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USS William H. Bates (SSN 680)

- decommissioned -

The first ship in the Navy to be named after William H. Bates, the USS WILLIAM H. BATES was one of the STURGEON - class nuclear-powered attack submarines. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on February 11, 2000, the submarine subsequently entered the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Wash. Recycling was finished on July 19, 2002.

General Characteristics:Awarded: June 25, 1968
Keel Laid: August 4, 1969
Launched: December 11, 1971
Commissioned: May 5, 1973
Decommissioned: February 11, 2000
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
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 WILLIAM H. BATES. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS WILLIAM H. BATES:

April 13, 1981Hood Canal, Wash.USS WILLIAM H. BATES is reported to run into gill nets near the Hood Canal in Washington state.

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About the Ship's Name:

William H. Bates - born on 26 April 1917 at Salem, Mass., - enlisted in the Navy in July 1940. Commissioned as ensign in the Naval Reserve on 30 January 1941, Bates received instruction at the Naval Medical Center, Washington, D.C., before serving successive tours of duty at the Washington Navy Yard and in, former sloop-of-war, unclassified miscellaneous vessel CONSTELLATION (IX-20).

Bates remained in the Supply Corps through the end of World War II, participating in the Iwo Jima campaign in the spring of 1945 and eventually becoming the supply officer for the 4th Naval District by 1949. While Bates was stationed there, his father - Representative George J. Bates of the 6th Massachusetts Congressional District - was killed in a plane crash at the Washington (D.C.) National Airport on 1 November 1949.

Bates resigned his reserve commission - he had attained the rank of lieutenant commander by that time - on 14 February 1950, to fill the seat of his late father in the United States House of Representatives. For the nearly two decades preceding his death on 22 June 1969, Bates staunchly advocated a strong military posture for the United States. On the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy and the House Armed Services Committee, he vigorously supported the development of nuclear-powered naval vessels. He also vigorously backed incentive pay programs and the establishment of better housing facilities for servicemen. He constantly sought means to enhance the training, caliber, and morale of military personnel.

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