Naval History and Heritage Command

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Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730)

1984-

Henry Martin Jackson, born on 31 May 1912 in Everett, Snohomish County, Wash., to Norwegian immigrants Peter and Marine Jackson, attended public schools and Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. In 1935 he graduated from the law school of the University of Washington at Seattle. He was admitted to the bar that year and established a legal practice in Everett.

Jackson became a prosecuting attorney for Snohomish County (1938-1940). He ran, and won, as a candidate for the Democratic Party to the Seventy-seventh Congress, and to the five succeeding Congresses (3 January 1941-3 January 1953). He advised the United States delegation at the International Maritime Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1945. The following year, Jackson was elected president of the International Maritime Conference, held in Seattle.

He did not attain the candidacy for renomination in 1952. As the Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs in the Seventy-ninth Congress; however, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1952. Jackson was reelected (from Everett) in 1958, 1964, 1970, 1976, and 1982.

Jackson chaired: the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (Eighty-eighth through Ninety-fifth Congresses); the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Congresses); and the Democratic National Committee in 1960. Jackson married 28-year-old Helen Hardin, a Senate receptionist, in 1961. Their union produced two children: Anne M. and Peter.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 1972 and 1976. Jackson advocated for the Trident submarine launched ballistic missile program. He died of an aortic aneurysm on 1 September 1983, and was interred at Evergreen Cemetery, Everett. Jackson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously on 26 June 1984. The Henry Jackson Society, a British “think tank,” is named in his honor.

(SSBN-730: displacement 16,818; length 560'; beam 42'; draft 38'; speed 20+ knots; complement 153; armament 24 Trident I C4 submarine launched ballistic missiles and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 torpedoes; class Ohio)

Rhode Island (SSBN-730) was laid down on 19 November 1981 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; renamed Henry M. Jackson on 9 September 1983 in the wake of Senator Jackson’s death (the name Rhode Island  being assigned to SSBN-740); launched on 15 October 1983; sponsored by Ms. Anna M. Laurence, the late Senator Jackson’s daughter; and commissioned at New London, Conn., on 6 October 1984, Capt. Ralph L. Tindal (Blue Crew) and Capt. Michael A. Farmer (Gold Crew) in command.

Henry M. Jackson sails past the stunning Pacific Northwest scenery
Henry M. Jackson sails past the stunning Pacific Northwest scenery. (Undated U.S. Navy Photograph, Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730) Command History Report 1988, Ships History, Naval History & Heritage Command)

Nearly 200 gallons of sea water poured into Henry M. Jackson’s bridge trunk while she battled heavy seas in the Pacific, on 18 February 2007. The boat submerged and stayed at periscope depth while her crewmen wiped down all of the wet equipment and monitored equipment for abnormal indications. The submarine did not report casualties and continued her operations.

Henry M. Jackson launched an unarmed Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missile for a test, while submerged in the Pacific, on 3 December 2007. The firing marked the 120th test launch of a Trident since 1989. Henry M. Jackson operates with the Pacific Fleet out of Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Wash.

Torpedoman’s Mate 3d Class Garrity Johnson stands lookout
Torpedoman’s Mate 3d Class Garrity Johnson stands lookout on board Henry M. Jackson while she sails from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 31 March 2008. (Sonar Technician 2d Class Will Blackshear, U.S. Navy Photograph 080331-N-6107B-001, Commander Submarine Group 7)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

4 June 2014

Published: Wed Jul 15 12:52:41 EDT 2015