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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

R-2 (SS-79)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Lima - Delta

R-1 Class Submarine: Laid down, 16 October 1917, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 23 September 1918; Commissioned, USS R-2, 24 January 1919, at Boston, MA.; Redesignated USS R-2 (SS-79), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned 10 May 1945, at Philadelphia, PA.; Struck for the Naval Register, 2 June 1945; Final disposition, sold for scrapping, to Rosoff Bros., New York, 28 September 1945, resold to the Northern Metals, Co., Philadelphia, the following month and scrapped in early 1946.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 569 t., Submerged: 680 t.; Length 186' 2" ; Beam 18'; Draft 14' 6"; Speed, Surfaced 13.5 kts, Submerged 10.5 kts; Depth Limit, 200'; Complement 2 Officers, 27 Enlisted; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes forward, 8 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel electric engines, New England Ship and Engine Co., diesel engines, 1200hp, Fuel Capacity, 18,880 gals., Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, twin propellers.
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NR R-2 (SS-79) was sponsored by Mrs. Mary Louise Cooke, wife of the commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Charles Maynard Cooke, Jr. at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, 23 September 1918.
He would later command the battleship Pennslyvania (BB-38) during the attack Pearl Harbor and reach flag rank.
Partial text & insert image
Image provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 06 September 1920, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 1 via
450k Launching of the R-2 (SS-79), at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, 23 September 1918. Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy, 1913-1923, pg 191.
SS-84 3.20k Ours (R) us.
Ship's Company R-7 (SS-84) with the R-5 (SS-82) & R-10 (SS-87) molded into the background. Time frame could have been circa 1920 when she was operating with infamous SUBDIV 9; all the boats in the photo were part of that division including the R-2 (SS-79) (which may just be visible in the top of the photo).
The R-7 appears underway in the bottom of the photo.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photo courtesy of Jan Reid.
A visiting flotilla of submarines of the U, S. Navy are now cruising in the Carribbean. With the flotilla is the mother ship Camden (AS-6), in charge of Commander G. R. Defress. Citizens of Havana and members of the American Club in that city have been providing lavish entertainment for the 800 officers and men in the flotilla, and the jackies are making the most of their sojourn in that wet town. Photo shows a view taken from the mother ship Camden, of American submarines in Havana harbor.
From inboard to outboard: R-5 (SS-82), R-6 (SS-83) & R-2 (SS-79).
Image and text provided by University of Tennessee.
Photo from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. (Bridgeport, Conn.) 1918-1924, 09 March 1920, Image 12 via
R-2 250k After acceptance trials in Cape Cod Bay, R-2 (SS-79) was assigned to Submarine Division 9 of the Atlantic Fleet and based at New London. She sailed 4 December 1919 for Norfolk and winter division maneuvers in the Gulf of Mexico. Returning to New London 28 May, she joined R-1 (SS-78) and R-3 (SS-80) for 4 months of summer exercises off southern New England. Designated (SS-79) in July, R-2 headed for Norfolk 13 September 1920 for an overhaul. Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
SS-85 3.01k U.S. Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va., Dry dock No. 4, Submarines R-1 (SS-78) to R-10 (SS-87). Inc., Targets 43, 45, 53 & 60., 6 October 1920. National Archives Identifier: 52559671
Local Identifier: 181-V-2733.
Photo courtesy of
SS-85 2.63k U.S. Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va., Dry dock No. 4, Submarines R-1 (SS-78) to R-10 (SS-87). Inc., Targets 43, 45, 53 & 60., 6 October 1920. National Archives Identifier: 52559669
Local Identifier: 181-V-2732
Photo courtesy of
SS-84 & friends 79k The Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6) off New York City with twelve submarines alongside, circa 1920. Submarines are, from inboard to outboard (left to right):
R-1 (SS-78),
R-2 (SS-79),
R-4 (SS-81),
R-5 (SS-82),
R-6 (SS-83),
R-10 (SS-87),
R-9 (SS-86),
R-8 (SS-85),
R-7 (SS-84),
R-3 (SS-80),
S-4 (SS-109)
and S-3 (SS-107).
Official USN photo # NH 99892, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
R-boats R- US 416k R-Boats tied to a tender. The cityscape in the background is New York City. Location is the 79th Street Boat Basin on the west side of Manhattan Island. They were in transit to Hawaii.
R-1 (SS-78),
R-2 (SS-79),
R-4 (SS-81),
R-5 (SS-82),
R-6 (SS-83),
R-10 (SS-87),
R-9 (SS-86),
R-8 (SS-85),
R-7 (SS-84) with the stern of another R-boat visible. It is quite possible that this photo is taken from a different angle from the one above with the same boats in order but only a partial view.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
SS-85 78k The Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6) in San Pedro Harbor, California, 1921. Submarines alongside are (from outboard to inboard):
R-1 (SS-78)
R-3 (SS-80)
R-8 (SS-85),
R-4 (SS-81),
R-2 (SS-79) &
