L-8 Was First Portsmouth Submarine
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive

477 detail00SeacoastNH.com Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #477  

The USS L-8, seen here in Kittery, was commissioned on August 30, 1917.  L-8 was the first LAKE class submarine of its class built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. This early submarine served on the East Coast. (Continued below) 

 

 After World War I the sub operated in West Coast waters for three years, then returned East in 1922 and decommissioned in 1925. From US naval history records adds this note: "Though most sources state that L-8 was subsequently scrapped, her actual fate was more dramatic. On 26 May 1926 the submarine's hulk was sunk as a torpedo target in tests of the newly-developed magnetic influence exploder, a highly-secret and potentially revolutionary device that, proved to be an abject failure that greatly harmed the effectiveness of submarine and destroyer forces fighting against the Japanese Navy in World War II."  (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum.) 

Submarine L-8 launched in Kittery, Maine

BONUS CLOSE-UPS

477 L-8 detail01

L-8 submarine detail

 


READER REPLY

Hi Dennis, I enjoy your pics from the Athenaeum, and especially the one about the L-8. As you probably know, although she was the first submarine contracted to the PNSY, the first government-built, she was eighth in class and the 48th sub contracted for the US Navy. The second PNSY sub was the O-1 -- first of the O Class, but last to be commissioned. Keep up the interesting stuff!!.
Nate Hazen