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

AA-3 / T-3 (SF-3) (SS-61)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Bravo - Zulu

T Class Submarine: Laid down, as AA-3, 21 May 1917, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 24 May 1919; Designated AA-3 (SF-3), 17 July 1920; Renamed T-3, 22 September 1920; Commissioned USS T-3 (SF-3), 7 December 1920, at Boston Navy Yard, Boston, MA.; Decommissioned, 11 November 1922, at Sub Base Hampton Roads, VA.; Laid up in the Reserve Fleet at Norfolk, VA, later moved to Philadelphia; Recommissioned, 1 October 1925; Decommissioned, 14 July 1927, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 19 September 1930; Final Disposition, broken up and hulk sold for scrap, 20 November 1930.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,107 t., Submerged: 1,482 t.; Length 268' 9"; Beam 22' 10"; Draft 14' 2"; Speed, Surfaced 20 kts, Submerged 10.5 kts; Depth Limit 150'; Complement 4 Officers, 34 Enlisted; Armament, six 21", torpedo tubes, 16 torpedoes, two 3"/23 deck guns; Propulsion, diesel-electric, New London Ship & Engine Co, diesel engine, 4,000 hp, Fuel Capacity, 23,602 gal.; Engines changed to Maschinfabrik - Augsburg - Nurnburg (M.A.N) diesel engines; Electro Dynamic Co, electric motors, 1,350 hp, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed By/
Source
T-3 1.50k AA-2 (SS-60) & AA-3 (SS-61), aft looking forward, Fore River Ship Yard, 16 July 1917. US National Archives photo # 16lc 5 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Editors Note: None of the photos from NARA would have seen the light of day here if it were not for the effort of Sean Hert to scan and send them to me. He and Tracy White have done this innumerable times and I owe them a heart felt debt of perpetual thanks for being my legs from over 6,000 miles away.
T-2 1.20k AA-2 (SS-60) & AA-3 (SS-61), forward looking aft, Fore River Ship Yard, 16 July 1917. US National Archives photo # 16lc 7 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 956k AA-3 (SS-61) & AA-2 (SS-60), forward looking aft, Fore River Ship Yard, 4 October 1917. US National Archives photo # 16lc 4 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-1 106k Ships fitting out at the Fore River shipyard, 19 March 1918. The six destroyers are Little (DD-79), Kimberly (DD-80), Sigourney (DD-81), Gregory (DD-82), Colhoun (DD-85) and Stevens (DD-86), which had builder's hull numbers 274-277 and 280-281 respectively. The freighter at right is Katrina Luckenbach, yard hull # 267, which served as Katrina Luckenbach in 1918-19. Most of the equipment on the pier is for her. Note the large submarine being built in the background, under the revolving crane.
It is probably S-1 (SS-105) or one of the AA-1 class: The AA-1 (SS-52), T-2 (SS-60) or T-3 (SS-61).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 43022.
T-1 78k Fore River Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts. Destroyers fitting out on 20 June 1918. Murray (DD-97) is in the foreground, with Stribling (DD-96) outboard. In the middle distance are Bell (DD-95), with Dyer (DD-84) inboard of her. These four destroyers had builder's hull numbers 303, 302, 301 and 279, respectively, and these numbers are painted in small numerals on the ships' bows.
A submarine is on the building ways in the background, under the large crane. It is probably S-1 (SS-105) or one of the AA-1 class: The AA-1 (SS-52), T-2 (SS-60) or T-3 (SS-61).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 43024.
T-3 869k T-3 (SS-61) still on her scaffolding just prior to her launch at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co.,Fore River Plant, Quincy, MA., 24 May 1919. US National Archives photo from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 754k The T-3 (SS-61) heads (or tails) for the water during her launching on 24 May 1919. US National Archives photo from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
(T-3) 164k The T-3 (SS-61) at the Fore River Plant of Bethlehem Shipbuilding, Quincy, Mass. There is an unidentified S-boat tied to one of the other two T-boats. It might be supposed that the other T-boat is the T-2 since the T-3 and T-2 were at Fore River at the same time in 1919. US Navy photo courtesy of usssubvetsofwwii.org. Text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
(K-2, T1 & 3) 144k 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. 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. US Navy photo & text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
BB-49 494k Diving Fins of Biggest Submarine
View of the diving fins of the AA-3 (SS-61), American submarine of the largest type yet made here. The vessel is 208 feet, 10 inches long and makes 20 knots on the surface, and 12 knots when submerged.
