The keel of USS GROTON (SSN-694) was laid down at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, CT, on 3 August 1973. The bow of each new submarine is covered with a custom-designed nose cone when she is launched, so as GROTON neared completion her prospective commanding officer, Commander William Vogel, III, went looking for a design. Traditionally, ideas came from boats’ crews, but Vogel felt that this time, “since this is the first submarine to carry a name that is famous throughout the Submarine Force, it seems only fitting that we give Groton people a chance to design our insignia.” So Vogel announced a contest and within weeks he had 65 entries.
The winning design was created by Ledyard, CT, resident and bookkeeper Amy Francis, whose mother lived in Groton and whose sister, Jeanette Frey, was an outside machinist at EB. Francis was a guest of honor at the boat’s launch and was awarded a wall plaque and jacket patch bearing her design.
In 1999, the Submarine Force Museum contracted with a textile-conservation company to have the painted-canvas insignia preserved. Today the cover, as vibrant as the day it covered GROTON’s bow when she slipped into the water, hangs in the Museum’s main hallway.