The keel of USS S-22 (SS-127) was laid down on 6 January 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation…a subcontractor of the Electric Boat Company…at Quincy, Massachusetts. The submarine was christened by Mrs. Mark C. Bowman and launched on 15 July 1920. The S-boat was commissioned on 23 June 1924 with Lieutenant John H.Forshew, Junior, in command.
When commissioned, the S-1 Class coastal and harbor defense submarine was 219’3″ in length overall; had an extreme beam of 20’8″; had a normal surface displacement of 854 tons, and, when in that condition, had a mean draft of 15’11”. Submerged displacement was 1,062 tons. The submarine was of riveted construction. The designed compliment was four officers and thirty-four enlisted men. The boat could operate safely to depths of 200 feet. The submarine was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes…installed in the bow. Twelve torpedoes were carried. One 4-inch/50 caliber deck gun was installed. The full load of diesel oil carried was 41,921 gallons, which fueled two 600 designed brake horsepower Model 8-EB-15NR diesel engines manufactured by the New London Ship and Engine Company at Groton, Connecticut…which could drive the boat…via a diesel direct drive propulsion system…at 14.5 knots on the surface. Power for submerged propulsion was provided by a main storage battery, divided into two sixty-cell batteries, manufactured by the Electric Storage Battery Company (EXIDE) at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…which powered two 750 designed brake horsepower main propulsion motors manufactured by the by the Ridgway Dynamo and Electric Company at Ridgway, Pennsylvania…which turned propeller shafts…which turned propellers…which could drive the submarine at 11 knots for a short period of time when operating beneath the surface of the sea. Slower submerged speeds resulted in greater endurances before the batteries needed to be recharged by the engines and generators.
In addition to duty off the northeastern coast of the United States, out of the United States Naval Submarine Base at New London/Groton, Connecticut, from 1924 through 1930, USS S-22 (SS-127) visited the Territory of Hawaii from 27 April to 25 May in 1925. The S-boat operated in the coastal areas of the Panama Canal Zone from February through April of 1926; and visited Kingston, Jamaica, from 20 to 28 March of 1927. The submarine served again in the waters adjacent to the Panama Canal Zone in the late winter and early spring of 1928, 1929, and 1930.
Departing her Connecticut submarine base on 5 January 1931, the S-boat transited…via the Panama Canal and California…to the Territory of Hawaii. The submarine arrived at Pearl Harbor on 25 April 1931. From then into 1938, USS S-22 conducted operations in waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands.
On 15 October 1938, USS S-22 departed Pearl Harbor and transited to the east coast of the United States. The submarine arrived at the United States Naval Submarine Base at New London/Groton, Connecticut, on 11 December 1938, where she joined a test and evaluation division.
Occasionally, the S-boat was employed in training United States Naval Academy Midshipmen at Annapolis, Maryland, and assisted in the training of men at the diving school at Piney Point, Maryland.
USS S-22 served at the United States Naval Station at Key West, Florida…from December of 1940 into May of 1941…and then overhauled during the latter half of 1941.
On 7 December 1941, the Japanese attacked targets in the Territory of Hawaii, thereby causing the United States to become an active participant in the Second World War.
USS S-22 protected the Panama Canal by patrolling in adjacent waters during January, February, and March of 1942.
USS S-22 (SS-127) returned to the submarine base at New London/Groton on 17 April 1942. The S-boat was decommissioned, there, on 19 June 1942, and transferred to the United Kingdom for service in the Royal Navy as His Majesty’s Submarine (HMS) P. 554.
Returned to the United States Navy at the Philadelphia Navy Yard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 11 July 1944, USS S-22 was subsequently used as a sonar target at New London, Connecticut, and in tests at the United States Naval Experimental Facility at Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, Canada.
During August of 1945, USS S-22 (SS-127) was struck from the Navy List.
On 2 September 1945, the Japanese signed the instruments of surrender on board battleship USS Missouri…which was anchored in Tokyo Bay, Japan, for that occasion. That action officially ended the
Second World War.
The hulk of submarine S-22 was sold for scrapping on 16 November 1945 to the North American Smelting Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.