Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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USS Lafayette (SSBN-616), 1963-1991

The lead fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarine of her class, USS Lafayette (SSBN-616) was built by Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics, Groton, Connecticut.  For her launching on May 8, 1962, Lafayette's sponsor was First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy.  Commissioned on April 23, 1963, she was intially deployed with the Polaris A-2 missile, later refitted to deploy with the Polaris A-3.  During her deterrent patrols in the 1960's, she was homeported out of Charleston, South Carolina and Rota, Spain.  In 1974, she was refitted to deploy with the Poseidon C-3 missile.   During the 1970's, she was again homeported out of Charleston and underwent refits at Holy Loch, Scotland.   The fleet ballistic submarine continued her deterrent patrols in the Atlantic until deactivated in March 1991.   Decommissioned that August, Lafayette's recycling was completed in February 1992 at the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington.  

A model of Lafayette can be found in the Dive, Dive, Dive! exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.   

Image:  330-CFD-DN-ST-91-05221:  USS Lafayette (SSBN-616).  Starboard bow view while off Norfolk, Virginia, February 1, 1991.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph now in the collections of the National Archives.