USS C-4 (SS-15)
The USS C-4 underway, 1909.
|Builder:||Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts|
|Laid down:||17 March 1908|
|Launched:||17 June 1909|
|Commissioned:||23 November 1909|
|Decommissioned:||15 August 1919|
|Renamed:||C-4, 17 November 1911|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 13 April 1920|
|Class and type:||C-class submarine|
|Length:||105 ft 4 in (32.11 m)|
|Beam:||13 ft 11 in (4.24 m)|
|Draft:||10 ft 11 in (3.33 m)|
|Test depth:||200 feet (61.0 m)|
|Complement:||15 officers and enlisted|
|Armament:||2 × 18 inch (450 mm) bow torpedo tubes (4 torpedoes)|
The C-class submarines were enlarged versions of the preceding B class, the first American submarines with two propeller shafts. They had a length of 105 feet 3 inches (32.1 m) overall, a beam of 13 feet 10 inches (4.2 m) and a mean draft of 10 feet 10 inches (3.3 m). They displaced 240 long tons (240 t) on the surface and 273 long tons (277 t) submerged. The C-class boats had a crew of 1 officer and 14 enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).
For surface running, they were powered by two 240-brake-horsepower (179 kW) Craig gasoline engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 115-horsepower (86 kW) electric motor. They could reach 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) on the surface and 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) underwater. On the surface, the boats had a range of 776 nautical miles (1,437 km; 893 mi) at 8.13 knots (15.06 km/h; 9.36 mph) and 24 nmi (44 km; 28 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged.
Construction and career
C-4 was laid down by Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts, under a subcontract from Electric Boat Company, as Bonita. She was launched on 17 June 1909 sponsored by Mrs. J. C. Townsend, and commissioned on 23 November 1909, Lieutenant F. V. McNair in command. She was renamed C-4 on 17 November 1911. Assigned first to the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet, and later to the Atlantic Submarine Flotilla, Bonita plied east coast waters until May 1913, when she cleared Norfolk, Virginia for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her tactical exercises and development operations continued here and from Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone, where she reported on 12 December 1913. In August 1917, sailing with two other submarines, she explored the suitability of Panamanian ports as advance submarine bases. Laid up at Coco Solo Canal Zone from 12 November 1918, C-4 was decommissioned there on 15 August 1919, and sold on 13 April 1920.
- Friedman, p. 306
- Gardiner & Gray, p. 127
- 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. (1984). 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 entries can be found here and here.
- Photo gallery of USS Bonita at NavSource Naval History