Nathan Hale, born in Conventry, Connecticut, 6 June 1755, graduated from Yale College in 1773. Two years later, as residents of the colonies pressed for the rights of Englishmen, Hale, a teacher, was appointed a lieutenant, by the Connecticut General Assembly 1 July 1775. As the fight for English common rights turned into one for independence, he fought with the Continental Army in the siege of Boston and was later chosen as one of the captains of Knowlton’s Rangers. Volunteering as a spy for General Washington in the summer of 1776, he went to Long Island disguised as a Dutch school teacher. On 21 September, however, he was captured. The British Commander, General Sir William Howe, offered him a captaincy and ample purse if he would change allegiance. Hale refused and was sentenced to hang the following day. His jailer, the infamous Provost Marshal William Cunningham, refusing him a Bible, chaplain, or paper for letters, tauntingly demanded some last words. Nathan Hale spoke prayerfully for American freedom, ending with the unforgettable expression: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
(SSB(N)–623: c1p. 7,250 (surf.), 8,250 (subm.); l. 425’; b. 33’; dr. 31’5”; s. 20+k.; cpl. 168; a. Polaris mis.; cl. Lafayette)
Nathan Hale (SSB(N)–623) was laid down 2 October 1961 by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, Connecticut; launched 12 January 1963; sponsored by Mrs. George W. Anderson, Jr.; and commissioned 23 November 1963, Comdr. Joseph W. Russel (Blue Crew) and Comdr. Samuel S. Ellis (Gold Crew) in command.
Following shakedown and demonstration-and-system operations, in the Atlantic Missile Range, Nathan Hale was assigned to SubRon 16 and homeported at Charleston, S.C., 21 May 1964. With two complete, equally trained crews, rotated at regular intervals to maximize patrol “on station” time, Nathan Hale has, since that time, conducted deterrent patrols as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.