USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685)

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USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685)
USS Glenard P. Lipscomb
United States
Name: USS Glenard P. Lipscomb
Namesake: Glenard P. Lipscomb (1915–1970)
Awarded: 16 December 1968
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 5 June 1971
Launched: 4 August 1973
Sponsored by: Mrs. Glenard P. Lipscomb
Commissioned: 21 December 1974
Decommissioned: 11 July 1990
Struck: 11 July 1990
Identification: SSN-685
Nickname(s): "The Lipscombfish / Glenny P"
Fate: Entered Ship-Submarine Recycling Program 1997
General characteristics
Type: Nuclear submarine
  • 5,813 long tons (5,906 t) surfaced
  • 6,480 long tons (6,584 t) submerged
Length: 365 ft (111 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Propulsion: S5W reactor
  • 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) surfaced
  • 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph) submerged
Test depth: 1,300 ft (400 m)
Complement: 12 officers, 109 men
Armament: 4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685), was a nuclear-powered attack submarine of the United States Navy

The submarine was named after Glenard P. Lipscomb who served as a Congressman from the 24th District of California from 1953 until his death in 1970.


Glenard P. Lipscomb was the Navy's second submarine design using turbo-electric transmission (The first was USS Tullibee). Intended to test the potential advantages of this propulsion system for providing quieter submarine operations, with a displacement of 6,400 tons and a length of 365 feet (111 m), she was heavier and larger than similar vessels with conventional drive trains, which resulted in slower speeds. Those disadvantages, along with reliability issues, led to the decision not to use the design for the follow-on Los Angeles-class submarines. Other than the engine room, Glenard P. Lipscomb was generally similar to the Sturgeon class, and although serving as a test platform was a fully combat-capable attack submarine.


Construction of Glenard P. Lipscomb began on 5 June 1971 at the Electric Boat Company shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. The Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird, a long-time colleague and friend of Glenard Lipscomb, spoke at the keel-laying ceremony.[1] Glenard P. Lipscomb was launched on 4 August 1973, sponsored by Mrs. Glenard P. Lipscomb, and was commissioned on 21 December 1974 with Commander James F. Caldwell in command.


Glenard P. Lipscomb deployed to the North Atlantic in the fall of 1976, followed immediately by a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in the winter and spring of 1977. The boat was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

The submarine deployed to the North Atlantic in the winter and spring of 1978. Glenard P. Lipscomb was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. She deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in the winter and spring of 1979.

Awarded the Commander, Submarine Development Squadron Twelve, Battle Efficiency [White] "E" and Engineering Excellence [Red] "E" for Fiscal Years 1977, 1978 under the command of Commander Robert B. Wilkinson and 1979, and 1980 under the command of Commander Thomas Robertson.

In 1987, she was involved in a collision with a tugboat in the Cooper River at Naval Weapons Station Charleston. Suffering slight damage to her towed array housing and propeller, she was required to spend an extra week in drydock to facilitate repairs. There were no injuries aboard the submarine, however, the tugboat sank as a result of the collision.

Glenard P. Lipscomb was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 July 1990 and disposed of under the submarine recycling program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 1 December 1997.


  1. ^ Ref Press Release 497-71

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685) at NavSource Naval History