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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

S-51 (SS-162)


Radio Call Sign: November - India - Quebec- Kilo

S-48 Class Submarine: Laid down, 22 December 1919, at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT.; Launched, 20 August 1921; Commissioned, USS S-51 (SS-162), 24 June 1922; Lost due to collision, 25 September 1925, rammed and sunk off Block Island, Rhode Island, by SS City of Rome; Raised, 5 June 1926; Struck from the Naval Register, 27 January 1930; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 23 June 1930, to Borough Metal Company, Brooklyn, NY.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

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-51 31k Launching day for the S-51 (SS-162) at Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, CT., 20 August 1921. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS) web master, PigBoats.COM TM.
S-51 NR BROADSIDE view of the submarine S-51 (SS-162) before she was launched at Bridgeport, Conn.
PROHIBITION did not prevent the launching of our latest submarine S-51 being carried out in the good old-fashioned way at Bridgeport Conn. Mrs. Roy P. Mills used champagne which had been stored away especially by officers of the Lake Torpedo Boat Company. Five hundred carrier pigeons were released as the S-51 struck the water and carried the news West and South, telling the country that the last contract submarine of wartime origin had been successfully launched.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from The Washington Times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, 28 August 1921, SUNDAY MORNING, Image 40, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR Last Privately Built Submarine
The United States submarine S-51 (SS-162) being launched at the yard of the Lake Torpedo company in Bridgeport Conn., and Mrs. Roy P. Mills who was sponsor for the vessel. This is the last of the submarines to be built by private contractors.
Image and text provided by State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO.
Photo from The Jasper News. (Jasper, Mo.) 1898-1924, 13 October 1921, Image 8, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816221m
NR MODERN SUBMARINEN IS BUILT IN CONN.
S-51 (SS-162), Navy's Latest Undersea Fighter, Launched in Bridgeport
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo & text by The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. (Bridgeport, Conn.) 1918-1924, 23 November 1921, Image 4, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR America's Newest Submarine.
While representatives of nations of the world are haggling over disarmament at Washington, the Navy department announced Uncle Sam's latest terror of the seas, the submarine S-51 (SS-162)....
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo from Omaha Daily Bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, 14 December 1921, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-50 NR NEW SUBS IN PRACTICE TRIALS
U. S. subs S-50 (SS-161) and S-51 (SS-162), saluting each other before starting speed runs.
The U. S. submarines S-50 and S-51, latest and largest type of undersea craft, built by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company, successfully completed fifty-two hours of continuous running test on Long Island sound. The boats are 248 feet long and of the most modern type. They are doubled hulled, differing in many particulars from other craft of the new S-class. The plans on which they were built were drawn after a careful study of German U-boat construction had been made and some German practices proved in the war were adopted.
Insert photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
PDF Image and text provided by University of New Mexico.
Photo from Albuquerque Morning Journal. (Albuquerque, N.M.) 1903-1926, 14 June 1922, CITY EDITION, Image 7, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
R-24 134k PDF entitled "How the Diesel engine came to America." Photo courtesy of subvetpaul.com.
S-51 35k A day in the life of active service during S-51's (SS-162) 39 months in commission in 1924. 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.
S-51 44k S-51 (SS-162) underway. Circa 1924, location unknown. Courtesy of goatlocker.exis.net.
R-9 156k R-9 (SS-86), S-51 (SS-162), and S-1 (SS-105) -- listed from inboard to outboard in port, circa 1922-1925.
Note the size difference between R-9's 3"/50 deck gun and S-51's 4"/50. Also the small cylindrical aircraft hangar behind S-1's fairwater.
USN photo # NH 107301, courtesy of U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.
Loss & Salvage

S-51
0816251i
NR ATLANTIC HIDES THE FATE OF 34 SAILORS
Oil Spot Marking Place Where Submarine Sank Gives No Clue Whether Crew Still Lives in Trap 130 Feet Below Surface.
The S-51 (SS-162), lying damaged on the floor of the Atlantic, off the Conneticut shore, with thirty-four men aboard, is of a type similar to the S-37 (SS-142), shown in the picture.
