Grayling, probably during builder's trials, circa 1909
|Laid down||16 April 1908|
|Launched||16 June 1909|
|Sponsored by||Miss C. H. Bowles|
|Commissioned||23 November 1909|
|Decommissioned||18 January 1922|
|Renamed||USS D-2, 17 November 1911|
|Fate||Sold for scrap, 25 September 1922|
|Class and type||D-class submarine|
|Displacement||288 long tons (293 t)|
|Length||134 ft 10 in (41.10 m)|
|Beam||13 ft 11 in (4.24 m)|
|Draft||11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)|
|Speed||13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)|
|Complement||15 officers and men|
|Armament||4 × 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes|
Construction and commissioning
D-2′s keel was laid down by Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts, under a subcontract from Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, as Grayling, making her the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the Arctic grayling, a fresh-water game fish closely related to the trout. Grayling was launched on 16 June 1909, sponsored by Miss C. H. Bowles, and commissioned on 23 November 1909. She was renamed D-2 on 17 November 1911.
D-2 joined the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet as Flagboat for Submarine Division 3 (SubDiv 3). Along the United States East Coast, D-2 joined in diving, torpedo, and experimental exercises. She participated in the Presidential Review of the Fleet in the North River at New York City from 5 to 18 May 1915.
While patrolling outside Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, just 3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) east of Point Judith shortly before 14:00 on 7 October 1916, D-2 discovered the Imperial German Navy submarine SM U-53 under the command of Hans Rose heading towards Newport, Rhode Island, as part of her hitherto unprecedented two-way traversal of the Atlantic Ocean without refueling or resupply. The United States was still neutral in World War I, but there was an initial flurry of activity when U-53 suddenly steamed away to port believing the submerged D-2 to be a British submarine, but when D-2 surfaced so that a crewman could run aft to raise the United States flag, U-53 slowed. Lieutenant G. C. Fulker, USN, commanding officer of D-2, brought his submarine up close to U-53 on a parallel course to escort U-53 while in sight of land. As the submarines reached the Brenton Reef Lightship, Rose requested permission from D-2 to enter port at Newport. Fulker granted it, and Rose called back by megaphone, "I salute our American comrades and follow in your wake."
After the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies on 6 April 1917, D-2 served in training and experimental work at New London, Connecticut. On 31 July 1917 or 1 August 1917 she sank the schooner Charlotte W. Miller in a collision near Bartletts Reef near New London; Charlotte W. Miller later was raised but declared a total loss. On 14 September 1917 D-2 sank at pierside with all hands aboard, although her entire crew was rescued. She was refloated, repaired, and returned to service.
D-2 was placed in commission, in reserve, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 9 September 1919 and placed in ordinary on 15 July 1921. She was decommissioned on 18 January 1922 and sold as a hulk on 25 September 1922.
- Herzog, Bodo & Schomaekers, Günter, Ritter der Tiefe Graue Wölfe, Die erfolgreichsten U-Boot-Kommandanten der Welt des Ersten un Zweiten Weltkrieges, Verlag Welsermühl München-Wels, 1965, pp. 178–9.
- "Schooner Charlotte W. Miller sinking in Long Island Sound off New London". connecticuthistoryillustrated.org. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
- "Records of the T. A. Scott co". mysticseaport.org. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.
- Photo gallery of USS Grayling/D-2 at NavSource Naval History