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New Trails to Blaze
During the 1950s, the U.S. Navy developed two major types of nuclear-powered submarine, fast attacks and boomers. Both fast attacks and boomers have streamlined superstructures called sails; they hold a pair of horizontal diving planes and enclose the radar masts, radio antennas, and periscopes. The Daniel Boone was a typical boomer, or fleet ballistic missile submarine. In life it is 560 feet longóabout the same length as this museumówith an oval cross-section, 42 feet from deck to keel and 35.5 feet abeam. Ready to launch their nuclear missiles against the enemy's homeland, boomers deter attack on the United States and its allies.
The USS Daniel Boone (SSBN 629) was the first ship to be so named in the United States Navy and one of the "41 for Freedom" who served during the Cold War. She was the 22nd Polaris submarine authorized and the fourth Mare Island-built ship of this type. Her sleek hull, carrying sixteen Polaris A-3 missiles with a range of 2500 nautical miles, was propelled by the S5W nuclear reactor at speeds in excess of twenty knots submerged and depths in excess of 400 feet.
Displacement: 7325 tons (surfaced), 8251 tons (submerged)
Length: 425 feet
Beam: 33 feet
Speed: 16 knots (surfaced), 21 knots (submerged)
Test Depth: In excess of 800 feet
Armament: 16 Missile Tubes, 4-21" Torpedo Tubes fwd.
Manning: 14 officers - 126 enlisted men (each in 2 crews)
Class of Ship: Lafayette
The keel of the USS Daniel Boone was laid on February 6, 1962 and she was launched on June 22, 1963. Her sponsor was Mrs. James Wakelin, wife of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development. The crew's normal complement was thirteen officers and 124 enlisted men. The atmosphere control and messing facilities make possible extended periods of submergence in excess of ninety days.
The namesake of USS Daniel Boone was born on the Pennsylvania frontier on November 2, 1734. The son of English immigrant parents, he too became a wandering adventurer, ever curious about what lay ahead on the other side of the hill.
His family moved to the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina in 1751, and it was there that he met his future wife, Rebecca.
Daniel Boone served for a short time on the British side in the French and Indian War, but after his marriage in 1756 he settled into the life of farmer, hunter and explorer.
People who drifted west returned to the Yadkin Valley with tales of magnificent hunting and beautiful lands in Kentucky. Despite knowledge of warlike Indians in that area, Boone became fired with the idea of settling the new lands to the west. This led ultimately to his greatest endeavors, leading settlers through the Cumberland Gap and the building of the Wilderness Road through eastern Kentucky in 1775.
In 1778, while serving the Colonial Army, Daniel Boone became a captive of the Shawnee tribe, but his experience as a woodsman and his knowledge of Indians enabled him to avoid the worst of their tortures and escape after six months.
Throughout his life he continued to travel westward, always looking for new lands to settle. He traveled through Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, eventually settling in the latter territory. He died on September 26, 1820 at the age of 85.
During the Spanish-American War, Commodore Dewey brought the might of the United States seapower to Pacific waters. The USS Daniel Boone brought the might of the Polaris weapons system to the same waters. The ram bow of Dewey's flagship USS Olympia was adorned with the Shield of Freedom as she steamed into Manila Bay. This same shield was chosen as the foundations of the the Daniel Boone's insignia.
Thirteen stars on a field of blue represent the original thirteen colonies, the same states Daniel Boone knew as a young man. The center star of gold represents Polaris, the North Star and guiding celestial body of mariners, the namesake of the FBM weapons system.
Across the broad red and white stripes rests the Kentucky Long Rifle and powder horn, the basic weapon of defense for Daniel Boone, as well as the silhouette of USS Daniel Boone, a basic weapon of defense in our age.
The Daniel Boone was decommissioned on February 4, 1994 after over 30 years of service.
One ship leaves the Navy today
One ship of hundreds
Will feel the ocean one last time.
yet she takes with her the knowledge
That she has served her nation and her men
As well as any ship could.
This one submarine which carries her name
The history of all such craft
That have ever flown our nation's flag.
The Daniel Boone is before us now,
Thirty years serving with pride.
What was once a smooth hull and pristine lines,
The newest and the best of all,
Now shows scars from welder's torch;
From repairs and patches made of necessity.
No innocent youth, this ship,
She wears her age well, with pride,
For even at the end,
She is among the best.
Click here to view the Crew List of the Daniel Boone at SubmarineSailor.com!
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