Lafayette II SSBN-616 - History

Lafayette II SSBN-616 - History

Lafayette II

(SSBN-616, dp. 7,250 (surf.), 8,250 (subm.), 1. 425', b. 33'; s. over 20 k.,cpl.

The second Lafayette (SSBN-616) was laid down 17 January l961 by Electric Boat Co., Division of General Dynamics, Groton, Conn., Launched 8 May 1962 - sponsored by Mrs. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, wife of the 35th President of the United States; and commissioned 23 April 1963 at Groton, Con, Comdr. P. J. Hannifln in command of the Blue Crew and Comdr. James T. Strong in command of the Gold Crew.

After a Caribbean shakedown Lafayette loaded missiles at Charleston and during June sailed to Cape Canaveral for ballistic missile maneuvers. Four missiles were flred, two by each crew, after which the nuclear submarine steamed to Groton, arriving there 2 August. For the rest of the year her two crews alternately took her through a series of exercises before she took her place in the Navy's expanding "Polaris Fleet.''

Lafayette departed Charleston 4 January 1964 for her first deterrent patrol in the Atlantic. During the next 4 years, Lafayette, as part of America's most effective weapon system, made 16 deterrent patrols out of Rota, Spain, and played an important role in the maintenance of peace and freedom throughout the world. Her 15th patrol, the 400th of the Polaris submarine fleet, won Lafayette Special commendation from Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze. She returned to Charleston from her 16th patrol 23 August 1967. A week later she arrived Newport News for a major overhaul by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. to prepare for future service. On 28 December 1968, Lafayette's overhaul officially ended and in January 1969, she once again took up her vital position with the fleet.

On 18 May 1969, Lafayette departed Charleston, South Carolina, for her 17th Polaris patrol, and before the year was out, logged two more such evolutions. During 1970, she conducted four more (Patrols 20-23 inclusive). Lafayette, her Gold Crew on board, departed on Patrol 24 in January 1971, returning in March to Rota whereupon the Blue Crew prepared for Patrol 25, departing in April and returning in June. Subsequently, the Gold Crew conducted Patrol 26 from July until September. On 1 September, Lafayette launched five Polaris A-2 missiles; the boat's performance during the ensuing "operation of great importance to the United States Government [1–30 September 1971]," during which time she "maintained an impressively high state of readiness and demonstrated conclusively the effectiveness and dependability of the Fleet Ballistic Missile System...attested to the professional competence, technical skill and sustained team effort" of Lafayette's Gold Crew, earning them a Meritorious Unit Commendation (awarded 11 May 1973). Soon thereafter, the Blue Crew carried out Patrol 27. Upon Lafayette's return in October, the Gold Crew made ready for Patrol 28, departing in December.

During the first few months of 1972, Lafayette successfully completed and undertook three Polaris patrols, as well as transited from Rota to New London, Connecticut. Following her arrival at the latter port, she performed weekly operations in support of Commander Submarine Force, Atlantic's, Second-Class Midshipmen Submarine Summer Indoctrination, continuing until September, during which time she provided underway training for over 1,000 midshipmen. Rear Admiral Paul J. Early, Commander Submarine Flotilla 2, later commended Lafayette for her "careful preparation and superb execution which characterized your participating in this vital program. Midshipmen reaction was consistently favorable. Such a response is clear evidence of a sustained, dedicated effort on the part of the Commanding Officer and Crew and reflects admirable standards of leadership and performance."

Having completed sound trials, Lafayette conducted a weapons off-load to prepare for entrance into the Electric Boat yard for what was slated to be an 18-month overhaul and conversion to enable her to employ the new Poseidon missile. Following that, the Blue and Gold Crews combined into a single overhaul crew on 6 October 1972, Lafayette entering the shipyard on the 13th.

Lafayette lay in the yard for the remainder of 1972 and all of 1973, and ultimately emerged from her conversion work at Electric Boat on 7 November 1974. She then embarked Vice Admiral Joe Williams, Jr., Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, who observed post-overhaul shakedown training (24–29 November). On 16 December, while operating out of Port Canaveral, Lafayette's Blue Crew conducted the successful launch of a Poseidon C-3 missile as part of her post-availability shakedown, making Lafayette the first of her class to fire one of those weapons. Rear Admiral Levering Smith, Director, Strategic Systems Project Office, Rear Admiral Albert L. Kelln, Commander, Submarine Group 6, and Brig. Gen. H. Ahmann, Commander, Air Force Eastern Test Range, witnessed the test. The Blue Crew completed post-overhaul shakedown training on 21 January 1975 having visited Charleston, S.C., Port Canaveral, Fla., and Exuma Sound, Bahamas, during the course of those evolutions; relieved by the Gold Crew at Charleston, the latter conducted their post-overhaul shakedown training, conducting Weapons System Accuracy Trials (WSAT) at St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and Mk. 48 Torpedo Certification in Exuma Sound. Following another crew exchange at Charleston, the Blue Crew carried out Mk. 48 Torpedo Certification in Exuma Sound, and took Lafayette to Groton for an eight-month post-conversion availability. Returning to Charleston to exchange crews, Lafayette conducted two more patrols, 31 and 32, to round out the year.

During the first half of 1976, Lafayette carried out Patrols 33 (Gold) and 34 (Blue) from Holy Loch; her Gold Crew conducted Patrol 35, carrying out evolutions in the eastern Atlantic, after which time the boat fired a Mk. 48 torpedo proficiency in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. Following the Blue Crew's conducting the next refit at Charleston, Lafayette conducted torpedo proficiency work in the Tongue of the Ocean, and local operations off the eastern seaboard, then Patrol 36. The Gold Crew relieved the Blue at Holy Loch in January 1977, and the two crews alternated conducting Poseidon deterrent patrols (37-40) from that site. In June of that year (1977), Lafayette, to demonstrate "the continuing effectiveness of the Fleet Ballistic Missile weapon system," launched two Poseidon missiles in an operational test.

