MISSILE THINGIES

The Trident/Ohio class of submarines were designed to patrol the oceans for months at a time carrying up to 24 long range ballistic missiles. While I can neither confirm, or deny, that we actually carried any nuclear weapons on board, I can say that there were definitely 24 shiney missile tubes.

Above is a picture of one of the subs in port, and in the 'garage' where missiles could be loaded and unloaded. Even with the hatches open you couldn't see the missiles themselves -- if there were any. Each missile tube was covered with a fiberglass dome that kept the water out of the tube until a split second after the missile launch sequence got to the good part. Just before the missile bumped into the dome as it was being jettisoned out of the tube, explosive cord in the fiberglass broke the dome up into several pie-shaped wedges. The missile then continued on its way to the surface where, after it was fully clear of the water, the engine ignited, and the missile and its warheads (if it had any) proceeded on to ruin someone's day.

Above is a picture of the Gold crew's first missile shot off the coast of Florida in March of 1982. This was a Trident C-4 missile and was the second missile launched from the Ohio. The Bluies shot the first missile a few weeks before we did.

Above is the other end of a missile shot. This was taken near Guam. These were the missile warheads (dummies in this case) as they splashed down...err...hit their targets after being released from a missile that was shot off the coast of the state of Washington, USA.

I keep saying "Gold crew." Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines (FBMs or "boomers") have two complete crews; the Gold crew, and the Blue crew. One crew takes the boat out on patrol for several months while the other crew stays in port, trains, and sends people to Navy schools. When a patrol is finished the boat returns to port and the two crews trade places. The picture above is of an FBM Patrol pin which was worn on your uniform. Stars were added to the ribbon as you completed patrols.

A Trident sub on the Hood Canal near the Bangor base.

DIRECT LINKS TO PAGES:
NAVY DAZE
RICKOVER'S NEW BOAT
MISSILE THINGIES
THE DITCH

2018-03-02