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USS Alligator
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In Her Wake...

A Series of Firsts

The Alligator was the first submarine to:

Be ordered and built for the U.S.Navy.
Have a diver’s lockout chamber
Be deployed to a combat zone.
Have onboard air compressors for air renewal/diver support.
Be commanded by a U.S. Naval officer (who would later achieve Flag rank).
Be designed with an air purifying system.
Have an underway test witnessed by a U.S. president.
Have electrically-detonated limpet mines.
Undergo an overhaul in a U.S. naval shipyard.



… And Lingering Questions

How might the course of the Civil War been changed if the Alligator had not been lost and was deployed as planned?
What secret was in the sealed package held by DeVilleroi’s lawyer?
What was the Alligator’s secret weapon?
What was the intended purpose of her batteries?
Exactly how did Admiral DuPont mean to utilize the Alligator at Charleston?
Was the Alligator the model for the CSS Hunley?
What finally happened to the Alligator—did she stay afloat or sink immediately?
Where is the Alligator now?
Can she be raised?


National Marine Sanctuaries - Exploration

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The United States Navy's Office of Naval Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have initiated a cooperative project to unlock the secrets of the U.S.S. Alligator.

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