Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Pennsylvania IV (SSBN-735)


Pennsylvania, the second of the original 13 states, ratified the Constitution on 12 December 1787.

The first ship named Pennsylvania, a ship-of-the-line, served from 1837-1861. A screw steamer, originally named Keywaden, was assigned the name Pennsylvania on 15 May 1869. She was laid down in the Boston Navy Yard, Mass., but never launched. She lay on the ways from 1863 to 1884, when she was broken up. The second ship named Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), and commissioned into active service, was renamed Pittsburgh on 27 August 1912, and served from 1905-1931. The third Pennsylvania (Battleship No. 38) served from 1916-1948.


(SSBN-735: displacement 16,854; length 560'; beam 42'; draft 38'; speed 20+ knots; complement 153; armament 24 UGM-133 Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missiles and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 torpedoes; class Ohio)

The fourth Pennsylvania (SSBN-735) was laid down on 2 March 1987 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; launched on 23 April 1988; sponsored by Mrs. Marilyn K. Garrett, wife of Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III; and commissioned on 9 September 1989, Capt. R. Michael Camp (Blue Crew) and Capt. A. Lee Edwards (Gold Crew) in command.

Following her commissioning, Pennsylvania, manned by her Blue Crew, sailed from New London, Conn., for her new home port of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga. Hurricane Hugo compelled the Navy to divert the submarine to Port Canaveral, Fla. Hugo silted the channel into Port Canaveral, however, and when Pennsylvania entered that port on 30 September 1989, she grounded on an uncharted sand bar in the northern half of the channel. Tugs nosed Pennsylvania off the sand bar and she emerged without serious damage or casualties. She trained intermittently and arrived at Kings Bay on 9 October. The submarine successfully completed her Mk 48 torpedo certification on 26 November, and then operated as an opposition force against the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) Carrier Battle Group. Pennsylvania successfully test fired her first Trident II on the night of 11 March 1990.

Pennsylvania shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific Fleet in October-November 2002, and she operates with Submarine Group 9 out of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash. The submarine, manned by her Blue Crew, returned from her 60th strategic deterrent patrol in September 2008. The event also marked the 500th such patrol by an Ohio class boat equipped with Trident IIs. Pennsylvania, manned by her Gold Crew, completed a 140-day strategic deterrent patrol on 14 June 2014.

Pennsylvania (SSBN-735) IV 1989-
Pennsylvania glides through the still inland waters of the Pacific Northwest. (Pennsylvania (SSBN-735) 2007 Command Operations Report, Ships History, Naval History and Heritage Command).

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

23 June 2014

Published: Wed Aug 19 12:31:18 EDT 2015