Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In Memoriam - USS H-1 (SS-28) - Lost 12 March 1920

USS H-1 (SS-28), originally named USS Seawolf, was an early U.S. Navy submarine, built by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco, CA and commissioned in 1913. She was one of the first submarines built on the West Coast.

She operated on the West Cost during most of her career. However, in 1920, she traveled to the East Coast via the Panama Canal in early 1920. While on the East Coast, the submarine visited Norfolk, VA, Key West, FL and Havana, Cuba.

During the return trip, H-1 ran aground off Santa Margarita Island, an island off the southwest coast of Baja California.

Four men, including the Commanding Officer died trying to reach shore. The repair ship USS Vestal (AR-4) was able to free the submarine from the rocks four days later, but the submarine sank a short time after being freed.

The hulk was never salvaged and its exact location was lost for many years. The hulk was finally relocated in 1992. It has occasionally been used as a training target by the U.S. Navy. It is also a destination for recreational divers.

Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

WWII Diary - Part Two - First War Patrol

"25 August 1944 - 1st War Patrol
"Loaded with torpedoes, ammunition and chow we left Pearl for Saipan on our first war patrol. That was the day we were really getting to work now.  This voyage was also quite long - 13 days.  Running mostly on the surface with the exception of being forced down a couple of times by unidentified planes.
 "This trip was not too exciting, and about seven days out of Pearl we made a rendezvous with USS Cavalla (SS-244) and USS Piranha (SS-389), the three of us making a wolf pack called the "DOGS".  From there we proceeded to Saipan and at noon on September 7 we tied up alongside the submarine tender USS Holland (AS-3), anchored in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, about a quarter mile offshore where she had been since the invasion by the U.S. forces.
"08 September
"We only stayed here one day, just long enough to fuel and get some needed supplies and a camouflage job on the boat.  We departed Saipan on September 8th for patrol north of the Palau Islands.  After a few days here we were ordered to a new patrol area northwest of the Philippines between there and Tokyo.   We patrolled this area for several days and on September 25th we were ordered to patrol off Formosa in the Luzon Straits.  We have been forced down several times by enemy aircraft.  One heavy bomber on the 25th attacked and strafed us.  Thank God he had no bombs and wasn't a very good shot with his guns.  We we're long getting to 200 feet after we spotted this baby coming out of the sun with his guns blazing at us.

"07 October
" Tonight we are leaving station and going to head for Midway for refit and a rest period.  We have been forced down five out of the last six nights.  We were strafed once and bombed with two bombs from an enemy medium bomber.  We are leaving station now, that is we were until this "Betty" came over and forced us down with two aerial depth charges which again missed their mark.

" 13 October
"We are still on our way home and are running out of fuel, and there aren't any gas stations handy.

"20 October, 1944
"At 7:00 this morning we made our rendezvous with our plane escort taking us to Midway...
"At 1300 we left the boat to go up to Gonneyville, the rest camp...


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

New Photographs Added to Website

Former Razorback crew member Gary Thrall visited the museum and was kind enough to loan us his personal photo album.

The album, which contained nearly 250 photographs taken during the 1960-1962 period included many views of Razorback, such as the one above.

The entire collection is available on the AIMM website.