15 November 2006

Forty-Six Years Ago Today...

15 November 1960. The USS George Washington (SSBN-598) deployed from Charleston, SC with a load-out of 16 UGM-67 Polaris A-1s on the first strategic deterrence patrol.

The first US nuclear-powered submarine armed with long-range ballistic missiles, the GW was ordered on 31 December 1957, with orders to convert two attack submarine hulls to missile-carrying FBM Weapon System ships. With some compromise in delivery schedules, the Navy agreed in January 1958 to slip the launch dates for two hunter-killer Skipjack types of fast attack submarines, the just-begun attack submarine Scorpion (SSN-589) and the not-yet-started USS Sculpin (SSN-590). Funding was provided with a supplement to the FY 1958 ship construction program on 11 February 1958. She was commissioned 30 Dec 1959 and subsequently decommissioned 24 January 1985, her final 5 years of service conducting operations as an SSN when the Polaris A-3 was removed from service.