On October 26, 1963,the first submerged launching of the Navy’s 2500 nautical mile A-3 Polaris Missile was successfully made by the gold crew of the USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619), commanded by Commander James B. Wilson, USN, from a point some 30 miles off Cape Canaveral, Florida. A practice warhead was hurled over 2,000 NM down the Atlantic Missile Range to land on target. The A-3 Missile added 1,000 NM miles to the reach of the Polaris nuclear retaliatory missile system.
Archive for the 'Submarines' Category
On August 12, 1958, the USS Nautilus arrived in Portland, England, after completing the first submerged under ice cruise from Pacific to Atlantic oceans. This cruise earned the Nautilus the Presidential Unit Citation, becoming the first ship to receive the award in peace time. The following article, published in the November 1955 issue of Proceedings, gives an account of the training the crew of the Nautilus went through before launching the first nuclear powered submarine, and making the historic under-ice cruise. “SCHOOL OF THE BOAT” FOR THE NAUTILUS By LIEUTENANT COMMANDER DEAN L. AXENE, U. S. Navy THE Nautilus had been long… Read the rest of this entry »
On July 24, 1944, the Naval Task Force landed Marines on Tinian. After victory in the Battle of Saipan from June 15 to July 9, Tinian, which was 3.5 miles south of Saipan, was the next logical step in the U.S. strategy of island hopping. Tinian was Phase III of Operation Forager, which began with the capture of Saipan (Phase I) and the battle for the liberation of Guam (II), which was raging even as the Marines were approaching Tinian. Submarines were used to destroy enemy forces approaching the islands , clearing the way for the beach landing. The following… Read the rest of this entry »
On St. Patrick’s Day, 1898, the USS Holland (SS-1) made her first successful submerged run. Irish-born American schoolteacher and inventor, John Phillip Holland (1842-1914) is often considered the man who contributed most to the development of the submarine. The Story of the Holland Submarine by Richard Knowles Morris was told in the January 1960 issue of Proceedings magazine: The story of SS-l Holland is the story of the birth of the submarine fleet of the United States Navy. Launched 17 May 1897, at Lewis Nixon’s Crescent Shipyard, Elizabethport, New Jersey, the 53-foot 4-inch submersible was the sixth completed… Read the rest of this entry »
On February 17, 1864, Confederate-built H.L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine when it attacked and sank the 1240-short ton screw sloop USS Housatonic at the entrance to the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. H.L. Hunley surfaced briefly to signal a successful mission to comrades on shore with a blue magnesium light, after which it was never seen again. All eight of its crewmen were presumed lost and despite multiple search efforts, the submarine could not be relocated. Over 136 years later, on 8 August, 2000, H.L. Hunley was raised from the sea floor using a specially-designed support frame, or truss. A multi-disciplinary team,… Read the rest of this entry »
Commissioned on 7 March 1958, GRAYBACK (SSG 574) was the Navy’s first submarine to carry the Regulus II sea-to-surface missile. While operating out of Port Hueneme, Calif., on 16 September 1958 she carried out the first successful launch of a Regulus II from a submarine, which pointed the way to a revolutionary advance in the power of navies to attack land bases. GRAYBACK conducted her first deterrent missile strike mission from 21 September to 12 November 1959, patrolling secretly through Pacific waters with a full load of missiles ready for retaliation 1,000 miles inland in event of war. Following modifications… Read the rest of this entry »
USS Skate (SSN-578) hung below the Arctic ice like a matchstick suspended an inch from the ceiling of a large room. A knot of sailors in the control room stared intently at an instrument inscribing patterns of parallel lines on a rolling paper tape. The pattern looked like an upside down mountain range. “Heavy ice, ten feet,” said one of the sailors. Suddenly the lines converged into a single narrow bar. “Clear water!” the sailor called out. Commander James Calvert, the skipper, studied the marks on the paper closely. He stopped the submarine, ordered “up periscope,” and peered into the… Read the rest of this entry »