USS George Bancroft

Coordinates: 30°46′55″N 81°34′33″W / 30.78194°N 81.57583°W / 30.78194; -81.57583
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USS George Bancroft (SSBN-643), probably during her sea trials off the coast of New England in late 1965.
United States
NameUSS George Bancroft
NamesakeGeorge Bancroft (1800–1891), U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1845-1846)
Ordered1 November 1962
BuilderGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down24 August 1963
Launched20 March 1965
Sponsored byMrs. Anita Irvine
Commissioned22 January 1966
Decommissioned21 September 1993
Stricken21 September 1993
FateScrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program completed 30 March 1998
General characteristics
Class and typeBenjamin Franklin-class submarine
  • 7,300 long tons (7,417 t) surfaced
  • 8,250 long tons (8,382 t) submerged
Length425 ft (130 m)
Beam33 ft (10 m)
Draft31 ft (9.4 m)
Installed power15,000 shp (11,185 kW)
PropulsionOne S5W pressurized-water nuclear reactor, two geared steam turbines, one shaft
SpeedOver 20 knots
Test depth1,300 feet (400 m)
ComplementTwo crews (Blue Crew and Gold Crew) of 120 men each

USS George Bancroft (SSBN-643), a Benjamin Franklin class (or "640-class") fleet ballistic missile submarine, was the fourth shipa of the United States Navy to be named in honor of George Bancroft (1800-1891), United States Secretary of the Navy (1845–1846) and the founder of the United States Naval Academy.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

George Bancroft is launched at Groton, Connecticut, on 20 March 1965.

The contract to build George Bancroft was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 1 November 1962 and her keel was laid down there on 24 August 1963. She was launched on 20 March 1965, sponsored by Mrs. Jean B. Langdon, great, great-granddaughter of Secretary Bancroft, and Mrs. Anita C. Irvine, his great, great, great-granddaughter,[1] and commissioned on 22 January 1966, with Captain Joseph Williams in command of the Blue Crew and Commander Walter M. Douglass in command of the Gold Crew.

Service history[edit]

George Bancroft was assigned to Submarine Squadron 14 of Submarine Flotilla 6 with New London, Connecticut, as her home port. Her first deployment began with her departure from New London on her first deterrent patrol on 26 July 1966, manned by the Blue Crew. Soon after she successfully completed the patrol with her arrival at Holy Loch, Scotland, the Gold Crew relieved the Blue Crew. A few weeks later, George Bancroft got underway for her second deterrent patrol, manned by the Gold Crew, which ended toward the close of the year. Early in 1967, George Bancroft began her third deterrent patrol, manned by the Blue Crew.

History needed for 1967-1993.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

Sail of USS George Bancroft (SSBN-643) on display at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

George Bancroft was decommissioned on 21 September 1993 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington, was completed on 30 March 1998.


George Bancroft's sail is on display at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.


^a The previous three all were named USS Bancroft.


  1. ^ "George Bancroft (SSBN-643)". NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive. NavSource History. Retrieved 10 November 2022. George Bancroft (SSBN-643) is sponsored by Mrs. Jean B. Langdon, great, great granddaughter of Secretary Bancroft, and Mrs. Anita C. Irvine, great, great, great granddaughter.

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