Daily Event for March 12, 2010

During the evening hours of March 12, 1920 two U.S. submarines were on the last leg of a voyage from the east coast to San Pedro, California, only one would arrive. USS H-1 SS-28 and USS H-2 SS-29 were making their way up the coast of Baja, California when H-1 grounded 400 yards off Redondo Point, Santa Margarita Island at the entrance to Magdalena Bay. The boat was stuck fast by the stern and there was no possibility of getting a line from H-2 which had been following a short distance behind.

The crew were ordered to abandon the submarine and the commanding officer stayed on the conning tower overseeing the operation, the men had to swim the 400 yards to shore in rough and stormy seas and sadly three never made it. The commanding officer himself was also lost when he was washed overboard, due to the darkness and the condition of the sea he could not be found by the men on the boat.

The survivors were picked up late the next day in a sorry state by SS Mazatlan, they had been without food or water and exposed to the elements in what ever soaked clothing they had been wearing and were suffering all of the pains associated with their condition. The captain of the Mazatlan, a man named Perry, attempted to tow the boat, but the line parted and when U.S. Navy ships arrived on the scene he left the area and took the survivors to Los Angeles where they were landed on Mar. 19.

Several attempts were made to take the boat in tow, but all failed. Finally on Mar. 26 USS Vestal AR-4 got her off the rocks and headed for San Diego. Forty-five minuets later the line parted and H-1 sank never to see the surface again. The wreck was sold for scrap, but never salvaged, it was relocated in 1992.
© 2010 Michael W. Pocock

USS H-1 seen in 1914.

Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in USS H-1 SS-28
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Delarmarine, M. S.
Gillef, Harry M.
Machinist's Mate 1st Class
Kauffman, Joseph
Webb, James R.
Lt. Commander
Commanding Officer

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