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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch courtesy of Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN (ret.)

V-1 (SF-4)
Barracuda (SS-163)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Charlie - Quebec

Barracuda Class Submarine: Laid down, 20 October 1921, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.; Launched, 17 July 1924; Commissioned USS V-1 (SF-4), 1 October 1924; Renamed USS Barracuda, 9 March 1931; Designation changed to (SS-163), 1 July 1931; Decommissioned, 14 May 1937, at Philadelphia, PA.; Recommissioned, 5 September 1940, at Portsmouth, NH; Decommissioned, 3 March 1945, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown); Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 16 November 1945.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 2,000 t., Submerged: 2620 t.; Length 341' 6"; Beam 27' 7"; Draft 14' 7"; Speed, surfaced 21 kts, Submerged 8 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement, 6 officers, 50 enlisted; Armament, six 21" torpedo tubes, four forward, two aft, 12 torpedoes; one 5"/51 deck gun; Propulsion, Busch-Sulzer Diesel Engine Co., diesel engines, hp 4100; Fuel Capacity, 90,935 gal., Elliot Motor Co., electric motors, hp 2400, Battery Cells 120, twin propellers.
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SS 163 732k Largest Submarine Under Construction
The United States navy has twelve submarines under construction which completely overshadow the German Deutschland, in size and speed, besides prsessing the latest marvels in mechanical equipment. Each of the submarines will cost $5,000,000. They will be 300 feet long, have a beam of twenty-seven feet and the tonnage will be about 2000.
Image and text provided by Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.
Photo from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. (Bridgeport, Conn.) 1918-1924, 07 February 1921, Image 1, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
Submarine History Profiles: 105kSubmarine History Profiles:
First true submarine: Holland (SS-01) in 1900.
First U.S. Deisel submarine:E-1 (SS-24) in 1911.
First Fleet boat:V-1 (SS-163) in 1922.
First GUPPY: Odax (SS-484) in 1947.
First nuclear powered submarine: Nautilus (SSN-571) in 1954.
First submarine to completely circumnavigate the earth submerged: Triton (SSRN-586) in 1959.
Latest generation of U.S. ballistic submarines: Ohio (SSBN-726), in 1980.
USN photo courtesy of Robert Hall. Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston.
R-24 134k PDF entitled "How the Diesel engine came to America." Photo courtesy of subvetpaul.com.
SS 163 207k Bow view of the V-1 (SS-163) on the launching ways at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 16 July 1924. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS 163 178k Stern view of the V-1 (SS-163) on the launching ways at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., on 16 July 1924. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS 163 1.46k NAVY’S LARGEST SUBMARINE LAUNCHED AT PORTSMOUTH, N. H.
The underseas vessel is just twice as large as any built previously for the United States Navy, and it is the first of a fleet of nine which will be able to accompany a battle fleet in any weather and at any speed. The name of the new craft is V-1 (SS-163).
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star.(Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 19 July 1924, Image 12, via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
PDF added 09/24/17.
SS 163 50k V-1 (SS-163) in the water with flags flying after being launched at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME, on 17 July 1924. USN photo from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1924 submitted by Robert Hurst.
SS 163 618k Sherwood Picking, the 1st CO of the V-1 (SS-163), appears here backdropped by his new charge. Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON.
SS 163 1.63k All eyes on the National Ensign rising from the stern of the V-1 (SS-163) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 4 October 1924. Photo courtesy of Wendy S. Gulley, Archivist, Submarine Force Museum, Naval Submarine Base NLON.
SS 163 250k Port beam view of the V-1 (SS-163) at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., 4 October 1924. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS 163 341k Secretary of the Navy Curtis Dwight Wilbur inspecting V-1 (SS-163) at Navy Yard, 12/3/24. Digital ID: # npcc 12734 & 12735. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division via Bill Gonyo.
