USS Guitarro (SSN-665)

Guitarro off California, c.1991. US Navy photo.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1965
Launched
1968
Commissioned
1972
Decommissioned
1992
AD/BC
AD
History

Laid down 9 December, 1965, USS Guitarro (SSN-665) was launched 27 July, 1968. Built at Mare Island's shipyard in California, Guitarro was fitting out on 15 May, 1969, when she was subjected to two different tests by two different groups, each of which was adding what they thought would be an insignificant amount of water to the subs ballast tanks. In fact, unaware of the other group's tests, they continued to add water, one group trying to maintain trim for their experiment, the other needing a down angle on the stern. Guitarro became so low in the water that the wakes of boats began flooding her through open forward hatches. when the aft ballast tanks were emptied, Guitarro went down by the bow, and sank into the mud. She was raised and commissioned, but was stuck with the nickname of "Mare Island Mud Puppy". Originally slated to be commissioned in January, 1970, repairs delayed that to September, 1972. Guitarro served until 1992, serving as the main testbed of the Tomahawk cruise missile, and hosting General Mikhail Moiseyev, First Deputy Minister of Defense and Chief of the General Staff for the Soviet Union, for a visit in 1990. She was "recycled" pretty quickly, ceasing to exist on 18 October, 1994.

Bonus Photos

Guitarro is prevented from capsizing by the tug USS Satanta (YTM-270) after sinking in the Napa River. US Navy photo.