Whether the men are alive or dead is a matter of conjecture. Lieutenant Commander Scanlon of the New London submarine base believes there is a possibility that they are alive and have, a fighting chance to he rescued. Others believe they have perished.
Image and text provided by Indiana State Library.
Photo from the The Indianapolis Times. [volume] (Indianapolis [Ind.]) 1922-1965, 26 September 1925, Home Edition, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 384k The SS City of Rome, which struck and sank the S-51 (SS-162) on 25 September 1925.
She is pictured here as the Suwannee, of the Merchants & Miners Line entering the port of Jacksonville. She was named for the city of Rome in the State of Georgia. She was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, New Jersey in 1911 as the Suwannee of the Merchants & Miners Line and was sold to the Savannah Line in September 1917. She was sold back to Merchants & Miners in 1928 and renamed Somerset, and was broken up at Baltimore in 1938.
For Merchants & Miners she ran between Philadelphia, Baltimore, Savannah, and Jacksonville, Florida. For the Savannah Line she ran between Boston and Savannah. 3648 tons enrolled length 309 ft., breadth 46 ft. 170 passengers. She only carried cargo after July 1936.
Photo # 08_06_005494 from the Leslie Jones Collection of the Boston Public Library via flicker.com.
Insert photo courtesy of floridamemory.com. [State Library and Archives of Florida.]
Text & i.d. courtesy of Ron Jones.
Ellsberg 69k Rear Admiral Edward Ellsberg was commissioned in the Navy in 1914 and served on active duty until 1926. He became an expert in undersea salvage and rescue. In 1926, he raised the Navy submarine, S-51 (SS-162). For that success he was promoted to the rank of Commander by an Act of Congress and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Navy Department, since which time he has been popularly known as "Commander Ellsberg", regardless of his rank. Ellsberg described the raising of the S-51 in his 1929 book, On the Bottom. On 25 September 1925, the submarine S-51 left the New London base for sea exercises, carrying a crew of regular and student officers under the command of Lieutenant Rodney H. Dobson. That night, while off the coast of Block Island, the steamship SS City of Rome struck and sank the S-51. Divers risked their lives in the icy waters at depths that could crush them. The sub was finally raised in the summer of 1926 and was towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There it stayed on display for some time until it was later sold for scrap. Court rulings found both the SS City of Rome and the S-51 at fault for not following the rules of the road at sea. Text and photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
S-51 NR SUBMARINE AND OTHER CRAFT SEEKING SUNKEN SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162)
BUILDER APPALLED AT SINKING OF S-51
Sound Apparatus Should Have Given Warning, Simon Lake Says.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 27 September 1925, Image 2, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 93k General location of the site of the ramming & sinking of the S-51 (SS-162) by the SS City of Rome. View courtesy of Google Earth.
SS 162 994k Whaleboat from Camden (AS-6) transfers a body recovered from S-51 (SS-162) aboard Mahan (DD-102), 26 September 1925. The bodies were recovered by Camden and brought aboard Mahan to take to Newport (the DD being faster, and the Camden being required to stay at the sinking site).
Although there were just three survivors of the S-51. Apparently, a total of ten men made it off the boat, including the CO, LT Rodney Dobson, but later perished in the cold water. The body of one of those seven who didn't make it was later found alongside the hull of the S-51. The other six were never recovered. The three survivors were picked up by a small boat and eventually taken aboard the SS City of Rome, the ship that struck the S-51.
I am fortunate to have in my collection two first edition copies of Edward Ellsberg's fantastic book On The Bottom, in which he describes the sinking and salvage of the S-51. It sheds a lot of light on the various ships involved in the work on the S-51.
In the narrative, he describes two distinct phases in the work on the S-51. The first phase took place from 25 to 30 September 1925 and involved the initial efforts to raise the boat in order to rescue anyone who may be trapped inside. Phase two ran from 14 October 1925 to 05 July 1926 and involved the salvage and raising of the S-51.
When Ellsberg arrived on the scene aboard the Falcon (AM-28) late the next day, Ellsberg described the ships on the scene as being the Camden, the S-50 (SS-161), "several destroyers, another submarine, some smaller boats". Unfortunately he makes no mention of the names of the destroyers.
