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USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN 640)

- decommissioned -

USS BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was the first BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine. Generally similar to the LAFAYETTE - class, the twelve BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - class submarines had a quieter machinery design, and were thus considered a separate class. The BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was the sixth ship in the Navy to bear the name although the previous ships only carried the name FRANKLIN. The first four ships of the name honored Benjamin Franklin; the aircraft carrier FRANKLIN (CV 13) perpetuated the names of these ships.

Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on November 23, 1993, the BENJAMIN FRANKLIN subsequently entered the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington. Recycling was finished on August 21, 1995.

General Characteristics:Awarded: November 1, 1962
Keel laid: May 25, 1963
Launched: December 5, 1964
Commissioned: October 22, 1965
Decommissioned: November 23, 1993
Builder: Electric Boat Division of 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 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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April 11, 1972Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.USS BENJAMIN FRANKLIN collides with and sinks a tugboat at the Electric Boat Division dock. The submarine, being overhauled at the shipyard, was not damaged.

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About the Ship's Name:

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) was born in Boston but moved at an early age to Philadelphia where his countless talents and unlimited energies found expression in successful contributions as a statesman, diplomat, scientist, editor-author, and philosopher. During the Revolution he was appointed American Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Court enabling him to function also as the Navy's representative in Europe. He promoted the plan to bring the war to British shores, supporting Lambert Wickes' spectacular raids and enabling John Paul Jones to perform his daring feats by providing funds, attending to purchases and repairs, and determining questions of authority and discipline. His astute and visionary policies merit for him deserved recognition in the annals of the United States.

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