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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Zulu - Whiskey

Parche (SSN-683)


Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 10 December 1970, at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp, Pascagoula, MS.; Launched, 13 January 1973; Commissioned, USS Parche (SSN-683), 26 January 1974; Parche was decommissioned October 20, 2004. Final Disposition, laid up at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard awaiting disposal through the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 3,640 t., Submerged: 4,640 t.; Length 302'; 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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Parche598kParche (SSN-683) (SSN-683) first day of launch cover, 13 January 1973.Photo courtesy of Paul Petosky.
Photo added 08/06/13.
Parche35k Parche (SSN-683) is seen on the launching ways at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp, Pascagoula, MS. on 13 January 1973.Courtesy of parche683.net. / Tom VanLandingham MM2(SS).
Parche27k The Parche (SSN-683) is more than half way down the launching ways Courtesy of parche683.net. / Tom VanLandingham MM2(SS).
Parche18k More than 4,000 tons of Parche (SSN-683) backs into the Pascagoula River.Courtesy of parche683.net. / Tom VanLandingham MM2(SS).
Parche16kParche (SSN-683) is waterborne on the the Pascagoula River.Courtesy of parche683.net. / Tom VanLandingham MM2(SS).
Parche18k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the builders first sea trials of the Parche (SSN-683), 9 June 1974. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Parche925kSixteen page Commissioning PDF of the Parche (SSN-683). Photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
Parche46kPhoto of Lawson Paterson Ramage, the first C.O. of the Parche (SS-384) with the new Parche (SSN-683) conning tower, to his left, circa mid 1970's.US Navy photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
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.
Parche488kAerial photos of numerous types of vessels at the finger piers at the south end of Mare Island in May 1980. From left to right: ARD-24, small river boats of Special Boat Unit 11, Kiska (AE-35), Parche (SSN-683) with DSRV and YM-35 dredging the area.USN photo # 168005, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Sturgeon class265k An officer aboard a Sturgeon class nuclear-powered attack submarine uses the ship's periscope in the control room on 1 December 1980. USN photo # DN-ST-83-02966, by PHC Robert K. Hemmerly, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Parche143k A starboard beam view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Parche (SSN-683) underway off San Diego, during 1983 timeframe.
The structure on the boat's aft section was a lock in-lockout chamber used to send divers out to tap Soviet undersea telephone cables.
This was a highly classified operation called "Ivy Bells" and provided the U.S. government with invaluable intelligence on Soviet naval activities. The existence of this operation was revealed in the best selling book "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew.
The Navy went to great lengths to keep this operation black, even to labling the chamber "DSRV Simulator" in large letters to throw off observers as the boat left or entered port.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Joseph A. Drake (PARCHE crewmember 1985 - 1989).
USN photo # DN-ST-91-05709, by PHC Jones, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil. & submitted by Bill Gonyo. Text courtesy of David Johnston (USN).
Parche745k PDF article from the 18 January 1985 edition on the Mare Island Naval Station newspaper the Mare's Tale covering the change of command of Parche (SSN-683).
Note the wrong hull number for Blueback (SS-151) should be 581 on 181 (Pompon). The last sentence of the article states there were six submarines homeported at Mare Island at the time. Parche, Seawolf (SSN-575) and Richard B. Russell (SSN-687) were permanently homeported at the yard while Flasher (SSN-613), Guardfish (SSN-612) and Guitarro (SSN-665) were at the yard for overhaul.
Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche914k The Parche (SSN-683) off Pearl Harbor prior to October 1985. Photo courtesy of Jim Stats and submitted by Darryl L. Baker.
Parche1.4mAerial view of Parche (SSN-683) post 1991 after her hull extension at Mare Island.
One of Mare Island's Ocean Engineering Boats. Ocean Engineering is what we called Halibut (SSGN-587), Parche (SSN-683) & Seawolf (SSN-575) and the program to manage them.
USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Dolphin 499k The Dolphin (AGSS-555) is docked in an old AFDL that the shipyard rented for her overhaul in October 1985. To the right of Dolphin is the yard's dry dock #4 where the new extended hull section for Parche (SSN-683) is under construction.
Dolphin is in the tan colored floating dry dock berth to center left. Parche's hull section is in dry dock #4 under all those metal roofs under the three large dock cranes (two green and one yellow).
You can't see the hull section - it was a classified project.
Navy Photo # 211104-10-85 NS, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche873kParche (SSN-683) entering San Francisco Bay circa 1993. The Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point are in the background. Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche366kParche (SSN-683) is backing out her berth at Mare Island on 19 August 1994 with the assistance of Pushmataha (YTB-830) and Skenandoa (YTB-835). The barge YRR-13 is seen to the far left.USN photo # 267740-8-94 courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche368kParche (SSN-683) is backing out her berth at Mare Island on 19 August 1994 with the assistance of Pushmataha (YTB-830) and Skenandoa (YTB-835). The bow of the YR-63 is seen behind Parche.USN photo # 267741-8-94 courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche207kParche (SSN-683) in the Mare Island Channel departing the yard on 19 August 1994 with the assistance of Skenandoa (YTB-835). USN photo # 267741-8-94 courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche188kParche (SSN-683) in the Mare Island Channel departing the yard on 19 August 1994 with the assistance of Skenandoa (YTB-835). Really a strange configuration on the bow which almost looks like the stern of most other subs.Official USN photo courtesy of navydaze.com by Michael Donegan. Photo i.d. courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Parche50kPort side view of the Parche (SSN-683) being nudged by a tug, date and place unknown.Courtesy of FAS (Federation of American Scientists) fas.org.
Parche44kFlag being flown on the sail of the Parche (SSN-683) expressing the view of the Navy's side of things before the annual trouncing of Army during the Army-Navy football game.Courtesy of FAS (Federation of American Scientists) fas.org.
Parche49kAcrylic on canvas by the artist Lt. Cmdr. J. Carl Hartsfield entitled "Parche Victorious".
Parche (SSN-683) with the US Navy YTB tug Manhattan in remembrance of 11 September.
Photo & text courtesy of subart.net.
Parche22kCommemorative post mark on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Parche (SSN-683) on station, 17 August 2004.Text and photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Parche299k A colorful banner made by family members, awaits the crew as the Sturgeon-class submarine Parche (SSN-683) returns to port for the final time at the Marginal pier at Naval Base Kitsap, Wash on 20 September 2004. U.S. Navy photo # N-6497N-006 by Brian Nokell, courtesy of navy.news.mil.
Parche448k The attack submarine Parche (SSN-683) returns to port for the final time at the Marginal pier at Naval Base Kitsap, Wash on 20 September 2004. Parche, the last active Sturgeon-class attack submarine, is due to be decommissioned on October 19, 2004 after serving the fleet since 1973. Parche was configured for research and development from 1987-1991 and was used primary for intelligence gathering and underwater salvage. U.S. Navy photo # N-6497N-014 by Brian Nokell, courtesy of navy.news.mil.
Parche33k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the decommissioning of the last of the Sturgeon class submarines, Parche (SSN-683), 19 October 2004. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Parche31k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the Decommissioning and change of command ceremony of the Parche (SSN-683), at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 19 October 2004. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Parche310k Sailors assigned to the Sturgeon-class submarine Parche (SSN-683), lower the National Ensign for the last time during a change of command and decommissioning ceremony held at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash. 20 October 2004. U.S. Navy photo # N-0141W-001 by John Woodmansee, courtesy of navy.news.mil.
Parche25kThe American flag and commissioning pennant from Parche (SSN-683), the most decorated ship in Navy history, are marched off the submarine at its decommissioning ceremony Tuesday at the Bremerton naval base. The Bangor-based sub, which performed highly classified missions, was taken out of Navy service after 30 years.

