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USS WILL ROGERS (SSBN-659) - a Benjamin Franklin-class fleet ballistic missile submarine

In Commission 1967 to 1993

SSBN-659 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SSBN-659 Shellback Initiation Add a SSBN-659 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAR 1965 - Keel Date: 20 MAR 1965
at General Dynamics Electric Boat Groton CT
JUL 1966 - Launch Date: 21 JUL 1966
APR 1967 - Commissioned: 1 APR 1967
JAN 1969 - JAN 1972 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN 1974 - AUG 1974 North Atlantic-Med-Indian Ocean
NOV 1978 - NOV 1978 Dependents Cruise
JUN 1981 - SEP 1981 Caribbean
JAN 1985 - JAN 1985 Sea Trials
MAY 1986 - MAY 1986 Missile test launch
MAR 1990 - Shellback Initiation - 13 MAR 1990 - Atlantic Ocean
APR 1993 - Decommissioned: 12 APR 1993

SSBN-659 General Specifications

Class: Benjamin Franklin-class fleet ballistic missile submarine

Named for: Will Rogers (1879–1935)

Complement: 140 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 7320 tons

Length: 425 feet

Beam: 33 feet

Flank Speed: 16 knots surfaced

Final Disposition: Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program begun 2 November 1992 completed 12 August 1994


Will Rogers (SSBN-659)-the 41st and last Polaris submarine-was laid down on 20 March 1965 at Groton, Conn., by the General Dynamics Corporation's Electric Boat Div.; launched on 21 July 1966; sponsored by

Mrs. Hubert H. Humphrey, the wife of the Vice President of the United States; and commissioned on 1 April 1967, Capt. R. Y. Kaufman and Comdr. W. J. Cowhill in command of the Blue and Gold crews, respectively.

Following shakedown, Will Rogers culminated her initial training and work-up by conducting a successful Polaris shot in the Atlantic missile range off Cape Kennedy, Fla., on 31 July 1967. In October of that year, she made her first deterrent deployment.

Will Rogers was based out of Groton, Conn., until 1974 when she shifted to a forward deployment at Rota, Spain. She conducted additional deterrent deployments from Rota over the next four years, into 1978, bringing the total number of patrols made to 35

[Note: The above USS WILL ROGERS (SSBN-659) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS WILL ROGERS (SSBN-659), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]