(AS-31: dp. 19,000 1. 599', b. 83', dr. 23'4"; s. 18 k. cpl. 1,190; a. 2 5"; cl. Hunley)
Hunley (AS-31) was launched 28 September 1961 by the Newport News Shiphuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., sponsored by Mrs. J. Palmer Gaillard, wife of the Mayor of Charleston, S.C.; and commissioned 16 June 1962, Captain Douglas N. Syverson, in command.
Hunley has the distinction of being the first ship designed and built up from the keel to service and maintain the U.S. Navy's nuclear powered Ballistic Missile Submarine Fleet. She has complete facilities for servicing the complex Polaris Weapons Systems and for accomplishing any submarine repair other than a major shipyard overhaul.
Hunlev sailed 25 July 1962 for shakedown training off Cuba. This completed 6 September, she visited several Guli and Atlantic ports, including Mobile and Charleston. She returned north to Norfolk 28 September for postshakedown alterations until 8 December. She next paid a 3-day visit to New York City to host the Naval Reserve Offlcers Seminar "New Ships for the Modern Navy." She stood out of the Norfolk Operating Base 29 December 1962 for Holy Loch, Scotland, arriving 9 January l9ff3. Almost ir~mediately she began taking the load off Proteus, whom she offlcially relieved 15 March l963 as tender to Submarine Squadron 14 at Holy Loch, Scotland. This duty continued until 12 April l964 when Runley sailed for conversion that provided capability of handling the new A3 Polaris Missile. She resumed her duties at Holy Loch 15 June 1964.
A Polaris milestone was reached in December 1965 when Thomas A. 13dison came alongside to commence the 100th refit of an SSBN by Hunlep. This sign)fied that one hundred SSBN submarines had gone out on time from Hunley and not one of them had to make an early return from patrol. This represents some 200 months of Polaris on station or iffy, years of submerged strategic deterrent since Hunlev's arrival in Holy Loch 9 January 1963.
Among impressive jobs carried out by Hunlep is welding on SSBN pressure hulls or reactor plant fluid systems. Once unheard of in submarine tending, these jobs are only a few of many tackled with confidence and skill by Hunlev. These and many other alterations are carried out as a matter of routine to keep SSBN's on the line with the newest possible technical improvements and safety de
vices. For example, an auxiliary "Sub-Safe" package was accomplished on Theodore Rocievelt in which over 40 fittings and more than 100 feet of new piping in a major system were installed. A battery replacement for Ethan Allen was completed in only 11 days. Huenleg meets demands from making water-borne propeller replacements to encapsulation of AC induction motors; delicate repairs to navigation and fire control, nnd many other varied tasks to insure that each SSBN has the finest of care on each refit. The resolution, can-do spirit, and persevering fidelity of her offlcers and men give firm allegiance to nunley's motto: "We Serve to Preserve Peace."
Hunley returned to the United States late in 1966 and in 1967 operates out of Charleston, S.C., laboring to keep sharp the edge of the Navy's underwater nuclear deterrent.