During phase two, the salvage squadron consisted of the Falcon, the repair ship Vestal (AR-4), and tugs Iuka (AT-37), Sagamore (AT-20), and Penobscot (YT-42). No destroyers or other ships are ever mentioned as having been a part of the salvage efforts, except for a "large Navy derrick, the United States", and the S-3 (SS-107). During phase two, Ellsberg makes only one mention of bodies being removed from the boat prior to her drydocking. Two men made it into the gun access trunk just forward of the conning tower and died there were attempting to escape the sunken boat. The bodies were discovered by divers when they attempted to use the trunk as a means of entering the control room. These bodies were hoisted up to the Falcon's motorboat and taken to the Vestal.
So, for the pictures that show the recovery of bodies from the S-51, both the destroyer (08_06_00632) and the two Camden photos (08_06_00604 & 00605) had to have been taken during the phase one rescue operation and most likely were of the five men who made it off the boat but later perished in the cold water. Since neither destroyers nor the Camden were present during phase two these pictures must have been taken on 26 September 1925, the morning after the sinking. Curiously, Ellsberg's book has a picture of a flag draped body on the deck of a ship on page 69. The narrative would have you believe that this was one of the two men retrieved from the gun access trunk. However, details of the ship shown in the photo reveal her to be the Camden and not the Vestal. Therefore, a photo from phase one made its way into the part of the book that took place during phase two. One of the Camden photos (00605) shows a tug, the Triton (YT-10), alongside.
A floating derrick is shown in two photos (08_06_006571 & 006633). In phase one, Ellsberg describes that the initial rescue efforts were contracted out to a civilian firm which brought two large derricks out to the scene on 30 September. These were named the Monarch and the Century. A picture of the two derricks attempting to raise the S-51 is shown on page 5. Neither of the two derricks shown exactly match the configuration of the derrick in pictures 006571 & 00633. Therefore it can be speculated that the derrick in the photos is actually the United States, and that the photo was probably taken during the first pontoon operation in late October 1925. The Sagamore towed the United States out to the wreck and took her back to Newport. But the other boat shown in the photo is not the Sagamore and I am at a loss to identify her. Curiously, I have yet to find any mention of the Navy derrick with the name United States. She will remain a mystery for now.
The report also states that the tug Wandank (AT-26) and Bagaduce (AT-21) also briefly assisted the salvage effort, but these two tugs were not mentioned at all by Ellsberg. This is probably due to their brief work, and also because they were not officially assigned to the salvage force.
From another source, I discovered that the "other submarine" mentioned by Ellsberg as having been present on scene when the Falcon arrived on 26 September was actually the S-1 (SS-105) under the command of none other than Charles B. "Swede" Momsen, the inventor of the Momsen Lung and co-inventor of the McCann Rescue chamber. It was the S-1 that made the initial discovery of the S-51's wreck by spotting the oil slick left by leaks from damaged fuel tanks.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Chuck Haberlein.
Text i.d. courtesy of David Wright, Navsource Destroyer, Yard & District Craft Archives Managers. & Dave Johnston, (USNR).
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
S-51 NR ATTEMPTS TO RAISE SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162) FAIL
Diving boat, with air hose overside which is being used to rescue the imprisoned crew of the submarine. The divers placed a sling about the sunken boat, but the effort to lift the craft failed.
LAST PICTURE OF ILL-FATED CRAFT.
The submarine S-51 photographed at Boston just before she left on her "availability test"cruise, which ended in disaster....
This photograph was taken from one of the Government seaplanes.
Capt. John H. Diehl, of the steamship SS City of Rome, which struck the S-51. The steamship commander says the submarine was cruising without side lights when the accident happened.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 28 September 1925, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816254
NR FIRST PHOTOS OF RESCUE ATTEMPTS AT S-51 (SS-162) WRECK.
On the ladder near the end of this small rescue tug is shown a diver going down to join the exploring crew seeking the lost seamen of the S-51 wreck. Over the side air hoses leading to the divers below are shown. Photos were taken from the NEA seaplane in the foreground.