Lafayette completed Patrols 41 and 42 in the first half of 1978. Patrol 41 included operations in the Eastern Atlantic followed by an Mk. 48 torpedo proficiency firing period at the AUTEC range near Bermuda. Subsequently, the Blue Crew conducted refit at Charleston, after which Lafayette performed Mk. 48 torpedo proficiency firings at the AUTEC range and midshipman training out of New London and Charleston. Relieving the Blue Crew at Holy Loch, the Gold Crew conducted a refit there, thereafter carrying out Patrol 43. Following that, the Blue Crew relieved the Gold Crew in December. The New Year 1979 saw the crews completing Patrols 44 and 45. Thereafter, refit periods took place in Holy Loch. Patrols 46 and 47 took place in the second half of the year; 46 included operations in the Eastern Atlantic followed by an Mk. 48 torpedo proficiency firing period at the AUTEC range near Bermuda, with the Gold Crew conducting a subsequent refit in King's Bay, Georgia. Upon completion of the refit, the Gold Crew again conducted an Mk. 48 torpedo proficiency firing at the AUTEC range near Bermuda, after which they enjoyed a port call at Port Canaveral, Florida.

For the first eleven months of 1980, Lafayette conducted Patrols 48, 49 and 50, interspersed with refits at Holy Loch. In December, the combined crew refitted the boat at Groton. In the early January 1981, she hosted a dependents cruise from New London to Norfolk, Virginia. Subsequently, Lafayette got underway for Patrol 51. In February, she completed a missile offload in Charleston in preparation for arriving at the shipyard on 2 March, and on the 6th, entered the newly constructed dry dock at Newport News for an extended refuelling overhaul. She then spent the rest of 1982 in Newport News.

Lafayette began 1985 with a refit at Holy Loch in preparation for Patrol 56, after which the Gold Crew achieved superior results on the ORSE. Subsequently, the Blue Crew completed a refit and Patrol 57, which included a Tactical Readiness Evaluation and a Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection at its conclusion. The Gold Crew relieved the Blue in June, refitting the ship and thereafter conducting Patrol 58, at the end of which they passed a Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection, a Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection and a Tactical Readiness Evaluation. Following that, the Blue Crew refitted the boat and executed Patrol 59.

On 30 January 1986, while moored alongside the large auxiliary floating dry dock Los Alamos, Lafayette suffered serious damage during high winds. Docked in Los Alamos with less than 24-hour notice (for which the dry dock received a letter of appreciation), Lafayette underwent repairs (1–25 February) which delayed the start of her patrol. After completion of the necessary work, the Gold Crew took the boat out for Patrol 60, with the crew passing an ORSE. The Blue Crew then completed a refit and got underway for Patrol 61, and following this, completed a Tactical Readiness Evaluation and a Navy Technical Proficiency Inspection. By July, the Gold Crew was again on board, undertaking Patrol 62, and thereafter, conducted an unscheduled ORSE and a Tactical Readiness Evaluation. Relieving them in November, the Blue Crew, after completion of a refit, commenced Patrol 63.

Upon completion of Patrol 63, Lafayette transited to Charleston Weapons Station on 20 February 1987 and, after shipyard maintenance, departed Charleston for Patrol 64. While egressing the port, she was slightly off course and technically ran aground, even though it was just dragging the rudder through the mud. She was ordered to moor at Charleston Navy Base pending a Board of Inquiry. Three days later, she set sail and performed Patrols 64 to 66, (20 February-27 May, 28 May-5 September, 6 September-15 December respectively) returning to Holy Loch to refit. Subsequently, she got underway on 16 December for Patrol 67, during which she enjoyed a port visit in Lisbon, Portugal, from 24–29 February 1988. Underway on 25 March for Patrol 68, she returned to Holy Loch on 1 July. The following day, she commenced Patrol 69, returning on 11 October for refit, venturing out on 12 October to begin Patrol 70.

Subsequent to her completion of Patrol 70 on 19 January 1989, Lafayette stood out again on the 20th for Patrol 71 returning on 28 April. Following this, she commenced Patrol 72 on the 29th, during which she made the first port visit of an American submarine to Brest, France, where she participated in the Bastille Day celebrations. Following her return to Holy Loch on 6 August, the boat commenced Patrol 73 the next day. Completing Patrol 73 on 8 November, and Patrol 74 on 22 February 1990, Lafayette conducted a warm water refit at King's Bay, then conducted Patrol 75, during the course of which she celebrated the 27th anniversary of her commissioning. Competing Patrol 75 on 12 May 1990, she completed her 76th, and last, patrol on 20 September 1990.

During a change of command ceremony at Groton on 5 October 1990, Lafayette became a one-crew submarine with the combination/transfer of the Blue and Gold Crews. Exhibiting her ability to continue to be "an exceptionally quiet and capable platform," she subsequently exercised with attack submarine Boston, and ultimately returned to Groton on 19 December 1990 to prepare for her interfleet transfer to Bremerton, Washington, under the operational control of Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, under the administrative control of Commander Submarine Group 9 for inactivation.

Lafayette II SSBN-616 - History

The AGSS-555 Dolphin is an impressive submarine. This submarine has been used since its launch as a test platform for most of the currently used technologies that have propelled the United States to the forefront of Naval Superiority. This, the deepest diving deisel submarine, provided a wealth of information to developers of technologies that allowed its eventual integration into our active duty fleets. F X Models is proud to offer the most detailed, highest quality USS Dolphin available in the world. To see the options for model purchase, see below. If you wish to see how we made the model, Click HERE.

