for Submariners

by Hamilton 1:1 Communications, LLC

USS Tullibee (SSN-597)
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USS Tullibee (SSN-597)


USS Tullibee (SSN-597), a unique submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tullibee, any of several whitefishes of central and northern North America.

On 15 November 1957. Her keel was laid down in Groton, Connecticut, on 26 May 1958. She was launched on 27 April 1960, sponsored by Mrs. John F. Davidson, the widow of Commander Charles F. Brindupke, and commissioned on 9 November 1960, with Commander Richard E. Jortberg in command.

At 273 feet long and 2,300 tons displacement, USS Tullibee was the smallest nuclear-powered attack submarine in the US submarine fleet. The initial manning complement was 7 officers and 60 enlisted men. However before inactivation, the crew included 13 officers and over 100 enlisted men.

During her career, Tullibee achieved much and conducted many submarine firsts. During her commissioned service she submerged and surfaced 730 times and traveled approximately 325,000 nautical miles (602,000 km; 374,000 mi) equal to the distance from the earth to the moon and halfway back.


USS Tullibee was the result of "Project Nobska", a study ordered in 1956 by Admiral Arleigh Burke, then Chief of Naval Operations, from the Committee on Undersea Warfare of the National Academy of Sciences. That report emphasized the need for deeper-diving, ultraquiet submarine designs using long-range sonar. Tullibee incorporated three design changes based on Project Nobska. First, it incorporated the first bow-mounted spherical sonar array. This required the second innovation: amidships, angled torpedo tubes. Thirdly, Tullibee was propelled by a very quiet turboelectric power plant based on the S2C reactor.

USS Tullibee was specially designed as a quiet hunter-killer for use in narrow waters. Tullibee, the second ship in the Navy to bear the name, was the Navy's first submarine to be equipped with the BQQ-2 Sonar system. New was also the installation of the system in the submarine's bow nose, which made it necessary to move the torpedo tubes aft of the bow.

• The first quiet nuclear submarine with turbo electric drive,
• The first integrated sonar suite, including both a low-frequency passive array, for long range detection, and a spherical array, for approach and attack (AN/BQQ Series Sonar),
• The first submarine specifically designed as an ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) weapon,
• The first submarine with torpedo tubes amidships


General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division
Groton, Connecticut
2353 tons surfaced
2607 tons submerged
273 feet (83 m)
23 feet 7 inches (7.18m)
21 feet (6.4 m)
13 knots (24 km/h) surfaced,
14.8 knots (27.4 km/h submerged
S2C Reactor,
One Propeller
6 Officers 60 men
4x 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes