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The USS Hunley (AS-31) keel was laid 28 November 1960 at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia. Hunley was sponsored by Mrs. J. Palmer Gaillard, wife of the Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, launched on 28 September 1961 and commisioned on 16 June 1962.

AS-31 was named for Horace Lawson Hunley (1823-1863), designer of the Confederate submarine CSS Hunley. Horance Hunley, along with the entire crew of the CSS Hunley, was drown when the Hunley was swamped during testing. The CSS Hunley was salvaged and went on to sink the USS Housatonic of the Union blockade force at Charleston SC.

Hunley was the first of a class of submarine tenders designed to support the Polaris Missle Submarines coming into service.

USS Hunley (AS-31) sailed from Hampton Roads in July 1962 for shakedown training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She continued with post-commisioning training and detailed fit out until late Decmeber 1962 when she departed for Holy Loch, Scotland. Hunley continued as tender to Submarine Squadron 14 at Holy Loch until April 1964. Hunley was upgraded to support a modified version of the Polaris Missle and returned to duty at Holy Loch in June 1964.

USS Hunley moved to her new homeport of Charleston SC in 1966. Overhauled in late 1967, Hunley steamed to Guam to relieve USS Proteus for overhaul. Hunley returned to Charleston in June 1968.

In July 1971 Hunley again transited to Guam to relieve USS Proteus for maintenance. Hunley returned to the the US in early 1973 and underwent overhaul in the Puget sound NSY. The overhaul included modifications to support the Posideon Missle then in service. Once out of the shipyard, USS Hunley voyaged to Charleston SC, touching at San Francisco, San Diego, Acapulco, the Panama Canal, Guantanomo Bay, Ft. Lauderdale and Cocoa Beach, Florida as she progressed back into service.

USS Hunley again relieved Proteus as the submarine tender on Gaum in November 1978, returning to Charleston in July 1980. Upon return she was overhauled in the Charleston NSY.

In January 1982 Hunley crossed to Atlantic to take up station at Holy Loch, Scotland. After spending five years on station at Holy Lock, she was relieved by USS Simon Lake and headed for the US in July 1987. Shortly after arriving in Charleston, Hunley was sent to Florida to assist in Hurricane Andrew Recovery.

Hulney shifted homeport to Norflok in July 1992. In November 1993 she sailed to Cape Canaveral, stopped at Key West and returned to Norfolk. This proved to be her last sailing.

USS Hunley (AS-33) was decommissioned on 30 September 1994. Hunleys hulk as sold for scrapping in 2007.

The USS Hunley (AS-31) operational history and significant events of her service career follow:

AS-31 Deployments - Major Events

Add a AS-31 Shellback Initiation Add a AS-31 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
NOV 1960 - Keel Date: 28 NOV 1960
at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA
SEP 1961 - Launch Date: 28 SEP 1961
JUN 1962 - Commissioned: 16 JUN 1962
JUN 1962 - JUN 1962 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
NOV 1963 - SEP 1967 North Atlantic
JAN 1966 - SEP 1969 North Atlantic
DEC 1967 - JUL 1968 Middle Pacific
DEC 1967 - DEC 1967 Panama Canal
JAN 1968 - APR 1969 Panama Canal
APR 1970 - JUL 1971 UNITAS
MAY 1970 - MAY 1976 Antarctic Circle
AUG 1970 - FEB 1973 Guantanamo Bay
SEP 1970 - Shellback Initiation - 6 SEP 1970 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1971 - JAN 1975 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1971 - JAN 1973 Replaced Proteus in Apra Harbor Guam
SEP 1971 - Shellback Initiation - 20 SEP 1971 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1972 - JAN 1975 West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB 1972 - Shellback Initiation - 2 FEB 1972 - Pacific Ocean
FEB 1973 - Shellback Initiation - 2 FEB 1973 - Pacific Ocean
FEB 1973 - Shellback Initiation - 2 FEB 1973 - Pacific Ocean
MAR 1973 - FEB 1974 Dry Dock
JAN 1974 - JAN 1975 west pac viet nam
FEB 1974 - MAR 1977 Dry Dock
MAR 1974 - JUL 1978 Charleston Naval Weapons Station
MAR 1974 - MAR 1977 Subernon 18 Charleston SC Naval Weapons Station
MAY 1974 - MAY 1974 Panama Canal
MAY 1978 - JUN 1978 Dry Dock
JUL 1978 - Shellback Initiation - 8 JUL 1978 - Pacific Ocean
AUG 1978 - Shellback Initiation - 19 AUG 1978 - Atlantic Ocean
AUG 1978 - OCT 1978 Transit To Guam
SEP 1978 - SEP 1978 Transit of Strait of Magellan enroute Guam
SEP 1978 - Shellback Initiation - 10 SEP 1978 - Pacific Ocean
SEP 1978 - SEP 1978 South America
SEP 1978 - Shellback Initiation - 10 SEP 1978 - Pacific Ocean
MAY 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 19 MAY 1980 - Pacific Ocean
JUL 1980 - JAN 1981 Dry Dock/Refit
JUL 1980 - JUL 1980 Panama Canal
SEP 1980 - OCT 1980 Sea Trials
JAN 1981 - JAN 1981 Main Space Fire/ Crank case explosion
JAN 1981 - MAY 1987 Site 1 Holy Loch Scotland
JAN 1981 - JAN 1986 Deployment to Holy Loch Scotland
AUG 1981 - SEP 1981 Sea Trials
SEP 1981 - SEP 1981 Guantanamo Bay
AUG 1989 - NOV 1989 Relief of Frank Cable S.Carolina
SEP 1994 - Decommissioned: 30 SEP 1994

