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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Skipjack (SSN-585)

Radio Call Sign: November - Zulu - Hotel - Xray

Skipjack Class Submarine: Laid down, 29 May 1956, at General Dynamics Corp., Electric Boat Division, Groton, CT.; Launched, 26 May 1958; Commissioned, USS Skipjack (SSN-585), 15 April 1959; Decommissioned, and Struck from the Naval Register, 19 April 1990; Final Disposition, disposed of through NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 17 March 1996.

Specifications: Displacement, Surface 3,075 t., Submerged: 3,513 t.; Length 252' ; Beam 31' 7"; Draft 29' 5"; Speed, Surfaced 15 kts, Submerged 20+ kts; Test Depth 700'; Complement 8 Officers, 85 Enlisted,; Armament, six 21" torpedo tubes; Pressurized water reactor, two steam turbines, one propeller.
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Skate1.40kLaunching of the Skate (SSN-578) on 16 May 1957. Skipjack (SSN-585) is under construction on the left. The Triton (SSRN-586) is under construction on the right.A.P. Wirephoto courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
The Skate (SSN-578), third atomic submarine to be built for the United States Navy, slides down the ways at the Groton (Conn.) plant of General Dynamics Corp. Mrs. Lewis Strauss, wife of the atomic energy commissioner, christened the vessel. Still another atomic sub. Skipjack (SSN-585) is under construction at the left.
A.P. Wirephoto
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 17 May 1957, Image 5, via
Skipjack310kThe Skipjack (SSN-585) was sponsored by Mrs. George H. Mahon, wife of the United States Representative from the 19th District of Texas.Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Skipjack 60k Layout drawing showing Electric Boat arrangements during luanch ceremony for Skipjack (SSN-585). Electric Boat photo submitted by Ken Hart.
Skipjack 841k Skipjack (SSN-585) about to slide down the launching ways at General Dynamics Corp., Electric Boat Division, Groton, CT., 26 May 1958.
I believe the Scorpion (SSN-589) is under construction on the right.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Skipjack 729k Skipjack (SSN-585) is waterbourne on 26 May 1958.
I believe the Scorpion (SSN-589) is under construction on the right.
USN photo # NPC 710183, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Insert United Press photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Skipjack 1.75k Aerial view of Skipjack (SSN-585) on trials in March 1959. Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
NR New Atomic Submarine Skipjack (SSN-585) Makes Depth and Speed Records
VIP’S PILOT SUB Senator Anderson, Democrat of New Mexico (fore- ground) and Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover sit at the controls of America’s newest atomic submarine, the Skipjack, during a trial run. Behind them stands her skipper, Comdr. William W. Behrens, Jr.
A.P. Wirephoto
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 13 April 1959, Image 11, via
Skipjack 393k Skipjack (SSN-585) on builders trials, May 1959. USN photo # NPC 710385, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Skipjack571kThe world's fastest submarine, Skipjack (SSN-585), executes a sharp turn while exercising in Long Island Sound off her home port of New London, Connecticut, photograph released on 21 July 1959.Photo # USN 710490, courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, via
Skipjack567kThe crew is served a man-sized meal on board Skipjack (SSN-585), after completing the day's training exercises, photograph released on 21 July 1959.Photo # 428-GX-KN 548, courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, via
Skipjack 1.38k A small boat leads the Skipjack (SSN-585) off the coast, possibly during her trials. USN photo # NPC K-24297, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Skipjack 149k Cover of Skipjack (SSN-585) Launch Ceremony pamphlet (General Dynamics Corporation Electric Boat Division). Courtesy of Ken Hart.
Skipjack Class 60k Watercolour and gouache on paper painting by the artist Viktor Stepansky entitled "Diving Skipjack Class".
The Skipjack Class (SSN-585 / 88-92) - clearing showing the tear-drop shape adopted by many of the submarine's successors. The Scorpion (SSN-589) is pictured here underway.
Photo & text courtesy of
Behrens 131k From 1958 to 1960 Vice Admiral William Wohlsen Behrens, Jr. was assigned to the Construction and Commissioning of the Skipjack (SSN-585). Commander Behrens was her first Commanding Officer. Photo courtesy of the Behrens family & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Skipjack & Triton 54k Skipjack (SSN-585) & Triton (SSRN-586). Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the first day in commission of the Triton, 10 November 1959. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Skipjack 96k Clipping of the commissioning of the Skipjack (SSN-585) at Electric Boat on 15 April 1959 from the 1 May 1959 edition of Mare Island's newspaper "Grapevine" USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Skipjack 157k Cover of Skipjack (SSN-585) Commissioning Ceremony pamphlet (General Dynamics Corporation Electric Boat Division). Courtesy of Ken Hart.
Triton 232k Commissioning of the Triton (SSRN-586), 10 November 1959. The Skipjack (SSN-585) is in the background. She had been commissioned on 15 April 1959. Courtesy of Norm Gladd. Photo i.d. courtesy of
Skipjack 587k Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke, second from right, in the control room of the U.S. Navy's latest nuclear-powered submarine Skipjack (SSN-585) is briefed during his overnight submerged cruise by Rear Admiral. F.B. Wander, right, Commander, Submarine Forces, Atlantic Fleet. On the left are Commander W.W. Behrens, USN, Commanding Officer of Skipjack and Assistant Secretary of Defense (Supply and Logistics) Edward Perkins McGuire. Photograph released 3 August 1959. USN photo 428-GX-USN 1043102 courtesy of National Museum of the U.S. Navy via
