Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster.
Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - Bravo - Uniform - Juliet

Skate (SSN-578)


Skate Class Submarine: Laid down, 21 July 1955, at General Dynamics Corp. Electric Boat Co. Div., Groton, CT.; Launched, 16 May 1957; Commissioned, USS Skate (SSN-578), 23 December 1957; Decommissioned, 12 September 1986; Struck from the Naval Register, 30 October 1986; Final Disposition, disposed through NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 14 April 1994 to 6 March 1995.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 2,570 t., Submerged: 2,861 t.; Length 267' 8" ; Beam 25'; Draft 20'; Speed, Surfaced 23 kts, Submerged 18+ kts; Complement 8 Officers, 75 Enlisted; Armament, six 21" torpedo tubes, Propulsion, pressurized water cooled reactor, steam turbines, two propellers.
Click On Image
For Full Size Image
SizeImage DescriptionSource
Skate1.20kBow view of the Skate (SSN-578),underway on 6 December 1957, 1st run at 3 knots.US National Archives photo # 80G-1037389 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Skate1.00kBow view of the Skate (SSN-578),underway on 6 December 1957, 2nd run at 10 knots.US National Archives photo # 80G-1037388 from NARA, College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Skate317kThe Skate (SSN-578) is sponsored by Mrs. Lewis L. Strauss on 23 December 1957.Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Skate51kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Skate's (SSN-578) Polar ice Cap cruise, 1958.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Skate173kSkate (SSN-578), tying up at the sub base at Groton CT., circa 1958.Photo courtesy of the Sunday Replublican, Springfield Mass. Submitted by Stan Svec.
Skate30kTwo crew-members of the Skate (SSN-578) checking melt-water while above the Arctic Circle in 1958.US Navy photo courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
Skate104kLt. William Layman peering through thick porthole covered with leaded glass into reactor for inspection on nuclear submarine Skate (SSN-578), 1958. Photographer: Hank Walker, courtesy of life.time.com
Skate131kSailors aboard nuclear submarine Skate (SSN-578) pushing torpedo in place near tube as other sailor sleeps on bunk below, 1958. Photographer: Hank Walker, courtesy of life.time.com
Skate100kComm. James Calvert looking through periscope in control center aboard nuclear submarine Skate (SSN-578). Photographer: Hank Walker, courtesy of life.time.com
Skate187kBritish sailors looking at nuclear submarine Skate (SSN-578) emerging at Portland, England after the first submerged crossing of the Atlantic, 1958. Photographer: Hank Walker, courtesy of life.time.com
Skate66kSkate (SSN-578) underway circa 1958.Skyfotos from "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1961-62 edition, submitted by Robert Hurst.
Skate56kThree crew-members of the Skate (SSN-578) checking the ice on deck while above the Arctic Circle in 1959.US Navy photo courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
Skate24kSkate (SSN-578),taken in summer, perhaps in August 1958.Photo i.d. courtesy of Graham P. Davis.
US Navy photo courtesy of tripod.com
Skate63k Skate (SSN-578) moored to the ice at floating ice station Alpha. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Skate578kOn 17 March 1959, Skate (SSN-578) surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste. Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # NPC 1149126 courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory, Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Skate62kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Skate (SSN-578), as the first Submarine to surface at the North Pole, 17 March 1959. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Skate63kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Skate (SSN-578), during her Polar Ice cap cruise at the North Pole, 1959.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Skate538kSub Skippers - The Navy's three atomic sub skippers of the Nautilus (SSN-571), Seawolf (SSN-575) & Skate (SSN-578).....12 April 1959.USN photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
Skate30kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Skate (SSN-578), breaking the Trans-Atlantic speed record.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Skate125kVice Admiral James F. Calvert played a key role in developing nuclear submarine Arctic tactics during his tour as commanding officer of the Skate (SSN-578) from December 1957 to September 1959. Skate surfaced at the North Pole in February 1959. During this tour, Calvert also helped define the operational capabilities of the Navy's first series-production class of nuclear submarine.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Calvert graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1942 and from Submarine School in September of that year. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star while serving aboard the submarine Jack (SS-259) during World War II.
He also served as executive officer aboard the Haddo (SS-255) in 1945. Following the war, he served as executive officer aboard the Charr (SS-328) and Harder (SS-568) and as commanding officer of the Trigger (SS-564).
Calvert served as Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1968 to 1972.
US Navy photo courtesy of navy.mil. & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Skate362kIce Skate (SSN-578). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Submarine Silhouettes 1960179kSubmarine Silhouettes of 1960:
Nautilus (SSN-571), Seawolf (SSN-575), Skate (SSN-578), Skipjack (SS-585), Triton (SSRN-586), Halibut (SSGN-587), Thresher (SSN-593), Tullibee (SSN-597), George Washington (SSBN-598), & Ethan Allen (SSBN-608) classes.
