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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on left contributed by Mike Smolinski, Decal on right by unlimiteddetails.com
Radio Call Sign: November - Oscar - Uniform - Charlie

George Washington Carver (SSBN-656)


Benjamin Franklin Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 24 August 1964, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA.; Launched, 14 August 1965; Commissioned, USS George Washington Carver (SSBN-656), 15 June 1966; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 18 March 1993; Disposed of through the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program, 21 March 1994 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 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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George Washington Carver130k George Washington Carver was born in 1864 on a plantation near Diamond, Mo. His parents were Negro slaves owned by Moses Carver. When he was only a few months old, he and his mother were stolen by raiders and taken to Arkansas. After the end of the Civil War, he was recovered by his owner with whose family he remained until he set out to make his own way in the world at about the age of 9.
Overcoming prejudice and poverty, he eagerly seized every opportunity to acquire an education. He studied agricultural science at Iowa State College, graduating in 1894 and receiving a Master of Science degree 2 years later. After serving briefly on the faculty there, he joined Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, where he headed the Agricultural Department.
In the ensuing years, his achievements in the fields of soil conservation, crop diversification, and utilization of southern plants and crops won him worldwide acclaim. He is remembered for the ingenuity which enabled him to discover some 300 new and useful products from the peanut, over 100 from the sweet potato, and about 60 from the pecan. He also found new uses from cotton, cowpeas and wild plums. He selflessly refused offers of fortunes for the commercial exploitation of his discoveries, choosing rather to give them freely to mankind. An indefatigable researcher and inventor, George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Ala., 5 January 1943.
Photo from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
George Washington Carver353kCover of the launching program of the George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) on 14 August 1965. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave.
George Washington Carver895kOverall scene of the launching ceremony for the George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) on 14 August 1965. The George Washington Carver was the last of 14 Polaris submarines built at Newport News Shipbuilding. Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave
George Washington Carver 85k Commemorative postal cover marking the launching of the George Washington Carver (SSBN-656), at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company shipyard, Newport News, Virginia, on 14 August 1965. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
George Washington Carver755k Newport News Shipbuilding President Don Holden giving christening instructions to famed opera star Marion Anderson, sponsor of George Washington Carver (SSBN-656). Photo courtesy of Dale Hargrave
George Washington Carver 105k George Washington Carver (SSBN-656), is christened by Marian Anderson, at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company shipyard, Newport News, Virginia, on 14 August 1965. US Navy photo # NH 96765, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
George Washington Carver 105k George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) launching, at Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA., 14 August 1965. US Navy photo # NH 96764, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
George Washington Carver606kSeven page PDF Welcome Aboard pamphlet for the George Washington Carver (SSBN-656). U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
George Washington Carver 93k George Washington Carver (SSBN-656), underway at sea, circa June 1966. US Navy photo # USN 1116556, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
George Washington Carver 137k The George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) appears here underway in the Atlantic Ocean, 13 July 1967. USN photo courtesy of pelicanharborsubvets.com.
George Washington Carver 537k An HH-46A Sea Knight helicopter hovers over the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) as it lowers a crewman on board, 1 September 1977. Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-87-06227 by PH2 James Bishop, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
George Washington Carver 512k The air waves generated by a HH-46A Sea Knight helicopter cause the water to ripple as it hovers over the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine George Washington Carver (SSBN-656). Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-87-06228 by PH2 James Bishop, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
George Washington Carver 562k The deck crew of the George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) gather in the lines as a HH-46A Sea Knight helicopter hovers over the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-87-06229 by PH2 James Bishop, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
George Washington Carver661kThe George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) underway in May, 1985 and being overflown by an RF-8G aircraft of VFP-806.US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.253.7353.046 courtesy of Mike Green.
Photo added 12/26/13.
George Washington Carver5.57kFiveteen page PDF of the Inactivation Ceremony of the George Washington Carver (SSBN-656), 21 October 1992. U.S. Navy Photograph courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
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 George Washington Carver (SSBN 656)
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
USS George Washington Carver SSBN-656 Reunion Association
USS George Washington Carver SSBN 656
Submarine Life "on the USS George Washington Carver(SSBN 656)"
FAS - SSBN-640 Benjamin Franklin Class FBM Submarines

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