USS N-1 (SS-53)

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USS N-1 (SS-53).jpg
USS N-1 ca. 1921
Name: USS N-1
Builder: Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, Seattle, Washington
Laid down: 26 July 1915
Launched: 30 December 1916
Commissioned: 26 September 1917
Decommissioned: 30 April 1926
Struck: 18 December 1930
Fate: Scrapped, early 1931
General characteristics
Class and type: N-class submarine
  • 347 long tons (353 t) surfaced
  • 414 long tons (421 t) submerged
Length: 147 ft 3 in (44.88 m)
Beam: 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m)
Draft: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
Installed power:
  • 480 bhp (360 kW) (diesel)
  • 560 hp (420 kW) (electric)
  • 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) surfaced
  • 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) submerged
  • 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) on the surface
  • 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 200 feet (61.0 m)
Complement: 25 officers and men
Armament: 4 × bow 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes

USS N-1 (SS-53) was a N-class coastal defense submarine built for the United States Navy during World War I.


The N-class boats designed by Electric Boat (N-1 throughN-3) were built to slightly different specifications from the other N-class submarines, which were designed by Lake Torpedo Boat, and are sometimes considered a separate class. The Electric Boat submarines had a length of 147 feet 3 inches (44.9 m) overall, a beam of 15 feet 9 inches (4.8 m) and a mean draft of 12 feet 6 inches (3.8 m). They displaced 347 long tons (353 t) on the surface and 414 long tons (421 t) submerged. The N-class submarines had a crew of 2 officers and 23 enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).[1]

For surface running, the Electric Boat submarines were powered by two 240-brake-horsepower (179 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 280-horsepower (209 kW) electric motor. They could reach 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) on the surface and 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) underwater. On the surface, the boats had a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) and 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.[1]

The boats were armed with four 18-inch (45 cm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They carried four reloads, for a total of eight torpedoes.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

N-1 was laid down on 26 July 1915 by Seattle Construction and Drydock Company in Seattle, Washington. She was launched on 30 December 1916 sponsored by Mrs. Guy E. Davis, and commissioned on 26 September 1917 with Lieutenant George A. Trever in command. N-1 was fitted out at Puget Sound Navy Yard and then departed on 21 November 1917 for San Francisco, California, in company with her sisters N-2 (SS-54) and N-3 (SS-55). Reassigned to the East Coast, she departed San Francisco on 13 December for Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, and thence proceeded via Cristobal, Jamaica, Key West, Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia, to New London, Connecticut, arriving on 7 February 1918.

Reporting for duty to Commander, First Naval District, the submarine began her first patrol on 23 June by hunting for a U-boat reported in the vicinity of Cape Cod. After an intensive but fruitless search, N-1 continued her patrol off the New England coast. For the remainder of the war and until early 1922, N-1 continued her operations in the area from New London to Bar Harbor.

Placed in reduced commission on 1 May 1922, N-1 became a training submarine for the Submarine School, New London. She continued this duty until ordered to Philadelphia Navy Yard on 9 December 1925. Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 18 December, she was decommissioned on 30 April 1926. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 18 December 1930, N-1 was scrapped in early 1931.


  1. ^ a b Friedman, p. 307
  2. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 129


  • Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-263-3. 
  • Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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