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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-13 (SS-118)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Mike - Xray

S-3 Class Submarine (Government-type): Laid down, 14 February 1920, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME; Launched, 20 October 1921; Commissioned, USS S-13 (SS-118), 14 July 1923; Decommissioned, 30 September 1936, at Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; Recommissioned, 28 October 1940; Decommissioned, 10 April 1945, at Philadelphia, PA.; Struck from the Naval Register, 19 May 1945, and sold, 28 October 1945, to Rosoff Bros., New York, NY, resold to Northern Metals, Co., Philadelphia, PA., for scrapping.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 876 t., Submerged: 1092 t.; Length 231'; Beam 21' 10"; Draft 13' 1"; Speed, surfaced 15 kts, submerged 11 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 4 Officers, 34 Enlisted; Armament, five 21" torpedo tubes, 14 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel electric engines, Maschinfabrik - Augsburg - Nurnburg, New York Navy Yard diesel engines, 2,000 hp, Fuel Capacity, 36,950 gal.; Westinghouse Electric Co., electric motors, 1,200 hp, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
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SS 11882k Waterfront and covered shipways, circa summer-fall 1927. V-4 (SM-1) and V-5 (SC-1) are under construction in inside shipways building. V-4 (later renamed Argonaut) is on the nearer way and appears to be nearly ready for her launching, which took place on 10 November 1927. V-5 (later renamed Narwhal) is in a much earlier stage of construction, having been laid down on 10 May 1927. S-13 (SS-118) and another S-class submarine are alongside the waterfront, at left. Note automobiles parked in the center and right. USNHC photograph # NH 70910. Courtesy of Lieutenant Gustave Freret, USN (Retired), 1970.
SS 118113k Launching of the S-13 (SS-118), at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, 20 October 1921. USNHC photograph # NH 98607. Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the U.S. Navy.
SS 118116k Lieutenant Wilder Dupuy Baker was the commanding officer of the S-13 (SS-118) from 11 January 1923 to 14 July 1923. USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
SS 11899k Captain Charles T. Owens, Captain of the Yard, turns the submarine S-13 (SS-118) over to her Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Wilder D. Baker, during commissioning ceremonies at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, 14 July 1923. Official USN photo # NH 59966, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SS 11883k"Uncle Sam's latest submarine S-13 (SS-118) just commissioned. Crew laughs at hoodoo supposedly attached to No. 13." (quoted from the original caption). S-13 was commissioned on 14 July 1923. The original print came from the U.S. Navy Recruiting Bureau, 318-326 West 39th Street, New York, N.Y. Official USN photo # NH 41901, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SS 1182.80kS-13 (SS-118), in port, circa the 1920s. Official USN photo # NH 41900, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SS 118319k S-13 (SS-118) entering San Francisco Bay, California, during the 1920s. USN photo courtesy of Angie Mattke.
S-10 - 13 61k Bushnell (AS-2) at Gonaives, Haiti, circa 1924 tending her charges: S-11 (SS-116), S-12 (SS-117), S-10 (SS-115) & and S-13 (SS-118). USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
118 647k (Original Caption) Submarine maneuvers off Block Island Sound. New London under commander R.C. Grady U.S.N. with S-20 (SS-125) Lt. Isahin Parker and Lt. F.S. Wilkinson S-13 (SS-118) photo shows the four submarines ready to submerged for attack. Photo Bettmann Collection/Getty Images, courtesy of
SS 1181.12kPort side view of the S-13 (SS-118) off Block Island Sound. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
US Fleet Problem Number VI 1.72k Control Force Employment Schedule, 4 January to 1 March 1926. US Fleet Problem Number VI. Photo courtesy of Steve Ireland.
SS 11821k Commemorative postal cover on the occasion of S-13's (SS-118) decommission, 30 September 1936, at Philadelphia, PA. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
SS 11898kS-13 (SS-118), crewmen relaxing and reading newspapers on the submarine's foredeck, at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, 1933. Photographed by Stahl. The original print came from the U.S. Navy Recruiting Bureau, Christopher and Washington Streets, New York, N.Y. Official USN photo # NH 50243, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SS 116 765k Meet the STERN family: S-12 (SS-117), S-11 (SS-116), S-13 (SS-118), S-10 (SS-115) and S-48 (SS-159) pose for a back of the front shot, sometime circa before 20 March 1935, when the S-48 left. The location is Coco Solo, Panama.
One other clue as to the date of the photo is the fact that all the boats are still painted haze gray. There was a date in the mid 30's when the Navy shifted over to basic black for all the boats. I am thinking that this photo was taken just before that date. The boats on the left have all been modified with the safety updates, i.e marker buoys and hatches capable of taking a McCann Rescue Chamber, but they are still all gray.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Welch.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Ric Hedman & David Johnston.
Coco Solo
4.18k Similiar time frame as the above photo: 5 S-boats at Coco Solo. Inboard is S-13 (SS-118), 2 unknown S-boats & S-48 (SS-159) next to the partial outboard unknown S-boat. Photo courtesy of Walter Fish via Steve Hatchett.
S-10, 12 & 13 151k S-13 (SS-118), S-10 (SS-115) and S-12 (SS-117) moored at Balboa Docks, Panama. Note the Grace Lines liner (one of four sisters built in 1933: Santa Elena, Santa Paula, Santa Rosa or Santa Lucia) being assisted to dock by a Canal Zone tug (probably Tavernilla). Circa 1933-1935. USN photo courtesy of Dave Wright.
S-11, 12 & 13 89k Submarines S-12 (SS-117), S-11 (SS-116) and S-13 (SS-118) out of commission in Navy Yard, 30 June 1936. Photo by Philadelphia Evening Bulletin courtesy of
S-10 67k These O type and S type submarines which were used during the World War have since been decommissioned and are now laid up in the Phila. Navy Yard. The peaceful surroundings are quite a contrast to those of their active war days. They are pictured here on 17 July 1936.
The S-10 (SS-115) was decommissioned on the day this photo was taken at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. and laid up in the Reserve Fleet.
Pictured also are any of the following boats that were at the PNY during this time.
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 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).
Photo & text courtesy of A.P. Wire courtesy of
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 (of blessed memory).
Photo courtesy of
Lower resolution photo. (548k)
S-11 56k S-13 (SS-118), shown about 1941, was one of four government S-boats; S-10 & 13 (SS-15 & 18), redesigned by Portsmouth Navy Yard to carry a torpedo tube aft. Structural detail has been included in this drawing to suggest the complexity of the C & R design, which made it extremely difficult to maintain. The V-1-class (SS-163-65) had similar complex structures. Drawing & Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
Who Am I 878k Submarine maneuvers for pilot instruction. Submarine crusing, 24 July 1942.
This boat is a Government design S-boat. She is too long forward of the fairwater to be an EB design and the fairwater matches that of the Government boats. It could be any boat between S-11 (SS-116) and S-17 (SS-122) (those were the Government boats that served through WWII). It is not the S-48 (SS-159) as she had been extensively modified and did not look like this boat.
Photo & text i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN, retired)
USN photo # 80-G-1626 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
S-13 NR Salute for Submarine S-13 (SS-118)
.It's a snappy one for that's the ship that voted Hollywood's Margy O'Brien its official pinup girl—pigtails and all.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 21 May 1944, Image 96, via

View the S-13 (SS-118)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
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U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
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