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USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN 641)

- decommissioned -

USS SIMON BOLIVAR was the second 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.

Deactivated while still in commission in September 1994, SIMON BOLIVAR was both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on February 8, 1995. She entered the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington on October 1, 1994, and finished it on December 1, 1995.

General Characteristics:Awarded: November 1, 1962
Keel laid: April 17, 1963
Launched: August 22, 1964
Commissioned: October 29, 1965
Decommissioned: February 24, 1995
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 SIMON BOLIVAR. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS SIMON BOLIVAR:

August 31, 196770 miles southeast of Charleston, SC.USS SIMON BOLIVAR armed with 16 Polaris missiles collides with the target ship USS BETELGEUSE (T-AK 260) when practicing a torpedo attack. No one is injured, but the SIMON BOLIVAR suffers about $1 million dollars damage to its periscope and communications antenna. The BETELGEUSE suffers a hole in its hull. The Navy tells a press conference that the missiles aboard the SIMON BOLIVAR were not armed and there was no danger of explosion or nuclear radiation. The missiles were undamaged the Navy emphasizes. The SIMON BOLIVAR surfaces and the crew cuts away a 4-foot-high, 15-foot-long section of the conning tower so the submarine could proceed to port.

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About the Ship's Name:

A South American soldier, statesman, and revolutionary leader, Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1783. He fought under Francisco Miranda in a revolt against the Spanish in 1810 but was forced to flee. He planned and led another revolution in Venezuela (1815 to 1818) which was successful.

Bolivar raised a small army in New Granada (now Colombia) and defeated the Spanish at Boyaca in 1819 and was subsequently made president of the new republic of Colombia with almost supreme power.

In 1821, Bolivar marched south to Quito, Ecuador. In August 1824, his army defeated the Spanish in the battle of Junin which, with General Antonio Sucre’s victory at Ayacucho in December, freed Peru from Spain. Bolivar organized a new republic, named Bolivia, in 1825.

Simon Bolivar died on 17 December 1830 on his estate near Santa Marta, Colombia.

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