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USS Lapon (SSN-661): Wikis


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USS Lapon (SSN-661) underway, probably during her sea trials, 1967, off the Virginia coast.
USS Lapon (SSN-661), probably during her sea trials off Virginia in 1967.
Name: USS Lapon (SSN-661)
Namesake: The lapon, a scorpionfish of the Pacific coast of North America
Ordered: 24 October 1963
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia
Laid down: 26 July 1965
Launched: 16 December 1966
Sponsored by: Mrs. Charles D. Griffin
Commissioned: 14 December 1967
Decommissioned: 8 August 1992
Struck: 8 August 1992
Motto: Secret et Hardi
("Secret and bold")
Honors and
Meritorious Unit Commendation 1968
Meritorious Unit Commendation 1969
Presidential Unit Citation 1969
Submarine Division 62 Battle Efficiency Award (Battle "E") 1969
Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for Operational Proficiency for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet 1970
Submarine Division 63 Battle "E" 1970
Navy Unit Commendation 1973
Meritorious Unit Commendation 1979
Submarine Squadron 6 Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW)/Operations "A" 1979
Submarine Squadron 6 Engineering "E" 1979
Meritorious Unit Commendation 1982
Submarine Squadron 6 ASW/Operations "A" 1982
Meritorious Unit Commendation 1983
Navy Battle "E" 1983
Meritorious Unit Commendation 1985
Navy Battle "E" 1985
Arctic Expedition Ribbon (ICEX 88) 1988
Navy Battle "E" 1991
Fate: Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program begun 1 March 2003, comnpleted 31 August 2004
General characteristics
Class and type: Sturgeon-class attack submarine
Displacement: 3,860 long tons (3,922 t) light
Length: 292 ft (89 m)
Beam: 31 ft 8 in (9.65 m)
Draft: 28 ft 8 in (8.74 m)
Installed power: 15,000 shaft horsepower (11.2 megawatts)
Propulsion: One S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one screw
Test depth: 1,300 feet (396 meters)
Complement: 107
Armament: 4 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
Mark 48 ADCAP torpedoes

USS Lapon (SSN-661), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the lapon, a scorpionfish of the Pacific coast of North America.


Construction and commissioning

The contract to build Lapon was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, on 24 October 1963 and her keel was laid down there on 26 July 1965. She was launched on 16 December 1966, sponsored by Mrs. Charles D. Griffin, wife of Admiral Charles D. Griffin (1906-1996), and commissioned on 14 December 1967, with Commander Chester M. "Whitey" Mack in command.

Service history

Upon commissioning, Lapon reported to Commander, Submarine Force, United States Atlantic Fleet for duty, with her home port at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia. She spent most of 1968 going through training programs and cruising along the East Coast of the United States. Into 1969, she prepared for a Mediterranean Sea deployment with the United States Sixth Fleet.

In 1969, while under the command of Commander Mack, Lapon successfully tailed on a Soviet Navy YANKEE class ballistic missile submarine for a period of forty-seven days. Lapon followed the YANKEE for the YANKEE'S entire deterrent patrol and only broke contact when the Soviet submarine turned to go home. Lapon was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for the feat and Mack became famous in the submarine community for this noteworthy success.

Decommissioning and disposal

Deactivated on 1 October 1991 while still in commission , Lapon was decommissioned on 8 August 1992 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program began on 1 March 2003 and was completed on 31 August 2004.


Lapon's sail was preserved at American Legion Post 639 in Springfield, Missouri.

Commanding officers

Date is that of assumption of command:

  • Commander Chester M. "Witey" Mack, 14 December 1967
  • Commander G. E. Green, 8 September 1970
  • Commander P. Wilkins, 6 April 1974
  • Captain T. R. Murray, 29 October 1977
  • Captain J. S. Baumstark, 22 May 1981
  • Commander J. J. Mackin, March 1985
  • Commander Peter Flannery, 1988
  • Commander Thomas M. Fursman, 1990



External links



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