USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686)

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USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686)
USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686)
Career
Name: USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686)
Namesake: L. Mendel Rivers (1905-1970), U.S. Representative from South Carolina '​s 1st Congressional District (1941-1970)
Ordered: 1 July 1969
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
Laid down: 26 June 1971
Launched: 2 June 1973
Sponsored by: Margaret Rivers Eastman and Marion Rivers
Commissioned: 1 February 1975
Decommissioned: 10 May 2001
Struck: 10 May 2001
Motto: Rivers Delivers
Fate: Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program completed 19 July 2002
General characteristics
Class & type: Sturgeon-class attack submarine
Displacement: 3,978 long tons (4,042 t) light
4,270 long tons (4,339 t) full
292 long tons (297 t) dead
Length: 302 ft 3 in (92.13 m)
Beam: 31 ft 8 in (9.65 m)
Draft: 28 ft 8 in (8.74 m)
Installed power: 15,000 shaft horsepower (11.2 megawatts)
Propulsion: One S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one screw
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) surfaced
25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) submerged
Test depth: 1,300 feet (396 meters)
Complement: 126 (14 officers, 112 enlisted men)
Armament: 4 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes

USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine in commission from 1975 to 2001, is the only ship of the United States Navy thus far to have been named for L. Mendel Rivers (1905–1970), U.S. Representative from South Carolina '​s 1st Congressional District (1941–1970).

Construction and commissioning[edit]

L. Mendel Rivers moored at a pier at Port Canaveral, Florida, on 1 August 1993.

The contract to build L. Mendel Rivers was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, on 1 July 1969 and her keel was laid down there on 26 June 1971. She was launched on 2 June 1973, sponsored by L. Mendel Rivers '​ two daughters, Margaret Rivers Eastman and Marion Rivers, and commissioned on 1 February 1975 with Commander Roderic L. Wolfe in command.

Service history[edit]

During the 1990s, L. Mendel Rivers was fitted with a dry-deck shelter which contained a hyperbaric chamber, airlock, and vehicle hangar that allowed her to deploy of SEAL Delivery Vehicles.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

L. Mendel Rivers was decommissioned on 10 May 2001 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, was completed on 19 July 2002.

Commemoration[edit]

L. Mendel Rivers '​ ship '​s plaque is on display at the Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. the L. Mendel Rivers '​ ship '​s patch is on display at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut, with the patches of all Sturgeon-class attack submarine.

References[edit]