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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Viper / B-1 (SS-10)


B Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 September 1905, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 30 March 1907; Commissioned USS Viper, 18 October 1907; Decommissioned, 30 November 1909, at Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, SC; Recommissioned, 15 April 1910; Decommissioned, 9 May 1911, at Charleston; Renamed USS B-2, 17 November 1911; Recommissioned, 26 March 1915,at Olongapo, PI; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1921; Final Disposition, sunk as a target.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced 145 t., Submerged 173 t.; Length 82' 5"; Beam 12' 6"; Draft 10' 7"; Speed, surfaced 9 kts, submerged 8 kts; Complement, 1 Officer 9 Enlisted; Armament, two 18" torpedo tubes, four torpedoes; Propulsion, gasoline-electric, Craig Shipbuilding Co. gasoline engines, 250 hp, Fuel Capacity, 1,880 gals, Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, Battery Cells 60, single propeller.
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SS-1059k Viper (SS-10) being launched at the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Yard at Quincy, MA., on 30 March 1907.Insert Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library.
Photo from Deseret Evening News. (Great Salt Lake City [Utah]) 1867-1920, 18 October 1907, Last Edition, Image 7, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Picture and info from "The Romance of A Submarine" by G Gibbard Jackson & submitted by Robert Hurst.
B Class221kThe B class: Viper (SS-10), Cuttlefish (SS-11),& Tarantula (SS-12), the ultimate development of the single screw Holland design, introduced a much more extensive superstructure for sea keeping. As designed, Viper had only the single periscope shown, as in Plunger, it was let into the conning tower. A second (hull) periscope was later added. Engine gearing had been abandoned, the propeller shaft no longer coincided precisely with the axis of the hull. Air compressors and main bilge pumps were driven from the main shaft via clutches and gears; they could be operated by either the motor or the engine. Note that, in a boat this small, a reload torpedo occupied much of the hull.Collection of Rear. Admiral Henry Williams. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
B Class103kThe three B-boats (SS-10/12) (Inboard) Cuttlefish (SS-11), Tarantula (SS-12), and Viper (SS-10) share a snowy dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, 25 January 1908. Note that each one still has a single fixed periscope, with a flagstaff above it. Boats running submerged flew flags on these staffs to warn surface ships against running them down. Note, too, the running lights affixed to boards on the foremasts. Collection of Rear. Admiral Henry Williams. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
B-3470kViper (SS-10), Cuttlefish (SS-11) and Tarantula (SS-12) lie together in dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, 25 January 1908.NARA (National Archives and Record Administration) photo # 19N15-28-6, courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
B-15.63kU. S. SUBMARINES DARING CRUISERS
AT THE TOP THE VIPER (SS-10); BELOW THE TARANTULA. AND THE ROUTE THEY WILL TAKE ON OCEAN TRIP.
An adventure watched with interest by the navy officials and by thousands throughout the country is the cruise of four submarines from Philadelphia to Charleston, S. C. The boats are the Tarantula, Viper, Cuttlefish (SS-11) and Octopus (SS-09).
Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA.
Photo from The Spokane Press. (Spokane, Wash.) 1902-1939, 12 November 1908, Image 7, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-101.45kIn New York Harbor for the 1909 naval review, with the New York & Cuba Mail docks in the background the Viper (SS-10) shows both her periscopes and a substantial false bow (superstructure) above her pressure hull. There were few limber holes because these boats were not expected to dive quickly. Note the temporary bridge for surface navigation.US Navy photo by Enrique Muller, from NARA # 19-N-13457, courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS-10102k Viper (SS-10) in port, with members of her crew on deck, circa 1907-1911. Tarantula (SS-12) is behind her. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 38.
SS-10109k Cuttlefish (SS-11), Tarantula (SS-12), and Viper (SS-10) in port, circa 1909. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 29.
B-11.53kTORPEDO STRUCK ANCHORED SHIP
A missile shot from the torpedo tube of the submarine Viper (SS-10) is said to have come within an ace of smashing in the side of the William F. Green as she lay quietly at anchor in the cove yesterday afternoon. The Viper is one of the four government submarines now manoeuvring here with Admiral Schroeder's fleet.
Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA.
Photo from The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.) 1903-1914, 23 July 1909, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
B-13.66kLONG TRIP OF THE VIPER (SS-10).
Submarine, Under Midshipman, Makes 487 Miles
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 12 May 1910, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-1087kPhoto of the Viper (SS-10), possibly with the Reserve Torpedo Group at Charleston Navy Yard. Photo is inscribed with "Friend George" & "KID BUSTER", " B-1 (SS-10)", addressed to Clarence Isaiah Maxson, circa 1911-12. Note the # 11 on her periscope shears. Photo courtesy of Vern Maxson, LCDR(SS), USNR-Retd, partial text courtesy of DANFS.
SS-10117kPhoto entitled U.S. Submarine. Note the #'s 11, 13 & 14 on their periscope shears. The numbers are not indicative of their hull numbers but indicate the squadron they belong to.
They are nested possibly in Cavite near Manila in the Philippines. The row of holes along the upper edge of the superstructure forward are for venting air out of the superstructure free flooding space. The two periscopes are shown on each boat, one going to the control room the other to the small conning tower.
Partial text courtesy of Jim Christley & oldsubsplace.com.
Digital ID # 19799, LC-F81-2433. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, National Photo Company Collection.
SS-10 & 1167k B-1 (SS-10), (inboard) & B-2 (SS-11) at the Cavite Naval Base, Philippines, 1916. Photo courtesy of Vern Maxson, LCDR(SS), USNR-Ret.Photo fix by Jim Keeling.
SS-1066k Crew of the B-1 (SS-10), at the Cavite Naval Base, Philippines, 1916. Photo courtesy of Vern Maxson, LCDR(SS), USNR-Ret.
Shark80k A-7 (SS-08) right B-1 (SS-10), center. In Philippine waters, during the Nineteen-"Teens". Both show the submarine bells used for underwater communication ( B-1's is on her foredeck, A-7's abaft her conning tower). Note how rudimentary their bridges were. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 69710. Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.

View the Viper / B-1 (SS-10)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable to this Vessel
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
PigBoats.COM TM, a Historic Look at Submarines

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