SSN 661 History

Below is a timeline highlighting awards, command changes, and other signiificant events of the LAPON.
  • 1965 Keel Laid, July 26
  • 1966 Launching, December 16
  • 1967 Commissioning, December 14, Cdr. C. M. Mack, commanding
  • 1968 Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • 1969 Meritorious Unit Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation,
    Submarine Division 62 Battle Efficiency "E"
  • 1970 Marjorie Sterett Battleship Award for Operational Proficiency, Submarine Division 63 Battle Efficiency "E".
    Change of Command, September 8, Cdr. G. E. Green, commanding.
  • 1973 Navy Unit Commendation
  • 1974 Change of Command, April 6, Cdr. P. Wilkins, commanding.
  • 1977 Change of Command, October 29, Capt. T. R.Murray, commanding.
  • 1979 Meritorious Unit Commendation, Submarine Squadron Six ASW/Operations "A", Submarine Squadron Six Engineering "E".
  • 1981 Change of Command, May 22, Capt J. S. Baumstark, commanding.
  • 1982 Meritorious Unit Commendation, Submarine Squadron Six ASW/Operations "A".
  • 1983 Meritorious Unit Commendation,
    Navy Battle Efficiency "E".
  • 1985 Change of command, March 1985, Cdr. J. J. Mackin, commanding. Meritorious Unit Commendation,
    Navy Battle Efficiency "E".
  • 1988 Arctic Expedition Ribbon, ICEEX 88.
    Change of Command, Cdr. Peter Flannigan, commanding.
  • 1990 Change of Command, Cdr. Thomas M. Fursman, commanding.
  • 1991 Navy Battle Efficiency "E".
  • 1992 Decommissioning, August 8, Custodian Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, BREMERTON, WA (NAVSHIPYD).
  • 2005 Lapon sail is memorialized in Springfield, Missouri. See the Memorial page, Click Here.
  • 2009 Sturgeon-class USS Lapon (SSN 661) was the 11th submarine inducted into the Submarine Hall of Fame. More Info. - Click Here.

See examples of Lapon's many awards - Click Here

Below is a brief history as written in a booklet from 1976, designed for visitors to the Lapon.

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.

To see the full booklet plus images - Click Here

May 21, 2009 - Sturgeon-class USS Lapon (SSN 661) was the 11th submarine inducted into the Submarine Hall of Fame.

    Submarine Learning Facility (SUBLRNFAC), Naval Station Norfolk hosted the annual Submarine Veterans of World War II Memorial Service May 21, 2009.

    During the 2009 ceremony, Sturgeon-class USS Lapon (SSN 661) was the 11th submarine inducted into the Submarine Hall of Fame. Selection into the Hall of Fame is merited by the submarine's contribution to national security, and selection is conducted by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans organization.

    To read the full press release and the full text of guest speaker Capt. Peter Flannery's Speech, please download the PDF document:

Press Release and Speech Text

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