AS-31 General Specifications

Class: Hunley-class submarine tender

Named for: Horace Lawson Hunley

Complement: 1190 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 19000 tons

Length: 599 feet

Beam: 83 feet

Flank Speed: 18 kn

Final Disposition: Sold for scrap 5 January 2007


Hunley (AS-31) was launched 28 September 1961 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. Newport News Va.; sponsored by Mrs. J. Palmer Gaillard wife of the Mayor of Charleston S.C.; and commissioned 16 June 1962 Captain Douglas N. Syverson in command.

Hunley has the distinction of being the first ship designed and built up from the keel to service and maintain the U.S. Navy's nuclear powered Ballistic Missile Submarine Fleet. She has complete facilities for servicing the complex Polaris Weapons Systems and for accomplishing any submarine repair other than a major shipyard overhaul.

Hunley sailed 25 July 1962 for shakedown training off Cuba. This completed 6 September she visited several Gulf and Atlantic ports including Mobile and Charleston. She returned north to Norfolk 28 September for postshakedown alterations until 8 December. She next paid a 3-day visit to New York City to host the Naval Reserve Officers Seminar "New Ships for the Modern Navy." She stood out of the Norfolk Operating Base 29 December 1962 for Holy Loch Scotland arriving 9 January 1963. Almost immediately she began taking the load off Proteus whom she officially relieved 15 March 1963 as tender to Submarine Squadron 14 at Holy Loch Scotland. This duty continued until 12 April 1964 when Hunley sailed for conversion that provided capability of handling the new A3 Polaris Missile. She resumed her duties at Holy Loch 15 June 1964.

A Polaris milestone was reached in December 1965 when Thomas A. Edison came alongside to commence the 100th refit of an SSBN by Hunley. This signified that one hundred SSBN submarines had gone out on time from Hunley and not one of them had to make an early return from patrol. This represents some 200 months of Polaris on station or 16 years of submerged strategic deterrent since Hunley's arrival in Holy Loch 9 January 1963.

Among impressive jobs carried out by Hunley is welding on SSBN pressure hulls or reactor plant fluid systems. Once unheard of in submarine tending these jobs are only a few of many tackled with confidence and skill by Hunley. These and many other alterations are carried out as a matter of routine to keep SSBN's on the line with the newest possible technical improvements and safety devices. For example an auxiliary "Sub-Safe" package was accomplished on Theodore Roosevelt in which over 40 fittings and more than 100 feet of new piping in a major system were installed. A battery replacement for Ethan Allen was completed in only 11 days. Hunley meets demands from making water-borne propeller replacements to encapsulation of AC induction motors; delicate repairs to navigation and fire control and many other varied tasks to insure that each SSBN has the finest of care on each refit. The resolution can-do spirit and persevering fidelity of her officers and men give firm allegiance to Hunley's motto: "We Serve to Preserve Peace."

Hunley returned to the United States late in 1966 and in 1967 operates out of Charleston S.C. laboring to keep sharp the edge of the Navy's underwater nuclear deterrent.

[Note: The above USS HUNLEY (AS-31) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS HUNLEY (AS-31) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]