Naval History and Heritage Command

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Louisville IV (SSN-724)


The fourth U.S. Navy ship named for the large city in Kentucky. The first Louisville, an ironclad centerwheel gunboat, served from 1862–1865. Union sidewheel steamer Manitou of the Mississippi Squadron captured Confederate steamer Louisville on the Little Red River, Ark., on 13 July 1863, and she was subsequently renamed Cuachita. The second U.S. Navy ship named Louisville, therefore, American Line steamship St. Louis, served during the Spanish‑American War under her merchant name, and was taken over for a second time on 25 April 1918, renamed Louisville (Id. No. 1644), and served from 1918–1919. The third Louisville, originally a light cruiser (CL‑28), was reclassified to a heavy cruiser (CA-28) on 1 July 1931, and served from 1931–1959.

See Louisville (SSN-724) for her Command Operations Reports.


(SSN-724: displacement 6,185; length 362'; beam 33'; draft 31'; speed 25 knots; complement 110; armament UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and Mk 48 torpedoes -- four torpedo tubes; class Los Angeles)

The fourth Louisville (SSN-724) was laid down on 16 September 1984 at General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Conn.; launched on 14 December 1985; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth A. McKee, wife of Adm. Kinnaird R. McKee, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion; and commissioned on 8 November 1986 at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., Capt. Charles E. Ellis in command.

Louisville deployed for Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Desert Sabre, entering the Red Sea on 17 January 1991. While submerged in the Red Sea at 0930 on 19 January, she fired Tomahawk cruise missiles against Iraqi military targets. The attack boat came about and completed repairs alongside submarine tender Proteus (AS-19) at Apra Harbor, Guam, from 13–25 February. She then returned to sea and made for the war zone, but the coalition and the Iraqis announced a cease fire on 28 February, and she diverted for a brief visit to Perth, Australia, from 7–12 March.

Louisville also deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom I and on 21 and 22 March 2003, she joined 29 other U.S. and British ships and submarines that fired Tomahawks against Iraqi military targets.

Louisville IV (SSN-724) 1986-120808-N-UK333-105
Louisville returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hi., from a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, 8 August 2012. Commercial tug Patsy Mink eases the submarine toward her berth, and guided missile destroyer Russell (DDG-59) and guided missile cruiser Lake Erie (CG-70) lie moored to the left and center backgrounds, respectively, in the busy harbor. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge, U.S. Navy Photograph 120808-N-UK333-105, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

19 August 2015

Published: Wed Aug 19 08:32:36 EDT 2015