USS R-27 (SS-104)

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USS R-27 (SS-104).jpg
USS R-27, possibly off Hawaii.
Name: USS R-27
Ordered: 29 August 1916
Builder: Lake Torpedo Boat, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Laid down: 16 May 1917
Launched: 23 September 1918
Commissioned: 3 September 1919
Decommissioned: 24 April 1925
Struck: 9 May 1930
Fate: Sold for scrap, July 1930
General characteristics
Class and type: R-class submarine
  • 497 long tons (505 t) surfaced
  • 652 long tons (662 t) submerged
Length: 175 ft (53 m)
Beam: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
Draft: 13 ft 11 in (4.24 m)
Installed power:
  • 1,000 bhp (750 kW) (diesel)
  • 800 hp (600 kW) (electric)
  • 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) surfaced
  • 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) submerged
Range: 3,523 nmi (6,525 km; 4,054 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) on the surface
Test depth: 200 feet (61.0 m)
Complement: 29 officers and enlisted men

USS R-27 (SS-104) was an R-class coastal and harbor defense submarine built for the United States Navy during World War I.


The R-boats built by Lake Torpedo Boat Company (R-21 through R-27) are sometimes considered a separate class from those of the other builders. The Lake boats had a length of 175 feet (53.3 m) overall, a beam of 16 feet 8 inches (5.1 m) and a mean draft of 13 feet 11 inches (4.2 m). They displaced 497 long tons (505 t) on the surface and 652 long tons (662 t) submerged. The R-class submarines had a crew of 3 officers and 23 enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).[1]

For surface running, the boats were powered by two 500-brake-horsepower (373 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 400-horsepower (298 kW) electric motor. They could reach 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface and 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) underwater. On the surface, the Lake boats had a range of 3,523 nautical miles (6,525 km; 4,054 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)[1] and 150 nmi (280 km; 170 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.[1]

The boats were armed with four 21-inch (53.3 cm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They carried four reloads, for a total of eight torpedoes. The R-class submarines were also armed with a single 3"/50 caliber deck gun.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

R-27 was laid down on 16 May 1917 by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She was launched on 23 September 1918 sponsored by Mrs. Mary Louise Foster, and commissioned on 3 September 1919 with Lieutenant William C. Burgy in command. Assigned duty with Submarine Division 1 in the Panama Canal Zone, R-27 got underway for her homeport of Coco Solo on 1 November. She arrived at Coco Solo on 11 December and conducted operations out of that port and out of Balboa. Given hull classification symbol SS-104 in July 1920, she interrupted her five years in the Canal Zone with an overhaul at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, during the winter of 1921-1922 and a run to Pearl Harbor for exercises in early 1923. On 1 November 1924, she departed Coco Solo for the last time. On 24 November she arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, whence she was towed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There she was decommissioned on 24 April 1925 after only five-and-a-half years of service. She was berthed at League Island until struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 9 May 1930. Her hull was sold for scrapping the following July.


  1. ^ a b c Friedman, p. 308
  2. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 129


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