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41 For Freedom – SSBN Memories 41 Years later

August 12, 2017

Psalm 107:23-28New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters;
They have seen the works of the Lord,
And His [a]wonders in the deep.
For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves [b]of the sea.
They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery.
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And [c]were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.

Many memories pass through my mind; I can smell the amine and hear the whine of the turbines once again. Men (and now women) are now at sea in various parts of the world beneath the surface, protecting our nation from the myriad of enemies who wish us ill. Bless ’em all!

Thank you, Mr. Mac for another visit to memory lane. Fair winds and following seas, sir.


Its funny how an old picture can bring back so many memories. Whether a boomer sailor sailed out of Scotland, Guam, Rota or Charleston many of the events they experienced were similar. I don’t know how many hundreds of ballistic missile patrols were made. I am sure there were a lot.

Since the 1960s, strategic deterrence has been the SSBN’s sole mission, providing the United States with its most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability.

The world’s first operational nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) was USS George Washington (SSBN-598) with 16 Polaris A-1 missiles, which entered service in December 1959 and conducted the first SSBN deterrent patrol November 1960-January 1961. The Polaris missile and the first US SSBNs were developed by a Special Project office under Rear Admiral W. F. “Red” Raborn, appointed by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke. George Washington was redesigned and rebuilt early in construction from a…

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