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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

R-6 (SS-83)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Lima - Kilo

R-1 Class Submarine: Laid down, 17 December 1917, at Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, MA.; Launched, 1 March 1919; Commissioned, USS R-6, 1 May 1919, at Boston, MA.; Redesignated USS R-6 (SS-83), 17 July 1920; Due to a malfunction in one of her torpedo tubes, she sank in San Pedro Harbor on 26 September 1922, but was refloated on 13 October by R-10 and Cardinal (AM-6). Decommissioned, 4 May 1931, at Philadelphia, PA; Laid up in the Reserve Fleet; Recommissioned, 15 November 1940, at New London, CT.; R-6 was fitted with an experimental snorkel, the first American submarine so equipped; Decommissioned, 27 September 1945, at Key West FL.; Struck from the Naval Register, 11 October 1945; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping on 13 March 1946, to Macey O. Scott, Miami FL.
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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SS-83 53k R-6 (SS-83) aground at the entrance to New London harbor, Connecticut, circa early December 1919. While anchored alongside Camden (AS-6) with five other submarines, R-6 was swept away by a gale and grounded on "Black Rock" at the entrance to the harbor at New London. Once aground, the submarine radioed for help and two minesweepers tried to pull her off the rocks, but to no avail. She was later freed and returned to service. The original photograph was dated 4 December 1919. US Navy photo # NH 69167, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, 1969.
R-6 946k THE R-6 (SS-83) IN DIFFICULTIES: HER TORPEDO TUBES Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo from Evening Public Ledger.(Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942,27 September 1921, Night Extra, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS-83 58k R-6 (SS-83), being refloated in San Pedro Harbor, California, 13 October 1921. She had sunk there on 26 September of that year. In the background, assisting with the salvage work, is R-10 (SS-87). US Navy photo # NH 93419, from the collection of Delmar Ketch, photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C.
SS-83 135k R-6 (SS-83) after being raised at the end of its fifeteen days of submersion, was towed ashore and placed in dry dock at Los Angeles. Men are busily examianing the hull and making repairs. Photo courtesy of "Popular Mechanics" Magazine, February 1922, courtesy of Robert Hurst.
R-3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, S-3 & 4 191k R & S boats nested together, May 1920, alongside Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6). From inboard to outboard:
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).
Note that all the R-boats have gun platforms, but that guns are fitted only on R-10,
and R-3.
S-4 has a platform for a 4"/50 gun (but no gun is installed), while S-3 still has no gun platform.
US Navy photo # 19-N-9936, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham. Text i.d. courtesy of USNHC photo # NH 41855.
SS-84 & friends 87k R-boats off New York City, circa 1920. from inboard to outboard (left to right):
R-7 (SS-84),
R-8 (SS-85),
R-9 (SS-86),
R-10 (SS-87),
R-6 (SS-83),
R-5 (SS-82),
R-4 (SS-81).
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # NH 41746, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
Image and text provided by Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA.
Photo from The Madison Journal. (Tallulah, Madison Parish, La.) 1888-current, 05 June 1920, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
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 U.S. Navy Photograph # NH 99892, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SS-84 & friends 100k 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 U.S. Navy Photograph # NH 59972, 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.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
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. US Navy photo # NH 92002, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS-85 66k The Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6) in San Diego Harbor, California, during the early 1920s, with four R-boats alongside. The outboard submarine is R-8 (SS-85). The inboard "boat" is R-6 (SS-83).
Courtesy of H.R. ("Ed") Coffer, 1986. US Navy photo # NH 101183, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS-83 156k R-6 (SS-83), underway, probably in the Thames River near New London CT., possibly circa 1920. US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
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 Dave Johnston (USNR).
Photo from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
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.
US Navy photo by Tai Sing Loo, courtesy of E. Little.
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)
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 philly.com.
Bermuda 499k Submarines tied up at Base on Ordinance Island, Bermuda. Base building in background, February 1942.
The boats in these photos are likely the following: R-1 (SS-78), R-5 (SS-82), R-6 (SS-83), R-7 (SS-84), and R-9 (SS-86), with an outside possibility of R-15 (SS-92). All of those were known to be operating out of Bermuda at the time of the photo. I can't get any closer than that.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston, (USNR).
USN photo # 80-G-70634 & 70635, from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo added 11/17/14.
SS-83 229k Port side view of the R-6 (SS-83) underway, served as a test platform for the first U.S. experimental snorkel in 1945.
From 1943 to mid-1945 she was employed primarily in training destroyers and destroyer escorts in antisubmarine warfare.
US Navy photo courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
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.

View the R-6 (SS-83)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
PigBoats.COM TM A Historic Look at Submarines

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