USS O-16 (SS-77)

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USS O-16 (SS-77).jpg
USS O-16 off the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, on 3 September 1918.
United States
Name: USS O-16
Ordered: 3 March 1916
Builder: California Shipbuilding Company, Long Beach, California
Laid down: 7 October 1916
Launched: 9 February 1918
Commissioned: 1 August 1918
Decommissioned: 21 June 1924
Struck: 9 May 1930
Fate: Sold for scrap, 30 July 1930
General characteristics
Class and type: O-class submarine
  • 491 long tons (499 t) surfaced
  • 566 long tons (575 t) submerged
Length: 175 ft 3 in (53.4 m)
Beam: 16 ft 9 in (5.1 m)
Draft: 13 ft 9 in (4.2 m)
Installed power:
  • 880 bhp (660 kW) (diesel)
  • 740 hp (550 kW) (electric)
  • 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) surfaced
  • 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) submerged
Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) on the surface
Test depth: 200 feet (61.0 m)
Complement: 2 officers, 27 men

USS O-16 (SS-77) was one of 16 O-class submarines built for the United States Navy during World War I.


The later O-boats (O-11 through O-16) were designed by Lake Torpedo Boat Company to different specifications from the earlier ones designed by Electric Boat. They did not perform as well, and are sometimes considered a separate class.[1] The submarines had a length of 175 feet 3 inches (53.4 m) overall, a beam of 16 feet 9 inches (5.1 m) and a mean draft of 13 feet 9 inches (4.2 m). They displaced 491 long tons (499 t) on the surface and 566 long tons (575 t) submerged. The O-class submarines had a crew of 29 officers and enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).[2]

For surface running, the boats were powered by two 440-brake-horsepower (328 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 370-horsepower (276 kW) 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 O class had a range of 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph).[2]

The boats were armed with four 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They carried four reloads, for a total of eight torpedoes. The O-class submarines were also armed with a single 3"/50 caliber deck gun.[2]

Construction and career[edit]

O-16 was laid down on 7 October 1916 by California Shipbuilding Company in Long Beach, California. The boat was launched on 9 February 1918 sponsored by Mrs. I. H. Mayfield, and commissioned on 1 August 1918 with Lieutenant W. M. Quigley in command. Commissioning during the final months of World War I, O-16 had little wartime duty. After the war, she reported to Cape May, New Jersey, where she went into dry-dock on 20 September 1919. In October, the boat sailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where a dangerous fire in her superstructure on 29 December was brought under control before it did major damage.

In 1922, O-16 was stationed at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, for diving tests and maneuvers. She cruised in formation with O-12 (SS-73), O-14 (SS-75), O-15 (SS-76), and submarine tender Bushnell (AS-2) to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 26 January, and continued maneuvers in and around the Virgin Islands. In April, she returned to Coco Solo, where electricians and engineers put her in prime condition.

In November 1923, O-16 sailed to Philadelphia, where she decommissioned on 21 June 1924 after just five and a half years of service, and was turned over to the Commandant, Navy Yard, Philadelphia. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 9 May 1930, the boat was scrapped in accordance with the London Naval Treaty on 30 July 1930.


  1. ^ DANFS
  2. ^ a b c Gardiner & Gray, p. 129


  • 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 entry can be found here.

External links[edit]