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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

R-17 (SS-94)

Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Foxtrot - Xray

R-17 served both the US and British Navies

R-1 Class Submarine: Laid down, 5 May 1917, at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.; Launched, 24 December 1917; Commissioned, USS R-17, 18 August 1918; Re-designated USS R-17 (SS-94), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 15 May 1931, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.; Laid up at League Island; Recommissioned, 25 March 1941. at New London, CT.; Decommissioned, 9 March 1942, and transferred to Great Britain, renamed HMS P512; Returned to US Naval custody, 6 September 1944; Struck from the Naval Register, 22 June 1945; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 16 November 1945, to North American Smelting Co., Philadelphia, PA.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 569 t., Submerged: 680 t.; Length 186' 2" ; Beam 18'; Draft 14' 6"; Speed, Surfaced 13.5 kts, Submerged 10.5 kts; Depth Limit, 200'; Complement 2 Officers, 27 Enlisted; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes forward, 8 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun; Propulsion, diesel electric engines, New England Ship and Engine Co., diesel engines, 1200hp, Fuel Capacity, 18,880 gals., Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, twin propellers.
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7.80k Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California.
Photographed during World War I, with four-piper destroyers under construction at the Risdon Iron Works in the lower right. Four submarines and one destroyer hull in dry-dock are at the piers in the center, along with some large merchant ships. Risdon, part of Union, is to the lower right of the ink line. 1-Cafeteria, 2-Store room, 3-Iron Foundry, 4-Brass Foundry, 5-Machine shop, 6-Pattern shop, 7-Erecting machine shop, 8-Administration building, 9-Power house, 10-office bldg., Govt. offices, 11-Blacksmith shop, 12-Bioler shop, 13-Joiner shop, 14-Joiner shop, Annex with oil storage tanks underneath, 15-Warehouse and office bldg., 16-Pipe and copper shop, 17-Steel storage, 18-Plate shop, 19-Gate house, 20-Building slips 4&5, 21-Building slips 1.2 & 3, 22-Wharf #2, 23-Wharf #3, 24-Floating dock, capacity 2000 tons, 25-Floating dock, capacity 6500 tons, 26-Wharf #4, 27-Wharf #5, S-Storage space 2--Risdon Plant shown south and east of red lines: 1-Copper storage, 2- Oil tank, 3-Office building, 4-Office building, 5-Yarrow boiler shop, 6-Warehouse, 7-Power house, 8-Blacksmith shop, 9-Storehouse, 10-Sheet metal shop, 11-Sheet metal shop, 12-Marine machine shop, 13-Wharves, 14-Wharves, 15-Wharves.
Appearing here in no order are vessels that were constructed but not necessarily here: 6 of 27 R-class submarines
first keel laid: R-16 (SS-93), 26 April 1917, last: R-19 (SS-96), 23 June 1917
first launch: R-15 (SS-92), 10 December 1917, last: R-19, 28 January 1918
R-15 (SS-92) ... R-20 (SS-97)
12 of 51 S-class submarines S-30 (SS-135) ... S-41 (SS-146)
26 of 111 Wickes-class destroyers for the United States Navy between 1917 and 1919
first keel laid: Ringold (DD-89), 20 October 1917, last: Stansbury (DD-180), 9 December 1918 first launch: McKee (DD-87), 23 March 1918, last: Stansbury, 16 May 1919, 8 are launched on 4 July 1918
McKee (DD-87) ... Gridley (DD-92), Schley (DD-103), ... Ludlow (DD-112), Burns (DD-171) & ... Stansbury (DD-180)
40 of 156 Clemson-class destroyers for the United States Navy between 1918 and 1921 Chauncey (DD-296) ... Melvin (DD-335)
Photo courtesy of
R-boats 553k Dew you christen me? R-17 (SS-94) sponsored by Miss Bertha F. Dew, launched 24 December 1917. National Archives Identifier: 45548681
Local Identifier: 165-WW-505B-70.
Photo courtesy of
188k Lt. Comdr. William Robert Munroe was the 1st CO of the R-17 (SS-94). He would reach the rank as Vice Admiral. Text courtesy of
