UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


SSN 771 Columbia

USS Columbia (SSN 771) is the 33rd 688 class submarine built by the Electric Boat Corporation and stands in a class with her two sister ships, Greeneville (SSN 772) and Cheyenne (SSN 773) , as the most advanced and capable ships of the improved Los Angeles Class. These ships incorporate Seawolf class technology and stealth into their construction.

The submarine Columbia is the eighth commissioned U.S. Navy warship to bear the name that personifies freedom and the United States.

Columbia is the 60th of 62 Los Angeles class submarines authorized for construction by Congress and the last of this class to be built at Electric Boat.

Columbia, more capable than any predecessor, is equipped with the highly accurate AN/BSY-1 sonar and fire control system. The ship can be armed with sophisticated advance capability MK 48 torpedoes. Multi-purpose TOMAHAWK cruise missiles can be launched from the vertical tubes located in the ship's bow or from the ship's torpedo tubes. Other significant improvements over earlier Los Angeles Class submarines include full under-ice operational capability, improved ship quieting, two towed sonar arrays, and retractable bow planes.

USS Columbia received the NAVY Meritorious Unit Commendation (Two Awards) for her 1998 Western Pacific Deployment with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Battle Group.

The NAVY "E" was awarded to USS Columbia in Jan 1999 for the 1998 Battle Efficiency Competition.

The Navy Expeditionary Medal was awarded to the Columbia in 1998 for operations conducted during Columbia's 1998 Western Pacific Deployment.

USS Columbia received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for participation in operations in the Arabian Gulf during its 1998 Western Pacific/Arabian Gulf Deployment. Specific operations cited included Operation Southern Watch.

In February 2004 the Columbia departed for a three month surge deployment to the Western Pacific. As part of the Chief of Naval Operations Fleet Response Plan, USS Columbia was the first Pacific Fleet submarine to be surge-deployed. USS Columbia returned to its homeport of Pearl Harbor Monday, May 10, 2004.


Columbia honors the capital of South Carolina, and cities in Missouri and Illinois.

The First Columbia

The first ship to bear the name Columbia was a 44 gun frigate. The frigate was burned at the Washington Navy yards in 1814 in order to prevent the ship from falling into the hands of enemy forces.

The Second Columbia

The second Columbia was a sailing frigate launched and commissioned into naval service in 1836. This vessel later became one of the first U.S. Navy ships to circumnavigate the globe. The ship was later scuttled and burned by Union forces at the outbreak of the Civil War.

The Third Columbia

The third Columbia was a screw steamer used by Confederate forces as a blockade runner. In December 1862, she was captured by Union forces and assigned to the U.S. Navy's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. This ship ran aground and wrecked off Wilmington, NC the following year.

The Fourth Columbia

In 1864, the fourth Columbia was built and commissioned in Charleston, SC for the Confederate Navy. This vessel was an early ironclad ship which was later seized during the occupation of Charleston by Union forces in Februrary 1865. She saw limited action during the war and was decommissioned in June of the same year.

Cruiser 12, The Fifth Columbia

The Cruiser 12 was christened in 1892 as the fifth Columbia at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. She participated in both the Spanish-American War and in the first World War. From 1915 to 1917 the ship acted as the Submarine Flotilla Flagship. She additionally served as a part of both Squadron 5 Patrol Force and Squadron 2 Destroyer Force. She was decommissioned in 1921.

The Sixth Columbia

In 1921, the USS GREAT NORTHERN, a naval transport ship, was renamed Columbia. During World War I, she carried 28,248 troops to Europe and 22,852 back to the U.S. in 18 round trips. After distinguished service as the flagship for the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, she was decommissioned in 1922.

CL 56, The Seventh Columbia

The seventh and most famous of the long Columbia line, was the Light Cruiser CL-56. She was launched at the Camden Navy Yard in December, 1941, just after the U.S. entered World War II. She immediately reported to the South Pacific and participated in numerous actions in the Solomons, including the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay. She also supported the Palaus Landing and the invasion of the Philippines. During her involvement in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, she was credited with sinking a battleship, forcing the remaining enemy units to retire the battle. She also participated in the landing at Lingayen Gulf, the invasion of Borneo, and operated with Task Force 95 in the East China Sea. In all the ship was awarded ten battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation prior to being decommissioned in 1946.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:01:13 ZULU