The USS Glenard P. Lipscomb’s namesake was a congressman from the 24th District of California from 1953 to 1970. This submarine’s specific design was the second one to use a turbo-electric power plant similar to the USS Tulibee SSN-597. Construction on the sub began on June 5, 1971 at the Electric Boat Company Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. Glenard P. Lipscomb was launched on August 4, 1973 and sponsored by Mrs. Glenard P. Lipscomb. She was commissioned in December 1974 with Commander James F. Caldwell in command.
Glenard P. Lipscomb’s specific design was intended to test the potential advantages of a propulsion system that provided quieter submarine operations. Glenard P. Lipscomb had a displacement of 6,400 tons and a length of 365 feet, making it heavier and larger than similar vessels with conventional drive trains, resulting in slower speeds. Assessment of the design of the Glenard P. Lipscomb coupled with reliability issues led to a decision not to use this same design for the following design, the Los Angeles-class submarines. The “Lipscomb Fish,” as she was nicknamed, served as a testing platform but was still a fully capable combat-proficient attack submarine.
The Glenard P. Lipscomb was both decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on July 11, 1990. The vessel was disposed of by the submarine recycling program at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on December 1, 1997.
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.