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USS Hunley (AS 31)

- decommissioned -

USS HUNLEY was the lead ship of the HUNLEY - class of submarine tenders. These ships were the Navy's first submarine tenders designed and built to service FBM submarines.

Decommissioned on September 30, 1994, the HUNLEY was stricken from the Navy list on May 3, 1995, and is now laid up on the James River as part of the Reserve Fleet at Fort Eustis, VA.

General Characteristics:Awarded: November 16, 1959
Keel laid: November 28, 1960
Launched: September 28, 1961
Commissioned: June 16, 1962
Decommissioned: September 30, 1994
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.
Propulsion System: Diesel electric, one shaft
Propellers: one
Length: 599 feet (182.6 meters)
Beam: 83 feet (25.3 meters)
Draft: 24 feet (7.3 meters)
Displacement: approx. 18,300 tons
Speed: 19 knots
Armament: four 20mm guns
Crew: 58 officers, 1,023 enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS HUNLEY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS HUNLEY:

August 6, 1977Atlantic
USS HUNLEY suffers a major Class Bravo fire in the forward engine room. The response of the Duty Damage Control Party and action of other individuals aboard limited the fire to the forward engine room and extinguished it 25 minutes from its start. Fire, smoke and firefighting water damaged the number 2 main engine, numbers 1 and 2 main propulsion generators, numbers 1 and 2 ship service generators, numbers 1 and 2 low pressure aircompressors, number 2 force draft blower, number 2 evaporator and salinity indicating system, plus runs of electrical cable in the vincinity of the fire. The forward switchboard was grounded by firefighting water leaving the forward part of the ship without normal electrical power.

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About the Ship's Name:

Horace Lawson Hunley was born 29 December 1823, in Sumner County, Tenn. He early moved to New Orleans where he practiced law and represented Orleans Parish in the Louisiana State Legislature. On outbreak of the Civil War, he joined James R. McClintock and Baxter Watson in sponsoring the building of Confederate privateer submarine PIONEER, later scuttled to prevent capture when New Orleans fell.

The three men built a second submarine at Mobile, Ala., but it sank in Mobile Bay. Hunley then provided the entire means for building a third submarine named H. L. HUNLEY in his honor. This manual powered submarine had successful trials in Mobile Bay, then was shipped to General Beauregard for the defense of Charleston in August 1863.

When early submarine operations at Charleston failed to produce a sinking, Hunley provided a crew headed by Lt. George A. Dixon, CSA. But Hunley took charge in the absence of Dixon 15 October 1863, and perished with his entire crew of seven when the submarine failed to surface from a dive under CSS INDIAN CHIEF. Dixon raised and refitted CSS H. L. HUNLEY, armed her with a "Lee Spar Torpedo" and sank steam sloop-of-war HOUSATONIC off Charleston Harbor 17 February 1864. Though submarine and crew perished in this mission, H. L. HUNLEY was the first submarine to sink a warship In combat, casting a long shadow into the 20th century.

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