This is the larger of our two USS Dolphins, at 28" long [1/72 scale/] and is a result of a very detailed survey of the actual submarine. We were contracted by the Navy to create a highly accurate set of models in two scales, and visited Dolphin in drydock to take as many pictures as we had flash drives and were also provided many photos and plans. The result was a very highly accurate Dolphin right down to the actual rivet patterns and rivet counts. As with our other models, the FX Models USS Dolphin exemplifies the look and feel of the real boat. Now that she has been decommissioned, our Dolphin model is to be used in the US Government archives as "the" representative model of the boat. The smaller model [see 1/192 scale models] carries nearly the same level of detail as the larger! This model is mounted as our 1/192 scale models [see below] and is treated similarly for options.

The second entry in our 72nd scale offerings is the F X Models NR-1. Hands down it is the finest model in the world of this submarine. The NR-1 has been plying the waters for nearly 45 years and has been updated and maintained as one of the Navy's top covert ops submarines. Popularized by the book "Dark Waters", and hidden from public view in its day by Admiral Hymen Rickover, the NR-1 has done more to set milestones of achievement in the undersea realm than any other submarine in history. Most responses that you might get from questions to former crewmen would be "If you only knew. ".

This model kit of the formerly super-secret NR-1 (Naval Reactors - 1) submarine is accurate to the last rivet. While all of the information contained on the model has been cleared for Public Domain viewing, the model is still far and away the ONLY accurate version of this submarine on the planet. Engineers can literally see the panel lines they designed on the casing, and shipyard workers recognize holes that they drilled! There are almost 100 parts to the model, it is updated to its 2003 refit, includes a beautiful etched brass sheet of details created from our CAD drawings of the boat, and a large assembly manual with color imagery of the model for reference.

Available as a KIT or FINISHED model

Our newest and soon to be most complete line of submarines features this lovely display model of the United States' first Nuclear Submarine! All of the models in this scale are solid Resin cast hulls that come on a solid hardwood (Oak) base with a laser engraved brass plaque of vital ship statistics, large felt feet on the base and beautifully made thermoformed (no unsightly seam lines) clear acrylic cover.

This is the smaller of our two Dolphin models that we offer, faithfully recreated in 1/192 scale. As with its larger version (see above), this model is exquisitely detailed in spite of being only around 10" long!

This 688-i (Los Angeles Class Improved) carries an immense amount of detailing, all laser engraved on all sides of the original master pattern. Accuracy was ensured by creating a complete bow to stern photo-series of the actual boats at a local US Submarine Base. Finished models are painted the ruddy anti-foul and black to museum quality standards and detail is accentuated with a final rubbing out of the paint finish to give the boat a true metallic look in those areas that are metallic. Non skid deck areas are de-accentuated properly.

F X Models was contracted to create models for special donors to the Submarine Force Library and Museum in New London Connecticut. This rendering of the USS NAUTILUS shows her as she was in her later years, and utilizes a characteristic paint scheme that she carried at one time. The model carries an immense amount of detailing, all laser engraved on all sides of the original master pattern. Accuracy was ensured by creating a complete bow to stern photo-series of the actual boat at the Submarine Force Museum and Historic Ship NAUTILUS .
Each finished model of USS NAUTILUS is painted in the ruddy anti-foul and gray to museum quality standards and detail is accentuated with a final rubbing out of the paint finish to give the boat a true metallic look in those areas that are metallic. The twin propellers are brass colored cast metal. The wooden deck areas are de-accentuated properly. This model of the United States' first Nuclear Submarine is a sight to behold. (Models can be painted in any color scheme desired and are not limited to those shown here)

The Seawolf Class model is about 23 inches long. The model carries an immense amount of detailing. Accuracy was ensured by creating a complete bow to stern photo-series of the first two actual boats of the class at a local US Submarine Base. Finished models are painted the ruddy anti-foul and black to museum quality standards and detail is accentuated with a final rubbing out of the paint finish to give the boat a true metallic look in those areas that are metallic. Non skid deck areas are de-accentuated properly.

The latest attack submarine of the United States Navy, the Virginia class submarine, is an exquisitely detailed model that came out of our long term involvement in the Virginia Submarine program. The model is nearly 24" long and over 2" in diameter. Nearly every external detail found on the real boat, can also be found on the model. The model shown here is not a perfect representative of the offering but is the only one we photographed! Silly us. We move too fast. The model can be finished in any manner desired, and can have sail numbers for the representative boats of the class.

An accurate 23" reproduction of the first ballistic missile submarine (FBM), the George Washington was the precursor to a long lineage of future SSBN submarines, culminating with the Ohio class Ballistic Missile Submarine. SSBN 598 was the only missile submarine available during the Cuban Missile crisis and played a role in defusing the aggressive behaviour patterns of the Russian and Cuban governments. Neither government could predict from whence a deadly rain of missiles might fall upon them.

Creating the George Washington model was done under contract request by a Nuclear Laboratory and was tricky since there is not a whole lot of information about the submarine available including the submarine itself, which was disposed of many years ago. The research staff of F X Models searched Submarine Museum archives and retrieved photographs, histories, and other information that allowed us to create an accurate representation of the George Washington. The pictures on this page show just a few images of the making of the master model. Once the master was completed, the molds were created for reproducing the model.

