9 June 1959

The USS George Washington is launched. It is the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.

USS George Washington (SSBN-598)
USS George Washington (SSBN-598)
History
United States
Name: USS George Washington
Namesake: President George Washington (1732–1799)
Owner: United States Navy
Ordered: 31 December 1957[1]
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat[1]
Laid down: 1 November 1958
Launched: 9 June 1959
Sponsored by: Mrs. Robert B. Anderson
Commissioned: 30 December 1959
Decommissioned: 24 January 1985
Stricken: 30 April 1986
Homeport: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii[1]
Nickname(s): "The Georgefish"[2]
Fate: Recycling via the Ship-Submarine Recycling Program completed 30 September 1998
Badge: USS George Washington SSBN-598 COA.png
General characteristics
Class and type: George Washington-class submarine
Type: SSBN (hull design SCB-180A)[3]
Displacement:
  • 5400 tons light[1]
  • 5959–6019 tons surfaced[1]
  • 6709–6888 Approx. tons submerged[1]
Length: 381 ft 7.2 in (116.312 m)[1]
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)[1]
Draft: 29 ft (8.8 m)[1]
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 20 kn (37 km/h) surfaced[1]
  • +25 kn (46 km/h) submerged[1]
Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 700 ft (210 m)[1] (maximum over 900 ft (270 m))[4]
Capacity: 120[1]
Complement: Two crews (Blue/Gold) each consisting of 12 officers and 100 men.
Armament:

USS George Washington (SSBN-598) was the United States's first operational ballistic missile submarine. It was the lead ship of her class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines, was the third[5] United States Navy ship of the name, in honor of George Washington (1732–1799), the first President of the United States, and the first of that name to be purpose-built as a warship.

Construction and launching

George Washington during her launching ceremony in Groton.

George Washington's keel was laid down at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, Groton, Connecticut on 1 November 1958. The first of her class,[6] she was launched on 9 June 1959 sponsored by Mrs. Ollie Mae Anderson (née Rawlins), wife of US Treasury Secretary Robert B. Anderson, and commissioned on 30 December 1959 as SSBN-598[4] with Commander James B. Osborn in command of the Blue crew and Commander John L. From, Jr. in command of the Gold crew.

George Washington was originally laid down as the attack submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589). During construction, she was lengthened by the insertion of a 130 ft (40 m)-long ballistic missile section and renamed George Washington; another submarine under construction at the time received the original name and hull number. Inside George Washington's forward escape hatch, a plaque remained bearing her original name. Because the ballistic missile compartment design of George Washington was intended to be reused in later ship classes, the section inserted into George Washington was designed with a deeper test depth rating than the rest of the submarine.

Initial operations

Universal International Newsreel of first submerged Polaris firing on 20 July 1960

George Washington left Groton on 28 June 1960 for Cape Canaveral, Florida, where she loaded two Polaris missiles. Standing out into the Atlantic Missile Test Range with Rear Admiral William Raborn, head of the Polaris submarine development program, on board as an observer, she successfully conducted the first Polaris missile launch from a submerged submarine on 20 July 1960. At 12:39, George Washington's commanding officer sent President Dwight Eisenhower the message: POLARIS - FROM OUT OF THE DEEP TO TARGET. PERFECT. Less than two hours later a second missile from the submarine also struck the impact area 1,100 nmi (1,300 mi; 2,000 km) downrange.[7]

George Washington then embarked her Gold crew, and on 30 July 1960 she launched two more missiles while submerged. Shakedown for the Gold crew ended at Groton on 30 August and the boat got underway from that port on 28 October for Naval Weapons Station Charleston, to load her full complement of 16 Polaris missiles. There she was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, after which her Blue crew took over and embarked on her first deterrent patrol.

The submarine completed her first patrol after 66 days of submerged running on 21 January 1961, and put in at Naval Submarine Base New London at New London, Connecticut. The Gold crew took over and departed on her next patrol on 14 February 1961. After the patrol, she entered Holy Loch, Scotland, on 25 April 1961.

In 1970 ten years after her initial departure from Groton, George Washington put in to refuel in Charleston SC, having cruised some 100,000 nmi (120,000 mi; 190,000 km).

