Ede, Alfred Louis, LTJG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1911-1915, 112X, USS F-4 (SS-23)
Service Years
1909 - 1915
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Ede, Alfred Louis, LTJG.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
US Submarine F-4 (Skate, No.23)

Date of Passing
Mar 25, 1915
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Sec: 2, Site: 3387

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
When the United States submarine F-4 submerged two miles off Honolulu Harbor for a trial cruise on the morning of March 25, 1915 bearing with her a crew of 21 men, another of the tragedies of American history took place. All 21 crew members perished. Alfred Louis Ede, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, was Commanding Officer of the F-4 (SS-23) at the time of her loss. The submarine sank in 300 feet of water and recovery efforts were not successful until mid August. Only four bodies were identified and returned to their families for burial. The remaining 17 were buried here at Arlington National Cemetery on September 28, 1915. The grave was marked only by a small single size headstone inscribed "Seventeen Unknown US Sailors, Victims of USSF-4, March 25, 1915." After 85 years, through efforts of several submariner veterans groups, the small stone was replaced by a larger memorial type stone that lists the names of the 17 sailors buried here.


Other Comments:
On March 25, 1915, an American submarine, the F-4, went doom in 51 fathoms just a 1-1/2 miles off the coast of Honolulu during military operations.

The craft was originally christened the U.S.S. Skate, SS-23, but was renamed in 1911 and launched on Jan. 6, 1912. According to naval records, the F-4 was the first American submarine in active service to sink.

The captain of the F-4 was Lt. Alfred Louis Ede, graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1909, who had been appointed in 1905 by Sen. Francis G. Newlands of Nevada.

The F-4 was located on Much 28, but technical problems prevented any attempt to rescue Ede and his crew of 21 men. Three days later, Adm. C.B.T. Moore announced that the vessel could be raised only by using pontoons. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels took an interest in the effort and a crew of divers from San Francisco left for Hawaii on the cruiser Maryland on April 6.

One of the divers, Frank Crilly, descended 228 feet and discovered that the superstructure was filled with water. Another, William Loughman, went down 200 feet and was seriously injured by the pressure of the water. Other divers were able to attach cables so the submarine could be towed up the shelving bottom.

The stern was cracked and broken in the course of the tow, however, and work was halted until six pontoons, each capable of lifting 60 tons, arrived from Mare Island shipyard in August. On Aug. 30, the F-4 was raised and placed in dry dock.

An investigating team later conjectured that corrosion of lead lining of the battery tank had permitted the seepage of sea water into the battery compartment and caused the helmsman to lose control on a submerged run.

The F-4 was stricken from the Navy Register on Oct. 31, and services were held for the six crewmen, including Lt. Ede, whose bodies had been recovered. On Oct. 23, services for the young commanders were conducted at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. D.C., with his widow and children in attendance.

The son of Walter Ede, a pioneer of Sierra valley in Plumas County, Calif., Alfred Louis Ede was married to Amanda McMillan, the daughter of William McMillan, Nevada state treasurer from 1911 to 1914. They had two children, Margaret and Alfred Jr.

Known by his classmates as "stoneface", Ede was described in his yearbook as a "flaxen-haired, savvy youth who preferred the billowy ocean waves to the alkali plains of his native land." He boxed at the academy, ran the mile on the track team and was a good student.

Following his graduation, Ede served on the West Virginia, a heavy cruiser; on the Truxton, a torpedo boat; and on the Alert, a vessel upon which he took submariner training. On July 11, 1911, he took command of the F-4 and was considered one of the best young officers assigned to that branch of naval service.

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  1911-1915, 112X, USS F-4 (SS-23)

Lieutenant Junior Grade

From Month/Year
- / 1911

To Month/Year
- / 1915

USS F-4 (SS-23) Unit Page

Lieutenant Junior Grade

112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare

Not Specified

 USS F-4 (SS-23) Details

USS F-4 (SS-23)

Sub-Surface Vessels


Parent Unit


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Last Updated: Jun 26, 2013
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6 Members Also There at Same Time
USS F-4 (SS-23)

Parker, Timothy Albert, ENS, (1912-1915) OFF 112X Ensign
Colwell, Harley Lafayette, CPO, (1908-1915) EM EM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Grindle, Aliston Hills, CPO EM EM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Nelson, William Severin, CPO MM MM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Pierard, Frank Charles, CPO GM GM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Ashcroft, George Thomas, PO1, (1908-1915) GM GM-00TM Petty Officer First Class

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