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SS-20 F-1 Carp

Four "F" class submarines were laid down within a week of each other in August 1909 at Union Iron Works, San Francisco and Seattle Construction & Drydock Co and commissioned 1912-13. These submarines were assigned to the Pacific fleet with 1st Submarine Group, Pacific Torpedo Flotilla at San Pedro (San Francisco). Initially named Carp (No.20), Barracuda (No.21), Pickerel (No.22), and Skate (No.23); submarine names were abolished in 1911 and they became F-1, F-2, F-3, and F-4. In 1920 the class was redesignated SS-20 to 23.

Because of the dangerous volatility of gasoline, American submersible designers soon followed the French practice and adopted the diesel engine for surface propulsion in 1909 with the Electric Boat Company's F class (SS-20 through 23), built at Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California. With diesel propulsion married to the submersible designs of Holland and Lake, American submarines took on a familiar configuration that lasted through American entry into World War I.

During submarine maneuvers off Honolulu on 25 March 1915, F-4 (SS-23) sank just outside the harbor with the loss of all 21 hands. In December 1917, F-1 collided with F-3 and sank with the loss of 19 crew; F-3 suffered a cracked bow cap. F-2 and F-3 went on to serve in training roles at San Pedro until decommissioned in 1922 and scrapped.



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