Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

H-4 (SS-147)

Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Quebec - Mike

H-4 Class Submarine: Built by the British Pacific Construction and Engineering Company, Vancouver, Canada for Imperial Russian Government; Acquired by US Navy 20 May 1918; Reassembled at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA.; Laid down, 12 May 1918, Launched, 9 October 1918; Commissioned, USS H-4, 24 October 1918; Redesignated USS H-4 (SS-147), 17 July 1920; Decommissioned, 25 October 1922, at Norfolk, VA.; Laid up in the Reserve Fleet; Struck from the Naval Register, 26 February 1931; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 14 September 1931 but used as a oil barge at Bremerton, WA.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert & Thomas Lee, Managing Editor Undersea Warfare Magazine

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 358 t., Submerged: 467 t..; Length 150' 4"; Beam 15' 10"; Draft 15' 10"; Speed, surfaced 14 kts, submerged 10.5 kts; Depth Limit 200'; Complement 2 Officers, 23 Enlisted; Armament, four 18" torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes; Propulsion, diesel electric, New London Ship and Engine Co., diesel engines, 960 hp, Fuel Capacity, 11,800 gal.; Electro Dynamic Co., electric motors, 600 hp, Battery Cells, 120, twin propellers.
Click On Image
For Full Size
Size Image Description Source
SS 147
174k The H-4's (SS-147) sponsor was Mrs. Ralph Otis Davis (Anita Cresap), wife of Lieutenant R. O. Davis, U. S. Navy, the prospective commanding officer. He appears here as a Lt. Cmdr. Courtesy of Ships of the United States Navy and Their Sponsors, 19131923, pg 86.
Compiled by Anne Martin Hall & Edith Wallace Benham. COPYRIGHT, 1925 BY THE SOCIETY OF SPONSORS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY
H-4 489k 4 photo PDF showing H-4 (SS-147) with General Arrangement, Outboard Profile; Superstructure, Inboard Profile; Battery Deck & Various Sections, 1918.National Archives Identifier: 75841758
Photo courtesy of
4 Hs 673k H-boats in frame at Bremerton Naval Shipyard, approximately 23 May 1918.
From the back right; H-4 (SS-147). In front is the H-5 (SS-148). To the left of the H-4 is the H-7 (SS-150). To the left of the H-5 is the H-6 (SS-149). H-8 (SS-151) and H-9 (SS-152) are not seen. Under the boom of the crane is the just about finished O-2 (SS-63), soon to be launched.
This is from a negative from the personal collection of Ric Hedman and acquired through Bill Lightfoot's research library, which he gave to me; he is the author of Beneath the Surface: World War I Submarines Built in Seattle and Vancouver.
H-4 72k Typical wartime H-boat launch on 9 October 1918 at Bremerton Naval Shipyard. Everything is in readiness. The H-4 (SS-147) sponsoring party and bunting at the bow workmen along the runways tuning up the cradle, shoring in place, visitors and sailors on the deck. Note the circular Fessenden oscillator in the starboard bow of the pressure hull. Photo & text courtesy of Beneath the Surface: World War I Submarines Built in Seattle and Vancouver by Bill Lightfoot.
H-4 1.65k H-4 (SS-147) at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, and was taken 3 weeks after her 24 October 1918 commissioning. The H-4 boats were originally intended for delivery to Russia. They were built in Vancouver, British Columbia, and meant to be reassembled in Russian shipyards. However, the Russian Revolution of 1917 halted that plan. Instead, the U.S. Navy bought the submarines, reassembling them at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. Text courtesy of Puget Sound Navy Yard.
USN photo courtesy of Mike Green.
H-4 82k H-4 (SS-147) portside view under way, probably off San Pedro, CA., 1918. Stationed at San Pedro, Calif., first with SubDiv 6 and then SubDiv 7, H-4 participated in various battle and training exercises along the West Coast with her sister H-class boats. These exercises were interrupted by occasional patrol duty off Santa Catalina Island and periodic overhauls at Mare Island. USN photo # 19-N-20296, from (NARA), courtesy of Daniel Dunham.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
4 Hs 410k Four unknown H-boats at San Pedro, California, late 1910s. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photo by Mark Jay Goebel/Getty Images, courtesy of
H-4 329k H-4 (SS-147) passes by one of the boats of the Wyoming (BB-32) sometime in 1920.Photo from the collection of Percy & Bill Fenner submitted by Ann Moss.
L-6, F-2 & friends 90k San Pedro, Calif. submarine base. From inboard to outboard:
F-2 (SS-21), L-6 (SS-45), & what appears to be H-6 (SS-149)?, H-4 (SS-147), R-7 (SS-84). Photo is at or after 30 June 1921 through 1 July 1922. The R-7 had arrived from the Panama Canal then and the L-6 was placed in commission, in ordinary, 24 March 1922; returned to full commission 1 July; and sailed for the east coast the same month. All the H-class boats left on 25 July 1922 for the east coast as well.
Notice that the other boats seem higher out of the water, which is indicative of the H-class boats which had a higher beam than the F & L-classes. The boats behind this group are too far away to i.d. properly.
USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
H-boats 2.84k Two views of an unidentified H boat at Johnson Wharf. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Photos # CVA 260-80 & 260-94 courtesy of James Crookall via courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
F-3 313k Glacier (AF-4) with YR-5 and Submarines H-4 (SS-147) and H-6 (SS-149), between February 1921 and April 1921 at Mare Island. Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
H-7 236k H and L class submarines berth in San Pedro.
From Back to front & L-R: H-6 (SS-149), L-5 (SS-44), H-7 (SS-150), H-3 (SS-30) in back berth. The H-4 (SS-147) is moored alongside the pier, ahead of her is a row with at least 2 submarines, the H-5 (SS-148) on the left & what might be either the L-6 (SS-45) or L-7 (SS-46) alongside.
The photo appeared in the LA Times on 20 February 1920. The LA Water & Power states that the San Pedro submarine base closed in 1923.
Text i.d. courtesy of Ric Hednan .
Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
A1l twelve of the submarines en route from Los Angeles to Hampton Roads, Va., under convoy of the tender Beaver (AS-5), were said at the local submarine base to be accounted for this morning.
Image and text provided by University of Florida.
Photo & text by The Lakeland Evening Telegram. (Lakeland, Fla.) 1911-1922, 29 July 1922, Image 1, courtesy of
graveyard shiftNRStarting a 5,000-mile journey, which will end at their own graveyard,twelve H and L type submarines left the Navy base at San Pedro, CA, recently, bound for Hampton Roads, VA. through the Panama Canal. Upon arrival on the East coast they are to be decommissioned and cut up for scrap iron.
Eleven of the boats were:
H-2 (SS-29),
H-3 (SS-30),
L-5 (SS-44),
L-6 (SS-45),
L-7 (SS-46),
H-4 (SS-147),
H-5 (SS-148),
H-6 (SS-149),
H-7 (SS-150),
H-8 (SS-151),
H-9 (SS-152).
Image and text provided by Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA
Photo from The Weekly Iberian. (New Iberia, La.) 1894-1946, 19 August 1922, Image 2, courtesy of

View the H-4 (SS-147)
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

Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Submarine Index
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster
This page is created by Gary Priolo and maintained by Michael Mohl
All Pages 1996 - 2024 NavSource History