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USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655)

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Awarded:29 July 1963
Laid down:4 April 1964
Launched:13 November 1965
Commissioned:20 August 1966
Fate:submarine recycling
Stricken:5 May 1993
General Characteristics
Displacement:7250 tons surfaced, 8250 tons submerged
Length:425 feet (129.6 meters)
Beam:33 feet (10 meters)
Draft:31.5 feet (9.6 meters)
Powerplant:S5W reactor
Speed:16-20 knots surfaced, 22-25 knots submerged
Complement:two crews of 13 officers and 130 men each
Armament:16 Polaris or Poseidon missiles, four 21-inch torpedo tubes
USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655), a Lafayette-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for that statesman. Her keel was laid down on 4 April 1964 by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 13 November 1965 sponsored by Grace Murphy Dodd, wife of Senator Thomas J. Dodd, and commissioned 20 August 1966 with Captain Richard E. Jortberg commanding the Blue Crew) and Commander Robert H. Weeks commanding the Gold Crew.

Following shakedown, Henry L. Stimson was assigned to Submarine Squadron 16 and departed Charleston, South Carolina, on 23 February 1967 on her first deterrent patrol.

In 1971, Henry L. Stimson began her first overhaul, at Newport News Shipyard and Drydocking. In 1973, when she returned to duty, she no longer carried Polaris A3 missiles, but rather the new Poseidon C3 missiles. Back in service, the boat was based at Rota, Spain, while her crews lived in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1980, Henry L. Stimson was converted pierside at Port Canaveral, Florida, from Poseidon missiles to Trident C4 missiles. Following that conversion, the boat changed homeports to Kings Bay, Georgia, where she was based for the rest of her career.

Both decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry on 5 May 1993, Henry L. Stimson went through the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington, and ceased to exist on 12 August 1994.


This article includes information collected from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.