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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Tarantula / B-3 (SS-12)


B Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 September 1905, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 30 March 1907; Commissioned USS Tarantula, 3 December 1907; Decommissioned, 6 November 1909, at Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, SC; Recommissioned, 15 April 1910; Renamed USS B-3, 17 November 1911; Decommissioned, 4 December 1912, at Charleston Navy Yard; Recommissioned, 2 September 1913, at Cavite Navy Yard, PI; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 25 July 1921; Final Disposition, sunk as a target, hulk sunk in Manila Bay near Corregidor.

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-1262k Tarantula (SS-12) being launched at the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Yard at Quincy, MA., on 30 March 1907.Picture and info from "The Romance of A Submarine" by G Gibbard Jackson & submitted by Robert Hurst.
SS-1267k Tarantula (SS-12) running preliminary acceptance trials off Newport, Rhode Island, August 1907. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 41915.
B Class221kThe B-boats (SS-10/12): 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 # 19-N-15-28-6, 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-10109k Cuttlefish (SS-11), Tarantula (SS-12), and Viper (SS-10) in port, circa 1909. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 29.
B-31.28k Tarantula, underway near the New York Navy Yard, 1909. Photographed by Enrique Muller.
US Navy Bureau of Ships photo # 19-N-15-26-14, now in the collections of N.A.R.A. (National Archives and Record Administration) via Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
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.
B-21.48kHARD LIFE ON A SUBMARINE
AIR HEAVY WITH GASOLINE. A CHIEF CAUSE OF TROUBLE.
THE SUBMARINES TARANTULA (SS-12) & CUTTLEFISH (SS-11) MOORED IN THE BASIN OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY. THE OLYMPIA (C-6), DEWEY'S FLAGSHIP AT MANILA, IN THE OFFING.
Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo from The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 10 July 1910, Third Section, Image 29, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-12 248k Tarantula's (SS-12) crew. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS-12 683k Tarantula served with the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet until assigned to the Reserve Torpedo Group, Charleston Navy Yard 9 May 1911 and placed out of commission 4 December 1912. Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
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 Philipines. 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-1182k Ajax (AC-14) in Manila Bay, Philippine Islands, preparing to launch B-2 (SS-11) from her deck, circa 12 May 1913. Ajax had transported B-2 and B-3 (SS-12) to Manila from Norfolk, Virginia. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 98923.
Ajax97kB-3 (SS-12) lies in Manila Bay after her voyage from Norfolk with B-2 (SS-11) as deck cargo, forward, in late April or May 1913, before they were launched from her deck.USNHC photo # NH 90172, from the Philip H. Wilson Collection, submitted by Joe Radigan, MACM USN Ret.
SS-12110kB-3 (SS-12) at the Cavite Navy Yard, Philippine Islands, with other submarines, circa 1913-1917. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 98926.Collection of Phillip H. Wilson. Donated by Mrs. Pauline M. Wilson, 1979.
SS-12295kB-3 (SS-12) with her crew on deck, at the Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines, 1919. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 67654.Courtesy of Rear Admiral R.D. Workman, USN (ChC), Retired, 1969 via Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS-12102k B-3 (SS-12) with her crew on deck, date and location unknown. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
B-357kB-3 (SS-12), date and place unknown.US Navy photo courtesy of Mike Green.

View the Tarantula / B-3 (SS-12)
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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