Submarine Silhouettes 1960179kSubmarine Silhouettes of 1960:
Nautilus (SSN-571), Seawolf (SSN-575), Skate (SSN-578), Skipjack (SSN-585), Triton (SSRN-586), Halibut (SSGN-587), Thresher (SSN-593), Tullibee (SSN-597), George Washington (SSBN-598), & Ethan Allen (SSBN-608) classes.
USN photo 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 (SSN-585) classes,
Halibut (SSGN-587) & Tullibee (SSN-597) classes,
George Washington (SSBN-598) &
Thresher (SSN-593) classes.
USN photo courtesy of Ron Titus courtesy of Ingersoll-Rand. Corp. Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston
NR How to cook for a whole crew
Skipjack (SSN-585) Kitchen on the ocean floor: Paul Bargas serves Sauerbraten.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 10 July 1960, Image 135, via
George Washington88kThe George Washington (SSBN-598) arriving w. officers & crew. The Skipjack (SSN-585) is alongside, October 1960.Photographer: Al Fenn, courtesy of
Permit717kCapt. Karl R. Wheland (Commander Submarine Group San Francisco Bay Area) presents LT Hugh A Benton, prospective engineering officer of Permit (SSN-594), a Navy Unit Commendation award earned while LT Benton was servicing in Skipjack (SSN-585) at Mare Island on 24 June 1961.A Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, MINSY #51750-6-61, submitted by Darryl L. Baker.
Skipjack 913k Front & back sides of a post card view of Skipjack (SSN-585) riding the waves, circa early 1960's. Photo courtesy of Thomas Becher.
Fulton61kHalfbeak (SS-352), (second from right) immediately astern of Fulton (AS-11) at the Connecticut State Pier, New London, CT. Other submarines astern of Fulton, include (far right) Nautilus (SSN-571), (third from right) Bang (SS-385), and outboard of Bang , (fourth from right) is Tusk (SS-426). Moored to Fulton's starboard side are three additional submarines. The outboard boat on the starboard side is the Skipjack (SSN-585) & the other two are unidentified. Photo from Subron 10 Cruise Book for 1964-1965, courtesy of Fred (Doc) Gardner xHM1(SS) / FMF USS Skipjack SSN 585 - SN(SS) (1964-1965) and Fred Willshaw.
Skipjack 104k Skipjack (SSN-585) underway circa 1965. USN photo courtesy of Federation of American Scientists.
Skipjack 663k Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Pirie, Jr. commanded the nuclear-powered submarine Skipjack (SSN-585) from 25 October 1969 to 8 July 1972. USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo via
Skipjack 84k Scale model diorama I'd built of Skipjack (SSN-585), alongside at Groton, circa 1970s. Model and photo by Ken Hart.
Skipjack 1.0k Skipjack (SSN-585) in 1981. USN photo # 176015-2-81 courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Skipjack 786k 15 page Skipjack (SSN-585) Welcome Aboard pamphlet, circa 1982. Photos courtesy of Scott Koen &
Ellis321kCapt Charles Eugene Ellis is a native of Texas. After receiving a draft notice, he enlisted in the Navy in November 1961. He later attended the University of Texas at Austin under the Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program, graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was commissioned after completing Officer Candidate School. Capt. Ellis served in a variety of submarine billets, including command of Skipjack (SSN-585) [ 10 April 1985 – 11 July 1985], Louisville (SSN-724) [8 November 1986 – 24 April 1987] and L.Y. Spear (AS-36) [30 June 1989 - 2 March 1991]. His duty ashore included a tour on the staff of Submarine Group FIVE, during which he earned a Master of Science Degree from Chapman University and a tour as Commanding Officer of Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA from which he retired in December 1992. Capt. Ellis was employed as Provost of a Distant Learning Center of Georgia Military College until October 1997. His decorations and awards include: Legion of Merit with 2 Stars, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Stars, Navy Commendation Medal with 2 Stars, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 Stars, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Star, Good Conduct Medal and Navy "E" Ribbon. Biography courtesy of the American Legion
USN photo # DN-SN-82-06068, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
La Maddalena Italy69kThe Orion (AS-18) and two of her charges at La Maddalena Italy, August 1987: Trepang (SSN-674) inboard of the Skipjack (SSN-585).Photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
PSNSY 298k The nuclear-powered attack submarine Skipjack (SSN-585) waits ahead of the Guided missile destroyer Sampson (DDG-10) in a lock as the two ships transit the Panama Canal on 21 June 1989. Official USN photo # DN-ST-89-08470, by PH2(AC) Scott M. Allen, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
Skipjack 110k Cover of Skipjack (SSN-585) 20th Reunion pamphlet. USN / Courtesy of Ken Hart.
Skipjack 119k Cover of Skipjack (SSN-585) Decommissioning Ceremony pamphlet. USN photo submitted by Ken Hart.
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 (SSN-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 USN photo # DN-ST-95-01863, by Calvin Larsen, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston.
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 (SSN-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 (of blessed memory).
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 submitted by Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
reactor compartments 569kSealed 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 reactor compartments 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 (SSN-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).
As time passes & more boats are retired from service and their reactors are brought here, so the numbers rise. In this photo dated November 2009, 98 nuclear submarines and six nuclear cruisers have been recycled. For an up to date view, click here
USN photo submitted by Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Insert link courtesy of

