USS Jack (SSN-605)
USS Jack (SSN-605), probably during sea trials off New England in 1967.
|Career (United States of America)|
|Namesake:||The jack, a name of various types of fish|
|Ordered:||13 March 1959|
|Builder:||Portsmouth Naval Shipyard|
|Laid down:||16 September 1960|
|Launched:||24 April 1963|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Grace Groves|
|Commissioned:||31 March 1967|
|Decommissioned:||11 July 1990|
|Struck:||11 July 1990|
|Motto:||We try harder!|
|Fate:||Recycling via Ship-Submarine Recycling Program completed 30 June 1992|
|Class & type:||Permit-class submarine|
|Displacement:||3,968 tons surfaced|
|Length:||297 ft 4 in (90.63 m)|
|Beam:||31 ft 7 in (9.63 m)|
|Draft:||25 ft 4 in (7.72 m)|
|Speed:||More than 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Complement:||95 officers and men|
|Armament:||4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes|
USS Jack (SSN-605), a Permit-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Jack, a name of fish applied to any young pike, large California rockfish, or green pike or pickerel.
The contract to build her was awarded to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine on 13 March 1959 and her keel was laid down on 16 September 1960. She was launched on 24 April 1963 and was sponsored by Mrs. Grace Groves, the wife of Lieutenant General Leslie R. Groves, (head of the Manhattan Project) and commissioned on 31 March 1967, with Commander Louis T. Urbanczyk, Jr., in command.
Jack was a variation on the standard Permit class design. She was 20 feet (6.1 m) longer than her sisters and used an experimental direct-drive plant with two contra-rotating propellers on concentric shafts.
The following from a newspaper article in early 1966: "Jack Wins Top Award The nuclear powered submarine USS Jack (SSN605), under construction at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, N.H., has walked off with the coveted annual Portsmouth Naval Shipyard "Admiral's Trophy for overall excellence in athletic competition during 1965. "The Jack, a fast-attack, deep-diving, antisubmarine warfare submarine with a crew of 100 officers and men, is the first submarine to win the trophy in the history of the Shipyard. ... "...USS Jack ... is scheduled for commissioning in Spring of this year ..."
The ship was commissioned on 31 March 1971. The principal speaker at the ceremony was Rear Admiral James Calvert, USN, who served with distinction in the Pacific during WWII on the USS JACK (SS259). He participated in nine submarine war patrols and during his three years aboard served in every capacity except that of Commanding Officer. JACK (SS259) under the command of Commander Thomas M. Dykers won the name of “Tanker Killer during her third war patrol, when she encountered a convoy of five large tankers and succeeded in sinking four of them (both the Japanese and Captain Dykers claim five), all on 19 February 1944. This feat was unequalled by any other U.S. submarine during the war. At the end of the war JACK stood in the top ten of the list of tonnages sunk by individual submarines with 76,887 tons to her credit.
Upon commissioning, JACK was assigned to Commander Submarine Squadron Ten in New London, CT. After a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean, JACK took her place in the operating fleet.
On Saturday, 22 June 1968, Commander David G. Smith relieved Commander Louis J. Urbanczyk Jr. of command of USS JACK (SSN 605) at State Pier in New London, CT.
The crew of USS JACK very successfully demonstrated the versatility of a modern nuclear submarine during an important NATO exercise, SILVER TOWER, in October 1968. At the conclusion of SILVER TOWER, having opposed both replenishment groups and a large, fast carrier task force, JACK claimed a simulated sinking tonnage of 319,000 tons. To put that in perspective, during all of WWII, the top three submarines sunk a total of just over 293 thousand tons of shipping (FLASHER - 100,231; RASHER - 99,901; and TANG - 93,824). After the exercise, key representatives of each participating ship assembled at the British naval base at Rosyth for a “washup” presentation of the results of the exercise. USS JACK received special mention as a result of the ship’s outstanding performance during the exercise. The below picture was taken from the periscope of JACK just as a simulated “Down the Throat” torpedo shot was made, simulating sinking the destroyer from the Orange Forces.
The NATO Exercise "Silver-tower," was the largest combined naval exercise in four years. "Silvertower" brought together ships and aircraft from nine countries. Two hundreds ships from the navies of west Germany, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States participated.
Aircraft for patrol, attack and reconnaissance purposes were provided. In addition, nato's standing naval force Atlantic, a new permanent multi-national squadron of destroyers and frigates took part.
'Silver tower' was one of a series of major maritime exercises designed to test treaty plans and defenses under simulated battle conditions. The exercise was based on an imaginary threat to Norway through political and military pressure from a nation called "Orange".
On Saturday (September 21) soviet ships shadowed the NATO fleet, but according to a NATO statement, the Soviet moves pleased the allies as it added a touch of realism to the exercise.
The 1 November 1968 issue of the submarine newsletter Dolphin contained an article on page 3 noting that while JACK was submerged in the Atlantic EMCM (SS) Edward J. Lyons celebrated his fifth year aboard the ship by receiving his promotion to Master Chief (E-9). Lyons was one of the three remaining plank-owners of the launching in 1964.
JACK then returned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for a four month post-shakedown availability. Completing the availability in March 1969, JACK participated in the Caribbean training exercise SPRINGBOARD. As a result of the performance of the ship during that period the Weapons Department of JACK was awarded the Fire Control “E” for excellence.
During 1969 the JACK was assigned a Top Secret SpecOp mission. The performance of the crew during that operation resulted in the following letter from the Chief of Naval Operations: “The Secretar of the Navy takes pleasure in presenting the MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION to USS JACK (SSN-605) for service as set forth in the following CITATION: For meritorious service during a period in 1969 in conducting an important and arduous independent submarine operation. In successfully completing the operation, USS JACK achieved significant results of great importance to the national defense of the United States. These results were attained primarily through the professional skills, resoursefulness, and teamwork of USS JACK’s officers and men. Their dedication to the fulfillment of a vital and difficult assignment reflects credit upon themselves and the United States Naval Service. All personnel attached to and servind on board USS JACK (SSN-605) during the period of this citation are hereby authorized to wear the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon. For the Secretary, /s/ T.H. Moorer, Admiral, United States Navy, Chief of Naval Operations.”
(THEN A SECOND AWARD OF THE MUC)
On 26 June 1969 USS JACK was assigned to test the performance of a “war shot” Mk 16 torpedo by sinking a destroyer that had been stricken from the list of commissioned ships. The WWII Destroyer Escort ex-USS SNOWDEN (DE246) served as the target.
1970 During the summer of 1970, JACK was awarded the Battle Efficiency “E” by Commander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet. This award for battle readiness was received while JACK was engaged in Midshipmen training at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
On 11 February 1971 JACK returned to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to begin an extensive, 12-month overhaul.
Toward the end of the successful overhaul, JACK received an inspection by the Atlantic Fleet’s Operational Reactor Safeguards Examining Board. The board conducted interviews of crew members, observed operational drills, examined records and tested the knowledge of crew members. Upon completion of the inspection the JACK received the highest grade awarded by the Fleet Commander’s examining board.
On 22 July 1972 Commander Thomas F. Wiener relieved Commander David G. Smith as commanding officer of the USS JACK (SSN-605).
Shortly thereafter the ship deployed to the Mediterranean.
- More History from 1967 to 1990 needed.
On 27 April 1981 the Jack was involved in an incident in Alexandria, Egypt. She was moored alongside the USS Trenton (LPD 14) during heavy swells when the Jack collided with the Trenton, doing slight damage to both ships.
Jack was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 July 1990. Ex-Jack entered the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington. Recycling was completed on 30 June 1992.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
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