laid down by Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics,
Groton, CT 25MAY63;
Launched: 5DEC64; Sponsored by Mrs. Francis L. Moseley and
Mrs. Leon V. Chaplin;
Commissioned: 22OCT65 with Capt Donald M. Miller [B], Cdr
Ross N. Williams [G] in command;
Decommissioned and struck from the Navy List 1OCT94;
Disposed of through SRP at PSNS 21AUG95.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) left
an indelible stamp on America. He was a statesman, scientist,
and businessman who made a fortune by the age of 42. The
author of a distinguished autobiography and inventor of
bifocal glasses, he entered public service at age 48 and
became a leading diplomat. He secured vital aid from France
during the American Revolution and was the only American to
sign all four documents which established the United States
as an independent nation - the Declaration of Independence,
the Alliance with France, the Peace Treaty with England, and
The submarine named in his honor
was the 32nd Polaris Missile Submarine built for the Navy
and is the first ship of the 640-class Ballistic Missile
Submarine -- USS BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (SSBN 640).
After successful completion of all
sea trials, the boat was placed in commission on 22 October
1965 at the U.S. Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory, New
Shakedown cruise commenced on 26
October 1965. On 6 December 1965 the Gold Crew successfully
launched a Polaris A-3 missile in close coordination with an
orbital pass of the Gemini 7 astronauts Frank Borman and Jim
Lovell. The Blue Crew successfully launched a Polaris A-3
missile on 20 December 1965.
Following the tactical loadout in
Charleston, SC, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN transited the
Panama Canal, assigned to CINCPACFLT on 4 April 1966 and
arrived at Pearl Harbor on 20 April 1966. The Blue Crew then
deployed with the ship on 6 May 1966 on its first Polaris
deterrent patrol, which was successfully completed on 11
July 1966 when BENJAMIN FRANKLIN arrived in Apra
On 27 February 1969, the boat was
awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation, in recognition of
the achievement of both crews in sustaining an exceptionally
high state of readiness from the period of commissioning to
On 28 August 1970, the Blue Crew
departed Apra Harbor, Guam, MI, for the BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S
nineteenth Polaris patrol and transit to New London CT. This
was the final patrol prior to entry into the shipyard at
Electric Boat Company, General Dynamic Corporation, Groton,
CT, for Poseidon conversion. The conversion was completed in
May 1972 and the BENJAMIN FRANKLIN once again took
her place in the deterrent force.
Upon completing of her 29th
deterrent patrol, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was awarded
SubRon16's Battle Efficiency "E".
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN completed
16 Poseidon deterrent patrols before entering Portsmouth
Naval Shipyard in November 1979 for her second overhaul,
during which the TRIDENT 1 Weapon System was installed.
Shipyard overhaul was completed 5 September 1981, and she
once again patrolled the seas.
On 18 December 1983 BENJAMIN
FRANKLIN completed her 51st patrol, the 2,200th
Strategic Deterrent Patrol made by a Fleet Ballistic Missile
In July 1985, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
arrived in Norfolk, Virginia transferring to SubRon8 and
acting as as "SSN Asset" while awaiting the start
of her third overhaul. After transferring to Charleston, SC,
in July 1986, the boat began a reactor refueling overhaul
which was successfully completed in November 1988.
Following overhaul and completion
of the post overhaul shakedown period, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
resumed her role as part of SubRon18, homeported in
Charleston, SC, beginning with Patrol 58 in July 1989.
Upon completion of her 62nd patrol
in October 1990, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was awarded
SubRon18's Battle Efficiency "E" and was named
Atlantic Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine of the Year for
FY-1990 in recognition of the ability of both crews to
consistently meet all challenges. For these accomplishments,
she was awarded a second Meritorious Unit Commendation.
On 22 October 1990, BENJAMIN
FRANKLIN marked the 25th anniversary of her
commissioning. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN completed a total of
69 deterrent patrols and was decommissioned on 23 November