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Ray II (SSN-653)

(SSN-653: displacement 3,800 (surfaced), 4,600 (submerged); length 292'3"; beam 31'8"; draft 28'8"; speed 20+ knots; complement 107; armament SUBROC, 4 21" torpedo tubes; class Sturgeon)

A fish, characterized by a flat body, large pectoral fins, and a whiplike tail.


The second Ray (SSN-653), a nuclear-powered attack submarine, was laid down 4 January 1965 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched 22 June 1966; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas H. Kuchel, wife of Senator Kuchel of California; and commissioned 12 April 1967, Comdr. A. L. Kelln in command.

Ray uses a teardrop hull and sailplane configuration for maximum speed and maneuverability. Primarily designed as a hunter-killer submarine, Ray is equipped with the latest equipment in sonar, weapons, fire control, communications and electronics countermeasures enabling her to quietly and efficiently seek out and destroy undersea enemies.

Homeported in Norfolk, Ray underwent shakedown training, weapons and sonar testing until 16 October 1967, when she deployed on Atlantic submarine operations until 12 December. In 1968 Ray again deployed on submarine operations from 8 April to 9 June and from 13 November to 20 December.

She spent the first 5 months of 1969 in submarine type training and fleet exercises off the east coast and in the Caribbean. SSN-653 departed Norfolk 6 June on a special operation before sailing for Scotland, arriving Holy Loch 26 June. She departed Scotland 31 July, and returned to Norfolk 12 August. For the remainder of the year, and into 1970, Ray trained in the Atlantic with other units of the fleet.

Ray spent most of 1970 operating in the Atlantic out of Norfolk, Va. Her operations were concentrated primarily upon training and testing. In December 1970, she entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a 14 month overhaul period. She steamed out of Norfolk 5 March 1972 and engaged in various tests and exercises, notably two NATO exercises, STRONG EXPRESS and ESCORT DEEP, during the remainder of 1972. Returning to Norfolk 12 December, Ray's crewmen were able to spend the holidays in home port. She departed Norfolk in late February 1973 for a Mediterranean cruise which lasted until mid-summer, at which time she returned to Norfolk and normal Atlantic operations. As of January 1974, Ray is in Norfolk, Va.

23 September 2005

Published: Wed Aug 26 10:08:44 EDT 2015