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USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN 686)

- decommissioned -

USS L. MENDEL RIVERS was the second-to-last of the STURGEON - class submarines commissioned and the last of the class to be inactivated. The submarine was the first ship in the Navy named for the South Carolina congressman who served as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the 89th, 90th and 91st Congresses. Congressman Rivers was an outspoken advocate of nuclear propulsion for submarines and aircraft carriers.

Deactivated while still in commission at Naval Station Norfolk's Pier 22 on July 28, 2000, the L. MENDEL RIVERS departed Norfolk for the last time in September 2000, heading for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., where the L. MENDEL RIVERS entered the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on May 10, 2001, recycling of the L. MENDEL RIVERS was completed on July 19, 2002.

General Characteristics:Awarded: July 1, 1969
Keel Laid: June 26, 1971
Launched: June 2, 1973
Commissioned: February 1, 1975
Decommissioned: May 10, 2001
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.
Propulsion system: one S5W2 nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 302 feet (91.5 meters)
Beam: 31.7 feet (9.65 meters)
Draft: 29.2 feet (8.9 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 4,460 tons
Submerged: approx. 4,960 tons
Speed: Surfaced: approx. 15 knots
Submerged: approx. 30 knots
Armament: four 533 mm torpedo tubes for Mk-48 torpedoes, Harpoon, Tomahawk, and SUBROC missiles, ability to lay mines
Crew: 12 Officers, 95 Enlisted


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Crew List:

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


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