New London, CT (off shore) Submarine S-51 Sunk, Sept 1925

Submarine S-51 on the left..jpg Submarine S-51 after being raised..jpg




New London, Conn., Sept. 26. (UP) -- Trapped in the submarine S-51 thirty-four officers and men of the American naval vessel are imprisoned today, 130 feet below the surface of the sea, following the collision of the submersible with the coastwise steam City of Rome.
Whether the men are alive or dead is now a matter of conjecture. Lieutenant Commander Scanton of the New London submarine base, believes there is a possibility that they are alive and a fighting chance to save them. Others believe they have perished.
The collision occurred at 10:24 last night so that at noon today, the victims of the disaster had been imprisoned in the submarine for more than thirteen hours.
Three members of the crew were rescued and are now en route to Boston on the City of Rome.
Lieutenant R. M. DOBSON, commander of the S-51 went down with his ship.
The U.S.S. Camden, patrol boats from the New London submarine base and six submarines are now on the scene of the disaster.
The Putnam reported finding a buoy made of life preservers and said there were no marked quantities of oil floating on the water where the S-51 went down. Every effort is being made to raise the submarine promptly but opinion is divided as to whether there is any possibility of rescuing the thirty-four men alive.
As the three survivors know nothing of what transpired inside the submarine after the accident, there is none to testify as to whether the watertight compartments made it possible for the men in the submarine to escape immediate suffocation.
The fact that three men escaped however, indicates that hatches were open which would have permitted an inrush of water. Thenavy has engaged Harris, Scott and Company a New Haven firm of divers and salvagers to aid in the rescue of the submarine. In the meantime vessels on the scene are grappling for the sunken vessel in the hope of bringing her to the surface.
The passenger steamer, City of Rome, in command of Captain J. H. DIEHL, is a 3,000 ton vessel, engaged in coastwise and West Indian trade. It was cruising along at normal speed, en route from Savannah, Ga., to Boston, last night, when it crashed into the submarine in the darkness at a point off Block Island, about thirty miles south of Newport.
In the absence of further word from Captain DIEHL, it is assumed that the City of Rome either failed to see the S-51 in the darkness or that the submarine was cruising below surface at the time which officers here regard as unlikely.
Immediately after the crash the City of Rome was put about and searched the waters for survivors, only three men were found.
The S-51, one of four vessels of her type, built by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company, in 1921, left here Sept. 29 for an availability cruise. According to records here she carried thirty-eight officers and men, four being student officers.
While the blanket of oil on the water reported by the City of Rome as marking the last trace of the undersea craft would indicate she may have broken up, officers were held out hope for the men aboard.
"We want it distinctly understood that we still have hopes the men may be alive," Lieutenant Commander Francis W. Scanland, in charge of the submarine base here, said this morning.
"Each compartment in the submarine was airtight and men can live in one of these compartments."
"The craft was equipoped with air recovery devices and supplied with plenty of food and water. Then men, unless too great damage was done by the ramming could hold out for a week."

Washington, Sept. 26. -- The official navy department list of the thirty-four missing aboard the sunken submarine S-51 is as follows:
Lieutenant R. H. DOBSON, commander, Brockport, N.Y.
Lieutenant HARLOW M. PINO, Long Beach, Cal.
Lieutenant J. D. HUSELDEN, Dillon, S. C.
Lieutenant T. A. CLASCOCK, San Antonio, Tex.
Lieutenant F. D. FOSTER, Nutley, N.J.
Ensign E. W. EGBERT, Marine Harbor, N.Y.
FRANK L. MINS, Augusta, Ga.
PAUL B. BERK, Shoemakerville, Pa.
ROBERT H. WILLS, Norfolk, Va.
FRANK C. WISEMAN, South Boston, Mass.
ALLAN C. EARLE, Gloucester, Mass.
OSCAR J. MILOT, Graniteville, Mass.
BRADY D. LINDSAY, Pensacola, Fla.
WALTER E. LAWTON, Weymouth, Mass.
FRANK A. SHEA, Gloucester, Mass.
RUDY FIRM, Klein, Mont.
FRANK P. JAMES, Stratford, Conn.
HERBERT E. SNYDER, Philadelphia, Pa.
CHARLES C. THOMAS, El Paso, Texas.
R. E. CASSIDY, CLaremont, N.H.
H. L. CRAWFORD, Ardmore, Okla.
HARRY E. EELSER, Columbus, Ohio.
JOHN L. GIBSON, Portland, Ore.
G. H. MARTIN, Philadelphia, Pa.
J. J. McCARTHY, New York City.
R. S. NOBLE, Merrimac, Mass.
J. M. SCHOFIELD, Bridgeport, Conn.
J. J. SHEEHAN, Groton, Conn.
W. E. HARMAN, Jamaica, N.Y.

Boston, Sept. 26. -- According to a wireless message picked up by naval communications at the Charlestown navy yard today, the U.S. destroyer Putnam, which left Newport, R.I., at six A.M. has reported at the scene of the collision between the submarine S-51 and the steamship, City of Rome.
In the message received here, the Putnam reported it had discovered composed of f a large number of life some sort of a buoy, apparently preservers. This the message said, was the only indication that a disaster had occurred.

Washington, Sept. 26. -- Acting on the belief that by fast work the hulk of the sunken submarine S-51 may be raised to the surface and the lives of any who escaped death in the first crash may be saved, the navy department granted authority to Rear Admiral De Steieuer, commandant of the Boston naval district, at his urgent request to employ a firm of commercial divers and salvagers to aid in the rescue work.

New York, Sept. 26 -- Captain J. H. Diehl of the City of Rome today sent the following message to the United Press:
"Three men saved from submarine S-51 doing well. Passengers and crew on City of Rome all o.k. Docking Boston about two P.M. will give more detailed information at that time."
(Signed) "Diehl, master."

Oelwein Daily Register Iowa 1925-09-26