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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-17 (SS-122)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - November - Delta

S-3 Class Submarine (Government-type): Laid down, 19 March 1918, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT.; Launched, 22 May 1920; Commissioned, USS S-17 (SS-122), 1 March 1921; Decommissioned, 29 March 1935, at Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet; Recommissioned, 16 December 1940; Decommissioned, 4 October 1944; Struck from the Naval Register, 13 November 1944; Final Disposition, intentionally sunk, 5 April 1945.
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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Mrs. R. G. Thomas, wife of Commander Thomas, of the machinery inspection department of Lake Co. christened the submarine Saturday afternoon. The S-17 (SS-122) was the last of the S type to be built by the Lake Torpedo Boat Co.
Despite the heavy downpour of rain, several hundred persons witnessed the launching, cheers and shrieks from the whistles of the river craft were heard as the S-17 took the water.
With Mrs. Thomas on the sponsor stand were Mrs. E. R. Norton, Mrs. Simon Lake, Mrs. W. G. Osmond, Mrs. P. B. Brill and Miss Dorothy Hudson.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. (Bridgeport, Conn.) 1918-1924, 24 May 1920, Image 3 via
SS 122 48k S-17 (SS-122), probably at Vladivostok, Russia, although photo is labeled Cavite, PI, circa 1921. Courtesy of Vance Adams.
S Boats 62k S boats at the Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines, in 1923-1924. These submarines are (from left to right): S-17 (SS-122):
S-4 (SS-109):
S-15 (SS-120); and
S-14 (SS-119).
USNHC photograph # NH 90306. Courtesy of Captain A.L. Prosser, USN (Retired), 1979.
129k Future Admiral Ralph Waldo Christie's last submarine Command was the S-17 (SS-122) in April 1924. Photo ourtesy of
Wife Claims Persecuted by ĎAnnapolis Combination'
Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX.
Photo from Brownsville Herald. [volume] (Brownsville, Tex.) 1910-current, 26 February 1925, Image 2 via
Collision of S-17 (SS-122) With Mare Island Bridge Causeway Without Casualty
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 04 April 1927, Image 28 via
S-17 191k S-17 (SS-122) showing damage to conning tower. Mare Island, California. Damage caused by ramming causeway, 1927. Source: US Naval History Heritage and Command, Photo No. NH 70843 via Mike Green.
S-17 196k S-17 (SS-122) looking aft showing debris, damaged conning tower, and close-up of 4 inch 50 caliber deck gun. Mare Island, California. The damage caused by ramming causeway, 1927. Source: US Naval History Heritage and Command, Photo No. NH 70848 via Mike Green.
S-17 692k S-17 (SS-122) showing damage to conning tower being cleared. Mare Island, California. The damage caused by ramming causeway, 1927. Source: US Naval History Heritage and Command, Photo No. NH 70845 via Mike Green.
S-14 & 17 152k S-14 (SS-119) & S-17 (SS-122) moored together 23 September 1927 at Mare Island, California. USN photo # 19-N-11553, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
S-14 590k S-14 (SS-119) & S-17 (SS-122) at Mare Island, California, 23 Septrmber 1927. USN photo # NH 69843 courtesy of Scott Koen &
S-14 & 17 159k Starboard side view of S-14 (SS-119) left and S-17 (SS-122) right at Mare Island Navy Yard on 23 September 1927. USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
S-14 & 17 144k Portside bow view of the S-14 (SS-119) in Dry Dock #1 at Mare Island, California, 13 January 1928. The destroyer Zeilin (DD-313) is outboard of the S-14 and to the left of S-17 (SS-122). The three ships entered dry dock #1 at Mare Island on 15 December 1927 and were undocked on 13 January 1928. YD-33 (150 tons) is in the background. Dates from yard docking records and official logs. USN photo # 19-N-11544, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
SS 92-97984kS-17 (SS-122) departing the Mare Island Navy Yard, California on 21 January 1928. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Photo # NH 41528 via Robert Hurst.
1.77k Senator J.F. Byrne inspecting S-17 (SS-122) at Coco Solo, Canal Zone, circa 1930's. Image NH 108405 and text 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 stadium in the upper left, I believe, is Franklin Field.
Photo courtesy of
Lower resolution photo. (548k)
S-17 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.
SS 122 115k S-17 (SS-122), is shown in December 1942 after a refit. She has been fitted with SD air-search radar (arrowed, on top of the conning tower).
She was one of the four boats S-14-17 (SS-119-122), re-engined in 1925 with MAN diesels. A drain (equivalent to E.B.'s duct keel) installed in her box keel was connected to the large low-pressure ballast pump shown aft (arrow).
Kingstons were installed amidships, under the control room & two remotely controlled Kingstons were fitted to No. 1 Main Ballast Tank, one connected to the drain and a larger one communicating directly with the sea.
The object atop the chariot bridge are a venturi to limit wind, and the ship's whistle with the navigator's chair inboard. The inclined tube rising just abaft the gun breech is an ammunition scuttle. Batteries are shaded, for clarity.
Drawing & Text courtesy of U.S. Submarines Through 1945, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press.
SS 122 177k Port side view of the S-17 (SS-122) underway, July 1944, off of New London. USN photo courtesy of
Text contributed from "US Warships of World War II" by P. Silverstone courtesy of Aryeh Wetherhorn.

View the S-17 (SS-122)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

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