R-10 (SS-87)
USN photo # NH 55044, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
BB-51 Montana132This photo shows the submarines R-1 (SS-78), R-2 (SS-79), R-3(SS-80), R-4 (SS-81), R-5 (SS-82), R-7 (SS-84), R-8 (SS-85) & R-10 (SS-87) with Mud Scow #8 in Mare Island's Dry Dock #2 between 8 May and 10 June 1922. Note: The scaffold for the construction of the Montana (BB-51) can be seen above and to the right of the head of the dry dock. Seattle NARA photo # USN photo 60-30 Record Group 181, 13th Naval District, Records of the Naval District & Shore Establishments, courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large & submitted by Darryl L. Baker.
SS-83, 81 & 79 84k The Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6) photographed circa the early 1920s, with four R-boats alongside, including (from left to right):
R-6 (SS-83),
R-4 (SS-81),
unidentified R-boat and
R-2 (SS-79).
Collection of Joseph A. Hendricks.USN photo # NH 92002, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
R-boats 167k R-boats in dry dock at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, during the early 1920s. Submarines in the foreground are (from left to right): R-3 (SS-80); R-2 (SS-79); and R-1 (SS-78). Five other R-boats are further back in the dry dock. USN photo # NH 69000, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969.
Unknown Photos3.08kR boats at the sub base, Pearl Harbor, November 1925.
R-2 (SS-79), R-7 (SS-84), R-6 (SS-83), unknown, R-4 (SS-81) & R-5 (SS-82). The rest I could not identify.
The barracks ship, ex-Chicago (CL-14) is at the right of the photo.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of David Johnston
Photo from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
347k R-2 (SS-79) tied to a pier, circa 1920's. Photo courtesy of mikescoversales
271k R-2 (SS-79) goes Hawaiian, circa 1920's. Photo courtesy of mikescoversales
Sub Base Pearl Harbor152kThe crews of Submarine Divisions 9 & 14 line the decks of their boats (20 in all) at the Submarine base at Pearl Harbor on 12 December 1930.
R-1 (SS-78),
R-2 (SS-79),
R-3 (SS-80),
R-4 (SS-81),
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-11 (SS-88),
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).
All the R-boats were to leave the base where they had been serving for upwards of 8 years and transfer to the East coast to be decommissioned over the next 3 years.
The only identifiable boat is the R-16.
USN photo by Tai Sing Loo, courtesy of E. Little.
R-2 81k R-2 (SS-79) as shown in April, 1933, modified for safety, but not yet filled with marker buoys. The arrows indicate bulkheads reinforeced to full hull. Batteries are shaded for clarity. Drawing & text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Navy Yard 91k These World War submarines, [R-boats] tied up in the Navy Yard in Philadelphia for a dozen years, are being reconditioned and some are already in active service again, it was announced 10 January 1941. This picture shows them as they appeared before the repair program began. Photo & text courtesy of A.P. Wire courtesy of
Pompano 401k This air view of Portsmouth Navy Yard taken just after the end of WW II shows the main shipbuilding shed which enabled construction to continue unimpeded by the Maine winters. The shed was widened to add two ways in 1941, and a fifth was squeezed in a year later. Drydocks No. 1 (left) & 2 (far right) contain six fleet submarines, while three R-boats are moored in the foreground.
The Pompano (SS-491) would have been under construction in the first ways on the left hand corner of the main shipbuilding shed.
Photo and partial text from The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy: A Design and Construction History, by John D. Alden.
SS-84 6.77k Seven page PDF Battery connection for the R-2 (SS-79), 12 October 1942. USN photos # 80-G-19417 / 19423 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Bernard 405k Lawrence George Bernard graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1937. During his Navy career he commanded the R-2 (SS-79) from May 1944 to March 1945. His next command was the Stickleback (SS-415) from 29 March 1945 until 26 June 1946. When the Stickleback was re-commissioned he once again commanded her from 6 September 1951 to 14 November 1952. His last command was the Howard W. Gilmore (AS-16) from 1 August 1957 to 18 July 1958. While executive officer of the S-39 (SS-144) in action against the enemy during three War Patrols he was awarded the Silver Star. As Diving Officer on board the Puffer (SS-268), during the FIRST War Patrol of that Submarine in enemy-controlled waters from 7 September to 17 October 1943 he was awarded the Bronze Star. When his ship was endangered by temporary loss of depth control caused by damage from enemy anti-submarine measures, Lieutenant Commander Bernard skillfully effected restoration of control and maintained it for a period of thirty-one hours until the vessel was brought to the surface and into port. His outstanding efficiency and unwavering devotion to duty throughout the operations on both submarines were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Photo & text courtesy of Bill Gonyo.

View the R-2 (SS-79)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
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U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
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