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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left contributed by Mike Smolinski, Decal on right by unlimiteddetails.com

George Washington (SSBN-598)

Radio Call Sign: November - Hotel - Alpha - Papa

George Washington Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down as Scorpion (SSN-589), at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.; Renamed George Washington; Launched, 9 June 1959; Commissioned, USS George Washington (SSBN-598), 30 December 1959; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 24 January 1985; Final Disposition, disposed of through NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 5,995-6,019 t., Submerged: 6,709-6,888 t.; Length 381' 6"; Beam 33'; Draft 29'; Speed, Surfaced 20 kts, Submerged 25 kts; Complement 101; Test Depth 700'; Armament, 16 missile tubes; six 21" torpedo tubes, Propulsion, S5W Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactor, 2 geared turbines at 15,000 shp, one propeller.
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George Washington124k George Washington was born 22 February 1732 in Westmoreland County, Va. He was commissioned in the Virginia Militia in 1753, rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel the next year, and fought brilliantly in the French and Indian War.
Entering the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1759, Washington was an early advocate of independence. In 1775 he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, and demonstrated a profound appreciation of sea power as well as great military genius. After years of hardship and arduous struggle, he finally won a decisive victory at Yorktown.
In directing Allied movements during this campaign, one of the great strategic operations of our history, Washington brilliantly employed the French Navy to cut off Lord Cornwallis from help by sea. He had sought a decisive combined operation like this for years, for he wrote "In any operations, and under all circumstances a decisive Naval superiority is to be considered as a fundamental principle and the focus upon which every hope of success must ultimately depend. The Treaty of Paris recognized American independence 20 January 1783.
After attending the Annapolis Convention of 1786 and presiding over the Continental Convention of 1787, Washington was unanimously elected first President under the new Constitution and inaugurated 30 April 1789. His two terms in office laid the foundations for strong government under the Constitution. Returning to his home at Mount Vernon in 1797, Washington was recalled briefly to command the American army when war with France threatened in 1798. He died at Mount Vernon 14 December 1799.
Photo from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
George Washington335kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598) was christened here.US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington158kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598), sliding down the ways at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT., 9 June 1959. Courtesy of Maurizio Brescia.
George Washington706kCover of the launching program of the George Washington (SSBN-598) on 9 June 1959.Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
George Washington58k Commemorative postal cover marking the George Washington's (SSBN-598) launching 9 June 1959. Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
George Washington60k Rear Admiral William F. Rayborn, USN (left), and Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN, Chief of Naval Operations, examine a cutaway model of the ballistic missile submarine George Washington (SSBN-598), in July 1959. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # USN 710496, courtesy of the USNHC.
George Washington73kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598), is being completed at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT. November 1959.Courtesy of The Floating Drydock, "Fleet Subs of WW II" by Thomas F. Walkowiak.
George Washington610k"Inaugural cruise for missile submarine. The Nuclear powered submarine George Washington (SSBN-598), a submersible missile launcher, cruises through waters of Long Island Sound on first builders trials. After two days of successful operations off the east coast, the submarine returned 16 November 1959 to Builder's docks at General Dynamics Shipyard, Groton, Connecticut. The submarine, launched 9 June will be equipped to fire Polaris Ballistic missiles from submerged positions at sea.
On board the George Washington during trials was Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN, Assistant Director Naval Reactors, Division of Reactor Development, US Atomic Energy Commission, and Assistant Chief of The Bureau of Ships for Nuclear Propulsion."
USN photo # USN 710591 courtesy of Cdr. Thomas B. Ray formerly of Essex CV-9 via Chris Stanley.
George Washington110kA mushroom like tower of water rises from one of the 16 missile tubes on the George Washington (SSBN-598) during tests of the Polaris missile firing system at Groton, CT. on 11 December 1959. A small one-ton cylinder fired from the tube is completely obscured by the column of water. The tube was flooded with water for the test. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of San Francisco Examiner via David S. Smith.
George Washington289kThe trials of the George Washington (SSBN-598) continue on 17 December 1959.US Navy photo # NPC 1045067, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington486kCommissioning of the George Washington (SSBN-598) on 30 December 1959 at the E.B. company.US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington86kThe atomic powered ballistic missile submarine George Washington (SSBN-598) fires a dummy missile in a geyser of water 9 April 1960 after sailing into Long Island Sound with her newly commissioned sister ship, the Patrick Henry (SSBN-599). The operation is part of a month long observance of the 60th anniversary of the submarine service. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of San Francisco Examiner via David S. Smith & United Press International Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
