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USS Tecumseh (SSBN 628)

- formerly WILLIAM PENN -
- decommissioned -


USS TECUMSEH was the 12th LAFAYETTE - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine and the fourth ship in the Navy to bear the name. Initially named WILLIAM PENN, the submarine was renamed TECUMSEH on April 11, 1962. Placed “in commission, in reserve,” on February 15, 1993, TECUMSEH began the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington the same day. Decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on July 23, 1993, she emerged from the recycling program on April 1, 1994, as scrapped. However, her port torpedo tubes and a large piece of pressure hull were preserved and are now on display at the US Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport, Wash. The museum is located only a couple of miles east of the Bangor Submarine Base in Kitsap County, Wash.

General Characteristics:Awarded: July 20, 1961
Keel laid: June 1, 1962
Launched: June 22, 1963
Commissioned: May 29, 1964
Decommissioned: July 23, 1993
Builder: Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.
Propulsion system: one S5W nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 425 feet (129.6 meters)
Beam: 33 feet (10 meters)
Draft: 31.5 feet (9.6 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 7,250 tons; Submerged: approx. 8,250 tons
Speed: Surfaced: 16 - 20 knots;Submerged: 22 - 25 knots
Armament: 16 vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon missiles, four 21" torpedo tubes for Mk-48 torpedoes, Mk-14/16 torpedoes, Mk-37 torpedoes and Mk-45 nuclear torpedoes
Crew: 13 Officers and 130 Enlisted (two crews)


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS TECUMSEH. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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About the Ship's Name:

While still a youth, Tecumseh - a Shawnee Indian chief born near the present site of Springfield, Ohio, sometime in or around 1768 - won renown as a brave and skillful warrior. He devoted his life to opposing the advance of white settlers. Reasoning that land in North America - especially in the Ohio valley - belonged to all of the tribes in common, Tecumseh maintained that sales of territory by any single tribe to the United States were null and void. After the Federal Government refused to recognize this principle, Tecumseh attempted to organize a great Indian Confederacy to stem the white tide.

However, while he was in the South working to unite the tribes, Federal troops under Governor William Henry Harrison defeated and scattered Indian forces on 7 November 1811 in the battle of Tippecanoe. This defeat doomed the Indian Confederacy.

After Congress declared war on Great Britain the following year, Tecumseh accepted a commission as a brigadier general in the British army. He cooperated with British troops to win a number of victories in the Great Lakes region, including the capture of Detroit. However, Comdr. Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, late in the summer of 1813, cut British supply lines and prompted them to withdraw along the Thames Valley. Tecumseh and his braves covered the British retirement until American troops led by Harrison - now a major general - caught up with them at Moraviantown. Tecumseh was killed in the ensuing Battle of the Thames on 5 October 1813.

In June 1930, a bronze replica of the figurehead of ship-of-the-line DELAWARE was presented by the Class of 1891 to the United States Naval Academy. This bust - perhaps the most famous relic on the campus - has been widely identified as Tecumseh. However, when it adorned the American man-of-war, it commemorated not Tecumseh but Tamanend, the revered Delaware chief who welcomed William Penn to America when he arrived in Delaware country on 2 October 1682.


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