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USS Henry Clay (SSBN 625)

- decommissioned -

USS HENRY CLAY was the eighth LAFAYETTE - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine. Decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on November 5, 1990, the HENRY CLAY later entered the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington. Recycling was finished on September 30, 1997.

General Characteristics:Awarded: February 3, 1961
Keel laid: October 23, 1961
Launched: November 30, 1962
Commissioned: February 20, 1964
Decommissioned: November 5, 1990
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.
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 HENRY CLAY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS HENRY CLAY:

July 1, 1964James River, Va.USS HENRY CLAY runs aground on a shoal in the mouth of the James River and is pulled free an hour later by two tugs. The submarine was en route from Newport News, Va., across Hampton Roads to pick up Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance in Norfolk, Va. No damage is reported.

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About the Ship's Name:

Henry Clay was born in Hanover County, Va., in 1777, studied law under the great George Wythe, and became a practicing lawyer in 1797. He moved from Virginia to Kentucky, quickly gained a reputation as a lawyer and orator, and served as a state and national legislator. Clay served in the House of Representatives with various interruptions from 1811 to 1825, was a leader of the "War Hawks," and acted as spokesman for western expansionist interests. Much of the time serving as speaker, he wielded great power through the formulation of his American system, and was responsible for the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Clay ran for the presidency in 1824; and after helping to swing the election to John Quincy Adams in the House of Representatives, served as Adams' Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829. He was elected to the Senate in 1831 and beaten by Jackson in the presidential election of 1832. During his years in the Senate Henry Clay fought for the National Bank and internal improvements and was a chief bulwark of the Whig party. His efforts to prevent sectional conflict, culminating in the Compromise of 1850 earned him the name "The Great Compromiser." In 1844, Polk defeated him in his third try for the presidency. He continued his efforts to save the Union until his death in 1852, closing 50 years of service which won him a permanent place in history as one of America's greatest statesman.

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