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    Navy Celebrates Submarine Force Birthday



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Roys 

    All Hands Magazine

    From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Roys/All Hands Magazine
    The Navy celebrates the acquisition of the first modern
    submarine in the fleet’s history, USS Holland (SS 1), April 11.
    Holland would be commissioned into active service
    on October 12, 1900, during a ceremony in Newport,
    Rhode Island, and set the bar for over 120 years of proud
    submarine history.
    Although the official submarine history began with
    the purchase and commissioning of Holland, the impact
    of subsurface vessels can be traced back to the American
    Revolution. The ship known as Turtle would become the
    world’s first submarine and would be used to try to break
    the blockade of British ships in the New York Harbor. Turtle
    would ultimately be unsuccessful in her mission but showed
    the impact that submarine vessels could potentially have.
    During World War II, the training and experience gained
    from ships like Holland and Turtle began to pay off. The
    impact of submarines during the war would be essential
    in victory. American submarines were vital in lessening
    the threat of German U-boats, which had destroyed allied
    shipping lanes. With the threat of U-boats severely hampered,
    submarines were able to redeploy to the Pacific theatre.
    According to the Naval Heritage and History Command,
    submarines were responsible for sinking more than 540,000
    tons of Japanese Naval vessels, along with more than
    4.7 million tons of merchant shipping. Submarines were
    decisive factors in the pacific theatre, with these numbers
    accounting for more than 54% of all Japanese vessel losses.
    Submarines were used for more than just combat
    operations during this time as well. With missions ranging
    from rescue operations to transportation, the impact of
    submarines was a decisive advantage for the United States.
    During a rescue operation, USS Finback (SS 230) saved
    the life of a downed carrier pilot who was shot down by
    Japanese forces. The pilot would be future president George
    H.W. Bush.
    Following World War II, advancements in technology
    made the first nuclear-powered submarine possible. USS
    Nautilus (SSN 571) was commissioned in 1954 as the
    world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Nautilus would
    go on to make history, sailing 1,381 miles while completely
    submerged, the longest such journey in history at that point.
    It wouldn’t be the first historic milestone for Nautilus. In
    1958, she would become the first ship to complete a fully
    submerged transit under the North Pole. The previous year,
    Nautilus became the first submarine to sail under the arctic
    ice path in general.
    Submarine forces would continue to be an important
    part of the national defense in the ensuing years. USS George
    Washington (SSBN 598) would be vital in developing the
    combat capabilities of submarines. She would launch the
    first successful Polaris ballistic missile from a submerged
    vessel in 1960.
    During the Cold War, nuclear-powered submarines
    and fast attack submarines would play a vital role. These
    submarines would deploy around the globe on strategic
    deterrence missions, along with special reconnaissance. The
    versatility and stealth of submarines allowed for numerous
    successful missions.
    Submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles saw
    their first combat action during Operation Desert Storm.
    USS Louisville (SSN 724) and USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720)
    were the submarines to first launch these missiles. Today’s
    submarines undertake a wide variety of missions including
    reconnaissance, transportation and patrols. Submarines
    are also part of the nuclear triad and are used as a major
    deterrence against aggression.
    The impact and history of submarines during the past
    122 years have contributed to today’s submarine force. There
    have been a total of 7 Chiefs of Naval Operations who have a
    background in the submarine force. Over the course of naval
    history, eight submariners have been awarded the Medal
    of Honor. Among the most capable in the world, American
    submarines continue to operate in ways traditional surface
    vessels cannot, and will likely remain important for the next
    122 years.



    Date Taken: 12.28.2022
    Date Posted: 12.28.2022 11:13
    Story ID: 435965
    Location: US

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