USS L-8 (SS-48)

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USS L-8 in 1917
Name: USS L-8
Builder: Lake Torpedo Boat Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Laid down: 24 February 1915
Launched: 23 April 1917
Commissioned: 30 August 1917
Decommissioned: 15 November 1922
Fate: Sunk as target, 26 May 1926.
General characteristics
Type: L class submarine
Displacement: 456 long tons (463 t) surfaced
524 long tons (532 t) submerged
Length: 165 ft (50 m)
Beam: 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
Draft: 13 ft 3 in (4.04 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) surfaced
10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) submerged
Complement: 28 officers and men
Armament: • 4 × 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes
• 1 × 3"/23 caliber deck gun

USS L-8 (SS-48) was an L-class submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down on 24 February 1915 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine.

The L-boats designed by Lake Torpedo Boat (L-5 through L-8) were built to slightly different specifications from the other L-boats, which were designed by Electric Boat, and are sometimes considered a separate L-5 class.

L-8 was launched on 23 April 1917 sponsored by Miss Nancy Gill, and commissioned on 30 August 1917 with Lieutenant J. Parker, Jr., in command.

Service history[edit]

Following training operations along the East Coast, L-8 prepared for European service. Departing Charleston, South Carolina, on 20 October, the submarine steamed for the Azores to join Submarine Division 6 for patrols against U-boats. She arrived Bermuda on 13 November, two days after the end of World War I, and was ordered to return to the United States.

After exercises and visits in Caribbean Sea and Central American ports, L-8 arrived San Pedro, California, on 13 February 1919 to join the submarine flotilla on the West Coast. Remaining there from 1919 to 1922, she experimented with new torpedoes and undersea detection equipment. Following a period of commission, in ordinary, early in 1922, L-8 departed San Pedro on 25 July for the Atlantic, arriving Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 28 September. L-8 was decommissioned on 15 November 1922.

L-8 was ultimately destroyed as a target during testing for magnetic influence exploders for torpedoes, off Rhode Island on 26 May 1926 (Miller 117). This was the only test with live torpedoes of magnetic exploders conducted by the Navy in the 19 years before the World War II period.


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