USS Plunger, SS-2, a lead boat of her class

The first A-1, lead boat of the Plunger class,was the submarine torpedo boat originally laid down as Plunger(Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 2) on 21 May 1901 at Elizabethport, N.J., by the Crescent Shipyard of Lewis Nixon, a subcontractor for the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Co. of New York; launched on 1 February 1902; and commissioned at the Holland Company yard at New Suffolk, Long Island, N.Y., on 19 September 1903, Lt. Charles P. Nelson in command.

Assigned to the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I., for experimental torpedo work, Plunger operated locally from that facility for the next two years. Besides testing machinery, armament, and tactics, the submarine torpedo boat also served as a training ship for the crews of new submersibles emerging from the builder`s yards.

In August 1905, Plunger underwent two weeks of upkeep before clearing the yard on 22 August, towed by the tug Apachebound for Oyster Bay, where she would conduct trials near the home of President Theodore Roosevelt.
The following afternoon 3:30 p.m. the President came on board Plunger, which stood down the bay and made a series of dives before returning to moor alongside the tug almost two hours later. Roosevelt spent almost another hour on board the submarine before he disembarked. Later on he declared that never in his life had he experienced "such a diverting day ... nor so much enjoyment in so few hours ...."

On 7 March 1907, she was assigned to the First Submarine Flotilla, based at the New York Navy Yard joining sisterships Porpoise (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 7) and Shark (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 8).
On 3 May 1909, Ens. Chester W. Nimitz, the future fleet admiral-who would later say that he considered the submarines of the time "a cross between a Jules Verne fantasy and a humpbacked whale"-assumed command of Plunger.That September, the submarine torpedo boat visited New York City to take part in the Hudson-Fulton celebrations.

Assigned to the Reserve Torpedo Division on 12 April 1910, Plungerwas renamed A-1(Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 2) on 17 November 1911. Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 24 February 1913 and having been authorized for use as an "experimental target" the submersible was designated as "Target E" on 29 August 1916. Ultimately hoisted on board the hulk of the former monitor Puritan,the partially dismantled torpedo boat was authorized for sale on 25 August 1921. She was sold for scrap on 26 January 1922.

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Image Country Year Description
Malawi 2010 US submarine boat Plunger (Plunger class, Plunger SS-2, 1903)
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