60 Years of Nuclear Subs



HST looks on as his initials are welded into the keel of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
President Harry S. Truman watches as his initials, H.S.T.,
are welded onto the keel of Nautilus June 14, 1952, at Electric Boat in Groton.

The Nautilus (SSN 571) shattered records for speed and distance while submerged and became the first ship to cross the North Pole on Aug. 3, 1958. With speed, endurance and unmatched stealth that only nuclear propulsion could provide, the Nautilus was the most capable warship of its generation, said Lt. Cmdr. Robert W. Sawyer, officer in charge of the Historic Ship Nautilus. "The success of Nautilus changed the equations that described a superpower," he said. "The other world powers scrambled to join this club."

The sub still serves the country, now as a museum exhibit at the Submarine Force Museum, Sawyer said. Nautilus "continues to educate the public about a legacy of vision and pioneering," he said, "while inspiring youth to build the dream."

The USS Nautilus just after her Christening Ceremony

The USS Nautilus just after her Christening Ceremony