George Washington shifted to the United States Pacific Fleet and a new home port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii after the refueling.

Collision with Nissho Maru

On 9 April 1981, George Washington was at periscope depth and was broadsided by the 2,350 long tons (2,390 t) Japanese commercial cargo ship Nissho Maru in the East China Sea about 110 nmi (130 mi; 200 km) south-southwest of Sasebo, Japan. George Washington immediately surfaced and searched for the other vessel. Owing to the heavy fog conditions at the time, they did see the Nissho Maru heading off into the fog, but it appeared undamaged. It headed into port for repairs; the crew was later flown back to Pearl Harbor from Guam. Unbeknownst to the crew of the George Washington, Nissho Maru sank in about 15 minutes. Two Japanese crewmen were lost; 13 were rescued by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers JDS Akigumo (DD-120) and Aogumo (ja). The submarine suffered minor damage to her sail.[8]

The accident strained U.S.–Japanese relations a month before a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki and President of the United States Ronald Reagan.[9] Japan criticized the U.S. for taking more than 24 hours to notify Japanese authorities, and demanded to know what the boat was doing surfacing only about 20 nmi (23 mi; 37 km) outside Japan's territorial waters.

The U.S. Navy initially stated that George Washington executed a crash dive during the collision, and then immediately surfaced, but could not see the Japanese ship due to fog and rain (according to a U.S. Navy report). A preliminary report released a few days later stated the submarine and aircraft crews both had detected Nissho Maru nearby, but neither the submarine nor the aircraft realized Nissho Maru was in distress.

On 11 April, President Reagan and other U.S. officials formally expressed regret over the accident, made offers of compensation, and reassured the Japanese there was no cause for worry about radioactive contamination. As is its standard policy, the U.S. Government refused to reveal what the submarine was doing close to Japan, or whether she was armed with nuclear missiles. (It is government and navy policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board.) The Navy accepted responsibility for the incident, and relieved and reprimanded the George Washington's commanding officer and officer of the deck.

On 31 August, the U.S. Navy released its final report, concluding the accident resulted from a set of coincidences, compounded by errors on the part of two members of the submarine crew.

After the collision with the Nissho Maru, the damaged sail was repaired with parts from the sail from the USS Abraham Lincoln which was waiting for disposal at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Final patrol as ballistic missile submarine

In 1982, George Washington returned to Pearl Harbor from her last missile patrol. In 1983, her missiles were unloaded at Bangor, Washington to comply with the SALT I treaty.[citation needed]

George Washington made 55 deterrent patrols in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in her 25-year career.[citation needed]

Service as an attack submarine

George Washington continued service as an attack submarine (SSN), returning briefly to Pearl Harbor. In 1983, she departed Pearl Harbor for the last time and transited the Panama Canal back to the Atlantic and to New London.

Decommissioning

George Washington was decommissioned on 24 January 1985, stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry on 30 April 1986, and scheduled for disposal through the Ship-Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Recycling of the ship was completed on 30 September 1998.

Commemoration

George Washington's sail was removed prior to disposal and now rests at the Submarine Force Library and Museum at Groton, Connecticut.

George Washington (SSBN-598) sail outside the Submarine Force Library and Museum, Groton, CT.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "SSBN-598 George Washington-Class FBM Submarines" from the FAS
  2. ^ Hickman, Kennedy (2012). "Cold War: USS George Washington (SSBN-598)". About.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  3. ^ Adcock, Al. U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines (Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal, 1993), p.12. Adcock, p.4, also credits mythical interwar Albacore and Trout classes, however.
  4. ^ a b c d Adcock, p.12.
  5. ^ Several other U.S. Navy ships have been named USS Washington in his honor.
  6. ^ Connecticut, 1959/06/11 (1959). Universal Newsreel. 1959. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Submarine Chronology". Chief of Naval Operations. Submarine Warfare Division. 3 March 2001. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  8. ^ O'Connell, John F. (Winter 2013). "For Want of a Timely Call ..." (PDF). Naval Warfare College Review. Newport, RI: Naval Warfare College. 66 (1): 101–109. ISSN 0028-1484. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  9. ^ John F. O’Connell (Winter 2013). "For Want of a Timely Call.". Naval War College Review. 66 (1): 101–109.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links

9 June 1934

Donald Duck makes his debut in The Wise Little Hen.

