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USS Haddock (SSN-621)

Named after the haddock—a small fish found in Atlantic waters similar to the cod fish—USS Haddock was the third US Navy ship to bear this name and the final submarine of the Thresher/Permit class to be constructed. In commission for 26 years, USS Haddock bore the motto “Haddock Has It!”

Construction

Ingalls Shipbuilding, located in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was awarded the contract to build USS Haddock on August 24, 1960. Exactly eight months later, on the 24th of April 1961, her keel was laid down at this site. Sponsored by Mrs. Thomas G. Morris, wife of New Mexico Representative Thomas Morris, USS Haddock was launched on May 21, 1966. Upon her commissioning on the 22nd of December 1967, Commander Stanley J. Anderson took charge of Haddock’s crew of 100 officers and enlisted men.

Measuring 278 in length and able to operate at depths down to 400 feet below the ocean’s surface, Haddock displaced 3,540 tons when surfaced and 4,200 tons when submerged. Propelled by one S5W nuclear reactor, in addition to two steam turbines (Westinghouse) and one propeller, she was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 28 knots. Her defense mechanisms included four 21 inch torpedo tubes, MK 48 Torpedoes, UUM-44A SUBROC and UGM-84A/C Harpoon missiles, MK57 deep water mines, and MK60 CAPTOR mines.

Naval History

Known as a fast attack submarine, Haddock was the 14th and final ship of the Thresher/Permit class—successor of the Skipjack class—whose ships were in operation throughout the years 1961 through 1994.

USS Haddock began her career homeported at the Ballast Point Naval Base in San Diego, California from January through March of 1968. It was from this port that she departed on what was referred to as the “Four Corners Tour” taking her from Groton, Connecticut to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to San Diego, California, and finally to Bremerton, Washington over the course of eight months—from January through August of 1968. Upon conclusion of this initial voyage, Haddock was directed to establish her new homeport at Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Honolulu, Hawaii in September of 1968.

Operating out of Pearl Harbor, Haddock was deployed to the Western Pacific on several missions from September of 1968 through January of 1971. During this time period, she was the recipient of two Vietnam Service Medals and two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals for her notable achievements during her deployments.

April 1971 marked the beginning of Haddock’s first major overhaul carried out at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. This overhaul, which lasted through October of 1972, was followed by further deployments to the Western Pacific, in addition to one deployment each to the Northern Pacific and Eastern Pacific, through July of 1976.

A second major overhaul commenced in June of 1977 at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. Lasting for nineteen months, this overhaul was completed in December of 1978. In January of 1979, Haddock resumed her operations once again homeported out of San Diego, California.

After several deployments to the Western Pacific, Haddock completed her seventh deployment to this region on the 23rd of December 1983. A third major overhaul followed shortly thereafter in October of 1984 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Completion of Haddock’s third major overhaul gave way to deployments to the Western, Northern, and Southern Pacific over the course of the next few years. Haddock’s eleventh and final Western Pacific deployment was completed by October of 1991.

Following major equipment failures at the end of 1991 which limited her abilities to achieve her desired depths, Haddock’s career culminated as she was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register simultaneously on April 7, 1993. Entered into the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington State on October 1, 2000, Haddock’s existence came to an end exactly one year later on October 1, 2001.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Haddock (SSN-621)

Insulation materials, packing, tape, gaskets, valves, paints, cables, adhesives—these are just a few of the numerous products that contained the naturally occurring mineral asbestos that were employed in the construction of navy ships. Asbestos, once considered an invaluable natural resource due to its abundance, low cost, and superior heat and fire resistance, is now a known carcinogen to large numbers of navy veterans and shipyard workers.

Historical estimates indicate that the shipbuilding industry utilized as much as 25 million tons of asbestos from the 1920s through the 1980s. Estimates also indicate that as many as 4.5 million individuals were employed by the shipbuilding industry during this same time period. In short, the toxic effects of asbestos have impacted or will impact a significant number of individuals; there are those that have already succumbed to the devastating illnesses associated with this human carcinogen, those that are currently battling the overwhelming effects of these illnesses, those that are just beginning to witness symptoms, those whose fate is yet unknown as thus far symptoms are not evident, and finally, the loved ones of all of these individuals.

Asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma—these are the most prevalent ailments attributed to asbestos exposure and those most likely to affect individuals who served aboard or were involved in the construction, maintenance, or demolition of ships such as the USS Nathan Hale. In particular, those individuals who came into contact with asbestos containing products that were aged or disturbed through cutting, sawing or tearing and who were likely to have inhaled the friable, airborne fibers of this deadly substance, should consider themselves to be at risk for developing one of the aforementioned diseases.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please fill out the form on this page to request a free information packet. It contains valuable information about medical treatment options and legal rights for victims.

Sources

Sources

NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive
http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08621.htm

Hullnumber
http://www.hullnumber.com/SSN-621

Wikipedia– USS Haddock (SSN-621)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Haddock_(SSN-621)

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