The nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine USS WILL ROGERS (SSBN), the 41st and last under the Polaris submarine construction program, will be commissioned at 2 p.
The nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine USS WILL ROGERS (SSBN), the 41st and last under the Polaris submarine construction program, will be commissioned at 2 p.m. (EST), Saturday, April 1, 1967, at the U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, Connecticut.
Principal speaker at the ceremony will be Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN (Ret.), who participated in the launching of the first Polaris submarine, USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, June 9, 1959
The WILL ROGERS is equipped to carry 16 advanced Polaris Ballistic missiles. The 425-foot-long, whale-shaped nuclear submarine can fire its missiles from beneath the surface of the ocean to reach targets more than 2,500 nautical miles distant. The WILL ROGERS nuclear reactor provides an almost limitless cruising range in the world's oceans which cover nearly 70 percent of the earth's surface.
Upon commissioning, WILL ROGERS, like all other Polaris submarines, will be manned by two complete alternating crews. Captain Robert Y. Kaufman, USN, of Groton, Connecticut, will command the BLUE Crew, and Commander William J. Cowhill, USN, of Gales Ferry, Connecticut, will command the GOLD Crew.
The keel of the WILL ROGERS was laid on March 20, 1965, and she was launched on July 21, 1966. Her commissioning completes the construction phase of the ballistic missile class of submarines a full two years ahead of the original schedule.
This film shows various aerial views of the USS WILL ROGERS underway during sea trails.