The Lafayette class boats were a mainstay in the US SSBN Fleet for a number of years. This extremely accurate 26" long scale model of a representative of the class (Sam Rayburn) was commissioned by an individual who served on board the boat, for members of the reunion group. Our Research Associate Paul Gonsalves exhaustively researched the boat, providing over 35 pages of plans, details, manufacturer's photos of components, and exterior detail itemizations, as is typical of our research staff. With slight modifications, this can also be made into a Ben Franklin class boat.

The Ohio Class submarine is the element to the balance of power in the world that is the wild card. Stealthy and silently probing the depths, its job is to remain undetected until it is too late. Keeping the peace since the launch of the first Ohio class namesake in 1979, these submarines carry a large amount of detail.

These 36" models faithfully reproduce the fine detail found on the Ohio Class Submarine from the ballast vents to the little gratings within each of the 24 missile hatches. Each model is a hollow rotocast hull, with a large Brass colored metal propeller, all mounted on a large Oak base with clear cover.

Originally created as part of an Admiralty project, this model is the precursor to the 1/192 scale model above and is back by popular demand. This model carries a lot more detail than the 1/350 scale model but is not quite as detailed as the 1/192 scale model. The non-skid deck is appropriately accentuated on the finished model although the images of this model shown here do not illustrate it. This model is finished in any desired finish, or one of our standard finishes and comes with an acrylic cover.

Accurate 1/350 scale reproductions of the Los Angeles and Ohio Class submarines, these models come with a laser engraved metal specification plate mounted on the base, a brass colored metal propeller, and hand finished Oak base. The models are mounted to the oak base using shiny brass posts and make an attractive entry level display model.

Note that each boat's level of detail is entry-level. The Ohio class shows all hatches and missile hatches, with mast exit details. The 688-i shows the three hatches and towed array housing of course. For more detailed models, please refer to our 1/192 scale model offerings which show higher levels of detail.

Each model is painted in the "As Delivered" colors to the Navy which means Red Oxide at the midline and below and Black above. They can be delivered in gloss or non-gloss finish. The desktop 688 and Ohio project is a limited edition that was originally done for the members of Congress of the United States.

The 688-i Nuclear Attack Submarine model measures in at 14 inches long with a slightly longer Oak base, small brass colored propeller, and an all urethane resin cast structure.

Note that the 688i in this scale IS available in a Flight I (early 688) and Flight II configurations by request

The Ohio class boat measures in at just over 19 inches long, and has engraved missile hatches, crew hatches and sail mast exits. Like the 688-i, it is on a slightly longer base, has the brass colored metal propeller and is an all urethane resin structure.

USS Lafayette Capsizes in New York Harbor

We don’t often do detailed stories behind photos, but this one has quite interesting history behind it.

You may not know this, but during the early days of World War II, a horrible fate befell the French passenger liner SS Normandie, while it was being transformed into a troop ship dubbed USS Lafayette.

She was originally launched in 1932 and had her maiden voyage in 1935, but with the outbreak of the war, she sought safety from German U-boats in New York Harbor in 1939, after Germany had invaded Poland.

On May 15th, 1940 France fell to Nazi Germany and the U.S. Coast Guard sent 150 men to board the ship at Pier 88, preventing any possible sabotage against the ship. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. officially entering World War II in 1941, the ship was formally seized by the Coast Guard.

West Side Highway with cobblestone pavement, lots of 1940s cars and the scuttled Normandy. 1942. New York

In December 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt approved the transfer of the ship to the U.S. Navy and plans for the ship were to convert it into a troop transport ship named USS Lafayette. Initially there was talk of turning it into an aircraft carrier, but with the level of effort being high and the need for troop ships being immediate, that plan was scrapped.

The ship was to be pressed into military service in early 1942 so work was done in haste to convert it as quickly as possible. During the frenzied work, sparks from a welding torch ignited a pile of life vests. Immediately, they were ablaze, and unfortunately they were in a room which was covered in woodwork, thus the fire spread rapidly.

All manner of problems manifested themselves as the blaze grew. The fire department’s hoses did not fit the standard French inlets, and the sophisticated fire suppression system was disabled during the conversion process. Firemen sprayed massive quantities of water in hopes of extinguishing the flames, but in doing so the ship began to list severely to the port side.

The ship’s designer, Vladimir Yourkevitch offered to help strategize how to save the ship, but for some odd reason, the fire department refused. The ship eventually capsized late in the evening and came to rest as it’s seen in the photo above.

Make sure you click on the above image for a larger, more detailed version. It’s pretty impressive.

SSBN - Lafayette

This post has not been translated to English yet. Please use the TRANSLATE button above to see machine translation of this post.

Plavidla třídy Lafayette jsou 2. generace ponorek U.S. Navy nesoucích balistické řízené střely mezikontinentálního doletu, jež utvářely součást jaderné triády po 3 desetiletí. Nová třída byla navrhnuta na počátku 60. let 20. století v loděnicích General Dynamics Electric Boat Division ve státě Connecticut, U.S.A. (ostatně jako všechny novodobé jaderné ponorky) a stavba probíhala v GD Electric Boat, v Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINS), v Newport News Shipbuilding a v Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS). Přestože stavba prvního plavidla této třídy, USS Lafayette, začala ještě před dokončením první ponorky třídy Ethan Allen, jednalo se o zcela novou koncepci udržující až na výjimky jediný trend ve stavbě raketonosných ponorek (výjimkami jsou sovětská / ruská plavidla Projekt 629, Projekt 629A, Projekt 658, Projekt 658M, Projekt 941 Akula).

