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

O-5 (SS-66)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Mike - Zulu

O Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 December 1916, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 11 November 1917; Commissioned, USS O-5, 8 June 1918; Designated (SS-66), 17 July 1920; Rammed while entering Limon Bay, Canal Zone, 28 October 1923, by United Fruit steamer Abangarez, sank in less than one minute with loss of 3 crewmembers; raised to save 2 crewmembers after 31 hours under; Struck from the Naval Register, 28 April 1924; Final Disposition, hulk sold, 12 December 1924, to R.K. Morris, Balboa,.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 521 t., Submerged: 629 t.; Length 172' 4"; Beam 18' 0"; Draft 14' 5"; Speed, Surfaced 14 kts, Submerged 10.5 kts; Operational Depth Limit 200 ft; Complement 2 Officers 27 Enlisted; Armament, four 18", torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes, one 3"/23 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel-electric, New England Ship and Engine Co, diesels, 880 hp, Fuel Capacity, 21,897 gal.; New York Navy Yard electric motors, 740 hp, Battery Cells 120, single propeller.
Click On Image
For Full Size
Size Image Description Source
 R 1.60k Schley (SS-52) forward looking aft, 9 January 1917.
Note the construction of two other submarines on the ways to the left.
The only other submarines under construction at Fore River were O-3 (SS-64), O-4 (SS-65), O-5 (SS-66), & O-6 (SS-67), which were all laid down between 2 thru 8 December 1916.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston
US National Archives photo # 19lc 11 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
O-8 374k Launching of the O-5 (SS-66), 11 November 1917.
Note the boat's mushroom anchor can be clearly seen retracted into the hull in a break in the bilge keel, behind the torpedo tube bow cap and directly under the bow planes. This is a feature not normally seen with the boat in the water. These boats all had a standard fluke-type anchor housed in the superstructure on the starboard bow and this anchor was the one normally used for mooring out. The mushroom anchor could be used for this purpose, but its primary use was to allow the boat to "hover" while submerged. The boat would come to a complete stop, drop the mushroom anchor and then adjust ballast to achieve a slight positive buoyancy, drawing the anchor chain tight. It would then adjust its depth by paying out or heaving in on the anchor chain. This could be a very useful tactic when sitting off an enemy's harbor waiting for ships to come out.
Text i.d. courtesy of David JohnstonNational Archives Identifier: 45547178
Local Identifier: 165-WW-499A-23.
Photo courtesy of
O-5 148k O-5 (SS-66), off Provincetown, Massachusetts, on 14 April 1918, during her trials. LOC photo # LC-F81-27036 courtesy of Tom Kermen.
Text courtesy of USNHC photo # NH 44551.
O-5 72k In May 1918, Trever was ordered to the Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Mass., to assist in fitting out O-5 (SS-66). He assumed command of the new O-boat on 9 June 1918 and received the temporary rank of Lieutenant Commander on 1 July 1918. On 5 October 1918, during post-commissioning trials, an explosion occurred on board O-5 in which Trever and a crewman were injured. Nine days later, at the naval hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y., on 14 October 1918, Lt. Comdr. George Arthur Trever died as a result of the severe and multiple injuries suffered in the shipboard tragedy.Photo courtesy of the US Naval Academy Alumni Association via Bill Gonyo.
O-5 & O-3 95k O-5 (SS-66), left and O-3 (SS-64), probably at the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, circa 1918-1920. US Naval Historical Center photo # NH 98061. Collection of Christopher Henry William Lloyd, donated by Virginia M. Agostini, 1990.
O-boats 579k U.S. submarines at Bermuda. Just returned from war zone.
From left to right, 2 unidentified O-boats, O-3 (SS-64), O-5 (SS-66) & O-7 (SS-68).
On 2 November 1918 O-boats 1 / 10 (SS-62 / 71) departed Newport with a 20-sub contingent bound for European waters, however, the Armistice was signed before the ships reached the Azores, and they returned to the United States.
Text i.d. courtesy of DANFS.
Photo by James W. Anderson, courtesy of Kristina Magill via Gary Priolo.
O-boats 1.04k Late type American submarine, Bermuda. One of the unknown 10 O-boats 1 / 10 (SS-62 / 71) . Photo by James W. Anderson, courtesy of Kristina Magill via Gary Priolo.
O-boats 659k A steel sea monster, amphibious and formidable, is Uncle Sam's newest submarine just home from war duty. The great fin rudders stabilize the boat under water and assist in speedy submerging. They fold up snugly against the sides when the "sub" is under way. Several of these new O-boats are making their initial New York appearance in the Naval Review. Image provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from the New-York Tribune (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 27 April 1919, Image 47, via
The Saxonia, (now Savannah (AS-8)) once considered the finest German passenger ship, is now a mother for United States submarines. Here she is off the coast at Provincetown, Mass., with some of her cubs.
Image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ.
Photo from the Bisbee Daily Review. (Bisbee, Ariz.) 1901-1971, 21 August 1921, SECOND SECTION, Image 9, via