USN photo # 80-G-49323 via
R-boats 1.44k Construction of Uncle Sam's latest type of Submarine Class R, 6 March 1918.
Six R boats under constructions at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.
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 three boats closest to the camera are numbered on their sterns 16, 17 & 18. The other three boats viewed bow on can't be identified.
National Archives Identifier: 55173460
Local Identifier: 111-SC-006278.
Photo courtesy of
R-18 583k The hull of R-17 (SS-94) at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, San Francisco, CA., 5 July 1918. She would be commissioned in 5 weeks. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
R-18 483k R-17 (SS-94) emblazoned with her triangle. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
SS 92-9787k Beaver (AS-5) at anchor off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, with six submarines alongside, circa late 1918.
R-17 (SS-94),
R-20 (SS-97),
R-15 (SS-92),
R-16 (SS-93),
R-18 (SS-95) &
R-19 (SS-96).
USNHC photograph # NH 56366.
SS 92-9776k Beaver (AS-5) in port, circa 1919, with R-20 (SS-97) & R-17 (SS-94) along side. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
USNHC photograph # NH 56364.
R-12 324k Tic Tac Toe in the Pacific with the X marked R-12 (SS-89), R-16 (SS-93) [with the circle] & R-17 (SS-94) [with the triangle]. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
R-boats 412k Subs R U.S.
From right to left:
R-16 (SS-93),
R-18 (SS-95),
R-19 (SS-96),
R-12 (SS-89),
R-13 (SS-90),
R-11 (SS-88),
R-17 (SS-94),
R-20 (SS-97),
R-14 (SS-91) &
R-15 (SS-92)
Photo courtesy of David Wright.
938k Photo of a R-Class submarine leaving or returning to Mare Island at the coaling berths at the yard. I believes the photo dates between 31 March 1919 & 10 June 1919 and is one of the following subs: R-15 thru R-20 who were at the shipyard at the time along with Beaver (AS-5). The Evansville (ID 2996) is likely the outboard ship in the background. The other two are likely civilian ships delivering or picking up coal or stone.
Dave Johnston adds; "I can’t make out the boat’s name on the forward superstructure, but it appears to be a single digit. This is only a guess and it could be anything.
Interesting note: I can see a gun mount pedestal on the forward deck, but there doesn’t seem to be a gun installed. I have not seen this yet on an R-boat. At any rate, the deck around the gun mount has not been expanded yet, so this is probably a preliminary installation."
Text courtesy of Darryl Baker & Dave Johnston.
Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
R-20 731k R-20 (SS-97) and her sisters (R-15 (SS-92), R-16 (SS-93), R-17 (SS-94), R-18 (SS-95) & R-19 (SS-96)) are seen in Mare Island's dry dock #2 between 7 April and 10 June 1919. The barge is YR-2. The submarines were in overhaul at the yard from 31 March 1919 and 14 June 1919 prior to their transfer to Pearl Harbor. This information taken from the shipyard's journals. Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
R-20 516k Union Iron Works R Class Boats - deck gun images in Pearl Harbor. This photo shows major work to add sponsons and deck for larger gun decks; left to right R-19 (SS-96), R-18 (SS-95), R-15 (SS-92), R-17 (SS-94) & R-20 (SS-97).
This photo from left to right shows R-18, R-15, R-17 & R-20 from a different angle than first photo (not in focus). The dark area in the middle of the gun deck is either the disappeared 3’/23 gun or base for the 3”/50.?
Note: Monterey (M-6) is in the background, left of the large crane. She was station ship at Pearl Harbor from 12/19/1917 to 8/27/1921.
Photos from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
R-16 & 17 38k R-17 (SS-94) receiving a civilian dignitary. This could possibly be Secretary of the Navy Denby who visited Pearl Harbor in 1922. R-16 (SS-93) is moored outboard. USN photo courtesy of National Archives via Ric Hedman.
