Launching 30 March 1968

Ships History | Vital Statistics | Unit Awards | The Name Puffer | Launching
WESTPAC 71 | Commanding Officers | Plank Owners | Decommissioning Crew

Puffer Launch Photo provided by Mitchel Whisman
Photo provided by Mitch Whisman

The nuclear-powered attack submarine PUFFER is a fast, silent and deep diving member of the STURGEON CLASS and is designed to be one of the most effective weapons in the Navy's anti-submarine arsenal. By placing emphasis on the elimination of self or radiated noise, the design and construction of this boat makes excellent sonar performance possible at submerged high speeds. The submarine will be equipped to fire the most modern of undersea weapons, including SUBROC, a "flying torpedo" that speeds through the water and the air in it's mission to seek out and destroy enemy submarines. PUFFER has a designed overall length of 292 feet, 3 inches; an extreme beam of 31 feet, 8 inches; surface displacement of 3,800 tons; and a submerged displacement of 4,600 tons. Manned by highly trained personnel, 12 officers and 95 men, PUFFER will add significantly to the overall deterrent posture of the United States and the Free World.


The christening of a ship, one of man's most ancient and respected rituals, pre-dates by centuries the recorded history of such events in 2500 B.C. Once calling for human or animal sacrifice in a plea for the protection from unknown perils of the sea, it has been carried down through the ages to the modern custom of annointing the bow of the ship with water or wine. The latter will be used today, when at 9:30 A.M. the ship's sponsor, Mrs. John B. Colwell, breaks a specially encased bottel of champagne against the bow of PUFFER as the vessel is released for launching . . . thus today you witness the continuation of a cherished and ancient ritual.