O-5 35k O-5 (SS-66), underway and undated. USN photo courtesy of
Solo 387k US Submarine base at Coco Solo, Panama 1923.
The R-26 (SS-103) is in the background with the white tarp over her fore deck.
The Submarine Chaser in the background is SC 285.
The O-3 (SS-64) & O-7 (SS-68) are in front of the R-26. The O-9 (SS-70) is next closest to the camera. The two boats in the foreground are the O-5 (SS-66) and a mystery "O" boat.
The O-5 reported to Coco Solo in January of 1923 and she sank 18 October 1923 with the loss of 3 lives.
Text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photo from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
Underwater Craft Disabled by Rough Seas Near Bahamas, Navy Reports
CHARLESTON, S. C, 29 October. Seven destroyers and several tugs have been dispatched to the assistance of submarines O-11 (SS-72) and R-25 (SS-102), reported disabled in a rough sea 100 miles east of the Great Guana key, near the Bahamas, according to an announcement today at headquarters of the sixth naval district here. The submarines broke down about 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon, it was stated.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 29 October 1923, Image 1, via
SS 66 NR Imprisoned in Sunken Submarine, Two Desperately Fight for Life
Wait, Endure and Watch for Rescuers During Long Hours in Watertight Chamber—Nearly Overcome Before Disabled Craft Is Finally Raised From Bottom of Sea by Heroic Efforts of Navy's Divers and Sailors—Hydrogen Blast and Chlorine Freed, by Acid Add to Perils of Situation—Weird Flames and Heat.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star.(Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 09 December 1923, Image 87, via
O-5 76k The SS Abangarez, in San Francisco Bay, California, in late 1945 or early 1946. This United Fruit Company banana carrier was built in Ireland in 1909. She sank the O-5 (SS-66) on 28 October 1923. USNHC photograph # NH 98764. Donation of Boatswain's Mate First Class Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2003.
O-boats 85k Submarine Division 8, Commander Guy E. Davis commanding. Nine of the Division's ten O-boats at the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 16 August 1921. Panoramic photograph by Crosby, "Naval Photographer", 11 Portland Street, Boston. Submarines in the front row are (from left to right): O-3 (SS-64), O-6 (SS-67), O-9 (SS-70) and O-1 (SS-62). Those in the second row are (from left to right): O-7 (SS-68), unidentified (either O-2 or O-8), O-5 (SS-66), O-10 (SS-71) and O-4 (SS-65). Large four-stacked ship in the left center distance is the U.S. Army Transport Mount Vernon. USNHC photograph # NH 103193.
341k Two photo PDF of the sinking of the O-5 (SS-66).
Photos courtesy of Scott Koen &
 R 169k This photo is believed to show the burial of one of the three victims of the O-5 (SS-66) sinking on 28 October 1923. Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hart.
Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman
O-5 32k Commemorative photo in memory of the O-5 (SS-66).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via
O-5 121k Google Earth satellite photo of the eastern approach of the Panama Canal, showing Cristobal Panama, with Limon Bay, a part of the Caribbean Sea, where the O-5 (SS-66) sank. View courtesy of Google Earth.
O-5 76k Torpedoman Second Class Henry Breault, USN (center) receives the Medal of Honor from President Calvin Coolidge, in ceremonies at the White House, Washington, D.C., on 8 March 1924. Captain Adolphus Andrews, Presidential Naval Aide, is at left. Breault was awarded the Medal of Honor for "heroism and devotion to duty" during the sinking of O-5 (SS-66) on 28 October 1923. US Naval Historical Center photo # NH 52788.
Memorial plaque91kMemorial plaque at Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia PA, July 2006 for the crews of United States submarines lost during peace time accidents:
F-1 (SS-20), F-4 (SS-23), G-2 (SS-27), H-1 (SS-28), O-5 (SS-66), O-9 (SS-70), S-4 (SS-109), S-51 (SS-162), Squalus (SS-192), Scorpion (SSN-589) & Thresher (SSN-593).
Photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
1.73k The Panama Canal owned the two largest floating cranes in the world, each able to lift 250 tons (275.5 mt). One, the Atlas, began sailing to the rescue. In this photo, the Canal-launch captain reaches out to help O-5 (SS-66) survivor Henry Breault aboard after the crane Atlas finally pulled the submarine to the surface, from 42 feet, rescuing two trapped crewmen, 28 October 1923.
As of June 2006 the Atlas is still operating in the Canal.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 20th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, 1982, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S. submariners who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."
Partial text courtesy of
Record Group 185:
Records of the Panama Canal, 1848 - 1999:
File Unit: Construction of the Panama Canal - Volume 4
National Archives Identifier: 100995336
Local Identifier: 185-G-379
Photo courtesy of

View the O-5 (SS-66)
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
ComSubPac Report of loss of USS O-5 (SS 66) October 18, 1923 - 3 Men Lost
On Eternal Patrol
Images from the Panama Canal of the O-5 (SS-66)
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
All Pages © 1996 - 2022, NavSource History All rights reserved.