United States D-class submarine

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Class overview
Builders: Electric Boat (design),
Fore River Shipbuilding, Quincy, Massachusetts
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: C class
Succeeded by: E class
Built: April 1909–September 1910
In commission: November 1909–March 1922
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
Preserved: 0
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
Displacement: 288 long tons (293 t) surfaced
337 long tons (342 t) submerged
Length: 134 ft 10 in (41.10 m)
Beam: 13 ft 11 in (4.24 m)
Draft: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Propulsion: 2 x NELSECO gasoline engines, 600 hp (450 kW) total[1]
2 x electric motors, 260 hp (190 kW) total
2 x 60-cell batteries
2 shafts[2]
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced, 9.5 knots (17.6 km/h; 10.9 mph) submerged
Range: 1,240 nautical miles (2,300 km; 1,430 mi) (surfaced)
Test depth: 200 ft (61 m)
Complement: 15 officers and men
Armament: 4 × 18 inch (457 mm) bow torpedo tubes, (4 torpedoes)[3]

The D-class submarines were a class of three United States Navy submarines, built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company of Quincy, Massachusetts, under a subcontract from the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. They followed the trend of rapidly increasing size in early submarine designs, at 337 tons submerged compared with 279 tons for the C-class. They were also the first US submarines to have four torpedo tubes. All three ships served during World War I providing training for crews and officers on the US East Coast, before the class was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1922.


These vessels included some features intended to increase underwater speed that were standard on US submarines of this era, including a small sail and a rotating cap over the torpedo tube muzzles. For extended surface runs, the small sail was augmented with a temporary piping-and-canvas structure. Apparently the "crash dive" concept had not yet been thought of, as this would take considerable time to deploy and dismantle. This remained standard through the L-class, commissioned 1916-1917. The streamlined, rotating torpedo tube muzzle cap eliminated the drag that muzzle holes would otherwise cause. In the stowed position, the submarine appears to have no torpedo tubes, as the holes in the cap are covered by the bow stem. This feature remained standard through the K-class, after which it was replaced with shutters that were standard through the 1950s.


  • USS D-1 (SS-17) was launched in 8 September 1909 and was commissioned on 23 November 1909 as Narwhal. Renamed D-1 on 17 November 1911, the submarine was decommissioned on 8 February 1922 and sold afterwards.[4]
  • USS D-2 (SS-18) was launched in 16 June 1909 and was commissioned on 23 November 1909 as Grayling. Renamed D-2 on 17 November 1911, the submarine was decommissioned on 18 January 1922 and sold afterwards.[5]
  • USS D-3 (SS-19) was launched in 12 March 1910 and was commissioned on 8 September 1910 as Salmon. Renamed D-3 on 17 November 1911, the submarine was decommissioned on 20 March 1922 and sold afterwards.[6]

See also[edit]

Media related to D class submarines of the United States at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Gardiner, p. 127
  2. ^ Gardiner, p. 127
  3. ^ Pigboats.com D-boats page
  4. ^ "D-1". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "D-2". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "D-3". Retrieved 15 March 2013.