Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Grayback (SSG-574/APSS-574) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Grayback (SSG-574/APSS-574) 

USS Grayback (SSG-574) was launched by the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., 2 July 1957; sponsored by Mrs. John A. Moore, widow of the last skipper of the first Grayback; and commissioned at Mare Island 7 March 1958, Lt Comdr. Hugh G. Nott in command.

The first of the Navy's guided missile submarines to carry the Regulus II sea-to-surface missiles, USS Grayback (SSG-574) conducted tests and shakedown along the West Coast. While operating out of Port Hueneme, Calif., in September she carried out the first successful launching of a Regulus II missile from a submarine, which pointed the way to a revolutionary advance in the power of navies to attack land bases. On 9 February 1959, USS Grayback (SSG-574) departed Mare Island to make Pearl Harbor her permanent home base, reaching Hawaii 7 March via Port Hueneme, and Long Beach, Calif., and Mazatlan, Mexico. After a series of exercises there, she cruised to Dutch Harbor, Unmak and Sequam Islands, and Kodiak, Alaska, for further missile exercises from 3 to 31 July. USS Grayback (SSG-574)'s first patrol terminated at Yokosuka, Japan, as did two others. She returned to Pearl Harbor 8 December.

On 22 February 1960, USS Grayback (SSG-574) modified her missile launching system and simplified her complex electrical circuits. After this, she again took up deterrent missile strike missions. Over the next 2 1/2 years she completed seven missions for a total of nearly 18 months at sea, much of this time submerged. In addition to Yokosuka both Adak, Alaska and Pearl Harbor also served as termination points for these patrols. On her nine patrols she spent more than 20 months at sea and logged well over 130,000 miles on deterrent missile strike missions.

As more and more Polaris submarines became operational, they assumed the deterrent functions previously assigned to USS Grayback (SSG-574) and her sister ships. USS Grayback (SSG-574) decommissioned at Mare Island 25 May 1964. She was being converted to a submarine troop transport and will serve the Navy as USS Grayback (APSS-574). 

For a complete history of USS Grayback (SSG-574/APSS-574) please see its DANFS page.