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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

O-9 (SS-70)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Golf - Bravo

O Class Submarine: Laid down, 15 February 1917, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 27 January 1918; Commissioned, USS O-9, 27 July 1918; Designated (SS-70), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 25 June 1931, at Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; Recommissioned, 14 April 1941, at Philadelphia; Sunk by mechanical failure, 20 June 1941, 15 miles off Portsmouth, NH, at latitude 42-59-48 N, longitude 70-20-27 W, with the loss of 34 officers and men; Struck from the Naval Register, 23 October 1941.

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.; Electro Dynamic Co. electric motors, 740 hp, Battery Cells 120, single propeller.
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O-9132k Just after launching, the O-9 (SS-70) finds her weight at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA., 27 January 1918. Note the ice floes in the Fore River. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
O-9145k O-9 (SS-70) alongside pier after launching at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA., 27 January 1918. USN photo courtesy of kleinsonar.com.
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 chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
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. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 103193.
O-boats 800k GERMAN MOTHER OF U.S, SUBS
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 chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
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 Oct 1923 with the loss of 2 lives.
Text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photo from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
Low 74k Admiral Francis Stuart Low was born in Albany, New York, on 15 August 1894, son of the late Commander William Franklin Low, USN, and Mrs. Anna (Stuart) Low. He attended High School in Newton, Massachusetts and US Naval Academy, graduating from the later with the Class of 1915. In 1926 he completed the junior course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. His first assignments after graduation were in the battleship Connecticut (BB-18) and cruiser Montana (ACR-13). In the early part of his illustrious career, he was designated a submariner, and commanded the submarines D-3 (SS-19), O-9 (SS-70), L-1 (SS-40), L-2 (SS-41), S-12 (SS-117), and served on the staffs of Commander Submarine Division FIVE and Commander Control Force during and subsequent to World War One. This continuous sea duty from 1915 to 1925 was briefly interrupted for a six months assignment with the Tactical Group Submarine Chasers, New London, Connecticut. Text & US Navy photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Photo added 01/09/14.
O-9202kBroadside view of the O-9 (SS-70) next to a clump of palm trees, probably off Coco Solo, C.Z. in 1924, the boat was reclassified to a 2nd line sub during her year there. US Navy photo courtesy of CTM Russel Rau, former COB of SS-238 Wahoo, submitted by Bill Rau & Paul Crozier. Text courtesy of DANFS.
O-258kJason (AC-12) at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, circa 1924. Several submarines are in the foreground, including (from left to right):
S-19 (SS-124);
O-9 (SS-70);
R-26 (SS-103) -- probably--; and
O-2 (SS-63).
Courtesy of Chief Boatswain's Mate George Behrens, USN (Retired), 1974. U.S. Navy photo NH 102780,courtesy of USNHC.
O-921kO-9 (SS-70) at dock in Panama, Coco Solo, C.Z. in 1924, the boat was reclassified to a 2nd line sub during her year there. Submitted by Larry Bohn, courtesy of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, home of the Cobia SS 245.
O-boats 68k Six O-boats nested alongside a pier, in the Central American or Caribbean area, circa 1923-1924. O-6 (SS-67), and O-9 (SS-70) are the two outboard submarines. Quail (AM-15) is also alongside the pier, in the right background. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 93672. Courtesy of the Estate of Virginia Cornwell, 1982.
SS 71 491k O-10 (SS-71) outboard of O-9 (SS-70), May 1930. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 71 957k O-10 (SS-71) outboard of O-9 (SS-70), May 1930. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 70 774k Crew of O-9 (SS-70) listening to ballgame on Conning Tower, May 1930. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Philadelphia Navy Yard 2.49k Philadelphia Navy Yard, 28 October 1940.