Submarines, destroyers, tugs, barges and virtually every other type of vessel available at east coast navy bases are participating in the attemps to rescue the crew of the S-51 from its flooded prison. Cross shows location of wreck.
William and Frederick Teschemacher (second and third from left), Indianapolis twins, aboard the S-51 and other members of the of the ill-fated submarine. This picture was taken at Newport, R. 1., several months ago and sent to the Tesehemacher boys parents here.
Image and text provided by Indiana State Library.
Photo from the The Indianapolis Times. [volume] (Indianapolis [Ind.]) 1922-1965, 28 September 1925, Home Edition, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816225c
NR THE CREW OF THE ILL-FATED SUB S-51 (SS-162)
The crew of the S-51 on the deck of the ill-fated submarine, the arrow points to the sub's conning tower where, according to reports, the vessel was rammed and sunk.
THEY ESCAPED WHEN THE S-51 SANK
Draped in blankets and clad underneath only in their underwear or pajamas, the three sailors who were rescued from the submarine S-51 when it sank after being rammed by the steamer SS City of Rome were landed at Boston and taken at once to the Chelsea naval hospital. Left to right: They are D. G. Kile of Peoria, Miss., engineman first class; M. S. Lira, of St. Louis, fireman first class, and Alfred Geier, of NW Bedford, Mass., electrician's mate second class.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. 1890-1976, 28 September 1925, Image 10, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816229d
NR Naval Officers Dispute Capt. Deihl's Report That Sub Was Running Without Sidelights
Light patch in backed of this exclusive seaplane photo shows exact spot where submarine sank.
Officers at the submarine base at New London Conn., declare, it is said, that there must be a mistake in the report of Capt. Diehl of the steamship SS City of Rome, the ship which rammed and sunk the S-51 (SS-162) 15 miles east of Block Island off New York, that the submarine came to the surface without its starboard and port lights, showing, stating that those lights are operated automaticaly on submarines of the S type.....
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 29 September 1925, Image 14, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816264
NR Trying to Raise Sunken Submarine
The John W. Chittenden is shown alongside the submarine S-50 (SS-161). The arrow between them points to the lifebuoy which is anchored directly over the wrecked submarine.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 29 September 1925, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR GIANT SUBMARINE, S-51 (SS-162), RAMMED BY COAST LINER
Photos above show the submarine S-51 and the coastwise steamer, the SS City of Rome, which collided off the New England coast. First reports are that 33 officers and men on the submarine were lost.
Image and text provided by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Photo from The Bismarck Tribune. [volume] (Bismarck, N.D.) 1916-current, 29 September 1925, Image 8, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR RECOVERING BODIES FROM SUBMARINE
Divers Hardy Reinhart & William Rid being hauled aboard the deck of a rescue ship after the recovery of bodies of John Law Gibson & William Charles Teschemacher, two of the crew of the ill fated S-51 (SS-162).
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 01 October 1925, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 670k Raising the sub S-51 (SS-162) off Point Judith.
Vessel on left is John W. Chittenden, a 235 ton schooner barge built at Tottenville NY in 1900. In 1926 she was owned by Merritt and Chapman Derrick & Wrecking Co. of New York. The vessel on the right is Merritt & Chapman's Century.
Notice how far over the derrick is listing under the strain of trying to raise the sub. This is a dangerous situation for the derrick and she could have easily capsized and sunk. Ultimately the S-51 was completely flooded and far too heavy for the derricks to raise. Pontoons were later used.
Photo i.d. by David Wright, Navsource Destroyer, Yard & District Craft Archives Managers.
Text courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR) & David Wright, Navsource Destroyer, Yard & District Craft Archives Managers..
Photo # 08_06_006633 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
S-51
0816253
NR Giant Cranes Straining to Raise the Ill-Fated S-51 (SS-162).
The two mighty marine cranes Monarch and Century are shown straining at the cables fourteen miles off Rlock Island in an effort to raise the lost submarine S-51.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 03 October 1925, FINAL EDITION, Image 14, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 820k Body of first recovered victim, Engineman John L. Gibson, from submarine S-51 (SS-162), which sunk after a collision with steamship SS City of Rome, is carried across deck of the Camden (AS-6). Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
SS 162 779k Bodies of the crew of submarine S-51 (SS-162) are carried up side of the Camden (AS-6). Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
SS 162
0816228v
638k Rear Admiral Christy (right), aboard the Camden (AS-6), views bodies recovered from submarine S-51 (SS-162) after it had sunk due to a collision with steamship SS City of Rome. Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
Insert image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ.
