Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season; I know I sure did! But, now I’m back and very excited to explore the USS NAUTILUS.
The USS NAUTILUS (SSN 571), is the world’s first nuclear powered submarine. It was built by Electric Boat Company from 1952-54 and launched into the Thames River, here in Groton, on January 21, 1954. She is 323’ 9” in length, with a 27’ 8” beam. Her top speeds have been recorded as 22 knots on the surface and 20+ knots submerged.
NAUTILUS is a very important submarine. Like I said, she is the first submarine to be propelled and its systems run by nuclear power. (If you remember, nuclear power is cleaner, quieter, and more efficient than the previous diesel engine submarines.) Secondly, the ship beat all submerged speed and distance records held by other submarines! But probably the coolest thing happened on July 23, 1958. On that day, NAUTILUS left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on a secret mission called “Operation Sunshine”. This top secret mission led NAUTILUS to be the first submarine to cross the North Pole. On August 3, 1958, at 11:15 pm, Commander Wm. Anderson made the following statement to his crew: “For the world, our country, and the Navy – the North Pole.” That is sooooo cool! I would’ve liked to have been on that trip, to be a part of history!
In the spring of 1979, NAUTILUS made way for her final destination. NAUTILUS could finally rest after 25 years and more than 500,000 miles. She was named a National Historic Landmark in May 1982. She arrived here at the Submarine Force Museum as an exhibit in April 1986.
OK enough talking, let’s go see her!