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USS Lafayette (SSBN 616)

- decommissioned -

USS LAFAYETTE was the lead ship of the Navy's LAFAYETTE - class of nuclear fleet ballistic missile submarines and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. LAFAYETTE's sponsor was Mrs. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr., wife of the 35th President of the United States.

Deactivated while still in commission on March 1, 1991, LAFAYETTE was decommissioned on August 12, 1991, and stricken from the Naval list on February 25, 1992. She began the Navyís Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington the day she was deactivated and finished it the day she was stricken. On the latter date, the ship no longer existed as an entity and was classed as scrapped.

General Characteristics:Awarded: July 22, 1960
Keel laid: January 17, 1961
Launched: May 8, 1962
Commissioned: April 23, 1963
Decommissioned: August 12, 1991
Builder: Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.
Propulsion system: one S5W nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 425 feet (129.6 meters)
Beam: 33 feet (10 meters)
Draft: 31.5 feet (9.6 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 7,250 tons; Submerged: approx. 8,250 tons
Speed: Surfaced: 16 - 20 knots;Submerged: 22 - 25 knots
Armament: 16 vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon missiles, four 21" torpedo tubes for Mk-48 torpedoes, Mk-14/16 torpedoes, Mk-37 torpedoes and Mk-45 nuclear torpedoes
Crew: 13 Officers and 130 Enlisted (two crews)

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Crew List:

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

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About the Ship's Name:

Marie Joseph du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was born at Chateau Chavaniac, Auvergne, France, 6 September 1757. He entered the French Army at the age of 14 and 6 years later left France to assist the American colonists in their fight for freedom. His brilliant military contributions to the victory of the Americans were climaxed by the final campaign in which his skillful maneuvering played a major part in the defeat of the British at Yorktown.

Taking the gratitude of the American people with him, he returned to France in 1781 and later aided his own people in the disturbed days of the French Revolution. As commander of Franceís eastern Army, Lafayette was captured by the Austrians in August 1792. He was imprisoned for 5 years, and released after Napoleonís rise to power. For the rest of his life he actively participated in movements for liberty and freedom in France and the world. He died in Paris 20 May 1834.

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