Photo from the The Winslow Mail. (Winslow, Ariz.) 1893-1926, 16 October 1925, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 913k Flag on Camden (AS-6) at half mast while bodies from S-51 (SS-162) are brought aboard.
The accompanying tug boat is the Triton (YT-10).

Text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston, (USNR) & David Wright, Navsource Destroyer, Yard & District Craft Archives Managers..
Photo # 08_06_006605 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
SS 162 708k On the deck of the Camden (AS-6) Marines stand guard over two bodies recovered from submarine S-51 (SS-162). Photo by Schmidt/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
S-51 NR The flag of the Camden (AS-6) at half mast in honor of the men who lost their lives when the submarine S-51 (SS-162) sank. The first two bodies taken from the ill-fated underseas craft were placed aboard the Camden. Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 11 October 1925, Image 104, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR Victims of Submarine Disaster Brought Up by Divers.
Photograph transmitted from New York over the wires of the American Telephone and Telegraph company shows Admiral Christy and Captain Newton standing by as doctors examine the bodies of two members of the crew of the lost submarine S-51 (SS-162) which were brought up by divers.
Image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ.
Photo from The Winslow Mail. (Winslow, Ariz.) 1893-1926, 16 October 1925, Image 6, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 73k Derricks attempt to raise stern of S-51 (SS-162). 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.
S-51 52k Iuka holding Falcon in position over wreck. 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.
S-51 100k Divers on fall operations. 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.
S-51
0816225i
NR Investigate the Sinking of the S-51 (SS-162) Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 04 November 1925, Image 12, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR Ready for attempts to raise the submarine S-51 (SS-162), off Block Island. R. I.
A force of divers from the Brooklyn navy yard, equipped with special apparatus, will make an effort to bring up the underseas craft in which 33 men lost their lives.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 25 April 1926, Image 105, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816258
NR RAISING SUNKEN SUBMARINE
Navy divers near New London, Conn., working to raise the U. S. submarine S-51 (SS-162), which sank last fall with a loss of almost the entire crew after collision with a passenger steamer. This first photo shows the salvagers attaching a pontoon to the submarine, which is directly below the spot where the picture was taken. On the left is a navy tender.
Image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ.
Photo from the Douglas Daily Dispatch. [volume] (Douglas, Ariz.) 1903-1961, 12 May 1926, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816259
NR PROTECT DIVERS TO S-51 (SS-162)
A new scientific "de-compression"tank in which deep sea divers are freed of the dangers from change in air pressure is being tried out as divers labor to prepare the sunken submarine S-51, for raising off Long Island, N. Y. Divers, returning to the surface are placed in this tank while the pressure under which they have been working is gradually reduced. Photos show diver entering the tank and engineers reducing the pressure.
Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX.
Photo from the Brownsville Herald. [volume] 1910-current, 24 May 1926, Image 5, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 482k (Original Caption) Photo shows front view of one of the pontoons being built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to be used in the raising of the ill fated S-51 (SS-162) off Block Island. The Pontoons measure 32 feet long by 12 feet 6 inches wide. Ten of them will be used in the effort to lift submarines from the bottom of the sea. Photo by Bettmann via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
S-51
0816256
NR SALVAGING THE ILL-FATED SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162) OFF BLOCK ISLAND.
Sailors of the Navy at work on the final preparations for the raising of the sunken submarine. Divers have already reached the vessel, which they plan to pump out and bring to the surface.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from the Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 14 June 1926, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR BREAK IN GEAR BALKS RAISING OF THE SUBMARINE - S-51 (SS-162).
This photograph shows the nose of the submarine among the pontoons, at which point in the raising the gear broke. Seaman Batters, astride a pontoon is attempting to open sea valves.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 24 June 1926, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816216u
NR This photo shows the bow of the S-51 (SS-162) breaking the surface off Point Judith. Pontoon #7 is on the right of the photo and pontoon #6 is on the left side.
