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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


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Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624)
Keel Laying - Launching

Radio Call Sign: November - Victor - Romeo - India

To Additional Pages

Commissioning
Active Service - Present


Lafayette Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 16 September 1961, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA; Launched, 22 February 1963; Commissioned, USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624), 27 December 1963; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1994; Disposed of through Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program, 27 October 1998 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 7,250 t., Submerged: 8,250 t.; Length 425' ; Beam 33'; Draft 32'; Speed, Surfaced/Submerged 20+ kts; Complement 120; 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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Woodrow Wilson77k Thomas Woodrow Wilson — born on 28 December 1856 at Staunton, Va.—graduated from Princeton University in 1879 before attending University of Virginia Law School. He subsequently earned a doctorate at Johns Hopkins and then taught at Bryn Mawr and Wesleyan before accepting a teaching post at Princeton, his alma mater. He became president of Princeton in 1902 and brought the university to national prominence.
In 1910, Wilson was elected governor of New Jersey and served a two-year term in which he effected several key progressive reforms. After becoming the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in the 1912 elections, Wilson defeated a badly split Republican Party and was inaugurated president on 4 March 1913. Wilson's first term in the White House was marked by liberal reforms which were popularized under the label, the "New Freedom."
Upon the outbreak of World War I in Europe, Wilson tried to keep the United States neutral. While patiently insisting on American rights as a neutral, he successfully guided the country through the Lusitania crisis in the spring of 1915. While abstaining from intervention in Europe's affairs for a time, the United States, under Wilson's leadership, moved decisively in Latin America and the Caribbean when it saw American rights threatened. American naval or military units landed in Mexico, Santo Domingo, Haiti, and Nicaragua to restore order and to establish benevolent American protection for its own nationals as well as for the nationals of the troubled countries. Eventually, pressures to enter the war—despite the 1916 campaign slogan "He kept us out of war"— proved too great.
In April 1917, the United States joined the Allied and Associated Powers in the war against the Central Powers. Exercising his powers as Commander in Chief, Wilson was well aware of the Navy's role in the "war to end wars" and "to make the world safe for democracy." In a speech to the officers of the Atlantic Fleet on 11 August 1917, the President said: "... the officers of this Navy . . . have the distinction of saying how this war is going to be won." With the Navy guarding the sea lanes to Europe, the United States eventually sent substantial numbers of troops "over there," to join the battle on the Western Front. On 11 November 1918, the armistice was signed, ending World War I. Between 1914 and 1917, Wilson had based his appeals for peace upon the formula, "peace without victory."
After the United States entered the conflict, the President continued to strive for the ideal of a peace wherein there would be no victor—none vanquished. Instead, he urged the recognition of the rights of smaller nations and freedom of the seas. His "Fourteen Points" attempted to apply these broad ideals to specific problem areas of the peaceful postwar settlement. Incorporating these fourteen points of international ethics into a comprehensive plan, Wilson broke precedent by leading the American delegation to the Peace Conference at Paris. Once there, however, he found to his dismay that European leaders were not as ready as he to make high ideals the foundation of a postwar settlement that would be fair and just for all.
As a result, negotiations were weakened by many compromises with Wilson's ideals, and the treaty, with its provision for a League of Nations, was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate. Taking his fight to the people, Wilson embarked upon a strenuous speaking tour, valiantly fighting to convince the American people that only collective security could keep the United States out of future wars.
In September 1919, worn out by the struggle for his League of Nations, Wilson broke, physically, and remained ill throughout the remainder of his second term. Never fully recovered, he lived quietly in Washington after Warren G. Harding won the 1920 elections and brought "normalcy" to the United States; Wilson died in Washington on 3 February 1924.
Photo from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Woodrow Wilson172k The Shipyard Commander, RADM L. V. Honsinger, USN was primary speaker at the keel laying of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) on 13 September 1961 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Looking on are the honorary keel layers. From left to right: Keith Kimball, Master, Power Plant; Emil C. Jensen, Deputy Chief Design Engineer; Eugene J. Murrary, Head, Electronics Shop; Edward Beutel, Head, Rigging Shop. U.S. Navy photo # NY9 52475-9-61, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson124kRADM L. V. Honsinger, USN, Shipyard Commander of Mare Island Naval Shipyard authenticates the keel of Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) on 13 September 1961. U.S. Navy photo # NY9 52476-9-61, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson110k The honorary keel layers for the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) are shown during her keel laying at Mare Island on 13 September 1961. From left to right: Emil C. Jensen, Deputy Chief Design Engineer; Eugene J. Murrary, Head, Electronics Shop; Keith Kimball, Master, Power Plant; Edward Beutel, Head, Rigging Shop. U.S. Navy photo # NY9 52477-9-61, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson230kHull Section #4 of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is shown being lifted onto the building ways over the way's caisson by Mare Island's 150 ton crane on 28 December 1961. U.S. Navy photo # NY9 53456-12-61, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson1.8mThis picture appeared in the 22 February 1963 Souvenir Edition of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard newspaper the "Grapevine" marking the launching of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624). The caption reads: Taking instruction from Master Woodworker Joe Honodel, Group Master Eddie W. Martinez tries out the precise operation of the trigger mechanism which he will trip today to free the Woodrow Wilson for her maiden trip to the channel waters. U.S. Navy photo # 624 57809-2-63 courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson613kHonors to Assistant Sec of Navy Kenneth E. Belieu to the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 22 February 1963. USN photo # MSA-57997-2-63 courtesy of flickr.com from Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives via Stephen Gower.
Woodrow Wilson560kThe Boat's Sponsor, Miss Eleanor Axson Sayre & Miss Jessie Wilson Sayre, Maid of Honor appear before the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 22 February 1963. RADM Edward J. Fahy, USN, Shipyard Commander is seen on the left. USN photo # MSA-57986-2-63 courtesy of flickr.com from Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives via Stephen Gower.
Woodrow Wilson660kThe Rev. Francis B. Sayre Jr., gives the invocation at the launching ceremonies for the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624). USN photo # MSA-57985-2-63 courtesy of flickr.com from Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives via Stephen Gower.
Woodrow Wilson152kShip's Sponsor of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) Miss Eleanor Axson Sayre, granddaughter of President Woodrow Wilson are seen at the pre-launch reception at Mare Island on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 57996-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson95kThe Ship's Sponsor of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) Miss Eleanor Axson Sayre, granddaughter of President Woodrow Wilson (Center) is seen with her brother, Rev. Francis B. Sayre Jr., & Miss Jessie Wilson Sayre, Maid of Honor at pre-launch reception at Mare Island on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 57998-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson564kThe Boat's Sponsor, Miss Eleanor Axson Sayre, christens the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 22 February 1963. RADM Edward J. Fahy, USN, Shipyard Commander is seen on the left. Text courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com from Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives via Stephen Gower.
Woodrow Wilson139kThe Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is seen on the building ways ready for launching on 22 February 1963 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. USN photo courtesy of http://www.usswoodrowwilson.com/ & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Woodrow Wilson673kThe Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is ready for launching on 22 February 1963 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. The bow of Daniel Boone (SSBN-629) is seen on the right. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 58079-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson819k The Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is half way down the ways at her launching at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 22 February 1963. The bow of Daniel Boone (SSBN-629) is seen on the right. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 57990-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson821k The Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is seen at the end of the building ways at her launching at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 22 February 1963. The Daniel Boone (SSBN-629) is seen on the right under construction. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 57991-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson105kThe Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) sails stern first into the waters off Mare Island following her launching on 22 February 1963.US Navy Photo.
Woodrow Wilson802k The Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is seen waterborne after her launching at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 57993-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson819k The Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) is seen in dry dock 2 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard after launching on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo # MSA 57994-2-63, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson113k The front page of the Mare Island Shipyard's newspaper 22 February 1963 Special Edition of the "Grapevine" marking the launching of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson71k Front cover of launching Program of Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson189k Pages 1 & 2 of launching Program of Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson122k Back cover of launching Program of Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Woodrow Wilson122k Launch Cover of Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) at Mare Island on 22 February 1963. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Trieste II 113k Newspaper clipping from the Mare Island "Grapevine", 8 November 1963 reporting on the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) testing and the Trieste's II delivery to the East Coast. U.S. Navy photo submitted by Darryl L. Baker.

View the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624)
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
Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624) Reunion Association
FAS - SSBN-616 Lafayette Class FBM Submarines


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