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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Patch on left contributed by Mike Smolinski, on right by
Radio Call Sign: November - Victor - Delta - Lima

Lapon (SSN-661)

Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 27 July 1965, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA.; Launched, 16 December 1966; Commissioned, USS Lapon (SSN-661), 14 December 1967; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 8 August 1992; Final Disposition, disposed of through NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 25 January 1997.

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.
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Lapon69kLapon (SSN-661) was sponsored by Mrs. Charles D. Griffin. In this photo Admiral John S. Thach, USN, Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (left), pays a farewell call on Admiral Charles D. Griffin, USN, Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe, at Naples, Italy, in April 1967.USN photo # NH 92748 & text courtesy of
Lapon262k Lapon's (SSN-661) laddies layered in length lay their salutes during her launching on 16 December 1966. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lapon979k Lapon (SSN-661) lays lulling lethargically after her launching on 16 December 1966. USN photo # NPC 1119816 courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lapon492kTen page PDF of the launching the Lapon (SSN-661), 16 December 1966. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lapon265k Lapon (SSN-661) lays laps lengthwise during her trials in 1967.USN photo # NPC 1127800 courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lapon615k Lapon (SSN-661) looms large during her trials in December 1967.USN photo # NPC K-42261 courtesy of Scott Koen &
Lapon84k Lapon (SSN-661) underway, probably during her sea trials, 1967, off the Virginia coast. USN photo.
Lapon52k Bow on view of the Lapon (SSN-661) underway, probably during her sea trials, 1967, off the Virginia coast. Official USN photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
Lapon21kLapon (SSN-661) at D&S Piers, Naval Station Norfolk, VA., December 1968.Courtesy of John Hummel, USN (Retired).
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 ocean’s acoustics
Photo & text courtesy of
Submerged submarines145kSubmerged submarines in tandem.USN photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Lapon178kCDR. Chester M. "Whitey" Mack was skipper of the Lapon (SSN-661) from 14 December 1967 to 8 September 1970. It may have been the sharpest submarine in the U.S. Navy when he was at the helm. Despite the fact his boat was named for the ugliest fish in the sea, Mack and his crew were good—they knew it. During the three years he skippered the Sturgeon Class atomic attack sub, it won every award the Navy gave for operational excellence. This was probably the only U.S. Navy submarine to have it's own slot machine next to the Coke machine! USN photo & text courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Lapon142k Lapon (SSN-661) off the Virginia Capes 15 March 1971. Official USN photograph courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
Lapon88kLapon (SSN-661) at D&S Piers, Naval Station Norfolk, VA., September 1974.Courtesy of Ronald Barker, Capt USAF (Retired).
Lapon999kThis photo of Lapon (SSN-661) was given to a group of Mare Island employees on 2 November, 1978 who did some work on Lapon by the ship's commanding officer. Courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Lapon28kCommemorative postal cover with Lapon's (SSN-661) patch on the occasion of the boat's visit to the Bahamas on 11 December 1978. Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Lapon82k Lapon (SSN-661), April 1987 at the North Pole.USN photograph courtesy of & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Lapon68kThe sail of the Lapon (SSN-661) protrudes through the ice at the North Pole, 6 April 1988. USN photo courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory &
Lapon1.01k ICEX-88 and Lapon (SSN-661) in April 1988.Photo courtesy of Bela I. Marton, MSEE, PE(I).
Lapon804k A port bow view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Lapon (SSN-661) underway off the Virginia Capes, 1 February 1991. USN photo # DN-ST-91-05700, by Wise, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of
