Forty-One for Freedom

The Cold War Contribution

Throughout the Cold War, the “Silent Service” played a vital role in protecting America from its enemies. Nuclear power allowed submarines to go to sea for longer periods without coming up for air. The development of Polaris Missiles allowed strategic weapons to be taken closer to potential enemies, while remaining undetected. Forty-one of these submarines were built. Unlike previous submarines which were named after sea creatures, these Fleet Ballistic Missile boats were named after famous Americans, and others who were instrumental in promoting the American cause. The Polaris Missiles were replaced by Poseidon Missiles, which were replaced by Trident Missiles.
The Soviet Union went bankrupt trying to develop the technology to find these boats. They never did, and the Soviet Union dissolved; the Cold War was over!

The Forty-One for Freedom are all gone now, and even the Trident Submarines which replaced these original “Boomers”, are being decommissioned or converted for other services, such as Cruise Missile launchers. At decommissioning, many of these fine old boats were a lot older than some of their crew members.

America doesn’t need as many Strategic Weapons now, but during the Cold War, when our Country needed us, we were there, on patrol, and prepared. There wasn’t much glory, and we didn’t see much of the world. But we were proud to be serving our Country, and we are proud of the contributions of the “Forty-One for Freedom”.

USS George Washington, SSBN 598
USS Patrick Henry, SSBN 599
USS Theodore Roosevelt, SSBN 600
USS Robert E. Lee, SSBN 601
USS Abraham Lincoln, SSBN 602

USS Ethan Allen, SSBN 608
USS Sam Houston, SSBN 609
USS Thomas A. Edison, SSBN 610
USS John Marshall, SSBN 611

USS Lafayette, SSBN 616
USS Alexander Hamilton, SSBN 617
USS Thomas Jefferson, SSBN 618
USS Andrew Jackson, SSBN 619
USS John Adams, SSBN 620
USS James Monroe, SSBN 622
USS Nathan Hale, SSBN 623
USS Woodrow Wilson, SSBN 624
USS Henry Clay, SSBN 625
USS Daniel Webster, SSBN 626
USS James Madison, SSBN 627
USS Tecumseh, SSBN 628
USS Daniel Boone, SSBN 629
USS John C. Calhoun, SSBN 630
USS Ulysses S. Grant, SSBN 631
USS Von Steuben, SSBN 632
USS Casimir Pulaski, SSBN 633
USS Stonewall Jackson, SSBN 634
USS Sam Rayburn, SSBN 635
USS Nathanael Greene, SSBN 636

USS Benjamin Franklin, SSBN 640
USS Simon Bolivar, SSBN 641
USS Kamehameha, SSBN 642
USS George Bancroft, SSBN 643
USS Lewis and Clark, SSBN 644
USS James K. Polk, SSBN 645
USS George C. Marshall, SSBN 654
USS Henry L. Stimson, SSBN 655
USS George Washington Carver, SSBN 656
USS Francis Scott Key, SSBN 657
USS Mariano G. Vallejo, SSBN 658
USS Will Rogers, SSBN 659

Content on this page used with permission of author Larry Smith