The Wise Little Hen is a Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies cartoon, based on the fairy tale The Little Red Hen. The cartoon marked the debut of Donald Duck, dancing to the Sailor’s Hornpipe. Donald and his friend Peter Pig try to avoid work by faking stomach aches until Mrs. Hen teaches them the value of labor. This cartoon was released on June 9, 1934. It was animated by Art Babbitt, Dick Huemer, Clyde Geronimi, Louie Schmitt, and Frenchy de Tremaudan and directed by Wilfred Jackson. It was also adapted as a Sunday comic strip by Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro.

The Wise Little Hen of the title is looking for someone to help her plant her corn. Peter Pig and Donald Duck both feign belly aches to get out of the chore since they would rather play than work. So, with help from her chicks, she plants it herself. Harvest time comes; again, Peter and Donald claim belly aches, but the hen sees through this when boards of their clubhouse fall off showing their little act when they shake hands with each other for evading responsibility. Upon wising up to their ruse, she and her chicks wink at each other upon knowing what to do with Peter and Donald later. She cooks up a tantalizing assortment of corn dishes, and heads over to Peter and Donald to help her eat them, but before she can open her mouth, they already fake their belly aches. Once she asks, they are miraculously “cured” but all she gives them is castor oil, to teach them a lesson. As the hen and her chicks eat the corn themselves, Peter and Donald, with nothing but an appetite, repent with all their might by kicking each other in the rump.

9 June 1923

Bulgaria’s military takes over the government in a coup d’état.

The Bulgarian coup d’état of 1923, also known as the 9 June coup d’état, was a coup d’état in Bulgaria implemented by armed forces under General Ivan Valkov’s Military Union on the eve of 9 June 1923. Hestitantly legitimated by a decree of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, it overthrew the government of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union headed by Aleksandar Stamboliyski and replaced it with one under Aleksandar Tsankov.

Background
The Bulgarian army, defeated in World War I, was limited in size of 20,000 men by the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. A shadow of its former glory, the army retained weapons hidden away for better times. In 1919 a group of officers led by Generals Ivan Valkov and Velizar Lazarov – and joined by Kimon Georgiev and Damyan Velchev – formed the Military Union. This organization grew over the next couple of years to effectively command the army.

After the war Aleksandar Stamboliyski was released from prison in an effort to quell the civil unrest against the wartime government and Tsar Ferdinand. The result had mixed success: Ferdinand abdicated in favor of his son, Boris III, and Stamboliyski became Prime Minister in 1919. His new agrarian government brought about reforms that, although may have been popular with the farmers who comprised over 80% of the population of Bulgaria, were unpopular amongst the upper-middle class parties. Even more dangerous for Stamboliyski’s government was that the armed forces was not allowed to nominate the Minister of Defence and had no representation in cabinet since the end of the war. This meant that Stamboliyski’s government had no support from the army. As the power of the Military Union grew the civilian government was in danger of being overthrown by an unloyal army.

To the dismay of opposition parties and Tsar Boris III, the BANU and Communist Party polled a combined total of 59% of the votes in the 1920 elections. The middle-class, business men and aristocrats worried for their interests that, for the first time, were being seriously challenged by the peasants. As the agrarian government grew more and more autocratic, even sidelining the tsar. A group of the old bourgeois parties ran together in the April 1923 elections as the Constitutional Bloc but only won 17 seats. Fraud and the newly effective first-past-the-post voting system were the culprits; although the BANU was still relatively popular amongst the countrymen. In 1922 after gaining the approval by a plebiscite, the government began trying and imprisoning leaders of opposition parties for their roles in previous wars. In the face of repression, the bourgeois parties decided that the overthrow of the government was a necessity to their survival. Based in the Macedonian region of Bulgaria the nationalist and revolutionary Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization carried out attacks against Greece and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in attempt to free the Bulgarian lands under Greek and Yugoslav rule. On March 23, 1923 Stamboliyski signed the Treaty of Niš pledging to suppress their activities. The organization, until now at peace with the government, now began plotting against it.

