The Navy’s Fifth Polaris Missile Submarine
This page is dedicated to the Officers and crew who served on the Abraham Lincoln from the date the keel was laid on 1 December 1958, to the date it was decommissioned on 28 March 1981.
The following text is from the Commissioning book of the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN is the fifth Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine in the United States and the first to be built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. LINCOLN was launched on May 14, 1960 with Miss Mary Lincoln Beckwith, great grand daughter of Abraham Lincoln, acting as sponsor. On March 11, 1961 ABRAHAM LINCOLN was placed in commission. After her shakedown cruise, LINCOLN will go on station with sixteen Polaris missiles on board.
Mary Lincoln Beckwith
The USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN is 380 feet long with a beam of 33 feet and displacement of 5900 tons. LINCOLN is equipped with an air conditioning system, carbon dioxide scrubbers, carbon monoxide-hydrogen burners, electrostatic precipitator, oxygen storage flasks and an electrolytic oxygen generator to maintain the ship’s atmosphere healthful for extended periods of submergence.
In addition to the sixteen missile tubes located in the missile compartment aft of the sail, LINCOLN has the firepower of six modern torpedo tubes located in the bow compartment.
LINCOLN has six staterooms which accommodate twelve officers. There are 100 bunks for the ship’s crew located in the bow compartment and lower level operations compartment. Each bunk has a reading lamp and an adjustable ventilation louver.
THE MISSILE SYSTEM
First missile launch
With almost unlimited cruising range and with endurance limited only by the crew, ABRAHAM LINCOLN is capable of extended submerged operation in the international waters of the world which comprise about 70 percent of the earth’s surface. The Polaris missiles will be ready for launch within minutes of receiving the command. Mobile, hidden, ready for instant action (or carefully considered delayed action), the FBM system will provide the United States with a powerful deterrent to those who might start global war.
Polaris, named for the North Star, is a two stage, solid fuel, ballistic missile about 28 feet long, four and one-half feet in diameter and weighs 28,000 pounds. Range of the missile is 1200 nautical miles (1380 statute miles). Future development will give the missile a range of 1500 nautical miles. The inertial guidance system used in Polaris is a refinement of earlier inertial systems and is the smallest in use in U.S. ballistic missiles.
Two positions must be known for success in missile launching: Target and Launcher. In the FBM system this puts great importance on navigation since the position of the launcher is the position of the ship and is continuously changing. Several methods complement each other on ABRAHAM LINCOLN to provide a very high order of accuracy in determining ship’s position. Heart of the system is the ship’s inertial navigation system (SINS), a complex system of gyroscopes and accelerometers. LINCOLN has three SINS, each checking the other. A variety of equipment is included in the submarine navigation system to provide an all weather capability of checking on the accuracy of SINS. These include both optical and electronic devices. All are highly automated.
THE POWER PLANT
ABRAHAM LINCOLN is powered by a nuclear power plant which consists of a nuclear reactor with its associated circulating water and steam cycles and auxiliary machinery.
The Power Plant
The secondary system is the steam producing cycle and is made up of the shell side of the steam generators, turbines, condensers and steam generator feed pumps. It is completely isolated from the primary system. Steam rises from the steam generators, then flows back to the engine room where it drives the ship’s service turbo generators supplying the ship with electricity, and the main propulsion turbines which drive the propeller. After passing through the turbines the steam is condensed and the water is fed back to the steam generators by the feed pumps. There is no step in the generation of this power which requires the presence of air or oxygen. This allows the ship to operate completely isolated from the atmosphere for extended periods of time.
During operation of the nuclear power plant high levels of radiation exist around the reactor. Large quantities of shielding are used so that the average crew member receives less radiation than that which he would receive from natural sources ashore.
The following text is from Wikipedia and the Abraham Lincoln Decommissioning book.
USS Abraham Lincoln SSB(N)-602), a George Washington-598 class fleet ballistic missile submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), the 16th President of the United States (1861–1865).
Her keel was laid down by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard of Kittery, Maine, on 1 December 1958. She was launched on 14 May 1960, sponsored by Mrs. Mary L. Beckwith, the great granddaughter of President Abraham Lincoln. Commissioned on 8 March 1961, as the fifth and final submarine of the George Washington 598 class, with Commander Leonard Erb commanding the Blue Crew and Commander Donald M. Miller commanding the Gold Crew.
