Sam Rayburn SSBN-635




Sam Rayburn

(SSBN-635: dp. 7,250 (surf.), 8,250 (subm.); 1. 425'b. 33'; dr. 32'; s. 20+ k.; cpl. 140; a. 16 Poll, 4 21' tt.; cl. Lafayette)

Sam Rayburn (SSBN-635) was laid down on 3 December 1962 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched on 20 December 1963; co sponsored by Mrs. S. E. Bartley and Mrs. W. A. Thomas, and commissioned on 2 December 1964, Capt. Oliver H. Perry, Jr. (blue crew) in command.

The 28th United States ballistic missile submarine to be commissioned, Sam Rayburn conducted demonstration and shakedown operations on the Atlantic Missile Range, first manned by her blue crew and then by her gold crew, under Comdr. William A. Williams III. She joined Submarine Squadron 18 before her first patrol in the summer of 1965. In August 1965, she joined Submarine Squadron 16 and made 7 patrols out of Rota, Spain, before rejoining Submarine Squadron 18 in December 1966 at Charleston, S.C. During 1967 Sam Rayburn completed her 8th through 11th Polaris deterrent patrols. During 1968, she completed patrols 12 through 14. During 1969, Sam Rayburn operated continuously with Submarine Squadron 18 until commencing overhaul at Portsmouth, N.H., in December. Upon completion of overhaul on 27 May 1971, Sam Rayburn operated along the eastern coast of the United States throughout 1971 and into 1972. Sam Rayburn departed from Groton, Conn., and arrived in Charleston, S.C., before departing on an extended period of special operations. As of June 1974, she continues to be engaged in those special operations.


On 10 June 1985, the U.S. Navy announced plans to dismantle a fleet ballistic missile submarine so as to remain within the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty ceiling on MIRVed ballistic missiles. Sam Rayburn was selected and was deactivated on 16 September 1985, with missile tubes filled with concrete and tube hatches removed.Her missile compartment was later dismantled and the two halves (bow and stern) of the ship were pulled together and welded in place for use as a training ship.

Sam Rayburn was decommissioned on 31 July 1989 and reclassified a moored training ship (MTS) with hull number MTS-635.[3][4] Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 31 July 1989, she arrived at the Naval Nuclear Prototype Training Unit at Goose Creek, South Carolina, in August 1989 after achieving initial criticality in her new role on 29 July 1989.[citation needed] Her modifications included special mooring arrangements, including Water Brake, a mechanism to absorb power generated by her main propulsion shaft.[citation needed] She is scheduled to operate as a moored training ship until 2020 while undergoing shipyard availabilities for repairs and alterations at five-year intervals.