Hlavní odlišností ponorek této nové třídy od předešlých tříd George Washington a Ethan Allen byla, mimo modernějšího elektronického vybavení, hlavně velikost šachet pro SLBM (Submarine / Sea-Launched Balistic Missile - balistické řízené střely odpalované z ponorek / moře) a tomu samozřejmě odpovídající velikost trupu. Šachty byly navrženy pro tehdy nově připravované střely Poseidon.
Bylo postaveno 9 ponorek třídy Lafayette a posléze 10 ponorek označovaných jako vylepšená třída Lafayette. Na ně poté navázala třída Benjamin Franklin, která se už velmi výrazně odlišovala svým vnitřním vybavením. Celkově tak vzniklo 19 plavidel, což je dosud nejpočetnější třída SSBN stavěná v U.S.A., a 2. nejpočetnější, která zatím byla postavena (více plavidel bylo postaveno jen v bývalém SSSR a to 34 plavidel Projekt 667A Navaga)

Od 10. plavidla USS James Madison jsou ponorky brány jako modifikovaná třída Lafayette (podobně je tomu i u třídy Los Angeles (688) a vylepšené třídy Los Angeles (688i)), a to z toho důvodu, že byly provedeny určité blíže nespecifikované změny ve vnitřním vybavením, pravděpodobně však nijak zásadního charakteru.
Do služby vstoupily ponorky se střelami UGM-27B Polaris A-2. Ty byly později, od roku 1968 (na plavidle USS James Monroe vůbec poprvé), nahrazeny výkonnější verzí UGM-27C Polaris A-3. Na původně zamýšlené střely nové generace UGM-73A Poseidon C-3 byly přezbrojeny na počátku a v průběhu 70. let 20. století a to poté, co mohly být operačně nasazeny. Posléze, v průběhu 80. let. 20. století, prošlo 7 plavidel modernizací, aby mohly být vybaveny v té době nejmodernějšími střelami UGM-96A Triden I C-4.

S příchodem nové generace ponorek třídy Ohio byla plavidla třídy shledána jako zastaralá. S ohledem na odzbrojovací smlouvy bylo rozhodnuto třídu Lafayette (včetně ponorek vylepšené třídy Lafayette) dále nemodernizovat a takřka po 30 letech, na počátku 90. let 20. století, 17 plavidel vyřadit (zbylé dvě potkal jiný osud). U všech plavidel byl vyjmut reaktor a byly recyklovány (sešrotovány).

Ona 2 plavidla - USS Sam Rayburn a USS Daniel Webster - byla přestavěny na cvičnou platformu MTS (Moored Training Ship), sloužící k výcviku operátorů jaderného reaktoru na ponorkách. Plavidla byla v operační službě ještě v roce 2005.

Samotná třídu Lafayette je v různých publikacích a na internetových stránkách popisována velmi různorodě. To může způsobovat jistou dezorientaci. Pro upřesnění existují 3 hlavní směry pro rozdělení :
- 1) třída Lafayette - samotná třída o 31 plavidlech zahrnující i modifikovanou třídu Lafayette a třídu Benjamin Franklin
- 2) třída Lafayette, modifikovaná třída Lafayette a třída Benjamin Franklin
- 3) třída Lafayette, třída James Madison a třída Benjamin Franklin

Avšak většině zdrojů (viz. níže) se shoduje a staví na bodu č. 2), který je i zde reflektován. Důvody jsou čistě faktické. Plavidla, uváděna jako třída James Madison, tak jsou nazývána jen v jediném zdroji a není jasně upřesněn důvod oddělení od hlavní linie (rozuměj třídy Lafayette).

Ponorky třídy Lafayette byly ve své době novou generací ponorek. Držely se stejného konceptu, který se stal celosvětovým standardem. Tím je umístění šachet s řízenými střelami do mírně zvýšeného prostoru za věží.
Trup je výrazně protáhlého kapkovitého tvaru. Stejně jako mnoho ponorek nosících SLBM i tato třída má na vrchu trupu tzv. hrb (onen zvýšený prostor za věží). Na rozdíl od předcházejících tříd George Washington a Ethan Allen je "hrb" na ponorkách Lafayette málo výrazný a čelní přechod je plně zapuštěn do kapkovitého trupu. Zadní přechod do trupu ponorky je s mírným "zubem".

Velitelská věž hydrodynamického kapkovitého průřezu je výrazná, nesoucí hloubková kormidla a poměrně vysoká (+/- 6-8 metrů). Na zádi plavidla jsou konvenční směrová kormidla ve tvaru +, s velkým vrchním svislým kormidlem.

Plavidlo SSBN-626 bylo vybaveno zvláštní specifickou nástavbou na přídi trupu v podobě malé věže z hloubkovými kormidly. Současně s tím bylo pravděpodobně vybaveno i příďovým sonarem s proměnlivou hloubkou ponoru, který byl s úspěchem testován a užíván, ale nakonec se nerozšířil.

Prostory pro posádku jsou plně klimatizovány a tvoří ji 143 příslušníků U.S. Navy (dle jiného zdroje jen 140). Z toho je 13 důstojníků a zbylých 130 mužů tvoří řadoví námořníci a poddůstojníci. Pro každou ponorku existovaly ve skutečnosti 2 kompletní posádky, tzv. "Zlatá" a "Modrá". To umožňovalo maximální využití času ponorky a přitom mít neustále čerstvou posádku (ponorka zbytečně nekotví u břehu, zatímco posádka odpočívá). Tato koncepce se stala standardem a je využívána dodnes.

Pohon pod i na hladině zajišťuje tlakovodní jaderný reaktor s nuceným oběhem S5W (vyvinutý a vyráběný korporací Westinghouse) společně se 2 parními turbínami o celkovém výkonu 15.000 koňských sil (přibližně 11.185 kW). Tato osvědčená pohonná jednotka byla s úspěchem použita u více jak 6 tříd a u několika dalších nezařazených ponorek. Ponorka má jednu lodní hřídel (v ose plavidla) zakončenou lodním šroubem. Plavidla jsou vybavena pomocným dieselelektrickým agregátem, který může za pomocí dýchací trubice (šnorchlu) krátkodobě nouzově ponorku pohánět.

