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SSN 691 Memphis

The Navy will hold a decommissioning ceremony for Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Memphis (SSN 691) aboard Naval Submarine Base (NSB) New London, Conn., 01 April 2011. Fast-attack submarines like Memphis have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.

USS MEMPHIS (SSN 691) was commissioned on 17 December 1977, and joined Submarine Squadron EIGHT in Norfolk, VA in 1978. She deployed for the first time in June 1979.

In March 1981, USS MEMPHIS completed an around the world cruise via the Panama Canal, including operations with both the Sixth and Seventh Fleets.

In January 1994 MEMPHIS entered Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for RCOH and modifications to support her Research and Development role. Several modifications were performed to enhance the ship's ability to accommodate major and multiple research and development projects. Upon completion of the shipyard availability she was assigned to Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE in Groton, CT.

In 2003 the Memphis was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and made port on or about Aug. 23, 2003 at Manama, Bahrain. Memphis was visited by two members of the King of Bahrain's Shura Royal Advisory Council, four ambassadors, several prominent businessmen and a U.S. Embassy staff member. Germany, India, Japan and Russia were among the countries represented by their ambassadors to Bahrain. This deployment marked the first time in 22 years that the Memphis had sailed in 5th Fleet waters. Memphis returned to port on the coldest day of the year, January 16, 2004, after a regularly scheduled six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.


USS Memphis, a 7050-ton Omaha class light cruiser, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A few months after her February 1925 commissioning, she made a shakedown cruise to the Caribbean, then went to the Pacific to accompany the Battle Fleet on its voyage to New Zealand and Australia. Memphis returned to the Atlantic area later in the year, and in 1926-1927 served as flagship of U.S. Naval Forces in European waters. She transported pilot Charles A. Lindbergh back to the United States in June 1927, following his historic trans-Atlantic flight.

During the remainder of the 1920s and all of the 1930s, Memphis operated in the Atlantic and Caribbean regions, and in the Pacific. She was stationed off Nicaragua in 1932-1933, made a cruise to Australia in 1938 and served in Alaskan waters in 1939-1941. In April 1941, the cruiser was transferred to the South Atlantic, where she patrolled in defense of American neutrality and other interests as tensions steadily increased with Germany during the next eight months. Memphis' South Atlantic service continued after the United States entered World War II in December 1941. She supported airfield construction, guarded interned French forces in the West Indies, searched for German blockade runners and took part in several diplomatic missions.

Memphis was sent to the Mediterranean early in 1945 to serve as regional flagship during the last months of the war with Germany and the first part of the post-War era. This duty ended in November 1945 with her departure for home. Shortly after her arrival at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USS Memphis was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list. She was sold for scrapping in January 1947.

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Page last modified: 24-08-2017 19:19:34 ZULU