USS George C. Marshall SSBN-654
The USS George C. Marshall was a Benjamin Franklin-class ballistic missile submarine. She was the only ship in the United States Navy to be named after Army General George C. Marshall. The building contract for the George C. Marshall was awarded to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company out of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched May 21, 1965 and sponsored by Mrs. George C. Marshall, and former U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Acheson spoke at her ceremony. She was commissioned the following year with Commander Warran Rich Cobean of the Blue Crew and Commander Williard Edward Edward Johnson in command of the Gold Crew.
The George C. Marshall conducted 78 strategic preventative patrols over the course of her career. She was one of the last vessel s to leave the Holy Loch, Scotland Base prior to its closing in 1992. George C. Marshall underwent several modifications including the removal of her SUBROC anti-submarine weapon, along with her Mark 14 and 37 torpedo capabilities. She was installed with a MOSS, or Mobile Submarine Simulator decoy capability. Her last dive occurred in 1992 off San Diego, California as she sailed to Bremerton, Washington for decommissioning.
The George C. Marshall was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on September 24, 1992. She was scrapped and recycled in the Navy’s Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, which was completed in 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, 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.