S-49 Submarine

S-49 Submarine

1940s Booklet: Submarine S-49, decommissioned, 15 pages. Photographs of S-49 Running on the surface; Motor Room; Engine Room; Control Room; Battery Room; and Torpedo Room.


Submarine S-49 was built for the United States Navy by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company, of Bridgeport, Conn. It was commissioned June 5, 1922. It is 240 feet long and had a displacement of 1,000 tons.

The contract price of the S-49, including special equipment, was about $2,500,000.00. It remained in the United States Navy until May, 1931, when it was sold because of the London Naval Treaty which called for the reduction of the navies of various countries.

Since 1931 the S-49 has been used as an educational exhibit, giving to millions of people an opportunity of seeing and inspecting a submarine. It has brought to thousands of people a better appreciation of their Navy.

After viewing the intricate workings of the S-49 anyone must realize that only men of the highest ability would be competent to operate such boats. Also the reason for high Naval appropriations is apparent for the construction of such ships. Re nember, if you help to preserve your Navy's strength in time of peace, it will protect you in time of war.

Submarine S-49 is owned and exhibited by Capt. F. J. Chrestensen and has no connection in any way with the United States Navy



The motor room of the S-49 is in the stern of the boat and has located under the deck two 750 horse-power motor generators which are used to operate the boat: when running submerged and also to generate power to recharge the batteries. The motors will run the boat at a speed of about 10 miles per hour.

In this compartment there is also one torpedo tube, the work shop for any repairs necessary at sea and the emergency steering control.

The stairway in this compartment and also in the torpedo room were put in for exhibition purposes where originally there were watertight hatches for loading torpedoes into the boat.

Put your trust in your own strength and no one can betray you. Always have a navy equal to the best ready for the test.


Torpedo alongside submarine recovered after being fired during target practice

Torpedo alongside submarine recovered after being fired during target practice



On each side of the engine room is a 900 horse-power Deisel engine. They drive the S-49 on the surface at a speed of about 16 miles per hour. On each side, at the forward end of the engine room, are large brass valves. These are flood valves for the main ballast tanks. There are ten main ballast tanks, five on each side of the boat.

When the vent and flood valves are opened the tanks are flooded and the air is forced out through the vent valves. This reduces the buoyancy of the boat and it sinks below the surface. These valves can be operated by compressed air or by hand.

The air horns located here are used as a diving alarm because of the noise of the engines. Between the engine and control rooms is a small passage, on one side is the galley where all the food is cooked for the crew of 42 men. The galley is only four feet wide and ten feet long. Opposite the galley is the radio room.


During the world war this German submarine was driven ashore in a storm

During the world war this German submarine was driven ashore in a storm and was left in the position shown in the picture



In the control room are located all the controls for operating the boat. The periscopes are located in the center of the compartment, in tubes, and are run up and down electrically. In action the commander stands at the periscope giving orders.

The firing control for torpedoes is at his hand and he places the indicator on the number of the tube he is going to fire from. When he has his aim right he touches a button, firing the torpedo.

Nearby is the electric steering control and the telegraph light system for orders to the men in charge of the engine and motors. The electric switchboard has switch controls for all light, heat and power.

Also, here are the diving rudder controls, both electric and hand. These diving rudders are used to submerge the boat and also to drive it down when it is necessary to go below the level which flooding the tanks takes it down to.

Three hundred feet is the maximum depth the S-49 is built to stand. The air system for flooding and blowing the boat is here. Below the deck of the control room are high-pressure air tanks; when the S-49 is to be brought to the surface this high-pressure air is released into the ballast tanks and blows the water out, bringing the boat back to the surface.

Overhead in this compartment is the entrance to the conning tower. Inside this compartment, and also above on the bridge, are two more sets of controls, so that the orders can be given from any one of three places.

The gun access tube also leads from this compartment and can be used as an escape hatch in case of emergency. The lavatories for officers and crew are also located here.


Depth Bomb Explosion by U. S. destroyer

Depth Bomb Explosion by U. S. destroyer showing great force used to destroy submarines



In the battery room, under the wooden deck, are carried over 100 tons of batteries. These batteries will run the S-49 at a speed of about 10 miles per hour.

This is also the crew's living quarters. There are five officers and in service a light partition separated their berths from those of the crew. About 30 men slept in this compartment. Many of the bunks had to be removed for exhibition purposes.

This is also the place where the food is brought from the galley and eaten.

The wooden deck is covered with a heavy rubber mat, bolted down so as to keep the battery gas from getting into the compartment. Overhead are air lines through which motors force the air from the batteries out of the boat. While running submerged, the air in the boat is run through air purifiers to remove as much as possible of the impurities.


German battleship "Hindenburg" scuttled at Scapa Flow

German battleship "Hindenburg" scuttled at Scapa Flow after surrender of the German fleet


German battleship "Hindenburg" scuttled at Scapa Flow after surrender of the German fleet

In the torpedo room are carried 12 torpedoes, the approximate size being 19 feet in length, 21 inches in diameter, weighing one ton and costing about $6500.00 each.

When a torpedo is to be loaded from the rack, a chain hoist is used to lift it up to an overhead trolley and it is rolled into the tube. The inner door is then locked and the tube flooded. The outer door is then opened and the torpedo is ready for firing.

When the commander at the periscope touches the button, compressed air blows the torpedo from the boat. After it has moved a few inches a tripping latch in the tube trips the trigger of the torpedo starting an engine inside which will run it about six miles at a speed of about 45 miles per hour.

On each side of the torpedo room is an oscillator. These are the ears of the submarine. With these oscillators the radio man can hear a vessel for many miles by the vibrations from their engines. Overhead is the anchor gear for raising and lowering the anchor; also cutting devices for cutting the anchor chain if it can not be raised.


United States Submarine S-4 after being raised from bottom of ocean

United States Submarine S-4 after being raised from bottom of ocean and towed to the Boston Navy Yard. When this picture was taken the bodies of several of the crew were still in the submarine. The S-4 was struck by a coast guard boat when coming up from a trial dive.


Ship shortly after being torpedoed

Ship shortly after being torpedoed, littering the sea with her cargo


Torpedoing of a steamer by an Austro-Hungarian submarine during World War

Torpedoing of a steamer by an Austro-Hungarian submarine during World War


German submarine U-103 sinking after being struck by British ship

German submarine U-103 sinking after being struck by British ship.

The U. S. Destroyer Davis is shown rescuing 35 members of the crew. Nine were drowned. This picture was drawn by Pointer Q. M. of the U. S. S. Davis


Formerly of the U. S. Navy
Submarine S-49 while in U. S. Navy Service

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