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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: "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]
Displacement: 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)
Propulsion: 1 × S5W reactor
2 x Westinghouse geared turbines 15,000 shp (11,000 kW)[1]
Speed: 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]
Armament: 4 × 21 in (530 mm) Mark 65 torpedo tubes with Mark 113 firecontrol system,[1] for Mark 48 torpedoes
16 × vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon ballistic missiles

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

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 above the hull near the bow, leading to her nickname "Old Funny Fins". This configuration (unique to U.S. FBMs, but common to the Royal Navy's Resolution-class submarines)[2][Clarification needed] was an attempt to reduce the effect of porpoising. While successful, the bow bulge required to contain the operating mechanism reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and lowered her overall speed.[3] During her first overhaul, these unusual planes were removed and standard fairwater planes were installed.

Operational history

While in service, Webster was the first Lafayette to be retrofitted with Poseidon.[4]


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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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. 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

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