A Glimpse, Then Back to Ocean Bed
Giant pontoons had just raised the nose of the lost Navy submarine S-51 above the waters off Block Island,R. 1., when—crack!—a cable snapped. Months of work by a gallant salvage corps went by the board as the heavy ship sank back to the ocean bed. The nose of the submarine can be seen in the center of the picture, supported by pontoons, an instant before the mishap. Body of Frederick Peter Tescliemacher, former Indianapolis boy, is among the submarine's dead that have not been recovered.
Text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photo # 08_06_006572 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
PDF image and text provided by Indiana State Library.
Photo from the The Indianapolis Times. [volume] (Indianapolis [Ind.]) 1922-1965, 25 June 1926, Home Edition, Image 16, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51
0816226g
NR GOB IS HERO AS S-51 (SS-162) SINKS AGAIN
Unnamed seaman proved himself a hero when S-51, ill fated submarine, was raised from ocean off New London Conn., only to sink again. The gob swam through rough seas to close air valves on pontoons, shown here, and keep them from sinking again. Another attempt will be made to raise the sub and its cargo of corpses. Arrow shows prow momentarily above water.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 26 June 1926, FINAL EDITION, Image 14, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 605k Flag at half mast flying from the pontoons that raised the S-51 (SS-162). Photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
S-51
0816209j
NR NAVY SALVAGES COFFIN SUBMARINE AGAIN
Navy salvage crews at work taking S-51 (SS-162) off of reef upon which it was caught while being towed to Brooklyn navy yard with its cargo of dead, after nine months on bottom of ocean. Photo shows position of sunken sub in East river, New York, with pontoons.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 09 July 1926, Image 24, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 87k This photo show 8 pontoons. The pontoon group to the far right is group #2 that the chain/s broke upon grounding and the pontoons began to drift. That is why they are so far out of line with the others. They were removed and moored to the derrick and taken to the Navy yard.
The view is looking forward along the S-51 (SS-162) hull. Photo taken from Falcon (AM-28) who tended the tow from the stern and supplied the air.
The sub is aground off Man-o'-War reef - East River, NY. (this is now known as "Belmont Island" or - "U Thant Island".
Text courtesy of Ric Hedman.
USN photo via NARA College Park, courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
S-51 156k Divers Smith and Frazier display the induction valve that they removed from the submarine S-51 (SS-162) after 4 1/2 hours work on the bottom. USN photo via NARA College Park, courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
S-51 81k Salvage. 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.
S-51 77k Going towards Hell Gate, East River, N.Y. with Tow". Photo originally appeared in Edward Ellsberg's 1929 book, On the Bottom which told the story of the S-51 salvage.
USN photo via NARA College Park, courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
S-51 66k Towing in with Falcon assisting. USNHC photo # NH 69222 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
S-51 NR RAISED SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162) BEING TOWED TO BROOKLYN NAVY YARD.
After 10 months the ill-fated underseas craft, which was struck off Block Island, has been raised and, with the aid of pontoons, is being slowly towed by the Navy boat Falcon. The submarine contains the bodies of the men who lost their lives, and it will be opened at the Navy Yard.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 07 July 1926, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 726k Diver descends into the East River to aid in the work of towing the submarine S-51 (SS-162)... The submarine is being taken to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Photo by Froeber/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
SS 162 771k S-51 (SS-162) is towed through East River on the way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Photo by Reidy/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
S-51 NR AGAIN RAISED. SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162) FINALLY GETS TO BROOKLYN NAVY YARD.
After being towed from Block Island to the East River, New York, the ill-fated sub struck a rock and went to the bottom. It was raised late yesterday and is now at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
HONORING THE HERO DEAD.
The United States supply ship Bridge, with flag at half-staff, awaiting the S-51 convoy at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The submarine carried the bodies of the crew who lost their lives in the Block Island disaster.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 08 July 1926, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR FIRST VIEW OP THE SALVAGED SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162).