PDF courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
SS 163 133k USN photo used for the Recruiting Bureau of New York, circa 1920's showing the V-1 (SS-163). USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
SS 163 402k V-1 (SS-163), circa 1924 - 31. USN photo courtesy of Angie Mattke.
V-1 / 3350kV-1 / 3 photograph taken with a tarpaulin in a hot climate, circa 1924 - 31.USN photo courtesy of Angie Mattke. Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston, USNR.
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 163 773k Bow view of the V-1 (SS-163) on 23 October 1927. In two weeks she would sail for the west coast. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Squadron 20 76k From left to right; S-43 (SS-154), V-1 (SS-163), V-3 (SS-165) & Argonne (AS-10) at the sub base in Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone. Between December 1927 and May 1932 V-1, served with Squadron 20 on routine operations with the fleet along the west coast, in the Hawaiian Islands, and in the Caribbean. Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
SS 163-64 & 65 154k BattleshipMaryland (BB-46);
Submarine Tender Camden (AS-6);
two unknown S-boats; and
two V-1 class submarines, possibly
Barracuda (SS-163),
Bass (SS-164) and or
Bonita (SS-165) in port in May 1927.
Note the tremendous difference in size between the S-boats and V-1 class submarines.
Photo # NH 46418 courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
SS 163, 164 &  165 113k V-1 class submarines alongside Argonne (AS-10), at San Diego, California, 10 December 1927. The submarines are (from left to right):
Bass (SS-164);
Barracuda (SS-163) and
Bonita (SS-165).
USN photo # NH 69094, courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1969, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
SS 163, 164 &  165 129k Argonne (AS-10) in Panama waters, 1927-1928, while en route to join the Battle Fleet. The submarines alongside her are (from outboard to inboard): The submarines are (from left to right):
Bass (SS-164);
Barracuda (SS-163) and
Bonita (SS-165).
USN photo # NH 61683, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
Argonaut 202k Crew of a Barracuda class (SS-163/5) gather on deck for a group picture at Pearl Harbor prior to 1928. The Barracudas had their 5"/51 cal guns replaced in 1928 with smaller 3"/50's. She still has the larger 5"/51 cal gun. The crew is seated on the forward gun deck and the gun itself is raised to its max elevation to give the crew the room to gather. To the right of the boat is the submarine Narwhal (SS-167). Text courtesy of David Johnston (USNR). Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Decrevel, John Hart, Ric Hedman & David Johnston (USNR). Photo courtesy of Doug Sheley via flickr.com.
Argonaut65k Gunnery exercises with a Barracuda class (SS-163/5) submarine.
This photo was originally thought to be the Argonaut (SS-166). However, the configuration of the port and starboard running lights and the tall posts on the deck just aft of the fairwater rule this out. These are Kingposts used for hoisting the small boats out of their housing on the after deck. These kingposts were not present on the Argonaut. This is a Barracudas class boat and was taken prior to 1928. The Barracudas had their 5"/51 cal guns replaced in 1928 with smaller 3"/50's. She still has the larger 5"/51 cal gun.
Text courtesy of David Johnston (USNR). Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Decrevel, John Hart, Ric Hedman, John Hummel & David Johnston (USNR).
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 62906, from the collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
SS 163 89k Barracuda (SS-163) inboard & Narwhal (SS-167) tied up circa early 1930's, possibly at San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Jerry Crow.
SS-163 & 169 113k Holland (AS-3) at anchor during the 1930s, with Barracuda (SS-163) tied up to her port side. Dolphin (SS-169) is partially visible, tied to Holland's starboard side. USN photo NH # 65018, courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center.
SS 163 31k Commemorative postal cover marking the Barracuda's (SS-163) cruise to Alaska, 22 July 1934. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Winter & Pond 83k Tender and submarines at dock in Juneau, Alaska, July, 1934. At far left, tender Holland (AS-3), submarines (l to r) Bass (SS-164), Bonita (SS-165), Barracuda (SS-163), Nautilus (SS-168) and Narwhal (SS-167). The mill of the Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company is in the background. Photo by Winter & Pond courtesy of the Alaska State Library & submitted by Joe Radigan.
