USS Darter (SS-576)
|Awarded:||30 June 1954|
|Builder:||General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut|
|Laid down:||10 November 1954|
|Launched:||28 May 1956|
|Commissioned:||20 October 1956|
|Decommissioned:||12 December 1989|
|Struck:||17 January 1990|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target, 7 January 1992|
|Class & type:||Submarine|
|Displacement:||1,620 long tons (1,650 t) surfaced
2,372 long tons (2,410 t) submerged
|Length:||283 ft 3 in (86.33 m) o/a|
|Beam:||27 ft (8.2 m) overall
25 ft (7.6 m) waterline
|Draft:||19 ft (5.8 m)|
|Speed:||15.5 kn (17.8 mph; 28.7 km/h) surfaced
16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h) submerged
|Test depth:||700 ft (210 m)|
|Complement:||10 officers, 75 men|
|Armament:||8 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes, (six forward, two aft)|
USS Darter (SS-576), a unique submarine based on the Tang-class, but incorporating many improvements, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the darter (fish), a type of small American fresh-water fish closely related to the perch.
The contract to build Darter was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 30 June 1954 and her keel was laid down on 10 November 1954. She was launched on 28 May 1956 sponsored by Mrs. G.L. Russell, and commissioned on 20 October 1956, with Lieutenant Commander Ralph R. Blaine in command.
Darter was used to experiment with numerous innovations including a three-man helmsman-planesman station using aircraft-style stick controls.
Darter operated on various training exercises in the Atlantic, both locally from her home ports of Newport, Rhode Island, and Charleston, South Carolina, and to Canada and Northern Europe on NATO maneuvers. In the 1970s she moved to San Diego and made several WestPac cruises. While on one of these in 1978, the head valve failed to close while snorkeling, and the ship had to emergency surface among U.S. surface units participating in an antisubmarine warfare exercise. In 1979, Darter changed homeport again to Sasebo, Japan, where she operated as a forward-deployed submarine.
In September 1985, Darter was involved in a collision with the merchant ship Kansas Getty which disabled her.
Darter was decommissioned on 1 December 1989 after serving over 30 years in the US Navy. Her career was one of the longest for a US Navy submarine.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Darter (SS-576).|
- Photo gallery of USS Darter at NavSource Naval History