U.S. Navy Photograph submitted by Ron Titus, courtesy of Ingersoll-Rand. Corp.
Nuclear Submarine Profiles187kNuclear Submarine Profiles 1960:
Nautilus (SSN-571),
Seawolf (SSN-575),
Triton (SSRN-586),
Skate (SSN-578) & Skipjack (SS-585) classes,
Halibut (SSGN-587) & Tullibee (SSN-597) classes,
George Washington (SSBN-598) &
Thresher (SSN-593) classes.
US Navy photo courtesy of Ron Titus courtesy of Ingersoll-Rand. Corp. Photo i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston.
Skate242k Skate (SSN-578) rides the waves. USN photo # USN 1026364 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Skate138kOn 7 July 1962, Skate (SSN-578) again pointed her bow towards the North Pole. Five days later, sister ship Seadragon (SSN-584) based in Pearl Harbor, did likewise. The mission of the two submarines was to rendezvous under the ice there. They began rendezvous procedures on 31 July. After the historic meeting, the two ships operated together for over a week. Both submarines surfaced at the North Pole on 2 August and official greetings and insignia of the Submarine Forces, Atlantic Fleet and Pacific Fleet, were exchanged.
Skate is seen there in a photo dated a week later.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # K-27399 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Seadragon 70k Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962. Note the men on the ice beyond the submarines. USN photo from The American Submarine, by Norman Polmar, submitted by Robert Hurst.
Skate67kSkate (SSN-578), at the North Pole, 1962.US Navy photo.
Seadragon 31k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Seadragon (SSN-584) & Skate (SSN-578) for the first rendezvous at the North Pole, August 1962. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Skate40kSkate (SSN-578), and Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaced at the North Pole, 1962.US Navy photo courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
Skate1.30k Skate (SSN-578) returned to New London and performed fleet and local operations for the next several years.
She is seen here on 23 May 1963.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # NPC 1072986 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Skate122k Skate (SSN-578) with crew on deck.Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Photo added 11/01/13.
Skate73kThe Skate (SSN-578) above the Arctic Circle in 1971.US Navy photo courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
Skate336kCDR George Rodwell Fister attended the University of Tulsa for a year before entering the U.S. Naval Academy graduating in 1963. Following commissioning he served aboard the Cutlass (SS-478) prior to attending Nuclear Power Training. His first assignment was the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) as a member of the overhauling crew. Following shakedown and DASO, he made three Polaris Patrols. He then reported to the Seahorse (SSN-669) in new construction. In 1969 he reported as Engineering Officer on the Sculpin (SSN-590). In 1976 he served as Executive Officer on the Aspro (SSN-648). From November 1979 to May 1982 he was the commanding officer of the Skate (SSN-578). He departed the Skate with orders to assume command of the Tunny (SSN-682).Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Skate278kCDR Wayne Jacinto Fernandez attended Auburn University as an NROTC midshipman and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in June 1965. He made a Polaris deterrent patrol on the Ethan Allen (SSBN-608) during his senior year summer cruise. Following commissioning he attended Naval Nuclear Power School at Mare Island, Nuclear Power Training Unit at Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Naval Submarine School at Groton. Subsequently he reported to the Grenadier (SS-525) were he earned his Gold Dolphins designating he was “Submarine Qualified”. From 1968 to 1972 he served aboard the Tinosa (SSN-606). He served aboard the Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617) as Engineering Officer from 1972 to 1976 completing two patrols followed her overhaul and refueling. His next duty assignment was the Sand Lance (SSN-660) from 1976 to 1979 as her Executive Officer. In 1981 he earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University before being placed in Command of the Skate (SSN-578). He served as her commander from May 1982 to 1985.Photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Photo added 11/01/13.
Skate676kSeven page PDF Welcome Aboard the Skate (SSN-578), circa 1982.Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PSNSY 683k An aerial view of a section of the Ship Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 17 May 1993. One submarine tender and 16 decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines are shown including the Seawolf (SSN-575); six George Washington, and Lafayette class SSBN's (with their missile sections cut out) plus several Skate, Skipjack, Permit and Sturgeon class SSN's. All are awaiting scrapping.
Bottom row, from left to right Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610), Skipjack (SS-585), Snook (SSN-592), Henry Clay (SSBN-625), Lapon (SSN-661), Dace (SSN-607), Skate (SSN-578), Swordfish (SSN-579), Sargo (SSN-583) , Seadragon (SSN-584).
Across the pier are Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618), and not in view, Patrick Henry (SSBN-599), George Washington (SSBN-598), Barb (SSN-596) & Sea Devil (SSN-664).
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-ST-95-01863, by Calvin Larsen, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil. Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston (USN).
