Photo of the S-51 submarine in dry dock showing large vertical hole on port side from top to bottom of the sub.

S-51 Submarine in dry dock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1926, with large gash in port side.


Join the Friends of the S-51 Submarine Facebook group to connect with other S-51 relatives and researchers.

Be sure to also visit the Edward Ellsberg website!

On the Bottom is back in print and available to purchase on Amazon.

u.s. Submarine S-51

In memory of my grandfather and the S-51 crew whose lives ended too soon. September 25, 1925

Welcome to the new and expanded S-51 memorial website! The purpose of this website is to provide information on the accident between the S-51 and the City of Rome, as well as some helpful sources for anyone doing research on the tragedy. It also stands as a memorial to those men who lost their lives in the accident. The information provided is the result of genealogical research on my grandfather, Henry Lee Crawford, S-51 radioman. Website photos are taken from:

Other contributions are noted throughout the website. Thank you to all who have contributed to preserve the memory of the S-51 crew.

Photo of my grandfather, Henry Lee Crawford, S-51 radioman, standing beside an old Model-T car in his Navy uniform.

Henry Lee Crawford, S-51 Radioman Photo taken at Cape Lookout, NC, 1925. (My grandfather)


In Memoriam

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

(The Navy Hymn)

View/Download PDF of hymn.


If you have a relative who died in the S-51 accident, or if you are doing research on one of the crew members, please contact me! I would like to add biographies, obituaries, photos, etc. for each of the men who died or survived. (Also, if you find any errors about your relative on this page, please let me know immediately so I can correct it.) If you only have a photo to share, that is OK. You will be given full credit on the page for any information you submit or write. I reserve the right to make grammatical corrections as necessary. I will need to know if you want your write-up copyrighted, so I can display a notice on the page. If possible, please let me know your sources of information so I can include them as well.

Some ideas for what to write or submit include:

  • Birthdate and birthplace

  • Date body was recovered from wreckage

  • Place of burial

  • Date enlisted in Navy

  • Other ships and submarines he served on, including dates

  • Biography

  • Living relatives at time of accident

  • Surviving relatives today

  • Obituary, if available

  • A photograph

  • Your name, web page URL (if you have one), and email address (for links)

  • Anything else you think is interesting about your relative!

If you have your own website and would like to create a page for your relative, let me know, and I will link to it on this website. Please email this information and a photograph to me at

Your help is greatly appreciated in compiling this information. We have the opportunity to create a rich and rare resource of information on the S-51 crew and the accident on the Internet. But I can't do it alone - I need your help! Thanks in advance. Tara Guthrie