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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Narwhal / D-1 (SS-17)


D Class Submarine: Laid down, 16 April 1908, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 8 April 1909; Commissioned USS Narwhal, 23 November 1909; Renamed USS D-1, 17 November 1911; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 8 February 1922, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 5 June 1922.

Specifications: Displacement, surfaced 238 t., submerged 275 t.; Length 105' 4"; Beam 13' 11"; Draft 10' 7"; Speed, surfaced 10.5 kts, submerged 9 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 1 Officer, 14 Enlisted; Armament, two 18" torpedo tubes, four torpedoes; Propulsion, gasoline electric, Craig Shipbuilding Co. gasoline engines, 250 hp, Fuel Capacity 1,880 gal., Electro Dynamic Co, electric motors, 150 hp, Battery Cells 60, single propeller.
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D-1 115k D-1 (SS-17) slides into the water, during her launch at the Fore River Shipbuilding Co. Yard, Quincy, MA on 8 April 1909.
Digital ID # ggbain 03337v, LC-B2-698-6. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, from the George Grantham Bain Collection, courtesy of Tom Kermen.
D-1 103k The new United States submarine, Narwhal (SS-17) of the Holland electric type, can now lay claim to the "queen of the underwater world," having successfully passed every test of the navy department and established a record for speed, which makes her the fastest as well as the largest submarine in the world.
After making 13 nautical miles, surface speed, she was submerged and made 'a world's record for submerged speed. To crown all, she has recently established a new record for sustained surface speed at sea by running 300 nautical miles in 24 hours, making no stop in that time. That exhaustive trial was made between Cape Cod and Cape Ann, with two of the naval trial board officers, Smith and Armstrong, aboard. She is shortly to have a 200 foot underwater submergence test, north of Race point. Great things are also expected of the Tarpon (SS-14) & Stingray (SS-13), boats of the Narwhal type, but in smaller size.
Image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ. from the Bisbee Daily Review. (Bisbee, Ariz.) 1901-1971, 04 November 1909, Image 1 courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Photograph # NH 45614 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.
D-1 127k Port side view of the D-1 (SS-17) circa 1909, probably during builder's trials. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
SS-13, 14 & 1781k Contemporary newspaper clipping concerning the launching of the submarines Stingray (SS-13), Tarpon (SS-14) and Narwhal (SS-17) at the Fore River Shipyard on 8 April 1909. The piece also identifies the "boat"'s sponsors, Miss Elizabeth Stevens (Stingray), Miss Katherine E. Theiss (Tarpon) and Mrs. G.C. Davison (Narwhal). Photograph # NH 99000 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.
SS-14, 15, 16 & 17126kFrom left to right:
Snapper (SS-16);
Narwhal (SS-17);
Tarpon (SS-14); and
Bonita (SS-15);
Fitting out at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, during the summer or fall of 1909.
Photograph # NH 99004 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
SS-14, 15, 16 & 17121kFrom left to right:
Bonita(SS-15);
Tarpon (SS-14);
Narwhal (SS-17); and
Snapper (SS-16);
Fitting out at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, during the summer or fall of 1909. North Dakota (BB-29) is in the right background, also fitting out.
Photograph # NH 99005 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
SS 17 268k Narwhal (SS-17) high and dry with no commissioning flag or other, circa 1909-1911 before her name change to D-1 on 17 November 1911. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com
SS-18140kThe internal helm stand of a voice tube on a D-class boat (SS-17/18/19). The watertight door to the torpedo room is seen to the right of the helm wheel. The helm wheel motor is attached via gearing to the transmission shaft, which ran aft to the rudder linkage.
Directly above the helm wheel is a mirror into which the helmsman looked to obtain a view of the magnetic compass repeater above. Normal steering was by an electric switch that operated the motor.
The photo is on page 42 of "United States Submarines" by the Naval Submarine League. Photo submitted by Darryl L. Baker.
SS-13-1953k Navy submarines in port, circa 1909. Possibly photographed at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, these submarines are (from left to right):
Tarpon (SS-14); with either
Narwhal (SS-17) or
Salmon (SS-19);
Snapper (SS-16);
Stingray (SS-13); and
Bonita (SS-15);
Grayling (SS-18).
Photograph # NH 53776 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
D-1 73k Fine screen halftone reproduction of a photograph of Narwhal (SS-17) underway, circa 1909-1911. Copied from "The New Navy of the United States", by N.L. Stebbins, (New York, 1912).
Photograph # NH 99123 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Donation of David Shadell, 1987.
D-1 45k Charles Cresswell, crew member of the Narwhal (SS-17), circa 1910. Courtesy of his grandson, Charles Cresswell.
E-2 1.25k In Wake of Craft That Cleaves the Depths Lie Many Dead Pioneers
Experiments That Led Up to Wonderful Feat of a Squadron of American Submarines the Other Day Have Cost Hundreds of Lives and Millions of Money.
Embedded text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
PDF Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 2 July 1911, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Who Am I? 528k SUBMARINE THAT TOOK PART IN GREAT RECORD SWIM Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI.
Photo from Evening Bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii) 1895-1912, 22 July 1911, 3:30 EDITION, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Practice 103k Submarines to Have Month's Torpedo Practice Photo from Logan Republican , Cache County, Utah, 1902-1924, 31 August 1911, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
E-2 656k SUBMARINES IN THE GREAT NAVAL REVIEW.