In the air and under the water, Secretary of Navy Denby making a quick change from sea-plane to submarine at sea on recent trip to Hawaii.
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA.
Photo & text by Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, 24 October 1922, Night Extra, Image 36, via
R-17 99k Kahului, Maui, Hawaii Territory. U.S. Navy ships and aircraft at Kahului, circa 1922-1924. The ships are (from left to right): Burns (DM-11, ex-DD-171), commanded by Lieutenant Commander Olaf M. Hustvedt; Seagull (AM-30), with R-17 (SS-94) alongside; and Two "Eagle" boats, with Eagle (PE-40) furthest to the right, wearing an aviation star insignia. Two HS-2L flying boats are moored astern of the "Eagle" boats. USNHC photograph # NH 104548. Photographed by Tai Sing Loo. Photo from the 1909-1924 album of Vice Admiral Olaf M. Hustvedt, USN (Retired). Courtesy of Rick Hauck, 2006.
R-boats 1.53k R-boats at Pearl Harbor, circa early 1920's.
From L-R: R-18 (SS-95),
R-16 (SS-93),
R-20 (SS-97),
R-17 (SS-94),
R-15 (SS-92),
R-19 (SS-96).
Photo courtesy of Ric Hednan.
R-14 32k R-17 (SS-94) underway in a tinted colored photo, circa 1923. USN photo courtesy of National Archives via Ric Hedman.
R-14 75k R-17 (SS-94) diving off Hawaii. Circa 1925. USN photo by Tai Sing Loo, courtesy of
Unknown Photos3.08kR & S boats at the sub base, Pearl Harbor, November 1925. The barracks ship, ex-Chicago (CL-14) is at the right of the photo. Photo from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
R-14 220k R-17 (SS-94) underway with an Admiral aboard. His flag is flying from the bridge. USN photo by Tai Sing Loo, courtesy of
Sub Base Pearl Harbor292kThe crews of Submarine Divisions 9 & 14 line the decks of their boats (20 in all) at the Submarine base at Pearl Harbor on 12 December 1930.
R-1 (SS-78),
R-2 (SS-79),
R-3 (SS-80),
R-4 (SS-81),
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-11 (SS-88),
R-12 (SS-89),
R-13 (SS-90),
R-14 (SS-91),
R-15 (SS-92),
R-16 (SS-93),
R-17 (SS-94),
R-18 (SS-95),
R-19 (SS-96) &
R-20 (SS-97).
All the R-boats were to leave the base where they had been serving for upwards of 8 years and transfer to the East coast to be decommissioned over the next 3 years.
The only identifiable boat is the R-16.
USN photo by Tai Sing Loo, courtesy of E. Little.
Navy Yard 417k These World War submarines, [O & R-boats] tied up in the Navy Yard in Philadelphia for a dozen years, are being reconditioned and some are already in active service again, it was announced 10 January 1941. This picture shows them as they appeared before the repair program began.
From Left to right: O-3 (SS-64), unknown, R-1 (SS-78), R-7 (SS-84), R-20 (SS-97), R-19 (SS-96) & R-17 (SS-94).
Photo courtesy of the George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs @
Philadelphia Navy Yard 2.00k 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)
HMS P 512
R-17 & 19 39k R-17 (SS-94) outboard & R-18 (SS-95) moored at Trinidad, Spring 1943. USN photo courtesy of National Archives via Ric Hedman, Mike Green, &
R-17 28k Commemorative issue & photo inset of the R-17 (SS-94) as the HMS P512, following the Lend - Lease Act in 1941. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Pompano 401k This air view of Portsmouth Navy Yard taken just after the end of WW II shows the main shipbuilding shed which enabled construction to continue unimpeded by the Maine winters. The shed was widened to add two ways in 1941, and a fifth was squeezed in a year later. Drydocks No. 1 (left) & 2 (far right) contain six fleet submarines, while three R-boats are moored in the foreground.
The Pompano (SS-491) would have been under construction in the first ways on the left hand corner of the main shipbuilding shed.
Photo and partial text from The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy: A Design and Construction History, by John D. Alden.

View the R-17 (SS-94)
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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