USS Holland (SS-1)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Holland.
USS Holland (SS-1) underway
USS Holland (SS-1) underway
History
United States
Name:
  • Holland VI (1897–1900)
  • Holland (1900–)
Namesake: John Philip Holland
Builder: Crescent Shipyard, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Laid down: November 1896
Launched: 17 May 1897
Acquired: 11 April 1900
Commissioned: 12 October 1900
Decommissioned: 17 July 1905
Struck: 21 November 1910
Fate: Sold 18 June 1913; on display in a park in Paterson, New Jersey until sold for scrap, 1932
General characteristics
Class and type: Submarine
Displacement:
  • 64 long tons (65 t) surfaced
  • 74 long tons (75 t) submerged
Length: 53 ft 10 in (16.41 m) LOA
Beam: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m) extreme
Draft: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Installed power:
  • 45 bhp (34 kW) surfaced
  • 75 bhp (56 kW) submerged
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) surfaced
  • 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 200 nmi (370 km; 230 mi) at 6 kn (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) surfaced
  • 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) at 5.5 kn (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph) submerged
Test depth: 75 feet (23 m)
Complement: 6
Armament:

USS Holland (SS-1) was the United States Navy's first modern commissioned submarine, although not the first military submarine of the United States, which was the 1775 submersible Turtle. The boat was originally laid down as Holland VI at the Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth, New Jersey for John Holland's Holland Torpedo Boat Company, and launched on 17 May 1897. She was acquired by the USN on 11 April 1900 and commissioned on 12 October 1900, Lieutenant H. H. Caldwell commanding.[1][2]

Design and construction[edit]

Rough sketch of Holland.

Holland was built at former Navy Lieutenant Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth, New Jersey for John Holland's Holland Torpedo Boat Company, which became the Electric Boat company in 1899.[3] The vessel was built under the supervision of John Philip Holland, who designed the vessel and her details. Holland's keel was laid at Nixon's Crescent Shipyard with both men present. The two men worked together using many of John Holland's proven concepts and patents to make the submarine a reality, each man complementing the other's contributions to the development of the modern submarine. Important contributions were also made by Arthur L. Busch (or Du Busc), Crescent's superintendent.

Holland VI included many features that submarines of the early 20th century would exhibit, albeit in later, more advanced forms. There was a conning tower from which the boat and her weapons could be directed. Also, she had all the necessary ballast and trim tanks to make precise changes in depth and attitude underwater. Her crew was six men and maximum diving depth was 75 feet (23 m).[4]

For armament, she had a reloadable 18 inch (457 mm) torpedo tube with three torpedoes and an 8.425-inch (214.0 mm) pneumatic dynamite gun in the bow (the dynamite gun's projectiles were called "aerial torpedoes").[5] A second dynamite gun in the stern was removed in 1900 to make room for an improved engine exhaust, prior to delivery to the Navy.[6]

She had both an internal combustion engine (specifically, a 4-stroke Otto gasoline engine of 45 bhp (34 kW)) for running on the surface and an Electro Dynamic electric motor of 50 shp (37 kW) for submerged operation, with one shaft.[7] A 66-cell Exide battery powered the electric motor when submerged.[4] This allowed speeds of 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) surfaced and 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph) submerged. Surfaced range was 200 nmi (370 km; 230 mi) at 6 kn (11 km/h; 6.9 mph), while submerged range was 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) at 5.5 kn (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph).[4] There is significant variation in references as to the vessel's horsepower and speed, for example the Register of Ships of the U. S. Navy gives horsepower figures of 45 bhp (34 kW) surfaced and 75 shp (56 kW) submerged, with 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced and 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.[5]

Service[edit]

Holland VI eventually proved her validity and worthiness as a warship and was ultimately purchased by the U.S. government for the sum of $150,000 on 11 April 1900. She was considered to be the first truly successful craft of her type.[by whom?] The United States Government soon ordered more submarines from Holland's company, which were to be known as the Plunger class. These became America's first fleet of underwater naval vessels.

USS Holland (SS-1) from Scientific American 1898. The muzzle door of the bow dynamite gun is open.

.

Holland VI was modified after her christening, and was renamed USS Holland (SS-1) when she was commissioned by the US Navy on 12 October 1900, at Newport, Rhode Island, with Lieutenant Harry H. Caldwell in command.[2]

Holland was the first commissioned submarine in the US Navy[8] and is the first of the unbroken line of submarines in the Navy. She was the third submarine to be owned by the Navy, however. (The first submarine was Propeller (also known as Alligator) and the second was Intelligent Whale.)

Holland under construction, 1900

On 16 October 1900, in order to be kept serviceable throughout the winter, Holland left Newport under tow of the tug Leyden for Annapolis, Maryland,[8] where she was used to train midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy, as well as officers and enlisted men ordered there to receive training vital in preparing for the operation of other submarines being built for the Fleet.[2]

Holland proved valuable for experimental purposes in collecting data for submarines under construction or contemplation. Her 166 mi (267 km) surface run, from Annapolis to Norfolk, Virginia from 8–10 January 1901, provided useful data on her performance underway over an extended period.[2]

Holland (briefly in 1899, on trials)[9] and five Plunger class Holland-type submarines were based in New Suffolk, New York on the North Fork of Long Island from 1899–1905, prompting the hamlet to claim to be the first submarine base in the United States.[10]

Except for the period from 15 June to 1 October 1901, which was passed training cadets at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, Holland remained at Annapolis as a training submarine until 17 July 1905.[2]

Holland finished her career at Norfolk, Virginia. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 21 November 1910.[1] This revolutionary submarine was sold as scrap to Henry A. Hitner & Sons of Philadelphia on 18 June 1913 for $100. Her purchaser was required to put up $5,000 bond as assurance that the submarine would be broken up and not used as a ship.[2]

About 1915 the hulk of the Holland, stripped of her external fittings, was sold to Peter J. Gibbons. As of October 1916 she was on display in Philadelphia.[11] In May 1917 she was moved to the Bronx, New York as a featured attraction at the Bronx International Exposition of Science, Arts and Industries.[12]

Holland was on display for several years in Paterson, New Jersey until she was finally scrapped in 1932.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The success of the submarine was instrumental in the founding of the Electric Boat Company, now known as the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation. This company, therefore, can trace its origins to the formation of John Philip Holland's original company and the revolutionary submarines that were developed at this shipyard.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Friedman, p. 286
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Holland I (SS-1)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Crescent Shipyard". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  4. ^ a b c Friedman, p. 306
  5. ^ a b Bauer and Roberts, p. 253
  6. ^ Friedman, p. 25
  7. ^ Gardiner and Gray, pp. 126-127
  8. ^ a b Morris
  9. ^ Friedman, p. 25
  10. ^ "History of Cutchogue-New Suffolk". cutchoguenewsuffolk.org. Archived from the original on 29 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  11. ^ Ward County Independent, 26 October 1916. pg. 1.
  12. ^ New York Tribune. May 25, 1917.
  13. ^ Franklin

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]