Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

L-3 (SS-42)

Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Papa

L-1 Class Submarine: Laid down, 18 April 1914, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 15 March 1915; Commissioned, USS L-3, 22 April 1916; Designated (SS-42), 17 July 1920; Placed in commission, in ordinary, 1 June 1921 at Philadelphia Navy Yard; Returned to full commission, 26 January 1922; Decommissioned, 11 June 1923, at Norfolk, VA.; Re-engined with Busch-Sulzer diesels from N-4 in 1923; Laid up in the Reserve Fleet; Struck from the Naval Register, 18 December 1930; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 28 November 1933.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 450 t., Submerged: 548 t..; Length 167' 5"; Beam 17' 5"; Draft 13' 7"; Speed, Surfaced 14 kts, Submerged 10.5 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 2 Officers, 26 Enlisted; Armament, four 18", torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes, one 3"/23 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel-electric, New London Ship and Engine Co. diesel engine, HP 900, Fuel Capacity, 18,977 gal., Electro Dynamic Co. electric motor, HP 680, Battery Cells 120, single propeller.
Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By
 L-3 77k L-3 (SS-42) running trials off Provincetown, Massachusetts, in September 1915. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51126.
 L-3 65k Bow view of theL-3 (SS-42) with several schooners for company, in 1916. She operated along the Atlantic coast from New England to Florida developing new techniques of undersea warfare, until April 1917. U.S. Navy photo.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
M-1 743k All the news that's fit to misprint, #1.
UNITED STATES TESTS FIRST OF BIG NEW SEA-GOING SUBMARINES
The M-1 (SS-47) is shown on her trial trip off Provincetown, Mass., on 6 July. She is 230 1/2 feet long, with 21 1/2-foot beam. Her radius of action is 2,000 miles.
She is not as large as the German submarine Deutschland, now at Baltimore, whoso length is 315 feet, with a 30 foot beam.
It is actually an EB design L-class boat. The paper that originally published the photo misidentified it. The caption is wrong.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston.
Image provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 11 July 1916, Night Extra, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
M-1 531k All the news that's fit to misprint, # 2.
LARGEST SUBMARINE STANDS STIFF TEST
Above is a picture of the U.S. submarine M-1 (SS-47) the largest submarine of our navy. She was photographed while being put through an exciting trip at Provincetown. Mass. She can travel 5000 miles without a stop, 1000 more than was covered by the Deutschland.".
It is actually an EB design L-class boat. The paper that originally published the photo misidentified it. The caption is wrong.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston.
Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX.
Photo from El Paso Herald. (El Paso, Tex.) 1901-1931, 21 July 1916, HOME EDITION, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
L-1 & 3 109k L-1 (SS-40) and L-3 (SS-42) port side view anchored off of Hampton Roads, 13 December 1916. US Navy photo # 19-N-1893, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
 L-3 86k L-3 (SS-42) port side view, underway off of Hampton Roads, 13 December 1916. US Navy photo # 80-G-1025030, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
SS-40 & 4273k B>Scoter (SP-20)(American Motor Boat, 1916) passing L-1 (SS-40) while underway, probably in 1916. L-3 (SS-42) and Monaghan (DD-32) are in the background. This pleasure craft, built by George Lawley & Son of Neponset, Massachusetts, became Scoter in 1917. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 65071.
L-boats46k"Officials of the City of Havana leaving the submarine L-2 (SS-41) after a ceremonious visit to a group of L-boats of the U.S. submarine division on it's recent visit to the Cuban capital. Said to have been the first time American submarines have visited that city." Photo by Underwood & Underwood, courtesy of memory.loc.gov. Text courtesy of N.Y. Times, 14 January 1917, Page 3.
Pennell 127k What looks to be L-class (SS-40/51) submarines in dry dock, by the artist Joseph Pennell, 1917. Photo # 3c19552v, LC-USZ62-119552. Photograph courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
Tonopah 496k A MOTHER SEADOG GUARDING HER PUPPIES
This interesting photograph was taken within the Charlestown Navy Yard, where the United States submarine tender Tonopah (M-8) lies at anchor with her undersea charges, comprising submarine fleet No.3, of the North Atlantic fleet.
Probable submarines are the E.B. designed L-boats (SS-40 / 43 & 49 / 51), [L-1 thru 4 & 9 thru 11.]
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger.(Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 02 June 1917, Postscript Edition, Pictorial Section, Image 19, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
 L-3 104k L-3 (SS-42) with several other submarines at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 18 July 1917. In the center background are Floating Derrick # 5 and K-6 (SS-37). Note L-3's periscopes. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51127.
L-3 43k L-3 (SS-42) bow view under way off Plymouth England, August 1918. The contributors father, Chester Claude Farmer, reported aboard as Gunners Mate (Torpedoes) 1/c in 1917, was made Warrant Gunner, then ENS(T) and LTJG(T) in her before she decommissioned. He went on to command three or four of the older boats out of Groton in the early 20's. US Navy photo courtesy of Claude S. Farmer, Jr. CDR, USN (Ret).
