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USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635)

- decommissioned -

USS SAM RAYBURN was the 18th LAFAYETTE - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name.

Deactivated while still in commission on September 16, 1985, SAM RAYBURN was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on July 31, 1989, and reclassified a moored training ship (MTS 635) located at Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, SC. She served as a moored training ship until 2021. On April 1, 2021, she was towed to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., where she will be defueled and recycled.

General Characteristics:Awarded: July 20, 1961
Keel laid: December 3, 1962
Launched: December 20, 1963
Commissioned: December 2, 1964
Decommissioned: July 31, 1989
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and 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 SAM RAYBURN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS SAM RAYBURN:

April 2, 1984Holy Loch, ScotlandThe Glasgow Herald reports the US Navy at Holy Loch, Scotland, admits that the paint on the USS SAM RAYBURN was mildly radioactive when it returned from patrol in February 1984. The Navy says this is very low-level radioactivity, so low that it could not be detected by a Geiger counter. Reports about the radiation had been circulating for a month, leading to claims that the SAM RAYBURN had been in a collision sometime in the fall of 1983 which had caused the ship to leak or become contaminated with radiation. The Navy's statements serve to add to the controversy.

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About the Ship's Name:

Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn, born on 6 January 1882 in Roane County, Tenn., graduated from Mayo College (now East Texas State University), at Commerce, Tex. After a year teaching school, he won election to the State Legislature. During his third two-year term in the Legislature, he was elected Speaker of the House at the age of 29. The next year, he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives. He went to Congress on 4 March 1913 at the beginning of Woodrow Wilsonís administration and served without interruption for over 48 years. On 16 September 1940, at the age of 58, he became Speaker of the House. When his career as Speaker was interrupted during the sessions of 1947-1948 and 1953-1954 during Republican control of the House, Rayburn served as minority leader. He usually worked quietly in the background in the shaping of legislation. As Speaker, he won a reputation for being fair in his rulings and for forgetting politics when he handled the gavel. He had served as Speaker more than twice as long as any predecessor when he died of cancer in Bonham, Tex., on 16 November 1961.

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