The Navy Unit Commendation may be awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself by outstanding heroism in action against an enemy (but not suff
... Moreiciently to justify the award of the Presidential Unit Citation). It may also be awarded to a unit that distinguishes itself by extremely meritorious service not involving combat (but in support of military operations), which renders that unit outstanding when compared to other units performing similar service. Hide
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN-598)
dp. 5959(surf.), 6709(subm.); l. 381.6';b. 33';
s. 16k(surf.), 22k(subm.); td. 700';a. 16missiletubes, 6-21" tt. fwd.;
cpl. 12 officers- 100 enlisted men (ea
... Morech in 2 crews); cl. "GEORGE WASHINGTON"
Laid down at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, Groton, CT1NOV57; Launched: 9JUN59; Sponsored by Mrs. Robert B. Anderson; Commissioned: 30DEC59 with Cdr James B. Osborn[B]; Cdr John L. From, Jr. in command [G]; Decommissioned and struck from the Navy List 24JAN85; Schedule for disposal through SRPat PSNS.
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN-598) wasoriginallyScorpion(SSN-589). She was lengthened by the insertion of a 130-foot missile section.
The first of a new class, GEORGE WASHINGTON sailed from Groton 28June1960 for Cape Canaveral, Florida, where she loaded two solid propellant Polaris missiles. Standing out into the Atlantic Missile Test Range with Rear Admiral W.F. Raborn, head of the phenomenal Polaris Submarine development programonboard as an observer, the nuclear submarine madehistory 20July1960 when she successfully launched the first Polaris missile from a submerged submarine-- the free world everywhere had gained a weapon of utmost importance to the protection of civilization. At 1239 GEORGE WASHINGTON's commanding officer sent President Eisenhower the historic message: "Polaris-- from out of the deep to target. Perfect." Less than 2 hours later another missile from the submerged submarine homed in on the impact area 1,100 miles downrange. A new and mighty weapon had been added to the vast power of the sea.
GEORGE WASHINGTON returned to Cape Canaveral to embark her Gold crew, and 30July1960 duplicated her earlier successes by launching two more missiles while submerged. Shakedown for the Gold crew ended at Groton 30 August and the submarine got underway from that port 28 October for Charleston, S.C., to load her full complement of 16 Polaris missiles.
There she was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, after which her Blue crew took over; and GEORGE WASHINGTON, embarked on her first deterrent patrol.
The submarine completed her first patrol after 66 days of submerged running 21 January 1961 and put in at New London, Conn. The Gold crew took over; and she departed on her next patrol 14 February. After the patrol GEORGE WASHINGTON entered Holy Loch, Scotland, 25 April 1961. Four years after her initial departure from Groton she putin to "refuel," having cruised some 100,000 miles.
GEORGE WASHINGTON was shifted to the Pacific and returned to Pearl Harbor from her last missile patrol. The following year, the missiles were off- loaded in Bangor, WA. In 1983 she left Pearl Harbor for the last time as she began the journey through the Panama Canal back to New London, her birthplace.
On January 24 1985, GEORGE WASHINGTON was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list on April 30, 1986. Her sail was removed prior to disposal and now resides at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, New London, Connecticut. Hide