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USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631)
USS Ulysses S Grant SSBN-631
USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631) entering point at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii.
Career (United States of America)
Namesake: Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), American Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877)
Ordered: 20 July 1961
Builder: Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 18 August 1962
Launched: 2 November 1963
Sponsored by: Mrs. David W. Griffiths
Commissioned: 17 July 1964
Decommissioned: 12 June 1992
Struck: 12 June 1992
Fate: Scrapped via Ship-Submarine Recycling Program completed 23 October 1993
General characteristics
Class & type: James Madison-class submarine
Displacement: 7,300 long tons (7,417 t) surfaced
8,250 long tons (8,382 t) submerged
Length: 425 ft (130 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Installed power: S5W reactor
Propulsion: 2 × geared steam turbines 15,000 shp (11,185 kW), one shaft
Speed: Over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Test depth: 1,300 feet (400 m)
Complement: Two crews (Blue and Gold) of 13 officers and 130 enlisted each
Armament: 16 × ballistic missile tubes (originally for Polaris missiles, later for Poseidon missiles
4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (all forward)

USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631), a James Madison-class fleet ballistic missile submarine, was the third shipa of the United States Navy to be named for Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), American Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877).

Construction and commissioning[edit | edit source]

The contract to build Ulysses S. Grant was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 20 July 1961 and her keel was laid down there on 18 August 1962. She was launched on 2 November 1963, sponsored by Mrs. David W. Griffiths, the great-granddaughter of President Grant, and commissioned on 17 July 1964 with Captain J. L. From, Jr., in command of the Blue Crew. In September, Commander C.A.K. McDonald took command of the Gold Crew.

Service history[edit | edit source]

Following shakedown, the Ulysses S. Grant got underway from Groton in early December 1964, bound for the Pacific Ocean. Transiting the Panama Canal on 31 December 1964, she arrived at Pearl Harbor in January 1965. She was deployed to Guam, in the Mariana Islands, and conducted 18 deterrent patrols operating from there equipped with Polaris ballistic missiles before returning to the United States in 1969. After an overhaul and conversion to carry Poseidon ballstic missiles at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, Ulysses S. Grant was deployed to Holy Loch, Scotland in 1970, and operated in the European area until September 1975.

In the mid-1980s, Ulysses S. Grant underwent a refueling overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in Kittery, Maine. After the overhaul period, the Blue Crew completed what was called "The best DASO (Demonstration and Shakedown Operation) in 10 years,"b which concluded with the firing of a test missile on 31 July 1987. Ulysses S. Grant then returned to Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, where the Gold Crew, under the command of Commander Michael P. McBride, took Ulysses S. Grant through a non-firing second-half DASO. During that period, the Gold Crew enjoyed a luxury for a "boomer"c crew, a swim call in the Caribbean.

On 7 April 1987, two crewmen of Ulysses S. Grant were swept off the submarine's deck during heavy seas 3 mile off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. One was rescued but was pronounced dead upon rescue. The other remains presumed "lost at sea".[citation needed]

In 1989, after the Blue Crew turned Ulysses S. Grant over to the Gold Crew while she was moored alongside the submarine tender Fulton (AS-11), the Gold Crew took the submarine to Holy Loch, and Ulysses S. Grant operated on deterrent patrols out of Holy Loch for the remainder of her career.

Decommissioning and disposal[edit | edit source]

Ulysses S. Grant was decommissioned on 12 June 1992 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton was completed on 23 October 1993.

Commemoration[edit | edit source]

Ulysses S. Grant's ship's bell is stored at the submarine base at Bremerton, where it has been used in retirement ceremonies.

Notes[edit | edit source]

^a The earlier two were named simply USS U. S. Grant.[Clarification needed]
^b Quoted by SP 205.[where?][when?]
^c United States Navy slang for a ballistic missile submarine.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Photo gallery of Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631) at NavSource Naval History

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