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USS Von Steuben (SSBN 632)

- decommissioned -

USS VON STEUBEN was the 15th LAFAYETTE - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name.

Placed “in commission, in reserve” on July 7, 1993, VON STEUBEN was both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on February 26, 1994. VON STEUBEN spent the next years berthed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., awaiting disposal through the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program. Recycling was finished on November 1, 2001.

General Characteristics:Awarded: July 20, 1961
Keel laid: September 4, 1962
Launched: October 18, 1963
Commissioned: September 30, 1964
Decommissioned: February 26, 1994
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.
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 VON STEUBEN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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About the Ship's Name:

Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben was born sometime in 1730 in Magdeburg in the Electorate of Brandenburg. The son of a lieutenant of engineers in the army of Frederick William I, King of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg, he spent his early childhood in Russia where his father had entered the service of Czarina Anne at the command of Frederick William I. After the accession of Frederick II to the Prussian throne, von Steuben returned to Germany with his father in 1740.

In 1747, at age 17, he became a cadet in a Prussian infantry regiment and, two years later, received his patent (commission) as an ensign. Von Steuben served with distinction during the Seven Years’ War. His specific training and experience in general staff duties equipped him for his later role in the American Revolution.

His discharge from the army for obscure reasons in 1763 and subsequent financial difficulties caused him to seek service with the American Army in 1777. Stating that he wished no immediate compensation and would stake his fortunes upon the success of the Revolution, von Steuben reported to General Washington at Valley Forge in February 1778.

He was almost immediately successful in the training of the Continental Army in accordance with the exacting standards of the Prussian Army. Thereafter, the Continental Army proved itself, battalion for battalion, the equal in discipline of the best British regulars. He served with distinction with General Nathanael Greene in the Carolinas in 1780 and with General Lafayette at Yorktown in 1781.

Von Steuben became a citizen of the United States in 1783 and, following retirement from the army, resided in New York where he became one of the most popular figures in the city until his death in 1794.


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