Abraham Lincoln got underway on 20 March 1961 for shakedown and weapons testing at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and returned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on 1 June for post-shakedown repairs. She left Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on 17 December 1961 to return briefly to Cape Canaveral for further testing and then proceeded to Charleston, South Carolina, for a final loadout. Abraham Lincoln subsequently got underway on 28 December 1961 as a unit of SUBRON 14. She arrived at Holy Loch, Scotland, in December 1961. She underwent a refit alongside submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19) during December 1961 and, upon its completion, commenced her first deterrent patrol.
Abraham Lincoln undergoing repairs in floating drydock AFDB-7 at Holy Loch, Scotland, on 19 March 1963.
Abraham Lincoln operated out of Holy Loch for the next four years, making eighteen deterrent patrols, steaming over 140,000 miles and remaining submerged over 94% of the time she was underway. She alternated periods of upkeep at Holy Loch alongside Proteus or submarine tender Hunley (AS-31) with deterrent patrols from that port.
A highlight of this period occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis of December 1962. Abraham Lincoln was in the middle of a scheduled four-week upkeep period when she received orders to deploy. She departed in short order and successfully carried out a 65-day patrol.
On 13 December 1965, Abraham Lincoln arrived at Groton, Connecticut and entered the Electric Boat shipyard there on 25 December 1965 to begin an overhaul, refueling and Polaris A-3 retrofit.
This work was completed on 3 June 1967, and Abraham Lincoln returned to her base at Holy Loch and resumed her schedule of deterrent patrols as a unit of Submarine Squadron Fourteen. She continued the pattern of alternating patrols with periods of upkeep alongside either submarine tender USS Simon Lake (AS-33) or submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-34) through 1972.
In early March 1972 after completing her thirty seventh deterrent patrol, Abraham Lincoln departed for the United States and arrived at Naval Submarine Base New London at New London, Connecticut, on 25 April 1972. She held two dependents’ cruises before getting underway on 19 May for the United States West Coast to join the United States Pacific Fleet. Abraham Lincoln made a brief visit to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, transited the Panama Canal on 1 June, sailed to Bangor, Washington, to offload her missiles, then pushed on to San Francisco, California. On 25 June 1972, Abraham Lincoln entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, to commence overhaul and refueling.
The extensive overhaul was completed in December 1973. After shakedown in the areas around Puget Sound and San Diego, California Abraham Lincoln transited the Panama Canal on 1 June 1974. She held tests and local operations at Cape Canaveral and Charleston, South Carolina. She retransitted the Panama Canal on 26 December 1974 and proceeded to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she arrived on 10 December 1974. She then continued on to her advanced base at Guam, arriving on 18 December 1974. She then began deterrent patrols in the Mariana Islands from Guam, which she carried out until 1978 completing sixteen deterrent patrols. She also participated in numerous tests and exercises. During this period, Abraham Lincoln became the first ballistic missile submarine to have conducted 50 strategic deterrent patrols, completing her 50th in 1977.
From December 1978 to December 1979 Abraham Lincoln operated from Pearl Harbor as a unit of Submarine Squadron One. Completing her fifty-fourth patrol in December 1979 at Bangor, Washington, Abraham Lincoln began a period of preparation for entering Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for inactivation availability.
During her commissioned service she steamed over 400,000 miles, remained submerged for over 3,000 days and completed fifty-four deterrent patrols.
Deactivation, decommissioning, and disposal
Abraham Lincoln completed her last patrol in December 1979 and arrived at Bangor, Washington, on 30 December 1979 to commence offloading her missiles before beginning inactivation overhaul. Preparations for her retirement continued through 1980 and into 1981.
Abraham Lincoln was decommissioned on 28 March 1981 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 December 1982. She was disposed of through the Ship and Submarine Recycling Program on 10 May 1994 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Keel laid: December 11, 1958
Length: 381 feet
Launch date: May 14, 1960
Beam: 33 feet
Commissioned: March 11, 1961
Number of dives: 606
Decommissioned: March 28, 1981
Total nautical miles steamed: 447,184