USS Puffer SSN-652 Submarine Model
Dive again with your shipmates in this USS Puffer SSN-652 Submarine Model. Each piece is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love.
Length – 20 inches
USS Puffer (SSN-652), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the pufferfish, a fish which inflates its body with air.
Construction and commissioning
The contract to build Puffer was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on 26 March 1963 and her keel was laid down there on 8 February 1965. She was launched on 30 March 1968, sponsored by Mrs. John B. Colwell, and commissioned on 9 August 1969 with Commander John M. Will, Jr., in command.
USS Puffer operated in the Pacific Ocean during the 1970s, earning two Navy Unit Commendations and at least one Presidential Unit Citation, among other awards.
On 22 May 1978 a valve was mistakenly opened releasing up to 500 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) of radioactive water into Puget Sound, during an overhaul in drydock at Bremerton Naval Shipyard.
As part of Submarine Squadron One, from May to October 1980 USS Puffer, under the command of Commander Howard W. Habermeyer Jr USN, conducted her fifth Westpac/Indian Ocean Cruise, visiting the ports of Hong Kong, Subic Bay, PI, Guam, and Diego Garcia. On 18 July 1980 USS Puffer docked at HMAS Stirling, Rockingham, Western Australia for an R&R visit, departing on 25 July 1980. After this deployment USS Puffer received her third Navy Unit Commendation.
After returning from her 1980 Westpac cruise, USS Puffer conducted local operations from November 1980 to May 1981, when the submarine went into a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) which was completed in August 1981. During 1981 USS Puffer was awarded Submarine Squadron One’s Battle ‘E’, Engineering ‘E’, and Supply ‘E’. From September to late October 1981 USS Puffer conducted workups for her upcoming deployment.
USS Puffer would conduct her sixth Westpac/Indian Ocean Cruise from November 1981 to 14 May 1982. Again under the command of Commander Habermeyer Jr, USS Puffer again visiting ports like Subic Bay, PI, Yokosuka, Japan. Again USS Puffer docked at HMAS Stirling, Rockingham, Western Australia for an R&R visit from 10–17 February 1982. After this deployment USS Puffer received her fourth Navy Unit Commendation as well as her second Submarine Squadron One’s Battle ‘E’.
Prior to the filming of The Hunt for Red October, actor Sean Connery was on board preparing for his role as Capt. Marko Ramius. He was given the status of a commander and was allowed (while the captain was next to him) to give orders while the ship was underway. (Ref. IMDB.com)
In The Hunt for Red October, the scene for the flashing light sequence was filmed at sea off the coast of San Diego using Puffer and a Captain’s gig from one of the submarine tenders located at the Point Loma submarine base. A Mess Cook who knew Morse Code was given a script. The eyepiece was removed from the Number 2 periscope and a large flashlight was used since a submarine does not have the capability to tranmist Morse code as shown in the film. Puffer is not listed in the film credits.
Decommissioning and disposal
Puffer was decommissioned on 12 July 1996 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, began on 20 October 1996 and was completed on 28 March 1997.
Puffer’s fairwater planes can be seen as part of The Fin Project, a permanent outdoor art installation on the shore of Lake Washington in Seattle, at Magnusson Park.