS Moccasin / A-4
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 5, SS-5 USS Moccasin (SS-5).jpg
Builders: Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey
Laid down: 8 November 1900
Launched: 20 August 1901 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 17 January 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 12 December 1919 (List)
Fate: Target ship
Operations: Training, trials, peacetime patrol
USS Pike / A-5
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 6, SS-6 USS Pike (SS-6).jpg
Builders: Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California
Laid down: 10 December 1900
Launched: 14 January 1903 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 28 May 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 25 July 1921 (List)
Fate: Sold for scrap 26 January 1922
Operations: San Francisco earthquake of 1906 recovery efforts, training & trials, harbor patrol
USS Porpoise, A-6
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 7, SS-7
Builders: Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey
Laid down: 13 December 1900
Launched: 23 September 1901 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 19 September 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 12 December 1919 (List)
Fate: Target ship
Operations: Whiting experiment, other trials, harbor patrols
USS Shark, A-7
Designation: Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 8, SS-8
Builders: Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey
Laid down: 11 January 1901
Launched: 19 October 1901 (List)
Operator:  United States Navy
Commissioned: 19 September 1903 (List)
Decommissioned: 12 December 1919 (List)
Fate: Target ship
Operations: Torpedo and other trials, Manila Bay patrols

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gardiner, p. 127
  2. ^ cutchoguenewsuffolk.org history - Retrieved 2007-11-04
  3. ^ Gardiner, p. 127

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]