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USS D-2 (SS-18)
USS Grayling (SS-18), port side view, probably during builder's trials, circa 1909.
Grayling, probably during builder's trials, circa 1909
Name: USS D-2
Builder: Fore River Shipbuilding, Quincy, Massachusetts
Launched: 16 June 1909
Commissioned: 23 November 1909, as USS Grayling
Decommissioned: 18 January 1922
Renamed: USS D-2, 17 November 1911
Fate: Sold for scrap, 25 September 1922
General characteristics
Class & type: D-class submarine
Displacement: 288 long tons (293 t)
Length: 134 ft 10 in (41.10 m)
Beam: 13 ft 11 in (4.24 m)
Draft: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement: 15 officers and men
Armament: 4 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes

USS D-2 (SS-18) was a D-class submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down by Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts, under a subcontract from Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, as Grayling, making her the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the Arctic grayling, a fresh-water game fish closely related to the trout. Grayling was launched on 16 June 1909, sponsored by Miss C. H. Bowles, and commissioned on 23 November 1909 with Lieutenant Owen Hill in command. She was renamed D-2 on 17 November 1911.

Service history

D-2 joined the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet as Flagboat for Submarine Division 3 (SubDiv 3). Along the Atlantic coast, D-2 joined in diving, torpedo, and experimental exercises. She participated in the Presidential Review of the Fleet in North River, New York City from 5–18 May 1915.

During World War I, D-2 served in training and experimental work at New London, Connecticut.

On 14 September 1917 she sank at dockside with all hands although the entire crew was rescued.

She was placed in commission, in reserve, at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 9 September 1919 and placed in ordinary on 15 July 1921. Towed to Philadelphia Navy Yard, she was decommissioned on 18 January 1922 and sold as a hulk on 25 September.

While patrolling outside the Newport Naval harbor shortly before 2 pm., Saturday 7 October 1916, just three miles east of Point Judith, the D-2 discovered the German man o’war submarine U53 under the command of Hans Rose heading towards Newport Rhode Island as part of its hitherto unprecedented two-way traversal of the Atlantic without refueling or resupply. There was an initial flurry of activity when the U53 suddenly steamed away to port believing the submerged D-2 to be a British submarine, but when the D-2 surfaced so that a crewman could run aft to raise the American flag the U53 slowed. Lieutenant G.C. Fulker, USN, commander of the D-2 brought his submarine up close on a parallel course to convoy the U53 while in sight of land. As the submarines reached Brenton Reef Lightship captain Rose requested permission from the D-2 to enter port. Fulker granted it, and Hans Rose called back by megaphone “I salute our American comrades and follow in your wake.”[Herzog, Bodo & Schomaekers, Günter, Ritter der Tiefe Graue Wölfe, Die erfolgreichsten U-Boot-Kommandanten der Welt des Ersten un Zweiten Weltkrieges, Verlag Welsermühl München-Wels, 1965, pp. 178–9]


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