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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - Juliet - Oscar - Uniform

Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601)


George Washington Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 25 August 1958, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA.; Launched, 18 December 1959; Commissioned, USS Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), 16 September 1960; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 30 November 1983; Final Disposition, disposed of through NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 30 September 1991.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 5,946 t., Submerged: 6,700 t.; Length 381' 6" ; Beam 33'; Draft 29'; Speed, Surfaced 20 kts, Submerged 25 kts; Complement 112; Test Depth 700'; Armament, 16 missile tubes; Subroc, six 21" torpedo tubes, Propulsion, S5W Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactor, 2 geared turbines at 15,000 shp, one propeller.
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SizeImage DescriptionSource
Robert E. Lee76kPortrait of General Robert E. Lee. Photograph courtesy of civil-war.net & submitted by 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.
Robert E. Lee293kCover of the launching program of the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) on 18 December 1959.Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Robert E. Lee51k The successful firing of a dummy test projectile from the Weapons System of the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), on 4 July 1960.Photo courtesy of John Shane, from Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. magazine March 1961, Volume XX, # II.
Robert E. Lee95kOfficers and crew of the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) stand at attention on her deck on commissioning day, 16 September 1960 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.Photo courtesy of John Shane, from Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. magazine March 1961, Volume XX, # II.
Robert E. Lee311k Bow on view of the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), underway during her first sea trials, 31 July 1960.US Navy photo contributed by John Hummel.
Photo i.d. courtesy of John Shane.
Robert E. Lee80kThe Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) leaving Newport News for one of her sea trials probably during the late summer of 1960; she operated in and out of Newport News until 2 December 1960, when she got underway for the Narragansett Bay Operating Area for torpedo firing tests.
The Aircraft carrier being built in the background is Enterprise (CVN-65) at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.
US Navy photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Robert E. Lee140kCommemorative post mark mailed on the occasion of the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), firing her first Polaris missile off the coast of Newport News, VA., 28 November 1960.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Robert E. Lee72kBow on view of the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), on the way to her first patrol off the coast of Cape Canaveral.US Navy photo.
Robert E. Lee96kCapt N. Frankenberger (Acting Shipyard Commander) welcomes CDR J. D. Murray, Jr., Commanding Officer of Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) to Mare Island on 22 February 1965.US Navy photo # GV022665-1, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee264k The Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) is at berth 8 at Mare Island 22 February 1965 about to start an overhaul. US Navy photo # GV022665-2, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee838kRobert E. Lee (SSBN-601) ties up at the south end of Mare Island with the assistance of three tugs. Tug ID left to right: Lelaka (YTB-514), Satanta (YTM-270) and Dekaury (YTB-178), 23 February 1965.Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum photo # 66690-2-65, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee526kEleven page Welcome Aboard the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601), 1965 & Welcome Aboard Addendum 1965.Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
PDF added 02/19/13.
Robert E. Lee80kCDR J. D. Murray Jr., Commanding Officer of Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) is seen standing in front of the sail for the ship while she was in dry dock #2 at Mare Island on 11 March 1965. The ship was in overhaul at the yard from 23 February 1965 to 2 July 1966.US Navy photo # 67129-3-65, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee86kThe ship's plaque for the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) taken on 25 June 1965. US Navy photo # 68763-6-65, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee957kRobert E. Lee (SSBN-601) entering San Francisco Bay on 7 July 1966. Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum photo # 73609-7-66, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee 149k View of the crews mess aboard Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) at Mare Island on 8 July 1966. Note portrait of Robert E. Lee to the right.US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee 106kView of the Captains cabin aboard Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) at Mare Island on 8 July 1966. US Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee176k The wardroom aboard Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) at Mare Island on 8 July 1966. US Navy photo # 73876-7-66, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee330kRobert E. Lee (SSBN-601) in San Pablo Bay off Mare Island while on trials on 3 November 1966. US Navy photo # 71228-1-66, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee45kThe Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) makes her way into her base of operations in Scotland sometime during the Cold War. USN photo courtesy of pelicanharborsubvets.com & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Robert E. Lee172kThe following 13 drawings are from the pen of Paul Harden, ex-ET1(ss), drawn in the mid-1970s while on patrol.
Aux spaces # 1 on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).
Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee122kAux spaces # 2 on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee152kAux spaces # 3 on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee96kControl-Conn on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee165kDiving stand #1 on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee132kECM on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee101kManeuvering room aboard the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee144k"Nav center" aboard the Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601).Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee143kThe Navigator signing the midnight reports.Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee133kPeriscope stand.Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee135kRadio room, looking aft.Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee127k"Shaft alley".Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee140k"Torpedo room.Photo courtesy of Paul Harden.
Robert E. Lee172kBanner photo of Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) on the front page of 26 November 1976 edition of Mare Island's newspaper Grapevine announcing her arrival for overhaul. US Navy photo # GV112676 02, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee126kMain body of the article announcing the arrival of Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) plus a photo of her Commanding Officer at the time, CDR R. W. Aldinger, USN.US Navy photo # GV112676 01, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Robert E. Lee311k A Polaris A3 fleet ballistic missile lifts off at 12:33 p.m. EST 20 Nov 1978 during a launch from the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601). The launch is taking place on the Eastern Test Range. Defense Visual Information Center photo # DF-SC-84-07332 by Gerald W. Grimm, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Robert E. Lee68kThe Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601) off-loads Polaris A-3 missles at the Strategic Weapons Explosive Facility Handling Wharf, Bangor, Washington on 25 February 1982. A security force marine observes the removal from a port missle tube.US Navy photo.
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 Robert E. Lee (SSBN-601)
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
Below Decks Tour of the USS Robert E. Lee
FAS - SSBN-598 George Washington-Class FBM Submarines


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