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USS Puffer (SSN-652)

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Title: USS Puffer (SSN-652)  
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Subject: Sturgeon-class submarine, USS Puffer, Sturgeon class submarine, Edmund Giambastiani, Sturgeon-class submarines
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USS Puffer (SSN-652)

USS Puffer (SSN-652)
USS Puffer (SSN-652) on her way to Guam in 1994.
Name: USS Puffer (SSN-652)
Namesake: The pufferfish
Ordered: 26 March 1963
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Laid down: 8 February 1965
Launched: 30 March 1968
Sponsored by: Mrs. John B. Colwell
Commissioned: 9 August 1969
Decommissioned: 12 July 1996
Struck: 12 July 1996
Motto: Pride in Perfection
Fate: Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program completed 28 March 1997
General characteristics
Class & type: Sturgeon-class attack submarine
  • 3,978 long tons (4,042 t) light
  • 4,272 long tons (4,341 t) full
  • 294 long tons (299 t) dead
Length: 292 ft (89 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draft: 29 ft (8.8 m)
Installed power: 15,000 shaft horsepower (11.2 megawatts)
Propulsion: One S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one screw
Speed: Over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Test depth: 1,300 feet (396 meters)
Complement: 109 (14 officers, 95 enlisted men

USS Puffer (SSN-652), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the pufferfish, a fish which inflates its body with air.


  • Construction and commissioning 1
  • Service history 2
  • Decommissioning and disposal 3
  • References 4

Construction and commissioning

The contract to build Puffer was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on 26 March 1963 and her keel was laid down there on 8 February 1965. She was launched on 30 March 1968, sponsored by Mrs. John B. Colwell, and commissioned on 9 August 1969 with Commander John M. Will, Jr., in command.

Service history

On May 22, 1978 a valve was mistakenly opened releasing up to 500 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) of radioactive water in the Puget Sound.

Prior to the filming of The Hunt for Red October Sean Connery was on board preparing for his role as Capt. Marko Ramius. He was given the status of a commander and was allowed (while the captain was next to him) give orders while the boat was underway.(Ref.

Decommissioning and disposal

Puffer was decommissioned on 12 July 1996 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, began on 20 October 1996 and was completed on 28 March 1997.


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