Elektronické vybavení třídy Lafayette zahrnuje hladinový-vyhledávací radar AN/BPS-11A a navigační radar AN/BPS-15 . Plavidla jsou vybavena pestrým sonarovým vybavením, skládajícím se z trupového aktivního sonaru AN/BQS-4 , z trupového pasivního sonarového pole AN/BQR-7 (se třemi 15 metrovými hydrofony), antikolizního pasivního sonaru AN/BQR-19 , pasivního sonaru AN/BQR-21 DIMUS (což je vylepšený sonar AN/BQR-2 ) a vlečného sonarového pole AN/BQR-15 ( AN/BQQ-9 ). Systém řízení palby torpéd je typ Mk.113 Mod.9 . Bojový operační systém nebyl zjištěn. Ponorky využivají satelitní spojení AN/WSC-3 a ponorkový inerciální navigační systém SINS Mk.2 Mod.4 (Submarine / Ship Inercial Navigation Systems). Vybaveny jsou i pasivním přijímačem AN/WLR-8(V)5 pro vedení elektronického boje a průzkum. Jako u každé jiné ponorky, je i tato třída vybavena periskopy.

Hlavní výzbrojí ponorek třídy Benjamin Franklin jsou balistické řízené střely mezikontinentálního doletu odpalované z ponorek (SLBM - Submarine / Sea-Launched Balistic Missile). Přestože na počátku byla plavidla vybavena střelami UGM-27B Polaris A-2 a později výkonnější variantou UGM-27C Polaris A-3, od začátku byla projektována pro střely nové generace UGM-73A Poseidon C-3, které byly nasazeny v okamžiku jejich operační způsobilosti. U minimálně 5 plavidel, USS Woodrow Wilson, USS James Madison, USS John C. Calhoun, USS Casimir Pulaski a USS Stonewall Jackson, bylo rozhodnuto, že budou přezbrojeny na modernější, výkonnější a spolehlivější střely UGM-96A Trident C-4.

Samozřejmostí je vybavení ponorek torpédomety. Ty jsou umístěny v přídi v počtu 4 kusů ve standardní ráži 533 mm. Zásoba byla 12 kusů torpéd Mk-14 / Mk-16 nebo Mk-37 anebo Mk-45 ASTOR (torpédo s nukleární hlavicí) anebo později i Mk-48 (popřípadě jejich kombinace). Ve výzbroji byly i protiponorkové řízené střely UUM-44A SUBROC. Není známo zda plavidla nesla protilodní nebo protizemní řízené střely (vyjma výše uvedených střel). Mohla však nosit a i klást miny (jako většina ponorek).

Polaris Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile

Polaris was the first true submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), developed under RADM William F. Raborn starting in November 1955. The Polaris missile and a new class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines to carry them were developed together based on new technology for warheads, propulsion and the nuclear submarine.

USS George Washington (SSBN-598), was the first of the first five-ship class of ballistic missile submarines, on patrol November 1960, only five years after Raborn began the effort and five years after the first U.S. nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, was launched. The first successful underwater launch of a Polaris missile occurred from the Washington in July 1960.

The first SSBNs carried 16 Polaris missiles, with 41 boats deployed by 1965. Polaris went through several models in the program lifetime:

  • Polaris A-1, 1200 nm. range
  • Polaris A-2, 1600 nm. range (first sub launch, October 1961)
  • Polaris A-3, 2500 nm. range (first sub launch, October 1963)

The A-3 fit in the same launch tubes as the older Polaris models, but was revolutionary in that it had three warheads, designed to strike in a pattern (not MIRV). A total of 33 subs were equipped with A-3 missiles, including retrofit of the original five A-1 boats. The photo above, left shows a Polaris A-3 on a test stand at Pad 19A, Cape Canaveral, FL, 26 July 1962.

He hoped to end slavery in America

Lafayette became like a son to Washington. Despite their close relationship, the young Frenchman was unable to persuade America’s future first president to allow slaves to earn their freedom. He did however end up creating a refuge for 120 blacks in torrid French Guiana.

SSBN - Early Developments

The idea which developed into the present FBM Strategic Weapon System (SWS) was derived from a World War II German invention described in some captured Nazi documents taken during the latter part of the war from a captured, high-level German headquarters. The proposal involved the installation of mortar tubes on the deck of a U-boat and the firing of the mortars while the tubes were still partly submerged.

Based on this general concept, the Navy proposed to develop a fleet of submarines with missile-launching capabilities. The Navy initiated the design of a POLARIS-type submarine (SSBN). However, the time requirements of the accelerated programs demanded an interim submarine.

Construction of SSBN 6 was authorized by the President on 23 December 1958. On 27 June 1959, the President authorized construction of SSBNs 7, 8, and 9.On 1 July 1959, the FBM Program had, as its objective, a complete POLARIS/SSBN system with a 1200 nm range in 1960. Nine submarines and a submarine tender were authorized. On 15 July 1960, the President authorized construction of SSBNs 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14, and SSBNs 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 were authorized by President John F. Kennedy on 29 January 1961. On 19 July 1961, the President authorized construction of SSBNs 20 through 29. The President signed the FY 63 Appropriations Act on 10 August 1962, providing funds for SSBN 30 through 35 and long-lead items 36 through 41. A total of 41 SSBNs were authorized by 2 July 1964, with the entire force to be operational in 1967.

