Are your 599 Association dues due? Ask me. I have the list.


PATRICK HENRY ASSOCIATION--If you belong great! If you don't you should! They get newsletters and info on reunions. Funds are for copying and postage. If you think you belong and aren't sure, email me and I'll tell you. I have the spreadsheet for the Association and will tell you when your dues expire.

(The Virginian Pilot) BLOUNT, Robert Haddock, RADM, USN, Ret., 86, died May 4, 2009. He was born December 8, 1922 in Miami, FL and served 38 years in the Navy. He was a nuclear submariner. He served on the cruiser Rochester, the submarines Cutlass, Tirante, Tunny, and was executive officer of Cusk. From July 1959 to December 1967, he commanded three submarines, the USS Barbero, a Regulus missile ship; the USS Permit, a nuclear attack submarine; and the USS Patrick Henry, a fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarine. He served on a joint staff in Washington before reporting as chief of staff for Submarine Flotilla Six in Charleston, S.C. He was commanding officer of the Charleston Naval Station when he was selected to the rank of rear admiral in March 1973. In May 1973, he became Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Southern Command, Commandant Fifteenth Naval District, Canal Zone. In May 1975, he returned to Washington, D.C., to serve in the office of Research and Development of the Chief of Naval Operations. He became Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force in August 1978 and retired from that position in September 1982. He served in business including Sippican and EDO until his retirement May 1990. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy's highest peacetime award. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was a 1947 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was awarded a master's of business administration from George Washington University. He is survived by his two daughters, Barbara Blount Powell of Gainesville, Fla., and Jennifer Blount Sanford of Norfolk, their husbands, Dana Scott Powell and Stricker Coles Sanford IV, and four grandchildren, Mary Peyton Blount Sanford, Virginia Reading Sanford, Barclay Blount Powell, and Robert Skylar Powell. Adm. Blount was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, the Rotary Club of Norfolk, the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation Board, the Naval Submarine League, the Navy League, past president of the Lochhaven Civic League and formerly a member of the New York Yacht Club and Army-Navy Country Club. He was also a proud member of the Friday Philosophers Family. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd by the Rev. Robert Davenport. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 7400 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23505 or the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation, 4966 Euclid Road, Suite 109, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Online condolences may be sent to


Deck Log of 599

Did you know there is a SubVet Organization?

At last count 106 guys off the 599 belong. U.S. Submarine Veterans Inc has 10,000 guys in 103 Bases/Chapters belong. Please take a look at: or email for more information or where the nearest group is to you.



Picture from 1999 Reno USSVI Convention-Ron Martini (yellow shirt)-Bob Spide (gray beard/glasses)


Picture of 599 in Hood Canal, WA after 72 overhaul



Above from Gary Dressler


NEW PICS by Rob. Darrigo-Circa 1982-Decomm Crew photos

NEW PICTURE via Fred William


L to R-Jack Zollenger, Fred Williams, ?, Bill Lee Dunoon, Scotland 67-68 ***There are lots of pictures and the page is very slow to load. Minimize it and come back in 5 minutes***

