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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches on left contributed by Mike Smolinski, on right by John R.V. Jones
Radio Call Sign: November - Delta - Lima - Hotel

Ray (SSN-653)


Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 4 January 1965, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport New, VA.: Launched, 21 June 1966; Commissioned, USS Ray (SSN-653), 12 April 1967;
Brief History of the Ray, courtesy of O.D.Carlson STCM(SS), USN(Ret.) & John R.V. Jones, STS1/SS, Ray '81 - '86 COMSUBRON 4 Staff '86-'88.
Ray served first in SubRon 6, homeported at Norfolk, Virginia. The first shipyard overhaul took place at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Ray served the remainder of her career was a unit of SubRon 4 in Charleston.
Ray was the first 637 class hull to become TOMAHAWK certified, capable of shooting both TLAM and TLAM-N missiles.
In over 25 years of commissioned service, Ray successfully completed numerous deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic, Central Atlantic, and Arctic oceans. Many of these deployments were missions of great importance to the safety and security of the United States.
For her actions, Ray was awarded five Navy Unit Commendations and six Meritorious Unit Commendations. When she was inactivated on 24 July 1992, Ray was the most decorated submarine in the Atlantic Fleet.
Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 16 March 1993; Final Disposition, disposed of through the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 3 April 2001.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 3,640 t., Submerged: 4,640 t.; Length 292' 3"; Beam 31' 8"; Draft 28' 8"; Speed, Surfaced 15 kts, Submerged 25 kts; Depth limit 1,300'; Complement 108; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes amidships aft of bow, MK 48 Torpedoes, UUM-44A SUBROC, UGM-84A/C Harpoon, MK 57 deep water mines, MK 60 CAPTOR mines; Combat Sensors, Radar, BPS-14/15 surface search, Sonars, BQQ-5 multi-function bow mounted, BQR-7 passive in submarines with BQQ-2, BQS-12 active 7, TB-16 or TB-23 towed array, EW Systems, WLQ-4(V), WLR-4(V), WLR-9 ; Propulsion System, one S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one propeller, 15,000 shp.,
Note: Unless the Navy has officially declassified the Test and Crush depths of its submarines (past or present), this information is still classified.
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Ray312kSponsor Mrs. Thomas Kuchel, wife of the senator from California whacks the Ray (SSN-653) while on the ways before it went away on 21 June 1966.Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Ray600kThe crew of the Ray (SSN-653) rides the waves on 21 June 1966.Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
Ray121kRay (SSN-653) launching at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport New, VA., 21 June 1966. US Navy photo from DANFS, courtesy of Joe Radigan, MACM USN, Ret.
Ray1.40kRay (SSN-653) runs well through her own swell on her trials on 2 March 1967. USN photo # NPC 1122888 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 05/16/12.
Ray70k A starboard bow view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Ray (SSN-653) underway, possibly during her sea trials off the Atlantic coast, 1966-67. USN photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Ray107kRay (SSN-653) underway, possibly during her sea trials off the Atlantic coast, 1966-67.Photo courtesy of submarinesailor.com & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Ray503kRight side of Ray (SSN-653). USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 05/16/12.
Haddock538kSeven page PDF Welcome Aboard pamphlet for the Ray (SSN-653).USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PDF added 05/16/12.
Sturgeon Class43k Oil on canvas painting by the artist Jim Christley entitled "Trailing".
During the Cold War the US Naval Submarine Force was tasked with keeping tabs on Soviet Naval movements in particular, the Soviet Submarine Force. Submarines of the Sturgeon Class were well suited to this task and often trailed Soviet submarines for days reporting on their movements and recording noise signatures. In this image, such a trailing has turned into a close aboard encounter as a Soviet Viktor III Class has turned to port to check his baffles (to listen to see if anyone is immediately astern). A trailing Sturgeon has stopped his screw and gone quiet. Extending far behind the US submarine is its towed array sonar which assists in giving a clear picture of the oceanís acoustics
Photo & text courtesy of subart.net.
Submerged submarines145kSubmerged submarines in tandem.U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Sea Devil 90k Sea Devil (SSN-664), Hammerhead (SSN-663) and Ray (SSN-653), three 637 class subs at pier 22, Norfolk VA., 1975. Sub tender LY Spear (AS-36) is on the starboard side of the Sea Devil. Courtesy of John Hummel.
Ray77k Ray (SSN-653) in New London c. 1979.
Courtesy of Regis Weber.
ICEX 86441kAn elevated view of the attack submarines Ray (SSN-653), Hawkbill (SSN-666), and & Archerfish (SSN-678) surfaced at the geographic North Pole, 6 May 1986 during ICEX 86. This is the first time three nuclear-powered submarines have simultaneously surfaced at the pole.Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-SC-86-07408, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
ICEX 86802kThe expanse of endless waste seems to engulf the Ray (SSN-653), Hawkbill (SSN-666), and & Archerfish (SSN-678) during ICEX 86. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-SC-86-07409, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Photo i.d. courtesy of John R.V. Jones, STS1/SS, USS RAY (SSN-653) '81 - '86 COMSUBRON 4 Staff '86-'88.
Ray97k Inset of the Ray's (SSN-653) patch and starboard view of the boat underway.
The picture was taken in 1986 after we returned from the Pole as part of the preparation for the new Change of Command pamphlets for the C of C between Stephen Johnson and Patrick Lawless. The picture was taken by a Charleston Naval Shipyard Photographer aboard a USCG Reserve Helo from USCGS Savannah, GA.
Official US Navy photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
Photo i.d. courtesy of John R.V. Jones, STS1/SS, USS RAY (SSN-653) '81 - '86 COMSUBRON 4 Staff '86-'88.
Ray215k 24 July 1992, the day of Ray's (SSN-653) inactivation, at the Charleston Naval Station, S.C.
Courtesy of Lester Palifka.
Drum27k From left to right, Drum (SSN-677), Bluefish (SSN-675), Ray (SSN-653), Lapon (SSN-661) and Richard B. Russell (SSN-687) await scrapping at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 8 October 2001.
Courtesy of Don Sheldon.
Ray95k Commemorative envelope from the Ray (SSN-653) on the occasion of her entering Drydock # 3 at Puget Sound Naval Yard for scrapping, 2 October 2002.
Courtesy Tom A.
Ray40kCommemorative post mark on the occasion of Ray (SSN-653) finishing the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program), 30 July 2003. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Ray58kPlaque of the Ray (SSN-653) on display at the Naval and Maritime Museum at Patriots Point, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.Courtesy of Robert Hall.

View the Ray (SSN-653)
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
The Ray Page by STS1/SS John R.V. Jones
HISTORIC SUBMARINE DOCUMENTARY AND TRAINING FILMS
FAS--SSN-637 Sturgeon class

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