The flag, at half staff, is on the damaged conning tower of the submarine which was sunk off Block Island many months ago. The photograph taken late yesterday at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, after the submarine had been towed by the Navy ship Falcon.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 09 July 1926, Image 17, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR EIGHTEEN BODIES REMOVED FROM HULL OF SUBMARINE S-51 (SS-162).
This photograph, taken yesterday, shows the submarine, which was sunk off Block Island, in dry dock at the Brooklyn Nary Yard, The bodies of 18 members of the crew were removed late yesterday.
HOLE CUT BY PASSENGER SHIP. This photograph, taken in the Brooklyn Navy Yard dry dock, shows the hole cut in the side of the submarine S-51 by the City of Rome about eight months ago.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 10 July 1926, Image 12, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
SS 162 626k S-51 (SS-162) emerges from the drydock as it is pumped out. Photo # 08_06_006692 courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via flickr.com.
S-51 55k A huge hole in her port side. 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.
SS 162 803k Directly over the hole (B), is Commander Ellsberg. To his left (C), is Francis Smith, diver. To his right (A), Thomas Eadie, diver.... Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
S-51 1.13k The sub-chaser SC-186 is in the upper left corner and crowds line the rim of the dry dock.
Four pontoons from S-51's (SS-162) raising lay alongside her in dry dock after being raised on 5 July 1926, showing hole and mattresses, bunk frames, etc. tossed out the hole during the clean up and body recovery.
Floating derrick over the subchaser is Herclues (YD-13).
Text i.d. courtesy of David Wright, Navsource Destroyer, Yard & District Craft Archives Managers..
Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
S-51 575k S-51 (SS-162) in dry dock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard after being raised, 5 July 1926. The pontoons which raised the submarine lie on either side of the boat. USN photo courtesy of Angie Mattke.
S-51 114k S-51 (SS-162) conning tower, starboard side. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS) web master, PigBoats.COM TM.
S-51 116k View of S-51's (SS-162) stern showing damage to stern planes and rudder. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS) web master, PigBoats.COM TM.
S-51 85k View of S-51 (SS-162) showing damage to bow and conning tower bent over to port during salvage operations. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS) web master, PigBoats.COM TM.
S-51 131k Taken from S-51's (SS-162) bow looking aft on deck. USN photo via NARA College Park, courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
S-51 174k S-51's (SS-162) stern torpedo tube is clearly visible. USN photo via NARA College Park, courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
SS 162 856k (Original Caption) 7/9/1926-New York, NY: Photo shows Commander Ellsberg examining the deep hole ripped in the S-51 (SS-162) by the SS City of Rome on the port side of the submarine. Photo by Bettmann via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
SS 162 689k 10 July 1926: Visitors at the Brooklyn Navy Yard view the submarine S-51 (SS-162) which was pulled from the ocean after proving to be a watery grave for its crew. Photo by Larry Froeber/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.com.
S-51
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NR PREPARE MEMORIALS TO DEAD
A plaque on the $500,000 navy and marine memorial now being constructed in Potomac Park, Washington, D. C, a model of which is shown above, will be one of several memorials to men whose bodies have just been recovered from S-51 (SS-162). Bell (inset) of the submarine will hang in diving school of bureau of mines, Pittsburgh, as a tribute to divers whose work is responsible for raising of the craft.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 14 July 1926, Image 14, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR The ill-fated submarine S-51 (SS-162) in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The bodies of 18 members of the crew were taken from the hull after the craft had been towed from Block Island. Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 18 July 1926, Image 85, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 NR Victims of the submarine S-51 (SS-162) buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The bodies of Lieut. Frederick D. Fost Nutley, N. J., and Coxswain Harry D. Elser of Columbus, Ohio, were brought to the Capital after they were removed the ill-fated submarine at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The craft was sunk off Block Island about nine months ago. Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 25 July 1926, Image 92, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
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1.81k Impressive rites marked the funeral Thursday 8th October of William C. Teschmacher, one of the victims salvaged from the Ill fated U.S. Submarine S-51 (SS-162). The above photo shows the coffin leaving the church of Sacred Sacrament, Newark, New Jersey. At right is a guard of honor. Photo by Bettmann Archive via Getty Images courtesy of gettyimages.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-51
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NR ILL FATED SUB S-51 (SS-162) FLOATS AGAIN
Submarine S-51, which was raised with its dead from Atlantic off Block Island, R.I., is afloat again. It is seen in Brooklyn navy yard, where it is being reconditioned for service.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 06 November 1926, FINAL EDITION, Image 14, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 38k The hulk of S-51 (SS-162) after initial salvaging, awaiting scrapping. Photo courtesy of Ric Hedman TN(SS) web master, PigBoats.COM TM.