I finally got the research redone on the urban legends that surround the early FBM construction.
Jim Christley
The simple answer to what Skipjack type boats were cut apart to make what Polaris boats is: One only, the hull that was to be Scorpion at EB. All other of the first five Polaris FBMs were built from the keel up. That being said, some explanation is in order.
1. It should be noted that even though a ship name is assigned, generally on keel laying, there are occasions where the name is changed during building. The name used on launching (christening) is the name the ship carries throughout her life. There are, however, exceptions.
2. The submarine launched missile program generated some interesting ship designations until things got formalized.
The first was the SSG(N) (FBM) which generally was used to describe the concepts associated with the Jupiter missile projects although it carried over to the early Polaris designs.
The next was SSG(N) which was used throughout 1957 and into 1958. This was changed to SSB(N) in 1959. The George Washington was launched as (SSBN-598). The use of parentesis around the N was not always used, especially in signs.
3. What follows is general run of events that led to the USS George Washington and a general accounting of all the Skipjacks and the first 5 FBMs.
An SSGN,was similar in concept to the Halibut, but with the improved S5W reactor plant the basic Thresher class hull was in the works. SSGN 600 was to be one of these. It was to have four hangers each carrying one or more missiles. At the same time, a separate path of missile design was ongoing. This path was to use a modified Jupiter missile in a configuration which had four missile tubes in an enlarged sail. A Jupiter equipped SSBN was included in the FY 1959 budget. This plan was scrapped when in 1956, the Jupiter equipped submarine program was scrapped and work turned to using a solid fueled missile (to become the Polaris). The Secretary of Defense required the Navy to make a definitive choice in the programs. It should be remembered that this was at the time that there was a real battle between the Navy and the Air Force about control of strategic forces. The Navy scrapped the Regulus development program, stopped Regulus I production and cut Regulus II production and ended the Triton development program. All the efforts were to be used in development of the Polaris.
The Polaris program accelerated and the plan of putting 16 missile tubes in two rows of eight on a Skipjack or Thresher class hull and have it ready by 1963. By year's end the Special Projects Office (SPO) had a way to get everything put together (lightweight warhead, submarine, navigation system, and missile) by late 1960. To do this a submarine had to be designed. Rather than use the Thresher design for the first five of the new SSBN's, the Skipjack design was far enough along to allow it to be used with significant modifications. It was also decided to spread the work load around to get faster results. EB had a hull on the ways which was to become the USS Scorpion and the USS Skipjack was nearly ready for launch. The Scorpion hull was selected as the first conversion. At the same time, Mare Island which was getting ready to build the boat which was to become the USS Scamp, and Newport News which had parts and sections for the boat which was to be the USS Shark got orders to build SSBNs, one each. Neither had laid the keels for the Skipjack class boats (which were actually to be a separate (SSN 588) class. Portsmouth had no Skipjacks being built, but with available space, got orders to built two of the Polaris boats as soon as the design was finalized.
The conversion from Scorpion to George Washington was not as simple as slicing the hull forward of the reactor compartment and inserting a missile compartment. The control planes had to be enlarged, the hydraulics plant beefed up, the air systems enlarged and so on. Berthing and stowage spaces had to be redesigned.
Many of the long lead time items could be used for both types (Skipjack and George Washington) and orders went out to double the orders for these. For example, there were 6 torpedo tubes in the bow of a Skipjack class. Given that 5 boats were on order, there were five shipsets of tubes on order. This was doubled to ten shipsets to have enough for the five new Polaris boats also. When a shipset was ready to deliver, it might have been originally assigned to a Skipjack class boat at one shipyard, but may have been actually diverted to one of the Polaris boats at another yard. Some of these long lead time items had already been delivered or were being fabricated at the building yards. What boat they went into depended on which boat needed them first.
At EB, the Scorpion was cut apart and used to constuct the George Washington. The Patrick Henry was laid down in the ways vacated by the launch of the Skipjack, within 18 hours of the launching. At Mare Island, the Roosevelt was laid down on empty ways vacated by the launch of Triton. Scamp (588) was laid down in the building ways vacated by the launch of Halibut. The R. E. Lee (Newport News hull number 546) at Newport News was also laid down in an empty building way. The Shark was under construction, at Newport News, (Newport News hull number 545) having been laid started the previous February. She was launched three months after the R.E. Lee. Undoubtly some parts originally destined for Shark went into Lee to speed Lee's construction, but the Shark remained intact. Ingals had the contracts to build two Skipjacks, Sculpin and Snook. Portsmouth got the contracts for one Polaris boat, the Abraham Lincoln.
Then the question came up; "I was an MT on the 599. One of the qual oolies had to do with the frame#s in the Missile Compt. Just inside the forward WTD there was this curious frame arrangment where the two frames were about 12" apart. I was told that's because the 599 was a cut apart Fast Attack with the Missile Compt added."
The answer; "The missile compartment was 33' in diameter and the operations compartment, forward, and the reactor compartment, aft, was 31'7" in diameter. The bottom centerlines of the cylinders were matched and flush. That left a 17" jog in the top centerlines. There were conical fairing sections to the pressure hull fitted forward and aft of the missile compartment. The jog was hidden under the missile deck superstructure and the fairing was barely visible from the outside. However, it left a very weak structural element where these fairing pieces fit. The frames in both the forward and after end of the missile compartments would have been spaced closer together to compensate. Forward they might have been visible, but aft they would have been part of the heavier structural portion of the forward reactor compartment bulkhead. I haven't seen an unclassified inboard profile of the 598 class to know for sure, but I would bet a couple of Groton Base beers on it. In addition, as I said before, it is not a done deal that hull sections for a Skipjack class weren't used in the 599's construction. What I am certain of is that a boat was not cut apart to build 599.

