(Submarine No. 85: dp. 569 (surf.), 680 (subm.); l. 186'2"; b. 18'; dr. 14'6"; s. 13.5 k. (surf.), 10.5 k. (subm.); cpl. 34;
a. 1 3", 4 21" tt.; cl. R-l)
R-8 (Submarine No. 85) was laid down 4 March 1918 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 17 April 1919; sponsored by Miss Penelope Potter; and commissioned 21 July 1919, Lt. Comdr. Philip C. Ransom in command.
R-8 fitted out at Boston during the fall of 1919, proceeded to New London 5 December, joined other boats of Submarine Division 9, and continued south for winter exercises in the Gulf of Mexico. She operated out of Pensacola until returning to New England in April. Designated SS-85 in July she departed Newport on 13 September and 2 days later arrived at Norfolk for overhaul prior to transfer to the Pacific Fleet. Sea trials in early April 1921 followed and on the 21st she headed south. Transiting the Panama Canal in May, she arrived at San Pedro, her new homeport, 30 June, and for the next 2 years conducted exercises-individual, divisional and fleet-off the coasts of California and Mexico. On 16 July 1923, she sailed west for Pearl Harbor, her base for almost 8 years, during which she engaged in training and operations with fleet units. In August 1927, she searched for missing Dole Flight Aviators.
Ordered back to the east coast for inactivation in 1930, R-8 departed Pearl Harbor 12 December, transited the Panama Canal in mid-January 1931, and arrived at Philadelphia 9 February. Decommissioned 2 May, she was berthed at Philadelphia as a unit of the Reserve Fleet until 1936. On 26 February of that year, while still in a state of preservation, she sank. Later raised, she was struck from the Navy list 12 May 1936 and on 19 August she was used as a target vessel for an aerial bombing test. Four near misses with 100 lb. bombs sank her 71 miles off Cape Henry, Va.