(SSBN-635: dp. 7,250 (surf.), 8,250 (subm.) ; l. 425'; b. 33'; dr. 32'; s. 20+ k.; cpl. 140; a. 16 Pol., 4 21" tt.; cl. Lafayette)
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn, born on 6 January 1882 in Roane County, Tenn., graduated from. Mayo College (now East Texas State University), at Commerce, Tex. After a year teaching school, he won election to the State Legislature. During his third two-year term in the Legislature, he was elected Speaker of the House at the age of 29. The next year, he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives. He went to Congress on 4 March 1913 at the beginning of Woodrow Wilson's administration and served without interruption for over 48 years. On 16 September 1940, at the age of 58, he became Speaker of the House. When his career as Speaker was interrupted during the sessions of 1947-1948 and 1953-1954 during Republican control of the House, Rayburn served as minority leader. He usually worked quietly in the background in the shaping of legislation. As Speaker, he won a reputation for being fair in his rulings and for forgetting politics when he handled the gavel. He had served as Speaker more than twice as long as any predecessor when he died of cancer in Bonham, Tex., on 16 November 1961.
Sam Rayburn (SSBN-635) was laid down on 3 December 1962 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched on 20 December 1963; co-sponsored by Mrs. S. E. Bartley and Mrs. W. A. Thomas; and commissioned on 2 December 1964, Capt. Oliver H. Perry, Jr. (blue crew) in command.
The 28th United States ballistic missile submarine to be commissioned, Sam Rayburn conducted demonstration and shakedown operations on the Atlantic Missile Range, first manned by her blue crew and then by her gold crew, under Comdr. William A. Williams III. She joined Submarine Squadron 18 before her first patrol in the summer of 1965. In August 1965, she joined Submarine Squadron 16 and made 7 patrols out of Rota, Spain, before rejoining Submarine Squadron 18 in December 1966 at Charleston, S.C. During 1967, Sam Rayburn completed her 8th through 11th Polaris deterrent patrols. During 1968, she completed patrols 12 through 14. During 1969, Sam Rayburn operated continuously with Submarine Squadron 18 until commencing overhaul at Portsmouth, N.H., in December. Upon completion of overhaul on 27 May 1971, Sam Rayburn operated along the eastern coast of the United States throughout 1971 and into 1972. Sam Rayburn departed from Groton, Conn., and arrived in Charleston, S.C., before departing on an extended period of special operations. As of June 1974, she continues to be engaged in those special operations.