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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch on left contributed by Mike Smolinski, Decal on right by
Radio Call Sign: November - Lima - Alpha - Charlie

Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644)

Benjamin Franklin Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 29 July 1963, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA.; Launched, 21 November 1964; Commissioned, USS Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644), 22 December 1965; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 1 August 1992; Final Disposition, disposed of through NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 23 September 1996.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 7,325 t., Submerged: 8,251 t.; Length 425'; Beam 33'; Draft 29'; Speed, Surfaced 16 kts, Submerged 21 kts; Depth limit 1,300'; Complement 140 (each crew, blue and gold); Armament, 16 missile tubes; four 21" torpedo tubes, forward, MK 14/16 Anti-ship Torpedo MK 37 Anti-Submarine Torpedo, MK 45 ASTOR Nuclear Torpedo MK 48 Anti-Submarine Torpedo ; Combat Sensors, BPS-11A or BPS-15 surface-search radar, BQR-7 sonar, BQR-15 towed-array sonar, BQR-19 sonar, BQR-21 sonar, BQS-4 sonar Propulsion, S5W nuclear reactor two geared steam turbines, 15,000 SHP, one propeller.
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Lewis & Clark191kWilliam Clark (left) and Meriwether Lewis (centre) with Sacagawea, detail from Lewis and Clark at Three Forks.
Meriwether Lewis was born 18 August 1774 in Albemarle County, Va. Much of his boyhood was spent learning the ways of wildlife and Indian lore. When he was 20 years old he was called to active duty during the "Whiskey Rebellion" in October 1794. After joining the Regular Army, he marched to Greenville, Ohio, the following year to view the signing of the Northwest Treaty. During this mission he was a subordinate of William Clark, his future companion in exploring the West. Following Thomas Jefferson’s election, Lewis was offered the post of private secretary, and he became overseer of Jefferson’s domestic arrangements. In 1803, when Congress appropriated funds for exploring the West, Lewis went to Philadelphia to organize the expedition. As his companion officer he chose William Clark.
Clark was born 1 August 1770 in Caroline County, Va. Like Lewis, he was brought up in the revolutionary spirit and spent some of his early years defending against marauding Indians. Designed to find a land route to the Pacific, the expedition mustered in Illinois in 1804 and for the next 28 months proceeded to gain invaluable information about the unknown parts of the continent and its Indian inhabitants. The exploring party returned to St. Louis in September 1806.
For the rest of their lives Lewis and Clark dedicated their abilities to administration of the U.S. territories and gave valuable service in Indian affairs. Meriwether Lewis died 11 October 1809 and William Clark died 1 September 1838.
Oil painting by Edgar Samuel Paxson, 1912 from The Granger Collection, New York, courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Lewis & Clark
958k Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) launched by descendants. Photo courtesy of, pg 52.
Lewis & Clark 1.43k Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) launching ceremony on 21 November 1964. Rep. Thomas N. Downing of Virginia is at the podium. Under construction to the ship's left is the Queenfish (SSN-651). Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Lewis & Clark 378k Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) sliding into the James River. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Lewis & Clark23k Commemorative postal cover marking the Lewis & Clark's (SSBN-644) launching at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA, 21 November 1964.Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Lewis & Clark173kHer bunting just wet from her slide into the James River, dock workers and other yard personnel onboard the Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) help secure her to dock after her launching at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA, 21 November 1964.
Note the SS Spitfire to her port side.
USN photo courtesy of
Lewis & Clark245kCover of the launching program of the Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA, 21 November 1964. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Lewis & Clark74k Commemorative postal cover marking the Lewis & Clark's (SSBN-644) commissioning, 22 December 1965.Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Lewis & Clark692kLewis & Clark (SSBN-644) underway 1966.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
958k CDR Lee Sherwin Vellom was the commanding officer of Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) from 10 August 1968 to 10 January 1971. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Lewis & Clark366kLewis & Clark's (SSBN-644) submerged launching of a Poseidon missile on 18 December 1972.USN photo # NPC K-98569, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lewis & Clark76k Commemorative postal cover marking the Lewis & Clark's (SSBN-644) submerged launching of a Poseidon missile on 18 December 1972.Photo courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Lewis & Clark1.1kLewis & Clark (SSBN-644) underway in March 1973.USN photo # NPC K-98569, courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lewis & Clark348k A starboard view of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644) underway, 1 February 1991. Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-91-05231, courtesy of
Lewis & Clark80kStarboard side view of the Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644), underway, date and place unknown.USN photo courtesy of Ken Lusk.
Lewis & Clark25k Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644), in Norfolk VA.Photo courtesy of Chuck Rowe ET1/SS USN Ret.
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).
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View the Lewis & Clark (SSBN-644)
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
US Lewis and Clark SSBN-644
FAS - SSBN-640 Benjamin Franklin-Class Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines

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