USS Daniel Boone SSBN-629
Built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California, the USS Daniel Boone SSBN-629 is a ballistic missile submarine of the James Madison class. Construction began in February of 1962 and was completed on June 22, 1963, when she was launched under the sponsorship of Mrs. James H. Wakelin, Jr., wife of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development.
Service in the U.S. Navy
The submarine’s first commanders were George P. Steele, III, in charge of the Blue Crew and Alan B. Crabtree in charge of the Gold Crew. The Daniel Boone received her commission on April 23, 1964. She was soon overhauled and fitted with Poseidon C-3 missiles, which were state of the art at the time. This missile system remained in place until 1980, when it was replaced with Trident C-4 missiles. The Daniel Boone ran aground on April 7, 1987, but was able to continue in Navy service.
The Daniel Boone was removed from commission on February 18, 1994, after nearly 30 years of dedicated service. Her name was stricken from the Naval Register and she became part of the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program.
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, including 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.