Warship Wednesday, August 11, 2021: The Guacolda-class submarines, via Quincy, Mass
Original caption: July 4, 1917, Boston (Charlestown) Navy Yard, “Six British subs bottled up in Navy Yard because of U.S. Neutrality are given to the Chilean government in exchange for a Man of War which could not be built by England.”
Ordered in 1914 from the Fore River Yard at Quincy, Massachusetts, once the Great War kicked off, then-neutral Uncle Sam interned HMS H11 through HMS H20 for the duration of hostilities (or at least, it turned out, American neutrality), despite the fact they did not have their torpedo tubes installed.
Holland 602 type submarines designed to meet Royal Navy specifications, nine other 150-foot/360-ton H-class boats were built by Vickers Canada in Monreal for the Admiralty while another 23 were ordered from Vickers, Cammell Laird, Armstrong Whitworth, and William Beardmore in Britain.
Of the 10 Yankee “H” boats, the British eventually transferred two, later christened HMCS CH-14 and CH-15, to Canadian service, while HMS H11 and H12 were cleared to sail after the U.S. entered the war in April 1917 only to be scrapped shortly after the conflict.
Likewise, the Canucks laid up their H-boats by 1922 and disposed of them soon after.
The remainder, H13 along with H16 through H20, were transferred to the Chilean government to partially compensate for Chilean vessels under construction in Britain that were seized in 1914 (such as the dreadnoughts Almirante Latorre/HMS Canada and Almirante Cochrane/HMS Eagle) for the fight against the Kaiser.
Commissioned into the Chilean Navy as Guacolda (H1), Tegualda (H2), Rucumilla (H3), Guale (H4), Quidora (H5), and Fresia (H6), on 28 March 1918, the flotilla set sail for Valparaíso on its maiden voyage under the command of RADM Luis Gomez Carreño.
These obsolete craft remained in service in Latin American waters through WWII, with the last only scrapping in 1949. Rucumilla had a particularly interesting rescue/salvage after she was lost at sea.
As far as I can tell, they were the last pre-WWI Holland design sent to the breakers, and probably the last to submarines to carry 18-inch tubes on active duty. Of note, the Brits completed H21 and above with 21-inch tubes, some of whom continued to serve in WWII.