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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

N-1 (SS-53)

Radio Call Sign: November - Zulu - Echo

N-1 Class Submarine: Laid down, 26 July 1915, at Seattle Construction and Drydock Co., Seattle, WA.; Launched, 30 December 1916; Commissioned, USS N-1, 26 September 1917; Designated (SS-53), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 30 April 1926, at Philadelphia, PA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 18 December 1930; Final Disposition, scrapped in 1931.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, surfaced: 348 t., submerged: 414 t.; Length 147' 3"; Beam 15' 9"; Draft 12' 6"; Speed, surfaced 13 kts, submerged 11 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 2 Officers, 23 Enlisted; Armament, four 18" torpedo tubes, eight torpedoes; Propulsion, diesel-electric, New London Ship and Engine Co., diesel engines, 480 hp, Fuel Capacity, 6,058 gals., Electro Dynamic Co. electric motors, 280 hp, Battery Cells 120, single screw.
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N-1183k N-1 (SS-53) was intended for harbor defense: she was very nearly a modernized H-boat. Experience with N-boats (SS-53/59) was cited when the U.S. Navy rejected E.B.'s proposal to mass produce H-boats to fill a 1918 goal in submarine production. After WW I, these boats were used for training at New London, CT. Drawing by Jim Christley.
Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
N-1220k Starboard side view of the N-1 (SS-53), underway at Puget Sound, Seattle, Washington, possibly circa 1917. Text courtesy of Harry Hoffman via John Parker. USN photo courtesy of
SS-N890kProposed Installation of 1/2 K.W. 500, E.J. Simon Set for submarines N-1 (SS-53), N-2 (SS-54) & N-3 (SS-55), 9 August 1917.National Archives Identifier: 83833147
Photo courtesy of
Photo added 06/06/18.
N-199kThe crew of N-1 (SS-53) "horsing" a 2,000-pound torpedo through the loading hatch, 1918, probably at New London CT. The stowable davit with head sheave and hand winch is a necessary part of this exercise unless a shore side crane can be used.
Note: There are other submarines that can be seen moored in the background. The submarine G-2 (SS-27) is the only boat readily identifiable.
Photo & text courtesy of Beneath the Surface: World War I Submarines Built in Seattle and Vancouver by Bill Lightfoot. Photo courtesy of John Parker.
N-1 and H-146k N-1 (SS-53), alongside H-1 (SS-28), off of Cristobal, C.Z., circa December 1917. USN photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
N-boats 367k N-1's (SS-53) crew of the taken about 1918-19. My Great Uncle Earl Thomas Webb was the CMM on the vessel and is pictured in the middle just below Commander Fuller. Earl Webb served on the N-1 during 1918-1922. Photo courtesy of William J Webb.
N-boats 221k N-1's (SS-53) Earl Webb and other crew members. Photo courtesy of William J Webb.
N-boats 686k Following sea trials in Puget Sound, N-3 (SS-55), with sister ships N-1 (SS-53) and N-2 (SS-54), departed the Navy Yard 21 November 1917. The three submarines arrived at New London 7 February 1918.
Fighting ice. The tender Savannah (AS-8) plows alead through the ice of Long Island Sound for the three N-boats as they near the end of their 7,000 mile journey from the more temperate waters of Puget Sound. A canvass dodger remains as the protection for the bridge watch.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, Caldwell Collection from Beneath the Surface: World War I Submarines Built in Seattle and Vancouver by Bill Lightfoot.
N-boats 1.46k N-1 (SS-53) traveling down the Thames River circa spring of 1918. She is yet to get her steel chariot bridge surround installed. The man forward of the periscope sheers, standing on the bridge access hatch, is the helmsman.
Behind, on the shore, can be seen the Fort Griswold Monument and Fort Griswold itself, to the left of the large smoke stack. Fort Griswold is a revolutionary war fort that was the scene of a bloody massacre by the British on American forces. Survivors were taken from the fort and placed on prison ships moored in the Thames River.
Photo & text from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
Hen and Chicks 244k Photo entitled "Hen and Chicks" shows the Minelayer Shawmut (Id.No. 1255 / CM-4) is seen in Dry Dock 2 of the Boston Navy Yard on 17 April 1918, outward of submarines N-1 (SS-53), N-2 (SS-54), and N-3 (SS-55). Boston Navy Yard photo # 3734, from the National Park Service, Boston National Historical Park, BOSTS-13838, courtesy of Stephen P. Carlson, Preservation Specialist, Boston NHP, Charlestown Navy Yard.
N-1168kCommander Edward C. Fuller sits on the deck of the U.S. Navy submarine N-1 (SS-53) in 1918 during World War I. USN photo submitted by Bill Gonyo.
New London 549k U.S. submarine going to sea for practice, circa 1918:
From right to left, two subs in the photo to the right, You can just see the sterns and a flag. Class/s unknown.
D-boat in mid-river. She is ballasted down aft so that her props, rudder, and aft diving planes clear the ice in the river. Next to pier is the G-3 (SS-31), the other two boats alongside the pier are actually EB design N-class boats, ( N-1, 2 & 3). The arrangement of the towing fairlead bullnose, the towing shackle, and the bow plane arrangement all match EB design N-boats. You can see Conn College on the hill in the background.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedmen.
Photographer: Western Newspaper Union.
National Archives Identifier: 45512000
Local Identifier: 165-WW-331E-7.
Photo courtesy of
New London 599k N-3 (SS-55), showing ship's crew at the New London submarine base Connecticut circa 1919. N-1 (SS-53) and N-2 (SS-54) are in the background. Source: US Naval History Heritage and Command, Photo No. NH 45627 via Mike Green.
N-1112kBow view of N-1 (SS-53) operating near the New London Submarine Base, Connecticut in 1919. USN photo. Photo i.d. courtesy of Robert Hurst.
N-182k Radio shack of the N-1 (SS-53), date unknown. USN photo courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
US Fleet Problem Number VI 1.72k Control Force Employment Schedule, 4 January to 1 March 1926. US Fleet Problem Number VI. Photo courtesy of Steve Ireland.

View the N-1 (SS-53)
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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