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USS JAMES K. POLK (SSBN-645) - a Benjamin Franklin-class fleet ballistic missile submarine

In Commission 1966 to 1999

SSBN-645 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SSBN-645 Shellback Initiation Add a SSBN-645 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
NOV 1963 - Keel Date: 23 NOV 1963
at General Dynamics Electric Boat Groton CT
MAY 1965 - Launch Date: 22 MAY 1965
APR 1966 - Commissioned: 16 APR 1966
SEP 1969 - SEP 1969 West Africa
SEP 1969 - NOV 1969 Antarctic Circle
SEP 1969 - SEP 1969 West Africa
JAN 1970 - JAN 1971 Blue Nose - Arctic Circle
JAN 1970 - JAN 1971 Blue Nose - Arctic Circle
APR 1970 - JUN 1970 Antarctic Circle
JAN 1972 - JAN 1980 North Atlantic
AUG 1973 - NOV 1973 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
JAN 1978 - JAN 1983 depth charged
JAN 1979 - JAN 1982 Mediterranean-Indian Ocean
JAN 1979 - JAN 1982 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
JAN 1979 - JAN 1982 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
JAN 1979 - JAN 1982 Mediterranean
JAN 1979 - JAN 1982 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
JUL 1999 - Decommissioned: 8 JUL 1999

SSBN-645 General Specifications

Class: Benjamin Franklin-class fleet ballistic missile submarine

Named for: James K. Polk (1795–1849)

Complement: 14 Officers and 129 Enlisted

Displacement: 6527 tons

Length: 129.5 m

Beam: 33 feet

Flank Speed: Over 20 knots

Final Disposition: Scrapped via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program 26 April 2000


From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

James K. Polk

James K. Polk 11th President of the United States was born 2 November 1795 in Meeklenburg County [sic; Mecklenburg County] N.C. A leading Jacksonian Democrat in the Tennessee State Legislature he was not yet 50 years old when inaugurated President of the United States 4 March 1845. He ably conducted the Mexican War following the annexation of Texas. The "Four Great Measures" he announced for his administration were all achieved: the reduction of tariff; the reestablishment of the Independent Treasury System; the settlement of the Oregon dispute with Great Britain; and the acquisition of California. More territory was added to the United States under Polk than any other President except Jefferson. Few presidents worked harder. His arduous and conscientious labor during his term so undermined his health that he died 15 June 1894 some 3 months after he left the White House.

(SSB (N) - 645; dp. 7 250 (surf.) 8 250 (subm.); l. 425'; b. 33'; dr. 31'5"; s. over 20 k.; cpl. 140; a. 16 Pol. mis.; cl. Lafayette)

James K. Polk (SSB(N)-645) was [laid down 23 November 1963 ] launched 22 May 1965 by the Electric Boat Div. General Dynamics Corp. Groton Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. Horacio Rivero Jr. wife of Admiral Rivero the Vice Chief of Naval Operations; and commissioned 16 April 1966 Comdr. R. M. Douglass (blue crew ) and Comdr. F. D. McMullen Jr. (gold crew ) in command.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet she roams the seas a silent and unseen deterent [sic; deterrent] against aggression.

[Transcriber's note: James K. Polk was completed with the 2500-mile range Polaris A3 and she was refitted with the Poseidon missile between 1969 and 1978.

K. Jack Bauer and Stephen S. Roberts "Register of Ships of the U. S. Navy 1775-1990 " p. 295.]

Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (


[Note: The above USS JAMES K. POLK (SSBN-645) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS JAMES K. POLK (SSBN-645) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]