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NR LAST JOURNEY! The ill fated submarine S-51 (SS-162) which carried 33 of her crew to death some years ago when she sank off Block Island, L. I., goes to the junk heap at Canarsie, Brooklyn, N. Y. Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from the New Britain Herald. [volume] (New Britain, Conn.) 1890-1976, 27 June 1930, Image 26, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 38k A model of the S-51 (SS-162) submitted by the owner, Jeffrey Hughes. The model is a period piece, attributed to Simon Lake. It is approximately 2 3/4 ft. in length and 1 1/3 ft. in height and has many moving parts. It was constructed by an employee of Lake and was supposedly a showpiece in Simon Lake's office. Courtesy of Tara Guthrie.
S-51 40k Rodney Hiram Dobson was born in Brockport, NY, 12 July 1893. He was appointed an Ensign in the USNRF 05 September 1918, and after instruction at Annapolis, was appointed an Ensign in the regular Navy 31 January 1919. He served aboard Hopewell (DD-181), O-4 (SS-65) and Chewink (AM-39) before reporting to S-51 (SS-162) as (Commanding Officer) at the time of her loss. Text courtesy of David Wright, Navsource Destroyer, Yard & District Craft Archives Manager.
Photo courtesy of Tara Guthrie.
S-51 31k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the S-51 (SS-162).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
S-51 16k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the 10th year of the passing of the loss of the crew of the S-51 (SS-162), 25 September 1935. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
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NR Master Diver in Navy Has Official Trophies of Thrilling Undersea Life
Hero of Squalus (SS-192) Rescues, Has Medal of Honor, And Naval Cross
Submarine Disasters Gave Field for Washingtonian To Achieve Record
A life of adventure underneath the sea has been the role of William Badders, 38-year-old master diver of the United States Navy, ever since that day back in November, 1925. when he volunteered as a diver in the submarine S-51 (SS-162) disaster.
The S-51 plunged to the bottom and stayed there, 132 feet below the surface of the Atlantic, off Block Island, after colliding with the steamer City of Rome. There was a shortage of divers for rescue and salvage operations at the time, and Mr. Badders, member of the ship's company on the salvage boat Falcon (AM-28), offered himself as a pinch-hitter.
Today, Mr. Badders, who lives at 1610 Ridge place S.E., can look back upon 15 years of deep-sea diving, service in the S-51, the S-4 (SS-109) and the Squalus submarine disasters, and to heroic duty that has brought him the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Naval Cross. He rescued 18 of the 33 men saved from the Squalus, and with another diver went down a third time in the diving bell to make sure there were no more survivors.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from the Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 17 March 1940, Image 37, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Memorial plaque91kMemorial plaque at Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia PA, July 2006 for the crews of United States submarines lost during peace time accidents:
F-1 (SS-20), F-4 (SS-23), G-2 (SS-27), H-1 (SS-28), O-5 (SS-66), O-9 (SS-70), S-4 (SS-109), S-51 (SS-162), Squalus (SS-192), Scorpion (SSN-589) & Thresher (SSN-593).
Photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
Hawes
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NR Officer's Rescue of Submarine Seadragon (SS-194) Wins Navy Gold Star Award
Lt. Comdr. Hawes Previously Honored For Salvaging S-51 (SS-162).
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 14 May 1942, Image 4, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
S-51 568k Bell of the S-51 (SS-162), taken at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, 19 July 2013. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com, courtesy of Robert Hurst.
S-51 1.20k Close-up of above photo showing hole in starboard side of S-51 (SS-162).

In Memoriam:


In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, 1982, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S. submariners who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.

View the S-51 (SS-162)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
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