Original Name: Sam Houston
Redesignated Name: SSN-609
Common/Crew Name: 609
Class: Ethan Allen
Displacement: 6,900 to 8,000 tons
Length: 410'
Breadth: 33'
Speed: In excess of 20 knots - submerged
Original Armament: 16 Polaris A-2 missiles and 4-21" Torpedoes

Brief History: The Sam Houston was the second ship of the five in the Ethan Allen Class of Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines. It is the second submarine to be built from keel to bridge strictly to launch the Polaris class missiles. Beyond that, it is the third nuclear submarine ever developed, and was christened the "SAM HOUSTON" on February 2nd, 1961 by Mrs. Connally after an address given by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of the United States Navy.

Once she had undergone fully successful sea trials, on March 6th, 1962 she was commissioned to serve the United States Navy. This began her very successful career through 1981, including being the first submarine to ever make a port-of-call during a patrol. Then, in 1981 she was “officially” Redesignated from the “Sam Houston” to “SSN-609.” At that time, her missiles were removed, and she was refitted with 2 Dry Deck Shelters to be used for support of Special Operations Pacific. After serving for 29 years, and winning a Meritorious Unit Commendation, she was decommissioned on June 6th, 1991.

Resources: DANFS, Ships History Logs, http://www.gdeb.com/programs/lineup/, and http://members.bellatlantic.net/~gitby/ssbn609.htm

This writeup spawned by a nodeshell challenge from cordelia.

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