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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

Cachalot / K-2 (SS-33)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Golf

K Class Submarine: Ordered as Cachalot; Renamed K-2 on 17 March 1911 before keel laying; Laid down, 20 February 1912, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA., Launched, 4 October 1913; Commissioned, USS K-2, 31 January 1914; Designated (SS-33), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 9 March 1923, at Hampton Roads (Submarine Base); Laid up in the Reserve Fleet; Struck from the Naval Register, 18 December 1930; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 3 June 1931.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 392 t., Submerged: 521 t.; Length 153' 7"; Beam 16' 8"; Draft 13' 1"; Speed, Surfaced 14 kts, Submerged 9.5 kts; Operating Depth, 200'; Complement, 2 Officers, 26 Enlisted; Armament, four 18" torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes, one 3"/23 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel-electric, New London Ship & Engine Co., diesel engine, HP 950, Fuel Capacity, 18,126 gals., Electro Dynamic Co., electric motor, HP 680, Battery Cells, 120, single propeller.
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The K-2 (SS-33) Launched When Youthful Sponsor Smashes Bottle.
Image and text provided by West Virginia University.
Photo & text by The Daily Telegram. (Clarksburg, W. Va.) 1901-1926, 12 December 1913, Image 9, via
K-2 63k Starboard view of the K-2 (SS-33) underway with crew on deck, date and location unknown. USN photo # CR-7081, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
K-2 155k K-2 (SS-33) in 1915. Harris & Ewing Collection photo # LC-H261-5735-A, courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Photo fix courtesy of Jim Kelling.
K 378k Submarines K-1 (SS-32) & K-2 (SS-33) dockside during the mid teens. Photo courtesy of Matthew Doolittle via Fred Willshaw.
K 1.0k Submarines K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36) & K-6 (SS-37) at 135th street and the North River.
K-5 getting into place is shown in the lower picture.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from the New-York Tribune. New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 07 May 1915, Image 6, courtesy of
K boats & BB-30 Florida1.20kOctober 1915. USN subs K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-6 (SS-37) & K-5 (SS-36) prior to going to Europe after the US entered WW I. The Florida (BB-30) is seen at rear.
Notice that the K-5 is being repainted OUT of dazzle before deployment.
Photo by Enrique Muller Jr.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Aryeh Wetherhorn & Ric Hedman.
National Archives Identifier: 45510310
Local Identifier: 165-WW-322D-25.
Photo courtesy of
Tonopah 701k New York Navy Yard on 4 November 1915. Waterfront, Looking Southeast from South Side of Pier F:
Two former monitors, converted to submarine tenders appear one behind the other. The Tonopah (M-8) is most likely the 1st ship & the Ozark (M-7) the other. There charges are 4 K class submarines in camouflage; (in no particular order that can be determined here) K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36) & K-6 (SS-37). What appear to be 3 submarines are moored port side of the Ozark in the photo here.
National Archives Identifier: 6880309
Agency-Assigned Identifier: F644 N266
Photo i.d. courtesy of Aryeh Wetherhorn & Ric Hedman.
Photo courtesy of
Photo added 01/05/19.
68810981.16kNew York Navy Yard on 24 January 1916, 6 submarines in drydock.
G-4 (SS-26) is in the center. Stern planes configuration makes this definitely her. Cool thing - notice the two part hatch on the aft deck. It is a hatch/scuttle combination normally found on surface ships, but EXTREMELY rare on submarines. In fact I would say this is the first time that I have ever seen this on a USN boat. It is probably a feature of her original Italian Laurenti design.
The boat on the right is definitely the G-2 (SS-27). G-3 (SS-31) had a similar after superstructure, but by the date of the photo she had already received prominent blister saddle tanks on the side of the hull, and those are missing on this photo. Both boats were known to be in New York during the time of the photo.
I'd like to say that the left hand boat is a "K" boat just due to the fact there is some painted Camo in the top of the periscope shears. K-5 (SS-36) or K-6 (SS-37) maybe. The rest of the boats are the other K boats, K-1 (SS-32) & K-2 (SS-33).
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman & Dave Johnston (USNR).
National Archives Identifier: 6881098
Agency-Assigned Identifier: F542N150
Photo courtesy of
Photo added 01/05/19.
K 472k Submarines K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36) at Tampa, Florida. The boats still have their pre-WW I canvas bridge covers. All three went to the Azores in October 1917 so would have had the chariot bridge conversion there. This is a pre-WW I photo circa 1915/16. Photo courtesy of John Hayward.
Text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
K-2 100k Portside view of the K-2 (SS-33) off Pensacola, Florida on 12 April, 1916, underway with "zebra" camoflouge. US National Archive photo # 80-G-451709, courtesy of
Photo fix courtesy of Jim Kelling.
K-1, K-2, K-5, K-6 1.74k Preparation by the Navy to Take Its Part in the War
"American submarines of the K-class fitted out with machinery & equipment of the latest type to be used in case of hostile descent on our coast".