U.S.S Patrick Henry SSBN-599


Author Ron Martini ex EM1(SS) 62-68
Capt. Shear on top of the world!
This page written by Ron Martini ex-EM1(SS) on both B&G crews of the Patrick Henry for 13 patrols from 1962 to mid 1968. Currently living in Sheridan, Wyoming. Please direct your attention to my main page on the Submarine force atRon Martini's Submarine Fleet Page

9-22-59 Groton, Ct

Facts, pictures, links, crew list:

Interesting article on Adm. Shear

Shear Article

Important: Patrick Henry Alumni Association needs your help. Jim Warrick does the newsletter for the group. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please send a letter. His address has recently changed to Jim Warrick-135 S. 530 W. Hurricane, UT 84737.
Also, please take a look at the crew list and if you know of anyone who is not listed or whose information is incorrect please email me.

Welcome to the Home Page of the USS Patrick Henry SSBN 599. The 599 was the second SSBN ever constructed and was the first to pull into Holy Loch, Scotland. The following is quoted from the Launching Program of 9-22-59: "The Patrick Henry is a nuclear powered submarine designed specifically to fire Polaris ballistic missiles from underwater or surface positions. The 599, sister-ship of the recently-launched George Washington, is the second submarine launched in the Navy's Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine program.

A Tear-drop hull design will enable the Patrick Henry to achieve high submerged speeds and improve maneuverability. The Patrick Henry is 380-feet long and displaces 5,400 tons on the surface. The ship has 16 tubes for launching the Polaris intermediate range (1,500 mile) missile and will also have torpedo-firing capabilities. In addition, the latest scientific advances in navigation have been incorporated to enable the submarine to cruise underwater for almost indefinite periods of time."

Crew photos

pearl>599 Arrives at Pearl Harbor for first time. by: Dean Hebert
>hr> gold
Gold Crew picture supplied by:Glen Duncan


Patrick Henry arrives at Pearl Harbor---------------------Last Gold Crew firing at the Cape
panama>Mike Lame and Midshipman at Panama
****The below pictures were submitted by Herb Pasteur-Gold Crew from the 1963 time frame****Thanks ***The pictures are numbered 1-2, next row down 3,4, etc. Descriptions are at the bottom for all shots***
herbherbherbherb herbherbherbherbherbherbherbherbherb

#1Gold Patrol #5 4-63. L to R Tom Russell IC1, ?, Jules Greuttner, Carl Hill SK1, ? #2While shirt is James Warrick #3Left is Tom Russell, Warrick in white t-shirt #4Left is James Warrick, Right is Prescott Parker #5Warrick with Pie in face #6Blue Nose Gold #5-=4-63- Left Prescott Parker, Middle Charles Davis CS2, King Neptune? #7Herb Pasteur #8Left is Cmdr RL Long, Middle is XO William Miller, Right is ? #9Holy Loch-USS Hunley #10Holy Loch from Hunley #11 to #14 USS Hunley with 599 inboard and Ethan Allen outboard and forward
If you are looking for 599 Mugs: contact Byron Smith in the "Crew Listing."

Crew List

Current Crew listing
Special thanks to the following who have contributed so that the 599 might live on. Jim Warrick and Vince Toomey for help on the Crew list, Mike Lame for pictures (will be added shortly) and Phil Giambri for pictures..Phil also has copies of the Breakfast News that he helped with in a major way and we will attempt to show you some of those in the future. If you were on in 62-63, you might see your name. Not wise in all cases to show the wife some of this stuff...If you can identify anyone in the "Ice Cream Eating Contest" picture; let me know and I'll add their names. I even worked with one back aft and can't for the life of me get his name

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