SSBN-618 General Specifications
Class: Ethan Allen-class submarine
Named for: Named for Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Complement: 12 Officers and 128 Enlisted
Displacement: 6900 tons
Length: 410 feet 4 inches
Beam: 33.1 feet
Flank Speed: 16 knots surfaced
Final Disposition: Entered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program 1 October 1996; recycling completed 6 March 1998
USS THOMAS JEFFERSON (SSBN-618)
second Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618) was laid down on 3 February 1961 at
Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; sponsored by Mrs. Robert S.
McNamara; and commissioned on 4 January 1963, Comdr. Leon H. Rathbun (Blue Crew) and Comdr. Charles
Priest, Jr., (Gold Crew) in command.
shakedown training by both crews and a yard availability period, the fleet
ballistic missile submarine was assigned to Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 14 in early October. On 28
October, the Blue Crew took the submarine on her first deterrent patrol which ended at Holy Loch, Scotland, in
December 1963. Thomas Jefferson continued patrols from Holy Loch for the next four years and also acted as
flagship for SubRon 14. In 1966, she returned to New London for two training and rehabilitation periods.
She began her 15th deterrent patrol on 12 January 1967 and, upon its completion, returned to Newport News
for her first overhaul and refueling. On 17 June 1968, the submarine was ready for sea, and refresher
training was held for both crews. Her
16th patrol began on 29 October and terminated at Rota, Spain, on 5 December 1968.
Thomas Jefferson made four deterrent patrols in each of the following years: 1969, 1970, 1971, and
1972. She also conducted special
operations in 1970 and 1971. On 20
October 1972, the Gold Crew was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation for its special operations of the
Thomas Jefferson completed two patrols in 1973 before returning'
to the United States to hold midshipman training from 18 June to 31 August. Her last patrol of the year terminated on 12 December 1973. Her
36th, and final, patrol in the
Atlantic lasted from 31 January to 22
March 1974. After calling at Norfolk and Charleston, the submarine returned to New London on 22 May. Thomas Jefferson was then reassigned to the Pacific Fleet with her new homeport at Vallejo, Calif. She stood out of New
London on 7 June en route to the west
coast and arrived at Mare Island on the 27th.
On 1 July 1974, Thomas
Jefferson entered the Mare Island
Naval Shipyard for overhaul, refueling, and conversion to the Polaris A-3 missile system. She remained in the yard until 17 November 1975 when she
got underway for Bremerton, Wash. The submarine remained in Puget Sound for a month and then moved to San Diego.
During the period
January to March 1976, Thomas Jefferson's Blue Crew conducted
post-overhaul shakedown operations and
then transited the Panama Canal to
conduct a Polaris missile firing at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Gold Crew took over the ship on 4
April and conducted additional
post-overhaul shakedown operations
which included a missile firing at Cape Canaveral, a transit of the
Panama Canal, and a missile loadout at
Bangor, Washington, before resuming deterrent patrol operations with the Pacific Fleet on 8 August. Thomas Jefferson continued these
operations as a unit of Submarine Squadron 15 throughout 1977 and 1978, at the end of which she completed her
44th deterrent patrol.
[Note: The above USS THOMAS JEFFERSON (SSBN-618) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS THOMAS JEFFERSON (SSBN-618), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]