Pictured in no particular order are probably the K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36), and K-6 (SS-37) alongside the tender Bushnell (AS-2), Ponta Delgada, Azores, circa 1918.
Photo dates from at least 17 February 1917 as is evidenced from this PDF.
Photo by Central News, courtesy of
Partial text from "The War of the Nations" (New York), pg 362, 31 December 1919.
Insert PDF Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from the The Patriot. (Indiana, Pa.) 1914-1955, 17 February 1917, Image 4, courtesy of
Ks 397k K-1 (SS-32), K-6 (SS-37) & K-2 (SS-33) at the Naval National, C 1917. Photo # MM00042730x from the Wright Langley Collection in the Florida Keys Public Library via courtesy of Robert Hurst.
K-2 71k K-2 (SS-33) and other U.S. Navy ships in port, circa 1917-1918. The ship at left appears to be Artemis (SP-593) [renamed Arcturus in February 1918]. That in the center is a tug. They appear to be testing fire hoses. The location may be the Azores, or a southern European port. The original image is printed on post card ("AZO") stock. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 106267. Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.
K-2 98k K-2 (SS-33) in dry dock at Lisbon, Portugal, 1918. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 55005.
K-2 82k United States Legation visiting the submarine, at Lisbon, Portugal, during the summer of 1918. View looks forward from the fairwater, with diving planes deployed at K-2's (SS-33) bow. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 55006.
K-2 70k United States Legation visiting the K-2 (SS-33), at Lisbon, Portugal, during the summer of 1918. View looks forward from the fairwater. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 55007.
SS-34622kJust back from the war, K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36) & K-6 (SS-37) attract a crowd in the North River, NYC, November 1918. (The info on the photo says Nov. 1917, but DANFS says all of them were in the Azores from 12 October 1917 till November 1918.National Archives Identifier: 45513781
Local Identifier: 165-WW-338B-044
Photo courtesy of
(K-2, T1 & 3) 27k Circa post 1920 photo of the K-2 (SS-33), T-1(SS-52) & T-3 (SS-61). In the foreground is another unidentified K-boat (SS-32 / 39). The T-1 has a canvas covering over her deck gun. Note differences in the construction of the T-1 & T-3 conning tower fairwaters. USN photo text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
K-2 & 3 309k From left to right:K-3 (SS-34), K-2 (SS-33), & two other K class boats. USN photo courtesy of STSCS(SS) Robert Carlin.
K 378k Unidentified K-boat in New York City Harbor; K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36), or K-6 (SS-37) sails along in this undated postcard photo. Photo by Underwood & Underwood courtesy of Arnold A. Putnam via Gary Priolo.
K 117k K-boats in harbor with a four funnel destroyer in the background;
K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-6 (SS-37), K-4 (SS-35), K-7 (SS-38), K-3 (SS-34), K-5 (SS-36) & K-8 (SS-39) appear in this undated photo. K-5 is being repainted.
Text i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photo courtesy of Rick Larson (of blessed memory) via the unique hand of Ric Hedman.
K 843k One of the mother ships of Uncle Sam's navy the Camden (AS-6), and her nine undersea kittens, a formidable fotilla of Yankee submarines that have been a source of great interest the last two weeks to visitors to the Atlantic Fleet at anchor in the Hudson. The Camden and her family have been at anchor off the Seventies. Above. How the K-5 (SS-36) looks when traveling at full speed on the surface. Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from the New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 16 May 1920, Image 59, courtesy of
Admiral William Little Charged With Neglect as Inspector of Construction of K-2 (SS-33)
IImage and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI.
Photo from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii) 1912-current, 15 October 1915, 3:30 Edition, Image 1, courtesy of
K-2 831k US SUBMARINE K-2 (SS-33). Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum courtesy of Darryl L. Baker, possibly by Enrique Muller from the “Harper's Pictorial Library of the World War Vol. XI”, Children's Book of War.
K 696k There are fewer busier places in Philadelphia than the large drydock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where repairs are being made on eleven of Uncle Sam's submarine craft.
Among the boats visible is the K-1 (SS-32), which appears in the front left corner, and K-5 (SS-36), behind her. The remainder of the K-boats are likely here as well.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from the Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 14 October 1920, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 26, courtesy of
K class 146k Busy unknown and undated dockyard scene. From left to right: K-8 (SS-39), K-2 (SS-33), unknown K class boat, K-3 (SS-34) & K-1 (SS-32). USN photo courtesy of STSCS(SS) Robert Carlin.
Unknown Photos 412k Submarine being overhauled, Philadelphia Navy Yard drydock, 19 March 1929.
The boats might be K-boats, with one Lake design N-class.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
Photo 08_06_006682 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert &

View the Cachalot / K-2 (SS-33)
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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