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USS Silversides (SSN 679)

- decommissioned -

One of the STURGEON - class attack submarines, the USS SILVERSIDES was the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on July 21, 1994, the USS SILVERSIDES entered the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program Recycling at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wa., on March 28, 2001. Recycling of the submarine was finished on October 1, 2001.

General Characteristics:Awarded: June 25, 1968
Keel Laid: October 13, 1969
Launched: June 4, 1971
Commissioned: May 5, 1972
Decommissioned: July 21, 1994
Builder: Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, CT.
Propulsion system: one S5W2 nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 302 feet (91.5 meters)
Beam: 31.7 feet (9.65 meters)
Draft: 29.2 feet (8.9 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 4,250 tons
Submerged: approx. 4,700 tons
Speed: Surfaced: approx. 15 knots
Submerged: approx. 30 knots
Armament: four 533 mm torpedo tubes for Mk-48 torpedoes, Harpoon, Tomahawk, and SUBROC missiles, ability to lay mines
Crew: 12 Officers, 95 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS SILVERSIDES. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS SILVERSIDES's Commanding Officers:

May 1972 - April 1975Commander John E. Allen, USN
April 1975 - July 1978Commander Richard K. Young, USN
July 1978 - December 1978Commander Emery A. Reistetter, USN
December 1978 - August 1982Commander Merril H. Dorman, USN
August 1982 - August 1986Commander William A. Wood, USN
August 1986 - May 1989Commander James W. Suhr, USN
May 1989 - January 1992Commander David O. Samples, USN
January 1992 - November 1993Commander Willard C. Butler, USN
November 1993 - July 1994Commander Kenneth D. Milhoan, USN

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USS SILVERSIDES was launched on 4 June 1971 at General Dynamics Shipbuilding in Groton, CT. Upon completion of sea trials, the ship was commissioned on 5 May 1972 and was assigned to Submarine Squadron FOUR in Charlestons S.C.

SILVERSIDES' first deployment was to the Mediterranean for six months commencing in August of 1973. During the deployment she participated in special operations associated with the YOM KIPPER War of October-November 1973. The ship received the Battle Efficiency ''E'' for the year.

SILVERSIDES' first north Atlantic deployment occurred in September and October of 1974 which included operations of great importance to the United States.

During 1976, SILVERSIDES conducted many operations and exercises which included two major exercises and one deployment for a CNO operation.

The ship changed homeports to Norfolk, VA, in January 1977 and commenced overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The overhaul was completed over a month ahead of schedule setting several records for the shipyard. During this overhaul the ship received the upgraded digital fire control system and the AN/BQQ5 Sonar system.

In 1978, the SILVERSIDES gained Harpoon missile capability and conducted the ship's second Mediterranean deployment from September 1978 to March 1979. As a result of her overall outstanding performance throughout the fiscal year SILVERSIDES was awarded her second Battle Efficiency ''E'' award.

On 16 July 1979, SILVERSIDES sank a remote controlled diesel submarine with a single MK-48 warshot. In November of 1979, the ship participated in Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) operations, one of over a half dozen highly successful operations throughout the ship's history.

The ship departed for her first Arctic deployment in September of 1981 and became the fifteenth US Nuclear Submarine to surface at the North Pole. While at the North Pole the flag flown from the bridge was one that had been flown from the US Capitol.

1983 was another busy year for SILVERSIDES which included a five month Mediterranean deployment and providing support for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada.

SILVERSIDES completed her fourth month Atlantic deployment in April 1984. During November 1984, SILVERSIDES transited to Bremerton, Washington, via the Panama Canal for overhaul. Overhaul was officially ended on 31 July 1986 and the ship transitted to Norfolk, VA.

Following overhaul SILVERSIDES continued where she left off, completing North Atlantic deployments in 1987 and two in 1988. The ship received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for the 1987 deployment and a Navy Unit Commendation for her deployments of 1988. The ship was also awarded the Engineering ''E'' for 1988 and 1989.

SILVERSIDES' second Arctic deployment occurred again and included surfacing at the North Pole. During the deployment SILVERSIDES became the first submarine since the USS NAUTILUS (SSN 571) to circumnavigate North and South America.

SILVERSIDES received Dry Deck Shelter capability in January 1990 during a one month upkeep. Then, following special warfare certification, she became the first 637 class submarine to deploy to the Mediterranean with a Dry Deck Shelter embarked. During the deployment, she was tasked with several different assignments including participation in Operation Desert Shield.

During the remaining years of SILVERSIDES commissioned service she has had the highest operational tempo of any Submarine Squadron SIX unit, proving she was still a vital asset. During this period she became the Atlantic Fleet's primary special warfare submarine for exercises and operations. She participated in major multi-national exercises each year and completed two Mediterranean deployments.

The deployment of 1992 had an operational tempo of over 90%, the highest ever for a Mediterranean deployment. The last deployment of SILVERSIDES continued the tradition set during her first. The deployment ended on 28 October 1993 and was highly commended, as a superb deployment by Admiral Boorda, Vice Admiral Lopez and Rear Admiral Jones, for several innovative operations and sustained superior performance which utilized every submarine warfare task.

SILVERSIDES was inactivated on 17 December 1993 and decommissioned on 21 July 1994. Throughout her career, SILVERSIDES completed sixteen deployments and several other operations too numerous and classified to include.

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