George Washington1.10kThirteen page PDF Welcome Aboard pamphlet for the George Washington (SSBN-598).U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington943kDry Run Missile Launching Nuclear Subs Sperry Ad 1960. Photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
George Washington997kNational Biscuit Company goes ballistic with George Washington (SSBN-598) (artist's conception.)Photo courtesy of Arnold Putnam.
George Washington34kCommemorative postal cover marking the George Washington's (SSBN-598) firing of the first Polaris missle aboard from a submerged submarine on 20 July 1960.Photo courtesy of his son, Pat Kennedy.
George Washington103kLetter to James R. Kennedy, Commander of the Runner (SS-476) from Capt. Osborn on 20 July 1960 in commemoration of the first launch of a Polaris missile from a submerged platform. The letter was actually mailed on board the George Washington (SSBN-598) and is truly an amazing insight by Capt. Osborn on the age we were heading into. Photo courtesy of his son, Pat Kennedy.
George Washington129kCommemorative photo of the first launch of a Polaris missile from the George Washington (SSBN-598). Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington104kA sailor paints out the sail number of the George Washington (SSBN-598), prior to her first patrol in the Atlantic in 1960. USN photo courtesy of NARA.
George Washington88kJames B. Osborn (2R), Skipper of Atomic Submarine George Washington (SSBN-598) at New London, CT., October 1960.
At least three of the four personnel shown in this photo are enlisted. They are Fire Control Technician (Ballistic Missile Fire Control) (FTB's) and are in a shore based training facility probably at the Naval Submarine Base, Groton. CT. The man 2nd from the right is a Chief Petty Officer and the two on the outboard sides are 2nd Class Petty Officers. The man 2nd from the left could be an officer, but may also be a CPO.
Photographer: Al Fenn, courtesy of life.time.
Text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston & Mark Honeck.
George Washington123kOperations room of Atomic Sub George Washington (SSBN-598).
This photo is also in a training facility at the Submarine Base, Groton and shows what we called the "Drive and Dive" simulator.
Photographer: Al Fenn, courtesy of Life
Text i.d. courtesy of Dave Johnston.
George Washington88kThe George Washington (SSBN-598) arriving w. officers & crew. The Skipjack (SSN-585) is alongside, October 1960. Photographer: Al Fenn, courtesy of life.time.
George Washington188kChief Jimmy Rebman (on banjo) and engine-man Jack Evans (on guitar) duet in their downtime.Photographer: Paul Schutzer, courtesy of life.time.
George Washington121kNew London, CT. (October 1960) - Commander James B. Osborn, Captain of Atomic Sub George Washington (SSBN-598). Photo courtesy of Life via Bill Gonyo.
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.
George Washington349kThe sun shines on the George Washington (SSBN-598) during her first patrol, November 1960.US Navy photo # USN 1051189, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington420kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598): The US Navy's first fleet balastic mikssile submarine is placed in commission in ceremonies at the Electric Boat Company here today.....United Press International Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 09/07/14.
George Washington248k19 November 1960: With a cigar clenched jauntily between his teeth, Cmdr. Osborn leans over the George Washington's (SSBN-598) bridge as the sub casts off for its run down the Cooper River to the Atlantic. The craft submerged some 65 miles from Charleston.United Press International Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 09/07/14.
George Washington420k19 November 1960: The George Washington's (SSBN-598) crew drawn up on the sub's deck salute as high ranking dignataries come aboard for a departure ceremony. At the event, the crew received the Navy Unit Citation and Cmdr. Osborne was awarded the Legion of Merit.United Press International Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 09/07/14.
George Washington85kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the first visit to Holy Loch, Scotland, of the George Washington (SSBN-598), April-May 1961, after second submerged Atlantic cruise.
Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Abraham Lincoln39kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598) in floating dry dock at Holy Loch, Scotland, as seen through the periscope of the Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602) in 1961. Photo courtesy of RJ Rutkowski, FTM2(SS)& plank owner Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602).
George Washington21kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598), cut out of the SSBN class.
Courtesy of globalsecurity.org
George Washington37kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598), entering the Charleston S.C. yard in June of 1962 for minor repairs.
USN photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
George Washington116k George Washington (SSBN-598) entering Holy Loch, Scotland sometime before May 1963.
Photo courtesy of Ken Robarge, STS2 SS, GW Gold Crew 1963-1964.
George Washington422k George Washington (SSBN-598) entering Holy Loch, Scotland sometime before May 1963.
Photo courtesy of Ken Robarge, STS2 SS, GW Gold Crew 1963-1964.
George Washington69kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598), date and place unknown.
US Navy photo courtesy of US Naval Historical Center.
George Washington88kEncased missile being loaded aboard a Polaris sub in 1970.
Photographer: Bill Ray, courtesy of Life
