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{{Infobox ship |+USS Triton (SSRN-586) |Ship image=A submarine is running on the surface of the water at high speed, as evidenced by the long white wake around and behind the hull |Ship caption=USS Triton (SSRN-586)

|module= Career (United States) Namesake: TritonOrdered: October 1955 (SCB 132)Builder: General Dynamics Electric BoatCost: $109 million (1959)Laid down: 29 May 1956Launched: 19 August 1958Sponsored by: Mrs. Willis A. (Louise) LentCommissioned: 10 November 1959Decommissioned: 3 May 1969Maiden voyage: 16 February 1960 to 11 May 1960Reclassified: 1 March 1961 (SSN-586)Refit: September 1962 to January 1964Struck: 30 April 1986Homeport: 1959: New London, Connecticut
1964: Norfolk, Virginia
1967: New London, ConnecticutIdentification: November – Delta – Bravo – Romeo (Radio Call Sign)Motto: Nulli Secundus
(Second to None)Nickname: The Big T
Steel Raider
Building 586Honors and
awards: Presidential Unit Citation (1960)

Navy Unit Commendation (1967)
Fate: Recycled |module2={{Infobox ship characteristics|embed=yes |Hide header= |Header caption= |Ship type=1959: Nuclear-powered Radar Picket Submarine (SSRN)
1961: Nuclear-powered Attack Submarine (SSN) |Ship tonnage= |Ship displacement=5,963 long tons (6,059 t) surfaced
7,773 long tons (7,898 t) submerged |Ship length=447 ft 6 in (136.40 m) overall[1] |Ship beam=37 ft (11 m) |Ship draft=23 ft 6 in (7.16 m) |Ship hold depth= |Ship decks=3 plus conning tower |Ship deck clearance= |Ship power=45,000 shp (34,000 kW) |Ship propulsion=Two S4G pressurized-water nuclear reactors (PWR)
Two steam turbines
Two five-blade propellers |Ship speed=+30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) surfaced
+27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) submerged |Ship range= |Ship endurance=Essentially unlimited |Ship test depth=700 ft (210 m) operational
1,050 ft (320 m) crush |Ship boats= |Ship complement=172 officers and enlisted men (radar picket role)
159 officers and enlisted men (attack role) |Ship sensors=Air search radar:
AN/SPS-26 (1959)
AN/BPS-2 (1962)
Sonar systems:
AN/BQS-4 (active)
AN/BQR-2 (passive)
Fire control system:
MK-101 |Ship EW= |Ship armament=6 × 21 in (533 mm) Mk 60 torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern) Triton is referenced briefly in three popular Cold War novels. In The Last Mayday by Keith Wheeler (1968), Triton is depicted as participating in a submarine training exercise at the beginning of the novel, with special notice made of her large, rectangular sail.[2] In the 1978 novel Cold is the Sea by Edward L. Beach, the second sequel to his 1955 best-seller Run Silent, Run Deep, Triton is mentioned several times;[3] Also, the under-ice towing capability that was considered for Triton served as a key plot point for the novel.[4] Finally, in The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, the biographical background for Marko Ramius mentions that, while commanding a Charlie-class submarine, Ramius had "hounded [Triton] mercilessly for twelve hours" in the Norwegian Sea. Subsequently, Ramius "would note with no small satisfaction that the Triton was soon thereafter retired, because, it was said, the oversized vessel had proven unable to deal with the newer Soviet designs."[5] Two films of the period, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Around the World Under the Sea, dramatized globe-circling submerged voyages similar to Operation Sandblast.[6][7][8] Also, in the teaser of the episode "Mutiny" of the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea television series, broadcast on 11 January 1965, the fictional nuclear submarine Neptune is on her shakedown cruise, under the supervision of Admiral Harriman Nelson (Richard Basehart), and when the submarine's port shaft bearing begins overheating, Admiral Nelson orders a hose be rigged to cool the port shaft down with sea water, the same solution Admiral Rickover had suggested during Triton's sea trials.[9] The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart comedy album included a sketch entitled "The Cruise of the U.S.S. Codfish" which was a monologue involving the final address by the captain to the crew of a nuclear-powered submarine after completing a two-year-long, around-the-world underwater voyage.[10] Bob Newhart noted in a 2006 interview that:

You know, I think the Triton kind of, I think was a spur for that routine as I think back. Because I then imagined what a trip like that would have been like with a totally incompetent commander, and the cruise of the USS Codfish was the final result.[11]

Captain Beach reportedly played "The Cruise of the U.S.S. Codfish" over the ship's public address system during Triton's first overseas deployment in the Fall of 1960.[12] Antigua-Barbuda issued a commemorative stamp of Triton's 1960 submerged circumnavigation.[13] Also, Triton was the name of one of the submersibles featured in the Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland which operated from 1959 to 1998.[14]

50th anniversary of Operation Sandblast

MCPON Rick D. West standing at a podium with a projection screen and two flags behind him.

