USS H-4 underway, circa 1922
|Ordered||by the Imperial Russian Navy, 1915|
|Builder||Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington|
|Laid down||12 May 1918|
|Launched||9 October 1918|
|Acquired||20 May 1918|
|Commissioned||24 October 1918|
|Decommissioned||25 October 1922|
|Reclassified||Hull number: SS-147, 17 July 1920|
|Stricken||26 February 1931|
|Fate||Sold for scrapping, 14 September 1931|
|Class and type||H-class submarine|
|Length||150 ft 4 in (45.82 m)|
|Beam||15 ft 10 in (4.83 m)|
|Draft||12 ft 5 in (3.78 m)|
|Test depth||200 ft (61 m)|
|Complement||25 officers and men|
|Armament||4 × 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes|
USS H-4 (SS-147) was a H-class submarine originally built for the Imperial Russian Navy. Six of these were not delivered pending the outcome of the Russian Revolution of 1917 before being purchased by the United States Navy on 20 May 1918.
The H-class submarines had a length of 150 feet 4 inches (45.8 m) overall, a beam of 15 feet 10 inches (4.8 m) and a mean draft of 12 feet 5 inches (3.8 m). They displaced 358 long tons (364 t) on the surface and 467 long tons (474 t) submerged. The boats had a crew of 2 officers and 23 enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).
For surface running, they were powered by two New London Ship & Engine Co. 475-brake-horsepower (354 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 170-horsepower (127 kW) Electro Dynamic Co. electric motor. They could reach 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface and 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) underwater. On the surface, the boats had a range of 2,300 nautical miles (4,300 km; 2,600 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) and 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.
Construction and career
H-4 was launched on 9 October 1918, and commissioned on 24 October 1918. 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.
- Friedman, p. 307
- Gardiner & Gray, p. 128
- Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
- Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS H-4 at NavSource Naval History