USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655)

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USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655) underway, 12 July 1984.
USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655) on 12 July 1984.
Career
Name: USS Henry L. Stimson
Namesake: Henry L. Stimson (1867–1950), U.S. Secretary of State (1929-1933) and U.S. Secretary of War (1911-1913, 1940-1945)
Awarded: 29 July 1963
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 4 April 1964
Launched: 13 November 1965
Sponsored by: Grace Murphy Dodd
Commissioned: 20 August 1966
Decommissioned: 5 May 1993
Struck: 5 May 1993
Fate: Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program completed 12 August 1994
General characteristics
Class & type: Benjamin Franklin class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 7,250 tons surfaced
8,250 tons submerged
Length: 425 feet (130 m)
Beam: 33 feet (10 m)
Draft: 31.5 feet (9.6 m)
Installed power: 15,000 shp (11,185 kW)
Propulsion: One S5W pressurized-water nuclear reactor, two geared steam turbines, one shaft
Speed: 16–20 knots surfaced, 22–25 knots submerged
Test depth: 1,300 feet (400 m)
Complement: Two crews (Blue Crew and Gold Crew) of 13 officers and 130 enlisted men each
Armament: • 16 x ballistic missile tubes with one Polaris, later Poseidon, later Trident I ballistic missile each
• 4 x 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655), a Benjamin Franklin class fleet ballistic missile submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Henry L. Stimson (1867–1950), who served as U.S. Secretary of State (1929–1933) and U.S. Secretary of War (1911–1913, 1940–1945).

Construction and commissioning[edit]

The contract for the construction of Henry L. Stimson was awarded on 29 July 1963, and her keel was laid down on 4 April 1964 by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 13 November 1965, sponsored by Grace Murphy Dodd, wife of United States Senator Thomas J. Dodd, and commissioned on 20 August 1966 with Captain Richard E. Jortberg commanding the Blue Crew and Commander Robert H. Weeks commanding the Gold Crew.

Service history[edit]

Following shakedown, Henry L. Stimson was assigned to Submarine Squadron 16 at Charleston, South Carolina. On 23 February 1967 she put to sea from Charleston on her first strategic deterrent patrol, armed with Polaris A3 ballistic missiles. By mid-1967, her Blue and Gold crews had each completed one deterrent patrol

History needed for 1967-1969.

In early 1969 the Gold crew left on the last patrol out of Rota for many years. The patrol ended at Charleston, SC. The Blue crew took her on the next patrol ending in Holy Loch, Scotland. She stayed based there until her first overhaul. During this era based in Holy Loch, the crews lived at the Groton, CT sub base when not on patrol. In 1970, the Blue crew was awarded "The Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation". The Blue crew made the last patrol before the first overhaul, late 1971.

In November 1971, Henry L. Stimson began her first overhaul, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock at Newport News, Virginia, during which her ballistic missile system was converted to support the new Poseidon C3 ballistic missile. Returning to service in 1973, Henry L. Stimson was based at Rota, Spain, while her Blue and Gold crews lived in Charleston when their counterpart crew was manning the submarine.

History needed for 1973-1980.

In 1980, Henry L. Stimson was converted pierside at Port Canaveral, Florida, to support the new Trident-I ballistic missile. Following that conversion, she changed her home port to Naval Station, Charleston, SC, where her Blue and Gold crew trained for her continued mission. However, she was based at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, as part of Submarine Squadron 16, which was embarked on USS Canopus (AS-34) and she continued the rest of her career.

History needed for 1980-1993.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

Henry L. Stimson was both decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 5 May 1993. Her scrapping via the U.S. Navy '​s Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington, was completed on 12 August 1994.

References[edit]