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo from The North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922, 20 August 1920, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 04/23/13.
(T-3) 987k T-3 (SS-61) on sea trials, circa December 1920. Photo provided by Robert Hurst.
BB-49 483k Our New Battleships & T-Boats Lead World's Navies
Vessels of the North Carolina Class When Completed Will Put United States in Advance of Any Nation When Major Fighting Craft Are Considered---Fleet Submarines Under Construction Completely Overshadow Famous Deutschland in Size and Speed Besides Possessing Latest Marvels in Mechanical Equipment.
Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library.
Photo from The Ogden Standard-Examiner. (Ogden, Utah) 1920-current, 04 February 1921, LAST EDITION, Image 11, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
T-3 547k T-3 (SS-61) makes for the sea. US National Archives photo C & R # 10224, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 556k T-3 (SS-61) sprouts a small nursery on her deck. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R # 10225, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 576k Getting the boat ready for Xmas or Arbor Day in this amidship view. US National Archives photo C & R # 10227, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 581k Old Glory flies from the jack staff. US National Archives photo C & R # 10228, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 492k Conning tower & bell of the T-3 (SS-61). US National Archives photo C & R # 10229, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 522k The bell is inscribed AA-3, 1920. US National Archives photo C & R # 10230, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 573k The wheel of the AA-3 in the conning tower. US National Archives photo C & R # 10231, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 576k Rivet construction is evident in abundance in the building of the AA-3's conning tower. US National Archives photo C & R # 10232, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 542k AA-3's crew pose for a group shot around the conning tower. US National Archives photo C & R # 10233, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 681k A dog on the dock and a bush on AA-3's stern, salvation ever so close. US National Archives photo C & R # 10234, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 558k Stern view of the T-3 (SS-61) amidst a flow of ice. US National Archives photo C & R # 10226, from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 869k Cover of the following photo collection taken after installation of the experimental engines aboard the T-3 (SS-61).
At the time of the T-boats' decommissioning, the idea of testing German-produced diesel engines in one of them had been bantered about in Navy circles. T-1 (SS-52) had originally been designated for this purpose, but funds were not then available. In 1925, when money was forthcoming, it was T-3 that came out of mothballs for the tests. On 1 October 1925, T-3 was recommissioned at Philadelphia. For the following 21 months, she tested her newly installed 3,000-horsepower M.A.N. diesel engines for the Bureau of Engineering.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
US National Archives photo from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 731k Engine room, forward end of engines, looking forward. Both air compressors are visible on each side. Double door to control room is at the forward end and one of the periscopes is visible through the doors.
There is an interesting side bar to the T-boats. As the first of the Navy's "Fleet" submarines, they were intended for high sustained surface speed (20 knots). With diesel engine technology still in its infancy in the U.S. when these boats were designed, there were no engines powerful enough to provide the required speed with the standard diesel-direct arrangement (one engine on each shaft). So the designers came up with the idea of putting two engines in tandem on each shaft, with front engine connected to the aft engine at the crankshaft. This was one of those "it sounded like a great idea at the time" solutions that turned out to be a complete failure.
The problem came from the impossibility of precisely synchronizing the speeds of the two engines. If one of the engines was even slightly out of time with the other massive vibrations would occur, eventually tearing both engines apart. This would be challenging even with today's computerized control systems, but with the manual systems of the day it was a foregone conclusion. The engines were reliability nightmares and the boats could reach designed speeds only under optimum conditions and then only for short periods. Simon Lake's G-2 (SS-27) was the only other U.S. submarine to use tandem engines, and Lake was equally unsuccessful with the concept.
In addition, the design of the tankage forward left these boats with a smaller than anticipated amount of reserve buoyancy and when coupled with the design of the bow it caused the bow to burrow into the water, practically submerging the boat at higher speeds. A rebuild of the tankage failed to rectify the problem.
The T-class boats were a classic case of ambition outweighing the available technology. In 1920 we just didn't have the technology to build a true fleet boat. We would have to wait another 15 years for the gadgets and widgets to catch up to the dreams of the designers and the ambition of the admirals.
