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USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)


USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)

USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)
USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626) with her unusual original bow plane configuration.
Namesake: Daniel Webster (1782-1852), an American statesman
Ordered: 3 February 1961
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 28 December 1961
Launched: 27 April 1963
Sponsored by: Mrs. W. Osborn Goodrich, Jr.
Commissioned: 9 April 1964
Decommissioned: 30 August 1990
Motto: Liberty and Union
Nickname(s): "Old Funny Fins"
Fate: Became moored training ship MTS-626
General characteristics
Class & type: Lafayette-class submarine
Type: Ballistic missile submarine (hull design SCB-216)[1]
  • 7,250 long tons (7,370 t) surfaced
  • 8,250 long tons (8,380 t) submerged
Length: 425 ft (130 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
  • 20 knots (37 km/h) surfaced
  • 25 knots (46 km/h) submerged
Complement: Two crews (Blue and Gold), 13 officers and 130 enlisted men each
Sensors and
processing systems:
BQS-4 sonar[1]

USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626), a Lafayette class ballistic missile submarine (FBM), was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Senator Daniel Webster.


  • Construction and commissioning 1
  • Operational history 2
  • Decommissioning 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Construction and commissioning

The contract to build Daniel Webster was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 3 February 1961 and her keel was laid down there on 28 December 1961. She was launched on 27 April 1963, sponsored by Mrs. W. Osborn Goodrich, Jr., and commissioned on 9 April 1964, with Commander Marvin S. Blair in command of the Blue Crew and Commander Lloyd S. Smith in command of the Gold Crew.

Webster was originally built with diving planes mounted on a "mini-sail" near the bow, leading to her nickname "Old Funny Fins". This configuration, unique to US submarines,[2] was an attempt to reduce the effect of porpoising. While successful, the "mini-sail" required to contain the operating mechanism reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and lowered her overall speed.[3] During a mid-1970s overhaul, these unusual planes were removed and standard fairwater planes were installed.[4]

Operational history

While in service, Webster was the last Lafayette to be retrofitted to carry UGM-73 Poseidon missiles.[5] Patrol 50 (Gold) July, 1982. From Holy Loch. Port Calls - Groton, CT, Kings Bay, GA Patrol 52 Feb 1983 ERP Holy Loch Patrol 56 March 1984 from Holy Loch Port call Naples, Italy Patrol 60 April 1985 ERP Charleston Patrol 68 June 1987 from Holy Loch Port call Lisbon, Portugal


Daniel Webster was decommissioned on 30 August 1990 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. She was converted to a moored training ship (S5W Prototype facility) by the Charleston Naval Shipyard at Charleston, South Carolina. Upon completion and designated MTS-626, she was towed up-river to her permanent berth at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston.


  1. ^ a b c d Adcock, Al. (1993). U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines. Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal. p. 22. 
  2. ^ Adcock, Al. (1993). U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines. Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal. pp. 22, (4 also credits mythical interwar Albacore and Trout classes, however). 
  3. ^ Adcock, Al. (1993). U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines. Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal. pp. 29, (Adcock, p.28, contradicts himself, saying there was no benefit). 
  4. ^ at NavSource.orgDaniel Webster
  5. ^ Adcock, Al. (1993). U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines. Carrolltown, Texas: Squadron Signal. p. 29. 

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

External links

  • Photo gallery of USS Daniel Webster at NavSource Naval History

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