So I’ve been spending a lot of time browsing the USPTO files on early (pre-WWI) submarines from the 1900s and came across some really groovy maritime art, all worthy of gracing a pulp fiction novel of the age.
Check some of these out:
John Hays Hammond 1913 “long-range remote control torpedo” US1641165
Edward Lasius Peacock, Lake Submarine co, patent US1067371
Check out the torpedo tube arrangement on the Peacock design
Now that is a lot of torpedos
You have to admit that the Peacock design looks like a forerunner of Gene Rodenberry’s Enterprise.
Could you imagine the Peacock boat in service?
Sloan Danenhower, torpedo pilot boat, patent, 1912 US1111139 b
The Danenhower patent in turn looks very similar to the German Molch type midget sub of WWII.
Of course, none of them ever took to the water that I know of, but that doesn’t make them any less fantastic.
On 7 December 1941, the Mahan-class destroyer USS Shaw (DD-373) was in the old New Orleans YFD2 drydock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Yard. Soon after the Japanese attack began, she suffered three direct hits by 500-pound bombs and two more that landed inside the dock itself. Within 20 minutes, the resulting inferno, fueled by wooden shoring and blocks under her hull, reached her forward magazine.
The resulting spectacular explosion, caught on cameras across at Ford Island, blew Shaw’s bow off and filled the holed dock with water and blazing fuel oil.
USS SHAW exploding Pearl Harbor. NARA 80-G-16871
In the days after the attack, a civilian employee at PHNY found a battered and burned Colt M1911 transitional model on the deck of YFD2 that remained above water. Besides Shaw’s 1936-dated bell which is at the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, the pistol is part of the destroyer’s legacy and remains at Pearl today.
More in my column at Guns.com.