Wed . 19 May 2019

USS San Francisco (SSN-711)

uss san francisco (ssn-711), uss san francisco ssn 711 collision
USS San Francisco SSN-711 is a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine, the third ship or boat of the United States Navy to be named for San Francisco, California


  • 1 History
    • 11 Collision with seamount
    • 12 Final deployment and conversion
  • 2 See also
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia was awarded the contract to build USS San Francisco on 1 August 1975, and her keel was laid down on 26 May 1977 She was launched on 27 October 1979, sponsored by Mrs Robert Y Kaufman, and commissioned on 24 April 1981 with Commander J Allen Marshall in command

San Francisco joined Submarine Force US Pacific Fleet following an initial shakedown cruise, and moved to her homeport at Pearl Harbor She completed deployments in 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986 with the US Seventh Fleet and various independent operations in the Pacific in 1986, earning the Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Squadron Seven in 1985 She earned a Navy Unit Commendation and a second Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Squadron Seven, and her crew was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for independent operations in 1988

San Francisco entered a Depot Modernization Period at Pearl Harbor from 1989 to 1990 and then went on to conduct deployments to the Western Pacific in 1992 and 1994 The submarine was awarded the 1994 Commander Submarine Squadron Seven "T" for excellence in tactical operations and a Meritorious Unit Commendation for the 1994 Western Pacific deployment

On 18 December 2002, San Francisco arrived at her new homeport at Apra Harbor, Guam

The submarine was homeported at Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, California in 2009

Collision with seamount

On 8 January 2005, at 02:43 GMT, San Francisco collided with an undersea mountain about 675 kilometers 364 nautical miles, 420 statute miles southeast of Guam while operating at flank maximum speed at a depth of 525 feet 160 m

Official US Navy reporting subsequent to the grounding cited the location as "in the vicinity of the Caroline Islands The position of the impact was estimated by a newspaper account as 7°45'060"N 147°12'360"E, between Pikelot and Lamotrek Atolls

The collision was so serious that the vessel was almost lost; accounts detail a desperate struggle for positive buoyancy to surface after the forward ballast tanks were ruptured Ninety-eight crewmen were injured, and Machinist's Mate Second Class Joseph Allen Ashley, 24, of Akron, Ohio died from head injuries on 9 January Other injuries to the crew included broken bones, spinal injury & lacerations

San Francisco’s forward ballast tanks and her sonar dome were severely damaged, but her inner hull was not breached and there was no damage to her nuclear reactor She surfaced and arrived in Guam on 10 January, accompanied by the USCGC Galveston Island WPB-1349, USNS GYSGT Fred W Stockham T-AK-3017, and USNS Kiska T-AE-35, as well as MH-60S Knighthawks and P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft

The Navy stated that there was "absolutely no reason to believe that it struck another submarine or vessel" Later, an examination in drydock showed unmistakably that she had struck an undersea mountain

San Francisco in drydock at Guam, January 2005 Damage to bow sonar, 2005 San Francisco in a drydock in Guam during her temporary repairs for her voyage to Puget Sound, May 2005

San Francisco’s captain Commander Kevin Mooney was reassigned to a shore unit in Guam during the investigation of this collision The Navy concluded that "several critical navigational and voyage planning procedures" were not being implemented aboard San Francisco, despite Mooney's otherwise remarkably good record Consequently, the Navy relieved Mooney of his command and issued him a letter of reprimand

Six crewmen received non-judicial punishment hearings "Captain's Mast" for hazarding a vessel and dereliction of duty, and they were reduced in rank and given letters of reprimand

Twenty other officers and men received awards for their actions in the crisis, including letters of commendation, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal

The seamount that San Francisco struck did not appear on the chart in use at the time of the accident, but other charts available for use indicated an area of "discolored water", an indication of the probable presence of a seamount The Navy determined that information regarding the seamount should have been transferred to the charts in use—particularly given the relatively uncharted nature of the ocean area that was being transited—and that the failure to do so represented a breach of proper procedures

San Francisco had recently replaced her nuclear fuel and she was thus expected to remain in service until 2017, so the Navy determined that repair of the submarine was in its best interests Temporary repairs were made in Guam to provide watertight integrity and forward buoyancy so that the boat could safely transit to another location for more extensive repairs San Francisco steamed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard PSNS in Washington via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she arrived on 26 August 2005

In June 2006, it was announced that San Francisco’s bow section would be replaced at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard with the bow of USS Honolulu SSN-718, which was soon to be retired San Francisco is four years older than Honolulu, but she had been refueled and upgraded in 2000–2002 The cost of her bow replacement has been estimated at $79 million, as compared with the estimated $170 million to refuel and overhaul the nuclear reactor of Honolulu

On 10 October 2008, San Francisco undocked after a successful bow replacement at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard The dry-docking project involved cutting more than one million pounds of forward ballast tanks and sonar sphere off the former USS Honolulu and attaching them to San Francisco San Francisco completed repairs and sea trials in April 2009, then shifted homeport to Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, California

Final deployment and conversion

San Francisco returned to Point Loma from her sixth deployment in October 2016, under command of Cmdr Jeff Juergens Her change of command and farewell ceremony was held on November 4, 2016, after which she was homeported to Norfolk for conversion She is slated to become a moored training ship at the Navy's Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina

See also

  • Major submarine incidents since 2000


  1. ^ Derek, Stroop 7 November 2016 "USS San Francisco Holds Change of Command, Farewell Ceremony" Press release United States Navy 
  2. ^ Robbins, Gary 2012-12-18, Submarine San Francisco leaves on deployment, U-T San Diego, retrieved 2014-04-10 
  3. ^ Doehring, Thoralf, USS San Francisco SSN 711, Thoralf Doehring, retrieved 2014-04-10 
  4. ^ "Command investigation of the apparent submerged grounding of USS San Francisco SSN 711" PDF cpfnavymil Commander, US Pacific Fleet Retrieved 24 November 2017 
  5. ^ Drew, Christopher "Danger zone wrong in crash of submarine USS San Francisco" The Seattle Times The Seattle Times Company Retrieved 11 November 2017 
  6. ^ Martin, David 2005 "Who's To Blame For Sub Accident – Retraceing Events That Led To USS San Francisco Crash" 60 Minutes CBS News Retrieved 2014-04-10 
  7. ^ Investigation Findings 2005, Finding #294
  8. ^ Munsey, Christopher 2005-09-01, "Sub repaired on Guam headed for Puget Sound", E-Edition, Pacific Daily News Guam, Navy Times, retrieved 2014-04-10 
  9. ^ Pone, Hodges 2006-12-14, "USS Honolulu Holds Final Change of Command Ceremony", Fleet Public Affairs Detachment Northwest, United States Navy, retrieved 2014-04-10 
  10. ^ "USS San Francisco Undocks With New Bow" Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Public Affairs United States Navy 2008-10-20 Retrieved 2014-04-10 
  11. ^ "US Navy decommissions submarine USS San Francisco after 35 years of service" NavalTodaycom Retrieved 11 November 2017 

This article includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register

External links

  • Official site
  • Official NVR Entry
  • BBC story on grounding report
  • USS San Francisco SSN 711 navysitede
  • 13°26′40″N 144°39′35″E / 13444315°N 144659772°E / 13444315; 144659772 Satellite photograph of USS San Francisco in dry dock at Guam, 2005 mapsgooglecom

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