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USS H-4 (SS-147)
USS H-4 underway, circa 1922
USS H-4 underway, circa 1922
Name: USS H-4
Ordered: by the Imperial Russian Navy, 1915
Builder: Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington
Laid down: 12 May 1918
Launched: 9 October 1918
Commissioned: 24 October 1918
Decommissioned: 25 October 1922
Reclassified: SS-147, 15 July 1920
Struck: 26 February 1931
Fate: Sold for scrapping, 14 September 1931
General characteristics
Type: H-class submarine
Displacement: 358 long tons (364 t) surfaced
467 long tons (474 t) submerged
Length: 150 ft 4 in (45.82 m)
Beam: 15 ft 10 in (4.83 m)
Draft: 12 ft 5 in (3.78 m)
Installed power: 950 hp (710 kW) (diesel engines)
600 hp (450 kW) (electric motors)
Propulsion: 2 × New London Ship & Engine Co. diesel engines
2 × Electro Dynamic Co. electric motors
2 × shafts
Speed: 14 kn (16 mph; 26 km/h) surfaced
10.5 kn (12.1 mph; 19.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 200 ft (61 m)
Complement: 25 officers and men
Armament: 4 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes (8 torpedoes)

The Imperial Russian Navy ordered 18 H-class submarines from the Electric Boat Company in 1915. Eleven were delivered, and served as the American Holland class submarines, but shipment of the final six was held up pending the outcome of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the boats were stored in knockdown condition at Vancouver, British Columbia. All six were purchased by the United States Navy on 20 May 1918 and assembled at Puget Sound Navy Yard.

H-4 was launched on 9 October 1918, and commissioned on 24 October 1918 with Lieutenant Ralph O. Davis in command.

File:H class subs.jpg

Three typical H-class submarines (Archives of Royal Danish Naval Museum)

Stationed at San Pedro, California — first with Submarine Division 6 (SubDiv 6) and then SubDiv 7 — H-4 participated in various battle and training exercises along the West Coast with her sister H-boats. These exercises were interrupted by occasional patrol duty off Santa Catalina Island and periodic overhauls at Mare Island.

In company with the two sub divisions and tender Beaver, H-4 sailed from San Pedro on 25 July 1922 and reached Norfolk, Virginia on 14 September via Magdalena Bay, Corinto, and Coco Solo. She decommissioned there on 25 October. H-4 was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 26 February 1931 and sold for scrap on 14 September.


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