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SSN 754 Topeka

The USS Topeka is the fourth ship of the improved LOS ANGELES class, the Navy's newest and best nuclear powered attack submarines. These ships are the most advanced undersea vessels of their type in the world. Our mission is to project precise power from the sea in support of naval, joint and combined operations. USS TOPEKA can accomplish this mission through her multiple capabilities including the ability to operate in complete stealth; conduct extended and sustained high speed operations; work with Naval special warfare, surface, aviation, and amphibious forces; perform coastal surveillance; and, if necessary, deploy land-attack, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.

This 360 foot, 6,900 ton ship is well equipped to accomplish these tasks. Faster then her predecessors and equipped with the highly accurate AN/BSY-1 sonar and weapon control systems, the ship can be armed with sophisticated MK-48 and ADCAP torpedoes. TOPEKA can also launch multipurpose TOMAHAWK Cruise Missile from vertical tubes located in the bow or from torpedo tubes. Other features include full under-ice operational capability, improved ship quieting, over-the-horizon targeting capability, two towed sonar arrays, and retractable bow planes.

In August 1992 TOPEKA began her first overseas deployment which involved six months of operation in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. TOPEKA was the first attack submarine in the Pacific Fleet to deploy in support of a carrier battle group. On 4 November 1992 TOPEKA achieved another first by conducting operations in the Arabian Gulf. In January 1995 TOPEKA returned to the Arabian Gulf during her second deployment in support of a carrier battle group. In February 1996, TOPEKA changed home port from San Diego, CA to Pearl Harbor, HI.

TOPEKA has been awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation; The Submarine Squadron ELEVEN Battle Efficiency "E" award for submarine excellence in both 1993 and 1995; and the 1994 COMSUBPAC Silver Anchor Award.

Military units have historically employed emblems as a means of organizational identification. Designed during the new construction period, the chosen insignia becomes an integral part of the ship's ongoing history. Closely associated with the crew and its reputation, the emblem is proudly displayed on a wide variety of official documents and memorabilia.

The USS TOPEKA (SSN 754) emblem, illustrated on the front cover, combines traditions of the ship's namesake city with symbols of the modern Submarine Force.

The Kansas State Capitol Building Dome, a local symbol of democracy, is the predominant landmark in Topeka, Kansas. The Red Tailed Hawk is commonly found around Topeka and represents the spirit of freedom which distinguished the city's founding fathers during early settling and the Civil War. The hawk is a silent, swift and fierce hunter as is USS TOPEKA. The arrows represent Caw Indians who originally inhabited the area. They also illustrate USS Topeka's willingness to use force when necessary to defend herself, "the heartland", and the nation. The wheat stalks are symbolic of the region's strong agriculture base, and combined with the arrows, represent the fact that the Caw Indians were basically hunters and farmers. The five stars represent the city's founding fathers, similar to those depicted on the center band of the official city crest. The submarine is of the improved 688 design and depicts the two most prominent visible features which set it apart from many of her predecessors, vertical launch missile tube hatches and bow planes. The nuclear symbol represents the ship's nuclear propulsion capability with the three orbiting electrons symbolic of SSN 754 being the third United States Ship to proudly bear the name TOPEKA. The green and gold come from the predominant colors of the city flag and crest, while the light blue is the natural background color for the media in which the hawk and submarine exist.

PG 35

The first, a gunboat built under name of Diogenes by G. Howaldt of Kiel, Germany, in 1881. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy on 2 April 1898 from the Thames Iron Works of London, England and placed in commission the same day. On 15 February 1899, TOPEKA was placed out of commission at the Boston Navy Yard. After 18 months of inactivity, the gunboat was recommissioned in Boston on 15 August 1900. In August 1905 she returned to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was placed out of commission in September 1905 and served as a prison and station ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. In June 1916 she was towed to New York where she was recommissioned again on 14 July 1916 and assigned duty as receiving ship at New York until again being placed out of commission in September 1916. She was recommissioned for the last time at Boston in March 1919 then placed out of commission on 2 November 1919 and put up for sale. TOPEKA was sold in May 1930 to the Union Ship Building Company of Baltimore, Maryland.

CL 67

A light cruiser built by Bethlehem Steel Company of Quincy, Massachusetts. Her keel was laid 21 April 1943, and she was launched 19 August 1944 under the sponsorship of Mrs. Frank J. Warren, wife of the Mayor of Topeka, Kansas. The ship was placed in commission at Boston on 23 December 1944. TOPEKA was initially used as a escort ship in the Western Pacific and later joined several battle groups operating in the Pacific near the end of World War II. TOPEKA's rescue efforts saved two British pilots downed in Ishinomake Wan during August 1945. She was placed out of commission in reserve at San Francisco, 18 June 1949. On 15 April 1957 she arrived at the New York Navy shipyard for conversion to a Guided Missile Light Cruiser (CLG-8). Her hull classification and number were changed to CLG-8, effective 23 May 1957. TOPEKA earned two battle stars during World war II and three more during the Vietnam conflict.

City of Topeka

An indian agricultural community.

A primary river crossing point for settlers headed west on the Oregon Trail.

A major railroad center.

Topeka, the capital of Kansas, has played all of these roles, thanks to the pioneering spirit of its residents and its strategic location on the banks of the Kansas River.

They were roles that paved the way for the Topeka of today, a thriving retail, financial and industrial center of the 121,000 people. Several Fortune 500 companies call Topeka home, and some 13 insurance companies are headquartered there.

The city also ranks high in medical services. The Menninger Foundation, world-renowned center of psychiatric treatment, education and research, is there along with six hospitals that included three medical centers.

Topeka has more than a passing acquaintance with the military. The former Forbes Air Force Base serves as headquarters for the 190th Kansas Air National Guard Refueling Squadron and as a Strategic Air Command refueling stop.

However, as in most capital cities, the business of government occupies the largest number of those in the workforce.

Today's Topeka would probably astound the nine men who met on December 5, 1854 on the banks of the Kansas River to draw up an agreement which later became the basis for the Topeka Association. That organization was mainly responsible for the establishment and early growth of the city. When Kansas became the 34th state seven years later, Topeka (an Indian word meaning "A good place to dig potatoes") was chosen as the capital.

It's a capital that has made education a hallmark over the years. The city has one of the few remaining municipal universities in the country, Washburn University, which, in addition to a undergraduate and graduate programs offers a law school. In addition, the Kaw Area Vocational Technical School, two nursing schools and other training school provide opportunities for those seeking specific skills.

Cultural activities abound in Topeka. The Topeka Symphony Orchestra and the City's Community Center Association sponsor concerts from October through April. The Topeka Fine Arts Society presents programs of chamber music and Jazz Workshop provides concerts for jazz buffs. Topekans enjoy the internationally recognized Topeka Civic Theater, the Washburn University Players and the Showcase Dinner Theater.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:01:00 ZULU