The USS Proteus (AS-19), a submarine tender in mothballs at the Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina, was activated and converted into the first POLARIS FBM submarine tender, commissioned on 8 July 1960. By 1 July 1960, a second submarine tender had been authorized by the President. The third SSBN tender was authorized by President John F. Kennedy on 29 January 1961. The President signed the FY 63 Appropriations Act on 10 August 1962, providing funds for a fourth submarine tender.

All 41 SSBNs had been deployed by 3 October 1967. The first five SSBNs, USS George Washington class (SSBN-598), were deployed with POLARIS A1's. The next five SSBNs, USS Ethan Allen class (SSBN-608) were deployed with POLARIS A2's. Also, the next 9 boats of the USS Lafayette class (SSBN 616-626) were also deployed with POLARIS A2's. Plans called for the last 31 of the 41 SSBNs to all eventually carry POSEIDON C3 missiles.

The 10 George Washington and Ethan Allen class SSBNs were to off-load their A1's and A2's and eventually have POLARIS A3 missiles deployed in the Pacific. They operated out of Guam, serviced by the tender USS Proteus (AS-19) and, after 1967, by the tender USS Hunley (AS-31).

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Submarine Squadron 16 was officially reactivated Aug. 7, 1997. This reactivation is part of a Navywide effort to improve submarine support. For the first time in the history of the SSBN force, a new model for supervising the operation, maintenance and training of the two-crewed submarine force has emerged. The current reorganization places five submarine in each Kings Bay squadron. Submarine Squadron 16 is the immediate superior in command of USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735), USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), USS Nebraska (SSBN 739), USS Maine (SSBN 741), and USS Louisiana (SSBN 743). By reducing the span of control to five submarines and 10 crews, each squadron can dedicate more effort to monitoring and servicing the submarines under its control.

Additional new efficiencies were gained through specialization of the two squadrons. Squadron 20 remains the waterfront coordinator and principal squadron involved in planning and executing SSBN refits with the Trident Refit Facility. Squadron 16 has assumed the role of off-crew training coordinator and principal squadron involved in training and certifying that off-crews are ready to return to their ships. Squadron 16 also has the added benefit of more closely linking off-crew training to at-sea training.

With this division of labor between the two squadrons, all 20 Trident submarine crews maintain the same fine refit work accomplishment they have grown accustomed to receiving, and find a more robust squadron at-sea presence. Additionally, they will experience a more responsive and insightful assist during their off-crew training periods from Squadron 16.

The Squadron 16 commander and his staff are located in the Kings Bay Off-Crew Building, located between the Trident Training Facility and the Submarine Group 10 staff/Subase Administration Building.

Submarine Squadron 16 was established during World War II, and amassed more than 500,000 tons of enemy shipping sunk, earning both the Presidential Unit Citation and six Navy Unit Commendations before being decommissioned after the war. The squadron was formally recommissioned at Charleston, S.C., on Oct. 18, 1963, as the Navy's second Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Submarine Squadron.

The Chief of Naval Operations deployed Submarine Squadron 16 to Rota, Spain, on Jan. 28, 1964, and embarked upon USS Proteus (AS-19). USS Lafayette (SSBN 616) completed its first FBM deterrent patrol with the Polaris missile and commenced the first refit and replenishment at Rota. During the early 1970s, the submarines assigned to Squadron 16 were completing conversion to the Poseidon missile. That transition was completed when USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN 657) returned to Rota on Jan. 14, 1974.

Treaty negotiations between Spain and the United States in 1975 resulted in a planned withdrawal of Squadron 16 from Spain, and the Chief of Naval Operations ordered studies to select a new refit site on the East Coast. The treaty with Spain was ratified by the U.S. Congress in June 1976 and called for the withdrawal of the squadron from Spain by July 1979. Kings Bay, Georgia, was selected as that new refit site, and the site selected was announced by the Secretary of the Navy in November 1976.

Commander, Submarine Squadron 16, embarked in USS Simon Lake (AS-33), arrived at Kings Bay on July 2, 1979, and moored at the original Army wharf, approximately one half mile up-river from what is now Warrior Wharf. Four days later, USS James Monroe (SSBN 622) entered Kings Bay and moored alongside to begin a routine refit in preparation for another deterrent patrol. Kings Bay has been an operating submarine base since that time.

Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo announced in October 1980 that Kings Bay would become the home for the Ohio-class submarines. Concurrent with the preparations to base Trident II submarines in Kings Bay, Squadron 16 moved forward to conversion from Poseidon to Trident I missile capability. The completion of that transition was marked by the deployment of USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633) in June 1983.

Upon the completion of construction of Warrior Wharf in July 1979, Squadron 16 moved to that site and provided refit, logistics and training support to Trident I-equipped 627 and 640 class submarines until the last one of these submarines was ready for decommissioning. Gen. Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recognized the silent services on the occasion of the 3,000 FBM patrol, ". as having done more to win the Cold War than any other part of the military." Squadron 16 had been involved in the Cold War effort for more than 30 years when she was decomissioned on June 25, 1994.

When Submarine Squadron 16 was reactivated on Aug. 7, 1997, and assumed command of five Trident II missile submarines, its rich history in providing support to the Navy's front line strategic platforms continued.

Four of Bangor's eight Ohio-class submarines are to be converted to special operations boats, carrying conventional weapons rather than nuclear warheads. In their place, Bangor gets the USS Pennsylvania and the USS Kentucky from the East Coast. In October 2002 the SSBN 735 Pennsylvania became the first new sub sent to Bangor in more than a decade. The USS Ohio, the first of the Trident-packing subs, departed Bangor in early October 2002. It will be followed by the Michigan, Florida and Georgia, reducing the nation's Trident ballistic missile submarine fleet from 18 to 14 under START. After all the shifts are done, Bangor will have six Trident subs, down from eight, while King's Bay, former home of the Pennsylvania, will lose two for a fleet of eight.

