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USS George Washington Carver (SSBN 656)

- decommissioned -

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER was the ninth BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Generally similar to the LAFAYETTE - class, the twelve BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - class submarines had a quieter machinery design, and were thus considered a separate class.

Decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on March 18, 1993, the GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER subsequently entered the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington. Recycling was finished on March 21, 1994.

General Characteristics:Awarded: July 29, 1963
Keel laid: August 24, 1964
Launched: August 14, 1965
Commissioned: June 15, 1966
Decommissioned: March 18, 1993
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 GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Ship's Name:

George Washington Carver was born in 1864 on a plantation near Diamond, Mo. His parents were Negro slaves owned by Moses Carver. When he was only a few months old, he and his mother were stolen by raiders and taken to Arkansas. After the end of the Civil War, he was recovered by his owner with whose family he remained until he set out to make his own way in the world at about the age of 9.

Overcoming prejudice and poverty, he eagerly seized every opportunity to acquire an education. He studied agricultural science at Iowa State College, graduating in 1894 and receiving a Master of Science degree 2 years later. After serving briefly on the faculty there, he joined Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, where he headed the Agricultural Department.

In the ensuing years, his achievements in the fields of soil conservation, crop diversification, and utilization of southern plants and crops won him worldwide acclaim. He is remembered for the ingenuity which enabled him to discover some 300 new and useful products from the peanut, over 100 from the sweet potato, and about 60 from the pecan. He also found new uses from cotton, cowpeas and wild plums. He selflessly refused offers of fortunes for the commercial exploitation of his discoveries, choosing rather to give them freely to mankind.

An indefatigable researcher and inventor, George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Ala., 5 January 1943.

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