USS O-15 (SS-76)

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USS O-15 (SS-76).jpg
USS O-15 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 28 June 1919.
Name: USS O-15
Ordered: 3 March 1916
Builder: California Shipbuilding Company, Long Beach, California
Laid down: 21 September 1916
Launched: 12 February 1918
Commissioned: 27 August 1918
Decommissioned: 11 June 1924
Struck: 9 May 1930
Fate: Sold for scrap, 30 July 1930
General characteristics
Class & type: O-class submarine
  • 491 long tons (499 t) surfaced
  • 566 long tons (575 t) submerged
Length: 175 ft 3 in (53.4 m)
Beam: 16 ft 9 in (5.1 m)
Draft: 13 ft 9 in (4.2 m)
Installed power:
  • 880 bhp (660 kW) (diesel)
  • 740 hp (550 kW) (electric)
  • 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) surfaced
  • 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) submerged
Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) on the surface
Test depth: 200 feet (61.0 m)
Complement: 2 officers, 27 men

USS O-15 (SS-76) was one of 16 O-class submarines built for the United States Navy during World War I.


The later O-boats (O-11 through O-16) were designed by Lake Torpedo Boat Company to different specifications from the earlier ones designed by Electric Boat. They did not perform as well, and are sometimes considered a separate class.[1] The submarines had a length of 175 feet 3 inches (53.4 m) overall, a beam of 16 feet 9 inches (5.1 m) and a mean draft of 13 feet 9 inches (4.2 m). They displaced 491 long tons (499 t) on the surface and 566 long tons (575 t) submerged. The O-class submarines had a crew of 29 officers and enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).[2]

For surface running, the boats were powered by two 440-brake-horsepower (328 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 370-horsepower (276 kW) electric motor. They could reach 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface and 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) underwater. On the surface, the O class had a range of 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph).[2]

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. The O-class submarines were also armed with a single 3"/50 caliber deck gun.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

O-15 was laid down on 21 September 1916 by California Shipbuilding Company in Long Beach, California. The boat was launched on 12 February 1918, sponsored by Mrs. J. J. Murphy, and commissioned on 27 August 1918 with Lieutenant C. K. Martin in command. Commissioning during the final months of World War I, O-15 saw brief war time service, on patrol along the Atlantic coast. After the war, she reported to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where machinists and electricians worked on her until 20 September 1919, when she was reduced to "in commission, in reserve," at Cape May, New Jersey. She departed Philadelphia in April 1920 and proceeded, via Jamaica, to Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, where she underwent overhaul and conducted experimental tests. Conducting training cruises, she operated in and around Cuba and the Virgin Islands early in 1922 and returned to Coco Solo in April.

O-15 reported to Philadelphia in November 1923 and decommissioned there 11 June 1924 after just five and a half years of service. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 9 May 1930, she was scrapped, under terms of the London Naval Treaty on 30 July 1930.


  1. ^ DANFS
  2. ^ a b c Gardiner & Gray, p. 129


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