Pleasant Hill Annexed to Lafayette! Part II

This is Pleasant Hill – Guillermo’s viewpoint, 1832. (Pleasant Hill is in the foreground, the intersection of Withers and Taylor is beyond at left.)
Photo March 1961 courtesy of Kirk Patterson

When we left Guillermo in July he was married to Maria Antonia Galinda and had a growing family in San Jose. He also had a growing herd of cattle in Pinole and was “commuting” between the two. He needed to solve this dilemma, by getting his own rancho!

He submitted a petition to Governor Figueroa on June 2, 1835 for Rancho las Juntas, built a corral there, and started an adobe house. Since the Welch family still lived in San José, he hired a majordomo to look after the cattle when he was away. One night the Indians burned the house, stole the horses and scattered the cattle. The majordomo fled. Guillermo abandoned his petition.

He petitioned again in 1844. This time, in a surprising burst of speed, the new Governor Micheltorena formally made the grant for three leagues on February 21. Guillermo finally moved onto his very own Rancho in 1845, but sadly he died in 1846.

A lawsuit filed in Federal Court by Guillermo’s son-in-law, the administrator of his estate, (United States v Swanson, et al) caused the western boundary of Rancho las Juntas to be shifted easterly sufficiently far to exclude the hill on which Guillermo had stood to draw his petition map. (The trial began September 12, 1854 and raged until September 15, 1864, when Judge Ogden Hoffman finally gaveled the case to a close.)

At the trial, Alcalde José Ygnacio Sibrian y Pacheco testified: “…the lagoons are on top of a hill from which the waters run on either side of the hill. Welch claimed from the top of that hill on the eastern side thereof looking toward Monte Diablo. That high hill is called “Reliz”…” (It becomes significant that Señor Pacheco testified in 1860.)

In other testimony, G.F. Allardt, surveyor for R.C. Matthewson, deputy United States Surveyor, stated: “…this ridge of the highest land for several miles around…the summit of hills arising to the westward from Murderous (sic) Creek…”

Part of the result of the litigation was the official “Plat of the Rancho las Juntas as finally confirmed to the Administrator of the Estate of Wm Welch,” on which were plotted the three forks of Murderer’s creek and McClellan’s House. (Near the present Tiegland Road, located at the foot of the “high hill” described by Señor Pacheco.) A schoolhouse, the area’s first, was built on McClellan’s property in 1860.

That “high hill,” tall as the Eiffel Tower, shadowed the schoolhouse. And it would have been in the little one-room structure that the founders of the proposed school district would have met in 1860 to choose the most appropriate name to describe their new District. And what other name would they logically have chosen than that of the most defining object in their corner of the world?

And so the Pleasant Hill School District would have been born, officially transcribing the name for the record the very first time. Later, the near-by road was so labeled, then the entire area, and, ultimately, the City.

A hundred years later, the Local Agency Formation Commission, in its infinite wisdom, proclaimed the hill that bore Guillermo Welch’s boot prints on its summit to be within theSphere of Influence of the City of Lafayette!

And so, except for an eastern portion still under the jurisdiction of Contra Costa County, Pleasant Hill’s namesake was officially annexed into the City of Lafayette.

A subdivision later constructed on that eastern portion of Pleasant Hill remaining in Contra Costa County was then inappropriately named “Lafayette Hills.”

Gary Christopher

I was born on 6 April 1959 at Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, Colorado, or so I'm told. I attended school in Thornton, Wheat Ridge, Rollinsville, and Nederland, Colorado. I graduated from Wheat Ridge High School in 1977 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 27 June 1977. I enlisted in the Navy because I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to school – then I spent my first 21 months in the Navy in school!

I completed Basic Training in San Diego, California, in August 1977 Machinist’s Mate ‘A’ School in Great Lakes, Illinois, in November 1977 Basic Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida, in June 1978 Nuclear Power Prototype Training at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) , located west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in December 1978 and Engineering Laboratory Technician School in April 1979. I served on the USS Lafayette (SSBN 616) , the USS L.Y. Spear (AS 36), the USS Alabama (SSBN 731), Navy Recruiting District Denver, Colorado, the USS Key West (SSN 722), and the USS Emory S. Land (AS 39). While on the Key West I made a port visit in Bergen, Norway, where I located original birth, confirmation, and marriage records for my great-great grandparents, Lars Tesdahl and Martha Berg. I retired from the Navy in December 1995 as a Chief Machinist's Mate (E7).

After retiring from the Navy, I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, completing a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with an emphasis in Athletic Training and a minor in Chemistry in 1999 and a Master of Science in Physical Education with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology in 2001. I was admitted to doctoral studies in Biomechanics at Oregon State University at Corvallis in 2001, transferred to Texas Woman’s University at Denton in 2002, and completed my course work in 2006. I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Great Falls, Montana, in August 2007 where I taught courses in Health and Human Performance. I finished my doctoral dissertation in 2009 and graduated with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology on 15 May 2009. In 2011, I accepted a position at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where I taught courses in Exercise Science. In August 2013 I was appointed as the Chair of the Division of Health and Life Sciences. I retired from higher education in 2021.

I have been doing family history research for over 50 years. I am by no means a professional genealogist, but I do strive for historical accuracy in my research, including, when possible, primary sources. I only rely on secondary sources when primary sources are not available. I rarely rely on tertiary sources. I am a volunteer Family History Consultant for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Oskaloosa, IA.

I own and operate a wood engraving/turning/carving business named Bubblehead 3D Design.

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