Text courtesy of David Johnston (USNR)
US National Archives photo C & R 10235 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 673k Engine room, aft end of engines, looking aft. Double doors lead to motor room/AMR. Notice the two engine order telegraphs on the right side. These were used to send speed orders to the engine room from the control room. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10236 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 826k Engine room, aft end looking forward. Both of the big M.A.N. replacement diesels are visible. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10237 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 877k Engine room, forward end looking aft. The large levers are clutches for the air compressors on each side and air start valve actuators for the engines. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10238 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 652k Motor room/AMR, aft end looking forward. Double door to the engine room is at the forward end. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10239 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 623k Motor room/Auxiliary machinery room (AMR), middle of compartment looking aft. Visible at the far end is the watertight door to a topside access trunk. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10240 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 676k Motor room/AMR, aft end of compartment, looking aft. This picture is the same compartment as photo 10240, only taken from a vantage point further aft. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10241 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 643k Battery compartment upper level. Forward enlisted berthing, port side looking forward. The T-boats had double bulkheads between each main compartment. The space between the bulkheads in this photo served as an access trunk to a hatch leading topside. In this view both watertight doors in the trunk are open and officer's berthing can be seen beyond. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10242 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 601k Battery compartment upper level. Forward enlisted berthing, Starboard side looking aft. Lockers on the left, folded bunks on the right. Battery ventilation blowers on the aft bulkhead. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10243 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 575k Battery compartment upper level. Aft enlisted berthing, starboard side looking aft. Lockers on the left, bunks on the right. Note the messing tables underneath the folded bunks. This space doubled as enlisted messing. Battery ventilation blowers on the aft bulkhead. The double watertight door led to the galley. The boat's gyroscope is in the left corner. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10244 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 588k Battery compartment upper level. Aft enlisted berthing, port side looking aft. This is the opposite side of the compartment show in photo 10244. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10245 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 738k Torpedo room, aft end looking forward. This photo was taken right next to the ladder shown in photo 10247. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10246 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 751k Torpedo room, middle of compartment, looking aft. This room doubled as enlisted berthing and folded bunks are visible. In the center is an access ladder leading to hatch going topside. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10247 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 822k Control room, middle of room, port side looking forward. On the left are the wheels for the bow and stern planes. Visible between the wheels is the depth gauge. On the forward bulkhead is what appears to be a combination air and trim manifold. To the right is the helm wheel. Notice the handle extensions, necessary to develop the required amount of force on the wheel to turn it when operating the helm manually. On the far right are the operating levers for the ballast tank Kingston valves. When opened they allowed water to flood into main ballast tanks. Visible in the center are two of the boat's periscopes, along with some portable electric space heaters (the perforated metal boxes on the deck). Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10248 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 764k Control room, middle of room, port side looking aft. On the left is the ships electrical switching panel. Two periscopes are visible in the center, and the watertight door to the engine room in the center. Visible on the right is the stern plane control wheel. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10249 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 584k Ship's radio. Located in the torpedo room, starboard side forward. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10250 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 715k Torpedo room, middle of room looking forward. Ship's radio on the right. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10251 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 623k Galley looking to port. Photo taken from the scullery. The galley was located in its own compartment between the control room and the battery compartment/enlisted berthing. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman. & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10252 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 603k Torpedo room aft end. Officer's berthing, middle of compartment looking forward. Non-watertight door leads to the torpedo room. Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10253 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 586k Torpedo room aft end. Officer's berthing, middle of compartment looking aft. Door to battery compartment/enlisted berthing in the center. On the left is a door leading to the officer's toilet (called a head). Text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USNR) & Ric Hedman.
US National Archives photo C & R 10254 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
T-3 523k Starboard diving plane. US National Archives photo C & R 10255 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
(T3) 220k Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore D. Robinson and his family inspect the submarine T-3 (SS-61) on 23 December 1925. Photo # npcc 27370, LC-F81-38812 courtesy of the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.
(T3) 208k Wilbur and House Naval Affairs inspect sub T-3 (SS-61) at Navy Yard, 30 December 1925. Photo # npcc 27391v, LC-F81-38874 courtesy of the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.

View the AA-3 / T-3 (SF-3) (SS-61)
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 by Gary Priolo and maintained by Michael Mohl
1996 - 2014, NavSource History All rights reserved.