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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

N-4 (SS-56)

Radio Call Sign: November - Zulu - Hotel

N-4 Class Submarine: Laid down, 24 March 1915, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT.; Launched, 27 November 1916; Commissioned, USS N-4, 15 June 1918, at New York Navy Yard; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, 7 June 1920; Designated (SS-56), 17 July 1920; Extensive overhaul at Philadelphia, PA., until 28 March 1921; Put into New London on 6 December 1921 to have her main engines removed and transferred to L-3 (SS-42); Ordered to be sold 5 April 1922; Tug Sagamore (AT-20) towed the hulk of N-4 to Philadelphia, arriving 13 April 1922; Decommissioned, 22 April 1922, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping 25 September 1922 to Joseph G. Hitner of Philadelphia, PA.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, surfaced: 340 t., submerged: 415 t.; Length 147' 3"; Beam 14' 6"; Draft 12' 4"; Speed, surfaced 13 kts, submerged 11 kts; Maximum Depth 200'; Complement 3 Officers, 26 Enlisted; Armament, four 18" torpedo tubes, eight torpedoes; Propulsion, diesel-electric, Busch Sulzer Brothers Diesel Engine Co., diesel engines, 600 hp, Fuel Capacity, 5,976 gals., Diehl Manufacture Co. electric motors, 300 hp, Battery Cells 120, single screw.
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Coast defense Submersible To Be Ready for Water Next Monday.

With the submarine L-5 (SS-44) making its first trial spins about the harbor today in preparation of standing goverment, tests off Provincetown, Mass., within a few weeks time the Lake Torpedo Boat Co. announced today that the N-4 coast defense sub would be launched at 11 o'clock next Monday.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo & text by The Bridgeport Evening Farmer.[volume] (Bridgeport, Conn.) 1866-1917, 20 November 1916, Image 4, 25 November 1916, Image 3 & 27 November 1916, Image 1, courtesy of
N-4 77k N-4 (SS-56), with N-2 (SS-54) , at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT. USN photo # 19-N-829, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
N-4 75k N-4 (SS-56) portside view, outboard with O-12 (SS-73) inboard, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT., 16 January 1917. USN photo # 19-N-871B, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
N-4 96k N-4 (SS-56) bow view at rest, July, 1917 at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT. USN photo # 19-N-862, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
R-24 134k PDF entitled "How the Diesel engine came to America." Photo courtesy of
N-5, 4, & O-12 110k N-4 (SS-56), N-5 (SS-57), & O-12 (SS-73) tied up to dock at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT., 1 April 1918. USN photo # 19-N-884, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
N-4 171k N-4 is shown off the New London Submarine Base, Groton, Connecticut in 1919. Photo i.d. courtesy of Robert Hurst.
USN photo courtesy of Mike Green.
NR Electric Arc Cuts Under Water
From the Popular Mechanics Magazine.
An electric cutting torch for use under water by a diver to cut through broken steel piers or the hulls of sunken vessels is among the most recent applications of electricity to modern industry. The torch comprises a powerful electric arc and a jet of oxygen gas, and when the diver turns on the oxygen this is forced out under pressure and forms a bubble around the tip of the torch, keeping the water away from the flame of the arc. When the old United States submarine N-4 (SS-56) recently sank at the dock where she was to be scrapped, the underwater torch was brought into play to slice her into sections that the crane could lift to the surface.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by Evening Star.[volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 15 March 1925, Image 23, courtesy of

View the N-4 (SS-56)
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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