110th Submarine Ball (10 April 2010)

The 50th anniversary of Operation Sandblast and Triton's submerged circumnavigation of the world was celebrated on 10 April 2010, during the 2010 Submarine Birthday Ball held at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantuket, Connecticut, with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick D. West delivering opening remarks (pictured) to the 2,200 attendees.[15][16][17][18] The U.S. Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum sponsored additional events and activities, entitled "9,000 Leagues Under the Sea," between 10–12 April and 14–18 April 2010.[19][20][21]

Also, on 9 April 2010, retired Admiral Henry G. Chiles, Jr., who served in Triton from 1963–1966, was the keynote speaker at the graduation class of the Basic Enlisted Submarine School at the New London Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. The graduation class was named in honor of Triton, and each graduate received a certificate of course completion and a commemorative coin celebrating the 50th anniversary of Triton's submerged circumnavigation.[16] The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation used the 50th anniversary of Operation Sandblast to promote its Race Around the World fund-raising program to support its Dolphin Scholarship program.[22][23] Finally, former members of Triton's crew received commemorative souvenirs of the ship's pressure hull at their 2010 re-union.[24]

For the 50th anniversary of Operation Sandblast (see below), writer-historian Carl LaVO wrote "Incredible Voyage" for the June 2010 edition of Naval History magazine, and John Beach wrote "The First Submerged Circumnavigation" for the April 1960 issue of The Submarine Review, the official magazine of the Naval Submarine League.[25][26] Mr. Beach is the nephew of Captain Edward L. Beach, the commanding officer of the USS Triton during Operation Sandblast.[27] Finally, the Naval Institute Press published Beneath the Waves by Dr. Edward F. Finch, a 2010 biography of the late Captain Beach, which includes extensive coverage of Operation Sandblast.[28]

The legacy of Operation Sandblast on its 50th anniversary was summarized by retired Captain James C. Hay who had served on Triton during its historic submerged around-the-world voyage. On the editorial page of the April 1960 issue of The Submarine Review, the official magazine of the Naval Submarine League, Captain Hay noted:

It is truly a cruise which tested the crew's mettle and proved the skipper's tenacity. More than that, however, it again proved to all who cared to listen that the US Navy could go anywhere, at anytime, and do what ever was required. It's a good sea story about doing what had to be done. On the fiftieth anniversary of the First Submerged Circumnavigation it's a good thing to do to re-read about one of the forerunners of all we're done since.[29]



  1. Fitzsimons, Bernard, editor. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus, 1978), Volume 23, p.2523,"Triton".
  2. Wheeler, Keith (1968). The Last Mayday. New York: Doubleday. pp. 134–137. 
  3. Beach, Edward L. (1978). Cold is the Sea. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 60, 109, 187, 207. ISBN 978-1-59114-056-6. 
  4. Polmar and Moore. Cold War Submarines, p 354–355.
  5. Clancy, Tom (1984). The Hunt for Red October. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 134–137. ISBN 978-0-425-12027-9. 
  6. Colliver, Tom (1991). "Seaview: The Making of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea". 
  7. Synopsis "Around the World under the Sea". Movie Database: Full Synopsis. Turner Classic Movies. 2010. Synopsis. Retrieved 2010-03-13. [dead link]
  8. Synopsis "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea". Movie Database: Full Synopsis. Turner Classic Movies. 2010. Synopsis. Retrieved 2010-03-13. [dead link]
  9. Anchors, Jr., William E. (March–April 1992). "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea". p. 23. 
  10. Finch. Beneath the Waves, p. 131.
  11. Neal Conan (20 September 2006). "Bob Newhart, 'I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This'". Talk of the Nation. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  12. Finch. Beneath the Waves, p. 132.
  13. "Stamps: Antigua & Barbuda". Index by Country. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  14. "Submarine Voyage". Overview. Yesterland. 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  15. William Kenny (11 May 2010). "Past meets the future: USS Triton (SSRN 586) shipmates visit SUBSCOL". The Dolphin. Naval Submarine Base New London. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Jennifer Grogan (10 April 2010). "Submarine Force to honor Triton’s historic voyage". The Day. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  17. T. H. Merritt (15 April 2010). "110th Submarine Birthday Ball:A celebration of past and present". The Dolphin. Naval Submarine Base New London. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  18. "MCPON Rick West Attends 110th Submarine Birthday Ball". Commander, Submarines Forces. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  19. "9,000 Leagues under the Sea" (PDF). April Break Flyer. Submarine Force Library and Museum. 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  20. "Upcoming Events". Submarine Force Library and Museum. 10–12 April & 14-18, 2010. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  21. "SFLM celebrates USS Triton’s circumnavigation". The Dolphin. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  22. Randi Klien (April 1960). "Dolphin Scholarship's Race Around the World". Naval Submarine League. p. 126. 
  23. "Race Around the World". Events. Dolphin Scholarship Foundation. 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  24. "Minnesota man joins celebration of historic military event". WDAY-TV. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  25. Carl LaVO (June 2010). "Incredible Voyage". United States Naval Institute. pp. 50–57. ISSN 1042-1920. 
  26. John Beach (April 1960). "USS TRITON (SSRN-586): The First Submerged Circumnavigation". Naval Submarine League. pp. 23–35. 
  27. Finch. Beneath the Waves, p. 207.
  28. Finch, Edward F. (2010). Beneath the Waves: The Life and Navy of Capt. Edward L. Beach, Jr.. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-159114-266-9. 
  29. James C. Hay (April 1960). "Editor's Comments". Naval Submarine League. p. 2. 


External links

External media
Submarine Photo Archive: USS Triton (SSRN-586) at
USS Triton: Beyond Magellan (1960), General Dynamics on Internet Archive
New Magellan. 'Triton' Circles World Submerged, 1960/05/12 (1960), Universal Studios on Internet Archive
Triton Launched. Giant Sub First With Twin Nuclear Engines, 1958/08/21 (1958), Universal Studios on Internet Archive

Coordinates: 47°33′16″N 122°38′27″W / 47.5544°N 122.6409°W / 47.5544; -122.6409

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