SS 163 154k Barracuda (SS-163) near Juneau, Alaska, July, 1934. USN photo courtesy of m.flickr.com via Bill Gonyo.
SS-170,169,163,164,165,168 & 167 86k Holland (AS-3) with seven submarines alongside, in San Diego harbor, California, 24 December 1934. The submarines are (from left to right):
Cachalot (SS-170);
Dolphin (SS-169);
Barracuda(SS-163);
Bass (SS-164);
Bonita (SS-165);
Nautilus (SS-168); and
Narwhal (SS-167).
OfficialUSN photo NH # 80-G-63334 courtesy of the USNHC, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Argonaut417k Holland (AS-3) with seven submarines alongside, in San Diego harbor, California, possibly around 24 December 1934. The submarines are (from left to right):
Cachalot (SS-170);
Dolphin (SS-169);
Barracuda(SS-163);
Bass (SS-164);
Bonita (SS-165);
Nautilus (SS-168); and
Narwhal (SS-167)
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
SS 1631.10kIn May 1932 the Barracuda (SS-163) went into Rotating Reserve with Submarine Division 15 at Mare Island. In January 1933 she was assigned to Submarine Division 12 and, until late in 1936, operated along the west coast and cruised to Pearl Harbor and the Canal Zone with the fleet.
She is seen here on 2 April 1935.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
SS-170,163,164,165,168 & 167 94k Holland (AS-3) in San Diego harbor, California, circa 1935. Submarines alongside are (from outboard to inboard):
Cachalot (SS-170);
Barracuda(SS-163);
Bass (SS-164);
Bonita (SS-165);
Nautilus (SS-168); and
Narwhal (SS-167).
Closest ship in the nest of destroyers at far right is Yarnall (DD-143).
Photo courtesy of the USNHC, NH # 82789. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Navy Day 78k Commemorative postal cover marking:
Bass (SS-164);
Dolphin (SS-169);
Porpoise (SS-172);
Argonaut (SS-169);
Nautilus (SS-168);
Cuttlefish (SS-171)
Barracuda (SS-163);
Narwhal (SS-167)
Bonita (SS-165); &
Cachalot (SS-170)
on Navy Day, 27 October 1935.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 153 184k From left to right:
S-47 (SS-158), S-42 (SS-153), S-43 (SS-154) & Barracuda (SS-163);
at the sub base in Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, probably circa early 1936.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
SS 163 69k Commemorative postal cover marking Valentine's Day, 14 February 1937, issued from the Barracuda (SS-163) and commentating all the boats in her class:
Bass (SS-164);
Barracuda and
Bonita (SS-165).
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 163 23k Commemorative postal cover marking Barracuda's (SS-163) decommissioning, 14 May 1937, at Philadelphia, PA. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 163 32k Commemorative postal cover & photo inset marking Barracuda's (SS-163) decommissioning, 14 May 1937, at Philadelphia, PA. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 163 23k Commemorative postal cover marking Barracuda's (SS-163) recommission at Portsmouth, N. H. 23 September 1940 and assignment to Submarine Division 9. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 163 366k Pen and ink drawing by the artist Vernon Howe Bailey in 1941/2 entitled "Barracuda (SS-163) in Drydock at Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire." Painting #79/88-165-CB. Courtesy of the USNHC.
SS 163 28k Commemorative postal cover marking Barracuda's (SS-163) deep dive, 29 March 1941, following her recommission at Portsmouth, N. H. 5 September 1940 and assignment to Submarine Division 9. Partial text courtesy of DANFS,
Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
SS 163 813k Barracuda (SS-163) underway, 29 October 1943. Note deck gun has been removed. US National Archives photo # 80G-450231 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.

View the V1 / Barracuda (SS-163)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ
PigBoats.COM TM, A Historic Look at Submarines.
HISTORIC SUBMARINE DOCUMENTARY AND TRAINING FILMS
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