The USS Daniel Boone, in commission for 30 years, was the only US Navy ship to bear this name. The ship’s motto, “New Trails to Blaze,” was representative of the way of thinking personified by her namesake Daniel Boone (1734-1820)—an American explorer, adventurer, and pioneer who spent his life in search of new lands to settle.
Ordered on July 1, 1961, the contract to construct Daniel Boone was awarded to Mare Island Naval Shipyard located in Vallejo, California. Her keel was laid down at this site less than a year later on February 6, 1962. Sponsored by Mrs. James H. Wakelin, Jr. (wife of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development from 1954-1964), Daniel Boone’s launch took place on June 22, 1963 with her commissioning the following year on April 23, 1964.
Daniel Boone, measuring 425 feet in length, displaced 8,250 tons and reached speeds in excess of 20 knots when submerged. She was armed with 16 missile tubes and four 21 inch torpedo tubes. A member of the James Madison class of submarines, Daniel Boone was designed with several notable improvements in comparison to vessels within the preceding class (Lafayette). These improvements included an upgrade in weaponry to the Polaris A-3 missiles in conjunction with enhancements to the ships fire control, guidance, navigation, and launching systems.
USS Daniel Boone was one of the 41 vessels comprising the collection of submarines known as the “41 for Freedom.” These fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), or boomers, served the US Navy during the Cold War as a deterrent force against enemy attack on the United States or its allies.
Two alternating crews (Blue and Gold) served aboard Daniel Boone as was typical of SSBNs. Upon commissioning, these crews, consisting of 15 officers and 132 enlisted men each, were led by Commander George P. Steele, III (Blue Crew) and Lieutenant Commander Alan B. Crabtree (Gold Crew).
During her career patrolling the waters of the Pacific, Daniel Boone was the recipient of several awards including a Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, a Navy “E” Ribbon, a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two National Defense Service Medals. Towards the end of her tour of duty, she was deployed to serve her country as part of Operation Desert Storm.
Of historical significance during her time in service, Daniel Boone became the first submarine of the James Madison class to function with Trident C-4 missiles which replaced her Poseidon C-3 missiles on September 6, 1980.
February 18, 1994 marked both the decommissioning and elimination of Daniel Bone from the Naval Vessel Register. She was scrapped by means of the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington and ceased to exist on November 4, 1994.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629)
Asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer, and mesothelioma—these are the serious health conditions that can result from exposure to asbestos. Traumatic, debilitating, and often fatal, these diseases can wreak havoc on the lives of former sailors and construction workers who served aboard ships such as the USS Daniel Boone and who were literally immersed in an environment filled with airborne asbestos fibers.
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once deemed invaluable by the US Navy for its low cost and exceptional heat and fire-resistant properties, is now classified by several government agencies as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). The durable quality of asbestos made it a prized material for industrial applications and is the same quality that allows its fibers to remain in the lung tissue of those who endured asbestos inhalation. Over time, these durable fibers cause scarring and inflammation that eventually leads to severe breathing difficulties and serious health conditions.
Due to the extended latency period of asbestos-related illnesses, ranging anywhere from 15-50 years, individuals who have suffered from asbestos exposure are often not aware of the source of their ailments since the cause of them was something from their distant past. It is imperative that you seek an evaluation and diagnosis from a certified health professional specializing in lung diseases as soon as possible if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos during your lifetime and may have an asbestos-related disease. An early diagnosis can result in more available treatment options aimed at preserving your health and quality of life for the greatest length of time possible.
In addition to the medical aspect of asbestos exposure, there is also a legal aspect. It is documented that as early as 1939 the Surgeon General of the Navy was aware of the ill effects of asbestos on humans. Despite this knowledge, the use of asbestos continued well into the 1970s showing a complete disregard for human health by making the industrial applications of asbestos a priority over the safety of workers. As a result of this knowledge, victims of asbestos exposure may be entitled to monetary compensation.
Our website provides a wealth of information on asbestos exposure including the latest treatment options and a network of available resources.Sources
Wikipedia– USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629)