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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - Yankee - Hotel - Romeo

Lafayette (SSBN-616)

Lafayette Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 17 January 1961, at the Electric Boat Div. of General Dynamics, Corp., Groton, CT.; Launched, 8 May 1962; Commissioned, USS Lafayette (SSBN-616), 23 April 1963; Decommissioned, and struck from the Naval Register, 12 August 1991; Final Disposition, disposed of through the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 25 February 1992.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 7,250 t., Submerged: 8,250 t.; Length 425' ; Beam 33'; Draft 32'; Speed, Surfaced/Submerged 20+ kts; Complement 138; Test depth 1,300'; Armament, 16 Polaris missile tubes, four 21" torpedo tubes; Propulsion, S5W Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactor, two geared turbines at 15,000 shp, one propeller.
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Lafayette152kValley Forge - Washington & Lafayette. Winter 1777-78. copy of engraving by H. B. Hall after Alonzo Chappel. (George Washington Bicentennial Commission). NARA FILE #: 148-GW-189.USN photo # HD-SN-99-01695, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of
Lafayette1.14kLafayette (SSBN-616) keel laying ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat on 17 January 1961.Photo from the files of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Lafayette 127k Three dimensional cutaway of the Lafayette (SSBN-616). Photo courtesy of
Lafayette270kCommander Patrick J. Hannifin and Commander Lando W. Zech, Jr., look at paperwork while standing on the Polaris submarine Lafayette (SSBN-616), under construction.USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Lafayette195kLafayette (SSBN-616) awaits launching. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Lafayette257kLafayette (SSBN-616) launching: Jacqueline Kennedy, Sponsor, is introduced.Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Lafayette430kFirst Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, attired in a chartreuse Oleg Cassini coat and matching Breton hat, breaks the ceremonial bottle of champagne on a skeg beneath the bow of Lafayette (SSBN-616) during the launching ceremony at Groton on 8 May 1962, while Capt. Tazewell T. Shepard, Jr., (Naval Aide to the President) and Roger Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of General Dynamics Corp., look on. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of President John F. Kennedy, who said first in English, "I christen thee Lafayette", and then, in French, "Je te baptise Lafayette". USN photo # BN 1061173 courtesy of & & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Lafayette899k(Original Caption) Groton, Connecticut. The nation's largest Polaris-firing submarine, Lafayette (SSBN-616), is launched 8 May 1962. Mrs. Kennedy Christened the craft.Photo Bettmann Collection/Getty Images, courtesy of
Lafayette 177k Cover of the launching program of the Lafayette (SSBN-616) on 8 May 1962. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Lafayette194kDock workers adorned with hard hats watch as the Lafayette's (SSBN-616) officers salute the national ensign as she slides down the launching ramp at the Electric Boat Div. of General Dynamics, Corp., Groton, CT., 8 May 1962. USN photo courtesy of
Lafayette112kLafayette (SSBN-616) sliding down the building ways at the Elrctric Boat yard moments after being christened by Mrs. John F. Kennedy.General Dynamics/Electric Boat photo from The American Submarine, by Norman Polmar, submitted by Robert Hurst.
Lafayette106kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Lafayette's (SSBN-616) launching at the Electric Boat Div. of General Dynamics, Corp., Groton, CT., 8 May 1962.Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
NR A French Touch Is Added
Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy offers a champagne toast to the new Polaris submarine Lafayette (SSBN-616) at a luncheon following her christening of the 7,000-ton vessel yesterday at Groton, Conn. Acknowledging an earlier toast by French Ambassador Alphand, Mrs. Kennedy responded with "Vive la Lafayette."
Associated Press Wirephoto.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 09 May 1962, Image 55, courtesy of
Lafayette243kLafayette (SSBN-616) underway during her sea trials 5 April 1963. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lafayette62kLafayette (SSBN-616) on sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean was escorted by three SH-3A Sea King Helicopters from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 9 (HS-9).NARA photo.
Lafayette58kCommemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the first nuclear submarine to visit Rota, Spain. Lafayette (SSBN-616) visited there on 1 March 1964.Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Lafayette75kLafayette (SSBN-616) off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia during December 1968. The deck officer and lookout crew are manning the sail area as the sub makes it way through the sea at 15 knots. USN photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Phil Tuckey.
Lafayette676k2 photo PDF of Lafayette (SSBN-616) on 10 December 1968. USN photos NPC K-63600 & 63601 courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lafayette201kLafayette (SSBN-616) is pictured here undergoing an extended refit before patrol in 1969 while in the floating dry dock at Holy Loch, Scotland.USN photo and text submitted by Roy Grossinger, former ELT.
Lafayette529kLafayette (SSBN-616) goes ballistic (Polaris) here. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lafayette787k1974/5 photo of the Lafayette (SSBN-616) leaving Port Canaveral for a missile launch following its Poseidon conversion in the early seventies.
That huge mast on top of the sail was called the T.I. mast (for telemetry indicating) and the tip of it would be visible above the sea's surface during launch. It was of course welded on for the sole purpose of the test.
Photo courtesy of Randall McCabe.
Lafayette57kThe Lafayette (SSBN-616) with bunting attached to her bow. The date is 6 March 1981 and the occasion is Lafayette being the first vessel to enter the brand new Dry Dock 4 at Newport News Shipbuilding to begin a refueling overhaul.USN photo courtesy of & submitted by Bill Gonyo. Photo i.d. courtesy of Philip D. Tuckey.
Lafayette506kA Poseidon C-3 (UGM-73A) missile is launched from the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine Lafayette (SSBN-616) on 2 September 1983. USN photo # DF-SC-84-08113 & text from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of
Higgins54kCDR. Paul M. Higgins was the last Commanding Officer of the Guardfish (SSN-612) serving from 9 November 1990 to 2 February 1992. He served as the Commanding Officer of the Lafayette (SSBN-616) (Blue) crew from 1989 to 1990 prior to his assignment aboard the Guardfish.Photo courtesy of the USS Guardfish website via Bill Gonyo.
Lafayette563kA starboard bow view of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine Lafayette (SSBN-616) underway, 1 February 1991. USN photo # DN-ST-91-05221 by PH2 Klenkefus, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of
Lafayette 564k An overhead bow view of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine Lafayette (SSBN-616) underway off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii on 1 February 1991. Official USN photo # DN-ST-91-05229 from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Lafayette134kThe sun goes down on the Lafayette (SSBN-616) in this undated photo.Official USN photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
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).
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).
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

View the Lafayette (SSBN 616)
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
Launching of the USS Lafayette,1962
FAS - SSBN-616 Lafayette Class FBM Submarines

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