SSN 661 Booklet

Below is a recreation of an informational booklet given to visitors of the Lapon during the period of 1976 and 77.

Welcome aboard the nuclear attack submarine USS LAPON (SSN 661).

We, the officers and men of LAPON, hope your visit will be an enjoyable one. During your visit feel free to ask questions of any LAPON personnel.

Perry Wilkins assumed command of LAPON on
6 April 1974. He is a native of Lafayette,
Indiana and a 1959 graduate of Purdue University.

    Following commissioning he reported to the USS BEXAR (APA 237) where he served as Deck Division Officer and as Navigator. In 1961 he attended Deep Sea Diving School and then served as Navigator and Supply Officer of the USS KITTIWAKE (ASR 13).

    In January 1962 Commander WILKINS commenced Submarine School followed by Nuclear Power training. After completing training he reported to the commissioning crew of the USS TECUMSEH (SSBN 628) as Damage Control Assistant.

    After completing his tour on board USS TECUMSEH, commander WILKINS was ordered to the USS SARGO (SSN 583) where he served as Engineer Officer. From August 1968 to August 1970 he served on CINCLANTFLT STAFF as a member of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board where he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.

    He attended the Naval War College prior to reporting as Executive Officer of the USS SHARK (SSN 591) and holds a Masters of Science degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.

    Commander WILKINS is married to the former Jeremie Margaret of Newport, Rhode Island. Mrs. WILKINS is a graduate of Salve Regina College. They have two children.

    LAPON is a nuclear attack submarine of the STURGEON class whose wartime mission is to destroy enemy submarines and ensure freedom of the seas. The noise reduction in all moving parts gives LAPON an inherent silent quality and permits optimum performance of her long range sonar system. The combination of endurance and independence of the earth's atmosphere provided by nuclear propulsion, deep submergence, high speed capabilities, and the latest weapons systems, makes LAPON one of the Navy's most effective antisubmarine weapon systems.


Built: Newport News, Virginia
Keel Laid: 26 July 1965
Launched: 16 December 1966
Commissioned: 14 December 1967
Length: 292 feet
Displacement: 4780 TONS, submerged 4250 TONS, surfaced
Complement: 13 Officers 110 Enlisted

Engine Plant Description:

    LAPON is powered by a pressurized water nuclear reactor which generates heat by the fission of uranium. The heat generated in the fission process is transferred to pressurized water which in turn transfers heat in a steam generator. Steam from the steam generator turns the main propulsion turbine which drives the propeller.

Lapon the Fish

    The Lapon, Scorpaena Mystes, is one of a large family, the Rockfishes. This fish inhabits the Pacific Coast of America and within the last twenty years has become a popular food fish.

    The body is brick red to brown, mottles with olive and brown. Dark spots occur over the head, body and fins. There are many spines on the top of the head. The dorsal fin is sharp, with twelve spines. The Lapon grows up to seventeen inches in length.

The first USS LAPON (SS 260)

    The first LAPON was commissioned on January 1943. She had an overall length of 311 feet and was designed to carry 24 torpedoes.

    LAPON joined the Pacific Submarine Force in mid-1943. During World War II, LAPON made eight war patrols and is officially credited with the sinking of 11 Japanese ships with a total displacement of 53,443 tons. She was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation in recognition of the ship's outstanding valor during the third through the sixth war patrols.

    The LAPON was decommissioned on 25 July 1946 and placed in the Reserve Fleet. On 27 March 1957, she was reactivated for loan to the Government of Greece. She was turned over to the Greek Government on 10 August 1957. She is still on loan there and now serves the Royal Navy as POSEIDON (Y-16).

The present LAPON (SSN 661)

    Launched on 16 December 1966 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry dock Company. Upon completion of sea trials LAPON was commissioned on 14 December 1967. Acceptance of the ship for the Navy was by VADM A.F. Shade, USN, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

    LAPON was assigned to submarine Squadron Six in Norfolk, Va. During early 1968 LAPON underwent extensive shakedown and refresher training, including a visit to the Caribbean Islands of Puerto Rico and St. Croix. Lapon then deployed to the North Atlantic for ten weeks. She was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation by the Secretary of the Navy for operations during this deployment.

    During the early part of 1969, following a weapons inspection, LAPON made her second deployment to the North Atlantic which included a visit to Faslane Scotland. LAPON was awarded a second Meritorious Unit Citation for this period, and FY 1969 Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Division 62. LAPON again deployed in the early fall of 1969 and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation on 10 August 1970.

    In early July 1970, LAPON was presented with the FY 1970 Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Division 63, followed by Marjorie Sterret Battleship award for FY 1970, as the ship in the Atlantic Fleet representing the highest proficiency in Battle Efficiency.

    In November 1970 LAPON deployed for operations with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Visits there included Rots, Spain and Naples, Italy. The ship returned to Norfolk on 1 April 1971 marking the first Mediterranean deployment by a 637 Class submarine.

    In the fall of 1971 LAPON started her first major overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery Maine. LAPON completed an extensive shakedown and refresher training. LAPON deploys to the Mediterranean in support of the Sixth Fleet. During this six month deployment, LAPON visited Naples and La Spezia, Italy and La Maddalena, Sardinia. She returned in early December 1973. LAPON was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for this operation.

    After a holiday period at home, LAPON completed an extensive upkeep in Norfolk, Virginia. LAPON successfully completed an Operational Readiness Inspection in February 1974, four week interim dry dock period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., certification to carry the MK 48 torpedo and Prospective Commanding Officer Operations through the fall of 1974.

    In October 1974, LAPON deployed again to the Mediterranean for six months in support of the Sixth Fleet. While there, LAPON visited Naples, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal and La Maddalena Sardinia.

    Spring and Summer 1975 found LAPON providing valuable ASW services and firing numerous exercise torpedoes. LAPON received the Engineering "E" and the Weapons Operations "A" in the fall of 1975.

    On 1 March 1976 LAPON commenced her second major overhaul at the Newport News Shipyard and Dry dock Company, Newport News, Virginia.

Silent Service

Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet

Submarine Squadron Six

Return to Lapon History - Click Here

Back to top
SSN 661, nuclear submarine and SS 260, diesel submarine. A history, reunion and crew contact site. Images, sounds and so much more! Welcome Aboard. SSN 661 info, navy, lapon, USSLAPON, USS, U.S.S. Lapon, usslapon, u.s.s.lapon, USSLAPONSSN661 usslapon ssn661, navy, sub, subs, nuclear subs, nuclear, silent service, ssn 661, cold war., Nuclear Submarine, Submarine, usslaponssn661, Crew Contacts, Reunion information.