USS S-17 (SS-122)


USS S-17 underway
United States
NameUSS S-17
BuilderLake Torpedo Boat Company
Laid down19 March 1918
Launched22 May 1920
Commissioned1 March 1921
Decommissioned4 October 1944
Stricken13 November 1944
FateSunk as a target, 5 April 1945
General characteristics
Class and typeS-class submarine
  • 876 long tons (890 t) surfaced
  • 1,092 long tons (1,110 t) submerged
Length231 ft (70 m)
Beam21 ft 10 in (6.65 m)
Draft13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)
  • 15 knots (17 mph; 28 km/h) surfaced
  • 11 knots (13 mph; 20 km/h) submerged
Complement38 officers and men

USS S-17 (SS-122) was a second-group (S-3 or "Government") S-class submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down on 19 March 1918 by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She was launched on 22 May 1920 sponsored by Mrs. Raymond G. Thomas, and commissioned on 1 March 1921 with Lieutenant Commander Charles S. Alden in command.

Departing from New London, Connecticut, on 31 May 1921, S-17 sailed via the Panama Canal, California, Hawaii, and Guam to the Philippines, arriving at Cavite, Luzon, on 1 December. In 1922, she sailed from Manila Bay on 11 October, visited Hong Kong from 14–28 October, and returned to Cavite on 1 November. Sailing from Manila on 15 May 1923, S-17 visited Shanghai, Chefoo, and Chinwangtao, before returning via Woosung and Amoy to Cavite on 11 September. In the summer of 1924, she visited Shanghai, Tsingtao, Chefoo, and Chinwangtao, before returning via Chefoo and Amoy to Olongapo, Luzon, on 23 September. Departing Cavite on 29 October, she arrived at Mare Island, California, on 31 December.

Remaining at Mare Island in 1925 and 1926, she operated along the California coast in 1927, mainly at Mare Island, California, San Diego, California, and San Pedro, California. From February 1928 into December 1934, S-17 served in the Panama Canal area. Departing from Coco Solo on 10 December 1934, S-17 was decommissioned on 29 March 1935 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

S-17 was recommissioned on 16 December 1940. After voyages to Bermuda, S-17 operated in the Panama Canal area from December 1941 into February 1942; at Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, in March; in the Panama Canal area from April into August; and out of New London from September that year into July 1944. Her cruises from New London often included operations at Casco Bay, Maine. Decommissioned on 4 October 1944, S-17 was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 13 November of that year and was intentionally sunk on 5 April 1945.

In Literature

A fictional USS S-17 appears in Edward L. Beach's 1955 novel Run Silent, Run Deep.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.