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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-50 (SS-161)


S-48 Class Submarine: Laid down, 15 March 1920, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT.; Launched, 18 June 1921; Commissioned, USS S-50 (SS-161), 20 May 1922; Decommissioned, 20 August 1927, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, League Island, PA; Struck from the Naval Register, 31 March 1931; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in 1936.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 903 t., Submerged: 1,230 t.; Length 240'; Beam 21' 10"; Draft 13' 6"; Depth Limit 200"; Speed, surfaced 14.5 kts, submerged 11 kts; Complement 4 Officers 34 Enlisted; Armament, five 21" torpedo tubes, 16 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel electric engines, Busch Sulzer Brothers Diesel Engine Co., diesel engines, HP 1800; Fuel Capacity 44,350 gal.; Ridgeway Dynamo & Electric Co., electric motors, HP 1500, Battery cells 120, twin propellers.
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S-50 45k Launching day for the S-50 (SS-161), at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT., 18 June 1921. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman.
SS 161 55k Midshipman James Arthur Crutchfield was the Commissioning CO of the S-50 (SS-161) from 20 May 1922 to 25 September 1924. He was a Lieutenant as the Commissioning CO. Text info via Ron Reeves & John Spivey.
Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
SS 161 160k U.S. submarine S-50 (SS-161), is 248 feet long, has a double hull, can be submerged in less than a minute, and has a large disappearing gun on the forward deck. It has just been put into commission in the navy, after successful trials. USN photo # 19-N-8509 courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from The Washington Times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, 31 May 1922, LATE FINANCIAL, Image 15, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov via Ron Reeves.
SS 161 717k This is the new U.S. submarine S-50 (SS-161), tied up at the Washinton Navy Yard, where it was inspected by members of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs. The undersea boat is more than 240 feet long, equipped with every modern device, and takes only fifty-eight seconds to submerge. Image and text provided by University of Ohio.
Photo from The Democratic Banner. (Mt. Vernon Ohio) 1 August 1922, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 161 703k The S-50 (SS-161) receives visitors as they start to descend into her hull, probably Sec. Navy Edwin Denby and party in July 1922 when she visited Washington D.C. Digital Source: Harris & Ewing,.
LOC photo # LC-H234-A-4690 / 42351v from lcweb2.loc.gov.
SS 161 675k The S-50's (SS-161) crew pose alongside, 1922. Digital Source: Harris & Ewing,.
LOC photo # LC-H234-A-4688 / 42352v from lcweb2.loc.gov.
SS 161 1.23k S-50's (SS-161) crew. Digital Source: Harris & Ewing,.
LOC photo # LC-H234-A-4691 / 42353v from lcweb2.loc.gov.
SS 161 131k Part of the S-50's (SS-161) crew pose alongside in the early 1920's. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
S-50 & 51 49k S-51 & what is probably S-50 (SS-161) alongside, circa 1922-25. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
S-50 117k S-50 (SS-161) on maneuvers in the Atlantic, circa 1924. Note that the launch is towing two torpedoes, one from each quarter. USN photo # 80-G-1024953, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham. Text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
S-16 139k S-16 (SS-121) & next to her is possibly the S-50 (SS-161) with another unknown S-boat and 4 unidentified R-boats alongside their tender, Shawmut (CM-4), probably in the Panama Canal area, circa 1924. USN photo # 80-G-1024884, from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
SS 161 361k The S-50 (SS-161) at Boston Navy Yard.
Note the Constitution behind the destroyer.
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 161 1.30k The S-50 (SS-161) at Boston Navy Yard.
Note the Constitution behind the destroyer.
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 161 44k This and the next photo were both taken during the S-51 (SS-162) salvage operation. The first one was taken on 5 July 1926, the day the S-51 was finally brought to the surface. The S-50 (SS-161) had just emptied her air banks into hoses that led down to the S-51. The air was used to empty the engine and motor rooms of water. The S-3 (SS-107) stood by with full air banks to take over the operation. The S-50 reported her air all gone. The S-3 maneuvered to get alongside her. (September 1925). Photo originally appeared in Edward Ellsberg's 1929 book, On the Bottom which told the story of the S-51 salvage.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR).
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS 161 114k The S-50 (SS-161) came alongside the repair ship Vestal (AR-4) for a divers rehearsal (October 1925). The S-50 was being used as a diver training ship. Techniques for installing special salvage hatches on the S-51 (SS-162) were first practiced on the S-50 so that the divers could work out the procedures prior to getting into the water. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
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.
S-49 530k View of submarine S-49 (SS-160) at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, 5 April 1927.
"These submarines have probably made their last sea trip. The "Sub" S-49, with part of her conning tower and after deck showing, is seen at lower right, and the "Sub" S-50 (SS-161), airing her flags, at the end of Pier 3, Philadelphia Navy Yard. They arrived last week from New London, Conn. They are sister craft of the S-51 (SS-162) which was rammed and sunk by a steamer at night off Block Island in September, 1925, with the loss of thirty-three members of its crew. The new arrivals will be put out of commission. One of the Navy Yard's huge traveling cranes is showing in upper left of photograph."
Photo courtesy of the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs @ digital.library.temple.edu
Photo added 09/15/17.
SS 161 55k Engine room salvage hatch-practice S-50 (SS-161). Photo originally appeared in Edward Ellsberg's 1929 book, On the Bottom which told the story of the S-51 salvage.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.

View the S-50 (SS-161)
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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