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USS Grayling (SSN-646)
USS Grayling (SSN-646)
USS Grayling (SSN-646)
Name: USS Grayling (SSN-646)
Namesake: The grayling, a fresh water game fish closely related to the trout
Awarded: 5 September 1962
Builder: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine
Laid down: 12 May 1964
Launched: 22 June 1967
Sponsored by: Miss Lori Brinker
Commissioned: 11 October 1969
Decommissioned: 18 July 1997
Struck: 18 July 1997
Fate: Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program completed 31 March 1998
Badge: Insignia of SSN-646 Grayling.PNG
General characteristics
Class & type: Sturgeon-class attack submarine
Displacement: 3,956 long tons (4,019 t) light
4,252 long tons (4,320 t) full
296 long tons (301 t) dead
Length: 289 ft (88 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: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) standard
Test depth: 1,300 feet (396 meters)
Complement: 109 (14 officers, 95 enlisted men)
Armament: 4 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes

USS Grayling (SSN-646), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, was the fifth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the grayling, a fresh-water game fish closely related to the trout.

Construction and commissioning

The contract to build Grayling was awarded on 5 September 1962 and her keel was laid down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at Kittery, Maine, on 12 May 1964. She was launched on 22 June 1967, sponsored by Miss Lori Brinker, the daughter of Lieutenant Commander Robert Brinker, who was commanding officer of the previous USS Grayling (SS-209) when she was lost with all hands in September 1943 during World War II. Grayling (SSN-646) was commissioned on 11 October 1969 with Charles R. Baron in command.

Service history


Badge Design, 1981

The colorful Grayling "Badge" logo was designed by Nuclear Trained Machinist Mate Second Class, Gary Helmink, shortly after reporting on board in late 1979. This badge was used thereafter. Gary is a native of Raleigh, NC.

Collision with Russian submarine, 1993

On 20 March 1993, Grayling collided with the Russian Navy submarine Novomoskovsk (K-407),[1][2] a Delfin-class (NATO reporting name Delta IV-class) ballistic missile submarine north of Murmansk. Grayling had been tracking the Russian unit when the collision happened.[3] The American submarine collided with the starboard bow of Novomoskovsk; neither submarine sustained serious damage.[4]


In June 1996, Grayling took part in Exercise TAPON 96,[5] a North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercise held in the Alboran Sea, Gulf of Cadiz, and eastern Atlantic Ocean, along with the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Conolly (DD-979), the Spanish carrier Príncipe de Asturias, the Spanish frigates Baleares (F71), SPS Santa María (F81), and SPS Numancia (F83), the Spanish submarine SPS Delfin (S61), and the Greek destroyer HS Formion (D220).

Decommissioning and disposal

Grayling was deactivated on 1 March 1997, placed in commission in reserve a week later as she entered the Ship and Submarine Recycling Program, then decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 18 July 1997. Her scrapping via the U.S. Navy's Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, was completed on 31 March 1998.


Grayling's sail is now a memorial on the grounds of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at Kittery, Maine, and her anchor and chain are on display as a memorial in downtown Grayling, Michigan.

See also

  • Submarine incident off Kildin island


  1. "President witnesses strategic missile force's failure". 17 February 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  2. "Collision of Two U.S. Nuclear Powered Submarines on March 19, 1998". Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 8 April 1998.
  3. U.S. and Russian Subs in Collision In Arctic Ocean Near Murmansk by Michael E. Gordon. The New York Times, 23 March 1993
  4. Sontag, Sherry and Drew, Christopher (1998). Blind Man’s Bluff: The untold story of American submarine espionage. Thorndyke press, p. 590. ISBN 0786218762
  5. USS Grayling (SSN-646), History, Patrols and Crews, Mesothelioma Web Organization. Retrieved on 25 May 2013


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