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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Papa- Zulu

Spadefish (SSN-668)


Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 21 December 1966, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Co., Newport News, VA.; Launched, 15 May 1968; Commissioned, USS Spadefish (SSN-668), 14 August 1969; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 11 April 1997; Final Disposition, entered the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 1 October 1996, completed the program, 24 October 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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SizeImage DescriptionContributed By
Spadefish33kCut out of the Sturgeon (SSN-637) class. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish236kMrs. Charles T. Booth II gives the Spadefish (SSN-668) her first taste of champange at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Co., Newport News, VA., 15 May 1968. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of S. Dale Hargrave.
Spadefish135kFront cover of the the Spadefish's (SSN-668) Launching Program at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Co., Newport News, VA., 15 May 1968. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of S. Dale Hargrave.
Spadefish81kSpadefish (SSN-668), underway, during her trials off the Virginia coast, 1969.USN photo courtesy of S.F. Gilman, Newport News Shipbuilding.
Spadefish 889k Spadefish (SSN-668) during her trials off the Virginia coast 14 July 1969. USN photo # NPC 1139846 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 06/27/12.
Spadefish 488k Spadefish (SSN-668) during her trials off the Virginia coast 14 July 1969. USN photo # NPC 1140808 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 06/27/12.
Spadefish63kFront cover of the the Spadefish's (SSN-668) Commissioning Program at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Co., Newport News, VA., 14 August 1969. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of S. Dale Hargrave.
Chopper 288k Service Weapons Test 76-1 (Ex-Chopper Sinkex).
The Chopper (SS-342) was rigged from bridge pontoons at 300 ft. Merchant ships ignored the Notice to Mariners about the explosive ordnance testing. Chopper stayed at 300 ft for several hours, while we waited on Spadefish (SSN-668) for the merchants to clear the area. Suddenly the pontoons disappeared and we heard the sounds of Chopper breaking up. The sinkex was conducted ~ 200 miles off the North Carolina coast.
Photo courtesy of Bill Wilson.
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.
Spadefish70kSpadefish (SSN-668), on right, docked at D&S piers Norfolk VA, 1975. Bluefish (SSN-675) is to the left of John Hummel, the contributor of this and so many other wonderful submarine photographs. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Spadefish 1.63k Fourteen page Welcome Aboard PDF for the Spadefish (SSN-668) circa 1982. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PDF added 06/27/12.
Spadefish399k A Sturgeon class nuclear-powered attack submarine, possibly the Spadefish (SSN-668), and the torpedo retriever TR-681 are tied up at pier area 6 at New London, CT., on 14 Jul 1991. Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-ST-92-04179 by Don S. Montgomery, USN (RET.), from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Spadefish19kSpadefish (SSN-668), underway, port side view. Date and location unknown. Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Spadefish33kSpadefish (SSN-668), underway, bow view. Date and location unknown. Photo courtesy of globalsecurity.org.
Spadefish70kThe following photos are from a series entitled "U.S. Fleet Submarine Navy--Sea Power".
An officer mans the Spadefish's (SSN-668) periscope.
U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish66kSpadefish's (SSN-668) Galley. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish78k Fire Control Station. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish56k Fire Control Station. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish75kThe navigational chart at the plotting table in the ship's control center. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish87kPersonnel are shown manning their post at the ship's control center.U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish50kInterior scene aboard the Spadefish (SSN-668).U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish61kInterior scene aboard the Spadefish (SSN-668).U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish55kThe crew of the Spadefish (SSN-668) "drive" the boat.U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish93kThe sail of the Spadefish (SSN-668) protrudes through the Arctic ice during the later part of her career. U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Submerged submarines145kSubmerged submarines in tandem.U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Spadefish658kPhoto of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Spadefish (SSN-668), top, and the Royal Navy nuclear-powered patrol submarine HMS Trenchant (S-91) at the North Pole during Operation Icex 92. On surfacing the two crews found the ice was too thin for them to play the traditional games of baseball and cricket, but it did provide a splendid photo opportunity. Note the Nimrod M.R. Mk.2 aircraft overhead. Royal Navy News
Photo and text from "Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy" by John Roberts & submitted by Robert Hurst.
Photo added 06/27/12.
Bergal &  Spadefish73k Bergall (SSN-667) & Spadefish (SSN-668) inboard of the submarine tender LY Spear (AS-36) at D&S piers Norfolk VA. in 1994.Photo courtesy of John Hummel.
Spadefish86kPainting of the Spadefish (SSN-668) docked in Resolute (AFDM-10) at Norfolk, Virginia. It appeared on the back cover of the Navy Magazine UNDERSEAWARFARE Spring 2004. Acrylic painting by Navy Artist John Charles Roach of the Navy Art Gallery. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Sunfish20kSunfish (SSN-649) top left, James Madison (SSBN-627) top right, Spadefish (SSN-668) bottom left, and Finback (SSN-670) bottom right, at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 31 October 1997 awaiting scrapping.
Courtesy of Don Sheldon.
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 Spadefish (SSN-668)
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
FAS--SSN-637 Sturgeon class

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