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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

K-8 (SS-39)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Mike

K Class Submarine: Laid down, 10 May 1912, at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.; Launched, 11 July 1914; Commissioned, USS K-8, 1 December 1914, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.; Designated (SS-39), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 24 February 1923, at Norfolk, VA.; Towed to Philadelphia, 2 September 1924; Struck from the Navy Register, (date unknown); Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 25 June 1931.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 392 t., Submerged: 521 t.; Length 153' 7"; Beam 16' 8"; Draft 13' 1"; Speed, Surfaced 14 kts, Submerged 10.5 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 960, Fuel Capacity, 18,126, Electro Dynamic Co., electric motor, HP 960, Battery Cells, 120, single propeller.
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SS-38 & 391.40kK-7 (SS-38) and K-8 (SS-39) are seen at Union Iron Works San Francisco on 23 July 1914.US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS-391.50kK-8 (SS-39) arrives at Mare Island on her commissioning day of 1 December 1914. The first ship off her port bow is Manila. I can't i.d. the other two but one could be Mars (AC-6). US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS-39432kK-8 (SS-39) at rest off San Francisco, 1 December 1914.US Navy photo, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS-3990kK-8 (SS-39) underway circa late 1914, probably in San Francisco Bay, California.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # 65149.
K's895kSubmarines K-3 (SS-34), K-4 (SS-35), K-7 (SS-38) and K-8 (SS-39) were in Mare Island's dry dock #1 from 17 June to 18 August 1915 preparing for their trip to Hawaii. In this photo the stern of K-7 (left) and K-4 (right) are seen in the foreground while the sterns of K-8 (left) and K-3 (right) are seen in the background. This photo was taken from near the end of the dry dock.US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
K's803kSubmarines K-3 (SS-34), K-4 (SS-35), K-7 (SS-38) and K-8 (SS-39) were in Mare Island's dry dock #1 from 17 June to 18 August 1915 preparing for their trip to Hawaii. In this photo the bow of K-3 (left) and K-8 (right) are seen in the foreground while the bow of K-4 (left) and K-7 (right) are seen in the background. This photo was taken from head of the dry dock.US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS-3956kK-8 (SS-39) recovering a torpedo, circa 1915, while serving on the Pacific Coast.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 100767, courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1986.
SS-39122kK-8 (SS-39) in center with two other submarines, at San Diego, California, circa 1915. Two destroyers and two cruisers are visible in the distance.U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 100348 printed on a stereograph card, published by the Keystone View Company. Donation of Louis Smaus, 1985
K 1.10k Sea Wasps to Guard Harbor Here
K-7 (SS-38) Comes In With New Broom Tied To Masthead
Is First of New Flotilla to Dock at Honolulu. K-3 (SS-34) Second to Enter Harbor
Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI.
Photo from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii) 1912-current, 14 October 1915, 3:30 Edition, Image 2, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-34387kFrom outboard to inboard, what looks to be K-8 (SS-39), K-4 (SS-35), K-3 (SS-34) & K-7 (SS-38), at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii on the 14 of October, 1915.US Navy photo from NARA, courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
K 1.06k One Mashed Finger Only Accident of Submarine Voyage
K submarine ploughing through open sea; showing deck structure of K class boats.
Image 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, 2:30 Edition, SHIPPING SECTION, Image 7, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
K 1.00k Commanders and Submarines in Record Breaking Voyage Over Pacific, And Sample of Warm Welcome They Found Waiting Here
Below are shown the K type submarines moored at the naval wharf.
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 chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
K 1.09k K Submarines in Port After Long Voyage
This is the way the K submarines looked as they glided to their dock in the navy slip Thursday afternoon, completing their run of 2,180 miles from San Francisco to this port under their own power-a big feat performed in a big way, and adding fresh laurels to the American navy.
In the upper picture is shown the K-8 (SS-39) slowing down as she entered the slip, the last of the four submersible to complete the voyage. The lower view shows the K-3 (SS-34) in the foreground, another K boat and the F-1 (SS-20), F-2 (SS-21), & F-3 (SS-22) in the background.
Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI.
Photo from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii) 1912-current, 16 October 1915, 3:30 Edition, Image 17, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
K boats 817k EFFICIENT AMERICAN SUBMARINE CREW