Preparations
Opposition parties met with leaders of the Military Union to prepare for the coup. The Military Union, wanting to give an appearance of legality to the ouster of Stamboliyski, needed a civilian government to hand over power to.

Coup
On the morning of June 9, 1923, before dawn, the order was given for the garrisons in Sofia to block roads, cut telephone lines, and take control of key objectives such as police stations, post offices and train stations. After three hours, the coup was successful. By 5 a.m. a new government led by Aleksandar Tsankov installed in Sofia. The next morning the leaders of the coup meet with Tsar Boris at his palace in Vrana. After a six-hour meeting they convinced him to sign a decree legitimizing the new cabinet, on the condition the new government include agrarians and avoid repression. Both of these conditions were ignored.

Aleksandar Stamboliyski was away from the capital on the day of the coup. He was arrested five days later and handed over to Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization fighters in his home town of Slavovitsa who brutally tortured him for hours, and cut off his hand, before finally murdering him.

Aftermath
Despite the initial success, the new government was still in danger. In several places, the coup met with the opposition of agrarian activists and individual communist volunteers, an event known in Bulgarian historiography as the June Uprising. The uprising was largely unorganized in its essence, lacking a common leadership – after the death of Stamboliyski – and a nationwide radius of action. Despite large-scale activity by the rebels around Pleven, Pazardzhik and Shumen, it was quickly crushed by the new government. Crucial was the inactivity of the Bulgarian Communist Party.

Unlike the agrarians, the Communists Party of Bulgaria had a strong military organization. It was well supplied with arms by BCP followers within the barracks and, unlike the party of the agrarians, was already in the grip of the notorious communist iron discipline. Its position could have decided between the success or failure of the coup. In a move that would prove fatal to both the agrarians and later themselves, the communists did not take part in the June Uprising. Its leadership regarded both the uprising and the coup as “struggle for power between the urban and rural bourgeoisie” and as a replacement of one military dictatorship – that of the rural bourgeoisie and their ‘posse comitatus’, with another – that of the urban upper middle class. The party’s stance of neutrality allowed the new government to crush the rebels and consolidate its power.

Arrested rebels in Vratsa
Under pressure from the Comintern, who condemned their inactivity, the Communist Party made preparations in August for an uprising the following month. This short time frame did not allow for nationwide organization. Furthermore, the new government was made aware of the impending rebellion and subjected the communists to mass arrests. This crippling pre-emptive blow crippled the rebels and who finalized plans for an uprising on the eve of September 23. The insurrection was put down by the army. Thousands of rebels were killed without charge or trial.
This marked the debut of Aleksandar Tsankov’s reign of “white terror”, prompting the future bombing of the St Nedelya Church, prompting, in turn, martial law and an intensification of the terror.

9 June 1934

Donald Duck makes his cinematic debut in The Wise Little Hen.

The Wise Little Hen is a Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies cartoon, based on the fairy tale The Little Red Hen. This cartoon marked the debut of Donald Duck, dancing to the Sailor’s Hornpipe. Donald and his friend Peter Pig try to avoid work by faking stomach aches until Mrs. Hen teaches them the value of labor. This cartoon was released on June 9, 1934. It was animated by Art Babbitt, Dick Huemer, Clyde Geronimi, Louie Schmitt, and Frenchy de Tremaudan with assistance from a group of junior animators headed by Ben Sharpsteen and directed by Wilfred Jackson. It was also adapted as a Sunday comic strip by Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro.

The Wise Little Hen of the title is looking for someone to help her plant her corn. Peter Pig and Donald Duck both feign belly aches to get out of the chore since they would rather play than work. So, with help from her chicks, she plants it herself. Harvest time comes; again, Peter and Donald claim belly aches, but the hen sees through this when boards of their clubhouse fall off showing their little act when they shake hands with each other for getting out of doing work. She cooks up a variety of corn dishes, and heads over to Peter and Donald to help her eat them, but before she can open her mouth, they already fake their belly aches. Once she asks, they are miraculously “cured” but all she gives them is castor oil, to teach them a lesson. As the hen and her chicks eat the corn themselves, Peter and Donald, with nothing but an appetite, repent with all their might by kicking each other on the rear.