NEXT to the big battleships, the submarines attracted the most attention at the recent review of the Atlantic fleet in the Hudson. The photograph shows the submarine D-1 (SS-17) with crew at attention as President Taft on the yacht Mayflower passed up the line.
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo from The North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922, 05 November 1912, Image 7, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
D-1 76k D-1 (SS-17) operating off shore, possibly near Pensacola, Florida, circa 1914.
Photograph # NH 99124 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Collection of John Lansing Callan.
Smallest 859k SUBMARINE FLOTILLA REACHES NAVY YARD
Five of Uncle Sam's Smallest and Most Menacing Defenders, the Submarines D-1 (SS-17), D-2 (SS-18), D-3 (SS-19), E-1 (SS-24) and E-2 (SS-25), under the lee of the Mother Ship, the Monitor Tonopah (M-8), at the Washington Navy Yard.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from The Washington Times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, 18 July 1914, HOME EDITION, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
D-1 614k SUBMARINES TO DEFEND BIG CITY IN WAR GAMES
In the huge naval maneuvers around New York in June, submersibles will be pitted against Dreadnought.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by The Washington Herald. (Washington, D.C.) 1906-1939, 18 April 1915, PICTORIAL SECTION, Image 28, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Orders377k"U.S. Submarines awaiting Orders"
Halftone reproduction, printed on a postal card, of a photograph of five submarines nested together prior to World War I. The three "boats" at right are (from center to right): D-2 (SS-18); D-1 (SS-17); and D-3 (SS-19). The two at left are probably (in no particular order) E-1 (SS-24) and E-2 (SS-25).
Photograph # NH 78926 from the U.S. Naval Historical Center, courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN (Medical Service Corps), 1973.
Photo courtesy of ussnewyork.com.
E-2 626k Photograph shows US submarines moored at the 135th street pier on the Upper West Side of New York City as part of the Presidential review of the Atlantic Fleet. The picture shows the Tonopah (M-8) in the center, with the submarines E-1 (SS-24), E-2 (SS-25), D-2 (SS-18), D-1 (SS-17) and D-3 (SS-19) lying from left to right alongside the dock at 135th street. Digital Source: Bain News Service.
LOC photo # LC-B2-3481-14 / 19118v from lcweb2.loc.gov.
Photo added 08/31/13.
E-2 520k VANGUARD OF ATLANTIC FLEET FOR PRESIDENTIAL REVIEW IN NEW YORK
These vessels led the Atlantic fleet which arrived in New York for the big review by President Wilson. The picture shows the Tonopah (M-8) in the background, with the submarines E-1 (SS-24), E-2 (SS-25), D-2 (SS-18), D-1 (SS-17) and D-3 (SS-19) lying from left to right alongside the dock at 135th street. On recount of the activities of the submarines in the European War, these little under-the-water craft of the United States navy are coming in for a great deal of interest by the public.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 08 May 1915, Night Extra, Image 18, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
E-2 804k Four American Submarines Ready for Naval Exhibition
From left to right:E-2 (SS-25), D-2 (SS-18), D-1 (SS-17) and D-3 (SS-19).
Image and text provided by University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC.
Photo from The Intelligencer. (Anderson, S.C.) 1915-1917, 14 May 1915, Image 8, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
D-1 83k D-1 (SS-17) shown in March 1918, was the first boat to be subdivided for survivability. The compartments defined by the bulkheads had to be small (i.e. bulkheads had to be close together) so that the submarine (surfaced) would survive flooding any one of them. They greatly complicated internal access, and bulk-heading was drastically reduced in the last boat of the class D-3 (SS-19). Drawing by Norman Friedman. Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
E-2 486k United States Submarine D-1 (SS-17). Image and text provided by State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO.
Photo from The Holt County Sentinel. (Oregon, Mo.) 1883-1980, 23 June 1916, Image 8, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
D-1 632k SUPPLYING THE SINEWS.
Gasoline for a submarine must be of the highest quality.
The dangerous undertaking of the undersea boat demands the best.
There is a very suggestive story in this illustration showing THAT GOOD GULF GASOLINE being delivered to the submarine D-1 (SS-17) at New London, Conn. preparatory to its participation in the maneuvers of the Atlantic squadron off the Massachusetts coast.
Gasoline good enough for the submarine service is certainly good enough for you-and far better than others you can buy at the same price.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo & text by Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 27 October 1916, Night Extra, Image 8, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
D-1 493k IN THE WAKE OF UNCLE SAM'S SUBMARINE D-1 (SS-17) MANEUVERING NEAR HER BASE AT NEW LONDON, CONN. Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo & text by Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 17 February 1917, Night Extra, Image 16, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-19380k D-3 (SS-19) alongside a dock with other submarines on an icy day, circa 1918. Location is probably the Submarine Base at Groton, Connecticut. D-3 appears to be wearing pattern camouflage. Other submarines present are (moving outward from D-3: D-1 (SS-17); G-4 (SS-26); and G-3 (SS-31). Photograph # NH 99157 via Robert Hurst.
G-393kD-1 (SS-17), left and G-3 (SS-31), inboard. Photographed on 4 May 1920, possibly at the Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut. US Navy photo # NH 92608 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Collection of Admiral John S. McCain, Jr.

View the Narwhal / D-1 (SS-17)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
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Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
PigBoats.COM TM, a Historic Look at Submarines

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