Jump to content

1st Cruise Missile Subs Insignias SSG574 Grayback


Recommended Posts

Grayback Class Submarine


USS Grayback (SSG-574)

The USS Grayback (SS/SSG/APSS/LPSS-574), the lead ship of her class of submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the grayback, a small herring of great commercial importance in the Great Lakes. Her keel was laid down on 1 July 1954 by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard of Vallejo, California. She was launched on 2 July 1957 sponsored by Mrs. John A. Moore, widow of the last skipper of the USS Grayback (SS-208) and commissioned at Mare Island on 7 March 1958 with Lieutenant Commander Hugh G. Nott in command. Grayback was initially designated as an attack submarine, but was converted to a Regulus guided missile submarine (SSG-574) in 1958.

These submarines carried the primitive short-lived Regulus cruise missiles that were quickly phased out by Polaris SLBMs. They were the sole class designed specifically to carry the Regulus missile.


Interesting facts about this insignia.


It was designed by 2 submariners, and is believed to have been made in Japan in 1959-1960.


There were only 2 boats in this class, and there were comparatively few of these rare submariner's patches manufactured. All of their missions were TOP SECRET, and classified.

In fact the vets from these cruises refer to their missions as "things we never did in places we never were".


Most would have been worn or lost by now, and this surely must be one of very few to exist in mint condition. Coming from the daughter of the Lt Cmdr of the Grayback, it has unblemished provenance.


Arctic Operations or how I joined the North Pacific




Yacht Club

Since most Russian submarine bases are near the Arctic

Circle or in regions with seasonal freezes (like the

Baltic) you maybe around ice and bad weather a lot.

Diesel Engines on RAN Collins class Submarine.

One thing to know is that hitting icebergs at very low speeds doesn’t always cause

damage, at around 0-2 knots the Kilo will just bounce off. Also remember that wave

action can affect you even if the boat is surfaced though an ice sheet. Now operating in

the marginal ice zones means that the ability to snorkel isn’t a keystroke or two away. To

snorkel you will need to find a polinya (one of those lakes in the ice). If you just need to

check the communication traffic for some Link 11 data you don’t need to surface the

floating wire antenna works normally under the ice. Now you can find where there are

gaps in the ice by pressing Shift+I on the nav map twice, the areas where the nav map

now shows there is no ice might have thin ice so you can either check the 3D view when

you arrive at the area or if you are a purest you can come to a depth of 25 meters and

raise the scope for a look at the surface since the Kilo lacks the under ice TV of the SSNs.

Should you not wish to use the Shift+I filter just monitor you High Frequency Sonar for

areas devoid of large ice flows that show up on your sonar. If the HFS shows nothing but

black it’s a good place to look for a polinya. Remember to surface the sail out of the ice

not just raise the snorkel mast because if there is a thin layer of ice the mast will break

and you will be unable to recharge your batteries. Now in your polinya you may find very

bad weather conditions, best thing to do is go all stop and try to ride out the waves while

you charge your batteries this gives the added bonus of not having to sail around in

circles to avoid running in to ice and not exceeding10 knots when you get dunked back

down. If your keel dips below 17 meters even if your snorkel is clear above water the

mast will automatically lower. The first second your keel rises above 17 meters raise the

mast again and try to get as much charging done as possible before you dip down again.

If you have to pick up some speed to cut though the waves then go back to all stop. (For

added effect every time the snorkel abruptly retracts stick you head in a vacuum cleaner

for a few seconds, this is what’s going on to your digital crew every time that happens

since the diesels take a second or two to shut down and they suck up some of the air in

the boat.)



Repeat until you have sufficient battery charge to continue with your mission,

it is long, tedious, and frustrating work so you will can easily understand why US SSG

crew members, after patrols off Kamchatka, wore NPYC badges emblazoned with

Semaphore Flags of ‘S’, ‘M’ and ‘F’ for $h!t, Man, F**k.




His daughter only knows he was a Lt.Cdr, and claims her father let her steer the boat and operate the dive planes submerged, and underway.

I believe that it is more likely imagination than accurate memories, she was a little girl when she went on the boat.

I find it impossible that A commander or exec would take a child under the waves or would place his crew and ship in that position for an instant.




Stay tuned for the rest of the insignia, to be posted shortly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remembered an incident involving the death of five SEALs and Navy divers that occurred aboard this sub in 1982 and began a search for info to post: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1964...pg=4587,3447676.

While looking for that info I came across another more intriguing incident from ten years earlier that demonstrates the adaptability of these old boats: http://www.military.com/NewContent/1,13190...Seal-P2,00.html.

As the Navy was converting to the newer nuclear subs they reconfigured the Grayback and Blueback for all sorts of unique operational & training missions. The Grayback had the hangar deck for the missles which was converted to launch and retrieve underwater teams and their inflatable boats straight into the sea. The Blueback did not have this hangar so all launches and retrievals had to be done through the forward torpedo loading hatch, awkward and much more dangerous.

I also came across many more interesting Navy diver sites that bear tribute to the unsung accomplishments of these men & women but this thread is about the Grayback; plenty of good stuff right here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...