Turtle (DSV-3) was designed and built by the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics Corporation at Groton, Connecticut. Turtle and her sister Sea Cliff (DSV-4) were launched on December 11, 1968. Turtle was named after Turtle Town, a small community in Polk County, Tennessee. Her name also pays tribute to the American submarine Turtle which served in the American Revolution. Turtle was accepted by the US Navy on September 25, 1970 at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Turtle was designed to dive to 6500 feet. When DSV-2 Alvin installed a new titanium hull, the Alvin steel hull was installed in the Turtle. The original steel hull was acquired by the Mariners' Museum and Park in 2000 and became a part of the exhibition. The Turtle depth rating was then increased to 10,000 feet. The Alvin-class DSV's were designed to replace older DSV, such as the less maneuverable Trieste-class bathyscaphes.
Turtle spent her career as a unit of the U.S. Navy's Submarine Development Group 1 in San Diego, California.
The Turtle was retired from active service on October 1, 1997. It was stricken from the US Navy Register on April 15, 1998.
In fiction, she was featured in the 1980 film Raise the Titanic; she was one of several submersibles in the salvage fleet, and one of two (along with the fictional NUMA submersible Deep Quest) that actually discovered the wreck.
Alvin class DSV
- Deep-submergence vehicle – Deep-diving crewed submarine that is self-propelled
- Deep-submergence rescue vehicle – Submersible used for rescue of downed submarines and clandestine missions
- Bathyscaphe Trieste – Deep sea scientific submersible
- Bathyscaphe Trieste II – US Navy's second bathyscaphe
- Forman 1999, p. 191.
- "Turtle, Bathysphere (DSV-3), 1968, Hahn and Clay Co., Houston, Texas". Mariners' Museum and Park. 2022. Archived from the original on 18 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
- Forman 1999, pp. 191–194.
- "NO NAME (DSV 3) (ex - TURTLE)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
- "Turtle Travels to New Aquarium Home" (PDF). Electric Boat News. 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
- "DSV-3 TURTLE National Defense Service Medal - 1970". navy.togetherweserved.com. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
- "DSV-3 TURTLE Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) - 1982". navy.togetherweserved.com. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
- "Deep Submergence Vehicles" (PDF). Naval History Photographic History of the U.S. Navy. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
- "DSV-3 TURTLE Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) - 1990". navy.togetherweserved.com. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
- Forman, Will. The History of American Deep Submersible Operations. Flagstaff: Best Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
|"Diving into the Future DSV TURTLE part 1", Naval Sea Systems Command; twelve-minute YouTube video clip|
|"Diving into the Future DSV TURTLE part 2", Naval Sea Systems Command; twelve-minute YouTube video clip|