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Washington Times
Washington Times
Contributed by barbara-dave

Description: Submarine Disaster Page 1

Date: March 26 1915

Newspaper published in: Washington, D. C.

Washington Times March 26, 1915 Submarine Disaster Page 1

Submerged at Honolulu for Over 24 Hours, Vessel Has Not Been Located by Rescue Fleet - Collapse Feared.

Explosion Within Vessel Possible Since Emergency Buoy Was Not Released - Feverish Efforts to Save Crew Continue.

The American submarine F-4 lies at the bottom of Honolulu harbor in thirty fathoms of water, with its crew of twenty-six men.
While there is still hope that efforts to free the imprisoned men may be successful, every hour makes more certain that the undersea craft is lost with all on board.
Naval officials have practically abandoned any idea that when the sunken craft is located any member of the crew will be found alive.
Although equipped with every known safety device, including an emergency pilot buoy, submarine signaling bells, and exterior hooks to catch the links of grappling chains no trace of the submarine has been found since she sank for a submerged run at 9 oclock yesterday morning.


Although Secretary DANIELS has not given up hope, it is apparent that he fears the worst, and believes the undersea craft lost with all on board.
Practical confirmation of the submarines loss came in the following cable from Commander SMITH, of the first submarine division at Honolulu. It says:
F-4 left tender for submerged run 25th 9 a. m. Failed return. At surface entrance harbor, thirty fathoms, water covered with fuel oil. Diving and dragging. SMITH.
Naval authorities assert that in addition to the oxygen tanks capable of supplying air for twenty-four hours, the F-4 is equipped with emergency tanks that would renew the atmosphere for a longer time.
It is pointed out that the submarines crew, under command of Lieut. Alfred L. EDE and consisting of twenty-five men would be able to repair any break in the machinery or pumps that might have occurred, and that only some collapse of the vessel itself or of its ballast tanks would be fatal.
Rear Admiral TAYLOR, of the Bureau of Construction, said that the presence of fuel oil at the waters surface might be a bad sign, indicating that the submarine had collapsed or that the crew had been forced to discharge the oil to lighten the vessel owing to the water ballast tanks failure to work.

First American Loss.

The Secretary immediately conferred with Rear Admiral TAYLOR of the Bureau of Construction.
Rear Admiral Charles B. MOORE, commandant of the naval station at Hawaii, has ordered every available vessel to take part in the rescue and several American vessels in Pearl harmor [sp.] have been dispatched to aid in the rescue work.
Secretary of the Navy DANIELS said:
If it is true that the F-4 has been lost, it will be the first submarine ever lost by the United States Navy.
Naval officials said the fact the fuel oil is floating on the water at the entrance to the harbor might indicate there has been damage to the oil tanks of the submarine. This in itself would not necessarily be fatal. But what is feared is that there has been an explosion due to leakage of the sulphuric acid of the batteries.
A significant fact is that the marker buoy of the submarine has not come up. This indicates in itself that the crew of the F-4 have been unable to release the marker buoy, which is sent up the first thing in case of accident to indicate the vessels position.
Had there been an explosion the crew were suffocated so quickly the marker buoy could not be sent up.

List of Crew.

News dispatches say there were twenty-five men on board.
The Navy Department today gave out a partial list of nineteen of the crew. An order for the full list of the crew was sent to the commandant at Honolulu. The list given out by the department follows:
George T. ASHCROFT, gunners mate, first class, Los Angeles.
Clark G. BUCK, gunners mate, second class, Tacoma.
Ernest C. CAUVIN, machinists mate, second class, New Orleans.
Harley COLWELL, chief electrician, Seattle.
Walter F. COVINGTON, machinists mate, first class, Fort Worth, Tex.
George L. DEETH, electrician, second class, Portland, Ore.
Aliston H. GRINDLE, chief electrician, San Francisco.
Edwin S. HILL, machinists mate, first class, Etowah, Tenn.
(Continued on Page Sixteen)
(Continued from First Page)
Francis M. HUGHSON, machinists mate, first class, Los Angeles.
James M. HOGGETT, electrician, third class, Macedonia, Mo.
Albert F. JENNIE, electrician, second class, Festus, Mo.
Archie H. LUNGER, gunners mate, second class, Erie, Pa.
Ivan L. MAHAN, machinists mate, first class, Lima, Ohio.
Albert H. MOLLIEN, chief machinists mate, Oregon City, Ore.
Horace L. MOORE, gunners mate, first class, Germantown, Pa.
William S. NELSON, chief machinists mate, New York.
Frank G. PIERARD, chief gunners mate, Laverne, Cal.
Charles H. WELLS, machinists mate, second class, Norfolk, Va.
Henry A. WITHERS, gunners mate, first class, San Diego, Cal.
A. L. EDE, lieutenant (junior grade), in command.

Was Popular Officer.

Lieut. Anfred Louis EDE, in command of the F-4, was a popular young officer, and was recently married. He was born in Reno, Nev., July 4, 1887, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1909, served mainly on the west coast on the West Virginia and Truxton, and July 4 last was given command of the F-4. His wife is in Honolulu.
At the Navy Department it was stated that a junior commissioned officer usually accompanied the crew of a submarine on cruises for purposes of instruction, but it was not certain whether or not such an officer was with the F-4 when it left Honolulu yesterday. Honolulu is being queried concerning this point. It was deemed certain that there were, at most, not more than two noncommissioned officers on board.
The news of the accident to the F-4 cast a gloom over navy officials, and they expressed deep regret, as well as the keenest concern for the latest advies.

Submitted: 02/01/14 (Edited 02/01/14)

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