John Philip Holland, the man who developed the first true submarine accepted by U.S. Navy (spending 57 of his 74 years working with submersibles), was born in Liscanor, County Clare, Ireland, on 29 February 1840. As a youth, he considered the use of the submarine to further the cause of Irish Independence. Holland came to the United States in 1873. In 1875 his first submarine designs were submitted for consideration by the U.S. Navy, but turned down as unworkable.
Holland continued to improve his designs and worked on several experimental boats prior to his successful efforts with the privately built Holland launched in 1898. This was the first submarine having power to run submerged for any considerable distance. She was purchased by the Navy after rigorous tests, and six more of her type were ordered.
On 12 August 1914, John Philip Holland died in Newark, N.J.
(AS-32 : dp. 19,000; l. 599'; b. 83'; dr. 23'4" ; s. 18 k.; cpl. 1,190; a. 2 5" ; cl. Hunley)
The third Holland was launched by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Miss., 19 January 1963; sponsored by Mrs. John C. Stenuis, wife of U.S. Senator from the State of Mississippi; delivered to the Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, S.C.; and commissioned 7 September 1963, Captain Charles W. Styer, Jr., in command.
Holland departed Charleston on 14 October for shakedown training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, returning to Charleston on 19 November. She commenced post-shakedown availability on 25 November.
While Holland is neither a submersible nor a combatant ship, she will be a vital link in support of our Nation's first line of deterrance—the Navy's Polaris Weapons System. She is capable of making any submarine repair other than major overhaul, including servicing and maintaining the nuclear power plants of Polaris-firing submarines.
The opening of 1964 found Holland at Charleston, S.C., making preparations for deployment to the Polaris replenishment anchorage at Rota, Spain. She arrived Rota 1 April and relieved Proteus (AS-19) as the FBM submarine tender shortly thereafter. Holland continued her vital service to the Polaris submarines until relieved 4 November 1966. Holland arrived Charleston 22 November. There she tended submarines of the Atlantic Fleet into 1967.