SHARK SS-8
U.S.S. SHARK SS-8
Class: Adder, An Original "A" Boat, Test Depth 150 feet
Displacement: 107 tons (surfaced); 123 tons (submerged)
Dimensions: Length 63.6 feet, Beam 11.7 feet, Draft 13.8 feet
Speed: 8.5 knots (surfaced); 7.2 knots (submerged)
Armament: 1 Forward 18-inch Torpedo Tube
Keel laid: January 11, 1901, at Crescent Shipyard, Elizabethport, NJ
Launched: October 1, 1901, Sponsored by Ms. Walter S. Turpin.
Commissioned: September 25, 1903, Commanded by Lt. Charles Nelson.
Complement: Normally; 1 Officer, 6 Enlisted Men


      The 3rd Recorded USS Shark, SS-8, was a Submarine Torpedo Boat (#8); later re-designated as A-7. It operated locally at the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island, for three and a half years, conducting firing tests with torpedoes, and participating in the early research and development efforts in the field of undersea warfare. In March, 1907, the Shark was assigned to the 1st Submarine Flotilla stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.



Decommissioned April 21, 1908, at New York Navy Yard.



      The USS Shark (SS-8) was loaded onto the decks of a collier, the SS Caesar, along with a sister ship, the USS Porpoise (SS-7) and taken to Cavite Navy Yard in the Philippines via the Suez Canal.
SHARK AS A7
U.S.S. A-7 [ SHARK ] (SS-8)
Re-commissioned August 14, 1909, at Cavite Navy Yard.

Renamed to A-7 November 17, 1911
      Throughout the rest or her active duty the Shark continued to operate out of Cavite. During World War I she, and her sister ships based at Cavite, carried out patrols of the entrance to Manila Bay.
      After a routine overhaul on July 24, 1917, gasoline fumes ignited and caused an explosion and fire while on patrol in Manila Bay. Her Captain, LTjg. Arnold Marcus, and the men battled the blaze. Marcus, the last to emerge from the Shark, sent up distress signals and took the helm in an attempt to beach the stricken submersible. He refused treatment for his wounds until after all the men had been treated. Six men died, and also Marcus died on the following day on July 25. The Navy honored Marcus's heroism by ultimately naming a destroyer after him, the USS Marcus (DD321).
      The Shark was never returned to patrol duty and was listed as "In Ordinary" on April 1, 1918, at Cavite, the damage being too extensive to justify repairs, until her decommissioning.
      (In naval matters, vessels "In Ordinary" (from the eighteenth century) are those out of service for repair or maintenance, a meaning coming over time to cover a reserve fleet or "mothballed" ships.)



Decommissioned (again) December 12, 1919, at Cavite Navy Yard.
      The Shark was advertised "For Sale" in the 16th Naval District, but was subsequently authorized for use as a target and was sunk off of Corregidor in 1921.
Struck From the Navy List January 16, 1922.

 
 
DISCOVERY MATERIALS ... A Submarine Torpedo Boat USS SHARK, A-7 SS-8
Reference Material< Text The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Vol 1A, pp4).
Reference Material Text Photos Limks Nav Source Archieves, mostly pictorial.
Reference Material Text Fleet Archive List Notes, some terms used about submarines.
Of Interest Material Text Torpedo Station at Newport, and torpedo development.
 
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