This is the crew of the United States submarine K-8 (SS-39) which won the efficiency pennant in the recent maneuvers off the Pacific coast.
Image and text provided by University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Photo from the The Public Ledger. (Maysville, Ky.) 1913-1968, 30 October 1915, Image 4, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-3956kExterior conning station and periscopes of the K-8 (SS-39). These long and short 2 to 5-inch diameter Kollmorgen Type C periscopes were obtained under a contract dated 23 October 1916 and subsequently installed at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. The photograph may have been taken there in late 1916 or in 1917. The evaluation of both of these non-housing periscopes (which had Submarine Periscope Registry Numbers 167 for the shorter unit, and 168 for the longer) was "A fairly good instrument". Note the submarine's radio antenna mast at the after end of the fairwater.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH NH 52200.
SS-3958kExterior conning station and periscopes of the K-8 (SS-39). These long and short 2 to 5-inch diameter Kollmorgen Type C periscopes were obtained under a contract dated 23 October 1916 and subsequently installed at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. The photograph may have been taken there in late 1916 or in 1917. The evaluation of both of these non-housing periscopes (which had Submarine Periscope Registry Numbers 167 for the shorter unit, and 168 for the longer) was "A fairly good instrument".
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 52201.
SS-3979kK-8 (SS-39) underway, circa 1918.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 52399.
SS-39692kDry docked in Honolulu about 1916, K-8 (SS-39) displays the typical E.B. bow cap, which rotated to expose the torpedo tube muzzels (the holes in the cap were on the centerline, at top and bottom, when the cap was closed). Her periscope was fixed, with large heads. The temporary bridge structure has been removed, leaving only a streamlined fairwater.
Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
US Navy photo, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
K-5143k K-8 (SS-39) tied up alongside K-5 (SS-36), prior to World War I.
Fine-screen halftone reproduction, published in "Sea Power" magazine, May 1917. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 76058.
SS-35243k Alert (AS-4) (1875-1922) tied up at Kuahua Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, while serving as a submarine tender, 22 August 1917. Submarines alongside Alert include, from inboard to outboard, K-4 (SS-35), K-3 (SS-34) and either K-7 (SS-38) or K-8 (SS-39).
Text & photo i.d. courtesy of USNHC photo # NH 42542.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS-3577kK-4 (SS-35) underway with a sister submarine, trimming down "ready for nose dive", circa 1918. The second submarine is probably K-3 (SS-34), K-7 (SS-38), or K-8 (SS-39).
USNHC photo # NH 41968, courtesy of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS-35108kK-4 (SS-35) underway with a sister submarine, trimming down "ready for nose dive", circa 1918. The second submarine is probably K-3 (SS-34), K-7 (SS-38), or K-8 (SS-39). USNHC photo # NH 41967, courtesy of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS-3970kK-8 (SS-39) underway with crewmen standing in formation topsides, during the early 1920s. The flying boat overhead appears to have # A-2344 on the side of its hull. It may be a modification of the Curtiss F-type. US Navy photo from NARA # 19-N-7080, courtesy of Daniel Dunham. Text courtesy of USNHC.
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).
US Navy photo courtesy of STSCS(SS) Robert Carlin.
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.
SS-3882kArticle stating that the engine from a K Class Sub scraped in Philadelphia [that would be either K-7 (SS-38) or K-8 (SS-39)} was being repaired to be used on YG-16 being built at Mare Island.Article courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
K boats 748k UNITED STATES submarines in drydock at the Navy Yard. The wonders of League Island will be open to the public today for the navy relief-day celebration. Visitors will have an opportunity to see the great changes that have taken place in the Navy Yard.
K-5 (SS-36), K-7 (SS-38), K-8 underwent overhaul here during this period.
K-5 departed Key West for Philadelphia 12 June 1920, arriving the 17th for overhaul.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA & DANFS.
Photo from the Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 28 June 1919, Sports Extra, Image 24, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Photo i.d. courtesy 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 chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
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 chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
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 & Ric Hedmen.
Photo 08_06_006682 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Photo added 09/24/13.

View the K-8 (SS 39)
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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