USS Daniel Boone

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USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629)
USS Daniel Boone SSBN-629
USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629) off Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 1 February 1991
United States
NamesakeDaniel Boone (1734–1820), the American explorer and frontiersman.
Ordered21 July 1961
BuilderMare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California
Laid down6 February 1962
Launched22 June 1963
Sponsored byMrs. James H. Wakelin, Jr.
Commissioned23 April 1964
Decommissioned18 February 1994
Stricken18 February 1994
MottoNew Trails to Blaze
FateScrapping via Ship-Submarine Recycling Program completed 4 November 1994
General characteristics
Class and typeLafayette-class submarine (hull design SCB-216 Mod 3)[2][clarification needed]
  • 7,320 long tons (7,440 t) (submerged)[1]
  • 8,240 long tons (8,370 t) (submerged)[1]
Length425 feet (130 m)
Beam33 feet (10 m)
Draught32 ft (9.8 m)[1]
Installed powerS5W reactor
  • 2 × geared steam turbines 15,000 shp (11,000 kW)
  • 1 × shaft driving one 7-bladed screw
SpeedOver 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Test depthOver 400 ft (120 m)
ComplementTwo crews (Blue and Gold), 13 officers and 130 enlisted each[1]

USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629), a James Madison-class ballistic missile submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Daniel Boone (1734–1820), the pioneer and frontiersman.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

The contract to build Daniel Boone was awarded to Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, on 21 July 1961 and her keel was laid down there on 6 February 1962. She was launched on 22 June 1963 sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Smith Wakelin,[3] wife of Dr. James H. Wakelin, Jr., a physicist who was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research and Development) from 1959 until 1964. Daniel Boone was commissioned on 23 April 1964, with Commander George P. Steele, III, in command of the Blue Crew and Lieutenant Commander Alan B. Crabtree in command of the Gold Crew. Following her commissioning, Daniel Boone was assigned to Submarine Squadron 15, becoming the first ballistic missile submarine assigned to the Pacific Fleet.[4]

Operational history[edit]

During her first major overhaul , like the rest of her class[clarification needed], Daniel Boone was retrofitted with Poseidon C-3 missiles and the associated Mark 88 firecontrol system.[1] Poseidon was replaced by Trident C-4 missiles and on 6 September 1980, Boone became the first James Madison operational with the new missile.[1]

Daniel Boone entered the Tenneco Shipyard at Newport News, Virginia sometime in late 1985 or early 1986 for refit. During post-refit sea trials on 7 April 1987 she ran aground in the James River at Newport News. This grounding occurred primarily because the OOD (Officer of the Deck), in an attempt to counter act tidal currents, lowered the SPM (Secondary Propulsion Motor) which was quickly and violently snapped off on a sandbar. The OOD then ordered the SPM retracted which, when retracted would have opened up an unpluggable 6" diameter hole in the hull. This potentially catastrophic mistake was countermanded by watchstanders on the scene in the Machinery space. In spite direct orders from the CONN and Maneuvering, the senior watchstander on the scene prevented the SPM from being retracted, preventing the submarine from sinking in the James River. This accident, however, significantly delayed her departure from the refit yards because they had to obtain another SPM and repair the hull penetration in Tenneco Shipyard's dry dock. No ballistic missiles were on board.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

Daniel Boone was decommissioned on 18 February 1994 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington, was completed on 4 November 1994.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Adcock, Al (1993). U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines. Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal. p. 30.
  2. ^ Adcock, Al (1993). U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines. Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal. pp. 30, (4 also credits mythical interwar Albacore and Trout classes, however).
  3. ^ "Mrs. James H. Wakelin, Jr". New York Times archive. 11 April 1973. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  4. ^ USS Daniel Boone Decommissioning Ceremony (PDF). Puget Sound. 1994. p. 5.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
  • Photo gallery of USS Daniel Boone at NavSource Naval History – Keel Laying - Launching
  • Photo gallery of USS Daniel Boone at NavSource Naval History – Sea Trials - Pre Commissioning
  • Photo gallery of USS Daniel Boone at NavSource Naval History – Pre Commissioning
  • Photo gallery of USS Daniel Boone at NavSource Naval History – Active Service - Decommissioning