L-3/L-11/L-10/L-4/L-9 67k L-3 (SS-42), L-11 (SS-51), L-10 (SS-50), L-4 (SS-43) and L-9 (SS-49), alongside their tender in Great Britain during World War I.
They display the most important war modifications: the permanent open chariot bridge & retractable (housing) periscopes. L-10 shows three fixed-spot hydrophones forward, presumably comprising a K-tube.
Partial text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
US Navy photo NH 60252, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
L- boats 753k Sack Time. Typical of the subject submarines, here men are stacked four high on canvas fold away bunks aboard an American L-boat in the European theater. Photo from Illustrated London News, 28 September, 1918, courtesy of Beneath the Surface: World War I Submarines Built in Seattle and Vancouver by Bill Lightfoot.
 L-3 69k L-3 (SS-42) underway off Berehaven, Ireland, 1918. Among the camouflaged ships in the distance are a U.S. Navy destroyer (center) and an oil tanker (right). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51129.
 L-3 92k L-3 (SS-42) leading a column of L class (SS-40/51) submarines, off Berehaven, Ireland, 1918. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51130.
 L-3 52k View on L-3's (SS-42) deck, looking aft toward the fairwater, while the submarine was underway off Berehaven, Ireland, in 1918.Note L-3's 3"/23 deck gun in retracted position just forward of the fairwater. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 63176.
 L-3 163k View looking forward as L-3 (SS-42) prepares to submerge, off Berehaven, Ireland, 1918. Note diving planes deploying on either side of the bow; "SC Tube" hydrophone and diagonal white stripe (probably a recognition marking) on the foredeck. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51131.
 L-3 109k Crewman sends a message to another submarine (visible in the center distance) using semaphore flags, during operations off Berehaven, Ireland in 1918. Note "SC Tube" type hydrophone and white stripe (probably a recognition marking) on L-3's (SS-42) foredeck. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51160.
 L-3 89k View of the L-3's (SS-42) foredeck, taken while running on the surface off Berehaven, Ireland, 1918. Note "SC Tube" type hydrophone. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51132.
 L-3 & 9 100k View of the L-9 (SS-49), at right and L-3 (SS-42) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, circa February 1919. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51166.
L-boats 1.23k L-3 (SS-42) at Boston Navy Yard, circa 1918-20.
Above the dry dock is a three stacked battleship of the Virginia (BB-13 / 17) class. All of the battleships of this class were involved in returning the Doughboys back from "over there".
Photo # 08_06_023224 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Photo added 07/21/13.
L-boats 705k Submarines right to left are L-3 (SS-42), L-4 (SS-43) & L-1 (SS-40) to Constitution at Boston Navy Yard, circa 1918-20.Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedmen.
Photo # 08_06_023224 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
L-boats 1.12k Submarines left to right are L-3 (SS-42), L-4 (SS-43) & L-1 (SS-40) of the Constitution at Boston Navy Yard, circa 1918-20.Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Photo added 07/21/13.
 L-3 171k Starboard side view of the L-3 (SS-42) off Provincetown, Mass., circa 1920-23. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
 L-3 85k Prewar U.S. submarine bridges were very small to limit underwater drag. With her enlarged chariot bridge, L-3 (SS-42) contrasts with the more streamlined L-9 (SS-49) in this 1918 photo (which was less suited to protracted surface runs). Photo & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS-4189k L-class class submarines tied up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, with a harbor tug outboard, circa February 1919.
Submarines are (from left to right):
L-3 (SS-42);
L-9 (SS-49);
L-11 (SS-51); and
L-2 (SS-41).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 51167.
 L-3, 9 & 11 91k L-3 (SS-42) - left; L-9 (SS-49) - center; and L-11 (SS-51) - right, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, circa February 1919. "Homeward-bound" pennant flying from L-9's periscope indicates that this photo may have been taken as the submarines arrived home following World War I service in British waters. US Naval Historical Center photo # NH 51168.
 L-3 149k Kanawha (AO-1) undergoing repairs in drydock, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 3 March 1919. L-3 (SS-42) is alongside, at left. Note Kanawha's rudder and port side propeller, and propellers on L-3, whose rudder and after diving planes have been removed. Kanawha is still painted in World War I pattern camouflage. US Naval Historical Center photo # NH 52222, by Yard Photographer J.W. Replogle.
 L-3 117k Kanawha (AO-1) undergoing repairs in drydock, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 3 March 1919. L-3 (SS-42) is alongside, at left. Two submarines are also in the drydock, with L-3 in the foreground. Note Kanawha's rudder and port side propeller, and propellers on L-3, whose rudder and after diving planes have been removed. Kanawha is still painted in World War I pattern camouflage. US Naval Historical Center photo # NH 52221, by Yard Photographer J.W. Replogle.

View the L-3 (SS-42)
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

Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Submarine Index
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster
This page is created and maintained by Michael Mohl
1996 - 2014, NavSource History All rights reserved.