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USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN-624) - a Lafayette-class submarine

In Commission 1963 to 1994

SSBN-624 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SSBN-624 Shellback Initiation Add a SSBN-624 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
SEP 1961 - Keel Date: 13 SEP 1961
at Mare Island Naval Shipyard Vallejo CA
JAN 1963 - MAR 1963 Blue Nose - Arctic Circle
FEB 1963 - Launch Date: 22 FEB 1963
DEC 1963 - Commissioned: 27 DEC 1963
JAN 1967 - JAN 1968 North Atlantic
JAN 1968 - JAN 1969 North Atlantic
OCT 1969 - OCT 1969 Panama Canal
AUG 1971 - Shellback Initiation - 20 AUG 1971 - Pacific Ocean
FEB 1972 - Shellback Initiation - 17 FEB 1972 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1977 - AUG 1983 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
JAN 1978 - JAN 1978 Blue Nose - Arctic Circle
SEP 1994 - Decommissioned: 1 SEP 1994

SSBN-624 General Specifications

Class: Lafayette-class submarine

Named for: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

Complement: 13 Officers and 130 Enlisted

Displacement: 7250 tons

Length: 425 feet

Beam: 33 feet

Flank Speed: 20 knots

Final Disposition: Entered Ship-Submarine Recycling Program 26 September 1997; recycling completed 27 October 1998


Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) was laid down on 16 September 1961 at Vallejo, Calif., by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard; launched on 22 February 1963; sponsored by Miss Eleanor A. Sayre, the granddaughter of President Wilson; and commissioned on 27 December 1963, Comdr. C. N. Mitchell and Comdr. W. N. Dietzen in command of the Blue and Gold crews, respectively.

Woodrow Wilson departed Vallejo, Calif., on 9 January 1964, bound for the east coast on a route which would take her through the Panama Canal. After stopping briefly at San Diego, the submarine proceeded on to Panama, arriving on 19 January at the west coast end of the canal. Violent anti-American demonstrations and riots over a recent flag-displaying incident had resulted in an extremely tense atmosphere. As a result, the submarine transited the canal in a record seven hours and ten minutes while combat-ready marines and soldiers guarded the locks.

Making port at Charleston, S.C., on 5 February, the Woodrow Wilson conducted shakedown off the lower eastern seaboard into March and underwent her post-shakedown availability into April. She put to sea at the end of May upon the conclusion of these repairs and alterations and commenced her first deterrent patrol out of Charleston in June.

Woodrow Wilson subsequently operated in the Atlantic until the autumn of 1969 conducting her patrols from forward bases at Rota, Spain, and Holy Loch, Scotland. She was then transferred to the Pacific and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 19 November, via Charleston and the Panama Canal. The fleet ballistic missile submarine continued toward the western Pacific to be based at Guam. She conducted deterrent patrols from Apra Harbor through 1972. In that year, she shifted back to the Atlantic and served with the Atlantic Fleet into 1978. Between 1964 and 1977, the ship performed 37 deterrent patrols

[Note: The above USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN-624) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN-624), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]