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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - November - Tango - Sierra

L. Mendell Rivers (SSN-686)


Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 26 June 1971, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.; Launched, 2 June 1973; Commissioned, USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), 21 December 1974; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 10 May 2001; Final Disposition, disposed of through the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA. 19 July 2002.

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
L. Mendel Rivers103kKeel Plate of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), 26 June 1971, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 01/15/11.
L. Mendel Rivers118k Authenticating of Keel of L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), 26 June 1971, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 01/15/11.
L. Mendel Rivers90kKeel Laying of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), 26 June 1971, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 01/15/11.
L. Mendel Rivers102kKeel Laying Ceremony Program of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), 26 June 1971, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Photo added 01/15/11.
L. Mendel Rivers251k The crew of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) salute the colors prior to her launching at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA., 2 June 1973.
Official US Navy photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr.
L. Mendel Rivers251k Pre-commissioning photo of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) underway, off the coast of Virginia, November 1974.
USN photo from NAVSEA Journal courtesy of Bob Bush and submitted by Fred Willshaw.
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.
L. Mendel Rivers465k A port bow view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) moored at a pier at Port Canaveral, Florida, 1 August 1993.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-SC-93-05792 by OS2 John Bouvia, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
L. Mendel Rivers506k A port quarter view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) moored at a pier at Port Canaveral, Florida, 1 August 1993.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-SC-93-05793 by OS2 John Bouvia, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
L. Mendel Rivers271k The yard tugboat Nanticoke (YTB-803) assist the nuclear-powered attack submarine L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) in docking at the Naval Station Rosey Roads during the fleet exercises on 20 October 1995.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-SC-97-00446 by PH3 Sheri Dinger Starr, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
L. Mendel Rivers374kDry-Dock shelter doors are open on the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) on 01-03-1996.Courtesy of Author's collection.
L. Mendel Rivers52kL. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) with Dry Deck Shelter, entering Gibraltar, 31st March 1998.
Contributed by Daniel Ferro.
L. Mendel Rivers72kL. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) without Dry Deck Shelter in Gibraltar 2nd April 1998. (You can just see the Dry Deck Shelter on land behind the Sub).
Contributed by Daniel Ferro.
L. Mendel Rivers174kL. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) with the French Frigates Acont (F-713) & sister in Backgr in Toulon, France, 13 July 1999.
Photo courtesy of Guy Schaeffer, from the collection of Paolo Marsan.
L. Mendel Rivers308kL. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) at La Spezia, Italy on 26 July 1999.Photo courtesy of Carlo Martinelli.
L. Mendel Rivers174kThe sail of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) is pictured against the backdrop of the sun silhouetting the barren wastelands of the Arctic ice, 15 October 2000.
US Navy photo courtesy of US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory & csp.navy.mil.
L. Mendel Rivers13kCommemorative post mark of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) at the North Pole, 15 October 2000.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
L. Mendel Rivers21kCommemorative post mark of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) arrival at Puget Sound Naval Base, 29 November 2000.
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
L. Mendel Rivers53kL. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) underway, date and place unknown.
US Navy photo courtesy of the ComSubGru Nine web site.
L. Mendel Rivers36kCommemorative post mark of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) honoring her 26 years of service and keeping the peace, 1 March 2001, after finishing the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program).
Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
L. Mendel Rivers465k Plaque of the L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) on display at the Naval and Maritime Museum at Patriots Point, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.Courtesy of Robert Hall.

There is no DANFS History currently available for L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) 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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