Commanding Officers
01CDR. Behrens Jr., William Wohlsen, USN (USNA 1944) :VADM15.04.1959 - 20.12.1960 First Date in Commission
02CDR. Kelly Jr., Leslie Dorris, USN (USNA 1946)20.12.1960 - 25.01.1963
03LCDR. Jenks, Shepherd Martin (Shep), USN (USNA 1949)25.01.1963 - 07.08.1964
04LCDR. Tomb, Paul David, USN (USNA 1951) :RADM07.08.1964 - 19.06.1967
05LCDR. Devereaux Jr., John Raymond, USN (USNA 1953)19.06.1967 - 25.10.1969
06CDR. Pirie Jr., Robert Burns, USN (USNA 1955)25.10.1969 - 08.07.1972
07CDR. Stubbs, George Richard, USN (USNA 1958)08.07.1972 - 02.08.1977
08CDR. Plath, Richard Neil, USN (USNA 1962)02.08.1977 - 27.07.1980
09CDR. Petersen, Richard James, USN (USNA 1965)27.07.1980 - 10.03.1982
10CDR. Witzenburg, Dennis Leon, USN10.03.1982 - 10.04.1982
11CDR. Ellis, Charles Eugene, USN10.04.1982 - 11.07.1985
12CDR. Meier, Lyle Dean, USN (USNA 1968)11.07.1985 - 15.07.1988
13CDR. Greene, Brenton Clair, USN (USNA 1971)15.07.1988 - 19.04.1990 Last Date in Commission
Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

View the Skipjack (SSN-585)
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
SSN-585 Skipjack - Federation of American Scientists
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