The following is a letter from President George W. Bush.

"I send greetings to those gathered for the decommissioning of Parche (SSN-683). The Parche is the second United States vessel to bear the name of the French butterfly fish known for its remarkable navigation abilities. Like her famous World War II namesake, the Parche has earned a honored place in our nation's maritime history.
From the Cold War to the ongoing global war on terrorism, the Parche's achievements and resourcefulness have helped ensure our country's security and earned it the distinction of our Navy's most decorated submarine. The many crewmembers who have served aboard the Parche can take great pride in their contributions to our Navy and our nation.
As Parche lowers her colors after more than 30 years of faithful service, I salute her current officers and her crew for their hard work and commitment to excellence. I remember all of those who have served with courage, honor, commitment and dedication aboard this fine submarine through the years.
We also recognize the veterans of your predecessor, the Parche (SS-384), as you gather for your reunion. Decommissioning may be the end of a vessel's service, but the pride and tradition of service to America remain in the hearts of crewmembers and friends of Parche forever.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes on this special occasion. May God bless you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
Signed, George W. Bush,
October 18, 2004.
Bremerton Sun Staff photo by Larry Steagall, courtesy of kitsapsun.com. via Navy Yard Association / Terry Epperson & Darryl L. Baker.
Parche35kThe pennant from Parche (SSN-683) is taken down to begin the decommissioning of the submarine. Posted on the side of Parche's sail are the honors it earned as the most decorated ship in Navy history.
Bremerton Sun Staff photo by Larry Steagall, courtesy of kitsapsun.com. via Navy Yard Association / Terry Epperson & Darryl L. Baker.
Parche35k Under cover from a rainy day, retired Capt. Richard Charles, the Parche (SSN-683) first commanding officer, salutes during the parade of colors. The Parche's numerous awards and citations can be seen on the sub's sail.
Bremerton Sun Staff photo by Larry Steagall, courtesy of kitsapsun.com. via Navy Yard Association / Terry Epperson & Darryl L. Baker.
Parche209kNot exactly breaking through the Arctic ice. The Parche's (SSN-683) sail protrudes through the surface of the front gate at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton WA. Photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker & Bob Shouse.

There is no DANFS History currently available for Parche (SSN-683) at the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site, the main archive for the DANFS Online Project.
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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