Teacher's Guide: Outside Exhibits


Standing next to the Museumís main gate is the sail of USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN- 598), commissioned in 1959, which was the Navyís first sub specifically designed to carry ballistic missiles. Painted on the side of the sail is one missile for each of the boatís successful deterrence patrols. The sail was trucked to the site in pieces after the boat was decommissioned (1985) and cut up for recycling (1986).

NAUTILUS propellers

NAUTILUS propellers: These are the original propellers that were used to drive NAUTILUS through the water.


STURGEON anchor: USS STURGEON (SSN- 637), commissioned in 1967, was the lead submarine in her class. This anchor fit into a specially-designed recess on the bottom of the boat that preserved the smooth surface of her hull. The anchor itself tips the scales at 2,816 pounds, but thatís far less than the length of chain which connected it to the sub, which weighed in at 5,089 pounds.

Hull Rings

Hull rings: Just outside the entrance to the Museum are two rings which represent the diameters of the Navyís first submarine, USS HOLLAND (SS-1), commissioned in 1900, and its largest submarine, USS OHIO (SSBN/GN-726), commissioned in 1981. The rings are 10 feet and 42 feet in diameter, respectively.

Missile-tube hatch

Missile-tube hatch: This is the hatch that closed over Missile Tube 3, one of 16 onboard USS SAM RAYBURN (SSBN-635) that held POSEIDON Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs). The locking ring at the hatchís base could be "unscrewed" to allow it to open. The red plastic dome prevented seawater from entering the tube; it broke open when the missile was launched.

5-inch deck gun

5-inch deck gun: This is an original deck gun that was mounted on the deck of USS FLASHER (SS-249) during World War II. The entire gun was made of corrosion-resistant steel so that it could withstand repeated submersion in saltwater. This model of gun came into service in 1944 and was intended to replace all earlier guns used on fleet submarines. This was the last type of deck gun ever mounted on American submarines. (Todayís boats do not carry deck guns.)

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