The first Turtle was named for the marine reptile; the second for Turtle Town, a small unincorporated town in Polk County, Tenn.
(Research submersible: t. 21; 1. 26'; b. 8'; s. 2.5 k.; cpl. 2)
A UTEC II (an acronym for the Atlantic Underwater Test and Evaluation Center's second submersible)—a research submersible capable of operating at depths in excess of one mile—was built at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation. Renamed Turtle on 3 December 1968, the research craft was launched eight days later—on 11 December—and sponsored by Mrs. Edward J. Fahy, the wife of Rear Admiral Fahy, the Commander of the Naval Ships' Systems Command. Completed in 1969, the submersible—in company with a sister craft, Sea Cliff—underwent sea trials in the Bahamas, basing on the support ship Maxine D.
Placed in service in June 1970, Turtle was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Given the hull number DSV-3 on 1 June 1971, the submersible operated in "active, in service," status until January of 1973, when she was commissioned. Since that time, Turtle has performed research work for the Navy into 1980.