Skate140kPhoto date is March of 1994 during the demolition process for the submarines Skate (SSN-578) and Sargo (SSN-583) . Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Drydock No. 3, Farragut Avenue, Bremerton, Kitsap, WA. South Section from caisson when drydock is almost fully flooded in preparation for docking Sargo next to Skate [not in picture}.
Other views of the flooding procedure were not permitted for this HAER report.
LOC photo # 370865pv courtesy of Stephen Gower.
Skate110kView of fully flooded drydock with caisson opened. Newly arrived submarine is being placed in position. Berthed submarine on right is same as that seen in photo WA-116-25. Camera is pointed S from bulkhead. LOC photo # 370866pv courtesy of Stephen Gower.
PSNSY291k"Sign of the times." March 1994 photo of Nuclear submarines at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard waiting in line for scrapping.
Top row left to right are Ethan Allen (SSBN-608), Seawolf (SSN-575), Plunger (SSN-595), Shark (SSN-591), Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636), Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685) alongside Sperry (AS-12), with Triton (SSRN-586) across the pier from the Sperry .
Bottom row, from left to right Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610), Skipjack (SS-585), Snook (SSN-592), Henry Clay (SSBN-625), Lapon (SSN-661), Dace (SSN-607), Skate (SSN-578), Swordfish (SSN-579), Sargo (SSN-583) , Seadragon (SSN-584).
Across the pier are Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618), and not in view, Patrick Henry (SSBN-599), George Washington (SSBN-598), Barb (SSN-596) & Sea Devil (SSN-664).
There are so many submarines at PSNSY that the yard is running out of pier space.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Reactor Compartments83kTrench 94, Hanford Site, Washington, 1994. Hull sections containing defueled reactor compartments of decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines are put in disposal trenches. Once full, the trench will be filled with dirt and buried. The compartments are expected to retain their integrity for more than 600 years. USN photo & partial text courtesy of home.flash.net/~tomj/tunny/chop/rx. & submitted by Jack Treutle.
Spent Fuel569kSealed reactor compartments are shipped by barge out of Puget Sound Naval Base down the coast and along the Columbia River to the port of Benton. There the radioactively-contaminated hull sections are transferred to special multiwheeled high-load trailers for transport to the Hanford Reservation in Washington State. Pictured below is the burial ground for spent fuel of the following 77 nuclear reactor submarines as of March 2003:
Patrick Henry (SSBN-599),
Snook (SSN-592),
George Washington (SSBN-598),
Scamp (SSN-588),
Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601),
Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618),
Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600),
Dace (SSN-607),
John Adams (SSBN-620),
Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602),
Barb (SSN-596),
Ethan Allen (SSBN-608),
Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610),
Pollack (SSN-603),
Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685),
James Monroe (SSBN-622),
Skipjack (SS-585),
Nathan Hale (SSBN-623),
Plunger (SSN-595),
Shark (SSN-591),
Lafayette (SSBN-616),
Sam Houston (SSBN-609),
Jack (SSN-605),
Haddo (SSN-604),
Tinosa (SSN-606),
Guardfish (SSN-612),
Permit (SSN-594),
Queenfish (SSN-651),
Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631),
John Marshall (SSBN-611),
George C. Marshall (SSBN-654),
Flasher (SSN-613),
Guitarro (SSN-665),
Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617),
George Washington Carver (SSBN-656),
Tecumseh (SSBN-628),
Halibut (SSGN-587),
Will Rogers (SSBN-659),
Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655),
Daniel Boone (SSBN-629),
Greenling (SSN-614),
John C. Calhoun (SSBN-630),
Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633),
Skate (SSN-578),
Sargo (SSN-583),
Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657),
Sturgeon (SSN-637),
Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640),
Swordfish (SSN-579),
Seadragon (SSN-584),
Stonewall Jackson (SSBN-634),
Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641),
Hammerhead (SSN-663),
Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN-658) ,
Tullibee (SSN-597),
Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644),
Pargo (SSN-650),
Seahorse (SSN-669),
Gurnard (SSN-662),
Flying Fish (SSN-673),
Gato (SSN-615),
Puffer (SSN-652),
Seawolf (SSN-575),
Baton Rouge (SSN-689),
Bergall (SSN-667),
Whale (SSN-638),
Henry Clay (SSBN-625),
James Madison (SSBN-627),
Finback (SSN-670),
Spadefish (SSN-668),
Sunfish (SSN-649),
George Bancroft (SSBN-643),
Grayling (SSN-646),
Pintado (SSN-672),
Tunny (SSN-682),
Archerfish (SSN-678),
& Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624).
USN photo & partial text courtesy of home.flash.net/~tomj/tunny/chop/rx. & submitted by Jack Treutle.

View the Skate (SSN-578)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Michael Mensch's USS SKATE (SSN 578) Page

Back To The Main Photo IndexBack To the Submarine Index
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster
This page is created by Gary Priolo and maintained by Michael Mohl
©1996 - 2014, NavSource History All rights reserved.