The Wreck of the USS H1 SeawolfLatest update January 10, 2019 Started on November 9, 2018
For about a two years we have been working on the archaeological documentation of the USS H1 submarine wrecked in the waters of Baja California, Mexico, in 1920.
The wreck is under threat from looters. Our project documents changes in the submarine structure to protect elements still present.
You can actually visit the H1 in Sketchfab!
USS H-1 (SS-28), the lead ship of her class of submarine of the United States Navy, was originally named Seawolf, making her the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the seawolf.
Seawolf was laid down by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California. She was renamed on 17 November 1911, launched on 6 May 1913 sponsored by Miss Lesley Jean Makins, and commissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard on 1 December 1913, Lieutenant Henry M. Jensen in command. The new submarine was attached to Torpedo Flotilla 2, Pacific Fleet, and operated along the West Coast out of San Pedro, California. During various exercises and patrols, she traveled the coast from Los Angeles, California to lower British Columbia, often in company with her sister ships H-2 and sometimes H-3. Sailing from San Pedro, California on 17 October 1917, she reached New London, Connecticut on 8 November. For the remainder of World War I, she was based there and patrolled Long Island Sound, frequently with officer students from the submarine school on board. H-1 and H-2 sailed for San Pedro, California on 6 January 1920, transiting the Panama Canal on 20 February. On 12 March, as H-1 made her way up the coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, she ran aground on a shoal off Magdalena Bay. Four men — including the commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander James R. Webb — died trying to reach shore. Vestal pulled H-1 off the rocks in the morning of 24 March, but in only 45 minutes, the submarine sank in some 50 ft (15 m) of water. Further salvage effort was abandoned. Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 April, and she was sold for scrap in June 1920, but never recovered.
Type: H-class submarine
358 long tons (364 t) surfaced 467 long tons (474 t) submerged Length: 150 ft 4 in (45.82 m) Beam: 15 ft 10 in (4.83 m) Draft: 12 ft 5 in (3.78 m) Installed power:
950 hp (710 kW) (diesel engines) 600 hp (450 kW) (electric motors) Propulsion:
Diesel-electric; New London Ship & Engine Co. diesel engines Electro Dynamic Co. electric motors 2 × shafts Speed:
14 kn (16 mph; 26 km/h) surfaced 10.5 kn (12.1 mph; 19.4 km/h) submerged Test depth: 200 ft (61 m) Complement: 25 officers and men Armament: 4 × 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes (8 × torpedoes)
The project is part of the many activities of the Underwater Archaeology Office of the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico. So far we have documented the submarine through a very precise Photogrammetry that gives us a very detail recording of the submarine in 3D. Our challenge now is to monitor the site and work on the recording of small items such as brass plates and instruments of navigation to preserve. Also a history of the vessel is being researched to understand the importance of this submarines active in WW1.
Contribute to this expedition
Thank You for Your Contribution!