Lapon82kTwin Towing: September 1992 Guitarro (SSN-665) & Lapon (SSN-661) being towed from Mare Island, where they had been decommissioned and defueled, to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton, Washington. Guitarro next to rescue and salvage vessel Conserver, (ARS-39), with Lapon in the background. At this point, the harbor tugs were transferring Guitarro and Lapon to ocean-going tugs. Guitarro and Lapon were decommissioned at the same time and towed to PSNS at the same time. Photo i.d. via Terry Munger.
Photo courtesy of John MacKay.
Lapon231kLapon with the Oakland Bay Bridge in the background. Photo courtesy of John MacKay.
PSNSY 683k An aerial view of a section of the Ship Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 17 May 1993. One submarine tender and 16 decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines are shown including the Seawolf (SSN-575); six George Washington, and Lafayette class SSBN's (with their missile sections cut out) plus several Skate, Skipjack, Permit and Sturgeon class SSN's. All are awaiting scrapping.
Bottom row, from left to right Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610), Skipjack (SS-585), Snook (SSN-592), Henry Clay (SSBN-625), Lapon (SSN-661), Dace (SSN-607), Skate (SSN-578), Swordfish (SSN-579), Sargo (SSN-583), Seadragon (SSN-584).
Across the pier are Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618), and not in view, Patrick Henry (SSBN-599), George Washington (SSBN-598), Barb (SSN-596) & Sea Devil (SSN-664).
Official USN photo # DN-ST-95-01863, by Calvin Larsen, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of Photo i.d. courtesy of David Johnston.
PSNSY291k"Sign of the times." March 1994 photo of Nuclear submarines at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard waiting in line for scrapping.
Top row left to right are Ethan Allen (SSBN-608), Seawolf (SSN-575) Plunger (SSN-595), Shark (SSN-591), Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636), Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685) alongside Sperry (AS-12), with Triton (SSRN-586) across the pier from the Sperry .
Bottom row, from left to right Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610), Skipjack (SS-585), Snook (SSN-592), Henry Clay (SSBN-625), Lapon (SSN-661), Dace (SSN-607), Skate (SSN-578), Swordfish (SSN-579), Sargo (SSN-583), Seadragon (SSN-584).
Across the pier are Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618), and not in view, Patrick Henry (SSBN-599), George Washington (SSBN-598), Barb (SSN-596) & Sea Devil (SSN-664).
There are so many submarines at PSNSY that the yard is running out of pier space.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Triton 19k Triton (SSRN-586) photo taken in October 98 by a Independence (CVA-62) crew member. Lapon (SSN-661) is in the background. Courtesy of Don Shelton.
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., 1998. Courtesy of Don Sheldon.
Commemorative33kCommemorative postal cover marking the completion of scrapping of the Tautog (SSN-639) & Lapon (SSN-661) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA. 31 August 2002.Courtesy of Jack Treutle (of blessed memory).
Lapon174kThe sail of the Lapon (SSN-661) taken at the its dedication in July 2005. Her final resting place is the American Legion, Post 639 located in Springfield, MO. Courtesy of Dale E Loney,(DSCC).
Lapon129kLapon's (SSN-661) Plaque showing her final location: The American Legion, Post 639 located in Springfield, MO. Courtesy of Dale E Loney,(DSCC).
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

Commanding Officers
01CDR. Mack, Chester Michael (Whitey), USN14.12.1967 - 08.09.1970 First Date in Commission
02CDR. Green, Gerald Edward, USN (USNA 1956)08.09.1970 - 06.04.1974
03CDR. Wilkins, Perry, USN06.04.1974 - 29.10.1977
04CDR. Murray II, Tom Reed, USN (USNA 1961)29.10.1977 - 22.05.1981
05CAPT. Baumstark, James Schilling, USN (USNA 1964)22.05.1981 - 28.03.1985
06CDR. Mackin, John Joseph, USN (USNA 1968)28.03.1985 - 15.09.1988
07CDR. Flannery, Peter Andrew, USN (USNA 1971)15.09.1988 - 24.05.1990
08CDR. Fursman, Thomas Michael, USN24.05.1990 - 08.08.1992 Last Date in Commission
Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

View the Lapon (SSN-661)
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 SS260 SSN661
FAS--SSN-637 Sturgeon class

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