George Washington677kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598) sailors were given two patrols to complete their initial submarine qualifications. Each signature on the card represents a demonstrated knowledge of that subject. They were required to achieve 5 points for 30 day upkeep period and 10 points per week while submerged. Once the card was completed they had to take a written test, which included drawing boat systems from memory, and a practical test which included oral questioning while walking through each compartment on the boat.Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington554k George Washington (SSBN-598) passes the Arizona Memorial on her way out on a patrol.
This photo was taken in April of 1973 as the boat left for Guam after being transferred from the east Coast. It is still an SSBN at this time. In the bridge is the Pilot (Center), CO, CDR Don Knepper (Left) and the OOD / WO, LT Pete Gailbreth (Right). Mark Honeck is standing on the back of the missile deck with white hat on and sound powered phones. We just secured the maneuvering watch topside and were waiting to go down the Scrubber Room hatch. One of the guys standing aft of the sail is TM2 Bob Hazen and another TM by the name of Pyatt.
US Navy photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr. Text & i.d. courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington244k On watch in the Missile Control Center (MCC) of the George Washington (SSBN-598). We stood our watches at the Launch Control Panel. Pictured from L-R are FTB3 Ray Kooks, FTB1(SS) Mark Honeck, and FTB2(SS) Ron Smith. Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington190kFamily Grams were 20 word telegrams sent to the submariners while on patrol. Each crew member was allowed five grams for the patrol. These were huge moral boosters for the crew. Submariners were not allowed any outgoing communications once underway. The Family Grams were screened by the chain of command for content.Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington225kThe Launcher panels, located in the Missile Compartment, Middle level. This is where all the missile tube functions are controlled and monitored from. Picture are MT2(SS)Bob Hazen & TM3 Pyatt. Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington215kThis is the watch stander in George Washington's (SSBN-598) Torpedo Room. Taken in July 1975. Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington226kMM2(SS) Paul Honeck enjoying the 4th of July Holiday 1975. The Torpedo room was as far away from his normal duty station in the Engine Room as he could get. Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington2255kHalf-Way Night was a milestone celebrated with great revelry. During the festivities there was usually an awards ceremony proceeded by contests, movies and great food. This picture is of the beauty contest segment of the night.Photo courtesy of Mark Honeck.
George Washington1.70kSeven page PDF Welcome Aboard pamphlet for the George Washington (SSBN-598), 1978.U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington969kEleven page PDF COC pamphlet for the George Washington (SSBN-598), 1978.U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington202kThe George Washington (SSBN-598), taken at Bangor, WA. following the missile off-load in '82.
Notice the damaged sonar array on the bow. Funny story... just before we sailed for Bangor, a small-ish (category 2) hurricane hit the Sub-Base at Pearl Harbor, then drifted north, caught the jet stream and headed for the mainland. Meanwhile, we sailed directly for Puget Sound (where we experienced the same storm system for a second time). When we arrived, the storm had developed into one of the worst pineapple express/El Nino storms to hit the pacific northwest in years. The maneuvering watch was like the rendezvous scene from "Das Boot". During my turn as look-out, we had to duck down inside the sail every 30 seconds or so as huge rollers washed over us, sending gallons of water down the hatch (they even had to wear foul weather gear in the control room). The boat was pitching, yawing and especially rolling (sometimes 60 or more). The storm had blown down trees all over the place and some of them ended up in the sound. As we pitched down into a trough, up ahead we spotted a big old pine tree (probably 2' in diameter) as it slid down the back side of the swell in front of us. And then we hit it (at the branchy end, luckily). And that was only the second biggest thing the Georgefish ever ran into!
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Robert Frasier, RM3/SS.
Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington610kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598) in Guam with the Proteus AS-19 on 25 September 1987. The George Washington is on the quay wall. I couldn't tell you who the other players are. The other boat on the quay wall is a Skate class. Photo i.d. courtesy of John Hummel. U.S. Navy photo # DNSC8808186 courtesy of Stephen Gower.
George Washington691kDifferent angle showing George Washington (SSBN-598) in Guam with the Proteus AS-19 and two unknown boats on 25 September 1987. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Stephen Gower.
George Washington38kCommemorative wall plaque of the George Washington (SSBN-598).
Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
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).
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.
Photo 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.
George Washington486kThe sail of George Washington (SSBN-598) on permanent display at the Submarine Museum in Groton, CT.Photo from Bull Nav @ Military.Com via Bill Gonyo.
George Washington109kGeorge Washington (SSBN-598), sail on display at the sub base, New London Ct., 2009.
Courtesy of Larry Backus.

View the George Washington (SSBN-598)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
FAS - SSBN-598 George Washington-Class FBM Submarines
GEORGEFISH Photo Album

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