A James Madison-class ballistic missile submarine, the USS Casimir Pulaski was laid down on July 12, 1963 and launched on February 1, 1964. She was theÂ second United States Navy vessel named after Polish general Casimir Pulaski, who served in the American Revolutionary War. Her construction was carried out by General Dynamic’s Electric Boat Division of Groton, Connecticut. Sponsored by Mrs. John A. Gronouski, Jr., she set sail with Captain Robert L. J. Long in command of the ship’s Blue Crew and Commander Thomas B. Brittain, Jr., in charge of the Gold Crew.
In March 1965, the USS Casimir Pulaski undertook her first patrol to Rota, Spain. During that patrol, the submarine carried sixteen submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Twenty patrols later, the submarine was overhauled at Groton, Connecticut. The 425-foot submarine was converted to carry the Poseidon C-3 missile, the fifth to carry such a weapon. Rejoining her fleet in 1971, she successfully fired four Poseidon missiles in the Atlantic test range. In July 1974, the USS Casimir Pulaski received the Submarine Squadron FOURTEEN Battle Efficiency “E” award.
Early 1980 saw the vessel arrive at Newport News, Virginia after 52 patrols. There she underwent refueling and conversion, leaving for King’s Bay, Georgia in June 1983. June of 1985 saw the submarine successfully fire four Trident missiles at the Atlantic test range. The USS Casimir Pulaski’s Gold Crew was awarded the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for “most improvement in battle efficiency” in 1985, while both the Blue and Gold Crew received the Submarine Squadron SIXTEEN Battle Efficiency “E”, the Atlantic Fleet Outstanding FBM Performance Award, the 1989 COMSUBRON SIXTEEN Battle “E,” and the 1989 Atlantic “FBM” Submarine Outstanding Performance Award.
Other awards for the USS Casimir Pulaski included the first ever Neptune Award and the US Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. August 1989 saw the vessel dock at Charleston, South Carolina for the twenty fifth anniversary of its commissioning, which included a full-dress military ceremony and formal ball. The vessel was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list of active vessels on March 7, 1994. Her Scrapping was completed on October 21, 1994.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, includingÂ mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.