USS Grayback (SSG-574)

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The Grayback 1982
The Grayback 1982
Order March 10, 1951
Keel laying July 1, 1954
Launch 2nd July 1957
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning March 7, 1958
Decommissioning January 15, 1984
Whereabouts Sunk as a target ship
Technical specifications

3515 - 3650 tons submerged


96.8 - 101.8 m


8.3 - 9-1 m


5.8 m


approx. 10 officers, 78 men


Diesel-electric, 2 shafts


approx. 15 knots


Regulus starter, 8, later 6 torpedo tubes

The USS Grayback (SSG-574) (later APSS- , LPSS- and SS-574 ) was a cruise missile submarine of the United States Navy and a Grayback-class lead ship .



The Grayback was commissioned in 1951 and laid down at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in 1954 . At that time, it was still designed as a hunting submarine. It was not until 1956 that the US Navy decided to equip the Grayback with cruise missiles of the SSM-N-8A Regulus type . For this purpose, the bow area was extended by around 15 meters to accommodate the hangars for the missiles. The ship was launched in 1957, godmother was Mrs. John A. Moore, widow of the last in command of the USS Grayback (SS-208) , which was sunk by Japanese warships during World War II . In 1958 the boat was put into service.

As a cruise missile submarine

She then carried out test drives off the west coast, during which she carried out the only launch of a Regulus II from aboard a submarine, before the program to build the cruise missile was ended; instead, the US Navy developed the UGM-27 Polaris with a far greater range. At the end of 1958, Grayback reached her home port of Pearl Harbor , Hawaii , but soon returned to Mare Island for an initial overhaul. In 1959, she conducted the first of nine deterrent patrols in the Pacific.

On 27 August 1963 snorkeled the Gray Back to charge their batteries, and rolled it in heavy seas. A short circuit in the circuit breaker of the rear batteries created a fire in which a seaman was killed. The boat was able to return to Pearl Harbor under its own power and was repaired there.

In 1964, the Grayback was decommissioned as the Polaris boats of the George Washington , Ethan Allen and Lafayette classes took over their duties. But she was mothballed in the reserve fleet .

As a transport submarine

In 1967 the Grayback was taken out of the reserve and converted in Mare Island in order to transport special forces such as SEALs in the former Regulus hangars. During the renovation it was classified as an APSS , that is, an auxiliary transport submarine, and after it was commissioned as an LPSS , specifically for amphibious warfare . The conversion cost around 30 million US dollars, twice as much as estimated.

USS Grayback (SS-574) as a target ship

As such, the Grayback remained in service until 1984, in 1975 it was classified as a simple fighter submarine as the SS-574 . In 1986 the Grayback was sunk as a target ship in the waters near the United States Naval Base Subic Bay .

Web links

Commons : USS Grayback  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Grayback on (Engl.)
  2. ^ Stefan Terzibaschitsch : Sea power USA. Bechtermünz Verlag, Augsburg 1997, ISBN 3-86047-576-2 . Pages 534 f.