The photo presented panorama military shipyards in Philadelphia Navy Yard. Most of the ships are obsolete US destroyers, that were transfer to Great Britain under lend lease.
The submarines are on the left hand side of the photo, and they are: (in no particular order)
The O boats:O-1 (SS-62), O-2 (SS-63), O-3 (SS-64), O-6 (SS-67), O-7 (SS-68), O-8 (SS-69), O-9 (SS-70), O-10 (SS-71).
The R boats: R-1 (SS-78), R-2 (SS-79), R-3 (SS-80), R-5 (SS-82), R-6 (SS-83), R-7 (SS-84), R-8 (SS-85), R-9 (SS-86), R-10 (SS-87), R-12 (SS-89), R-13 (SS-90), R-14 (SS-91),R-15 (SS-92), R-16 (SS-93), R-17 (SS-94), R-18 (SS-95), R-19 (SS-96) & R-20 (SS-97).
The S boats: S-6 (SS-111), S-7 (SS-112), S-8 (SS-113), S-9 (SS-114) ,S-11 (SS-116), S-12 (SS-117), S-13 (SS-118), S-14 (SS-119), S-15 (SS-120), S-16 (SS-121), S-17 (SS-122) & S-48 (SS-159).
The Olympia (C-6) is shown at the right of the wharf on Broad Street.
The stadium in the upper left, was John F. Kennedy Stadium (formally Philadelphia Municipal Stadium)that stood from 1926 to 1992. It was erected for the 1926 Sesquicentennial.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com.
Lower resolution photo. (548k)
Philadelphia Navy Yard 2.49k Philadelphia Navy Yard, 28 October 1940.
The photo presented panorama military shipyards in Philadelphia Navy Yard. Most of the ships are obsolete US destroyers, that were transfer to Great Britain under lend lease.
The submarines are on the left hand side of the photo, and they are: (in no particular order)
The O boats:O-1 (SS-62), O-2 (SS-63), O-3 (SS-64), O-6 (SS-67), O-7 (SS-68), O-8 (SS-69), O-9 (SS-70), O-10 (SS-71).
The R boats: R-1 (SS-78), R-2 (SS-79), R-3 (SS-80), R-5 (SS-82), R-6 (SS-83), R-7 (SS-84), R-8 (SS-85), R-9 (SS-86), R-10 (SS-87), R-12 (SS-89), R-15 (SS-92), R-16 (SS-93), R-17 (SS-94), R-18 (SS-95), R-19 (SS-96) & R-20 (SS-97).
The S boats: S-11 (SS-116), S-12 (SS-117), S-13 (SS-118), S-14 (SS-119), S-15 (SS-120), S-16 (SS-121), S-17 (SS-122) & S-48 (SS-159).
The Olympia (C-6) is shown at the right of the wharf on Broad Street.
The stadium in the upper left, was John F. Kennedy Stadium (formally Philadelphia Municipal Stadium)that stood from 1926 to 1992. It was erected for the 1926 Sesquicentennial.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com.
Lower resolution photo. (548k)
O-913kO-9 (SS-70) underway. Date and location unknown. Courtesy of MMCM (SS) Greg Peterman USN Retired.
O-932k Howard Joseph Abbott, Lieutenant (Commanding Officer) of the O-9 (SS-70) at the time of her loss. USN photo courtesy of oneternalpatrol.com.
O-951k Area map of the Isles of Shoals, where the O-9 (SS-70) lays buried in the depths at 420 feet. Photo courtesy of seacoastnh.com.
O-978k The above 500 kHz image clearly shows the O-9 (SS-70). Bow is to the right, stern is to the left. It appears that the hull was crushed just behind the center conning tower. The dark contact to the left and behind the conning tower is a large fishing net that was snagged on the submarine. The line of depressions dropping off in front of the submarine were most likely formed by trawler doors skipping across the bottom. Text courtesy of kleinsonar.com. Photo courtesy of oceanexplorer.noaa.gov.
O-975k The image of the O-9 (SS-70) below was inverted and slightly colored to enhance detail. Courtesy of kleinsonar.com.
SS-070 63k 23 June 1941 newspaper article detailing the loss of the O-9 (SS-70). Photo courtesy of Author's collection.
SS-070 89k 23 June 1941 newspaper article detailing the loss of the O-9 (SS-70). Photo courtesy of Author's collection.
O-9101kMemorial plague photo of the crew of the O-9 (SS-70).Courtesy of ussalbacore.org via Bill Gonyo.
O-932k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the O-9's (SS-70) crew.Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
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.
O-950k Below is a rendering of the O-9 (SS-70) to help interpret the above sonar images.

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 / He brought me forth also into a large place: / he delivered me because he delighted in me./"
Courtesy of kleinsonar.com.

View the O-9 (SS-70)
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-9 (SS 70) June 20, 1941 - 34 Men Lost
On Eternal Patrol
Submarine USS O-9 (SS-70)
PigBoats.COM TM, a Historic Look at Submarines

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